Thursday, April 23, 2015

Social Justice Event:The Vagina Monologues

I was so afraid that I wasn't going to find a social justice event that fit in my schedule. Luckily I found this one yesterday for tonight at 6! I was so excited because I wanted to see The Vagina Monologues ever since it was first mentioned in class.
Well first of all.....let me just say WOW, WHAT THE HECK, OH MY GOD. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This was a very different experience to say the least. I went with my mom to Chan's in Woonsocket. I almost took my grandmother which I am VERY glad I didn't do seeing as she probably would not enjoy the "c-word" being thrown around as carelessly as it was. My mom and I have a very close relationship and nothing is really off limits with us, but even this was really really awkward for us. It was full of really uncomfortable laughter, but I think that was the point.

The women that participated in this show were women from the Sojourner House in Rhode Island. It helps abuse victims and their families and the proceeds from tonight went to their HIV prevention, testing, and support fund. 

The particular show that I went to was actually a bilingual show, which was pretty cool, but kind of unfortunate because I did not understand half of it. It was cool to see English and Spanish working together to become one show. This is a Collier aspect of the show. Half of it was in English, and half was in Spanish.

The room that the show was in was definitely a Safe Space that August would 100% approve of. There were many women that are a part of the LGBT community that were acting in the show. Women who are lesbian, transgender, and straight spoke out fearlessly. There was no holding back in this show and there were no judgement in the room (that were shown). It was a great experience.

This also relates to SCWAAMP. Of course it is because of the "maleness" factor of it. This show was meant to empower women. There were no men on that stage and that group had so much power. It was a very diverse group of women racially. This attributes to the “whiteness” part of SCWAAMP. The women also were not all straight, which is part of the “straightness” aspect. This show alone connected to three out of the seven characteristics of SCWAAMP.

Throughout the show it gave some statistics about sexual assaults and genital mutation that were really hard to listen to. I think this was the most important part of it. It was educational and really opened the crowd’s eyes to what is actually going on in the world while empowering ALL WOMEN. 

If you're brave enough to watch the Vagina Monologues I will hyperlink a version here for you. Watching it will not be as great of an experience as actually being there, making eye contact with the actors, but it's worth a watch.
Sojourner House

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shor: Empowering Education Quotes

This article was very long…but it was very thought provoking and I loved the topic.

“Piaget urged a reciprocal relationship between teachers and students, where respect for the teacher coexisted with cooperative and student centered pedagogy” (Shor 11). 

I love love love psychology. If I didn’t want to be a teacher I always said I would be a school or child psychologist. Seeing Piaget in this article made me very happy! This is the fourth time I’ve learned about Piaget in the last two years. I love his style. The fact that reciprocal relationships were mentioned as well obviously relates to last week’s article, Kliewer. Reciprocal relationships between students and teachers are so important to have. Feeling comfortable in a classroom and having a mutually respectful relationship so students can have a better attitude towards education. No student  should ever be afraid to speak in class and a reciprocal relationship is helpful. Teachers and students mutually gain from the relationship. 

This article was very long…but it was very thought provoking and I loved the topic.

When Shor introduces empowering education, he says it is “a critical democratic pedagogy herself and social change; it is a student centered program for multicultural democracy in school in society. It approaches individual growth as an active, cooperative, and social process, because the self and society create each other" (Shor 13).
Students need to ask questions to further their knowledge and collaborate with each other. Our country is based off of democracy, where every person has a say. If a teacher builds lessons based on only part of the class, students are not getting as much out of it.

“People are naturally curious. They are born learners. Education can either develop or stifle their inclination to ask why and to learn” (Shor 12).
This is one of my main beliefs. Teachers should not only teach students how to calculate 2+2, but also teach them to function in society as an individual and think analytically about the problems that they are facing, school related or not. School is not the only thing on a student’s mind. They could have a lot going on. If they are taught how to deal with these problems. No question is a stupid question. Every question asked is because a student is trying to acquire knowledge that they did not have previously. It is the job of a teacher to respond to that curiosity and help them learn whatever they ask.

“Education is more than facts and skills. It is a socializing experience that helps make the people who make society” (Shor 15).
This reminded me a lot of Vygotsky’s beliefs in psychology. He believed that social interaction was the best was for students to learn. As Caitlyn mentioned in her blog, student interaction and socializing was looked down upon at most schools because it seemed like students were misbehaving. A lot of the times this is the case, but it is not always true. Students have to think out loud and help each other and talk to each other, not only to feel comfortable in the space that they’re in, but to get the most out of their learning experiences. If a student wants to come to school every day and is excited to learn, they are obviously less likely to have a bad attitude towards learning.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wise: Whites Swim in Racial Preference Reflection -- Late :(

I really enjoyed reading and watching these videos. They were really interesting and put a different spin on the case that I've already learned so much about. I've learned about this case at least 6 different times between middle school, high school, and college. I figured we would learn about the case again seeing as this is a class all about diversity and how we get there. These videos really applied it and showed me that it still exists today.

The main argument in the videos and the article is that racism is still prevalent today in society. I totally agree with this. Even if it is not conscious racism, it still exists. It’s not as terrible as it was before the civil rights movement it still exists. It takes people suing school boards in order for change to be made. People think that racism in America has ended just because our president is Obama and Obama happens to be black. This is totally untrue. Just because we have a black president doesn't mean that racism is defeated. Tim Wise also made the point that there are two types of racism: Racism 1.0 and Racism 2.0. Racism 1.0 is discrimination and segregation. This was overcome. Racism 2.0 is racism in society today.

I used to agree with a Morgan Freeman quote that he said during an interview. An interviewer asked him “How do you think we should stop racism in the United States?” Morgan Freeman replied with “Stop talking about it.” Before this class I thought it was brilliant, that racism would be less of an issue if people just stopped bringing it up. After all, it is 2015. BUT I realized that Johnson was right. You HAVE to talk about it in order to stop it. People cannot be afraid to talk about racism, you have to say the words in order to be able to destroy it.

Kliewer: Citizenship in School: Re-conceptualizing Down Syndrome Reflection

Before reading this chapter I'm ashamed to admit that I was actually skeptical. I was always under the assumption that individualized special education classrooms were a good idea for the special needs students to get the education that they needed. After reading this I realized that students with disabilities show the progress they do because they are integrated with typical students. While reading this it reminded me of Vygotsky’s social development theory. Vygotsky states that students learn better when they are around each other and collaborate. In order for them to get the most out of their education they cannot be only surrounded with people that are like them, just like typical students cannot be only surrounded with typical students. Their cognitive development also has a lot to do with social interaction. Every person in the educational system needs one another because no two people learn the same way. Segregated schools also cause a very thick line between typical students and students with disabilities. If I was not exposed to special needs students when I was in elementary school. I had a friend who had special needs in elementary school. He was fully integrated into my classroom and to this day we still have conversations very often. I believe it was because of the integrated schools that I am not uncomfortable around students with special needs. I cannot think of a single student that treated this boy badly. Everyone loved him and still loves him to this day. I remember he used to learn things differently with the help of his aid. This actually helped the entire class because we were taught those ways as well. In high school the students were not integrated, they were in a classroom and I could probably name 5 out of the 12 students in the special education classroom in the high school I went to. They were in a room at the other side of the school that I've never even been in. The students were involved in school activities and there were unified volleyball and basketball teams. The students picked up the recycling bins in the classrooms during homeroom to get social interaction with typical students. I really believe after reading this article that students with disabilities should be integrated with typical students. I related this to SCWAAMP. Students with disabilities are not typically able bodied. This could have something to do with why some people are so uncomfortable. If students with special needs are among typical students their confidence builds as well. They will no longer be afraid to go to school and they can learn effectively.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Finn: Literacy with an Attitude

I am going to start out saying that this piece was insanely long and detailed, (but very informative after getting past the length) and connected to a lot of what we already read this semester. I also thought the post was due on Thursday so I apologize for this being a little late! I am going to do an extended blog post on Kaileen’s blog! Her blogs are always thoughtful and thorough and I am finally doing an extended post so of course I had to choose hers :)

The first quote that Kaileen picks is very interesting.
1. They expected people in authority to be authoritarian, and I gave them what they expected. (pg. 2)
I agree with her point about Delpit. This is all about the culture of power. In order for a teacher to be in charge they must have an authoritarian mentality. Being strict and demanding does not show power. I also agree with Kaileen’s point about the teacher being there to help the students. The teacher’s job is to help the students learn as much as they can and continue in their education. They are life role models for students and a most of what they do can stick with them forever. You do not have to be mean to be a teacher. You do not need to constantly yell to get children to do what they need to do. It’s all about figuring out what works best for your classroom. Many times it will need to be changed on a yearly basis depending on the students in your class.

The next quote that she picked jumped out to me as well when reading this piece
2. “Don't be so damned superior! Don't look down your nose at people out there teaching real children in real and sometimes dreadful circumstances. Don't question their intelligence or their commitment, or their motives” (pg. 8)
No one should judge teachers. Every time I tell someone I’m going to school for education, they always reply with “oh, summers off, nice” as if that’s the reason I’m going into the field. UM NO. I’m going into the field because I can’t wait to educate young minds and connect with them. I agree with Kaileen, the field is often looked down upon and seen as being “easy”. It is one of the hardest jobs out there! There are no two teachers who run things EXACTLY the same way. It does not give anyone the right to judge anything.

3. “In the working class schools, the dominant theme was resistance. Students would vandalize school property and resisted the teacher's efforts to teach. Boy fell out of chair; students bring bugs into the class and released them; children lost books or forgot them; students interrupted the teacher....” (pg.12)
I also thought of the Service Learning projects while reading this part of Finn. The difference in the school that I do my placement in and where I went to school, in Smithfield is night and day. I notice a lot of this resistance in Providence. It has a lot to do with home life and circumstances. Kaileen mentioned that it could be about the atmosphere that they’re in. I agree, it could have something to do with the environment that the classroom creates for the students and they notice that people at home do not need education, so why should they? They may be accidentally ignored in class which causes them to feel disregarded so they need to act out in other ways.

4. “The literate are powerful and you're not. What are you going to do about it?” (pg... 165)
This quote immediately made me think of SCWAAMP when I read it and seeing that Kaileen thought the same thing is awesome! If you don’t fit into the categories, that’s it for you. You’re not as good as those who do (according to SCWAAMP). WE are society. Someone needs to do something in order for things to change. Years and years after the civil rights movement white people are still superior. People with educations are immediately more powerful than those without. A little twisted but the best way to take over a country is to get rid of all of the schools and highly educated people and raise uneducated people. People who aren’t educated have trouble thinking analytically so they are able to me formed into anything. I feel as though an “E” for educated should be added to SCWAAMP or an “L” for literate because that is a major factor in power.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pecha Kecha Update

Well what I seem to be having trouble with is finding a main topic. I have a lot of little stories that relate to a lot of different authors but finding one big author to talk about seems problematic for me. I'm not too worried about this assignment except for that. Another thing is I am concerned that I will not meet the time requirements for my service learning. I meet on Mondays so I have been snowed out multiple times, I have only been a total of four times so my stories are also limited so far. I am hoping as time goes on I will gather more stories and hopefully find a main author.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Kahne&Westheimer: In Service of What? The Politics of Service Learning

“...ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country"
This quote is in President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address. It means that we should not only better ourselves, but better our environment and others around us as well. It connects to the service learning that we do every week for this class. In doing the service learning we are helping shape the minds of the youth of America. When we become teachers in America, we will be shaping the minds of children in our classrooms and giving them knowledge that they can use in their lives. Especially elementary school teachers because they are the first teachers than children are exposed to in the school system and create their foundation for their education and learning.

“… More attention has been focused on moving forward than on asking where we are headed”
Instead of looking at the big picture, teachers recently have been focusing on just getting their students through a lesson. In this state of mind students pick up a bad attitude towards learning and school. This is exactly what I want to try and avoid in my classroom. Retaining and applying knowledge is important, spitting back facts is not learning. The children need to know how to think analytically and ask important questions. This is what I am trying to do in my service learning. Just because a child knows what an answer is on a test does now mean that he/she retained the information. I try to use tricks and devices so the topic sticks in their brain. It shows that I am in this for the greater good, not just to get through it. I want both the students and myself to get as much out of this experience as possible, as well as my other community service opportunities.

“In contrast, much of the current discussion regarding service learning emphasizes charity, not change.”
There is a difference in answering phone calls for a CEO of a company and hands on working with children with learning disabilities. Both count as community service but one is much more meaningful than the other. They both count towards hours of service but there is a huge difference in the amount of effort and worldly change that is put into the projects. In high school I was part of the National Honor Society. This means I did not only need to reach my high school requirement of hours of community service but I needed an extra number of hours to stay in the society. I tried my hardest in high school as well as college to volunteer in many helpful situations rather than just to get it over with. I helped an elderly couple multiple times per week with errands and just talked to them and listened to their stories until their passing. I worked hands on with children of all ages. I taught fourth graders basic French, and I did some other projects that I feel actually contributed to bettering the world rather than getting coffee for someone who barely would know I exist. I believe the point of community service is to actually serve the community in a helpful way.

Point to bring up in class: What community service that you have completed opportunities changed you or moved you the most? Why do you think that is?
Image result for community service logo