Sunday, March 22, 2015

Brown V Board of Education

So in my political science class we actually just learned and took and exam including Brown versus Board of Education. It changed so much in history and that's why I am not surprised to see it in this class because of the segregation issue. Separate is not equal. Brown brought his daughter to a white school and got denied and the case eventually after being denied over and over, went to the supreme court that decided to take it. Brown was going to lose again 5-4 but one of the men voting died and Warren took his place. He knew his vote made it so Brown would win the case and just how big that was. So he convinced the others that they might as well all vote with him so it looks good. That's what they did so now separate is not equal. More on it here.
 BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION: ANNIVERSARY THOUGHTS... Lesson Plan: Documents Related to Brown v. Board of Education

     As the interview spoke of, "If we are going to have a truly equal opportunity society, we have to have an equal opportunity society and the evidence that we will have accomplished that is when we begin to see the research and evidence on discrimination in housing and in jobs in education and criminal justice again to diminish. That's what we need to be looking for."
     Yes. there needs to be equality happening in all situations. We should not even need to still be talking about it because it shouldn't be an issue. WE are all equal and must be treated that way. I think its come a long way and that people are more accepting of each other no matter the race but there are still people who are against those of a different race as they are. Also, this made me think of the link I put on my last weeks blog. And in the video on Caitlyn's blog when they say that if you build it they will come. So this connects to my link because there needs to be equal opportunity not only for people of different races, but also that may be segregated because of special needs. Some people started the college for those with special needs and students came with much excitement and appreciation.  Making the college for those students with special needs is great and is a huge part of actually doing something to make a change. There are also programs in schools but not enough. It needs to be more common for all students of all abilities to be together and be friends with one another. So segregation happens with race and with other issues as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

In Service of What? The Politics of Service Learning: by Kahne and Westheimer

     Right away this article started out with a great quote. "...ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Said by John F. Kennedy.

     This goes so well to all that this article is saying about service learning. Service learning is getting people out there to help others. This is what we can do for the people in our community, in our schools. By giving our services to the schools, we are helping everyone, including the country. What Kennedy said is being defined today by service learning. We are doing it for a class as well as for those children and teachers that benefit from our help in the classroom. RIC has us do 30 hours of community service. That 30 hours is changing our lives. It's making us go out there and give our time to those in need. It's also changing the lives of those we are giving our services to. Here is a link to a timeline of Caroline Kennedy who wants to "redefine that commitment for our time."
JOHN F. KENNEDY Quote: "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." 
     "In addition to helping those they serve, such service learning activities seek to promote students' self-esteem, to develop higher-order thinking skills, to make use of multiple abilities, and to provide authentic learning experiences- all goals of current curriculum reform efforts."

     In my opinion, this quote sums up our experiences pretty well. We are all helping students to learn and grow. We are helping the teacher. We all seem to be growing and changing gaining more confidence as we go along developing more self-esteem. Higher-order thinking skills are being developed as we teach and grow in the classroom following instruction and instincts. There are so many abilities that are being used that we don't even think about from handling the office situation when first arriving in a professional manner, to dealing with the interesting and at times very challenging situations that arise unexpectedly. We are also all most definitely providing and being provided with "authentic learning experience." There is so much we learn by being in the real situations, taking action, instead of just sitting listening to a lecture.
    Here is from a blog I found, what an outstanding post, you should really read this(warning, may make you cry like it did to me). "This UP Program made my college experience worth something," Abby, an UP Program student employee, explained. "College isn't just about hanging out. I feel like I'm helping a cause." 

     "To be critical thinkers, students must be able to consider arguments that justify conclusions that conflict with their own predispositions and self interest." 

     This is how one gets stronger and really learns what they believe. By challenging what one may have grown up with or may not have addressed in the past, one can talk about and figure out for sure what they think is right. By doing so it makes them sure and able to back up what they say. This statement is very true and very important.  Here is a link to an in debt definition of what critical thinking is. Also this relates to Delpit when she speaks of those in power being less aware of the culture of power's existence. It relates because being told about what is happening around the world and in our own communities is important so we know how to help. By requiring service learning it is making students go out and see first hand what maybe they didn't realize was actually happening or that they needed to be more aware so they could help. 
Love it! We must teach students to become high level thinkers to facilitate their success in the 21st century. 

"Rather than assume, erroneously, that all educators share the same vision, we think that it is better to be explicit about the numerous and different visions that drive the creation and implication of service learning activities in schools."

     We each have our own take of service learning. We all have a different vision for this as well as our goals for the future. Its really cool and awesome that each one of us has a different experience with service learning. This is what will make us such great teachers. Having our own experiences, goals and visions will make the classrooms fun and exciting for the students. One of my main goals is to inspire my students. To inspire them to love and want to learn. That is one of the keys to life. Learning is a powerful and necessary tool for life. Another goal is for them to know that they can do it,( whatever it may be) and not to give up.

Seuss Quotes | Welcome to Seussville! | Vibrant Dr. Seuss Display 
For class: What's your teaching vision? Do you agree with what I said about us all having a different one? What does this whole service learning project mean to you?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Justice Event: African American Culture Society

So I went to this event on Thursday February 19th. Yes This is a late response to it but life is crazy, I'm sure all of you can relate.

     So first off I noticed that there were only 17 people there. There was me and Julienne then another class sitting on the other side. The class was required to go and I believe it was during their class time, their teacher was there as well. He asked a lot of questions (making what was supposed to be an hour lecture turn into a few..). Besides the class there was a couple African American men, one women and that was it. I have to admit I was not too surprised, but what was sad was the woman who helped with the presentation asked and assumed that we came because of a class. I felt bad saying yes. Right at the beginning of the event they had us choose a ticket for a raffle where they gave out a couple shirts and that built up to a sweatshirt. I am always afraid to win things because I am shy to say that it was me. Is anyone else like that? So I had a feeling that I would win the sweatshirt.. and sure enough I did! I was shy but of course told them and received a nice sweatshirt in honor of Trayvon Martin!
     There is so much I could go into about the history but what I really took out of this presentation was Keith Stoke's main purpose that people need to think of the lives that were affected by slavery. What he means is not as "oh it was so long ago they are just a story now." But instead that we take time to think of what happened almost as if it were happening around us, to people that we know. He wanted us to relate to the people back then. On the graves that he told us about and showed us, there were angels engraved at the top that had African features! One thing that was really powerful was the pictures of the graves with pictures along side of them of the children and people mostly under the age of 18 that were buried there. It was so sad. It really brought the history alive and made me think about it in a different way. Before this event I really hadn't thought much about slavery except for what I was required to in school. This presentation made me think about it longer than I would have otherwise. So this shows that as Delpit says, those with power are less aware of its existence. I didn't think much about slavery and those issues because it doesn't affect me but Stokes speaks how it did happen and to real people like you and me. He wants us to understand that.
    One thing I learned and was quite surprised by was how much slavery was in Rhode Island. Particularly in Providence, Bristol and Newport, all of which I am pretty familiar with. It actually wasn't as bad here in Rhode Island as it was in the South. Here's some more about Newport and this topic (By Keith Stokes). Slave owners here would use the South as a threat because of the huge difference there was. I really appreciate people that are well spoken. I think it is because I take a while to say my thoughts the right way. I also will stumble over my words and not be able to get out what I want to say fluently. It doesn't happen too often but often enough that I pay attention to others way of speaking. Keith Stokes spoke with confidence and passion. It was cool to hear what meant so much to him. History has really never been an interest of mine but I could see that it was more that just history for him. I know that because when I understand something or feel strongly enough about something, I have a strong and confident voice that is clear. Also I will be able to talk for an endless amount of time about it and want to answer every question relating to it. What is really cool is that this voice of mine that I just described comes out when I am teaching! Its amazing and something I developed recently that makes me really excited! I also found that it comes out when I am frustrated and need to get my point across in a straight forward manner that demands the attention of who I am talking to. I didn't know I would go into this so much but there you go!
     Having a strong voice relates to what Rodriguez went through. He started out lost and quiet because of the language barrier. Slowly but surely he found his voice and was able to speak English and join in the class without being afraid. It's like me when I found my teaching voice. (Finally!!) Suddenly I was able to help more and wasn't as shy. A break through! Rodriguez spoke when he had confidence in himself just as Stokes spoke so fluently and confidently in what he knows so well. It meant a lot that Rodriguez had finally accomplished learning English so well and he was proud. Stokes had to learn and research to know all the history and things he knows now. Being fluent in history is a challenge just as learning a language. Each subject we learn is a language. Like science for another example. You can have a full conversation in how it works in debt with scientific terms and someone who does not know much about science would hear blah blah blah. Or an even better example is learning an instrument. When I first got my clarinet I was intimidated and so confused. I couldn't even get a sound other than an ear piercing squeak to come out! After a lot of learning and lessons, I learned to play. Music tells a story, there is a lot to understand in it and it is not easy. Just like learning a language or learning enough about a subject to speak about it confidently enough and teach it to others so that they understand.                   
     Here's a quote from Amazing Grace by Kozol, "There's a whole world out there if you know it's there, if you can see it. But they're in a cage. They cannot see." (Page 24) This made me think of the white people during the time that many of them owned slaves. No, not the slaves. The slaves were trapped in the position that they were in but they were not the ones that could not see. The slaves knew what was going on. They knew that they were supposed to be treated equally and free. It was the slave owners that convinced themselves that they knew how things were supposed to be. Slave owners could not see the world out there as anything different than what it was. They could not see that what they were putting the slaves through was so terrible because they were consumed by their greed.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Understanding the Myths That Bind Us by Linda Christensen

     So there's a million things I could say about this article I'll touch on one of the main things that really stuck out to me. On page 132 they told the story of Cindy Ellie. This is a version of Cinderella where she is black and "celebrates the beauty, culture, and language of African Americans." This was pretty cool and made me think of the African American version of The Wizard of Oz *Click TO WATCH PREVIEW* If you get the chance to watch the full movie you should check it out! (You'll recognize some of the actors in it!) Its really different and made me think about how an African American must feel watching the Wizard of Oz that we know. It's sales got half the amount of The Wizard of Oz. It was a culture shock to me to see the story I grew up watching done in a completely different way. No one really knows about the other version of The Wizard of Oz. It wasnt as big and well known as the Judy Garland version we all know and love. 
     This made me think of in Johnson how he talks about "the luxury of obliviousness" as well as Delpit with her Culture of power number 5. "Those with power are frequently least aware- or least willing to acknowledge- it's existence. Those with less power are often most aware of it's existence." The majority of movies that are out in the theaters or just the popular films we grew up with are of all or mostly white people.  That goes for cartoons as well. This is not something that is typically though twice about to a white person. But I would imagine that to a black person, they are extremely aware of this and it must frustrate them at times.