Monday, April 21, 2008

Talking Point #10

Privilege, Power and Difference
By: Allan G. Johnson

- Exclusion
- Rejection
- Privilege
- Harassment
- Discrimination
- Violence
- Racism
- Sexism
- Support
- Speak-up
- Abelism
- Social Categories
- Oppression
- Class
- Gender
- Race
- Competition
- Fear
- Understanding
- Honesty
- Avoidance
- Disadvantaged
- Prejudiced
- Inequality
- Exploitation
- Scarcity
- Injustice
- Respect
- Listen

- Johnson argues that to change the patterns of privilege we need to, "reclaim some difficult language that names what's going on" and "[acknowledges] an obligation to make a contribution to finding a way out of the trouble we're in."

- Johnson says that the only reason that privilege stays in existence is because of unawareness (pg 137).
- When privileged groups are confronted with racism or sexism of what-not they get defensive. To be more effective, privileged groups could listen and take responsibility rather than denying the issue.
- I think Johnson's examples about taking risks are evidence that change takes action, whether it be from speaking-up, to making others uncomfortable, to modeling alternative paths.

- I really like this article because it served as a way to wrap up everything that we have done all semester. We started with Johnson and have now come full circle. I enjoyed the article because it was more about the ways that the issue of privilege can be fought. I liked all the examples Johnson gave on ways to fight discrimination as a "member" of a privileged class. The article was a bit long and a little repetitive but overall I liked it. One part I agree with is that, along with Johnson, I do not believe that because it's always been this way that it will always be this way . I believe that we live in a society of change and, as Dr. B. would say, there is a lot of tapping on the glass.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Talking Point #9

School Girls
By: Peggy Orenstein

- Schools
- Women
- Men
- Self-esteem
- Gender-fair
- Participation
- Harassment
- Equity
- Empowerment
- Hidden-curriculum
- Women's rights
- Mockery

- I believe that her argument is that gender-fair curricula need to be developed and implimented in all schools so that females will feel more comfortable and have more self-esteem in the classroom setting and gain more respect from men.

*Much of her evidence stems off of the practices of Ms. Logan.
-During the discussion about sexual harassment more of the girls were willing to voice their opinions while many boys were lost for words.
-One of the boys in Ms. Logan's class says that he is embarassed at the way that he talks about and treats women. He also says that because of what the girls in the class have said he will try and treat women better.
-She also presents a space where women feel empowered. Her classroom is filled with photos and books about women. Women are able to feel important and comfortable in Ms. Logan's classroom atmosphere.

-The article was very good and interesting. At first I was a bit aggravated when I saw how long the article was. After reading it I realized that I breezed right through it. I was such and easy read and was quite engaging. One part that I was very surprised about was how crude some of the language was. When some of the students were talking about sexual harassment they were saying words to their teacher that I could never imagine a sixth to eigth grader saying to any teacher. I also thought it was sad to hear some othe the girls stories about how they feel they have been sexually harassed. I really liked the idea of Ms. Logan's classroom. She seems like she really makes the class fun and interesting. I like that the boys in the class get to have the experience of being the minorities. I was glad to see that because of some of Ms. Logan's practices many of the boys were changing the way that they see women. I think women need more teachers like Ms. Logan in the world.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Talking Point #7

Whites Swim in Racial Preference
By: Tim Wise

- Racial preference
- Affirmative action
- Segregation
- White American
- Inequalities
- Discrimination
- Advantages
- Privileges
- Schooling
- Economic status
- Race
- White preference
- Racist society

- Wise argues that white privilege is still in place today even though we try to act as if it is not. He also argues that ending affirmative action is premature because white privilege still exists.

- He says that white families are better off than minority families in the sense of how much money they make.
- Wise also states that at the University of Michigan more points are awarded to other categories that amount to preference for whites than they points awarded to minorities.
- Even students of color that are truely talented are unable to access the benefits of white because of their race.

- I don't really know how I feel about the article. I thought it was interesting. It was very easy to read. I was a bit surprised to find out that even with affirmative action in place, white are still privileged. Having said that, there is a part of that situation that I don't quite understand. If each person gets extra points just because of their race then what happens to the white child that has had to struggle very hard to get to where they are and then gets denied. I understand the premise of the affirmative action idea but, I don't think that it is fair. There are a lot of "minority" families that are much better off than some white families. Why should that person get more points? I just think that race and gender should not be questions that are asked on applications to make it more fair. But, I'm sure there is an argument out there against that too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Talking Point #6

Tracking: Why Schools Need to Take Another Route
By: Jeannie Oakes

- Grouped
- Ability
- Individual needs
- Stereotyped
- "less-able"
- Minority
- Tracking
- Hight-ability
- Instruction
- Teaching
- Learning
- Interact
- Enviornment
- Differences
- Working together

- I think that Oakes makes two different arguments
1. "Students need not be held back from ideas because of skill differences; rather they can acquire skills as they become ready" (180).
2. Unless teachers take the time to experiment with changes in the organization of classroom practices, alternatives to tracking are not likely to be effective.

- When students are seperated by skill difference the students with low abilities don't get all the extra help they need and the students with the highest ability get all the attention so that they exceed the curriculum above and beyond.
- Students should be able to be in charge of evaluating themselves because that way they will grow more skills by trying to figure things out for themselves without just being told what to do.
- Oakes says that the kind of organizational changes that need to be made will help to promote high quality learning for all students.

- I thought that the article was very interesting. I liked it because it was very easy to read and to comprehend. I also liked that it was short and got right to the point. I don't really agree with the idea of splitting children up by their abilities. I think that it is unfair to everyone and that some children's feelings could be hurt by that. For example in my SL school the students that I work with know that they are woking with me because they are behind the rest of the class. They think they are woking with me because everyone else is smarter than they are. Children do understand when they are being seperated by their abilitites and I think that they would get a much better experience when they work with other children of all different abilities.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Talking Point #5

In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning
By: Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer

-Service Learning
-Ways to help
-Moral development

-Kahne and Westheimer argue that teachers, policy makers and academicians who take the idea service learning seriously need to come together and get on the same page.

- The two examples of service learning projects are and example. There is a difference betweeen charity and change and because of that some children miss out due to the different projects that are assigned.
-Because teachers are not on the same page about educating children about service learning the children that went to the school to play music were scared and not happy to be helping.
-Most of the time children are volunteering for charity, such as the boy who made care packages for the homeless. This boy in particular didn't even talk to any of the homeless people he was trying to help. He served but, he didn't learn.

- I think that a main part of service is learning from it. If your just serving because it's something that you have to do you may not get much out of it. Personally I LOVE my service learning project. It is something that I would love to do even if it wasn't required. It has really given me a chance to learn about a community that I didn't know much about before. I feel like children need to be educated and encouraged to help out in different communitites so that they aren't afaraid of what they don't know, like the music teachers students were.

Talking Point #4

Unlearning the Myths That Blind Us
By: Linda Christensen

-"secret education"
-accepted knowledge
-social class

- Christensen argues that, "Our society's culture industry colonizes [children's] minds and teaches them how to act, live and dream." Through child media, domination can be seen in the categories of sex, class and race.

-It is very common that people of color play no or little role in many child films.
-One of Christensen's students discusses the show "Duck Tales" as a specific example showing that when children watch this show all they will think is that money is the most important thing in life.
-Some of Christensen's students noted that after analyzing some cartoons they realized that the underlying messages in these cartoons effected they way they thought while they were growing up.

- I thought this article was very interesting. It was really easy to read because it wasn't very long and not as easy to get lost in. I also think it was easy to read because it has to do with cartoons. It was interesting to read the ways that different cartoons or movies affect our society. One part of the article that I really enjoyed was where the students explained the project they did on the different cartoons. You see these cartoons on television everyday but, you never really think about the message they are sending until you stop to analyze them. I was shocked to see that when I thought about some of my favorite cartoons growing up I realized they didn't imply the best things about sex and race. I would like to know more about the way that cartoons and child films impact their viewers.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Talking Point #3

Gayness, Multicultural Education and Community
By: Dennis Carlson

- Gay = Ignored
- Sexual identity
- Privileged
- Homogenous
- Separate
- Marginalized
- Schools
- Silent spaces
- Normalizing
- Homophobia
- Text books
- Gay teachers/students

Author's Argument
- Carlson argues that people who are gay are "invisible" because the community, especially the schools systems, tries to pretend that "gayness" doesn't exist.

- Carlson discusses how text books never actually touch on the subject of homosexuality or how it is never brought to peoples attention that some of the most famous authors in history were gay.
- People that are gay have had to form their own groups because they are ignored by the "normal" groups (Page 234).
- Teachers who have been found to be gay have been fired because the school officials think gayness is wrong and students should not be exposed to homosexuality.

- To be honest I did not like the article very much. I agree that Carlson made some good points but, it was hard to understand what he was trying to say. It took me forever to read the article. I kept getting lost in the words and I just could not follow. One situation that I thought was unfair was that gayness is typically associated with disease. Through my schooling experience I have found this to be true and I agree with Carlson that this is part of the problem of discrimination against people who are gay. I also agree with one of the remarks a teacher made about students. I agree with him that some children just are not mature enough to discuss homosexuality.
There were some parts of the article that I did not agree with. First of all I found it to be completely shocking that the student called the homosexual teacher a faggot. I could not believe that there are children who actually think it is okay to do that. I guess that's just the way they were brought up. One other part of the article that I did not agree with was the part about homosexuality being contagious. I do not exactly understand what Waller means by that but, I would definitely like to know more about why he thinks that and where he is getting his information from. For the most part the article was good, just hard to get through.