Monday, October 31, 2016

The Problem We All Live With

        During this audio clip and reading this weak the authors and narrators have a common theme of segregation in the schools. While they point out time and time again that it has been decades since Brown vs The Board of Education, they want to bring awareness to the fact that schools across this country are still not as unsegregated as they could be. Laws have made sure that a school system cannot tell a student of different race or ethnicity that they cannot come to their school. What instead happens is that due to demographics playing out to where minorities tend to live in inner cities they end up getting segregated anyway. The concern here is that these inner city schools have a bad track record with not being able to provide the proper education for the youth of that area.
Short on Brown v Board of Education

            The trick becomes how do you fix the system so that child of all backgrounds and incomes receive the same education? Many different options have been tried usually changes being made to the curriculum or teachers being fired and new ones being hired. The issues with this are that it doesn’t fix the problems at their core. For me, I see Joseph Kayne’s argument of charity versus change here. By making alterations to the faculty, the curriculum, or anything else you are just putting band-aids on the real problems, which is almost a form of charity. The real problem is that the poverty of the area out weights anything else and has a chain reaction that affects the quality of supplies, teachers, and curriculum. Unfortunately there are not many things currently in place that will help fix this situation except for what the narrators of the audio link talk about, which is to integrate the school systems. This is the change that Kayne tells us we need in order to really have what we are doing make a difference. By integrating the school and making it so children in lower income areas can go to a higher income school system they will be able to achieve better things in life.

            The problem that this plan takes on is criticism from others. People misinterpreted why things are the way they are quite often. It’s easier to categorize people than to help and want to change the way the world is. What Bob Herbert of the New York Times tells us is “Studies have shown that it is not the race of the students that is significant, but rather the improved all-around environment of schools with better teachers, fewer classroom disruptions, pupils who are more engaged academically, parents who are more involved, and so on.”(Herbert p10) What he is saying and how it correlates to the audio link is that with a more involved community in the academic area of children’s lives, these young students all have the same potential to reach whatever goals and dreams they might have.

          There are a lot of things that can go wrong with this plan however as well. Even though this method has proven to be helpful to the children, two major issues come about. The first is that it becomes hard to transport the students from one district to another, in the sense that it just takes times. So when students would have to get up an extra one to two hours earlier to go to this better school sometimes they won’t want to deal with it. The other issue is that when integration takes place what will sometimes happen are the affluent families in the area move away. This defeats the whole purpose of integrating the school since if the families you are trying to merge with are moving away the school just becomes a long commute to the same school the students were already in. Going back to Kayne and charity vs change; regardless of what we are trying to do unless we can implement this integration strategy or something like it country wide there will never really be “Change” in the country, sadly.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Politics of Service Learning

Joseph Kahne writes about how service learning is used in our society to help better both the individuals taking part in the service learning projects as well as the people or community they are trying to help.  He also brings into light that while a wide spread group of people from all affiliations and background agree that service learning projects are helpful, they do sometimes disagree on how service learning should be done. The two types in a nut shell are “charity” and “change”. Charity is more about how you can give things to the less fortunate in order to help them, whether it be your time, food, or something else it’s about helping them out with something that will make their lives better. Change is more about being hands on and interacting or putting more research into something. It’s about makes a personal connection with what or who you are trying to help with in society. While both of these sides have valid points and contribute to helping everyone involved they have different outcomes on the students that are taking part in the service learning projects. The students that are working more along the lines of charity tend to get a warm and happy feeling that they did something to help out and the people or groups that they helped receive the support they needed. On the other side the students working to affect change in the community have more of a person relationship with the group or people that they are working with and have a better understanding of the individuals they are helping. In turn these students are able to both look at a group in possibly a different way than before. (A more educated way.)

An additional benefit to service learning is that students get hands on experience in areas that might interest them for later in life. These experiences could be volunteering in areas like public service such as elementary schools or even areas like hospitals where students can help do minor tasks but can see the ins and outs of the fields and possibly gain a direction for themselves before heading off to college.
Students helped raise money for local hospital in a fun way.

Debate Issues Quotes

             In the two articles that I read this week by Jill Soloway and Amy Chozick they bother address how women are treated in today’s society in particular politics. Soloway focuses on the recent “locker room” talk of Donald Trump. She says that Trumps’ locker room talk is something that all men know about and/or even take part in. She goes on to say that just because all men know about it doesn’t mean that we should accept this something that just happens. She compares it to people using racial slurs when talking about people who are black.  I remember how there was absolutely a moment in American history where the civil rights movement powered a hard left turn, where white people talking about black people in polite company, where using the once tossed around N word in front of another white person became cause for lawsuit, firing, social suicide, exclusion.(Soloway p8) This example of how white Americans used to talk about black Americans when they were behind closed doors has become a huge issue in today’s society even though how men talk about women in the same type of context has not. Her point is that if a white person was to talk to another white person behind closed doors it could lead to punishments of all kinds. However, if a man talks to another man behind closed doors it is considered “bro code” to just joke and play along or not say anything. This issue is not being talked about which is what Allen Johnson is talking about in his article “Privilege, Power, and Difference.”  Johnson talks about how we aren’t discussing the issue and how “you can’t deal with a problem if you don’t name it;”(Johnson p11) Because men have the “bro code” and either don’t talk about the “locker room” talk or if they do talk about it they are ostracized for it, they don’t do anything to try to stop this. Sadly the other catch twenty-two is that the people, who would speak out against it (woman), aren’t usually in the “locker room” conversation so they don’t hear it as often. (Even though most know it happens) The issue here is that we need to make a change with how women are talked about and not just the ones that are close to use but all women.

                The other Article by Chozick talks about Hilary Clinton and how as a society we have bias toward things. This can relate to Delpit in the sense that Clinton is breaking the “codes or power” in this country by being female and running for President of the country, which has been a “mans” job from the start of the country. Clinton even went on record saying “she does not have the natural oratory skills of her husband or President Obama, has been tailoring her voice and tone for years.”(Chozick p3) This is a perfect example of the next potential President of the United States, admitting to conforming to the “codes of power” to help her achieve a goal that should be obtainable regardless of her gender. Sadly in this case her way of speaking is criticized and critiqued by people in the country for the first time ever just because she is under such scrutiny in the public eye.  Again, this is a catch twenty-two which seems to be the theme this week, since if she does not conform to the “codes of power”, she might not be taken as seriously to begin with and if she does conform she gets ridiculed for it. Chozicks point in her article goes slightly deeper into this issue stating that if Hilary were a man this issue of her speaking patterns would never even be brought up. In this case I personally think we need to look at the bigger picture and not so much on  how Hilary Clinton puts inflections in her voice. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Safe Spaces

                               Gerri August’s Safe Spaces is an article on LGBT and how we as a society do not include LGBT people in our ways of bring up our youth. August talks about how we discuss many issues in our classrooms and at home in regards to race and gender but when it comes to sexual orientation the topic gets pushed aside more so than the others would.  While August does address how people are raised in different family environments and that will have an impact on how they look at things in life, she really wanted us to focus on how educators in the country affect students in especial regards to LGBT students. “Classrooms lay the foundations for an inclusive and safe society: a just community where common interests and individual differences coexist.”(August p3) This quote to me was a great line to have toward the beginning of the article, noting that classrooms are where all demographics of every type should feel welcome and safe. The issue becomes that LGBT students do not feel safe in these environments quite often. The issue is that as adults or teachers we do not send a message to students that a student being LGBT is no different than a student being of a different race, in the sense that it should not affect how you look or treat that person. The other issue is what Delpit talks about when she discusses the “culture of power”. Delpit talks about how the “norms” get pushed onto us in society, in this case the “norm” being heterosexuality. The perfect example of this in the August text is when Maria has an issue with her Spanish teacher. Her teacher marked her answer wrong on a test when she used the female tense on the word “sweetheart” rather than the male tense because the teacher wanted a heterosexual answer even though the answer was correct both ways. Even though her teacher marked this incorrect it is not necessarily coming from a place of hatred for LGBT individuals. The professor marked the answer wrong and could have just thought she messed up translation. However, instead of finding out if the student was aware of what was on the test and if it was in fact done for the right reason, the teacher just assumed that the answer was incorrect. Once again this is a way that teachers or adults can have a negative impact on LGBT children or students.
            Another interesting point that August makes is that we teach students at an early age that families come in all different forms. “The oft-stated objective is for children to learn that families come in different shapes and sized, live in different dwellings, observe different traditions, and celebrate different holidays.” (August p5) She mentions the different parenting types like single parents, foster parents, and the two parent households, but what she also says is that we don’t embrace a same sex couple raising children the same way we do the others. It is still a really big issue today that with all the political correctness that we try to do, for some reason the nation still has an extremely hard time accepting two people of the same sex raising a family. It is not displayed on television, movies, or magazines, and if it is, it becomes extremely controversial. And the ones that are displayed are not always the best representation of the LGBT community. 
googled image of LGBTQ characters on South Park
With everything that August beings up being so accurate in how we look and treat LGBT individuals it’s no wonder why people don’t feel comfortable identifying their sexual orientation especially at younger ages where the concern of judgement from peers is highest. We need to work on this a society to fix the injustices that are happening every day.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Christensen Argument

This author (Linda Christensen) argues that Disney and other major corporations teach young impressionable children the “codes” of society through there movie, advertisements, and shows. Her argument is that if really examined the Disney shows, they are geared to teach children the things that are valued in America, in reference to race, religion, sex, and more. Her largest issue though is that people that do take a long into the Disney movie mostly take away that all the main characters are white, rather than looking at the big picture. Her claim is that the big picture is the fact that the movies depict so many more issues than just race.  Things like sexism come to play by always having the main characters be male, and having the main female characters always just are looking for love. “Her goal, like Cinderella’s is to get her man. Both young women are transformed and made beautiful through new clothes, new jewels, new hairstyles.”(Christensen 7)  She wants young women to believe there is more to life then make overs and getting the guy, otherwise life is just shallow. Her point is that she believes that the way the Disney movies are set up they are basically brainwashing the children in the country to learn and follow the codes of power. She refers to this as “the secret education”. (Christensen 1) For Christensen, Disney should work on re-evaluating what is being portrayed to the children of our country and what kind of message they are trying to send. Are they going to really “improve” their movies to make better idols for young children or just keep perpetuating the same stereotypes
If you take only a few mins you could find stereotype after stereotype just looking at this picture about let alone a Disney movie when they speak and plots are formed.