Monday, November 16, 2009


About half way through my post, my computer started acting up and it keeps shutting of on me every 30 seconds or so. I can't finish posting my talking points tonight so I will finish tomorrow night. Sorry theres only half so far. :(

Talking points # 9 Kliewer

1. "Acknowledging students with Down syndrome as thoughtful, creative and interested learners with personal identities that distinguish them from all other people suggests an individual value that enhances any context containing the child."
I took this quote as a way of saying that Down syndrome students should be seen as creative thinkers just as every other child in the class is seen. They should not be held back from certain activities because it can only be for "creative thinkers", but should be told to engage in these activities because it may actually help them become thoughtful and creative. It will also keep them interested in learning because they would be able to participate and engage in the classroom conversations and activities. While letting the children engage in the activities, teachers also have to realize that these students may have different ways in expressing their ideas and they have to take it into consideration and include it into the classroom.

2. "Through citizenship, they came to recognized as thinking, creative individuals who added unique and valuable dimensions to the group."
I think that this was a really good statement to sum up alot of the article. These children were lucky to have people who cared enough to help them and see them as creative individuals who do have a say and have ideas about life and learning. If it weren't for this, these children may not have had such success as they did and would still be seen as individuals who cannot or are not capable of creative thinking and important ideas.

3. "The metaphor of "spread" illustrates the image of defect blanketing the unique humanness of students charged with the differences that matter. What is hidden under the cloak of incompetence is the individuality and personality of the human being.Teachers who valued their children as citizens recognized each student's individuality."
This quote reminded me of class today and how we talked about putting the child first and then the "label". A child should be seen as a child and an individual before being seen as disabled. If a teacher just labels his/her student with a disability, they are more likely to become distant with that student and the child will just fall farther behind. If the teacher embraces the student as a child and individual before seeing their disability it will help them to become comfortable and not be shut out. The teacher will never know what the child is capable of if they are blinded by the child's so-called disability and they will never show their knowledge if the teacher does not give them the opportunity.

I really enjoyed reading all the stories in the article. It helped me keep interest and it also is the sort of topic for stories. Seeing children face everyday life in school when they are labeled with disabilities, is much easier to understand than someone just saying, oh children that are labeled with disabilities have a hard time in school, period. He helped us see differences and similarities in didn't students experiences of going to school with a disability. I really believe that if all teachers and schools accepted disabled students into the classroom just as they do with the typical students and include them in all the classroom activities, more students with disabilities would advance and come out on top.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Promising Practices

Promising Practices was an interesting day for me. I was exhausted when I first arrived at RIC and was not looking forward to the long day ahead of me. I got there are went to go get my folder and walked around for a little while, checking out some of the tables with a few girls from class. Then Tara and I headed off to our first session. The first session was the Teaching Transgender in schools. I got a lot out of this session. I only knew a few things about transgender and knew even less about children who are transgender. The first thing the presenter explained to us was the way people feel when they are trangender. They feel "that they were born in the wrong body". Then she told us a story a little girl who is transgender. She was biologically born a male and at six years old realized that he was "supposed" to be a girl. Now after undergoing his changes he is known as Josie and goes around to schools and gives speeches so that people will be able to understand how to accept children who are transgender and also to explain a little bit about it so that the children won't feel so ignorant to the idea. Two things that caught my eye in this session were the fact that Rhode Island was the second state to make gender expression and gender identity part of their school policy. The second thing that caught my eye was the statistic that she gave us; over 50% of transsexuals will have had atleast one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday, some as young as seven. That just shocked me. Most of these attempts are because they weren't being accepted and didn't feel comfortable. It was defianlty a shock that the statistic was that high.

The second session I attended was A.L.L.I.E.D. This was my favorite part of the day. This session touched my heart like nothing ever before. A few things I wrote down in my notes during this session was, "don't use minority, used underrepresented". I think that this is a better term to use than minority, because I think that minority sometimes comes packaged with a negative vibe, when it really shouldn't be. I also wrote down something that Tara talked about during the session and we had also talked about it outside of class. It was empathy versus sympathy. I never really thought of how much a difference each one is from eachother. When Tara explained it, it totally clicked, and I actually felt bad because I think that I sometimes do show sympathy in a way that could be taken wrong, and I feel like I might have made someone feel worse before when I was really trying to help. After this I try and watch how I state things when I am talking about an emotional situation. I think this group is the best thing at Rhode Island College. It gives students a chance to vent about things that they normally hold in or feel uncomfortable to talk about with some people. This session was very personal and I loved the poems that the group members read aloud. They were direct and too the point but made their point loud and clear. I wish that everyone could have attended that session because I believe they could of learned a lot from it. When I was in this session it really reminded me of Johnson. I feel like in the Allied group they can all use the "words" that everyone is so scared to say. I think this helps them trust and understand each other. If only everyone could listen to Johnson's ideas, maybe we would be able to take a step forward and remove all of our prejudices.

I thought Tricia Rose was a great key note speaker. She mentioned so many things that we talk about in class. Like someone said in class the other day, "It was like she was their to talk about our class". She mentioned things about indivial identity and group identity which reminded me of Rodriguez even though it was a little bit different. She also gave points about Johnson and how we need to be able to say the words and be able to bring up painfulness in a situation in order to have an effect on it. Some of the things I took from the Tricia Rose speech was how she talked about people have to been seen as an individual and a group in order to be understood and accepted. You can't generalize someone just because they are gay, lesbian, latino or african american. You can understand their individualism as a person and then say that they are associate with that specific group, but they are their own person. Even though someone is identified in a particular group, doesn't mean they are like everyother person also identified in that group.
I love how Tricia was more of a story teller, than a lecturer. She had the audience engaged and was outgoing and enthusiastic. I defiantley think that she was the best picked for the key note and had much to teach us about what she knows and what she has encountered. I'm really glad I went to Promising Practices. I took a lot from it and I also grabbed a few panphlets that I may be able to use in the future.

I found this video and I had to add it. It went so well with my first session abotu Trangender. Hope you Like it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Talking points #8 Anyon

1. "Work is often evaluated not according to whether it is right or wrong but according to whether the children followed the right steps."
Anyon talks about how the working class schools are evaluated differently than the other schools. She talks about how in math the kids are shown how to do a problem and aren't taught why they do it and how it relates to other things in math. I think this isn't really fair. It basically is putting children behind children in other schools. In order to actually learn something you have to understand it, and these children probably don't understand it, they are just "memorizing" the steps. I think the children also should be taught how it relates to real life situations and where you might use that math again.

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."
I thought this was really important to being up because creativity in a child is very important. Children all have creative minds when they are growing up. Adults tend to take that away from them, and that is actually a bad thing. Having a creative mind can help children in school and also in their everyday life. Creative thinking is part of being mentally healthy and helps them grow better cognitivly. It helps they develop problem solving and being able to see things from different points of view.

3. "In the affluent professional school, work is creative activity carried out independently. The students are continually asked to express and apply ideas and concepts. Work involves individual thought and expressiveness, expansion and illustration of ideas, and choice of appropriate method and material."
This whole section comletly shocked me. It was rediculous that this school recieved so much higher treatment and curriculum than the middle class and working class schools. They got to use their creativness and were not only shown the steps to problems and writing, but were also explained why and how they work. This school is preparing students better for life and for further school, whereas the lower schools weren't doing that, which is completly unfair because all schools should be equal.

I didn't really enjoy reading this article. It was hard to get into at the beginning and only got easier to read when it was explaining the schools. I like how the article broke down the information by type of school, but I think she could have made it a little more interesting and intriging to read. This reminds me of seperate but equal. These schools seem completly unequal and it isn't fair that just because their parents are of the working class that these children aren't prepared for white-collar jobs or anything out of the norm of their enviornment.

Monday, November 2, 2009

talking points # 7 gender issues

When we were first assigned this topic for our seventh blog it made me think of a paper I had to wirte in writing 100 last semester. It was a paper on gender stereotypes and a majority of it had to do with so called "women jobs and men jobs". It reminded me of this because I think that this plays a big role in why there are gender issues in the classroom. Society molds our minds into thinking some jobs are better suited for women and some for men. For example; a nurse is seen as a female role, a doctor as a male, a police officer as a male and a teacher as a female. This is brought inside the classroom even though it isn't really noticed. I think that teachers should try and get a child out of stereotypes of jobs by trying to read books and do activities where the woman or man is doing a job they wouldn't normally be seen doing. They should also post pictures around the classroom of female cops, male nurses, female firefighters and so on.
While doing research I found many articles that talk about how teachers are biased and do not even know it. Many teachers focus alot of attention on boys rather thn girls, calling on boys more and giving them more encouragement. This is between male teachers and female teachers. I also came across an article that talked about how boys act out and disrupt the class when they are frustrated and girls tend to be quieter and participate less. Teachers often make the boys participate more in order for them to pay attention and disrupt more, which is taking away from the girls and making it harder to notice when one of the girls is withdrawing from conversations. Much of the material I read talked about how much more boys get into the sciences, mathematics and construction rather than girls because boys are pushed more to do better in those areas than girls. Girls are told the answer to questions in those areas where as boys are forced to come up with the answer on their own.
In order for education in schools to become unbiased, teachers have to realize that they do biased behaviors without even knowing, and they have to watch for them and change them. Many schools have workshops now for this, for the teachers and students. Some schools have even come up with clubs and organizations for girls that are interested in science and math.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tim Wise and Brown Vs. Board

-Watching Tim Wise's videos was interesting. He made many good points on how racism still exist's today and that unless people of color are "medicore" as white people, than racism and inequailty will always exist. He also references to Brown vs. board and how it may have stopped inequailty, but it did not stop racism and racism is still a factor in today's society, which is in a way making people of color unequal. Wise also ties in Baraka Obama with racism still existing. He explains just because we have a black president, does not mean that racism has stopped. It does not mean that black people have easier lives all of a sudden and doesn not mean that people who are racist repect him.
-There are few colored people who are repescted as a higher authority, and everything about them says SCWAAMP except for their skin color. Obama for example lives by the "white power" laws. He lives in an upscale neighborhood, speaks "proper" language, is straight and married, is a male, is in the higher bracket of economic status and is able-bodied. This plays a huge role in why we except these people of color as higher authorities. I Took a class in highschool about african americans and we learned a lot about Obama and why people would vote for him. A reason we discussed is that even though he is african american, his skin is very light compared to what people envision when they think "black". I think that this is a small part in it but I think it does play a role in it.
Since I took the african american history class, I also learned a lot about Brown Vs. Board. We dd whole units on such events as this, that were seen as a turning point in african history. I agree with Tim about this subject in how it ended segregation but not racism. My dad is probably a good example of this. He grew up in the 50's when segregation was going on, and to this day my father is still racist. We have fights over dinner about racism issues and I don't blame him for his beliefs even though I think he is wrong, it is just how he was brought up and what he told was the right thing to feel.
So..basically I didn't know that we weren't doing the normal syllabus readings so I did a blog on the Wise reading instead of the video. So i'm going to go and watch the videos and blog again. Guess that's what happends when your tired. :)