Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Tracking in Schools"


As I read the article “Tracking: Why Schools Need to Take Another Route,” I compared it to myself in elementary and middle school. I had an IEP and I am not embarrassed to say it. I just didn’t learn how everyone else did and I struggled a lot with reading and writing. “On the other side, growing numbers of school professionals and parents oppose tracking because they believe it locks most students into classes where they are stereotyped as “less able,” and where they have fewer opportunities to learn.” I disagree with this because I think students placed into classes that fits their needs is very helpful for them. Everyone is a different learner; in order for these students to succeed just like myself I needed to be placed in a class where I wouldn’t be struggling.
When I was in sixth grade I didn’t need to have an IEP anymore. In the years before I had extra help in order to become the student I am today. I then was tested too high to have an IEP. I agree with some of this article when they talked about “Uneven Opportunities.” “In low-ability classes, for example, teachers seem to be less encouraging and more punitive, placing more emphasis on discipline and behavior and less on academic learning.” I agree with this statement because it reminds me of classes in high school, rather than when I had an IEP in elementary and middle school. In my high school there were comp classes and college prep classes. I felt as though the teachers who taught comp classes didn’t encourage their students. They didn’t really have hope for their students and teachers who taught college prep classes. I think that no matter what the level of a student is it, they should all get the same attention from a teacher no matte what level they are on. In my classroom I will work to encourage my students into learning and getting good grades! This article made me think a lot about student’s evaluation and how they are placed. It also brings me to think about SATs scores and standardized test. They don’t really determine a student at all, especially myself.

This article reminds me of a “Delpit moment.” I think of this because I didn’t like how they used the words to describe a student as less ability then a higher ability. It makes me think of how the teachers in the comp classes in my high school described their students. They used the wrong words, instead of encouraging their students they sort of put them down not realizing it.

This link will lead you to learn more about tracking and whether it is good or not for students.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Brown Vs. Board of Education

It’s crazy to think about living in a world where blacks and whites were never brought together. It’s crazy to think about having white schools and blacks schools. It’s also crazy to think that if this was years ago I wouldn’t be able to be friends with some of my close colored friends. Imagine? I guess it was normal before 1954 to attend an all white school or an all black school. I am so ecstatic that we live in a time where you can be friends with black people and attend schools with them. I’m very happy we have a black president. Everyone has their own views and can look at an innocent colored individual and despise them because of their skin. I am not that kind of person. I believe that their good white people and good colored people. I was brought up by the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” So I do not judge an individual by their color.
While I was exploring the website I thought it was very interesting and I learned exactly what Brown v. Board of Education was. I read about how five African Americans from five different communities came together to better the education of their children. On May 17, 1954 the courts ignored the law and allowed black and whites to come together. I enjoyed looking at this website and learning about the events that allowed black and whites to be together.
When I watched the two videos of Bob Herbert and Tim Wise a lot of what they were saying related to the Brown V. Board of Education case. In the video it talked a lot about Barack Obama and him being of color. Tim said that we are nowhere near a “post racial America.” They talk about how in our country no one should think they need to be a person of color like Barack Obama, which means that you have to be truly acceptable. Obama is presented and supported because he is viewed as a “transcending race.” Which is being different than a normal black and brown person. Then there is the old school racism that anyone can point out. This connects to education because people who are white can go to any school and may have the opportunity to become a president, while people of color may not have the same chance. Tim also says, “If we are going to live in a truly equal opportunity society then we have to act as a truly equal opportunity society.” For an example if you are a colored teacher you should be able to teach in a higher-class public school, which we don’t see too often.  The best teachers tend to avoid working in schools that are located in poverty also is one of the reasons our society is struggling at becoming equal.
This Blog entry reminds me a lot about the article we read by Johnson. Johnson believes it is important to talk about these issues. It is good to talk a lot about how we are all equal no matter what our color is. It is a good topic to bring up the history of segregation in our classrooms and allow the students to understand the time people lived in then to our time we live in now.

             Here is a linked that I found which talks more about the Brown V. Board of Education case.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"In Service of What"

(Connections to two previous readings)

After reading this article it gave me a different perspective on service learning. I knew this before but I never thought to compare doing service with elderly and helping out in my community to my service learning at Charlotte Woods Elementary School. I thought it was interesting when I read about Mr. Johnson’s class, “Mr. Johnson explained, students would interact with those less fortunate that themselves and would experience the excitement and joy of learning while using the community as a classroom.” This is very interesting because the students acted as good sammartian’s. I compared this to the article we read titled “Safe spaces.” It said in that article “still, classroom spaces leave their mark on all of us.” In Mr. Johnsons class his students will always have a memory of doing a good deed together by working with the less fortunate as their service learning. It also said in the article “Safe Spaces,”  “students will be more likely to develop perspectives that result in respectful behaviors.” Students working on service learning projects like in Mr. Johnsons classroom or even in Ms. Adams will become more respectful individuals. Ms. Adams seventh grade class took a different approach than Mr. Johnsons class. Her class worked together to identify issues of common concern and then voted to focus their energy on the issue of homelessness. “The class invited speakers from homeless advocacy groups, created files of newspaper articles on homelessness and read, among other items, No Place to Be: Voices of Homeless Children.”

In both cases these students are becoming an individual who develops a sense of kindness and humanitarianism at a young age. 

Another article that we read in the past connects a lot with this article. Jonathan Kozol article about “Amazing Grace” talks about a poor town in New York. In this article it talked about music middle school students met with students in a nearby poor elementary school. The children who went to this school reported that “it changed their beliefs about children from this neighborhood.” In Kozol’s article he met with a seven-year-old boy name Cliffie. Cliffe showed him around his town which is known to be poor and violent. Kozol explains how there are children in these towns who are the “poorest, most abandoned places who, despite the miseries and poisons that the world has pumped into their lives, seem, when you first meet them, to be cheerful anyway.” I compared this to the students who went to the elementary school for their service learning, they learned that these kids and the town isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. There are a lot of harmless kids and adults living there and attending school there.
In conclusion I liked this reading. I liked how they talked about service learning from a different perspective than just us working in our classrooms for an hour and a half every week.
Here is also a link to the University of Michigan and how they think Service Learning benefits!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

“Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us"


            In Linda Christensen’s article about “Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us,” it focuses on children’s cartoons. Are young kids being taught the right message from cartoons? Or are they learning about the roles people play? Are they learning that black people should be servants or men have more power than women? I did some research and found some interesting articles that tell us why cartoons send the wrong messages.

The first hyperlink will lead you to an article titled “Superheroes send out ‘wrong message’ to boys.”

In this article it talks about superheroes such as Iron Man and Superman. Richard Alleyne, the author of this article said “these villains may not be the best image for boys to see if society wants to promote kinder, less stereotypical male behaviors, they claim.” Starting from a young age boys will have the impression they need to be tough and have control over people, especially women. Richard also says, “the new breed of Hollywood superheroes are aggressive, sarcastic and rarely speak about virtue of doing good for humanity.” The superheroes today participate in a lot of violence this will send the wrong message to young boys.

In this next hyperlink the author gets more into cartoons and the effects on children. “Children watching too much cartoons often fantasize about the kind of life that various characters are living.” Like any television show children of all ages will find a role model. Is the role model in the cartoon a good or bad model? Children will start dressing like them. A mother of a 7-year old daughter shared her experience in this article. Her favorite cartoon was ‘Winx Club.’ She said her daughter “Creates a lot of fuss every time we go shopping as she insists on having the same wardrobe the characters in the ‘Winx Club.’” The character wears a strapless frock and does ball dance. But the mother of this young girl says that “these programs are putting a negative impression on the innocent minds of children.” They also live in Pakaistan and the impressions these character’s are giving children are not encouraged in their culture.

The last Hyperlink I wanted to share with you guys is an article about a cartoon where the main character is a black doctor. The article is titled “Disney Finds a Cure for the Common Stereotype With ‘Doc McStuffins.’” Disney channel has found a cure so that colored children can fit in and feel better about themselves while watching cartoons. It also shows how the colored doctor is very helpful towards her patients. It also teaches students that there are different types of people. This quote also comes from this article, “It truly warmed my heart and almost brought tears to my eyes when my 8-year-old, Mikaela, saw ‘Doc McStuffins’ for the first time and said, ‘Wow, mommy — she’s brown.’”