Sunday, May 1, 2011

Social Justice Event: The Twilight Saga

The social justice event that I went to was "Power, Pedagogy and Popular Culture: Bella's Choice and the Deconstruction of Ideology." This event was a talk given by Leslie Grinner. She is the original creator of S.C.W.A.M.P. I really liked this social justice event. It was very entertaining. Leslie Grinner was funny and she brought up some very interesting topics in her talk. S.C.W.A.M.P. is an acronym for all things that society believes to be important; straightness, Christianity, whiteness, Ablebodiedness, maleness, and property holding. Society values all of these things and if a person does not attain these qualities, they are often discriminated against in some way or another. Leslie Grinner associated this acronym with the Twilight Saga, a movie about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire and the different adventures that they face to be together.

Leslie Grinner shows how each part of the acronym is associated with the movie.
STRAIGHTNESS: Straightness is shown to be idolized in the movie because all of the romantic relationships in the movie are heterosexual. Bella and Edward is the most prominent heterosexual relationship in the movie and both of these characters are idolized. They are the main character and they focus on their lives throughout the entire movie. They are also portrayed as the good guys. Another thing that shows that heterosexuality is shown in this movie is that at one point Bella asks her father why he doesn't have a wife/girlfriend. Bella is showing that heterosexuality is valued because if it wasn't then she could have asked why he did not have a significant other instead of specifying a certain gender.
CHRISTIANITY: Christianity is shown because throughout the entire series of movies, Edward Cullen provides a moral compass for Bella to stay a virgin. He does this by saying that he will not have sex with her unless they are married. Christians believe that sex before marriage is a sin and that you should wait until after you are married.
WHITENESS: Whiteness is definitely valued in this movie because basically every one of the main actors in the movie are white except for a few of Bella's friends and there is one African American Vampire. It seems that the white people in the movie are valued because they are the main characters and because all of Bella's friends who are all different races all wish that they could have her. Bella is the whitest person in the movie and it shows that she is idolized because all of the boys want her. Also, the only black vampire is not seen very much in the movie and he is portrayed as a bad guy and a trickster. I feel like McIntosh comes into play here because his reading was all about how whites are privileged and valued. He says that whiteness is an invisible privege and this goes into the category of property holding in S.C.W.A.M.P. Edward is white and he is rich and Jacob is not white and he is not rich.

ABLEBODIEDNESS: In the Twilight series there is only one person in the whole movie who is disabled. He is in a wheel chair and although he is in a wheelchair he is portrayed as a very smart and wise man. I would have expected that the person in the wheelchair would be portrayed as needy and helpless like I have seen in other movies.
MALENESS: Maleness is shown all over the place in this movie. In the series Bella is mostly surrounded by males and they are basically controlling her lives. Like I said earlier, Edward is trying to control Bella's moral compass to keep her a virgin. Jacob tries to control her life by trying to make Bella fall in love with him. In the movie males are always Bella's protectors. There is her dad, Jacob, Edward, etc. Also, Bella has to give up almost EVERYTHING  to be with Edward. She will do anything for him and to be with him. It shows that woman have to stand down to men and do whatever they can to please them and that they can't live and please themselves; that they need a man to make them happy.
PROPERTY HOLDING: In the movie Bella eventually chooses Edward over Jacob. Edward is rich; he has a nice home, and nice clothes, etc. Jacob lives on a reservation and does not have a lot of money. Jacob's family is working class. Since Bella picked Edward it shows that wealth is idolized. She picked the boy that had nicer things than the boy who just lived in a regular house and had to work for his money.

An author I think that represents all of these areas of S.C.W.A.M.P. is Johnson. His reading is all about priviledge, power, and difference. In Twilight it is clearly shown the differences between privilege in race, sexuality, class, and gender. It is shown all throughout the Twilight series as I have given examples of previously. And lastly, Christensen is also a an author that I thought about while listening to Leslie Grinner. Her entire event was all about S.C.W.A.M.P. in the movie Twilight. Twilight is a part of media. It just goes to show that the media has a huge impact on people because you can clearly see that straightness, Christianity, whiteness, ablebodiedness, maleness, and property holding are valued in society because you see it in the media everywhere. Everybody is affected by it. Just look at all of the people who are obsessed with Twilight. Leslie Grinner even mentioned in her talk that she has even heard of people getting divorced over whether they were on team Edward or team Jacob. The media must really have a huge impact on those people if it affected their lives that much to get a divorce over it. Here is a story from a man about his wife's obsession with Twilight and how it affected their love life.

All in all I really enjoyed this social justice event because it made me see how S.C.W.A.M.P. really is valued in the real world through media and movies. Also, Leslie Grinner made it fun with her great attitude :)

A Blog About Transamerica

I have not seen this movie but, I did see the trailer for it today and it made me think about this class a lot. It is about a pre-operational male to female transsexual who learns that she has a son. She takes a long journey with her son to California and along the way you get to witness the life of a transsexual person. There were a few parts in the trailer where it shows her embarrassment and it shows how people respond to her. There is a clip in the trailer where her parents say that they love her but do not respect her because of her transformation. There was also a clip where a little girl asked her if she was a boy and a girl. I personally really want to see the entire movie now because it shows in depth what kinds of experiences transgender people have. They should not have to have people judge them all the time. In the movie, Bree (main character) just wants to be who she wants to be and have people accept her for who she is. Here is the link to the trailer.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us by Linda Christensen


As I was reading through the FNED blogs, I came across Mary's blog. Mary's blog stuck out to me because she did a reflection about what she thought about the article by Linda Christensen. I completely agree with everything that Mary had to say. I agree with her that I have mixed feelings about what Christensen is arguing. In Mary's blog, she wrote, " I couldn’t agree with her more about most of what she writes.  At other times I think that no matter what the media portrayed she wouldn’t be satisfied with it." I think that if Christensen saw a cartoon that was meant to not show children that life is perfect and that when you grow up you will find a prince, she would still have something to say about it. She might say that there might not have been enough African Americans in the cartoon, there were not any LGBT people, or that the main character did not support the role of an actual modern day woman. There are any given number of things that could happen in a cartoon. There is never going to be a cartoon that portrays all of the right qualities.

I also agree with Mary when she says, " I think the author is right to point out that the media can have a significant influence on young people, and that it certainly conveys ideas about different groups of people." The media had a huge impact on me when I was younger and in some ways today it still does. I have always been bigger than a lot of other girls my age and that always made me feel like I was not as pretty as everyone else.The media made me feel bad about it. I used to watch the television show on Disney Channel called "Lizzie McGuire."

 On this show the main character always did her hair really cool and wore nice clothes. Lizzie was also skinny and she had a best friend, and her friend was skinny too. I alway wanted to be just like them at the time that I watched that show. It made me feel bad about myself that I didn't look like them. There were also many other shows on television that were exactly the same way. Children are getting similar information from the media and cartoons. Cartoons always show that everything will always turn out happily ever after, when in fact it does not. In Mary's blog I thought that she brought up another good point that related to the article. If Christensen thinks that the cartoons and movies for young kids are sending a bad message to children, why can't she give the readers an example of what she does think is an appropriate cartoon to be watching?

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
I would like to hear more about other people in our FNED class who have been affected by the media themselves when they were young children. I think that the media probably plays a really big role in peoples lives, not just when we were young, but now as well.

*I am adding this link to my blog because I did not do so earlier. This link is a video about how the media affects body image. I wrote about my experience with body image and the media and I think that this video shows good quotes and facts that prove many girls like me have the same issues.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Education is Politics By: Ira Shor


"People are naturally curious. They are born learners. Education can either develop or stifle their inclination to ask why and to learn. A curriculum that avoids questioning school and society is not, as is commonly supposed, politically neutral. It cuts off the students' development as critical thinkers about their world. If the students' task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted."
--In this quote I think that Shor is saying that future teachers need to made a curriculum that is not always full of memorizing facts or memorizing spelling words or things of that sort. It does not help the student because chlildren learn by asking question and being curious about things. They need something to think about and have an opinion on in order to learn. A student will not really be learning anything if they are given some spelling words to memorize. A student has to be able think about their learning in their own way. For example, in Professor Bogad's classroom we are not learning by memorizing vocabulary words, we are learning by basing our own opinions and listening to others' opinions; and questioning and thinking about others' opinions. We formulate our own ideas and critical thought;that is how children like to learn.

"Politics reside not only in subject matter but in the discourse of the classroom, in the way teachers and students speak to each other. The rules for talking are a key mechanism for empowering or disempowering students. How much open discussion is their in class? How much one way 'teacher talk'? Is their mutual dialogue between teacher and students or one-way transfers of information from teacher to students?"
--Shor is talking about teacher and student discussion in this quote. I think that he is stating these questions because he is asking what are teachers' doing in classrooms? Are they actually helping your child learn or are they talking without anybody really listening to them? Shor is saying that teachers need to engage their students in learning. When students are engaged, talking and asking questions, they are more than likely learning more than when they are just listening to a teacher talk to an hour. If students get the chance to have a dialogue in the classroom too then they might be a little more interested in the material. If there is "teacher talk" the entire time and the teacher just talks on and on about the lesson for the day there is a great chance that the child is uninterested and might even be daydreaming because they are not engaged. Future teachers need to make sure that their students are fully engaged and fully involved in the classroom. It can't just be a one way street.

"In science, a problem-posing approach could take a debate form. A science class could present controversies in the field and in society. Students could examine competing interpretations of the origins of the universe, the causes and treatments of AIDS, the policy conflicts over energy sources and global warming, or the debates over the health hazards of exposure to low-level radiation to electromagnetic fields generated by power lines. By presenting science debates, controversies, and competing interpretations, the critical teacher would pose the subject matter as a problem for students to think through rather than a bland official consensus for them to memorize."
--Shor discusses the problem-posing approach in this quote. He believes that if you approach a subject asking questions it will give the subject matter more meaning to the student. The subject mater does not matter  at all to a student if they facts are given to them and they are told to memorize it. Shor proposes that they are prompted with, as an example, a debate in science class. Instead of telling the student the treatments and causes of AIDS, have them debate about it. That way, instead of them just memorizing the material they are learning to be critical thinkers by debating the idea. This website shows an article that talks about the problem-posing approach in Biology Education. One point this author makes is how he thinks textbooks should be changed to accommodate the problem-posing approach.

Basically I think that these quotes really show how Shor thinks that students should be in charge or their own learning with a little bit of help from their teachers. If teachers would just ask the right questions, then students would get to thinking about subject matter and they would start to learn from their thoughts and ideas. Teachers should not give their students subject matter to memorize, they need to think about it so they will be interested in it. I personally think that these are really good teaching strategies and ideas. Do you think that the problem-posing approach is a good one? It seems like it would work well to me.

Schooling Children with Down Syndrome


My post is a little late but I still have some feelings about the article from last week. Honestly, my first opinion about down syndrome students in a regular classroom was that I think that they need special attention while learning in school because I didn't think that they would be able to handle the same type of work that the mainstream classroom teaches. I also did not think that inclusion was a very good choice because of this reason. I think that I thought this because that is the way that I was brought up. I was brought up in separated classrooms from those who have down syndrome. I have never been around anybody with down syndrome before and I have never personally felt comfortable around them. I was always kind of afraid for some reason just because they are different.
I believe that now, my feelings have changed a lot after this week of class when we learned about down syndrome in the classroom. We watched a video about inclusion in the classroom and I believe that the video made a huge impact on the way that I think. It changed my view completely. I think that I needed to see it with my own eyes to really see how it can help a child with special needs. Even if the child with special needs in the classroom cannot fully keep up with the work loud, it still makes a huge positive impact on them because they can interact socially with other people in their classroom and they also get motivation from watching the other students in the classroom. And I really do think that it helps the mainstream classroom as well. In my own case, I think that if there was inclusion in the schools that I went to I would not have had the opinion that I previously had. I feel like I definitely would be a lot more understanding and accepting of students with down syndrome or any other type of disability. It really does help the child with down syndrome entering the classroom when he feels like EVERYBODY accepts who he is as a person, not just other peers in his situation. Now I realize that it isn't fair for them to be separated from everybody else. They should definitely be included in the mainstream classroom with all of the other children. People will be able to learn from each other, both mainstream and students with disabilities.
I like this video because it shows how students with disabilities and their families deal with inclusion and learning in school. It is about a boy named Samuel who is included in the mainstream classroom.
What I would like to know from my other classmates is, did your opinion change like mine did about inclusion in education? What changed and why did it change?

* I am adding in a link because I forgot to add one earlier. I found this link about what the world would be like if people with down syndrome ruled the world. I really like this link because it shows just how great people with down syndrome really are :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Patrick J. Finn: Literacy with an Attitude


This reading that I read by Patrick J. Flinn definitely connected to Deplit. In Delpit's readings she talks a lot about teachers using a direct style of teaching. In Finn's reading there was a quote where he said that he uses a direct style of teaching so that the children do not get distracted and so they do not have any chances at all to nothing or any chances as at all to misbehave. Finn said that his method for eliminating these problems is that he put the problems on the board ahead of time and instead of asking, " 'What are you doing?' I said, 'Stop that and get to work.' No discussion.  No openings for an argument." This example would refer to a "Delpit Moment".

In my own experiences in my service learning classroom I have noticed these moments a lot. I notice the differences in between the two teachers in the classroom. I noticed that the assistant teacher is just like Finn and Delpit in that she is a very direct individual with the students. For an example, the assistant teacher would most likely say "Sit down in your seat and do your math work." This example coincides with Finn's example of what he would most likely say to a student. On the other hand, the main teacher in the classroom is the complete opposite. I have noticed that she is often unprepared and leaves a lot of time in class for the students to do nothing while she figures out what the lesson she is teaching is. The students during this time often get a little rowdy and then she gets frustrated and mad and starts to yell. This cartoon reminds me of what sometimes happens in the classroom when the teacher is unprepared.

 Another thing that I noticed with her is that she is not direct like her assistant. There was one instance in class where one of the students drew on the wall with a crayon. The main teacher asked her, "Do we write on the walls? Would you like it if I drew on your things?" The student did not respond in a positive way. She had now idea that she had done something bad and she was scared of the teacher because the teacher was yelling at her. The teacher could have been more direct with the little girl by saying something like, "It makes me sad that you wrote on the wall. Please do not write on the wall again."

I think that Finn and Delpit would both agree that the way that the main teacher teaches is not the right way. I think that they would agree that she needs to be more direct. On the other hand some people may disagree with direct teaching. Here is a website that lists the pros and cons of direct teaching.

Some things that I would like to discuss in class is what teaching style do you think is the "right" way? Also, which teaching style do you think has the best effect on students and which do you choose to use as a teacher in the future? Or maybe even a mix of both?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Gender Issues in Education


This week is all about gender issues in the classroom whether it has to do with sports, dress codes, or learning in the classroom. I decided to do a little searching about gender issues in education and I found some videos and a website that shows what is going on in schools today.

The first link that I found is about some information about what the Title IX law and some things that it enforces and also about some myths about women athletes. As an athlete in high this article interested me. In this article all of the "Did You Know..." facts was my favorite because it tells you precise examples of some things that the Title IX law pursues.One of them that caught my interest was:
 "Did You Know...Title IX requires that male and female athletes receive the same benefits of athletic participation:    
  • equipment, uniforms, supplies
  • access to weight room and training room
  • equal practice facilities
  • same size and quality locker rooms and competition facilities 
  • equal access to practice and games during prime time
  • same quality coaches as boys' teams
  • opportunity to play the same quality opponents
  • the same awards and awards banquets
  • cheerleaders and band performances at girls' games too, etc. " 
This particular fact caught my interest because in my own high school the football team seemed like it received a lot more money than some of the other sports. The football team got a new football field, new jerseys, and new practicing equipment. Being on the women's volleyball team, we needed new equipment such as more volleyballs, our net was broken and we needed a new one, and our uniforms were old and starting to get yellow stains in the armpits...gross. We had to wait forever before we finally got a new net for us to use during practice and games and we had to do our own fundraiser to buy ourselves new uniforms. The football team, which is portrayed as a man's sport was apparently a little more important and they received all of the nicer things. Another thing in this fact was that cheer leaders and band performances can perform at girls' games also. This struck me as interesting because I had never heard of this before. I had only seen the band play at the football games and I had only seen the cheerleaders cheer for football and basketball.

In my next link, the video is about a woman named Shelly-Ann Gallimore:

Shelly-Ann Gallimore is involved in the sport track and field. She won the national championship in the triple jump. Title IX has helped Shelly-Ann achieve many things. She would not have been able to go to college without it because she received a scholarship to go to school for track and field. Because of Title IX she was given an opportunity to succeed and to do something with her life. She  thought that coming to America that everybody was treated as equal but she was shocked to find out that women in this country struggled to achieve equality through Title IX. In my own opinion although Title IX has been around I still feel like girls are not welcomed into boys' sports. As an example my brother did wresting and I loved the sport so much and I always wanted to do it myself but I thought that I would never really be accepted because I was a girl or the guys on the team would act awkward.

The next video clip that I have is about a little boy named Taylor Pugh:

Taylor was suspended from school for having long hair because it was against the dress code. The school claims that having long hair is a distraction to himself and others. I don't think that this is a good enough argument on their part because many girls have long hair and that is not considered a distraction so why should his hair be a distraction. Like his father said in the video; it is not like he had bright green hair with liberty spikes on his head because then it would be a distraction. I don't think that there is any reason why he should not have long hair. I think that the dress code for boys should be on the same level as girls. I'm sure that a girl would not get suspended if she decided to cut her hair short. It just isn't fair. 

In conclusion I realize that both genders are treated unfairly in some ways or another. In class I would like to discuss some personal experiences that people have witnessed or heard of about gender issues in education.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Unequal? I Think So.

After watching the Time Wise videos, doing a little reading about the Brown vs. Board of Education case, and reading the article in the New York times it became very clear to me that education in schools is said to be equal, but it clearly is not. In the first Time Wise video he states that "we are nowhere near a post racial America." He says that "people are still being racist and discriminating against average, everyday folks of color whether it has to do with housing, education, criminal justice, employment, healthcare, or elsewhere." I completely agree with what he is saying. I especially agree with the education portion of this quote. It really is apparent that racism and discrimination still exists in education. The Brown vs. Board of Education case was supposed to stop this sort of thing from happening. It created schools to be separate, but equal. It appears to me that people of color often go to schools that are poor and most of the students are at or below the poverty level.

In the article by Bob Herbert he states, "Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discrimination, economic disparities and long-held custom, they most emphatically are in reality." White people often go to schools that are filled with students who are middle class or above and they have nice facilities while African Americans or Hispanics do not have nice facilities. They often get provided with outdated books and often not even enough books for every student. Does that seem equal to you? It also seems like it is separated by race and class. It almost seems as if the Brown vs. Board of education only changed things a small amount. Here is a chart showing the rates of poverty of different races.

I also noticed from my service learning that being in a Providence school compares to the schools that I have been to all my life. The Providence school's facilities are not as nice as the facilities of the schools that I have been to. Also, I noticed that the Providence schools is predominately African American and Hispanic and the schools that I have been in are predominately white. The school that I went to had a nice playground and we had enough books for all of the classmates. At my service learning school there is no playground, just an empty parking lot for the children to play in for recess. I think that the schools should definitely be more integrated. They should try to mix the students so that people who live in poverty can go to a school with better teachers and a nice facility. In the New York Times article Herbert says that " The best teachers tend to avoid such schools. " He is referring to schools in poverty. I think that this article shows why there might be a problem with the racism and discrimination in education in the first couple of paragraphs. I think that people born into a disadvantage deserve a better chance to succeed starting with education. It just isn't fair to them because they never even got a chance to do well in the first place. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In the Service of What??


In this article by Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer, there were a few quotes that made me relate to my own service learning project. It made me think that I was doing my VIPS tutoring because I was providing a service to the students and not just because it gives me more experience being in a classroom or because it is required to get into the Education Program.

"Service learning makes students active participants in service projects that aim to respond to the needs of the community while furthering the academic goals of students."
-In this quote it is saying that the students who are participating in the service learning are helping others to better their academic goals, create a positive self-esteem, and to develop good thinking skills. In my own VIPS service learning I feel like I am one of those students who is helping others develop these academic goals. In my kindergarten classroom there are only two teachers. There is the teacher and the teacher's assistant and there are close to twenty students in the classroom. I feel that some of the students learn better by being one on one with the teacher. The teacher cannot have a one on one with every single student so I feel like while I am in the classroom I am helping students learn when on any other day they would not be getting any one on one attention. I feel like I am helping more students in the classroom academically by giving them one on one sessions when the teacher is busy.

"...students will have opportunities to experience what David Hornbeck, former Maryland state superintendent. referred to as "the joy of reaching out to others."
-What David Hornbeck is talking about in this quote is how you feel so much joy after helping somebody during a service learning event. It feels good to help others in some way or another. There is a story in the article about how a student and their stepmother helped serve senior citizens their Thanksgiving day meal. The student talked about how it felt good to make the seniors feel good during the holidays because some of them don't have much family in the area and they are often lonely. The student kept them company and made them feel good. I can relate to this because I volunteered at a soup kitchen once last year and I felt a sense of joy after serving the homeless their Thanksgiving meal. Many of them were so grateful towards me because I took time out of my day to do a volunteer job to help serve them.

"The experiential and interpersonal components of service learning activities can achieve the first crucial step toward diminishing the sense of "otherness" that often separates students-particularly privileged students-from those in need."
-The sense of "otherness" that the author is talking about is how people think of others before they actually experience being with others. A person may often have a biased opinion of a certain neighborhood or of a certain race. Let's be honest, I felt like I had a sense of "otherness" before I started my VIPS service learning. I was under the assumption that all of the children who went to Providence schools were going to speak Spanish and that all of them would be Hispanic or African American. Now, once I have been through my own experiences and I have witnessed with my own eyes how Providence schools are really like. The classroom that I am in for service learning is nothing like what I thought it was going to be like. The races in the classroom are completely mixed and everybody in the classroom speaks English.

I also feel like these quotes represent service learning very well and also how I feel about service learning.

How has the service learning changed your view about Providence schools if it has at all? How do you think you are helping and contributing when you go to your service learning?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The "Our America" Show

Hey everyone. I just wanted to let you know that the show Our American will be on the Oprah Winfrey Network tomorrow at 10pm. Professor Bogad told us about the show in class and also showed us a short clip of one of the episodes. I won't be able to watch it because I have to work :( but if anybody wants to watch it, here is the info!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Harsh Realities Finds Transgender Youth Face Extreme Harassment in School


I went on the GLSEN website and I found an article that I thought was most interesting to me. This article is called "Harsh Realities Finds Transgender Youth Face Extreme Harassment in School". I found that this article was particularly interesting because it was about transgenders. In my experience I have heard more about gay, lesbian, and bisexual harassment more than transgender harassment. I am most unfamiliar with transgenders so I thought that this article may inform me a little more. The article absolutely informed me and taught me a lot more than I did know. It also got me a little more interested and I also found some other things on the internet that relate to this subject.

This article, "Lonley Road: Why School is Hell for Transgender Pupils" made me see how it made transgenders feel when they went to school with peers. In the GLSEN article it said that transgenders face even higher victimization in schools than non-transgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. 9 out of 10 transgender students faced verbal harassment from their peers at school because they were transgender and unfortunately more than half faced physical harassment. " Two-thirds of transgender students felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (69%) and how they expressed their gender (65%)." It really makes me very sad to see what the girl in the Lonley Road article had to go through. Lauren was verbally harassed to the point of where she wanted to kill herself. It came to the point to her that the harassment was enough to not even make her want to live her life anymore. She didn't feel like she was worth enough to live. That is a really low place to be in your life when you don't want to live anymore. All of the feelings that she had about wanting to kill herself was all thanks to her disrespectful peers. The treatment from her peers eventually got worse, and it became physical harassment. They spit in her face and even tried to take off her skirt so they could see her genitals. I don't think that any student should have to deal with these sort of issues in school. Fortunately for Lauren she spoke to her parents about these problems and higher authority at school and they helped her change schools and did the best they could do to help. In the GLSEN article it says that transgender students are more likely than gay, lesbian, and bisexual students to speak out about the harassment. In the article it also says that it's very important that the schools are made aware of these problems so they can try to help in the best way they can. Some do not help at all, but when they do it could change a situation for the better.

This video unfortunately shows how school systems are not willing to help transgenders lives easier in the school system. They won't allow Oakleigh to become homecoming king because he is technically a "female" In this case, the students that are shown in this video are supporting Oakleigh which is a nice sight to see, but the school system is showing discrimination towards him because he is transgender. Oakleigh is technically a female but he chooses to be seen as a male. He ran for homecoming king and the students obviously think that he should be able to be homecoming king. I think that he should be able to be the king because if the students voted for him, they want him to be their homecoming king. All the school system did was make him feel different and as he said in the video, he was holding back tears. He also said that he wasn't able to enjoy his homecoming because of this and did not show school spirit because he was so let down. In the GLSEN article it says that "Although most transgender students (83%) could identify at least one supportive educator, only a third (36%) could identify many (six or more) supportive staff." In Oakleigh's case she did not have very much support from her school district in any way.

It makes me really sad that there are even worse cases of harassment than these links that I posted. Some people are even killed for the fact that they transgender. Even when transgender students are out of school and on their own, they will still always be harassed and discriminated against. They will always have to live this way as long and people don't change their mind sets. Here is a video in remembrance of some of those who have been murdered for being transgender. It truly breaks my heart to watch it because transgenders are people just like anybody else. I don't understand why people have to hate others who are different from them.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share: This assignment was one of my favorite ones so far because it is so interesting, but sad at the same time to read the articles and watch the videos about LGBT men and women. I understand why people are afraid to accept someone who isn't the "norm", but what is normal anyway? There is no true definition for normal. Some things may be normal to some and not normal to others. It all has to do with a particular person's view. I see why people may be afraid to accept people of LGBT because they are different but I certainly don't believe that this gives them the right to harass or even murder them. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Teaching Multilingual Children by Virginia Collier


"There are differences between first language and second language acquisition in children. These include variables such as the child's age, place and time of second language acquisition, individual learning style, the broader society's social perceptions of the status of the child's identity group, and the child's desire or need to understand and/or identify with speakers of the new language."
In this quote Collier is saying that you need to teach children differently depending on whether they are being taught their first or second language. You cannot be taught your second language the way that you were taught your first language. It also depends on what age you are at the time of learning the languages. I think that Collier is saying that as a teacher you need to figure out how to teach the child considering that they are bilingual. It isn't all up to the teacher either because the student has to have the desire and want to understand a new and different language. If the student is not interested, then it probably won't work out so well.

"Don't teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language."
Collier is telling us in this quote is that we should not teach a second language in order to override the students' first language. A students' first language is who they are as a person. They should not be made to feel like their language is wrong or that they should no longer use their first language. Their first language is important to them. Collier says that instead of making the student feel bad about their first language that perhaps a teacher could show them the differences between their first and second languages. Doing these kinds of things will help students get an easier understanding of the language used in formal schooling if they compare it to their first language.

"Teach the standard form of English and students' home language together with an appreciation of dialect differences to create an environment of language recognition in the classroom."
The teacher in a classroom with bilingual students needs to understand and appreciate that their students are bilingual. They need to plan their lessons with these things in mind and recognize the different ways that they can use language in the classroom. A teacher should not look down on a student who is biligual; they should accept it. They can use different languages to their advantages. Collier states that "once a child becomes literate in the home language, literacy skills swiftly transfer to second language settings." If a student knows their first language well, it will help in learning their second language in the classroom.

Questions/ Comments/Points to Share:
While I was reading this article by Collier it made me realize that I haven't experienced much yet in the classroom. In my own schooling I never knew anybody that was bilingual so I had no idea that there were certain ways to teach when having a biligual student in the classroom. I know that many of the Providence schools have bilingual students, but I still have not been able to experience my VIPS assignment yet. I hope to be able to go soon so I can learn more about the different types of people and cultures in the classroom so it will help me to learn to be a good teacher.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

White Privelege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

I read this article by Peggy McIntosh and it reminded me of my experience in class the other day when Dr. Bogad went over S.C.W.A.A.M.P. When we went over this in class it completely made me realize that I was in the culture of power. Before reading this article and before this FNED class I never even realized that I was so much more privileged than other people. Reading the list of things that McIntosh wrote of ways in which she feels privileged compared to people of other races made me realize that the list pertains to me too. I never thought of it from a black person's point of view before. I wanted to see it from a black person's point of view so I did some searching on the internet.I'm sure that there are even worse stories than these but, after I read a few of these stories it just makes me realize how rude people are to people of color. I would absolutely hate to be treated like that just because of my skin color.

I don't personally have any black friends, but I really wish that I did because I feel like it would make me more aware of how black people feel and how they live compared to my lifestyle. In McIntosh's list she mentioned in number nineteen that, "If  a traffic cop pulls me over, or if  the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of  my race. " This number on the list reminds me that I won't be getting pulled over unless I really did break the law in some way because I'm white. In a movie that I recently saw, a different situation happened. The movie I watched is all about racism and it really is a great movie to watch. The movie is called Crash. In the movie a veteran cop pulls over a black couple in an SUV merely because they are black. When he pulls them over he makes them get out of the car and he frisks them with his partner. The partner frisks the black male and the veteran cop frisks the black female. He has no reason to treat her badly but he does and he sexually assaults her. The black couple cannot do anything about it. They cannot report this to authority because the person that did this was authority. They had to go home without any dignity. McIntosh's article makes me feel lucky that I have privilege because I'm white, but it also makes me feel terrible for others who don't have the privilege. I wish that there was some way I could help in a big way.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
Does anybody have any racism stories that they would like to tell? Has anybody ever witnessed anything happen or have they experienced it themselves? It really interests me to hear the type of stories to make me aware because I am not discriminated by my race and I want to see it from another person's view.

Monday, January 31, 2011

About Me :)

Hello everyone! My name is Mariah and I am a sophomore here at RIC. I am an Early Childhood Education major. My concentration is general sciences. I am new to the Education program. I just recently switched my major from nursing to education and I'm actually kind of nervous.
I also live on campus in Weber hall and I love living here. It is so fun and I got to meet new people and I made some new friends :) I am really shy and I hate talking in front of large groups of people, which kind of stinks seeing as how I am going to be a teacher. I'm sure I'll get over it though. There are way too many things to learn about me to put into a short little blog post so I'll just name a few interesting facts:

1. My absolute favorite food is ice cream!
2. I actually like shopping for other people rather than shopping for myself.
3. I just bought a new car :) It isn't new and it needed to be fixed up a bit, but i love it!
4. I just recently learned how to drive a stick shift and I am actually pretty good at it :)
5. I have a Chihuahua named Peanut and she is adorable :)
6. I came here from Burrillville, RI all the way up north.
7. I work in a nursing home doing laundry. yeah I know, eww right?

That's basically all I can think of right now. See you all in class :)