Sunday, November 27, 2011

Talking Points #10

Quotes: Empowering Education
Author: Ira Shor

The article this week was "Empowering Education" by Ira Shor and it was about politics and socialization in a schooling system. In the first chapter, "Education is Politics" it talks exactly what the title of the chapter says, education and politics. In the second and final chapter, "Problem-Posing", it talks about what a "problem-poser" teacher is and how effective the style is.

1) "In a curriculum that encourages student questioning, the teacher avoids a unilateral transfer of knowledge. She or he helps students develop their intellectual and emotional powers to examine their learning in school, their everyday experience, and the conditions in society. Empowered students make meaning and act from reflection, instead of memorizing facts and values handed to them." 

I believe this quote is stating that in a curriculum where the teachers encourage students to be involved and ask questions, they are also avoiding a "transfer of knowledge". Not only does the teacher help the students learn in school but he/she also helps them learn in everyday experiences and in the society. Lastly, empowered students actually learn what they have been taught instead of just memorizing it and turning it in for the grade.

2) As a social philosophy, problem-posing focuses on power relations in the classroom, in the institution, in the formation of standard canons or knowledge, and in society at large. It considers the social and cultural context of education, asking how student subjectivity and economic conditions affect the learning process. Student culture as well as inequality and democracy are central issues to problem-posing educators when they make syllabi and examine the climate for learning. 

This quote stood out to me. I think it means that "Problem-Posing" has to do with everything like the way empowered students does. This way of teaching also teaches the children instead of making them memorize things.

3) "A critical and empowering class begins by examining its subject matter from the students' point of view and by helping students see themselves as knowledgeable people. I wanted them to take, from day one, a critical attitude towards their knowledge, their writing habits, and their education."

This quote makes total sense. A good way of teaching is finding the students point of views and hearing their input. This will also show themselves that they are knowledgable people and they need to see their attitude towards their knowledge, and education. I think if they can succeed with all of these credentials, they will have an easier and more fun time learning.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Talking Points # 9

Quotes: Citizenship in School- Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
Author: Christopher Kliewer

1. "I started to notice that I didn't like the classes I was taking called special education. I had to go through special ed. almost all my life. I wanted to take other classes that interested me. I had never felt so mad, I wanted to cry (Peterson, 1994, p. 6)."

This quote makes me sad. I feel like the teachers and administration didn't let Mia voice her opinion and chose her own classes. They made her take special ed. classes because she had a disability which I think is wrong. I think that if a student thinks he or she can succeed in a regular class, they should at least be able to try it.

2. "The movement to merge the education of children with and without disabilities is based on the belief that to enter the dialogue of citizenship does not require spoken, or indeed outspoken, language."

This quote is interesting to me. At first I didn't understand it, until I kept on reading. The next line explains it a little more. It means that communication is built on one's ability to listen deeply to others. Therefore, you MUST listen to someone and hear their opinion in order for it to be successful.

3. "It is seen by the area school districts as an exemplary program for all young children, induding those with what are defined as the most severe disabilities."

I was so happy when I read this part of the text. I felt like the couple paragraphs before this the author wasn't focusing on children with disabilities. This quote is saying that the school Shoshone School is educating 10-16 children of all sorts of ages and with all sorts of ability levels, which means they educated children with disabilities and children without disabilities in the same classroom. I think that the children with disabilities feel a lot better knowing that they are in a classroom with children without disabilities. I also think that they feel as normal as they can in a classroom with children without disabilities.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this article. I feel like it will help me down the road because I am majoring in Special Education and this was all about Special Education. 


My sister and I at Qualifiers where we took home second by .02 points!

My sister and I at Regionals where we got 3rd place! Wish we were going to Disney but my team did an amazing job anyway!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Promising Practices :)

When I first heard that we were required to go to a seminar (Promising Practices), I was very unhappy about it, especially because I had to be there for 7:30 am! I also was very upset that after I spent $15 and registered very early, they didn't have any information on me and didn't have a folder as well. Luckily, after I talked to Dr. Bogad, she gave me a ticket for lunch and a copy of the schedule and told me to go to which ever session I wanted to.

Speaking of the sessions, I seriously loved my session. I chose to go to The session with Brazil and Military Children. First off, I loved that fact that Heather was in my session and I wasn't alone. The first part was with a Brazil Speaking presenter and her topic was Brazil. I really enjoyed the way she opened the presentation. She started talking in Brazil while holding a piece of green construction paper and no one in the class understood one word she was saying (it reminded me of when we played the card game and Dr. Bogad started talking in Hebrew and most of the students didn't know anything she was saying). Then she passed out the paper and told us (in English) to shape it the way that we think Brazil is shaped. This was very difficult for me in particular because 1) I honestly didn't know what Brazil looked like and 2) it was hard ripping a paper and trying to shape it in a certain way, rather than with scissors. Then she began to talk about her experiences with Brazil and all of the things she learned. SOme of the things that I learned were Portuguese is the Brazil speaking language, it has the 5th largest economy in the world, it has 26 states not including the federal district, and 60-70% of slaves that came to America came from Brazil. She was also talking a lot about "indigenous heritage", and 40-50% of Brazilian people are indigenous, but I have no idea what that means. She also showed us a really neat video about Brazil and what the people are trying to do to the Belo Monte Dam.
Some people want to build a dam but it will ruin other peoples lives that use the river for everyday life and have been there for hundreds of years. They want the people who use the river to move to the city which will make it harder for people to find jobs and homes etc. and it can cause over population.

In the next session, i was seriously moved. One of the presenters knew a lot about the Military and how it affects people because she is a Military Wife. This touched me tremendously because  it was about children in Military Families and how it affects them. I learned a lot of information that I didn't already know like about how some military parents get divorced after he/she comes back from deployment. I thought that since the parents got married, they love each other and they couldn't wait for their spouse to come home. That is seriously the opposite of what I thought. Some other things that I learned from this presentation was that a military wife or husband is called "military dependent", which means he or she is dependent on the service member and a military B.R.A.T. is a British Regiment Attached Traveler or in other words, "when one person joins the military, the whole family serves". They also showed a video that definitely brought tears to my eyes and many others in the room.

I was more intrigued by this presentation than by the Brazil one in many ways. One reason is they gave us a lot of information and I felt that they went out of the box when presenting. They also gave us resource sheets so if we know anyone that needs help we could help them and also use them for when we become teachers.

Next, the Teen Empowerment part of the seminar was one of my least favorites of the day. I honestly felt like I was back at my high school in an assembly that you enjoy just because you get to get out of class. I felt this way because the presenters were 2 high school students and 2 older women. Then they started playing ice breaker games on stage with like 7 people from the audience. This made me become very bored. Some information that I thought was important was it was a belief system and the tools they use empower people to work together. Within the belief system:

  • Analysis & Decision- Making + Action+ Success = Power 
  • Connection between feeling powerless and an increased risk of engaging in dysfunctional behavior
  • YOU have the ability to make real and meaningful changes in their schools
  • To make change, youth need access to resources to implement their ideas
  • Most effective forms of youth and adult leadership are facilitative rather than command in nature
All in all I had a great time at the Expo, the lunch and my sessions. Like I said above, I didn't enjoy the Teen Empowerment part. I don't think that there were many connections to the readings we have read in class, but I can relate my session with the Military Children to that and teacher could have a Military Child in their classroom and the teacher must know how to deal with the child and try and help him/her as much as he/she can be helped.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Talking Points # 8

Reflection: Literacy with an Attitude
Author: Patrick Finn

I enjoyed reading this article this week. I liked the content but not the size. I liked how the author, Patrick Finn, admitted that he made mistakes in his career of a teacher. I think that a "good teacher" is defined as he/she can admit their own mistakes. Instead of making up excuses for the mistakes he has made while being a teacher, he came forth with his mistakes and admitted to them and that is what a "good" teacher should be like.

I have the most respect for Finn. That is because he not only can admit to his mistakes in his career but he worked with the "lower" students and excelled at it. He would tell them when they were misbehaving and fix it. Even he said that because he was from a working class family and he knew how working class and poor kids related to authority. I think this helped him because he knew how they felt and could relate to them. If i were put in that classroom, I don't think it would have ran as smoothly. I am not from the working class or poor community therefore, I probably don't know how to relate to working class or poor kids and they could even feel intimidated or attacked if I tried to "control" them.

On the other hand, I felt kind of taken back when I read the second sentence of the first paragraph of the book. The sentence was, "how to "handle" children of the working class--those who had been handled in school themselves". This quote makes me cringe every time i read it. How to handle children? What is that supposed to mean? When I hear someone say or read something that says the word "handle" it makes me think of an animal, definitely not a human, better yet a child.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this article. It taught me to make sure I own my mistakes as I become a teacher in the future. I think if a teacher can own his or her mistakes and let the classroom know, they will give her more respect.

Misc Article #2: 10 yr old commits suicide

I found this article actually on facebook. One of my friends posted the link about it and I decided to check it out. It is about a 10-year old girl who literally got bullied to death. After being bullied non stop, she hung herself in her closet only half an hour after getting off the phone with her friend. Her sister was the one to find her. Her grandma tried to save her with CPR but that didn't work.

I think this relates to class because the past couple of classes we were talking about bullying especially in LGBT people. It didn't say that she was either lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, but it did mention the fact that the bullying started when she joined the cheerleading squad and cut her hair to a "bob". A lot of other children made fun of her because she looked like a "boy". I think this relates to the topics in class because she is a girl and she is getting bullied because others think she looks like a boy. What if she wants to be a boy? She shouldn't have been bullied at all especially because of the way she looks. 

All of this bullying needs to stop. Way too many children and teens are committing suicide because they are being bullied. Someone should have done something after the first suicide, and there are over 200 children between the ages of 10 and 14 that have killed themselves each year between 1999 and 2005. This is not okay. We need to stand up and help these kids and teens so they can feel safe and live a long, happy life.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I'm trying to do some of my journals and I can't find the "Alfie Kohn" chart. Does anyone know where to find it or what it looks like?! thanks!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Talking Points # 7

Gender and Education

Gender and Education in the same sentence is always difficult. Boys and Girls are usually separate when you talk about the classroom or even school. You can tell this because some teachers do a boy-girl system for seating arrangements, have boys in one line and girls in the other, have boy bathroom passes and girl bathroom passes and even in gym its normally boys vs. girls (although, sometimes the gym teacher tries to mix it up).

Teachers even influence gender in the classroom and they might not even mean to. I found this quote on a website about gender equality:

Teachers socialize girls towards a feminine ideal. Girls are praised for being neat, quiet, and calm, whereas boys are encouraged to think independently, be active and speak up. Girls are socialized in schools to recognize popularity as being important, and learn that educational performance and ability are not as important. "Girls in grades six and seven rate being popular and well-liked as more important than being perceived as competent or independent. Boys, on the other hand, are more likely to rank independence and competence as more important." (Bailey, 1992)

Gender can also be biased on grades, also on that website i found some information on grades compared boys to girls. "..boys have never been in more trouble: They earn 70 percent of the D's and F's that teachers dole out. hey make up two thirds of students labeled "learning disabled." They are the culprits in a whopping 9 of 10 alcohol and drug violations and the suspected perpetrators in 4 out of 5 crimes that end up in juvenile court. They account for 80 percent of high school dropouts and attention deficit disorder diagnoses. (Mulrine, 2001) This quote proves that boys are being gender biased in most school systems. It is sad that the world has come to this bias. But along with racism, I guess we (the U.S.) can't get away from biasing or racism. For example, people treat black people with disrespect or lower them because of their skin color, and people also do the same for boys in the academic world. 

Since I am going into teaching, I do not want to follow this and separate my boy students from my girl students. As like any teacher, I want to keep my classroom as equal as I can but I bet that I will bias my girls and my boys at some point in time. That will not stop me from working towards my teaching and trying to be the best teacher I can be.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Car Crash in Charlestown :(

This car crash happened in my town over the weekend. I didn't know 3 of the 4 boys but they are in my prayers. A good thing from this is everyone in my town is coming together to keep everybody's spirits up.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Talking Points # 6

Connections: Between Barack and a Hard Place and Brown vs. Board of Education
Author: Tim Wise

The article, website and videos are telling racism truly how it is. Unfortunately racism has been going on for many years. In the Website, it has information dated back as far as the 1800s. In class, we have been talking about racism for most of the times we meet. I fell like even if the discussion isn't focused on racism, at some point we talk about it. I come from a town where most of the people are racist, but i am totally against it. People shouldn't make fun of other people because of their skin color. There are also songs in the media that are very racist and i don't understand how they can be produced.

Some of the articles that I think are connected to racism is "White Privilege" by Peggy McIntosh and "Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us" by Linda Christensen. These texts are similar to the readings/videos this week because they are either all about racism or have racism in them. Obviously just from reading the title of "White Privilege" you can tell that it is going to be about racism. In the article "white Privilege", there is a quote that really stands out to me about racism. "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" I feel like the author is saying that she only thought being racist is saying individual acts of meanness against people because of their race. I feel that being racist can be about anything as long as you are making fun or not liking someone because of their race. In the article, "Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us", it isn't all about racism, but it touches upon the subject. The author talks about how the media influences us. A connection I made about this article and racism is that there has never been a black princess until recently, or the last election was the first election for a black president. People need to start being more equal so we don't have to be stuck in the era of racism. If people can stop being racist to other people, i feel the U.S. as a country can accomplish even more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Talking Points #5

Extended Comments: In the Service of What 
Author: Kahne and Westheimer

My post this week is going to be an extended comment to tom's blog, which you can find at I had to read Tom's blog a few times to understand where he was coming from. I feel that we agree on somethings but disagree on others. The way that he went about this article this week was a conservative way. He explained what the reading was about and talked about both service learning projects that were in the text. He also stated that the authors used a political view on the service learning projects too.

One part that i disagree with Tom is when he says that the authors "intended to attack conservative ideologies". I disagree because when I read the text, no where could I find a spot that they "attacked"  conservative ideologies. I felt that the text was explaining the different service learning projects and how they can be so different but also the same too.

On the other hand, I agree with Tom when he says that "It was like reading a power point presentation without the cheesy graphics". I wouldn't go that harsh on the authors but I did find parts of the article boring, which you could associate with powerpoint presentations. It was very informative and taught me a few new things. I also agree with him because the authors didn't show their expression and make it very enjoyable to read. If they went a little farther than just stating facts it would have been more fun to read.

At the end of Tom's blog post i was confused. In the beginning he said that "the authors intended to attack conservative ideologies". In the end he stated "To be clear, the authors never explicitly attacked conservative ideologies" So did or didn't the authors attack conservative ideologies?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Random post #1

So since we have been discussing about lesbian, gay and bisexual topics in class i thought this would be a perfect time to talk about it and how it connects to other classes. In my Theatre 240 class we are reading a play called Angels in America by Tony Kushner. It is about gay people in the 80's. Along with other things, gay people are stereotyped by every gay person in this play gets AIDS.

When my friend and I brought this up to our professor, he said that the play was written in the 1980's so people coming out and the AIDS epidemic was freshly new. This still upset my friend and I. One character was so against it, even though he was gay, and got AIDS, he told people and the doctor it was Cancer. He would have sex with all kinds of men but he wouldn't admit he was gay. I feel like this play is making it seem like being gay is bad and people shouldn't be gay.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Talking Points #4

Reflection: Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us
Author: Linda Christensen

I really enjoyed reading this article. It was interesting because it was about how cruel cartoons and disney movies are. Like most people, I do think it's wrong to not have a "disney princess" be a woman of color and not be a size 2. But, I don't think it is right for people to not watch these cartoons/movies anymore because of that reason. Of course everybody has their own opinion and mine is I am going to keep watching these movies and allow my children too, when I have kids.

Also, I saw that a girl in the authors class said she wasn't going to buy her niece and her nephew what they wanted (a Nintendo and a Barbie) for Christmas, instead she asked the clerk for a toy that wasn't sexist or racist. To be honest I don't think a Nintendo or a Barbie is sexist or racist. They have Nintendos for boy and girls and they have boy Barbies, girl Barbies and Barbies of all races.

I feel like people are taking things way out of proportion now a days. Everything someone says or does is racist. If people would focus on getting along with everyone of different sexes and races, then we could work on the media.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Talking Points #3

Hyperlinks: 2009 National School Climate Survey

To be honest, i don't know if i did this weeks reading correct. I went on the GLSEN website and picked an article under the research tab. Fingers are crossed, hopefully its okay!

Talking Points #3: 2009 National School Climate Survey: Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment in School:

The author Daryl Presgraves explains how many lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender students in the U.S. have been/are being bullied at school. "The 2009 survey of 7,261 middle and high school students found that at school nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school in the past year and nearly two-thirds felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation". This is a horrible statistic and it should not be true, but it is. Many organizations have been formed to try and stop bullying such as this, but who knows if it will ever go away.

The U.S. Justice Department have been trying to come up with ways to stop this bullying. They went to a local high school in Maryland to show the students how they are trying to stop the bullying.
U.S. Justice Dept. trying to help bullying

Extremely sad story about 14-year old boy committing suicide I don't know about you, but I have been hearing too many stories about gay teens committing suicide because of harassment, but no one really does anything to stop them. In this article I posted above, it is a bout a 14-year old boy who was gay and was being harassed because of his status in school and then online. Other teens would tell him to kill himself because "it would make everyone WAY more happier!" so then he wrote about how he always tells people that he is being bullied but no one does anything, until it is too late.

These articles connect to each other because the U.S. government is saying that they will do anything to stop bullying to gay teens, but I haven't seen anything where they actually have. It is so sad when teens put online, in black and white writing that they are being bullied and are going to kill themselves, but no one does anything. The extremely sad part is that until WE; students, parents, the GOVERNMENT start listening to these teens and actually help them, it is going to continue. People will still be bullied everyday, and people will continue committing suicide, unless we decide to help them.

wow! very sad :(

16 year old cheerleader collapses on field and dies

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Talking Points #2

Argument: Aria 
Author: Richard Rodriguez

I think the author, Richard Rodriquez is trying to argue that a language, in this case, bilingual language shows a person. If you do not let that person show their language or languages, you can not see the real person. An example of this is that he talks about how there are two differences; 1) language at school (english) and 2) language at home. Richard's teachers came to his house and basically asked his parents if they could practice the English language and the Spanish language. They were practically telling them that they need to speak a second language to them at home where they would like to speak their first language, Spanish.

At first, I thought that it was rude for teachers coming into the Rodriguez home and telling them to speak English at home. Then as I continued reading I realized the teachers just wanted the author to be better at the English language. This confirms the argument that language shows a persons personality. Many people could have taken this the wrong way, but his family took it the positive way and corrected it.

I think that most families that speak English as a second language should follow in the Rodriguez's foot steps. They took the information and made sure to correct it and i think that shows a huge will and power to do anything that they put their mind to. In class, I would like to discuss that most families should be like this family, especially because the author shows how much of a good impact this has had on them. Not only will it help them now, but it will definitely help them in the long run.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Talking Points #1

Quotes: White Privilege 
Author: Peggy McIntosh

1. "Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress and violence, which I was being subtly trained to visit, in turn, upon people of color" (pg 4).

I thought this was a good quote to choose because it relates to me as a white person and I can understand where the author, Peggy McIntosh is coming from. I believe that many other white people feel the same way too. She is trying to say that because she is a white person, her "whiteness" protects her from certain things that people of other races might not be protected by. 

2. "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; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own" (pg 4).

I believe that this quote means that white privilege is a touchy subject. Many people would rather avoid it than talk about it, which contradicts the saying of the United States being a free country. This is relevant to the rest of the text because the whole article is about white privilege and how it affects non-white people.

3. "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" (pg 5).

This quote is interesting to me. I feel like it is very true and false. I feel like the author is saying that she didn't think she was racist because she was taught that racism was only in "individual acts of meanness", not in racial dominance on her group from birth (white). I don't think that only white people can be racist. I feel like any race can be racist; it depends on how you look at other races and how you act towards them.

The point I would like to talk about the most is what I think the main point of this article is; what white privilege really is. Depending on your race, I feel like people will have different views on what "White Privilege" really means. In my opinion, I believe that it is something that sets white people away from all of the other races. Like the author stated, it is something that many people try to avoid talking about, which I believe is the wrong way to go about it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

About Me (:

Hey Everyone! I'm a Sophomore at Rhode Island College and I am an Elementary Education and Special Education major. Besides going to school, I have a job working at an after-school program for the Summer Camp that I work at during the summer. I love hanging out with my friends and shopping. I love everything John Deere, so you could call me a redneck :) If you have any questions, just ask!