Sunday, October 26, 2014

Delpit Revisited

In Delpit’s The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People's Children, the author Lisa Delpit discusses what she calls the “culture of power”.  Delpit argues that children should be explicitly what to do, verses being asked in question form. For example telling a child “ Stop doing that” instead of saying “ Should you be doing that?” confusing the child into thinking that they could be doing that instead of directly telling them to stop.
The first quote I choose relates to this argument. A black principal at an elementary school who told her that she has frequent troubles with black students in white teachers’ classes contacted Delpit. “The teachers often send the children to the office for dis- obeying teacher directives. Their parents are frequently called in for conferences. The parents ' response to the teacher is usually the same. "They do what I say; if you just tell them what to do, they'll do it. I tell them at home that they have to listen to what you say.” This shows that the rules and codes of power are not being taught to these children at home. Not that they are not as smart as the other children but they are just used to being directly told what to do.
My second quote that I liked I pulled from my think piece from the beginning of the semester when we first read Delpit. It is from the beginning of her work were she says “You can try and talk to them and give them examples but their so headstrong, they think they know what’s best for everybody, for everybody’s children.” Speaking mainly about white teachers. White teachers tend to come from homes within the codes and conducts of power. Which she pointed out in one of her five main points in her work and is my third quote. “Those with power are frequently least aware of- or are least willing to acknowledge it existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence.”  Where the white teachers may think that there way of teaching with in the codes of power are the right way it may not be true in all circumstances where a child not taught the codes of power at home will suffer. Where as if all the teachers where more direct everyone would be on the same page in the classroom.

As well Delpit says, “If schooling prepares people for jobs, and the kind of job a person has determines her or his economic status and, therefore, power, then schooling is intimately related to that power.” Which to me she Delpit is saying that the school curriculum is set up for people who know the rules and codes of power to succeed. Making children from homes that are not within the codes of power will struggle.

In closing I found this quote that I feel really summed up the reading. It really put into perspective the role that the teacher plays in the classroom. Delpit explains that teachers are there to get all the information on the table. “ Teachers are in an ideal position o play this role, to attempt to get all of the issues on the table in order to initiate true dialogue. This can only be done, however, by learning to give their words complete attention, by understanding one’s own power, even if that power stems merely from being in the majority, by being unafraid to raise questions about discrimination and voicelessness with people of color, and to listen, no to hear what they say.”
For my link this week I found a good interview with Lisa Delpit

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"In the Service of What?" Quotes

“Educators and legislators alike maintain that service learning can improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing rich educational experiences for students at all levels of schooling. Service learning makes students active participants in service projects that aim to respond to the needs of the community while furthering the academic goals of students.” I feel this quote nicely sums up the main values of service learning. It illustrates all the positive impacts that service learning can have on a community and its students. Having gone through the Pawtucket school system my entire life, I have seen the shortcomings of the district and feel that having service learning could have made a strong positive impact in Pawtucket. The only time I ever had an experience with someone fulfilling service-learning hours was in the fourth grade. This to me was a very positive experience; I would anticipate that person coming every week and enjoyed the time that they spent time in my class.

The other quote that stood out to me was “In contrast, much of the current discussion regarding service learning emphasizes charity, not change.” It stood out to me because the authors are pointing out a difference between donating clothes and going to help a young child learn math. Although they’re both good deeds one has only a temporary positive impact while the other could be a life changer. The authors want to emphasize that although charity is not entirely negative it’s impotent that change is what you’re working towards. 
For my link this week i decided to include a video that highlights a couple of different service learning projects that students are participating in across America. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Christensen- Extended Comments Post

For my blog this week I decided to do an extended comments piece on Dennis’ Blog. While looking through others’ blogs I noticed that Dennis’ argument post had a lot of points that I agreed with and wanted to include in my own post.

In his first paragraph, Dennis explains what he believes Christensen’s argument is: “Christensen's argument is that we should really be aware of what stereotypes are being portrayed in children s media and what they read and watch will influence them about people, races, and other things even before they are exposed to it themselves” I completely agree with this argument. I think that Christensen really was trying to open up the readers eyes to the stereotypes that are introduced to children at such young ages through the various types of media. For example, Christensen mentions that people of color were portrayed as being of lesser intelligence usually and overweight people in movies and books and other medias acted jolly and funny. These were stereotypes that were features in multiple books movies and television shows that children saw daily. 

In his second paragraph, Dennis states “cartoons, movies and books…are the main things that adults use to teach children morals, lessons, behavior, and even simple things like words but all of those things may be well and good but it is the subliminal pictures and messages that the kids really see instead of the main story…but what is in the story besides the words but more the underlying content is what we as a society are learning from.” Once again I completely agree with Dennis’ argument. These media objects are all mass produced and seen things that children are seeing at a young age. When these stereotypes are features in these books movies and shows they only help to keep the stereotypes going. This argument fits perfectly with the student named Omar on the first page who said “’When we read children’s books, we aren’t just reading cutie little stories, we are discovering the tools with which a young society is manipulated.’” It’s clear the these stereotypes being shown in this “secret education” can be harmful to young people and its important that we acknowledge that they are there and that they exist and that we realize that they are only stereotypes and not reality.

Although these stereotypes are not only in Disney productions, they certainly seem to get the most attention for it. For my link this week I decided to include a video that breaks down the stereotypes commonly found in Disney features. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Safe Spaces- Reflection

“Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the life style portrayed in this episode.” Stated in Safe Space a book written on the topic of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth (LGBT). The quote above is a statement given to PBS station on their show Postcards From Buster, a television show for young children. The episode is about Buster the main character traveling with his dad. They end up in Vermont where they meet a family with two sons and a daughter with their two moms. Quickly the episode was pulled for fear that parents didn’t want their children exposed to the “gay” way of life.

As I was growing up in school I really was never introduced to people admitting to be gay or lesbian till the end of middle school going into high school. I was always okay with it and thought that it’s their life and why should I think any different of them. But it never really effected me per say because it never ended up that any of my friends ended up being gay.  Until just recently, one of my best friends came out as transgender. Not that I find it to be wrong, I totally support him if that’s how he really feels. he told me that he felt this way from the first or second grade and has been holding it in for so long. I felt really bad actually, because he continued to tell me that he didn’t tell anyone for the fear of being ridiculed and bullied. It came from someone I would have never expected. This quote made me think about that situation and how he might have felt for his school career and being out casted and looked at as different “ When someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you’re not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing.” (88)

For my link this week I decided to include a link to a youtube video called "Freedom from Fear: Creating Safe Spaces for LGBT Youth"