Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Hope you all have a great winter break !


Monday, November 30, 2009

Talking Points # 10

Ira Shor
Education is Politics

1. "In school and society, the lack of meaningful participation alienate'
workers, teachers, and students. This alienation lowers their productivity
in class and on the job. I think of this, lowered,productivity a, a performance
strike, an unorganized mass refusal to perform well, an informal and unacknowledged strike."
(pg 20).

I thought one of the most important sections of the article was Shor's take on participation. I feel that these are very true. This is where democracy and learning coincide. I think this is why are FNED class is so successful. Participation is not overlooked and it should not be. Participation encourages learning and makes everyone part of the community.

2. "Problem-posing education affirms men as beings in the process of becoming,as unfinished, uncompleted beings in and with a likewise unfinished reality. ... The banking method emphasizes permanence and becomes reactionary; problem-posing education-which accepts neither a "well-behaved" present nor a predetermined future-roots itself in the dynamic present and becomes revolutionary. ( Freire pg 35 )

I really connected with this. This is not to diss other classes or anything but there has to be a reason to it. Not just regurgitating facts. Question it and learn about it from different perspectives. The teacher is important in teaching in a challenging way that makes a more critical thinking society.

3. "Situated, multicultural pedagogy increases the chance that .students will feel ownership in their education and reduces the conditions that produce their alienation. In the case of women, minorities. and non-elite whites, who comprise the majority of students, democratic education should reflect their culture, conditions, needs, and history. Doing so will encourage their participation in intellectual study. But participation is a means, not an end, in this program for empowering education. There is a challenging goal to the participatory process I am suggesting: to discover the limits and resources for changing self and society." (51)

Kind of what we touched upon in class a couple of times. Schools are improving in learning more about minorities and women experience in America. This will increase everyone's interest and participation and make for a better society.

I really enjoyed this article. I thought it was a great way to end the course as the last reading. This article really made me realize how important the title of teacher is. I feel nervous but so excited to be a future teacher. There is so much pressure on teachers but it is such a rewarding career. I am going to take many things from this article and try to apply them in the classroom. Especially participation. This article made me realize how important this aspect of the classroom is .

What did you guys find the most interesting part of this article? Did you find it empowering?

Monday, November 16, 2009


Christopher Kliewer
"Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome"

1. "A sense of reciprocity or shared value exists in relationships in which individuals, including those with the most severe disabilities, are recognized as thinking, feeling, caring human beings with personalities all their own." (10)

I think this is a good quote for a base to this article. In some ways this article reminded me of the article about "normalization". I think the biggest challenge for a teacher would be to not single out the student with a disability. I also think the teacher should not give a feeling to the other students that the disabled child is receiving some sort of special treatment. The teacher just needs to show they care and recognize the talents of a disabled child. They have the right to be one in the group.

2. "Vygotsky found that the culture of segregation surround people with disabilities actually teaches underdevelopment of thinking through the isolation of children from socially valued opportunities… altering the culture of disability requires that a child be recognized as an active learner, a thinker, and a problem-solver, but this cannot occur apart from relationships that allow for such engagement.”(7)

This is also a very important quote to the text. Basically, it is wrong to give children with down syndrome a different education. Everyone deserves the same education and should receive it.
We would make students with disabilities feel vulnerable and left out. They would surely feel left out and not one in the group and would not want to learn.

3. "Success in life requires an ability to form relationships with others who make up the web of community. Though many of us have a certain level of control over who we meet and interact with, none of us can come close to claiming complete control." (2)

This quote is the main point to me. This is what we have been doing all semester. Being very accepting and learning from peoples differences. If other students can learn from a children with down syndrome everyone will be enriched.

This article was obviously tough to read because of the terms. I was really glad I got a chance to read this article. Down syndrome is a topic that is a bit foreign to me. I feel I am now better equipped to deal with children with disabilities.

I am curious to know if anybody had any down-syndrome or children with disabilities in their classes growing up ? Did you find this experience enriching or not a big deal? Was the student lauhed at and not take seriously ? Did they feel part of the group?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Promising Practices

My alarm clock was buzzing and I immediately groaned , today was the day . No
school, no work, and surely no homework, is usually my motto for the typical Saturday
morning. Obviously I was not thrilled about driving to RIC and spending more money on
gas to fill up my car. Also, I get very grumpy when I have to wake up on days that I
would like to catch up on some sleep. With all that said, I did wake up, drowsy and
annoyed , and made it to Donovan with time to spare.

The first presentation I attended was “Media Made Me Do It”, by Marco
McWilliams. I was glad that I happened to choose this presentation. The presenter
started off by showing how important television is in shaping the youth’s ideology. Some
very interesting facts were presented. Children 2-5 view 32 hours a week, by the time a
child reaches 18 years old they have seen 200,000 violent acts on television, and 45 % of
parents say that if they are busy they will make their kids watch the tube so they can get
done what they have to do. I have to say that these facts made me change my opinion on
media. The media is obviously very powerful because in some cases the television is
raising children. The presenter also showed some critical issues about the media. The
media just wants to gain profit and power and they treat the person as a product. The
media constructs a representation of the world that is false but this is what people

The presenter then went on to show some advertisements and magazine covers
that show misrepresentation of minorities and women. One that stays vivid in my mind
is Vogue Magazine. The cover was Lebron James in a very aggressive, ferocious stance.
A supermodel was in his arm looking very passive. This image was nearly identical to
an advertisement from a war. The argument was that Lebron was being portrayed as a gorilla
and the model as a helpless woman. The war advertisement was meant to destroy the
enemy, which was the gorilla. This shows that without even knowing it, the media
instills the wrong image in our mind. There was also some advertisements that clearly show disrespect to women.

I thought this presentation clearly made a great connection to Linda
Christensen’s, “Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us”. The media reinforces stereotypes
of minorities even if they do not know it. These representations become accepted is the
core connection. Another connection I could make was to Delpit. This also reinforced
the culture of power. The power people control what is going to be seen and put out in
the media.

The second workshop I presented was “Teaching The Muslim World.”
Unfortunately, this was a complete and utter waste of time. I honestly do not have
anything to say from what I learned because I did not learn anything. The presentation
consisted of the presenter showing website after website that supposedly showed us how
to teach the Muslim world. I could have stayed home and googled websites about the
Muslim world. I thought that they were going to teach us a little bit about
Muslim culture in general. Maybe some topics to stay away from or some topics that are
really great to teach about. Being an English major I was hopeful that he would show
some pieces of literature that could be stuidied in a diverse classroom.

Lastly, Dr. Tricia Rose was an amazing speaker. I was at first just blown away by
how articulate she is when she talks. I have actually read her book “Hip- Hop Wars” , so
I was very excited to hear what she had to say. I made the connection from what she was
saying to the piece by Johnson. The Pledge she did was awesome. The push for change
nearly mirrored the article by Johnson. Admitting the problem and wanting to be part of
the solution was a big part of Dr. Rose’s speech that I connected with. Another
important part I took from her speech was the student calling the computer “gay“. As a
teacher, it is your responsibility to make a moment out of certain things that occur in the
class. Dr. Rose could have ignored the comment but she made a moment when a
moment to teach presented itself. I thought things like this are important and this is what
makes a good teacher.

In conclusion, I feel like I am a better person for attending this conference. The
Curriculum Resource Fair also had some great textbooks that I could see myself using in
the future. The English texts were very diverse and presented a plethora of authors. I
learned some things on Saturday and hopefully I can teach about these things in the
future. The pictures from the media workshop helped me better understand this world we live
in. The media is amazingly powerful. This clip from Michael Moore's "Bowling For Columbine"
is amazingly true. Please Watch! It shows how the media creates a culture of fear and instills ideas about others. I thought this related to the Vogue cover.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today's Class

“If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance.” Orville Wright (1871-1948)

Orville Wright, who was one of the two “Wright Brothers.”

He launched into history with the first manned powered flight ushering in the era of manned aviation.

I just thought this made a really great connection to the Anyone article ! For students of the lower class to advance, it is the job of the teacher to go beyond the common misconception that they are not capable and will be doing a low-class job for life. What do you guys think?

Monday, November 9, 2009


Jean Anyon
Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum Of Work

1. "The procedure is usually mechanical, involving rote behavior and very little decision making or choice. The teachers rarely explain why the work is being assigned, how it might connect to other assignments, or what the idea is that lies behind the procedure or gives it coherence and perhaps meaning or significance."-The Working Class Schools

I found this quote to be staggering and very significant to the text at hand. Students who belong to a lower social class could become disinterested with what they are learning because it seems irrelevant. The teacher needs to explain how the school work will help the students advance in life. The students will become stuck in low-wage jobs if they do not realize the importance of school.

2. "Work tasks do not usually request creativity. Serious attention is rarely given in school work on how the children develop or express their own feelings and ideas, either linguistically or in graphic form. On the occasions when creativity or self-expression is requested, it is peripheral to the main activity or it is "enriched" or "for fun."- Middle Class School

So this pretty much describes my feelings about the high school I attended. Why do schools love to stifle the creativity of students? Things become extremely tedious and boring and the student realizes they are just doing these things to get into a good college. The schools try to stay away from controversy by not offering students a chance to be creative or critical.

3. "On an occasion when a child did not maintain control, the teacher said, "When you're up there, you have authority and you have to use it. I'll back you up." - The elite school

The children actually have a chance to be an authority figure in the classroom. This is obviously very empowering and the children are surely being set up for success. To have a feeling that the teacher cares for you is also very beneficial for the student.

I found this article to be my favorite of the semester thus far. To see an actual analysis instead of opinions on schools was something I truly enjoyed. This article really cleared up for me that there is differences in the public school system. Not all schools are the same. People who attend a lower class school are at a disadvantage because they will continue the cycle of low-paying jobs because there education is failing them. The upper class students are being set up to be the power people in this country because they analyze and think creatively. This article presents a truly comprehensive association of class and schooling.

I have a question for consideration. After reading this article , would many of you change your teaching style? I think that by using some of the negative presented from all the schools we can try to make learning an equal opportunity for everyone. Just because someone is of a lower class why shouldn't they have to analyze things?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gender Issues

It is important to know about Title 9. Here is some information about it.

I did not realize that so many gender issues still plague today's public schools. Many people feel like boys and girls should actually be separated in classrooms. As you can see by the videos many people feel that it is a good thing. I totally disagree. How could you be happy that your child has no interaction with the opposite sex? When they get out into the real world they are going to need this experience. Not everyone is a man and not everyone is a woman. School is very important academically but is very important socially as well. Men and women separated does not guarantee that your child would do better in school.

I found that this study done was the most legitimate. More negatives were found rather than positives.

Do you guys really think single sex public schools would work? Did anyone go to an all boys or girls private school? Did you find this beneficial to you?