Sunday, April 19, 2015

Empowering Education: Ira Shor


"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. Why does the government force us to go to school? This would set a questioning tone and show the children you trust them and that they are intelligent enough, at their own level, to investigate and come up with answers." page 11

     Children have to be curious and want to learn in order to really learn something. I think it's brilliant to start the school year with why they are there. That way they have purpose to their work and think about it. It will start the year off in the best way. It keeps the classroom open for honest discussion and questions the class normally wouldnt ask. By doing this makes the students critical thinkers. They will be more likely to share more about how they are thinking in the future because they understand why. It gives the students purpose and the classroom more to talk about and learn.

"Piaget urged a reciprocal relationship between teachers and students, where respect for the teacher coexisted with cooperative and student centered pedagogy." page 11

     This is just like in Kliewer. How they talk about reciprocal relationships between the teacher and students. It keeps the classroom open for more learning opportunities than a different way of teaching. Respect is absolute key in situations especially in a classroom. It is so important between teacher and student that without it the classroom is out of control and not a learning environment that will encourage the most learning or critical thinking. I like how they mentioned Piaget. He did a lot with development and I have learned about him in psychology.

"Do scientist classes investigate the biochemistry of the students lives, like the nutritional value of the school lunch or the potential toxins in the local air, water, and land, or do they only talk abstractly about photosynthesis?  page 15

     This says so much! If something is not of interest or does not seem relative at all to a persons life that means they will have a harder time learning it because it doesn't mean anything to them. There have been too many classes where I have been not interested in it so my attitude towards the class was bad because I just wanted to pass. Its happening to me right now. I have no interest in the class (that I will not name) and so I really just want to pas it and get it over with instead of being engaged and really active in the class. Instead my mind wanders or I do Sudoku's. Classes should be made relevant and useful to students no matter what area. Personally I think it would be really hard to find that in some subjects but it is something important. So make things relate to every day or at least a real situation. Have the kids think of real situations where they can use what they are learning.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kliewer "Citizenship in shcool: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome"

I like this articles stories. It was a good set up though slow at times to read. Here are some quotes that stuck out to me..

"Shayne pointed out the irony experienced when she proposed to the transition committee that Anne's work site be changed to a video store: "They didn't think it was realistic, that she could handle that job. Here they have her educating America's future, but they're scared to let her work at a movie place." page 79
This quote says a lot. Shayne knew that Anne did not want to work with children, but instead her passion was with movies. Shayne went and made sure Anne got a job relating to movies instead of doing something that she isn't interested in. Working with children, I believe is something that should be enjoyed. When I had teachers in the past that obviously did not want to be there and were not into it, I didn't learn as much. Everyone should go into what they like so they can enjoy what they do and share that joy with others. Also, they trust her to work with children that affects their lives as well as America, but not in a movie place?? That's messed up.

"Shayne did not, however, interpret a child's nonconformity to developmental theory as a manifestation of defect. "So what," she continued, "if you don't fit exactly what you're supposed to? You know, it's not like I fit many people's idea of what a teacher's supposed to be like." page 78

This is awesome, and what a great point she makes. Who made the rules of how we are "supposed" to be anyway? And what are we supposed to be? Are we supposed to fit into SCHWAMP? If so, then that would be boring if we all were the same. We are supposed to be ourselves bringing our own uniqueness to the world one day at a time. And that requires no "supposed to be's" but instead, just be you. One is not "supposed" o be a certain thing. Or maybe each person has their own guidelines of how they're supposed to be. I just think it is important to go with the flow, stand up for what is right and do good in the world. One simple way to do that is to smile! You may just brighten someone's day! =)

"That's what they see, but they wouldn't be seeing him. Do you know what I mean? Because Lee is Lee, and anybody who knows Lee knows, and this includes all the kids, they know he's gifted in how he solves problems, cares about others, reads, loves math. So I guess what I'm arguing is that if you did pick Lee out, you wouldn't be seeing Lee. It's not Lee your picking out. It's your stereotype, your mindset. It's you, and it has nothing to do with Lee.
But if that's how you choose to see him, I don't know that anything I could do, we could do, I don't think there's anything Lee could do to change your mind."

Yes! I love it! Its true. One will see their own judgments and stereotypes instead of the actual person for who they are. It happens all too often and people aren't even given a chance. It has happened to me and I think still does with people that don't know me just not as much now. I was told in 10th grade by a boy I had grown up going to school with that he used to think I was a snob before he actually talked to me and got to know me more as we got older just in classes growing up. I was shocked to her it and a little hurt. This is because I am not and never was a snob, especially at such a young age, I was just shy. He assumed that I was because I didn't talk much, but in reality I was too shy to talk to many people. This is a minor example compared to the ones in this article but it is how I relate a bit. Lee is unique with his talents and gifts and shouldn't be judged or stereotyped.

"What's that one "saying"? "The dignity of risk." It's really true. That's what learning is. It's taking risks and seeing stuff in new ways. From the top of the slide [on the playground]. Or, like, in a book that you just open up. Those kinds of ways. Maybe you don't read the book exactly like the author wrote it, but you're making sense of it like Isaac. Dancing to it, and then the next day, maybe your dance changes." page 91
 Yay! This quote makes me happy! I love it! Learning is such a powerful tool and each person learns differently. One thing in common in learning though is taking risks, just as Shayne says, and seeing things in a different way. Its new and interesting, always changing. Also I love this quote because it mentions dancing and dancing is my passion Dancing is a story filled with learning and every emotion to be used. It makes sense all together and is unbelievable in so many ways. We all seem to make sense of learning and, really, life in slightly different ways that make us all different. Speaking of dancing, you should check out our club website to see what it is all about and we have a showcase that will be really cool for you to come and see at 3pm in the SU Ballroom on Sunday April 19th! Come check it out!! =)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Literacy with an Attitude by Patrick J. Finn

So for this powerful piece, I'm going to choose some quotes because alot of them stuck out to me.

When a girl realized what they were making and said she had a faster way to do it, the teacher answered, "No you don't. You don't even know what I'm making yet. Do it this way or it's wrong."(page 10)

Wow. Teachers should always be open and listen to what the students have to say. It's a perfect teaching moment whether what the student says is wrong or if it is a different way of doing it that is right. It's the best feeling as a student to be heard and understood and especially when its an idea the teacher hasn't thought of. What this teacher did wrong is first not even give the student a chance. Second the teacher put the girl down assuming it wouldn't be right. And third, the teacher said to do it the way shown or it's wrong. That is restricting and harsh. By letting that girl answer would have given her confidence that what she thinks matters. Also that there are different ways of getting to the same answer, that she could be right even though it may not be the same strategy that the teacher showed the class.

Click here for a great video on catching teachable moments  

"There was little excitement in the school work, and assignments did not seem to take into account the student's interests or feelings, but the children seemed to believe that there were rewards: good grades lead to college and a good job."

This is disappointing but not surprising to me. It's a very common case that we have all dealt with. In too many of my classes that I have been in there is little to no excitement in the work and assignments. The work/assignments will be strict to the topic without freedom to think or be creative. I just had the conversation with someone the other day about how if we are assigned to do something such as read a particular book, it makes us not want to. However, given choices and freedom we are interested and more up for doing it. Teaching is more successful when there is room for personality and creativity. For example this blog. It could have been typed pages for a reflection that was very strict summarizing the articles we read but instead we have a blog that is interactive and personalized. There are options for the posts which give us some freedom within the assignment. I know that I am more likely to put my full effort into an assignment that I have freedom with that will be graded on effort and open to my opinion.

Heres a super quick video on fun learning (funny!)

"Creativity and personal development were important goals for students at the affluent professional school. Thachers wanted students to think. for themselves and to make sense of their own experience. Discovery and experience were important." (page 15)

Mickey Mouse Clipart
      "In the affluent professional school, work was not repetitious and mechanical, as it was in the working-class school; it was not knowing the correct answers, as it was in the middle-class school; it was being able to manipulate what Anyon tenned symbolic capital. The children in the affluent professional school had the least trouble answering the question "What is knowledge." (page 17)

These are both awesome! It makes them interested and want to learn, instead of being mechanical and robotically saying the words the teacher says. I had a teacher in 9th grade who talked about this and I remember what he said like it was yesterday. He said that he doesn't like how students, the majority of the time, just regurgitate essentially what the teacher says. In his class I remember actually learning things. He had us thinking for ourselves and supporting our opinion. There are few classes that I remember things from and his is one. I have a lot of respect for him and his teaching style and want to use it as an example for when I teach.