Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Random Blog #2

For my last post I just wanted to talk a little bit about how much I enjoyed this class. I wasn't really expecting to get as much out of this class as I did. I think this class really opened my eyes to what I am really getting into. There is so much more to teaching then just showing up and teaching your subject. I think that this class was a perfect intro to show you just what kind of career you are getting into. One of the activities I really liked was the one about how to address people with different disabilities. I had never really thought about this before. Never even thought that someone could take offense to the way I said something. I think it was good to see what we should be saying, because I know for me personally I have been saying the wrong things!!! One of my favorite things about this class was being able to talk and discuss things for the entire class. It was never boring there was always something to be said. I really liked the atmosphere of the class! I wish more of my classes were like that! However I think overall going to VIP's to work with the kids and getting an intro to different sort of scenarios I might see in the classroom has started me on my way to being a good teacher. I really enjoyed this class, and I think it's the perfect course for someone to take if they are considering to be a teacher!!!

Social Justice Event - T-pain

For my social justice event I went to the talk about T-Pains songs. They talked about two different songs. One of the songs we talked about what "Take your shirt off".
Basically it was set up so that we heard a couple of T-pain's songs and then we had a discussion the influence and meaning of his songs. I thought that there were a couple authors who this related to. The very first author that came to mind was Christensen. Both T-pains songs and video portray certain stereo types in the media. If you watch his video we notice that the women are always in the background and you never hear them speak. The women in the video are all very willing to take their shirts off, and are typically seen as more of objects rather than people. The video portrays them as body parts and the men view them in context of their bodies. Also notice that the women are all very skinny and pretty, and it's showing that that is what men want. This totally influences society making girls want to look like this because this is what a girl is supposed to look like. Christensen would say that this video is very stereo typical. We can also notice that this is portrayed as a college Frat house event. This is so influential because girls see this before they even get to college and it's embedded into their brains that this is what you do. Now someone in the seminar said that it is a women's decision and it also has to do with your morals at home. I totally agreed with this. I do believe that it starts with the morals you get at home. However that might not always be enough. 

There was a man in the seminar who talked about his daughter, and how since an early age he tried to shelter her from this stuff and stray her away from it. But now this is the kind of life she is headed for and he can't help but feel that she was influenced by this type of media and no matter what he says he can't bring her back. It was actually a really sad story because this kind of media is portrayed everywhere. Women are most likely always portrayed for looks. Take nike for example. I bet it's difficult to find a female ad who is not being shown in her sports bras. This media is out there and Christensen wants us to be aware of it so we can try fix it. Look at a women's nike ad vs. a man's. 

NikeWomen_NTC_High.jpg  vs 

Men are always portrayed doing something athletic, where the women are shown for their bodies not really doing an sort of activity. This is not the case for all ads but a majority of them are like this. 

In the seminar professor bogad mentioned something that i really liked. She said the world is saturated by the media. Whether is beauty norms, race, class status, or the shoes we buy a lot of it is influenced by the media. It gives us a false sense of beauty even. I thought this really related to that Dove Evolution video we watched in class.

I thought this seminar also related into Grinner's article about S.C.W.A.A.M.P. I think it mostly relates to the maleness category. The music videos in T-pain's videos portray men as the ones in power. The women are like i said before just body parts for them to look at. Some of the lyrics are degrading toward women. In one of his songs it says 

Baby let me rope you up
Tie you down
Do it right
No matter how hard you buck
Gonna get wild all night

These lyrics show men as the one in power in a degrading sort of way. That women are supposed to please men. In society men who sleep around are applauded, yet women are seen as sluts. Is that right? why should one be more favored than the other? Women shouldn't be frowned upon while men are applauded. It's not right. 

The last connection that i made was johnson. After the professors talked about their opinions they took questions from the audience. One girl stood up and said that it's a women's choice to portray themselves that way and take their shirts off. We are creating that image for ourselves by doing those things. Men aren't forcing them "to take their shirts off". We have to come to stand up for our morals. Be straight forward. One girl in the audience was actually one of T-pain's dancers. She said she had the utmost respect for him as an artist. It's all up to you as the dancer what you do. They aren't forcing you to take your shirt off. She doesn't portray herself like that and she said T-pain had the utmost respect for her. Like johnson says we have to come right out and address the issue. 

I really enjoyed the seminar i thought it was interesting to hear everyones opinions. I thought people brought up a lot of interesting points, but what I thought was great was someone said "T-pain is only a small representation of a larger problem", which i believe is totally true. But he has to make a living too, and it's this type of material that sells.

Random Blog #1

So as everyone knows I tore my ACL during the semester. For a while before and after surgery I was on crutches. Being on a college campus with crutches is an entirely different experience. I made me a little more aware of things. You couldn't always take the quickest route. Sometimes you would have to go around the entire building to find a ramp to be able to get into the building. Sometimes the button to open the doors wouldn't work so it was interesting to watch me try to open the door really quick and crutch in before the door closed on me. Now I'm sort of trying to make it funny, but it really did make me think. What about someone in a wheelchair? If they are by themselves They aren't going to be able to swing the door open like that and make it in. Also i can;t even begin to describe how scary it was to take some of the elevators here at RIC. They are awful. You never know if they are going to work or if you will get stuck. It's actually really scary. Now for me it was okay, because i could manage to take the stairs it would just take me forever. But what about someone in a wheelchair? They can't just get up and walk up the stairs. I know that there is one girl who has missed about four classes because the elevator wasn't working or got stuck. To me this is unacceptable. Her education is being hurt because we don't have the facilities to get them there. You never realize stuff like this until you are actually in the situation yourself. But someone in a wheelchair shouldn't have to worry if the elevator will work that day so they can go to class. It's not fair. I think we need to be more aware of these things. It just kind if surprised me at how some people go through things like this every week and i just go about my day like there are no problems. We should be more proactive is getting better facilities we spend so much money on random things for the quad, but we should work toward making things more unacceptable for some students.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Education in Politics -Ira Shor


Shor's main point of this article is about the problems with our education system. In the beginning of the article is says, 

"If I were a primary-grade teacher, I would devole my time to problems of socialization. The most important thing children learn is not the three R's, It's socialization" He urged teachers to encourage students t0 question their experience in school: "You must arouse children's curiosity and make them think about school. For example, it's very important to begin the school year with a discussion of why we go to school. "

I really liked this and it couldn't help but to make me think about the written paper assignment we got in class last week. I really didn't think to much about the assignment when professor Bogad handed it out. It was a an assignment to see how much we understood and retained from the article. I wasn't really appalled at the assignment, it was like a worksheet we did hundreds of times in high school. I know it wasn't something that we usually did in her class but it was something we have all done so many times in other classes throughout high school and sometimes in college. It didn't seem like that big of a deal to me. Towards the end i was slow on answering a few questions because I wanted to make sure that they were right because I wasn't sure if she was collecting them, but other than that it was like a normal assignment for many of my high school classes.

Now after the assignment we all talked about the assignment and how we all should have been appalled that she would give us such an assignment. Now when we first started talking I was like yea okay everyone needs to relax it was just a paper we had to fill out it's not that big of a deal. Then professor Bogad talked about the kid who put his pencil down in a previous class and refused to even do the assignment. I was shocked at that because in my head i couldn't wrap my mind around all the tension about filling in a paper. 

However after listening to everyone talk I couldn't help but start to agree. We do deserve more as students. That paper really wasn't teaching us anything. We were all in more of a panic trying to finish it than the actual information we were writing about. Now thinking back that was all we did in a lot of my classes. In many of my history classes we would read something and then do fill in the blanks. Was that really teaching me anything? It taught me enough to get me through the test that week but i couldn't tell you about half the stuff we learned. 

Now there is always so much talk about how corrupt the education system is and how many problems there are. Here in Rhode Island is a good example. They are firing tons of teachers in providence to try to help fix the education system. However as much as we complain about the curriculum and testing and all that kind of stuff, in the end i believe it all comes down to the teachers. It doesn't appear that the government is going to make any drastic changes anytime soon, but we as teachers i think can. It's just about the time and effort you are willing to put in.

I bet if you really think about it there may be a handful of teachers from your high school that you enjoyed as a teacher or made in impact on you. Then I bet you had more than a handful that you thought were not so great. Maybe you did maybe you didn't, but i know that's how my experience was. I think it's up to you what kind of teacher you want to be. Do you want to be that teacher who gives you assignments like we got in class? Or do you want to be the teacher who helps their students to learn? Personally I think we as teachers can change this. I think it's taking that extra hour after school to help students even though you aren't getting paid. It's taking those extra couple of hours planning a lesson that fits every student in your classroom. No one ever said that being a teacher was easy, and after being in this class and reading all of the article throughout the semester I've learned it will be even more difficult than I thought. 

Like I said before I don't see the government changing anytime soon, so the only people i can see making a difference are the teachers. It's all how hard you are willing to work. The people who go above and beyond are going to find they get better results. If we only do the minimum of what is required then I don't think our education system will ever change. I think we can make a difference and all the new teachers starting out need to approach it with this sort of mentality and i believe we will start to see a change in our education system. 

In class i would just like to know what everyone else thinks. Does everyone else think that us as teachers can make a difference? Am i totally off about what I'm saying? What are everyone else's opinions of our problems in the education system?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Schooling Children With Down Syndrome - Kliewer


For me initially getting into this article i struggled. i had to go back a bunch of times to reread things because i was forgetting what i just read and looking at the words in the article but not really thinking about what it was saying. After going through it for a while i really started to read the story about Isaac Johnson. I couldn't help, but to relate it to my cousin in some ways. Now my cousin didn't have nearly as severe a case as Isaac did, but my cousin was projected to not really be able to learn or do much. 

Now Isaac had no speech that the teachers could understand, he had an awkwardness about him, he couldn't complete motor tasks such as turning pages of a book, and he failed some basic tests. What i loved so much about this story was the way Shayne helped him and didn't treat him like he had a disability. She actually embraced it, which i thought was awesome.

When my cousin was born they told our family that she had a pretty high case of down syndrome and she probably wouldn't be able to comprehend a lot of basic things and would really struggle learning wise. This put a lot of pressure on her immediate family because they would have to spend so much extra time trying to teach her basic life skills to survive. Now most doctors said that it would be as if she were a toddler for the rest of her life. However we have to give credit to my great grandmother because she spent an incredible amount of time with my cousin. Teaching her things over and over and over, treating her like a normal person and not favoring her for her "disability". She taught her so much. It shocked everyone how much my cousin was able to learn and apply. Things the doctors said she would never be able to do she was doing. And it was just spending the time with her and trying to teacher her in different ways. Not downing her for not being able to learn things the way other people do, and embracing her for who she was. I think that's why i liked this story so much. Shayne didn't frown upon her student for their disabilities. She embraced them! at one point in the article she says;

"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 about all of us working together, playing together, being together, and that's what learning is. Don't tell me any of these kids are being set up to fail."

I really liked this quote. She wants to teach her students and help them learn. She doesn't want to set them up for failure, and I think there needs to be more teachers out there like that to help kids with disabilities. I mean look at my cousin. All it took was some extra time and care for her to do things the doctors said would never happen. However I'm not saying that's the case for every child, but i think we need more teachers like Shayne who aren't going to go into it thinking failure, but rather go into in trying to get the kids to learn. 

I feel like i kind of just went off on a bit of a tangent and I'm hoping that i got the gist of the article, but i had to write about this part of the article because i really enjoyed the way Shanye taught her class and her drive to get her student to learn, even though many of them had been labeled with disabilities. I think we would see a lot more progress in learning for kids with disabilities if there were more teachers like Shayne. 


Lastly there was this really cool website called Down Syndrome education international which i thought was really great. i had never heard of it before but what it is a program that works across the UK and the world to help improve the quality of support and education for kids with down syndrome. i thought this was awesome i had never really heard of this before now. 

In class i would just like to talk about what kind of programs everyone had in their high schools? Did kids with down syndrome ever go into classes with them? How good were the programs at everyones high schools?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Literacy with an Attitude -Patrick J. Finn (connection)

Right off the bat i thought that the article related to delpit. In the article Finn talks about one of the first times he starts teaching. His classroom was thought to have had to most learning going on than any other classroom. He even tells us about how the principal told him he would walk by his room "so they could see what could be done with our students." He had a very successful teaching environment going on. However his environment was very much the way Delpit says it should be. Delpit says that things should be told exactly what is expected of them. However just like Delpit says it's up to the teacher to create this environment. The teacher shouldn't be asking questions. The teacher should be telling the students what to do and how to do it, that way there is no room for things to unwind and become out of control. This is exactly how Finn describes his classroom. at one point in the article he says, "I didn't say to an errant student, "What are you doing?" I said, "Stop that and get to work." No discussion. No openings for an argument." This is exactly something Delpit would say. After this Finn goes on to say how he always has his assignments on the board to keep the kids busy. He then gives a run through of what an obedient student is and a disobedient student is. a few example are; "Obedient students were not kept in from recess, but most days there were one or two disobedient students kept in from recess. Obedient students' parents were not called up to school, but on one or two mornings a week I met a parent of a disobedient student who had been summoned to school at 8:30 A.M. before classes began." Once again i also believe this to be delpit because the kids know exactly what is right and wrong. there is no question about it. this is what happens to the obedient students and this is what happens to the disobedient stidents. It shows the children that the teacher is in control and determines right from wrong. 

Not only does Finn relate to Delpit but i believe he also relates to Johnson in some ways as well. In Finn's article he talks a lot about the poor students education. like Johnson, Finn believes that we need to help in educating those who are poor in order for them to be successful. i believe this also relates back in some ways to the article Separate and Unequal by Bob Herbert that we read a couple of weeks ago. in that article it says "Studies have shown that it is not the race of the students that is significant, but rather the improved all around environment of schools with better teachers, fewer classroom disruptions, pupils who are more engaged academically, parents who are more involved, and so on. The poorer students benefit from the more affluent environment." This is very similar to what is being said in Finn's article. We must help the poor to be successful. Would it be any different if those kids had the same education as the wealthy kids? In Herbert's article they talk about how student were said to have been successful when they were put in better learning environments. i believe this is the same scenario but a little bit different. If you gave the poor students the same opportunities as the wealthier students then they wouldn't struggle as much. After reading Marisa's blog she used a good quote from Finn which said " If the poor were educated the same, then there wouldn’t be such a “divide in levels of income, wealth, dignity, safety, health, and quality of life.” I thought that this was a great quote from Finn, and i believe it to be true. 

education.jpgi was looking around trying to find some different websites about the education system and came across this website which i thought was really cool! 

Lastly i would like to talk in class about what people believe to be the best classroom atmospheres? is a delipit classroom the way to go? If so can you go about it in a way where you don't seem like such a drill sergeant? 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gender and Education Extension off of Luke's blog

In an article i found online it stated that Title IX "forbids sex discrimination in all university student services and academic programs including, but not limited to, admissions, financial aid, academic advising, housing, athletics, recreational services, college residential life programs, health services, counseling and psychological services, Registrar's office, classroom assignments, grading and discipline." After reading Luke's blog about Title IX in sports i can't help but to agree and disagree. I agree with him when he talked about how most of the articles talked about women and they should talk about both. That's totally understandable their should be information about both men and women. 

However being a female athlete for most of my life in middle school, high school, and now here at RIC i feel that i have a much different outlook on the subject. Even though they say that men's and women's sport are equal in reality for the most part they really aren't. For instance take a look at the NCAA college basketball tournament going on for men and women right now. I bet you that you see how many people are watching the men and how many people are watching the women, that three times more people are watching the mens games. It's just the way things are. Take the WNBA vs. the NBA. There's no comparison. You usually can't find a standard channel that even broadcast WNBA games. 

Personally I'm not shocked that most of the articles are about women because that's where there is the most inequality going on. For the most part men's sports are pretty well taken care of. If we are talking about college's most colleges have most of the typical men's sports. I'm not saying that there are never any problems for men in sports equality but for the most part they don't suffer as much as women. I do believe that for the most part college's try to equal out the women's and men's sports so that they each have the same number of sports. however men are always favored more. for instance take the basketball teams here at RIC for example. Women's sports in general, not even talking about RIC, don't get as much respect as the men's teams. At RIC i bet that if you count how many students went to a RIc Women's basketball game vs. how many people went to a Men's basketball game the numbers are not even close. For the men the stands were packed, whereas for the women not so much. But we were a good team. we had a good record. why didn't more people come? i don't know why. i don't think women's sports are taken as seriously as men's sports are. but that doesn't seem fair at all, but that's the way it is. 

Back to Luke's Blog i had a similar story to his volleyball story. Just like Luke's high school my high school only had a women's volleyball team. it was a year after i graduated that there was a boy who came over from brazil who really wanted to play. however unlike Luke's school they let him play. He was required to wear the appropriate volleyball uniform and he would be allowed to play with one restriction. this restriction was that he could only play the back row. Luke talked about how this was because men could jump higher and hit the ball harder so they didn't want to create such a big advantage. he also stated that the kid would never be able to play to his full potential. im not arguing this however i do not believe that this is a case of title IX. i think it's more of a safety issue if anything. i mean if a girl gets hit at the speed of one of the mens hit she could get really hurt. some may argue that it doesn't matter just playing you can get hurt but i believe that the way men tend to hit the ball they have a lot more force behind it and could possible hurt one of the female players. anyway the kid at my school played the whole year in the back row and the team did get. they loved him and he loved being a part of the team. 

however even though i disagree with Luke about the volleyball story i have to agree with him about the football story. If that is really the case that is unfair that just because she was a girl she got to play. She should have to earn her spot just like everyone else. there shouldn't be any favoring just because she is a girl. that's not right. That is a perfect example of Title IX.

Now i agree with Luke about the football story however i personally haven't seen anything like that in favor of women before. at my high school it was clear that the men's sports teams were favored. They were the ones always getting the new nicer equipment. there locker rooms were redone every year. also at the time for basketball players there was this rule that every player on the floor had to wear a mouth guard. now neither the men or womens team wore them. but of course the only ones who got called out on it were the women. the men never got in trouble. they always had a nicer bus and all that sort of stuff. i think just being an athlete i have seen this stuff more. i don't think that it's right. i believe that they really do try to change it to make it more equal and not exclude women or favor them but i think men will always be a little more favored than women's sports. however in the last couple of years "The enactment of Title IX has helped increase participation opportunities for girls and women in sports. Female high school athletic participation has increased by 904% and female collegiate athletic participation has increased by 456%."

lastly to touch on Luke's last point about the PC baseball team. In now way am i saying it was right for them to just cut a program like that, but it is unfair that they had more men's programs than women's, and also the women's hockey team there has been very successful. however it doesn't make what they did right. 

I believe women are being treated better due to the fact of Title IX but is it equal? will it ever be equal? one video i saw said that people like to use the fact that there is a "lesser number of female athletes playing sport than men so why should they have the equal amount of sports". Which if you were watching you would agree with, however the guy talking then says that these statistics won't change unless they start making women's contact football team, because there are some many male football players on one team and to think about how many football teams there are you can't go by the numbers. it would still be unfair. there needs to be the equality in number of sports offered for both men and women.
There was a really good article about TItle XI which explained it well :