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!