Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ira Shor

                I found this article by Ira Shor to be harder to read than most of the past topics. Not only because the text was just extremely hard to visually look at but also because of the style of writing. With that said I found the article to be very I opening. I really liked all the questions that it proposed throughout and perhaps that was done on purpose because the whole time Shor’s point is to questions the education you are receiving. For me I loved this; it provided a way of looking at the education system that I truly like myself. I personally like to be challenged in a classroom and forced to think outside the box, it’s fun.

                The two things that stood out to me the most while reading this was that this article clear was a way to sum up the rest of the articles we had read throughout the semester. Shor basically can be related to almost anyone we would like. The second thing is that our class this semester feels like it is planned with Ira Shor’smessages in mind. By challenging us and getting us to speak opening, it empowers everyone in the class to feel important, smart, and comfortable most of all.
                While maybe not the key point of the article there was a line that resonated with me more than any other. “In class, as Apple suggested and as Giroux (1983) and Banks (1991) have as argues, the choice of subject matter cannot be neutral.” (Shor 3) This too me started getting me thinking about the schooling system and how it is extremely bias. I knew that SCWAAP and other things played a role in schools and how the curriculum is set up but I did not think about it in depth.
                Our schools are made up of people from so many cultures however, our schools only teach from the perspectives of one culture. What I mean by that and possibly the easier to understand is that we teach our history lessons from the point of view of “our” ancestors. “Our” being the keep phase here. They are not my ancestors my family was French then moved to Canada were they finally came into the United States about four generations back. So even though the founding fathers may have the same skin tone as me they are not my ancestors. This is even more true for the people who were forced here as slaves or the Native Americans who were here first. However, our history lessons do no teach the history of early Africa and what it was like for them prior to being ripped from their homes, they don’t teach about Native American culture prior to settling in the Americas. Even the parts they do touch on its how the Europeans affected those people not about the people themselves.

                Never the less I got a little off topic but the point is still valid. We do not allow students to thing about the things that are outside the box. Maybe if we let them find things that they want to learn about they would push the envelope and want to learn more and more.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Citizenship in School

Kliewer's article about how students with disabilities, specifically down syndrome, are treated in schools today and how we should fix the issues that many schools take part in. For my this article was special because while I do not have any family members that are down syndrome, I do have a cousin who is autistic. While the two are not same by any means, I have witnessed first hand how differently he is treated. Kliewer argues that children with disabilities should be placed into rooms with non-disabled children. I could not agree more. My cousin was held back for many years by the school system until my aunt and uncle moved to change to a school system that would not isolate him with only other disabled child. When he was finally given a chance he started to shine. He was able to get some good grades and got into college. After GRADUATING he was offered a career opportunity and holds down that job today. This is an example of what Kliewer wants to happen with our schools. To make sure that everyone is on a level playing field while in school and receives the same education.

 For me this article could not relate to anyone better then Jennie Oakes. It does not matter if you are talking about students who are extremely bright for their age, ones that are just falling behind a bit, or students with disabilities, Oakes would agree that they all deserve the same education and should be treated equally in our schools. "Colleen Madison agreed with Shayne that no child was inherently an intellectual burden to a classroom; in fact, she argues, each student contributes a unique and potentially valuable dimension to the web of relationships that form a school community." (Kleiwer p7) I really liked this because when I think back to my days in high school we did not have the students that were disabled in the classrooms with us but yet we all still knew their names. How did we know their names when they were never in any class with any of us? They still played a role in how the schools community was even when the school itself was trying to keep them separated. I think the thing to take away from this is that Oake and Kliewer would agree that putting students in the same room no matter what their abilities are can only help them.

Promising Practice

           I attended the Promising Practice seminar in the hopes that I would be able to learn something that could help me with my career in education. I’m extremely sad to say that I found the workshops to be a waste of my time. While the guest speaker at the event was great and extremely enlightening the workshops that followed did not provide me with any kind of use. The two workshops that I attended were “How mentoring relationships improve resiliency of our youth and our workforce” and “Healthy Lifestyles: Your health, your choice”.  I was excited going into this because I felt like both of these topics could have a lot to offer me. I was sad when this became a flop.
            What made me the most upset was that the guest speaker that came was fantastic. Dr Robert Brooks was well prepared and well spoken and by far the best part of the day. He told us some great stories of his life and how it affected him and his decisions in life. All of these things turned out to be a precursor to a huge waste of my time. What makes it worse is I spoke with some of my other classmates who took other workshops and they loved theirs. I’m happy that they found something useful but upset that I just felt like mine were not done right at all.
            My first workshop “How mentoring relationships improve resiliency of our youth and our workforce sounded like it was going to be great I was excited to go into the class. It sounded like they would be addressing things similar to the Big Brother Program. Instead the first thing we did in our 45 min workshop was went around the room of about 20 people and talked about ourselves and why we took the class. OK; I’m OK with this but then she asked us to talk with another person in the group for a little bit about someone who is a mentor to us. We didn’t share this with anyone they didn’t elaborate on this with their own thoughts, nothing it just took up more time. Finally there was a PowerPoint presentation to wrap up the workshop. The thing that was the worst in the class is they had a younger girl in the room from a rough high school that they were mentoring. Instead of letting her tell us her story or what the program did from her they had her read two slides of a presentation that seemed extremely insincere. She seemed like they asked her to come and read what they wrote on the presentation. She was struggling with some of the works on the board the “she” was supposed to have written. The whole thing seem staged and lost credibility to me. The girl in the class however could be related to Kristof's story about his friend Rick. This girl was said to be smart and now back on track with their help however, before she entered the program she was just like Rick. The girl was always acting up and getting in trouble, but instead of suspending her now she gets help and i think Kristof would be pleased with the goals. I guess if I was to take what they were saying at face value and assume that the girl was just not into the presentation, which is why she would have came off insincere, I would say that Oakes would make a strong case of change here versus just charity. However if this program is what I saw and this girl might have been getting help but nothing is changing its just another case of charity.
            I left the first workshop and was talking to other people I knew that had taken other ones. They seemed happy and excited still, so I got my hopes back up. Maybe this second workshop would be better; maybe it would be like what the others had experienced in their first one. 

It sure wasn’t. It was worse than the first one! The second workshop “Healthy Lifestyles: Your health, your choice” was a much smaller class so I thought maybe it would be more personalized. Maybe this would give tips on how to be more nutritious or physically active, even the basics would be nice but I had my hopes up for nothing. They had a few interesting facts to throw at us but the entire time we were there they were pitching us. In other words, I felt like they were trying to recruit us to work for their group.  I could not believe that I was just sitting in a room for 45 minutes again and listening to them talk about their company and how if we wanted we could work with them too. Even though I felt that this was worse than the first experience however, looking back I cannot help but realize that Delpit would look at my actions and see the rules and codes of power. Even though nothing that came out of the presenters mouth was important to me and I felt like it was a waste of time I knew that I needed to stay in the class to finish my assignment and receive a better grade. This kept me from leaving the room even though if I has left no one would have said a word and there would have been no way anyone would have known. So the Code of power made me consciously stay in the room.  
            I don’t know, I could just be looking at this the wrong way but to me I was disappointed. What I thought had such great potential turned out to be a waste of a Saturday morning. I will always be open to giving something like this another shot but I might want to have a way to find out more on the workshops first.