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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

White Privilege- Macklemore

A song that ties in everything about what we have learned.  Very explicit, so do not listen at work or around children.  



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Empowering Education

Empowering Education
Ira Shor

Reflection/Quotes

Ira Shor makes a thoughtful and difficult statement in the opening of her reading.  She discusses the fact that all teachers should be engaging in talk about socialization.  Every primary teacher along with other teachers should be asking their students, " Why do we come to school? Why does the government force students to come  to school?"  If asking these thought provoking questions, it would set a tone of intelligence and questioning throughout the rest of the year.  As Shor writes:
"People are naturally curious.  They are born learners.  Education can either develop or stifle their inclination to ask why and to learn.  A curriculum that avoids questioning school and society is not, as is commonly supposed, politically neutral.  It cuts off the students' development as critical thinks about their world.  If the students' task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted."
Ira Shor makes a clear point that students should be challenged.  Students should not be able to just breeze their way through school just by simply memorizing or following 'the rules and codes of power' [Delpit].  Students should be challenged by critical thinking of thinking outside the box on the subject matter and questioning what the teacher is asking; the students would have a more successful knowledgeable mind.  Empowering students are students of the future.  They are the students that think for themselves not just what the teacher tells them.  Shor powerfully states, "Empowering students make meaning and act from reflection..."

An argument that has been set on the table is that students who do not agree with the curriculum act out.  Shor points out:
"... The students who decide to what extent they will take part in the syllabus and allow it to form them.  many students d not like the knowledge, process, or roles set out for them in class.  In reaction, they drop out or withdraw into passivity or silence in the classroom.  Some become self-educated; some sabotage the curriculum by misbehaving."
 Most teachers up to the high school level are confined by the governments common core on what needs to be taught by a certain ending period.  Many teachers border around the curriculum by using creativity and some critical thinking to deviate the common core amongst a school year.  They do so by "themes, texts, tests, seating arrangements, rules for speaking, grading systems, learning process..."  Through these choices, the classroom is defined as "critical or uncritical, democratic or authoritarian."  But, as the level of education increases, such as college level, the professors make the students think.  They use massive amounts of critical thinking to make the student understand why the curriculum is the way it is.  The professors let the students ponder on different subject matters that means something to them. 

Teachers that make an impact on students are the ones that use critical thinking in the classroom.  In high school, I hated critical thinking- I was all work, work, work and what was being told to me was it.  But, once I entered college, I wanted to know why what I was learning happened.  I used more of my resources to look up certain topics then I did in High school. 

Participation.  Participation enables the students to ask questions.  Participates enables openness in the class where students create the learning process by bouncing idea off of one another.  Dewey relates participation to him by saying:
"... participation was an educational and political means for students to gain knowledge and to develop as citizens.  Only by active learning could students develop scientific method and democratic habits rather than becoming passive pupils waiting to be told what things mean and what to do."
Especially in 2016, where there is an abundance of information everything, students should be able to research anything that becomes interesting to them.  Students are the minds of the future; they are the ones that will pass down knowledge of next generations.  Dewey believes that students should be able to openly participate in class to enable the learning process is all students.  When there is openness, there are also minds working together as one.   When there is no participation, or open learning, there is a depress in performance levels.  Shor looks deeply into low performance classrooms and openly states:
"In classrooms where participation is meager, the low performance of students is routinely misjudged as low achievement.  But the actual cognitive levels of students are hard to measure in teacher-centered classrooms where students participate minimally.  An accurate picture of what students know and an do is possible only when students really want to perform at their best. "
When there is no process of learning, the teachers will be measuring the low ability of students and reacting to the negative emotions of students.   To articulate on the matter of participation, teachers should involve debates to let the students speak their minds and let the students argue about a point that is important to them.  Also, when there is positive thought and feeling in the classroom, the students are able to feel safe and have a developmental increase amongst teachers and other peers in the classroom. 

Teachers Roles.  Teaches play a crucial role in students participation alongside students development.  When the teacher is fully engaged into his or her work, the students tend to feel positive and accepted towards the teacher.  When the teacher is able to accommodate the students cognitive thinking into his or her lesson place, the student doesn't feel hopeless or unimportant.  If in English class, the student has a hard time comprehending a subject or a topic, the teacher should be able to react in a positive manner and help the student fully understand the topic or subject.  Teachers that don't correspond to a students difficulty positively have a harder time understand the student.  The student then feels as if he or she is just a burden on the teacher, and just sits there and waits for the class to be over or simply just doesn't show up. 

This reading relates to Delpit because both the student and teacher need to follow 'the rules and codes of power.'  The teacher needs to follow 'the rules and codes of power' of the common core and of the curriculum that the government and/or upper level hands her.  And the students need to follow 'the rules and codes of power' of the classroom such as participating, working quietly, and following the rules of an everyday classroom to let the class run smoothly.  This reading also relates to August, slightly.  August talks about safe spaces, and enough though this reading isn't about LGBT; students need to feel safe in a classroom in order to learn effectively and gain a positive aspect of learning.

Points to Share:
This reading was very effect in the way that is truly goes over what is it to run a classroom and how to effectively get every students mind on the subject at hand.  It was definitely a great reading to end the semester!  (Even though is was so long).

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome




Citizenship in Schools:  
Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
Christopher Kliewer

Reflection/Quotes

This reading was extremely interesting, because it displayed interest into what I like to learn about.  I want to be a Special Education teacher so it is nice to read things that have to do with what I want to do. Kliewer did a great job with this piece, even though the first few pages were boring and didn't show any interest.  But, once it started to talk about real cases of Down Syndrome or cases of disabilities.  Jason Kingsley states:
"Now we know that people with disabilities can learn and have a full, rick life.  the challenge is to erase negative attitudes about people with developmental disabilities, get rid of the stereotypes and break the barriers for people with disabilities."
Kingsley made a strong point about the fact that people who are dealing with mental disabilities are not different from you and I.  It is the fact that people view people with mental disabilities negatively.  Judith Snow replies by saying:
"How absurd to be judged by others at all, especially by those who have never experienced a disability or who are unwillingly providing us with support or who don't listen to the voice we have."
Two strong voices that describe the reality of today.  People who don't have disabilities are the ones who are criticizing the one who do.  Having a disability doesn't make a person a "bad" person or a "weird" person, they are people with a challenge that they have to face everyday.  The only reason why people look at people with disabilities differently is because of stereotypes.  What if people didn't stereotype everything?  Would it be different?  YES, it would.

I loved how Kliewer used specific cases from the field.  I loved how he mentioned that Shoshone School and the cases within it.  The story of Isaac really touched my heart.  Shayne Robbin worked amazingly with teachers and parents to help intertwine these students imperfections into the classroom and to make the classroom as one no matter what the disability was.  Then came the reality of Anne, a graduate who couldn't receive the job that she wanted because she had Down Syndrome.  In high school, she was already denied her opportunities of the classes she wanted.  Shayne Robbin gave this girl the opportunity to work in a family-run business. The transition committee that Shayne proposed the idea to them and then Shayne told the irony of what they said:
"They didn't think it was realistic, that she could handle that job.  Here they have her educating America's future, but they're scared to let her work at a movie place."
Who know that people were scared to have a person with Down Syndrome work in a real work place.  It shocks me to no end.

 Shayne Robbins talks to Colleen Madison who notices a boy named Lee.  A second grader who has distinct facial characteristics, awkward body movements, and his inability to speak more than a few understandable words.  But, this boy has a cognitive level of a 2-year-old which is translated into severe mental disability.  Colleen Madison touches my heart when she says this:
"I suppose you could argue that and it's hard to argue that you might be wrong.  Lee is, in a sense, in a way he's branded.  People see him.  They see Down syndrome.  They see mental challenge, retardation, whatever you want to call it.  That's what they see, but they wouldn't be seeing him.  Do you know what I mean?  Because lee is Lee, and anybody who knows Lee knows, and this includes all the kids, they know he's gifted- in how he solves problems cares about other, reads, loves math.  So I guess what I'm arguing is that if you did pick Lee out, you wouldn't be seeing Lee.  It's you, and it has nothing to do with Lee.  But if that's how you choose to see him, I don't know that anything I could do, we could do, I don't think think there's anything Lee could do to change your mind." 
Many people look at children who have a physical disability and think to themselves, "that child is retarded."  [Even though the R is restricted now]  People correlate physical attributes to mentality.  When people think of Down Syndrome see it as a diversity from being normal.
"Community banishment of students with Down syndrome stems from their lack of behavioral and communicative conformity to school standards that form the parameters of intellectual normality.  In essence, a gap exists between the performance of students with Down syndrome and the performance expectations that define a useful individual." 
There is a societal difference between Down syndrome and a highly functional individual.  And society clearly establishes the difference between the two by individualizing children with down syndrome into a special education room in schools.  Children with down syndrome are unlikely to be in a classroom with other individuals at a high functional cognitive level.

This reading relates to August.  Even though this reading does not go along the lines of LGBT, August talks about safe spaces in schools.  Children with Down syndrome need to feel safe in schools especially because there are a bunch of people who are stereotypical.  These students are not erased or invisible in a group of highly functioning individuals.  Children with all disabilities should feel safe in school.  All school systems should establish a safe and comforting environment for all students who are struggling with social skills, mental skills, or physical skills.  Schools should always be a place for students to want to come, it should never be a place of resistance, or a place where they don't want to be.


Points to Share:  
Think of the difference that could be made if children with Down Syndrome weren't thought down on, and were thought for themselves- Smart.  If people could look past the physical factors and look at their intellect; the way that people see others, or even interact with others would be completely different.