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

Monday, March 2, 2015

Christensen: Unlearning the Myths That Blind Us Quotes

“If I want my students to wrestle with the social text of novels, news, or history books, they need the tools to critique media that encourage or legitimate social inequality” (127).
True death equals a generation living by rules and attitudes they never questioned and producing more children who do the same” (129).
These two quotes really stuck out to me and seemed to be about similar things. If people are not informed about this conditioning being done to children nothing can be done to stop it. Students should not just retain information, they should be able to question it and fight it if necessary. In order for the action to change, people need to feel strongly enough about it to change it. Personally, I would want my students to be able to fight for something they believe in, so it would be my job to not only teach them to do so but to give them to necessary tools to be able to analyze the text that they are given.

“We are not only taught certain styles of violence, the latest fashions, and sex roles by TV, movies, magazines, and comic strips: we are also taught how to succeed, how to love, how to buy, how to conquer, how we forget the past and suppress the future” (128).
This quote shows the affects that media can have on children at an early age. They are taught all of these aspects without even realizing it. Their parents think that they are just watching a movie but in reality they are getting more of an education on the world that they do in schools or at home with their families or friends. Children are taught these societal values and then act upon them without realizing where they come from. Some are harmful and some are good. I did an entire psychology presentation on dolls (specifically Barbie) and their effect children. The results were astounding. Mothers found notes in their daughters’ rooms on how they could keep thin and have the ideal Barbie image. A lot of what the children are learning is aspects of SCWAAMP. Straightness, Whiteness, and able-bodiedness, 

A not that a mother found in her seven year old daughter's bedroom next to her Barbie dream house
“I don't want students to believe that change can be bought at the mall, nor do I want them thinking that the pinnacle of a woman's life is an "I do" that supposedly leads them to a "happily ever after." I don't want my female students to see their "sisters" as competition (or that scarce and wonderful commodity _ men” (133).
In every fairy tale and Disney princess movie that I can think of, it’s about a girl getting a guy, even if it’s not the mail story line. Women are taught at a young age that they are to get married and have children. Even if they have a career and another life, it is expected that all women are to love children and want to start a family with their “only reason for existence”-her husband. Sisters in these tales never seem to get along-up until Frozen was released in 2013. There is no sibling competitions in this movie, but prior to that there was much rivalries between siblings-especially step siblings. The evil step mother is also a major role. It teaches children that if a parent was to remarry, their stepmother will be evil and horrible. There are many misconceptions about life in Disney films and fairy tales. I actually took the Grimm and Glitter first year seminar and we did a lot of comparing and contrasting with original Grimm tales and Disney's take on them. We also noticed all of the common themes within the tales. It was a great class to take.

Reading this I remembered that a Cinderella was made with primarily dark skinned characters and it was my absolute favorite movie when I was little and I remember thinking that something was different about it, but it never really "bothered" me and I didn't put too much thought into it,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Safe Spaces: Reflection Questions

I definitely connected this reading to SCWAAMP. The first bullet in SCWAAMP is Straightness. Personally I always grew up thinking a man and a women are the only people that get together. Not because I didn’t believe it was right, but because I was never exposed to anything else because of SCWAAMP. The only books that I read were heterosexual love stories. The typical family was only on TV. Now there are shows like The Fosters and Modern Family that are open about the LGBT community.
Image result for the fosters gay coupleImage result for modern family gay

For my blog post I decided to answer the first set of questions that were included in the piece. I thought these questions were very important for the reader to answer in their minds in order to connect to the piece rather than just reading it.
My old high school recently became very involved in LGBT equality because there were many bullying incidents. The administration had a no tolerance policy, but it wasn’t until recently that sexual orientation was put in bold. Now I have three openly gay friends and multiple gay family members. I am totally comfortable with those of the LGBT community.

What messages did you receive about the LGBT community when you were in school? Did you ever question these messages? Do you talk to the youth in your life about what they are learning in the LGBT community in your curriculum?
Growing up, people used to throw around derogatory terms that are directed at the gay community like they were nothing. This always made me very uncomfortable. I heard it constantly in the hallways. Whenever any of my friends said it I would correct them and pretty much flip out on them. But in school I never heard much about the LGBT community until middle school when one of my friends came out to me and my eyes really opened to how the world reacts. Once I went into high school a group of students started an equality group. This was unfortunately constantly made fun of by a prominent group in my school who were with lack of a better term complete and utter jerks. Children in my life are not educated much in school about the LGBT community. I know they are at home, so I do not need to step in but I believe that the children in my life are more accepting of it than the adults are and I think that's sad.

Image result for gay in schoolsWhat do you know about the gay civil rights movement (Stonewall, for example?)
I honestly do not know anything at all about the gay rights movement. I feel pretty awful about that and I’m going to definitely research it. I think that says a lot about the school system. The only movement that I learned about were the women’s rights movements (only in college) and the civil rights movement (since elementary school). I feel that this is an important topic to discuss in schools and I am surprised that it was not discussed with me before.
Image result for gay in schools