Friday, April 29, 2011

Social Justice Event

Last week I went to the Lesley Grinner lecture about Twilight and S.C.W.A.M.P. Lesley Grinner is actually the creator of S.C.W.A.M.P. I found this lecture to be very informative and intersesting. It was'nt as boring as I thought it was going to be when I first found out about it. I was worried that I would'nt understand what she was talking about because I had never seen any of the Twilight movies or read any of the books. But she did'nt really focus the lecture on the Twilight as much as I expected.
She began the lecture but introducing women's studies. She discussed some of the average persons fears about women's studies. What she said, I found very interesting. She explained that some people fear that women's study classes are all about bashing men. She explained that most people avoid women's study classes because they are afraid that men will be abused. She explained that b oth men and women  fear that men will be bashed, because most women believe that men don't deserve to be bashed. She also went on to say that some women fear that they will become lesibian if they join a women's study class or they will be forced to become femenist. Grinner went on to say that these things are not true about women's study classes and that they are for everyone.
She also talked about Twilight alittle towards the end of the dicussion. She described all the important characters and revealed the influnce S.C.W.A.M.P made during the movie. One point she made about twilight was when it came down to the desision between Edward and Jake. She explained how S.C.W.A.M.P. was the reason Belle chose Edward Collin in the battle between Edward and Jake. Because of the fact that Jake was not white or wealthy Belle could not pick Jake over Edward because both White and Wealthy are apart of S.C.W.A.M.P. Belle was most likely to go with the one with the most S.C.W.A.M.Pish qualities in order for the movie to sell.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Extended Comment on Nick's Blog

Extented Comment:

I liked Nick's blog this week. There was one thing that Nick said in particular that caught my attention, he said "We need students to question the world around them, not accept it blindly.  You have to ask yourself, did your school or perhaps a single teacher encourage you to ask questions and not take things for granted?". This statement reminded me of my writing 100 class that I took last semester.

In writing 100 we read an article by John Gatto called Against School. In this Article Gatto describes the difference between "schooling" students and "educating" them. He suggests that schools are set up to teach children how to fit into the world and live average lives, and schooling children suppresses every childs inner genius. He claims that if schools truely wanted to "educate" their students then teachers would teach their students to question the world and not accept what they are taught blindly.

Gatto believes "“schools really are: laboratories of experimentation on young minds, drill centers for habits and attitudes that corporate society demands” He also believes that “genius is as common as dirt. We (public schools) suppress our genius only because we haven't yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women”(Against School). Gatto takes a hard stand agaisnt public schooling. He believes that reform should be made and students should be taught to open thier minds and question rather than accept blindly.

This article also reminded me of the youtube video we watched in class.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Literacy with an Attitude


In "Literacy with an Attitude" Patrick Finn points out many differences in the way lower class and upper class students are taught, in an effort to point out the inqualities. To show that upper class students have the upper hand when it comes to getting a good public education. The differences in the public education system between lower and upper class students helps to perpetuate and widen the gap between the income of lower and upper class citizens.

"Teachers who see themselves as allies of their working-class students can help their students see that literacy and school knowledge could be a potent weapons in their struggle for a better deal by connecting school knowledge with the reality of working-class students' lives."

In this qoute Finn is saying that a teacher that truely tries to help a working class student will teach in a way that will empower that student. They will teach in a way that can help that student make there life better, by getting out of working class. A teacher that wants to help a working class student will teach them the reality of working-class lives, by showing them what it's like to work in a working class postition in an effort to get the student to want to do better for themselves by trying harder in school, to get better grades, thus leading to a better job that pays more money.

"There were about four hundred eighth graders who were sorted by reading scores from the highest to the lowest and divided into fifteen classes, 8-1s being the highest, 8-15s being the lowest."

In this quote Finn is reffering to a school he taught at in Chicago where the classes were divideed by reading scores. The best readers were put into bigger classrooms and the slower readers were put into small classrooms with less kids. The theory was that the slower readers in the smaller classrooms would get more one on one time with the teachers. But it ended up that the troublesome students from the higher classes would get put in the lower level small classrooms, to distract the slower readers. This shows how the education the students werre getting is off balance. The better readers up front get the best care. This helps to widen the gap in society between the upper class and lower class.

"In the working-class schools, knowledge was presented as fragmented facts isolated from wider bodies of meaning and from the lives and experiences of the students. Work was following steps in a procedure. There was little decision making or choice. Teachers rarely explained why work was being assigned or how it was connected to other assignments."

In this quote Finn points out many differences in the way the lower class students are taught. He suggests that in lower class schools they don't connect the material that the students learn to the "real world" so most students remain uninterested in the material that is presented to them. In other parts of the article Finn points out that students in upper class school gte the material applied to everyday life so that the students understand why they are learning the material, and they are more interested. This puts the upperclass students even more ahead of the lower class students and it makes the difference between the two classes greater.
The lower class students get information taught to them in fragments so that they never can connect the information to other assignments they do and the points that they learn stand alone in the minds and they can't see the big picture.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Single Sex schools


This week I'm posting about single sex schools. When I google searched "single sex schools" the big question seemed to be which was better, coeducational or single sex schools? After alittle research I found out that there have been numerous studies done to answer that question. This Website argues that students in single sexs schools learn better that students in coeductional schools. however, the website suggests "It's not sufficient just to put girls in one classroom and boys in another. In order to improve academic performance and broaden educational horizons, you'll need to understand the subtleties of gender differences in learning."

In this video Dr.Leonard Sax also makes the arguement that single sex schools are better.
I don't know how I feel about this idea. I can see how "theoretically" it might makes sense that boys and girls would learn differently, but most of the reseach suggest (like the woman says) there isn't much difference. Also I think the idea's that Dr. Leonard has seem alittle "out there", like the fact that he believes that boys learn better standing up and at aproximately 20 degrees celisus. I don't first I though that it was a seems kinda weird...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tim Wise Connections


As I watched the radio interview with Tim Wise I totally saw a connections between what Tim was saying and Lisa Delpit's view of the culture of power. Wise was saying that just because Barack Obama won the presidential election does'nt mean that the United States is racist free. He says that Barack's win counts as a win agaisnt racism 1.0. He describes racism 1.0 as basic bigotry. Wise believes that Barack won because he was an educated black man. He says white people in society can get away with being  mediocre and therefore white presidents can get away with being mediocre presidents.White people can be very articulate of really stupid and they still have a shot at president. Colored people are put on a pedestal when they are try to get into power positions.
This reminds me of the culrue of power because Barack Obama had to be the culture of power in order to become president. Wise explains that a mediocre black man could not become president and he goes on to say that their that plenty of intellegent colored people, but they may have a different style than Barack. Barack Obama's style is very "culture of powerish". Some colored people's style may not be as "culture of powerish" therefore they would not appeal to the average American. Wise believes that the only way we will be able to tell if racism is cured is if we see a mediocrely intellegent colored person become president.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In the Service of What?

In the article "In the Service of What?: The Politics of Service Learning", Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer argue that there are two types of services that "draw from two different assumptions about political socialization and what it means to be a citizen." When referring to the service-learning program, Kahne and Westheimer argue that each type of service have varying personal and social outcomes when in practice.  The first type of service is a charity-based service, where the person volunteering their time as a form of civic duties. The idea behind charitably giving up a students time to help others in need is just to let students have an outlet in which they can perform their "civic duty" of helping others.  Kahne and Westheimer when referring to charity base service learning say "Volunteerism and compassion for the less fortunate are the undergirding conceptions of political socialization associated with this vision".
The second type of service learning is designed to get students to move toward a "strong democracy". This type of service is on a move "change" bases. The idea behind a change based service learning experiance is that the students will use critical reflection about social policies to help develope their own experiance opinion on certain matters. This form of service learning combines "critical inquiry with action" in an effort to get the students to see what the "real world" is like an to base their opinion of the "real world" on their experiance, which can helps promote a healthy democratic society.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us Reflection


I was first introduced to the idea of "media shaping social norms" my junior year of high school by my old English teacher. While reading the "The Handmaid's Tale" my teacher related something that happened in the text to the movie "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer". He believed that the movie "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was written to expose to the general American public the exclusion of Jews in holiday celebration at Christmas time. My teacher showed us many instances where this idea could be seen. He explained that a common prejudiced insult against Jews in the 1950's was to refer to them as "Hooked-Nosed Jews", this related to Rudolf because he was a "Red-Nosed Reindeer". My teacher also related Hermy the elf, to gays in American society; because Hermy didn't want to make toys instead he wanted to be a dentist. For this reason he was exiled from Santa’s workshop and treaty poorly by the other elves, the same way gays get treated like exiles in our society.

When I first heard this I thought it was funny the way something so seemingly childish and innocent could hold such a deep sociological bottom line. So I started talking to my friends about it and the opened my eyes to so much more instances where things like this happen. One of my friends recently did a project on the media’s conception of the ideal woman and way women get portrayed in advertisements and movies. He pointed out how great portions of American men have a similar taste in women because they are subjected to the same media influence through advertisements and movies.  He also pointed out the way the women that are subjected to the same media influence strive to look like the ideal woman and often go to great lengths to get the “perfect” body.

This whole idea of subconsciously teaching social norms to children through media is interesting because it makes me think "What if we applied this same strategy to everyday teaching?". Who's to say we can't teach children math through hidden messages in everyday cartoon and advertisements. In a way, that if one were to ask a child where they learned something they would reply "I don't know... I just don't know".

I really liked this article because it was something that I could really relate to. It’s interesting seeing the things you find when you look into media a little deeper.