Sunday, November 30, 2014

Shor- Empowering Education (Hyperlinks post)

This week while reading Empowering Education, I found it to be very interesting. I decided to do a hyper links post, because I thought there would be a fair amount of information on the topic. Just from the title I thought it would have something to do with the way a teacher ran or taught their class. After getting into it I found that Shor’s main topic was, that teachers need to not just teach but to get kids critically thinking and analyzing problems not just memorizing what they were told. I went on to look up critical thinking andanalyzing problems and got a page that defined it gave some tips in how to better your skills at it. I think that at it may be something that would be of value to touch base on in a classroom. I also found a quote that really ties into this, "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” (11). This quote connects to Shor’s main idea because it seems like his point is that student’s shouldn’t be so passive when it comes to their education, they should want to be actively involved in what they are learning. And educators should be willing to acknowledge that students have this ability to critically think about their education and let them do so.
Ira Shor 

The next link that I found is a blog from an elementary school teacher who uses the blog as “A website for teachers to use as a tool to incorporate critical pedagogy in their classrooms.”, another topic of Shor’s.

The final link I decide to include is City University of New York’s web page for Ira Shor. The page includes his research interests, specializations, and selected publications.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome- Reflection

This week while I was reading Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome I thought that I would do a reflections post because from personal experiences from past experiences in middle and high school. From my experiences in school it depended on the grade level whether or not special needs kids were in the same classes as kids not classified as special needs. For example grades k-6 there were special needs children mixed into regular classes and there was no special needs class that was separated from other classes, but they would get pulled out here and there like everyone else who needed help with math or English. Then when I made it to middle school and high school kids that were special needs only attended gym and other electives like art with the rest of the school population. The rest of the day they were segregated to one room for the rest of the day. They stayed in that one room for around four hours or a little more. The bells would ring to change classes and they would pop there heads out of the room for a few and just watched us pass. To be honest it was a sad thing to see. Because if you asked them if they wanted to sit in that room all day, just like us they would say no.

This quote I found in the reading really ties into this on a few levels one being them being separated and a second on the point of them being labeled; “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 all about all of us working together, playing together, being together, and that’s what learning is.” This really hits home to me because I believe that just like kids that are not special needs, children with disabilities have a lot to bring to the table in the classroom as well and including them in regular classroom activities is crucial

This week i decided to do a hyperlink to to an article i thought fight this post well. It is called inclusion in the Classroom.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Learning with an Attitude Connections

In Patrick J. Finn’s piece Literacy with an Attitude; he speaks about powerful literacy and what it entails. He talks about how the lower class and even some of the middle class are being taught functional literacy, which was based around compliance. Where as powerful literacy, encouraged critical thinking about complex ideas.
As I read Finn’s piece I felt that it really connected well to Delpit. I thought that it really tied into the “Tweet” assignment from class the other day. In my tweet I wrote, “The culture of power should be taught not protected. The struggle of kids outside it, are at a disadvantage.” Delpit wanted the culture of power to be taught to everyone. And that it was the teachers job to teach the codes of power to children who don’t learn them at home. As I was reading I ran across a quote that ties them together nicely and actually connects well to an experience I had in my service learning. “I didn't say to an errant student, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'Stop that and get to work.' No discussions. No openings for an argument.” Like Delpit talks about, how teachers should not be asking questions while talking to a child rather then being direct and explicated on what you want them to do.

That quote ties into my experience at my service learning where a second grade student in the class I am placed in was trying very hard to hug me and I stopped him and told him “ No, I can not hug you. It is against the rules. If you want we could high five?” leaving no room for an argument and telling the student to rules and that he had to follow them. Overall I enjoyed the reading this week and felt that Patrick Finn’s piece really connected well to Lisa Delpit.
This week I added a Hyperlink to a website that has some information about Patrick Finn and some of his other works.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Brown vs. The Board of Education

From a young age I always liked history in school. Different periods in time that I was not alive for seemed to be something almost unreal. If the proof of it happening were not there would you believe that it happened? I learned a little about the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s briefly in school but really got a full understanding for the 1960’s in my First Year Seminar class hear at RIC. It went into all the nooks and crannies of the 1960’s and was very interesting.

            While watching the videos and looking over the few articles on civil rights and Brown vs. the board of Education I found a few quotes and points I found to stand out. The first is that “on May 17,1954, the court stripped away constitutional sanctions for segregation by race, and made equal opportunities in education.” I put this in here because at the promising practices seminar on Saturday that most of us attended the keynote stated that the achievement of blacks in the United States was highest before Brown vs. Education happened. To me this shows that something was clearly working for them then and there has to be something we can do to make their achievement rise again.

Another point that was made in the YouTube video that the author of Between Barack and a Hard Place was that people of color accomplished what they desired to accomplish even under the formal white supremacy of the United States at the time. For example Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks three of the most notable. These figures in the civil rights movement really helped make the first huge crake in the glass ceiling of oppression.
 If anyone else is interested in further learning about Brown vs. the Board of Education I have included this documentary in the subject.