Monday, April 22, 2013

Shor- Reflection

I was not really all that into this article. I didn't even finish it but after reading about half of it, I noticed that it got repetitive. Sometimes I felt like I was reading the same stuff over and over again. But maybe that's just how some authors like to get their main points across.

As I first started reading this article, one particular quote stood out to me from the very beginning and that quote was "You must arouse children's curiosity and make them think about school. For example, it's very important to begin the school year with a discussion of why we go to school. Why does the government force us to go to school? This would set a questioning tone and show the children that you trust them and that they are intelligent enough. at their own level, to investigate and come up with answers". I think this is an excellent quote. I really like it and I completely agree. If children know you have faith in them and think that they are capable of doing something, they are going to try much harder because they know that you have confidence in them. The questioning tone is a great way to approach things, especially if maybe you are a first year teacher. Another thing I like about this quote is that it does not insinuate that they is always one answer for everything. When asking a question that begins with why, there sometimes may be more than one answer. I bet if a teacher asked "Why does the government make us go to school?" in a primary school, you would get a variety of different answers.

Points to share: I do wonder what other points stood out to people while reading this article and did anyone else find it repetitive?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Citizenship In School- Connections

When reading this article by Christopher Kliewer, it made me think back to Delpit, specifically when she talks about the rules and codes of power. Delpit tells us that we need to teach the kids the rules and codes of power so they know right from wrong. In this article, Kliewer believes that children with disabilities need to be mixed in regular classes with students who do not have disabilities, mainly so the children know that they are equal and not being separated from the other students. It also made me think "can separate be equal?"

The article basically focuses on the idea that children should be put together in one classroom whether they have disabilities or not. No child should feel how little Mia Peterson felt when she was in school. As educators, we do not want the children to feel sad and angry that they are not with other children. It just makes them feel like they can not achieve as much as the other students. Kliewer believes that if you want your child to be successful in this society, they need to comprehend a specific "dialogue".

Kliewer believes that schools act like "sorting machines", which reminds me of tracking. Schools discriminate students by their race, ability, and gender. When schools separate the children like this and begin to track them. it creates a competition between the children, which is not what we want. Tracking can be viewed as discriminating against children. If children know they are being put in the special ed classes, they are just going to view themselves as not as smart as the other children.

My point to share is this. This quote caught my attention while reading and I was wondering what other people thought of it: "It's not like they come here to be labeled, or to believe the label. We're all here-kids, teachers, parents, whoever-it's about all of us working together, playing together, being together, and that's
what learning is. Don't tell me any of these kids are being set up to fail."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Finn- Extended Comments

As I started reading "Literacy With An Attitude" by Finn, I was a little confused. But after finishing reading the preface and chapter one, I had a better understanding of it. After completing the reading, I still was not fully confident with it. So I went and looked at other peoples blog and Nicole's really stood out to me.

First off, I really love the picture Nicole put up on her blog with the block and the circle that says "you are here." I completely agree with Nicole when she says "This Type A teacher sounds and nearly represents everything perfect; someone who is neutral towards everything and does all things out of goodness. However the flaw in this is that to remain “neutral” is to represent not both or no political groups but represent the dominant one." So, one thing that it seems that we both agree on is that teachers reinforce this. Another thing I agree with is that teachers want to help their students aim to become "critical agents” by providing conditions where students can "speak, write, and assert their own histories, voices, and learning experiences.". Nicole also mentioned this in her blog. I think Nicole picked out a lot of great quotes from the text and I agree with all of them. Her blog really helped me to understand things more, especially when I watched the video she put up. If anyone has not watched the video, I would highly recommend watching it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Brown V.S. Board of ED- Reflection

Sorry for the late blog post! Even thought my last blog post was also a reflection, I felt as thought I could connect this piece to my life. I grew up in Cranston, specifically the Western part of Cranston. A majority of the people living in this area come from white middle-class families. When I was in school, it was almost all white children. I think in my whole elementary school there was about two people of color. I have never dealt with any racial issues because a majority of the people I went to school and interacted with were white. Now that I am at RIC, my eyes actually see the diversity. RIC is most definitely the most diverse school that I have ever attended and this may be the case for other people who come from areas like mine.

As I read through the New York Times Article by Bob Herbert, I agreed with what he was saying and could relate to it in some ways. Herbert tells us that while in school, being separate and equal does not exist. Something else that he tells us in his article is that schools are districted by their location. This is so that the public schools are closer to the inner cities, which are mostly made up of colored students. Herbert tells us because of this location, the schools do not get as much funding and this can be a form of racism. When I think of this situation, it kind of confuses me a little because of the funding. Some cities just don't have the money to give, it is not because there are students of color who attend the school. I do believe that this can count as a form of racism, but I do think that this is a mild case compared to some of the other things we see in our everyday life. 

My point to share with the class is this: I would love to hear other people's reactions to the New York Times article by Herbert. Do you agree with what he is saying or disagree? How do you feel about what he tells us about the locations of certain schools and how do you think the location plays a role in the funding?