Sunday, November 28, 2010

Empowering Education by Ira Shor (quotes)

“Empowering education is a critical-democratic pedagogy for self and social change” – Shor pg. 15.

There were a few re-occurring points that really stood out for while reading Shor, having the students question and participate.

“People are naturally curious. They are born learners Education either develop or stifle their inclination to ask why and to learn.”

I certainly agree with everyone being naturally curious and that is an important factor for learning. It keeps the student interested and encourages them to ask questions.  If all the student does is memorize facts and spits them back on a test, how is that empowering? It isn’t. Curriculums should enforce more critical thinking which allows the students to participate more in class. Also critical thinking is a skill that students will use in the outside world, like learning tasks in a future job, asking questions to learn to proper way to perform the specific task.

“Education is more than facts and skills. It is a socializing experience that helps make the people who make society.”

Education is the foundation of a successful society.  It is the method we learn these facts and skills that while help us in the future. Students who are fully engaged in class, for example socializing among one another and being active during a lesson will benefit society in the future. Beneficial because it will lead towards a knowledgeable society and provides a stable environment for young learners.  Basically it will create a growing chain for intelligence. Students today will take their early education and apply as they move on in life.

Student involvement is low in traditional classrooms and because action is essential to gain knowledge and develop intelligence.”
What I experience in a poorly executed lecture class is an example a “traditional classroom”.  When I think of a traditional classroom I think of teachers that just talk at their students. In the lecture classes that I experienced, the professor would talk for the entire time and leave students out of the discussion. If the professor does decide to have room for questions they rarely give the appropriate response time for students to come up with their questions. As a result their students remain unengaged and confused. “Any questions? No? Let’s move on.”
I feel student involvement is the most important factor to keep students engaged and get the most out of learning.  This is especially important in an elementary setting because students get easily distracted. Keeping students engaged will increase productivity. For example calling on student who doesn’t raise their hand often is a good way to keep that student on track so that they don’t fall behind.

I found this article about how getting the attention of your students is difficult. It also shows steps on what you can do to keep your students engaged. How can students participate if they are not totally in to it right?

In class I would like to discuss more ways to challenge students so that they can participate in class.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Promising Practices Conference

Even though I had to wake up early on a Saturday morning I was pretty excited about the conference. It was the first conference I I’ve ever been to. Arriving to the conference it was pretty empty but once 8 o’clock approached more and more people arrived. Right when I got my folder I immediately looked through and was glad to see I got my first picks.

My first workshop was Connie Horton: Digitally organizing your thoughts. I chose this workshop because a friend of mine said she had the presenter as a teacher and was very nice. The workshop was about using this program called Inspiration 8 to organize our ideas. I never heard of this program before and wasn’t really how it could be helpful. I could just go on word and make a chance BAM graphic organizer but this program was specifically for it. She even prepared a slide show for us to go along with our session. Usually I cringe over slide shows but I felt this was the most informative and useful one I’ve seen in a while. This program was so versatile you can basically use it for ANY subject. During the session we used Inspiration 8 to organize our “Sunday” which I at first I thought was pointless, Sunday, what do I need to organize for Sunday…turns out I forgot a lot was going on and using a web totally helped me straighten things out. This program is great for inside and outside of the classroom.
There are so many gadgets that you can play with, you can change the color, size, shape and style. You can virtually make any kind of chart, this is THE chart program, and the creating ability is endless. You can create Venn diagrams for math or English, webs for history and great graphic organizers for future students to plan their writing and your own. If you didn’t know all RIC computers have Inspiration 8 so if you’re curious about what this program is like check it out! I recommend on downloading the free  trail just to test it out, you never know you it could be your go to program for charts in the future.

My second work shop was Julie Horwitz Is it worth more than a Thousand words? : Photovoice as a self-study Research Tool. This work shop focus on a different method professional educator can go about teaching a topic through photo graphs and simply using your words to explain them. This was my favorite workshop. Not only did Ms. Horwitz speak about her current RIC students did as well.
PHOTOVOICE- A method to get ideas out; topic based on pictures.
This Work shop also had a Power point which intimidated me a bit but I was able to grab some main points from it. The influences of photo voice are mostly of the community, sharing and speaking from your own experience. Another main factor of it is a from a feminist theory have a voice. Just as Johnson would say “We must learn to say our words” with the use of a photo you can easily be explicit about the main topic of your photo.
GOING PUBLIC- Images and words created or put together in a created form and shared with a public Audience. This was another main point from the presentations.

When Horwit’s student went up to present their Photo voice projects, their topics were about Literacy in Rhode Island.

The first presenter took photographs of graffiti in a Hispanic area. In that neighborhood literacy was presented through art and culture. This made me think about my main connection to my SL project Collier. That art was honor their first language through their art which makes it a very important part of literacy. In the end all of the presenters made the same observations. Literacy is everywhere. You can apply this method again to any subject. For math have students take pictures of geometric shapes. For English have they take pictures that relate to a story you are reading. Also I good topic I thought of was health/social studies take pictures an issue or problem going on in your community. I truly believe that a picture is worth MORE than a thousand words.

More about Photovoice.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Citizenship in School by Christopher Kliewer (Hyperlinks)

I felt this article was very interesting. IT’s important to make all students feel comfortable in the classroom. No student should feel out of place because they are considered different. In reality every single student is different in their unique way but of course there may be student who aren’t able bodied and it is our job as teacher to make those students feel they are safe in the class room environment.

We should never pity students who are disabled but we should be aware of their conditions.

This video shows an awkward situation where the teacher makes the disable students uncomfortable. The fact the teacher told the disabled student were not “normal” gives the students the wrong idea and makes them feel separated from the rest of the class. In a elementary school setting if a student asks if there anything wrong with another, i here this a lot in "sally is just being sally" i feel that is a good explanation because it doesn't make anyone uncomfortable and you can go on with your day. I feel its very important for teachers to

  “[community] requires a willingness to see people as they are---different in their bodies, but not different in their spirits or willingness and ability to contribute to the mosaic society"
This was my favorite quote of the reading it really stood out for me. Its absolutely true we are all the same in spirit and our differences makes us who we are but still in the end our spirits bring us together. I feel as a future teacher I need to emphasize that statement, even tho we appear different we are all the same and all students deserve the same treatment in the classroom

I found this video interesting as well it doesn't take place in the classroom but it shows how a disabled may feel awkward when going on an interview and people treat you as the minority but its actually the opposite, an able bodied person is seen as the minority.

I also found this document where it teaches awareness about disabilities. Its a rather long web page but its simply a suggestive packet with many ways to introduce this topic to a class, In five steps.

  • Step 1:  Do activities that show how students are alike and different.
  • Step 2:  Teach how to interact with people with disabilities.
  • Step 3:  Talk about disabilities in general (what, what, why)
  • Step 4:  Teach what it is like to have different disabilities through hands on activities.
  • Step 5:  Celebrate the abilities of people with disabilities.
In class I'd like to discuss ways to make student with disabilities feel more comfortable in the classroom.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Finn & Oakes (quotes)

Darlene accidently printed out two copies of the Finn article and gave me the extra one. I thought she was kidding when she said it was printed on both sides. I was extremely overwhelmed, but having the article reduced was a mind easer. In Finn’s article I feel like its talking about the issues and I Oakes a possible solution.

(Finn)“We don’t worry about a literate working class because the kind of literacy they get doesn’t make them dangerous”

This quote was confusing to me but I think it means how working class have a domestic way of learning and that they are more dependable in a working area and as Finn puts it they are “not troublesome”.  That worry is present because if one person is weak we are all, which can be datable. The working class can be moldable in a way if there needs to something changed or improved it can be. But if it’s a Authority figure they must be the example one should strive to be and if they not powerful in literacy the company or business crumbles, just like in a classroom if they teacher can’t teach how can the students learn.

(Finn) “I was schooling these children, not to take charge of their lives, but to take orders”.

 I felt this was very Delpit, He related with the children by being from a working-class but also took charge of the classroom. The results were that the students were working they took well to authority and worked. He would asked “what are you doing?” he say “stop that, and get to work.”  He was straight to the point didn’t let the student get the chance to goof off.

(Oakes) “Many educators and parents assert that when schools group by ability, teachers are better able to target individual needs and students will learn more.”

I actually see my classroom for my SL project set up this way. One large group has no strugglers but one student, one group has a mix and two groups who struggle the most. As I notice the one student who struggles in the large group leads to cheating off of classmates papers while the group of all strugglers try to help each other. I feel that grouping the kids in groups by ability can be but helpful and not. Helpful in the way of individual help, the teacher knows what the student needs to approve on. It can be negative in a way that the student would know they are different, or think they are dumb.

This article discusses the pros and cons of using ability grouping as an educational tool.
In class I’d like to discuss more about grouping by ability, is it best to have a whole class be on the same level or have a class of variety of levels.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Youtube Finding

Have you ever went on youtube..find something cool watch a bunch of the related videos.....find a reoccuring channel watch a bunch of their vlogs and or projects, and that channel tells you to check out another friends vlog/channel? I had one of those days lol

It totally made me think of SWAAMP

Gender and Education (extended comments)

I decided to do an extended comment on Anne-Kelly’s Blog. As I read first line…“ I have heard that girls tend to do better in school than boys do and this website says that they are unsure why this is, they only have theories.” I instantly remembered a popular quote from the playground…Boys go to Jupiter to get my stupider, Girl go to college to get more knowledge. This made me realize that even kids in elementary school recognize this unclear phenomenon at an early age.

The first article Anne-Kelly used was from the New York Times. It discussed how girls usually “prevailed” in the gifted programs. The reason is unclear, one of the theories Anne-Kelly mentioned was girls were being favored by the standardize test and as a result not many boys are placed in the gifted programs.” The blogger also mentions a study done by The National Academy of Sciences, where boys in general “overrepresented in programs for learning disabilities, mental retardation and emotional disturbance, and slightly underrepresented in gifted programs,” I found that a very interesting point to bring up, Girls usually excelling yet boys are represented as students who happen to struggle more.

second article Anne-Kelly use is also from New York Times, Anne says “This article is about how girls and boys use different senses and learn by different ways. And schools generally teach their students certain ways that tend to be more suitable to the girls than the boys.” In the article it discussed Anne-Kelly’s observation from the article that boys and girl simply have a different way of learning. Research from Northwestern University and the University of Haifa states that girl have a “built-in neurological advantage over boys when it comes to language skills” which means boys naturally have a more difficult of a time understanding language when generally girls pick up quicker. Personally, I have horrible grammar and have to proofread some more than most :/

Gender Bias in Education

I found other article that well represent our topic for this week, some facts from the article are: boys usually are the ones causing trouble and girls always seem to be quiet and tidy.

In class i hope to disscuss other reason why this is so. Is it real a neurological advantage? or is it simply a coincidence?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Brown vs. Board of education & Tim Wise (connections)

This week’s Videos about Tim Wise book “Between Barack and a Hard and the website of brown vs. board of education was a nice change from reading & highlighting key facts from our articles. I found  many connections  from our SCWAAP exercise and even my political science class last semester(-.-)

The website give a brief background and states that in 1954 was the turning point in American history, segregating wasn’t fair and the statement “separate but equal” was completely false. For example in my political science we discussed Plessy vs. Ferguson a lot. This case was but “separate but equal” Two train carts, one for black one for white yet the carts were exactly the same. Plessy was arrested for being on the white train, for this case, this was seen as constitutional. Thanks to the case of Brown vs. Board of education that case was able to be re-looked and seen as unconstitutional.

“What is real…..We are nowhere near a post-racial American” statement made by Wise
I understand what Wise is portraying in the interview and his book. He says that just because we have a black president does not mean racism is over. Though, he does state that we have come a long way from then “racism 1.0” and we are now progressing in our “racism 2.0”, it’s still an issue but getting better.
Tapping the glass of SCWAAMP , The show host and Wise talk about how one day will be able to see that there are exceptional black or brown people just as bright as Obama but the dress differently or have a different style so others see them as unimportant or not worthy of acknowledgment.

“If a problem is still a problem… talk to the ones that are the target of it, not the ones who doesn’t have to know about it” Tim makes a comment at 3:53 of the second part video about able bodi-ness another connection to SCWAAMP. He states how we should understand the others point of view on issues, if the issue doesn’t target you doesn’t mean you should be ignorant about it.
Another Flashback of Political science!
If you haven’t go look at Beckah’s page she has a great video that represents the experiment that Kenneth Clark did in 1957, where he showed dolls to black children and asked which one looked like them and which wanted they wanted to play with. Also if you look on Nessa's Page you'll see that same expirement done today.

I found this article on a Dallas Columnist views on modern racism i found very interesting.

In class I hope to discuss where we other think where we stand on racism are we really that far away from complete post racism or are we getting a bit closer.