On the water, Newport bridge

On the water, Newport bridge
My happy place

Sunday, October 30, 2016

American Life Episode 562, Hebert Separate and Unequal, Brown Vs. Board of Education.

Separate and Unequal

After reading, and listening to the assignments this week, I'm still in shock at how things are in schools today. Maybe growing up in small town USA, and coming back here after so many years, never have truly been exposed to inner city schools, I've been somewhat sheltered.
Brown Vs. Board of Education was a landmark Supreme Court case laying the foundation for the civil rights movement stating that as long as schools are separate but equal, they are inherently
unequal. Including the 14th amendment and other cases such as Plessy, Brown affected more than just schools. All facilities were affected. "Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discrimination, economic disparities and long-held custom, they most emphatically are in reality. "

Listening to American Life Episode 562, it was sad and I could relate to it as a parent, student, and future teacher. Questions were asked from parents about metal detectors in the schools, if students should transfer in. The parent stated it was a question of safety, not race. As parents, we are always concerned about our children's safety.  As a student, I felt for the child who was being transferred back and forth. She had made friends, dealt with a huge change, but there was always uncertainty in her life. " If you really want to improve the education of poor children, you have to get them away from learning environments that are smothered by poverty."  As a future teacher, how do you deal with the disadvantages some children may have, the "White Privilege" that other students may have. How as teachers can we make the learning experience and environment more equal while they're with us? "But there is no getting away from the fact that if you try to bring about economic integration, you're also talking about racial and ethnic integration, and that provokes bitter resistance." 
Brown Vs. Board of Education was in 1954, it amazes me that we are still struggling with these same issues today. "This society should be far more integrated in almost every way than it is now."

Monday, October 24, 2016

In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning

In The Service of What?
Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer


In The Service of What? The author argues that "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. " The question remains to what degree. In this article, the author describes two clearly different cases of service learning. Mr. Johnson's students had a choice of "Serving those in Need." From working in a hospital, or providing survival kits for the homeless. The author describes these as one type of service learning. Ms. Adams students chose one issue to focus on, which was homelessness. Focusing on the one subject, but how it affects local communities and around the world. The two projects had a lot in common, stating that both provide a learning experience for the students. However, the article goes on to describe the differences between the two cases based on what the students actually learned from the projects. Mr. Johnson's students can reflect and developed more of a sense of "altruism", Kahne states. They worked more directly with the actual people in need. Where Ms. Adams students had much more planned work and strategies with the topic of homelessness. Here is a great article describing how important service learning is, and what students can learn from it. http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/curriculum-development/what-makes-service-learning-unique-reflection-and-reciprocity/
Kahne and Westheimer continue to describe the different ways students can learn from service learning. Using three domains, moral, political and intellectual, the students learn about citizenship in the political aspect, where they learn more about caring and giving on the moral side. On the intellectual stand point, service learning the author states is the "Trojan horse of school reform." Creating strong learning experiences, the three domains "moral, political, and intellectual goals, are intertwined." Here is an example of elementary students participating in a service learning project with various photos showing what they did.  http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120311/news/703119898/
Points to discuss in class... On a more local, personal note, why are the requirements for Service Learning different from school to school? My son graduated from MHS only having to do 20 hours of service. While Tiverton high, just 20 minutes away, in the same state, has to do 80 hours. I feel the 80 hours makes more sense. 20 hours per year of each year in high school. I feel my son would've had a greater experience, with much more to learn in 80 hours. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saw this on yes, of all places, Facebook.
Just wanted to share because it reminded me of the article we just read about Locker room talk and boys will be boys! This isn't a statement as to who I may or may not be voting for though...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Election 2016 Power, Privilege and Voting

Option 1

The election of 2016 has become quite a controversial subject. Each day leading closer to the  election, I cringe at the thought of voting for the first time ever. With each new article, comments, or reports about the candidates, I'm further away from making up my mind.
In Jill Soloway's article on Donald Trump, Locker Rooms and Masculinity, she begins with discussing the most recent incident of Donald Trump and his sexist behavior while on an interview with Billy Bush. She then goes on further with this topic and calls it "Locker Room Talk". How men behave behind closed doors, what they say, and how they treat women. Men are different when they are alone with other men. Soloway calls this "toxic masculinity." So how bad is it? As Soloway goes on describing men treating women as objects, dividing them into two types, I felt sickened. Is this what we want from our future President? Someone that sees women in this way? The groups are split in two. Good women and Bad women. According to this definition, I may possibly be a bad woman? Why? Because I'm single, with no ring on my finger? How stupid. I'm insulted.
Soloway then describes a "hierarchy" of men in the locker rooms. This immediately made me think of Johnson's "Privilege, Power and Difference." Even in the locker room there's white privilege.
This article really got me thinking.
The second piece in the New York Times, by Amy Chozice, was a discussion about Hillary Clinton's voice. I'm confused as to why this discussion even needs to take place. I've never heard of such a ridiculous thing. Have there been critiques on other candidates voices? Most likely not. Lets just pick at one more thing because she's a woman. "Loud, flat, harassing to the ear." is the description of Hillary's voice. "Decidedly grating pitch and punishing tone." Are you kidding me. Who cares? Shouldn't we be more concerned with what she's actually saying than how it sounds? She's yelling? I'll show you yelling. "In today's America, when a woman is loud, it's shouting. When a man yells = enthusiasm." Such crap. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Second Presidential Debate
Sunday Oct. 9

This clearly isn't the first election I will be voting for, however, this is one of the first elections that I've honestly taken interest in. Is it because of the cast of characters? Maybe, but I really tried to watch it this past Sunday. With TVs surrounding me at work, each one showing the debate of course, I was still only able to catch bits and pieces of the event. Because, as I said, I was at work.
To me, this debate, as the last one, was nothing but insults flying at each other, with the most recent discoveries of Trumps past conduct on the forefront. I actually turned the last debate off. I couldn't take it any more. I made it a social hour for my friends and I. Come over, I have cocktails, we'll watch the debate. That night ended early. So this past Sunday, I was excited to catch what I could while still doing my job . I noticed, as everyone else did .... that no real questions were answered. Our country should be scared. I am. I didn't vote for Obama, either time, but that man has more dignity and composer on stage than Trump and Clinton combined. If it were allowed to vote for a third term for Obama, I'd seriously consider it. As a single woman, who lost her health benefits with divorce, I am truly thankful for Obama Care. I'm not saying its perfect, it has its flaws, but its still better than nothing. I'm frightened to think about what my health care plan may be next year. So now, as mentioned in class today, I may have to vote on one particular issue at hand, not the actual candidate.
Safe Spaces
Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth
Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, Megan S. Kennedy

Extended Comments

In Safe Spaces, I found even the introduction to be engaging with facts that surprised me. Having grown up in "different times" I feel the classrooms and school environments that I attended were much different that what kids are growing up in today. of "Still, classroom spaces leave their mark on all of us."  Vaccoro says.  How we look, act, dress, shouldn't matter. Every student should feel safe. Vaccaro states that its the adults responsibility to "pay attention" in order to help with shaping of attitudes in the classroom. As Christian states in his blog, " A child's identity is crucial to healthy cognitive development and confidence." I have to agree with Christian on this. If a child is unsure of who they are, and their place in the world, imagine what that does for their self confidence? Their social skills? Their potential in the classroom, or in life? The LGBT student should feel as safe and free with equality as any other student in the room. Christian then goes on to say "Why limit a student just because they have a different sexual preference than you?" Exactly. Why limit any student? How does ones sexual preference affect their over all learning? If this wasn't an issue and it was truly accepted by everyone, it wouldn't affect their learning. The child would be free to express themselves and be themselves as they choose to be. "How are children going to learn to accept a concept if they are so heavily sheltered from it? Christian further explains. "Sexual orientation topics are entirely absent from nearly half our elementary teacher education programs in the United States."  As we learn more about this, and more people are open to the facts, I hope that statistic changes.
Points to discuss in class: Once we are educators, what could we do for LGBT students to ensure their safety and equality in the classroom?