Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pecha Kucha

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Empowering Education by Ira Shor

I apologize for posting my blog update so late; I have been extremely busy over the last couple of days. For this post, I will do a reflection.

Shor's article talked a lot about the importance of socialization in schools. She says that it is crucial that students are able to participate in class, and it is important that they are willing to participate. For this to happen, the teacher must connect what they are doing to student's interests and challenge the status quo of society. They must teach empowering education, which is student centered and promotes both self and social change. She states that humans are natural born learners, and that they only resist authority in schools because of the way the system is currently set up. The idea of empowering education could change this so that students never lose their curiosity or their thirst for knowledge.
I believe that empowering education and a focus on socialization would greatly help both students and teachers to become happier and more productive in schools. If teachers tried to connect their topics with the student culture, students would enjoy learning more, which in turn would allow the teacher to enjoy teaching and not have to put up with much deviance in the classroom. If students have a say in what they get to learn about, then they will be much more interested in that topic. More learning would happen in the classroom. Standard tests and quizzes would not be as necessary because knowledge could be tested in other ways, like group discussions or class projects. The idea of empowering education is a good one that I believe should be implemented by anyone who hopes to be a successful and inspiring teacher.

At the high school I attended, I believe that I had at least one teacher who followed the empowering education model. My AP Euro teacher was in love with anything to do with history. However, he didn't really believe in memorizing dates and people, but rather knowing main concepts and ideas. Why did things happen, how could they be compared to other things in history, how does this relate to our society today, what can we do to make sure this doesn't happen again, etc. Every day, our class would get into heated discussions about different concepts in history. Everyone would share their opinions and point out any connections they could make to either current day things or other historical ideas. Our teacher seemed to fit in with the class well; everyone loved him and he knew a lot about the student culture. Every once in a while, he would host AP Euro movie night at the school. Most of the people in the class would show up for pizza and a movie relating to history. He would give everyone a sheet of paper saying what aspects of the movies were true and what was exaggerated or just thrown in as an interesting plot point. The movie nights were not only tons of fun, but they actually helped everyone to understand the material that we were learning about in class. I believe that my AP Euro teacher is a great model that I can look up to, and I hope that I can someday be as good of a teacher as he is.

There are so many things that students want to learn, but the construct of the education system today often squashes their interests in knowledge. Empowering education can help to change this for the better.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome by Kliewer

I decided that I was going to do a quotes post this week, but then I read Christy's blog post, and I realized that all of the quotes she used were fantastic, so I decided to do an extended comments post instead.

The first quote that Christy chose was "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." (79)  This quote really stood out to me too. As Christy said, everyone should be able to do what they want to do with their career. Since Anne really liked movies, but not so much teaching children, it really wouldn't make sense for her to be working with preschool students. It was amazing that Shayne was able to find her a job that she liked, and also it is wonderful that the people who hired her were so accepting. I'm sure Anne was a great addition to the staff.

Christy also mentioned how messed up it is that they trusted Anne to educate America's future, but not to work in a movie place. This says a lot about the way people view education. Did these people really think that working at a movie place was a harder job than being an educator? I'm sure that Anne could have done either job if she had wanted to, but it is kind of insulting as a future educator to think that someone thought a movie store job would be more difficult than an education job. I agree with Christy that this is very messed up.

The next quote Christy chose was "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." (78)  This is such a powerful quote. Christy brings up an awesome point, saying "Who made the rules of how we are 'supposed' to be, anyway? Are we supposed to fit into SCWAAMP?" If everyone fit into SCWAAMP, no one would ever learn from each other. Everyone would be the same and think the same and act the same. No one would ever grow as a person. It is wonderful that there are so many different types of people in the world, and hopefully the idea of SCWAAMP will be erased as time passes. As for Shayne, who isn't how teachers are "supposed" to be, she is helping to change education and schools for the better. When we think of the word segregation we usually apply it to race, but it can also be applied to situations like these. Special needs students should not be segregated from the rest of the students. This will just frustrate them and not allow them to learn from the other students or allow the other students to learn from them.

Christy chose four quotes for her blog, but these two along with this last one stood out to me the most. This next quote is my favorite quote that Christy chose, and probably my favorite quote of the whole article: "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." This is such a beautiful quote. It is about acceptance, and not judging people or stereotyping them, and how hard it is to prove a stereotype wrong. If someone saw Lee and thought to themself that he must not be very smart since they could tell that he had Down Syndrome, no one would be able to show that person how smart he was. No matter what Lee did, this person would still connect Down syndrome to being unintelligent. This is obviously not true, as Lee is very intelligent in many different ways. Someone who saw him as unintelligent wouldn't actually be seeing him for who he was, they would just be seeing his Down syndrome.

I can also relate directly to Christy's story about being judged as a snob. One of my best friends in middle school told me that she always thought I was snobby in elementary school because I sang a lot of solos in the choir. I loved to sing when I was little (still do!) and my choir teacher liked to choose me for the solo part because she knew I could do it and that I would enjoy doing it. Because of this, I was marked as a snob before I even got into middle school. As Christy said, this is just a minor example, but it shows how often people are judged and stereotyped, and how wrong this is, no matter who the person is or what the stereotype is. Lee deserved to be seen as the smart person who he was and not just as a person with Down syndrome.

Christy's blog had so many great things to work off of, and I agree with everything she said! Thanks Christy and great job!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Literacy With an Attitude- Finn

While the excerpt we read this week was extremely long, I felt that it was also very interesting and informative. It didn't seem to be repetitive like some of the other longer pieces we have read, so I didn't mind the length as much as I would have. While reading this excerpt, I was very interested in Anyon's experiment with the different schools, and I was constantly comparing the school that I grew up in to the school that I do my service learning at. I grew up in an extremely middle class to upper middle class area, so my school would most likely be categorized somewhere in between a middle class school and an affluent professional school. I would categorize the school I teach at as a working class school. It is very interesting to compare Anyon's findings to both of these schools and determine for myself if her findings are true.

I definitely notice a difference between my old high school and my service learning school. My school was about 99% white. There were very few poor families who lived in my town and a few richer families, but everyone was mostly middle class. At my service learning school, most of the students are latino, and there are many students who do not come from middle class families. My school seemed to be newer, cleaner, and less beat down than my service learning school. I've also noticed that the secretary at my service learning school are not very helpful, and they often pretend that they are too busy to help someone who enters the office. The secretary at my school were very friendly and helpful, and it seemed as though most of them enjoyed their jobs. Anyon was definitely right in saying that middle class schools are different than working class schools.

A few of the things that Anyon said about affluent professional schools seem to be true to both schools. Creativity and personal development seem to be important aspects of both schools, and students can go about their own way of doing things as long as they are able to explain their reasoning. I also feel like there could be a theme of individualism in both schools. However, the rest of the affluent professional traits can not be applied to my service learning school at all, and can only be applied to the school that I attended for a few of the teachers there. Some of my teachers were in a very middle class school mindset, where the textbooks and correct answers seemed to be the most important thing, but some of them taught in an affluent professional mindset. In my service learning school, a few of the middle class aspects seem to apply as well. Maybe it is just the teacher I am placed with, but she does not treat her students any differently than she would if they were better off. She expects a lot out of them. The one thing I would say matches the working class description is that if the kids try, the teacher is happy whether or not they do something correctly. As long as they put in effort, the kids are doing their job.

I definitely agree with a lot of the points that Finn made in this excerpt, and I really enjoyed comparing it to schools that I have experience with.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Social Justice Event

For my Social Justice event, I chose to attend a house show at the Watermyn Co-op house. There are a few different co-op houses on Waterman Street, and each of them houses up to 15 people. The houses are all connected to Brown University, but the Watermyn house has only a few Brown students living there. A few of the people living there are young working professionals, and some of them go to RIC or CCRI. You can read more about the Waterman co-op houses here if you're interested.

Watermyn is known for hosting shows, where they bring in performers such as singers, instrumentalists, and poets to share their art. I have been to two shows at Watermyn, and both of them were extremely entertaining and even eye-opening at times. Many of the performers referenced things in their songs or their poetry that relates to both SCWAAMP and some of our readings.

One of the first performers I saw was a Watermyn resident, and a great poet. His poetry was extremely moving, and talked mostly about race. The poet gave a back story (in the form of a poem of course) of a few of his ancestors, some of who were slaves in the United States before the Civil war. The poem is introduced with his oldest known ancestor, and makes its way up to his parents and finally himself. Every single person mentioned in the poem struggles with racial issues. Many of these people were enslaved, many were discriminated against, and even the poet himself has been affected by racism in this country. This relates greatly to SCWAAMP because it clearly shows that whiteness is valued in our society and that racism is still a huge problem today.

Many of the performers referenced gender issues. Another poet talked about their experience with being misgendered in their poetry, and told a touching story about their best friend, the first person to get their gender right and accept them for who they were. This greatly relates to August's Safe Spaces, referencing acceptance of the LGBTQ society. Another performer sung many songs about being neither a girl or a boy, and expressed how much they felt that they did not really fit in to our society. They expressed both male and female love interests in their songs as well. I have seen this person perform many times, and they are one of the best performers I have ever seen. Everything this person does is so powerful and heartfelt, and really addresses gender issues and LGBTQ issues in a very up front kind of way. Another performer that I saw was a transgender female. In her songs, she talked about her constant struggle of trying to fit in as a transgender female. She seemed very confident and sure of who she was while performing, but she sang about how hard it was for her to find herself. Her lyrics were very touching and often quite sad, and they greatly showed the prevalence of SCWAAMP and made me think about Safe Spaces, just as the other performers who referenced gender issues did.

The community of both of these shows was very positive. Everyone who was there quietly watched the performers when they went on, and it was obvious that everyone clearly enjoyed the show. The performers often talked to the audience to get them involved, and the audience always participated, whether it was just talking to the performers or singing along to a catchy bit of their song. Everyone there was included, and no one was left behind. Strangers I had never met sat down next to me, had a conversation with me, or connected with me during a performance. It was a very 'no one gets left behind' kind of atmosphere, and everyone there was both accepting of all the people around them and accepted for who they were, no matter what. I greatly enjoyed both of the shows I saw at the Watermyn house, and I would definitely go back for yet another.

Pecha Kucha

For my Pecha Kucha I will be working with Lauren, as we worked together for our service learning and share a lot of our experiences. We are most likely going to focus on Kozol because there are a lot of instances in our service learning project where the students have shown that there is so much hope for those who live in poverty. We are also thinking of using Rodriguez as a tie-in, because most of the students are Spanish speakers and the teacher uses certain techniques to make sure that they learn as best as possible. We are still thinking about what other authors we can connect to because there are definitely more connections we can make. I feel like there is still a lot more work to do on the project, but I am feeling a lot more comfortable with it now.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Brown vs. Board of Education

I found this weeks assignment to be very interesting, and I really liked switching it up and watching some videos, reading a short article, and viewing a website! I enjoyed all three texts, and I feel that they all have a very similar argument. They all argued that racism is still present in our society today. They also argue that segregation is still present in schools, whether it is being done on purpose or not. I agree with both of these arguments, and I feel it is very important to bring these topics up. As Johnson says, it is important to say the words in order to address the problem. Racism is obviously still an issue today. As Wise says, just because we now have a black president doesn't mean that racism is completely solved. This is only a small step in solving the much bigger problem. As Wise said, people see educated blacks as an exception. Many people feel that blacks are less intelligent and more prone to crime. It is obvious to me that this isn't true, but this is definitely a problem in our society today.

When I was little, my mom used to read me a children's book about Ruby Bridges. Ruby was a young african american girl who went to a school of only whites not too long after segregation was ruled illegal. Every day, she was yelled at as she walked to school. White men and women of all ages gathered around the school each day awaiting her arrival so that they could yell mean things and even throw things at her. She would walk to school with a few security guards so that she would not be attacked by grown men and women who were extremely angry about the new rule. Although segregation and racism isn't as bad as it was back then, it definitely still exists. So may people opposed the desegregation of schools, and it is clear that there are still some people who feel this way today. It is very important to advocate for the desegregation of schools, as the article suggests, and over time, we can hopefully eliminate racism altogether.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

In the Service of What? by Kahne and Westheimer


"As Lawrence Cremin explains, these educators believed that, by manipulating the school curriculum, they could ultimately change the world" (4). 

This quote clearly states that some educators believe that service learning can cause change in the world. In our FNED class, I believe that our service learning projects are helping us to look at things differently. We are all working at very diverse schools with many low income students, bilingual students, IEP students, etc. It is great for us because not only are these kids learning from us, but also we are learning from them. I feel that working with these students opens up our minds and helps us learn how to help people while also allowing them to help us as well. If everyone participated in projects like this, then maybe we could ultimately change the world.

"Unfortunately, in many service activities, students view those they serve as clients rather than as a resource" (7). 

After thinking about it, I realized how true this quote is. In the past, I used to do community service just because I had to. There is a golf course right behind my house, and my eighth grade community service project was to give the golfers water and lemonade when they drove by. I sat outside all day with a cooler full of water and lemonade and I gave them out to golfers as they passed by. I didn't learn anything from the project at all. I talked to a few golfers, but they didn't really teach me anything. And although they obviously appreciated the water, it was clear that they didn't really need my help. I only did this project because I had to do something, and it was the easiest thing for me to do at the time.

I didn't realize that community service is more than that until I volunteered at Camp Sunshine. Camp Sunshine is a free camp run by volunteers for children with terminal diseases and their families. My mother suggested that we volunteer, and I decided that I would, as I like working with kids anyways, and I also needed community service hours for school. By the end of the experience, however, I had forgotten about the school hours. To me, the trip was about making bonds with kids who needed me most. I learned so much from these kids and their families about perseverance especially, but also just about simple things like happiness and love. Being able to help these kids was a privilege to me, and it made me a better person. It is so important to view those you serve as a resource, someone you can learn from. (If anyone wants to volunteer at Camp Sunshine, I really recommend it! I might be going again this summer. If you're interested, definitely talk to me!)

"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" (2). 

This quote explains the importance of service learning in the eyes of the one doing the service. There are so many benefits to helping others in a service project. Community service is about helping others, but it is also about learning from these people and becoming a better person because of it. There are so many benefits to the service learning program, and I am continuously seeing this as I continue my work at Mt. Pleasant High School.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us by Linda Christiansen


Like most people of my generation, I grew up watching lots of cartoons and Disney movies especially. As I have gotten older and I have re-watched them, however, I have started to see that they all have some pretty big faults. Cinderella and Aladdin were my two favorite Disney movies when I was a kid, and I used to watch them over and over again. Both of those movies may have influenced the way I am today.

One of my friends is reading the original story of Aladdin for her literature class. When she was telling me about it, I was very surprised to find out that the original story of Aladdin did not take place in the Middle East at all. The original story of Aladdin actually took place in China. To make sure this information was accurate, I looked it up, and indeed, the original story of Aladdin was Chinese. Why Disney decided to change the story to take place in the Middle East is beyond me. 

After looking up the origins of the Aladdin story, I was also very curious about the origins of Cinderella. I know that the Disney version was based off of the tale by the Grimm Brothers, but the original story was actually written in China as well, and takes place there. However, there have been more than five hundred versions of the story found in many different countries and cultures, so the fact that anyone would complain about a black Cinderella is ridiculous. Disney could of chosen to make Cinderella a person of color if they’d wanted to, but they did not.

For more race-bent princesses click here

The multicultural issue is obviously not the only thing wrong with Disney, as the reading explains. There are huge gender issues as well, both in heroes and in villains. The men are always made to be handsome, strong and smart, and the women are always dainty and beautiful. The villains are surprisingly mostly women, and I liked how the reading explained them as “…mean because they are losing their looks” (130). Too much of Disney’s concepts seem to be about looks, and they portray beauty the same way each time. I have never seen a plus size Disney princess, for instance. Disney is a huge follower of SCWAAMP, as they idealize straightness, whiteness, and maleness.

To end my post, I am going to say that Disney’s newer movies are making improvements. Brave features a girl who doesn’t want to find a prince, Frozen focuses on two sisters (I still haven’t seen it but am just going off of what I’ve heard!), and The Princess and the Frog features an African American prince and princess. However, there is still a lot of progress that could be made.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Safe Spaces" by August

When reading this article, I was able to relate it to so many current events that I have heard about, as well as personal experiences. That's why I chose to do a hyperlinks post.

I have a very close friend who is gender binary (or genderqueer), and they refer to themself as "they" or "their". It is sometimes very difficult to do this, as "they" is typically used as a plural pronoun. When I read the article, the author used the pronouns "ze" and "hir" to describe Erica. So, I did some research to see what the difference between these pronouns is. Turns out, there is no difference, and the only thing that determines which pronouns can be used is personal preference. I found an article online from The Washington Post attached to a video, and they both do a very good job to explain genderqueerness. Jacob, the person in the video, identifies themself as "they" and "their", but the article explains that others use "ze" and "hir" to identify themselves. As Jacob says, they doesn't have to be a man or a woman, they're just happy being Jacob.

Jacob Tobia

Unfortunately, not all transgender people feel as comfortable in their own bodies as Jacob does. There have been a lot of teen suicides due to LGBT issues. One of the most viral ones was the story of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender female who committed suicide. In her suicide note, Leelah thanks her friends for supporting her, but condemns her family for refusing to accept her or help her. They had taken her to Christian therapists to help her with her depression, but these therapists did nothing but hurt her, as they condemned her just as her parents did. Leela did state in her suicide note that her school was mostly supportive, but it is clear that they did not do enough. Leelah writes in her suicide note, "The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren't treated the way I was. They're treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something." Leelah brings up one of the issues that August talks about in her article. Schools need to stop ignoring the LGBT community and start to include them in their lessons. As August says, "Good intentions are not enough; trying to see all students the same is not enough. Being a fair-minded individual is not enough. We argue that educators must publicly commit to creating classroom climates of individuality and respect with the pledged cooperation of all students" (99). Including the LGBT community in the classroom is extremely important. 

Leelah Alcorn 

A Facebook page for Leelah called "Justice for Leelah Alcorn" has been created to help fight Leelah's cause and to honor her memory. It now has over 40,000 likes. 

There are so many LGBT members like Leelah who are not accepted for who they are. If educators were more open to addressing LGBT issues in the classroom, maybe things like this would change. Recently, I saw a short film called "Love is All You Need?", which I have posted below. The film is about 20 minutes long, but it is certainly worth watching. In the film, the culture of power is reversed so that homosexuality is the norm and therefore they hold all of the power. The film shows a little girl who starts to realize that she is different. She likes boys, where all of her friends like people of the same gender as themselves. Throughout the movie, she struggles with her parents and many school bullies. I won't give away the ending, but it is extremely powerful. It is meant to show people in power what people without power have to deal with in a way where they can relate strongly to the main character. This, of course, relates back to Delpit's "culture of power," showing that those with power are usually least aware of it. This short film certainly does a good job trying to spark awareness to this power difference. 

It sometimes seems like things are starting to get better already for the LGBT community. There are many celebrities who publicly identify themselves as part of the LGBT alliance including Ellen Degeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, and Raven Symone, and Laverne Cox. However, it is clear that there are still many problems that need to be addressed. I believe that August's article is one hundred percent correct in saying that educators need to be more inclusive of the LGBT community in the classroom, as well as address communication problems in the classroom that happen between children. One of the biggest issues in schools is bullying, and many LGBT students suffer from this. There is also the issue of LGBT slurs, which August talked about in her article. In order to be inclusive of the LGBT community, it is important that teachers speak up when they hear their students using these slurs, and make sure that they understand why it is wrong to use the words in the ways that they are using them, like Patrick did in the article. If we can do all of this, then hopefully, over time, the status of the LGBT community will change for the better. 

In conclusion, here's a catchy song I heard a while ago that greatly highlights the difference in power between heterosexuals and homosexuals. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Aria" by Richard Rodriguez


This article is very interesting to me. It must be very hard for children who speak other languages to learn to speak English well enough to develop their own “public individuality”. When I was in elementary school, we started to learn Spanish right away. We started in kindergarten by having class once a week for an hour. We learned simple words like colors, family members, and furniture. In fourth grade, we began to have class every other day for an hour. We began to learn more words and how to say simple sentences and phrases. In high school, we were told to take Spanish for at least two years. It ran as a regular class that met for an hour every day. We began to learn more complex sentences and verbs so that we could actually say things in Spanish and be grammatically correct. However, there was never a real need to be good at Spanish because everyone in the school was English speaking. By not learning the language, there was no real loss. Everyone already had their own “public individuality”. We did not need to speak Spanish in any of our other classes, or in our homes, with our parents or friends. For us, learning Spanish was just a privilege, whereas for a Spanish speaking family, learning English seems to be a necessity in order to live in the United States.

My Grandmother must have gone through a similar experience as a child. Her mother and father both immigrated to the United States from Armenia, both orphaned after the Armenian Genocide, and they both spoke Turkish. When she was younger, my grandmother spoke Turkish in her family, but when she went to school, she was required to speak English. Now, my grandmother considers English to be the language she knows best, as her family began to try to speak English with her once she was required to learn it. It must’ve been important to them that their child do well in school, even if it meant learning to use a new language at home. I never really thought about how difficult it must be to have to live life in a different language. This article really opened my eyes up to the difficulties of learning in a different language.

Me and my beautiful Grandmother 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation by Jonathan Kozol

There are so many great quotes in this article, but I was able to choose just three of my favorites:

“"The truth is, you get used to the offense. There's trashy things all over. There's a garbage dump three blocks away. Then there's all the trucks that come through stinking up the air, heading for the Hunts Point Market… Then we get illegal dumpers. People who don't live here come and dump things they don't want: broken televisions, boxes of bottles, old refrigerators, beat-up cars, old pieces of metal, other lovely things”” (6-7).
This woman is saying that not only is the Bronx an extremely poor neighborhood, but it is also made even worse by the people who look down upon it. People from other areas come to the Bronx just to dump their unwanted things there. Although the woman did say that they sometimes get rid of nice things that the people living there could use, they mostly get rid of old and broken things that just fill the area with more trash. The richer people are taking advantage of the poorer people by dumping their old trash on them, when their community is already having a hard enough time as it is.

“”Once you're in bed, if you call the nurse, you wait for half an hour. 'You know, Mrs. Washington, you've been here before,' they say. 'You know that we are understaffed.' How do they know, when someone calls, that you're not dying?”” (15).

This quote talks about the hospitals in the area. Each of the three nearby hospitals are terrible. The emergency room wait could take days, and even after you get a room, you are not treated right away. The hospital doesn’t seem to care about these people enough to hire more staff members in order for each patient to be treated in a timely manner. Maybe they just figure that the poor are not as important, or that they would not be able to help them anyway, or maybe they just do not have enough money to hire a bigger staff. Whatever the reason, it is unacceptable that the hospitals are in this horrible of a condition.

 ““I believe that what the rich have done to the poor people in this city is something that a preacher could call evil. Somebody has power. Pretending that they don't so they don't need to use it to help people- that is my idea of evil”” (23). 

This quote actually relates back to Delpit and her 5th aspect of power, which states that “Those with power are frequently least aware of- or lease willing to acknowledge its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence” (Delpit 24). The boy who says this is aware that he has no power, and that the rich have it better than he does. He also feels that the rich are pretending that they don’t have power and that they are evil. The rich people are refusing to acknowledge the existence of this power, and therefore are not doing anything to help the poor, even though they have the ability to. This quote really sums up how the poor feel about the rich and connects perfectly to Delpit’s 5th aspect of power.

Political Cartoons are cool. This one really highlights one of the points that Kozol brings up. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit

Delpit argues that a teacher has to exhibit some power over a classroom, but that they also cannot be too powerful. She says "The teacher cannot be the only expert in a classroom. To deny students their own expert knowledge is to disempower them" (32-33). I feel that this strongly sums up the main argument of the article. It is hard to find a good balance between being too controlling of your students and not teaching them at all. It is also hard to teach a class for every type of student that may be in the class. Students of middle class hold more power in a classroom than students of a more urban class. Teachers must learn to teach a class for all of their students. They cannot teach just for their privileged students, they have to create a balance that works for all of their students, and does not empower one group of students over another. 

Delpit also argues that there is a culture of power in the classroom. She lists five aspects of power and explains each one. The first states that there are issues of power in the classroom. The second says that there are rules for taking part in this power, and this is called the culture of power. The third says that these rules will always reflect the culture of those whom have the power to begin with. The fourth says that if you do not know the rules of power, then you will not be able to acquire power very easily, whereas if you do know the rules of power, you will be more likely to acquire power. Her last aspect of power states that those in power usually do not realize that they have power, whereas those not in power are more likely to realize that they do not have power. These five aspects of power really highlight Delpit’s main point, which is that teachers must have a balance in their classrooms and know how to teach for everyone.

Click here for a short bio on Lisa Delpit 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Introduction Post

Hi, I'm Jenna. I am a music education major at RIC. I am taking FNED 346 because I hope to become a music teacher. When I'm not in class, you can usually find me practicing saxophone, piano or guitar. I also love napping and listening to music, watching Netflix, and playing board games with friends. Over winter break, I spent a lot of time reconnecting with friends and family. I went to a Christmas party at my aunt's house and a New Years party at my friend's house. I was also hired by my mother to paint our bathroom, and it came out very good! I am very excited about this class and about working at Mt. Pleasant High School with the music teacher there!