Sunday, April 25, 2010

Talking Point 10

The article ‘Education is Politics’ by Ira Shor basically talks about how society should provide its children with a democratic education. Since the discussion included how society is a set up, it reminded me of Delpit's article on the 'Rules and Codes of Power'. This article was very long, but it was easy to understand. Here are some quotes that I thought were the key points made in this article:

1.) “Social and economic values, hence, are already embedded in the design of the institutions we work in, in the ‘formal corpus of school knowledge’ we preserve in our modes of teaching, and in our principles, standards, and forms of evaluation.” (13)
- This basically states that social and economic values are already in the teaching curriculum. This does not leave much room for change. Students just end up taking in what society has provided them through education, so that they can fit in with the rest of their community.

2.) “To socialize students, education tries to teach them the shape of knowledge and current society, the meaning of past events, the possibilities for the future, and their place in the world they live.” (14)
- Schools today only teach their students about the society of which they live and how to survive it – not to be creative and form their own knowledge. I agree with this quote - in school we are taught that education is a basic and important piece of succeeding in the future. We learn history to see how society has transformed and become better as the people and their governments join together. But what the students are not shown is that the government/political leaders are the ones that actually rule the nation, not us; although we could have the power if we join together. Really we are ‘A People And A Nation’ – as my political science textbook states.

3.) “Traditional schools thus prepare students to fit into an education and a society not run for them or by them but rather set up for and run by elites.” (20)
- Society is set up and run by people of a high class/ government. They set up the school system to bring up people that will contribute to their society and make it better. In the schools, the students are only given certain tasks (tasks that help them stay on society’s specially made track) – they memorize and do what they are told, while not questioning why they are doing what they’re doing or why is it necessary. It does not let us fully exercise all of our thoughts (some of our critical thinking is taken away). Schools teach kids that they live in a democratic society – where they hold rights and freedom - but it only is to a certain extent (schools are an example of that extent – being that they are pushed by their teachers, principles, and parents to follow the rules and do what the teacher says).

Education is politics, as Ira Shor states in his article. We should have schools that build on our creativeness and knowledge, not take it away. I've always questioned why school was a requirement and my answer was that it gave people the knowledge they needed to succeed in the world. We are brought up by our parents and society all telling us that school is the only way which we could actually live a very successful life style – when in actuality all we need are skills. We could be born with these skills, but we are not given the chance to see if we have them.

The things that I do actually teach myself are the things that actually stay in my mind forever. This leads me to believe that teaching yourself is the best form of education. If we are always taught what to do and how to do it, we are just being brainwashed into becoming something we weren’t born to be. We may only learn things for the time that we need it – for instance, we study to get a good grade on a test, then after the test we tend to forget what we had learned. School should be used as an aid, something that provides help when needed – we should not depend on our schools to teach us everything we know, it should only be used to expand our knowledge and creativeness.

This video gives a historical and modern look at schools and talks about a Democratic Education… relates to Ira’s article perfectly.

This website is all about a documentary called “Our Education. Their Politics” by Indoctrinate U (you can actually watch the whole documentary on Youtube)…

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Social Justice Event

“L.I.F.E (Live Inspire Fight Educate) is committed to help bring about a culture in which we can address common global concerns in a positive, holistic and transforming way and live together in peace with one another.” The L.I.F.E Conference on March 26 is the social justice event that I chose to attend. It was held all day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and included seven sessions, five of which I attended. The conference was based on the issues of diversity and our society’s way of life. Three major topics talked about were: privilege, stereotyping, and diversity.

The topic of privilege was brought up twice in the day, by Anthony Bailiey and Dr. Bogad - each time in a different sense.

Anthony Bailey’s session was about understanding privilege. Each of us shared what we thought privilege was and together we tried to figure out a basic definition. Some words that came up during the discussion were: responsibility, opportunity, rights, discrimination, permission, and automatic. By the end of the session we felt the best way to describe privilege is by saying it is the better side of a comparison to everyone else. It relates to the statement Johnson had made in his article called Privilege, Power, and Difference: “Privilege is always at someone else’s expense and always exacts a cost.” (10)

Dr. Bogad’s session was more about privilege and power in general. She had discussed the different types of power that make up today's modern society: hegemony, disciplinary, and interpersonal power. When discussing this, a Caucasian woman had actually commented and said how the term ‘white privilege’ really makes her angry. Earlier that day, she had explained that because of the difficult life she had growing up and raising a family on her own, the term goes right to heart. She felt that ‘white privilege’ does pertain to every single white person. I understand where she’s coming from but I feel that if she learned more about white privilege and its existence then she would be a little less offensive with the term. As Johnson would say: “…if we dispense with the words we make it impossible to talk about what’s really going on and what it has to do with us.” (2) I would also relate her reaction to McIntosh’s article titled White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack because there’s a chance that she is carrying around this knapsack unconsciously, but I can’t speak for her.

Here’s an example of McIntosh’s invisible knapsack theory…

One activity had to do with difference. There were four big pieces of paper each labeled something different: masculine, feminine, black, and white. What happened was, everyone went to each paper and wrote down their thoughts on each topic, what came to mind when they heard the term. Here are some examples of what came to mind:

Masculine – dominant, aggressive, assertive, patriarchy, strength, power, embracing femininity as well

Feminine – beauty, strength, curvy, soft, pretty, sexy, powerful, dainty, caring, sensitivity, weak, delicacy, perseverance, seeing through fear, yin and yang, typical female roles (teacher, nurse, mother)

Black – hope, color, first, strength, beautiful, solid, awesome, struggle, Martin Luther, why is black and white listed here? what about everyone else?

White – privileged, strong, powerful, snobby, girly, weak
After looking over the lists I noticed many different perspectives, both negative and positive, on each topic. What I would like to know is who said what. What did the men say about the women, and vice versa? What did the white people say about blacks, and vice versa?

This discussion on stereotyping made me think about Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer’s article, ‘In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning’. I felt that maybe these stereotypical views would have changed and combined together if everyone had gotten some experience in each other’s world. As said in their article: “In so doing, we create opportunities for changing our understanding of the other and the context within which he or she lives.” (5) Kahne and Westheimer also talks about the importance of reflection - talking about their opinions and experiences – which is something we did as a group at this event, but without having any real insight or experience on the topic.

The people at the conference made the event very diverse by itself. There was a mixture of races and each presenter at the event was of a different nationality: Caucasian, African American, Native American, Korean, and Hispanic. I believe that diversity is key to having a better future because it gives the opportunity for insight into another’s world. By having presenters of different ethnic groups, the audience was given many different views on each topic.

Since the event took place at Rhode Island College, where there is a large and very diverse student body, I began to ask myself if this event would have turned out differently if it took place at a college where Caucasian’s took up the schools ratio. Throughout the day we had many group discussions that included the opinions of those of various backgrounds. This event was done at a very diverse school, what would be the turn out of this event otherwise? If most of the audience had been white, would many of the opinions actually turn out to be very similar to each other?

This is Christopher Johnson's Facebook page… here you can read many of his poems and see a video reciting one of them.

I liked this event a lot because they really got the audience involved and thinking. Everyone got to share their opinions about all the matters brought up. It was a very active event, being that they had games and activities where everyone could get up, move around, meet new people and express their feelings. I also liked how they brought about different topics with poems. They had a couple of really good poets that shared their views and insight on the different issues we had talked about. It was a really fun and productive event, a lot like FNED class.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Talking Point 9

This article, Schooling Children With Down Syndrome by Christopher Kliewer, talked about why children with disabilities and non-disabilities should join together in classrooms all over the country. Because people stereotype and judge without any knowledge or understanding upon the matter, the people being judged tend to be put at a huge disadvantage from the rest of society. As said on the first page of the article, the challenge is to erase the negative thoughts and attitudes towards people with disabilities so that they can be treated like normal people.
Here are some quotes that I believe were most important in this article:

1.) “[Community] requires a willingness to see people as they are - different perhaps in their minds and in their bodies, but not different in their spirits or their willingness and ability to contribute to the mosaic of society. It requires the ‘helper’ to have the humility to listen for what the person says he or she needs. Also, the ‘helper’ must see that the interaction ‘helps’ both ways.” (73)
- Don’t you see a connection with the words 'communication' and 'community'? Without proper interaction with the people that surround us, how are we supposed to improve the world in which we live? We have to open our eyes, ears, and hearts so that we can provide the necessary help for a better society. It is our job as citizens of this country to accept difference and use our understanding and knowledge on the different issues so that we can become what we claim to be – a world in which all are created equal and are given equal opportunity.

2.) “You can get a sense of where a kid is compared to where people think they should be when using developmental guidelines.” (77)
- I think it’s a great idea to have guidelines; it is a very critical, important, piece of information regarding a child’s success in class. This way the teacher is able to supply facts and hard evidence that a child really needs extra help in a particular area – so the teacher and student can concentrate more on one subject than another. Or maybe a child may need to be taught a different way or maybe they just need more attention. By providing guidelines, the teacher can form goals for each of the kids which they can try to accomplish throughout the year.

3.) “The presence of a thoughtful mind has been linked to patterns of behavioral and communicative conformity associated with competence in logical-mathematical thinking and linguistic skills.” (79)
- This statement is true. We look at behavior and communication patterns to judge whether someone is smart or have a disability. i guess you can say that our society is pretty prejudice because we pre judge and exclude people who are disabled from the rest of society.

Basically the article points out that communication is key. Just by listening and understanding an individual that is different from us, we are able to learn and become better people. We are given the opportunity of insight. Both parties, disabled and non-disabled, should be able to come together and learn with and from each other. We all have the ability to learn, even if we have a disability.

This video talks about a school that provides general classes to disabled children…

This website provides a lot of information regarding educating children that have down syndrome…

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Talking Point 8

Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work by Jean Anyon talked about the different types of education students receive according to their social rank. The schools divided into four different types: working class, middle-class, affluent professional, and executive elite. Here are some quotes that I felt were important to this article:

1.) “…have argued that knowledge and skills leading to social power and regard (medical, legal, managerial) are made available to the advantaged social groups but are withheld from the working classes to whom a more practical curriculum is offered.” (1)
- I felt like this article did not prove this statement. It just gave a lot of examples, when it really should have given more insight on the curriculum the children were receiving from the teacher's, rather than discussing what they did and how they did it. From my experience, everyone is basically given the chance to get the skills and knowledge leading to social power – it is just the student’s interest to grasp that opportunity and to take advantage of their future. It’s the teacher's job to provide them with the necessary tools needed to be successful both in and out of the classroom.

2.) “We use ESS (Elementary Science Study). It’s very good because it gives a hands-on experience –so they can make sense out of it. It doesn’t matter whether it [what they find] is right or wrong. I bring them together and there’s value in discussing their ideas.” (8)
- I believe that the children of today learn better and more easily with hands on activities because it’s hard to forget something that you physically did. For example, I am a kinesthetic learner (hands on learner) – I tend to understand the material more easily and get better grades, when my teachers have me do a lot of activities or projects. Also, I feel that having discussions are very important – by discussing ideas people can help each other see how something really can or can’t work. I don’t believe that a teacher should just say something is right or wrong, they should dig deeper into the student and ask them why they believe something is so.

3.) “School experience, in the sample of schools discussed here, differed qualitatively by social class.” (12)
- After reading this article I don’t feel that it is the social class, but the teachers who make the schools the way they are. The teachers are the ones that provide the education and methods of teaching. I believe that everything depends on the teacher you have, considering where they attended college and their background. I have experienced many of the things described in this article from all the "classes," so I don't really see it coming from a certain community or social class - I find the problem to be coming from the teacher's themselves.

Overall, the article was okay. I felt like it gave too much examples and not exactly enough information about the curriculum the children were receiving. It said at the beginning, that it was going to talk about the different types of education and how each social class had its advantages and disadvantages in receiving the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in life – but I felt like Jean did not really prove her point.

Here’s a video that gives a little more information on social class and education…

Here’s another article I found called “Social Class Determines Child’s Success”…

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Random Blog 2

*This pertains to today’s discussion on Kenneth Clark’s doll experiment.

Everyone stereotypes, we just need to find a way to change people’s perceptions. I did not realize how much I stereotyped until I took this class. I don’t do it on a regular basis, but when my identity is at stake that is when it usually comes up. I want people to think that I’m a strong, caring, independent person and when I feel someone is trying to prove me otherwise I tend to put my guard up. Here are some examples:

- I don’t like people to say that I’m a girl, I prefer to be called a tom boy. When I hear the word 'girl' some things that come to mind are prissy and weak.

- I don’t like when people say that I am white skinned; although my skin is white, I sometimes hate to admit it. When I was a toddler and thought of white people, some things that came to mind were: fancy, upper class, ignorant, and overly privileged. Because I have grown up since then, my views have changed and I'm not as offended. I’ve always thought of myself as black, after all: I’m mixed, my father is dark skinned, most of my friends were/are of color, and you were accepted more easily in my neighborhood if you were not white; I grew up in the projects where most of the people were of color.

 Yet, my sister who is a little darker than me, use to want to be considered white when she was a toddler. She thought of the white girls as 'pretty'. She use to always want to wear white stockings to make believe she had white skin. And she always said how she wanted to look like the blonde, curly haired white girl on the front of the package; my sister had pin-straight black hair.

- In the videos presented in class today, all the children thought of white girls as the prettier ones – but I always thought of Hispanic and African American girls as the prettier ones. After watching tons of hip hop music videos with guys always going after the Hispanic or African girl, I tended to think that these types of women were better looking. I am mixed, but by looking at my appearance you may think of me as only Hispanic. I love when people think I’m Hispanic because I think Hispanic people are pretty – just like some African American girls want to be considered white because they think their pretty.

It’s sad that we live in a world of discrimination and stereotyping. Just the other day my grandmother was talking about my aunt who is white skinned but mixed and mostly of African American descent. Back then, when my aunt was in school, my grandmother had to fill out an identification card; if in any case she had gone missing. She had two options to either put that her child was black or white. Because of her race, my grandmother put black – but she later felt bad about it, thinking that if her child went missing the police would be looking for a girl of color, when in actuality she appears white. Since then things have changed, and more options are put on all applications.

Overall, I think that stereotyping originates from your background, lifestyle, what you have seen, and what you have heard. It is going to be very difficult to overcome such a broad topic because everyone has to accept the thought of physical and mental change, especially the media.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Talking Point 7

There was very little information online discussing the ‘gender and education’ topic currently at hand. After about an hour of research, I had come across about three different issues concerning ‘gender and education’ in today’s society:

Stereotyping Genders:
To stereotype, is to categorize. What seems to be the issue here is that people tend to categorize what a female or male should/should not do. Stereotyping can deeply affect the life of a child. It can make them feel inferior to the other gender, thinking that they can’t do something because of their sex.

Here is a great example of stereotyping genders…

Female Domination:
An issue that popped up during the process of my research, which was kind of surprising, was that females are becoming more successful in school than males. People are questioning why this is, and many ideas have popped up. The video below discusses the many reasons why and what we should do about it…

Gender Equality:
Mostly I found articles about gender equality taking place in higher education. Looking at the enrollments and types of degrees students were awarded, men and women seem to be at equal levels. One issue that exits as of now is that Hispanic women seem to be more dominant in those particular areas than men.

- These two articles talk about the gender gaps stabilizing… Article 1 and Article 2

- This article talks about the ‘boy crisis’…

After finding information about women “outpacing” men and then gender gaps stabilizing, I feel confused about what’s really going on. People have their opinions and that’s exactly what I got, a variety of opinions and little data to go by.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Talking Point 6

The website titled “Separate Is Not Equal,” and the video, “Between Barack And A Hard Place,” both talks about having equal opportunity.

In the video, Tim Wise was trying to explain how much society has not really changed since the integration movement had taken place. We still have some of the same issues that were being fought against during segregated times, some in which the website even mentions. I believe that we have accomplished our goal of being an integrated society, but with integration does not come equal opportunity. It may seem that racism does not exist in today's modern world because we have laws against it, we haven't experienced it, or it is not in plane sight, but it is here and it does take place.

The website shows how being separate does not mean equal, but the video shows how being integrated does not mean equal as well. Just because whites and blacks attend the same school, does not mean that all blacks are going to get the same amount and kind of assistance that a white student would receive. It’s said that the U.S. is all about equal opportunity, but still there is a such thing as privilege, power, and the right to hold opinion. Due to this, people of color are not given the same freedoms as whites.

Obama becoming president is not something that shows America that racism no longer exists. Tim Wise believes that racism 2.0 took place during the elections. Racism 2.0 is when a person deals or feels comfortable with another who is multi-racial (mixed races). Racism 1.0, which is discriminating against another race, was defeated in the election phase. But no one knows for sure if it is going to be defeated each and every time there is an election or a similar situation at hand. After all, at one of McCain's campaigns in Pennsylvania, there was a big controversy about Obama being in office.

Also, as history shows us - nothing happens right away, everything requires a series of events before a big change occurs. Obama becoming president is just one of the big events that will get our country one step closer to becoming a non-racist society.

Tim Wise states: "We are no where near a post-racial America… The proof of racial equity will be the day that people of color can be as mediocre as white folks who still get hired."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Random Blog 1: Charity vs. Change

I liked the way our group described the differences of charity and change; using Ms. Bogad's terms. We described it basically as the ‘band-aid solution’ (charity) and the ‘permanent solution’ (change). I believe that the terms can be very similar or distinct, depending on the situation at hand. The class described it in a very broad/general sense. Chairty is basically giving back to your community. Change uses the acts of looking at a problem and finding creative ways to solve it, resulting in a long term effect on the community. Although they both have very distinct defintions, I believe that they can relate and that charity can turn into change. Because of this, it is difficult to organize many thoughts on the two terms. Overall, I belive that the comparison between the two has to pertain to the actual impact the situation or individual(s) got as a result of the service.

Here is what our group had in our Ven-Diagram:::

Charity: giving money/ donation, band-aid solution, materialistic, short term, and it doesn’t change the pattern of the government, it changes the individual
Change: providing education, permanent solutions, intangible, long term, and usually change is in political, economic, or social patterns on a broader scale - just doing as much as you can to make a difference
Similarities: involve pity and fixing

Here is a video called "Disney’s Friends For Change":

This video is promoting both change and charity. Change is brought about by each individual doing something small, and when they join together the change happens. The charity part is the money that is going to be used to fund projects that will hopefully help the planet in the future. As they say: “Everything counts…. Every action creates a chain reaction…”

This website shows a little more about how charity can make a difference, whether it be short or long term…

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Talking Point 5

Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer wrote the article, “In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning.” This article was basically about how service learning can be such an educational, personal, and life changing experience. They try to explain that service learning can benefit the volunteers and the world, and that it is not just charity work. In the service of what is the question, what they (the authors) are trying to do, is answer it. Here are three quotes that I felt were the main points of this article:

1.) “…service learning can improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing rich educational experience for students at all levels of schooling.” (2)
- I feel that service learning is something that everyone should try to take part in. Using the community as a classroom is a great idea because it gets people involved and it shows that they can make a difference not only in others lives, but in theirs as well. Service learning gives its volunteers experience and insight on different situations which they may not recognize or deal with on a day-to-day basis.

2.) “Students tutor, coach softball, paint playgrounds, and read to the elderly because they are interested in people, or because they want to learn a little about poverty and racism before they head out into the waiting corporate world… We do not volunteer “to make a statement,” or to use the people we work with to protest something. We try to see the homeless man, the hungry child, and the dying woman as the people they are, not the means to some political end.” (10)
- Service learning is not just charity work, it is a way for people to observe, discover, learn, help, and achieve. Using the world as a classroom helps students to actually see and take part in reality. Getting the children involved in their own communities teaches them that they don’t have to be an adult, super hero, or president to make a difference. It is a way to see the world as it is, and it may give them the confidence to help them make it a better place.

3.) “Citizenship requires that individuals work to create, evaluate, criticize, and change public institutions or programs.” (10)
- Service learning is a great opportunity to change our understanding or perspective on life. It also can help our country become one step closer to having peace on earth. But if the government forces its people to do community service – then that means they are practically forcing change onto its people. This does not leave much room for opportunity or for people to give up their time with open eyes and hearts in order for them to help others and learn. It won’t be volunteering, it will just be people at work with no pay. This is where the volunteers look at the people they are serving as “clients rather than a resource.”

Here is an Ad featuring President Obama, saying how volunteering can make a difference…

This is a great website to find out more about volunteering and how it has made a difference in the world of which we live…

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Talking Point 4

In Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us by Linda Christensen, she talks about how the media has affected the way we think and live. We are always learning, no matter what age, our mind continues to grow as our body does. And what surrounds us, is what influences our life and future decisions/opinions. Something that is constantly around us, everywhere we go, even in our own homes, is the media. It practically takes over our lives unknowingly. Because it is something that has always been around, we become use to it, forget it’s there, and our minds begin to get unconsciously taken over. Three quotes that I felt pointed out the main points of this article are:

1.) “…When we read children’s books, we aren’t just reading cute little stories, we are discovering the tools with which a young society is manipulated.” (126)
- Omar is right. We are introduced and brought up on the media starting at a very early age. The age of two is the time when we as human beings learn and absorb the most. It is also the time when we start to talk and bother our parents with “constantly trying to be happy.” Two is the stage at which our parents usually pop in a movie, such as Disney, so that we can shut up, keep quiet, and give them a break. And those movies that we watch show and give us an idea of how society is and ought to be.

2.) “No one wants to admit that they’ve been handled by the media. They assure me that they make their own choices and the media has no power over them – as they sit with Fubu, Nike, Timberlands or whatever the latest fashion rage might be.” (128)
- It is hard to say, or to admit, that your whole life was practically a set up. Everything you thought that made you unique and such an individual is probably what society has made up for you and your generation. So many questions begin to pop up about your own identity, like: Who am I? Is this who I want to be or who someone else wants me to be?

3.) “Through critiques and the discussions that follow, they are helping to transform each other – each comment or observation helps expose the engine of our society, and they’re both excited and dismayed by their discovery…. I want to develop their critical consciousness, but I also hope to move them to action.” (134)
- By reading this article Linda wants us to become conscious, or aware of, the different ways that the media has affected us. She hopes that our discoveries will help motivate us to do something about it, so that future generations will not be unconsciously abused by the media.

Here is a video showing how Disney has portrayed the roles of different types of people:

To get more information on how the media affects the minds and lives of children, visit this website

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Talking Point 3

Dennis Carlson brought up a lot of good points, so many that it was hard for me to pick a few to talk about. In his article called Gayness, Multicultural Education, and Community, he spoke about how those three topics relate to one another. Here are three quotes that I thought were most important to his article:

1.) “Like communists states, they have been based on the presumption that if students in the school community can be kept shielded from “bad influences” and provided only “positive” representations of community life, that they be molded into “good,” “well-adjusted” citizens and workers.” (239)
- A school is only part of a child’s life, they cannot watch over their students 24/7. When children are not in school, they have the media and surrounding people to help educate them on many different subjects. For example, children learn about sex at a very early age because it is something that is seen and talked about throughout the media. Schools do not educate their children about sex until they reach some point in middle school, when it is sometimes too late to be talked about. Schools can only help shape a person’s life, not actually shape it for them.

2.) “Be yourself no matter who or what you are… The problem with “Be yourself,” is that it fails to account for the fact that the “self” is at least partially an historical, cultural, and discursive production, which set limits upon, even if they do not determine, one’s 'possibilities of existence'.” (242)
- Sometimes you cannot be yourself because people judge and end up shutting you out from the rest of society. One of my friends asked another one of her friends: “Are you a lesbian? Because if you are, I’m probably not going to hang around you as much.” The girl responded with “No”, but who knows the actually truth except for herself. She could have been lying about her own identity because she didn’t want to be badly gossiped about and/or lose one of her very good friends. So really, being yourself only pertains to those who are actually “normal”.

3.) “…we have a responsibility as public educators in a democratic society to engage them in a dialogue in which all voices get heard or represented and in which gay students and teachers feel free to “come out” and find their own voices.” (252)
- I couldn’t agree with this quote more. The more attention a certain situation gets, that is positive, the more use to/common the situation becomes. This way, it is less controversial and more easily talked about and understood. For example, liking someone of the opposite sex is something that we consider to be ordinary, but liking someone of the same sex is not, which makes it harder for people to just come right out and say who they truly are.

Here is a video that gives some opinions and facts about gay education…

This website talks about the organization GLSEN, whom is trying to promote/educate schools on sexuality… (click on 'Mission & History' of GLSEN once you've reached the website)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Talking Point 2

Aria, by Richard Rodriguez, was a great article. I liked the fact that it was in story format and in one person’s point of view. In every other article read for class, many examples/ perspectives were given, but in this particular article the reader could focus on one. The technique used could help the reader get more of an in depth look into what the author is trying to say. Here are 3 quotes that I felt were most important in this article:

1.) “… I came to believe what had been technically true since my birth: I was an American citizen.” (36)
- This would be a part of public individuality. Richard did not consider himself an American because he felt as though he did not belong. This was due to him not being able to speak and understand society’s language, English. Later becoming confident in himself, he found a part of who he was, an American.

2.) “We remained a loving family, but one greatly changed.” (36)
- Richard was Americanized. Since he learned English at an early age he had forgotten his native language, something that held his family together and kept them unique from the rest of society. In order for Richard and his siblings to have become successful in the country of which they lived, they had to transform and become something who they were not. Because the parents were not getting any help to improve their English, the relationship with their children began to deteriorate. This goes to show how not only the child is affected, but the family as well. With the language barrier separating them from communicating, Richard’s mother became “restless” while his father became increasingly “shy”.

3.) “They do not seem to realize that there are two ways a person is individualized.” (38-39)
- Those two ways are private individuality (which is who you are at home and with those who you are close to) and public individuality (which is who you are when you are around strangers or people who you want to impress). It is important for people to know their native language because it is a part of who they are. But, it is also important that they know the language of their own society because it is the language that it runs on; their primary language. We need to find a way in which non-Americans can learn English without having to take away their private individuality, and native language. Instead of turning the children bilingual we are turning them into plain old Americans.

Here is a video given the history of bilingual education:

This website gives some statistics based on non-Americans…

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Talking Point 1

In the article ‘White Privilege’ by Peggy McIntosh, it is described how many people are never really taught about white privilege and how it automatically comes with their race. Whites do not acknowledge that they have an advantage over other ethnicities, and many do not see how they are a part of what makes our society racist. White privilege is invisible to those of white decent because they are taught, or brought up, to look at life from a white point of view. The way we are taught helps us to become who we are and how we view the world. As stated on page 2: “… whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow ‘them’ to be more like ‘us’.”

1.) “The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one’s life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.” (4)
- I couldn’t agree with this quote more. We know that there is a situation, but we don’t try to solve the problem or find its origin. We basically look at it and hope that it solves itself. By pointing out that there is a problem of racism in the U.S., we are admitting that we are not who we present ourselves to be. We call ourselves the United Nations, and yet we discriminate and don’t offer equal opportunity to all human beings.

2.) “In my class and place, I did not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth.” (4)
- Our schools teach us the physical and verbal abuses of racism. The media is what teaches about stereotyping and how it affects our society, which eventually affects us as individuals.

3.) “…we need to do more work with identifying how they actually affect our daily lives.” (5)
- Many people feel as though racism does not exist in today’s society and that is mainly because they are blind to how it affects them on a day-to-day basis. Non-whites are the prey’s of racism. It sneaks up, violates, and eventually destroys our lives. Schools point out certain aspects which you, as a student, are brought to focus upon. Racism lessons at school, consists of its own history and the people that provide the actions of abuse. As the children of today, and future leaders of tomorrow, we need to know about how racism affects us in modern society. This is how come many are blind to racism and cultural power.

This video/audio basically talks about racism & white privilege:

Here are a few videos that give examples of racism...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Let Me Introduce Myself....

Hi! I’m Laisha. My second semester here at RIC has started out a little rocky, but I am standing strong and pushing on to reach all my goals. Every day I have to remind myself to just live in the present and not think too much about the future or I'll go bazurk. What keeps me going on a day-to-day basis is my love for dancing. When I’m out and away from the school I am constantly busting out moves. I go to (hip hop) dance class twice a week, perform every so often, and practice 24/7. I am definitely not the best dancer, but I am pretty good and no one can tell me different (and no one ever has). I love a challenge sooo... do you want to battle with me? :D