Saturday, December 3, 2016

Oakes- "Tracking"

Tracking in schools is an awful thing to do to students. Oakes speaks about the problems with dividing the students into different groups based on there intelligence levels and skill levels. This is giving bigger advantages to students in these higher skilled groups and disadvantages to the students in the lower skilled groups. When what should be happening is that all students should be receiving the same work and the ones who struggle just get a little more help so they can understand the lessons. No students should be left behind. 

This article to me connects to Collier a little bit because Collier says that teachers need to embrace and honor a students first language choice. So they need to give them help so they can learn at the same pace as the other students. This relates to Oakes because students need to learn the same stuff together and not separate. If students who had trouble speaking english were ignored then they would never learn anything. So why should kids be placed in separate groups based on skill? They all need equal opportunity, no matter what language they speak first or there skill level. 

This article also connects to Christensen a little because Christensen talks about how students need the right tools from schools to interpret the media and other cultural texts. It relates to Oakes because if students in higher skill groups in school have better tools than lower level groups, then it isn't fair to the students in the lower level groups. So what I'm trying to say is that all students need the same tools to learn the same stuff equally.

This is how this article by Oakes relates to these two other authors.

The Problem We All Live With

In the audio clip the narrators all have similar themes in regards to segregation in schools. They talk a lot about how schools aren't as unsegregated enough yet. They talk about the Brown vs. The Board of Education, and how now schools can't tell a student of different race or ethnicity that they can't go to that school. But What happens instead is that most student minorities end up going to poor quality inner city schools, and this is not helping them because the schools in the cities are not good educational schools. These schools just can't seem to teach these students enough. These schools have tried to change teachers, curriculum, and administrators. But none of this stuff works. In these areas the students just don't seem to have the motivation to receive a good education. So some may think that it's not the schools fault, but to me I think it is. I think that these schools need to reach out to parents and talk to them about how important it is for these kids to pay attention in school. If the students all go to school and pay attention, and the teachers and curriculum is good there is no reason for the lack of success. It all starts with the kids when there young. It doesn't matter if you go to a school in the suburbs or a school in the inner city. If the kids are all taught the importance of education there is no reason for them to fail. And there is no reason to bring up the Brown vs. The Board of Education. I say this doesn't have to do with this case because the government didn't force these kids to go to these schools. Its there parents fault for living in these areas and putting there kids in these schools. But with lots of work, these schools can become great, and help all kids receive a great education. And to me that is what really matters the most.

This to me connects to SCWAAMP a little bit because to me this audio is trying to make the white race seem like they have a better education. When I think that all races have an equal chance at education depending on how much effort they put in.

In The Service Of What? By, Kahne & Westheimer

What I got from this article was how important it is to do some sort of service learning in your life. It doesn't matter what your age is, you should really invest in some sort of service learning in your life. In the article it talks about a 7th grade class and a 12th grade class. The 7th grade class comes up with a group idea to do as a service learning activity for the community. While the 12th grade class has to go find there own service learning activity for the community. Even though they do it in school, at least there giving back to the community.

This article made me realize why we talk about are service learning in class. In the article it says that if you talk about your service learning you are more likely to get more out of it. So when we talk for 30-45 minutes in class at least we know we are really getting a really good feel for the service learning, and what it's about. I say this because we talk about the good, funny, awkward, and bad stories we have during are service learning. 

I can proudly say I can understand this article well as I have put my time into service learning. I have done boy scouts so I have done a lot of fundraisers and volunteering events. I have also volunteered for my school to go read to kindergarteners. I did this in 11th and 12th grade and it was really fun to do this for those kids. I could really see the service learning goals happening. The ones I saw and did that Kahne and Westheimer talked about were charity, change, moral, giving, caring, and civic duty.

This is how this article related to me.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Promising Practices

At Rhode Island College's Promising Practices, I learned quiet a few things in the workshops I did. The first workshop I did was called Mindfulness in Kindergarten. This was an interesting workshop because it showed a lot of ways how simply calming down the kids and letting them relax would help them improve in school. They improve because when they are calm they are paying more attention in class. So one exercise we did in the workshop was that the instructor rang a bell while we were quiet and told us to see how long we could hear the bell for.
After we listened long for the bell we all felt so much more relaxed, and mindful. So it was cool to learn this. Here are there things that can help with mindfulness in kindergarten.

The second workshop I did was called Healthy Life styles, you heath your life. This one was great because I'm a PE/Health major so this really interested me. I learned a lot about how when your younger you usually are healthier then when you move out and get older. This is because when you are young you usually aren't as stressed out and your parents usually have good foods to eat. But when you move out you tend to stress over a lot of things like money. When you stress it can lead to over eating. And when you don't have a lot of money you have a lot of unhealthy foods. So this was cool to learn. To learn about more Healthy lifestyle choices click here.

To connect these workshops and things I learned to course texts I would say that Delpit would connect to the kindergarten workshop because when the instructor rang the bell we all got quiet to listen to it as long as we could. This could be used to show rules and codes of power to younger kids.

In the Healthy lifestyle workshop we talked a little bit about how someone who is LGBT me be less healthy sometimes because there stress about other people. This could connect to August because when someone who is LGBT is in a safe place, they can live a safe and more healthy life.

Last Author that connects to these workshops would have to be Christensen. I think he connects to both workshops because the instructors would tell us the right materials, tools, and resources to do a lot of activities to bring mindfulness to kindergarteners, or be more healthy.

Map the Authors

View Here.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Rodriguez: Aria

In the article "Aria", Rodriguez tells his story about how he was socially disadvantaged. He talks about how he was scared to use the english language because he felt like it wasn't his language to use. He wanted teachers to address him in Spanish, a language he felt comfortable using. His teachers always viewed him as shy but this is because he didn't like being called on because he didn't really know the english language. Eventually the school saw that Rodriguez and his brother and sister were all really shy. So the school sent people to Rodriguez's house to talk to his parents. After the people from his school left, his parents told him and his siblings they should start to talk at home in english and no more Spanish. So doing as his parents told him, he went on to learn english in school well, long with his siblings. But since he stopped using Spanish, he basically couldn't speak it anymore. His parents on the other hand had no real way of truly learning english so they knew very little english, and they still talked mostly Spanish. This was bad because Rodriguez and his siblings could no longer really communicate with there parents. And there house was always semi quiet.

I argue that this was a bad idea for the school to tell the parents to have the kids speak english all the time at home, and for the parents to make there kids speak only english at home. Rodriguez tells a story about one time he walks into the kitchen while his parents were speaking Spanish, but when they saw him walk in they switched the conversation to english. What they should have done was still speak Spanish and english so there kids would be able to speak both languages. Also the school should of helped Rodriguez and his siblings learn english while still knowing the words in Spanish.

If only Rodriguez could of had this to help.

McIntosh: White Privilege

While reading this piece I really realized that I had been taught that my life was normal. Being a white male, I think back to when I was younger and I was ignoring the idea of privilege without even realizing it.

When talking about white privilege in this article by McIntosh, it also compares to another article called "On Racism and White Privilege". In this article it compares to McIntosh's article because there are a lot of similar facts about white privilege. Also in this second article, the author makes a couple of lists like McIntosh about the perks, advantages, and the world view of white power. These lists are very interesting because they have some really big things such as money having white people on it, and thats a big white privilege. But they also have smaller things like color of band aids as a sign of white privilege.

Now in both these articles the authors have similar thoughts and both agree that white people grow up and usually are taught to ignore white privilege.

Another thing that both articles point out that I found interesting was how little things like band aids and hair products are favored to the white community. I find it interesting because as they point out, band aids are usually one color and it is a color that matches the "white peoples" skin. Also a lot of hotels and grocery stores give out or sell hair products that favor a more white persons hair styles. These little things are crazy to think about because until I read this article I would have never realized that these things favored white people. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Election 2016 (NY Times)

This election is going down as the most odd elections in the history of the U.S. So it's important for teachers to teach about this topic. This article suggests a whole 4-part unit to teach students. Its first suggestion that teachers should teach there students is to introduce each of the candidates running, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton. Secondly it suggests teachers should teach about the issues at stake. Next it suggests that teachers should show the students each candidates campaign, and there strategies to running them. Lastly it suggests that teachers should have the students think about and talk about it themselves.

So the way teachers could teach about this would be to talk about some of the issues that Trump and Clinton debate about. For example, teachers can teach about gender and LGBT issues in the debate to help students themselves get a better grasp on the topic and help them learn about which candidate has the best plan to resolve this issue. Other topics could be about race/ethnicity, religion, economy, war, etc. All these topics are all important and need to be taught to students in schools by there teachers.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Safe Spaces (Reflection)

In the article "Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth," by Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, and Megan S. Kennedy they talk about a lot of stuff to do with how LGBT people grow up. When I was in elementary and middle school I feel like I never noticed if someone was LGBT. It wasn't till high school when I finally realized some peoples true side. When kids in my high school came out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, I feel like no one ever really minded too much. It was nice to see how the kids in my high school accepted it. On the other hand, there were a few people who would tease/bully the LGBT community. Luckily administrators would step in and fix the situation but I think we as educators need to make it so everyone realizes were all human.
In my high school there is one individual that stands out a lot more than others just because of what she went through to make a change in the community. This individual was a transgender. Was a male but now goes by a female. She really wanted to change my high school and make it a LGBT safe area. She did this by having herself, friends, and family help raise the importance to respect all people. They held public meetings and announcements. It truly was an outstanding thing and I'm glad I was one to see this and learn about it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Unlearning The Myths That Blind Us (Extended Comments)

In Christensen's "Unlearning The Myths That Blind Us," she explains how cartoons have a strong influence on kids at an early age. A fellow classmate of mine Stephanie Warren recently wrote a reflection about Christensen's article and made a lot of good points. The first thing Steph said that I really liked was about Christensen's idea of "Secret Education." Steph goes on to talk about how parents let their kids watch programs without realizing outcomes they could possibly have. So many cartoons/characters make violent, racial, or stereotypical references, and with kids watching these cartoons who knows how they interpret from it. 
Another thing Steph brings up about the article is how one of Christensen's students asked why there is no black Cinderella? I really like how she answers this with another question to viewers of this movie. She says "Do we think of these things while watching Disney movies." Something I would like to add in here is why are all princesses have perfect bodies? This is telling young girls that princesses are perfect, and if your not like them your not a princess. After Steph talks about the Cinderella question, she goes on to talk about "Thomas the Tank Engine." I fully agree with her that "Thomas," was a very good show for kids because it was very neutral and had some good lessons in it.
The last thing I liked that Steph did was reflect on what she watched when she was a child. I like how she just looked at the title of "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home," and realized the gender stereotype in the title itself. Shows like this were loved by a lot of viewers but it's taken a while to see that there was heavy stereotyping going on in it. Lastly she talks about how she watched "Tom and Jerry." There is lots of violence in this show and this could have a negative effect on children, as Christensen points out. Also Steph adds in how she could remember a maid in a lot of episodes and how she was black, and heavy set. Like she said, she never questioned it. Until now when we think of it, and how racism and gender rolls are portrayed in the show. 

One thing I would add in to this would be how Christensen says that there can be a lot of sexism in Disney movies we may not realize. Like how the females are trying to get a man, and how the men usually are trying to save or rescue the females. 

Points of Discussion? How many shows can you think of that have "Secret Education" in them? 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

U.S.A. Land of Limitations? By Nicholas Kristof

In Kristof's article he states that where you start off is where you end up. This may sound false as America is usually seen as the place for opportunity, but sadly only few people live the american dream. “The chance of a person who was born to a family in the bottom 10 percent of the income distribution rising to the top 10 percent as an adult is about the same as the chance that a dad who is 5 feet 6 inches tall having a son who grows up to be over 6 feet 1 inch tall,” Krueger observed in a speech. “It happens, but not often.” (Kristof) Starting in the lower class usually means you stay in the lower class, but it's saying there is always a chance of moving up to a higher class but it's not likely. That's why it compares it to a father being 5ft 6in tall, having a son being 6ft 1in tall. It's possible but not likely. 
The next point Kristof brings up was about a man named Rick. “Rick Goff was smart, talented and hard working, but he faced an uphill struggle from birth; I wrote about him last year as an example of the aphorism that “talent is universal, but opportunity is not.” (Kristof) This quote to me is very important and relates to the whole article well. It's explaining how this guy Rick was very smart but came from a bad childhood. So he had all the potential to make it big, but since started off in a low class gave him a lack of opportunity.
This last point by Kristof explains how you need a good environment to be successful. “Some think success is all about “choices” and “personal responsibility.” Yes, those are real, but it’s so much more complicated than that.” (Kristof) This quote is saying that a persons choices is what leads to success. But it's got a lot more to it to reach a more successful life. Like I said with the environment, the better a child is raised is going to help them more than a child who has very little parental influence. 
I would personally like to say my opinion on this article. I agree with this article because what a person starts with, is what they will end with. A person who is raised in an upper class family and is raised well and is taught good life values, that person is going to have good opportunity to have a good life. But a person who is born into a lower class family and has little to no parental guidance is not going to have the same opportunities as an upper class person. 


My name is Joshua and I am a Sophomore here at RIC. My major is Physical Education and Health. I am from Hope Valley, Rhode Island, and went to Chariho High School. Over the summer I worked a lot. I am the manager at an Ice cream and pizza shop in Westerly RI, called Dusty's and Breachway Pizza. When I wasn't at work I was usually hanging out with friends or going to Maine because my family owns a cabin up there. My biggest hobby is being an athlete. I'm one of the assistant coaches for my high school's wrestling team. I've wrestled almost all my life and love to stay involved with the sport. Another thing I love to do is travel with my family. I am a family oriented person, I love to be with my family.

Me wrestling my senior year.

Me and my dad in France.

Me and my cousins.