Sunday, March 27, 2016

"Literacy With an Attitude" by: Patrick J. Finn

"Literacy With an Attitude"

By: Patrick J. Finn

Extended Comments 

     This weeks reading I found a little confused; so I chose to do an extended comment post on Katherine's blog. Katherine connected the article to Lisa Delpit's reading we did. Looking back on Finn's piece, there was a lot of Delpit coming through. For instance, he states, "'good students' were obedient students, who followed orders." (Finn 4) In most school systems children who are "told explicitly the codes and rules of power" are the most successful (Delpit). Katherine also related the text to how different children will respond to different speech patterns. This is why students need to have an adaptive teacher in a classroom. 

     In Finn's piece he uses terms like executive elite, affluent professional, middle class, and working class to talk about how a child's family effects their education. He gives the example of how five schools all in New Jersey, and predominately white, all share the same text books and other class room materials. Upon interviewing the teachers, we find that the "working class" teachers often times will skip pages because they are "too hard." So although all these classrooms have the same requirements and materials, the working class students are receiving a lesser education. There are many factors in a students education and Finn is focusing a lot on what's happening within, as well as outside of the classroom. 

This is why students need a flexible, understanding teaching to help them deal with t
heir feelings and who they are so there is more success in the classroom. 

Questions-Comments-Points to share:
     I think Finn's article was kind of all over the place. I didn't really didn't start to understand until a few paragraphs in, and even then I was still unsure of his main point. I relied a lot of reading other people's blogs this week. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The American Life Episodes 562/563

"The American Life Episodes 562 and 563"

"Separate and Unequal" by: Bob Herbert 

  • Segregation: (n) the institutional separation of an ethnic, racial, religious, or other minority group from the dominant majority. 
  • Responsibility: (n) reliability or dependability, especially in meeting debts or payments. 
  • Resource: (n) a source of supply, support, or aid especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed. 
  • Integrate: (v) to give or cause to give members of all racial, religious, and ethnic groups an equal opportunity to belong to, be employed by, be customers of, or vote in (an organization, place of business, city, state, etc.)
"One mother asked why residents did not get to vote on letting in Normandy kids..." -562
     When hearing this part of the story it reminded me of the Kozol piece we read when discussing institutional/ individual acts. Specifically when we talked about the incinerator being sent to Mott Haven instead of the East Side of Manhattan. The people on the East Side were from a richer community and had the resources to come together to vote against the incinerator. The government then placed it in Mott Haven because they had no way to refuse. "Amazing Grace" was written by Kozol in 1995 dealing with this idea of privilege because of resource. The radio broadcast from 2015 is dealing with the same issue. The middle/upper class white community didn't want the lower class black children being apart of their school system; and they were appalled that they weren't even given the chance to vote against it. In a ten year span this idea of segregation between classes and races hasn't really changed. Some groups of people still feel as if they have more rights or more worth than others. 

" crazy white kids are or how much freedom they get to be crazy." -563

     In this part a teenager named Kiana was noticing some students in her school that were white. This  is unusual because Kiana's school is mostly Latino and Black. Although these students weren't the usual faces, she was eager to go and meet them. Kiana then went on to go to a most white college in a small town. She explains to the reporter that she was eager to find out what being "white wasted" was. The quote above reminded me of our SCHWAAMP activity in class. Being white is very much valued in today's culture that even having a good time is related to being white. She gives an example of how at a football game against a rivaling school people were flashing their butts in order to taunt the fans from the opposing schools. While everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves (including Kiana herself) there was still a hint of white privileged. No one was question the crude behavior of the fans because their skin color was white. This was a great example of how white people are held to a different standard compared to other races. 

     These two radio shows as well as the article by Bob Herbert had a lot of really great connection to the texts we have worked on in class. I feel like there was a lot of Johnson in both radio shows. The first one actually says how "we won't talk about it (race)." They found that integration in schools really does help black children in schools to succeed; but no one is willing to put the effort in to it. The second radio show also picked up a lot of Johnson by using Kiana as an example. Kiana wasn't afraid to push the comfort zone and to question issued of race and privilege. She went to a high school where only 10% of the population was white. When she went to a college where 75% were white she said she was very shocked at the friendliness of them. People would wait a couple minutes just to hold the door. She also mentioned that these acts also made her hesitant because she wasn't sure if they were genuine. Kiana wasn't afraid to admit to this and talk about it though. 

The color of someone's skin should not define their privileged. Children in poverty stricken areas tend to have a higher number of black and hispanic people and white children tend to hand more opportunities in schools. However, it is not the duty of either race to "fix" one another. It should be an equal partnership of people working together. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

"In The Service of What?" by: Joseph Kahne

"In The Service of What?"

By: Joseph Kahne


     The main idea of this piece was to discuss the different ways that service learning affects both parties involved. For instance, in the beginning of the article the authors give examples of two different classrooms that participated in service learning projects. Mr. Johnson's class each individually went and worked on different projects. In contrast, Ms. Adam's class worked as a whole to raise money and help a specific group of people. The rest of the article discussed how these experiences are so different but also very much alike. When reading I found myself finding benefits in each type of help. The students in Mr. Johnson's class I think they really benefitted from the experience. This type of work helps students explore different types of careers and experience all different life styles; while also helping out those in need. Ms. Adam's class however I think is creating more of a difference towards those who need help. Her class raised money and created different advertisements to help two homeless shelters. By coming together I think the class makes a greater difference in the lives of others. This brought me back to the initial question of "in the service of what?" Are people participating in service learning because they feel they have a sense of duty or are they doing it for the greater good for those in need. 

When more and more people come together to work towards a cause, a greater impact can be made. For example, the Gloria Gemma Foundation is very well known for their work towards breast cancer.

Questions-Comments-Points to share:
     I think the service learning that we do in class is mostly for our sake. We definitely do think that we are making a difference in the classroom in both helping the teachers and the students; however I think there is a level of experience that is most valued when we go. Much like Mr. Johnson's class we are learning about different ways of living as well as making a difference while we're there. Reading this made me think of Kristof's article about Rick Goff. Maybe if he had to opportunity to go out and help others, or have others come into the school to support him, he may have had a better school experience.