Saturday, March 26, 2016


Literacy With An Attitude 
Educating Working-Class Children In Their Own Self-Interest
Patrick J. Finn 

   For this blog, i'm choosing to connect ideas that Patrick Finn expressed with ideas and beliefs of Lisa Delpit. In Finn's writing, he expressed how their are different teaching styles. The way you talk to your students and how you go about teaching them, play a huge role in their ability to learn. As you teach all different kinds of students, you see a difference and that all goes back to class, the society we live in and the stereotypes we have on certain groups of people. There was a section that I came across in Finn's writing that immediately made me connect to Delpit.

"When I discussed discipline problems with other teachers, a frequent topic of discussion in the teacher's lounge. I would talk about my teaching methods as methods of control. I had work assignments on the board when the students entered the classroom, and so there wasn't a moment when they didn't have anything to do. I didn't say to an errant student, "What are you doing?" I said, "Stop that and get to work." No discussion. No openings for an argument." (Finn, 3-4) 

I was able to right away connect this to Delpit because this is all about the culture of power and being told explicitly the rules of being in that classroom. I think this example relates to Delpit's fourth aspect of power the most. "If you are not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rules of that culture makes acquiring power easier." (Delpit 25) In other words, Delpit is saying that if your are not in the "power" group, it is easier to survive and "fit it"/ get by easier if you are being told the rules in all detail. How else would they know? Everyone comes from different homes and discipline comes in all different ways. One child might listen to something an adult says while it just flies over the other child's head. It's all about where they come from, how they were brought up and also, how their parents choose to show control in their own households. This also connects to Delpit's other example of the child having to take a bath. One parent approaches the issue with, " Isn't it time for a bath?" and another parent would say, "Get your rusty behind in that tub." (Delpit 34) Both parents are saying that their child needs to take a bath, but they say it in different ways because children see power in different forms. 
     Connecting back to the quote from Finn, in his experience he didn't give any room for  a child to get out of control and misbehave. Having that assignment on the board, gave all the children something to do. They know to come in class and get right to that assignment because that's the kind of power he had in his room. " Stop that and get to work", is his way of making sure every child understands it the same way. Whether each student sees control and power different, he created his power in the classroom in a way that everyone will understand who has the control.

Questions/Comments & Points to Share: 
"The status quo is the status quo because people who have the power to make changes are comfortable with the way things are. " (Finn; Preface) 
** This quote is important and I think it will bring up discussion because it's almost like saying it's just an up hill battle. It's not going to go anywhere and the problem will always be there. In this case, the fact that stereotypes are still being supported by people's actions make it harder to go away. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Problem We All Live With

This American Life 
These readings were really interesting to me. I wasn't really excited to have to listen to an audio version of a reading, but I really did enjoy it. What shocked me a lot was how recent this is. Both talks were released late last year. July of 2015. The issue of segregation and integration are still a huge one and it's clear that it is going to take a very, very long time to clear up.  For this week's post, I wanted to do a hyperlinked based one. 
562: The Problem We All Live With 
 In this reading, Nikole-Hannah Jones tells a story of  the struggle this particular student went through in the Normandy School District in Missouri. Nikole- Hannah Jones interviewed a student, Mah'ria Martin and her mother, Nedra Martin. Mah'ria went to grade school within the Normandy district for awhile with the school only having one accreditation. When the Missouri State Board of Education pulled all accreditation from Mah'ria's school, they were left with absolutely no accreditations after 15 years of probation. This is where the transfer law kicked in. This law give students that are in an unaccredited school to be able to go to a nearby school for free that does have accreditation. There was a meeting held at the school , Francis Howell , where parents, teachers, students etc. came so they can discuss as a school the changes that would be happening in their school. Students that were attending Normandy had the opportunity to transfer to a "better" school if they wanted to. In Mah'ria's case, she wanted to go to Francis Howell. Francis Howell was a school full of white students and had little to non people of color. At the meeting I mentioned before, parents spoke out and said very rude things. Asking that if these kids from Normandy come,they want metal detectors because apparently these kids were going to be extremely violent. They made comments that I found mean and rude regarding if their children's scores were going to be brought down. They even suggested ways so that these students wouldn't want to attend Francis Howell such as making the school day start earlier so it would be more of a struggle for them to travel. The comments these parents made were surrounding the fact that having Normandy kids come into their school would ruin the school as a whole.  Mah'ria wanted to speak up for herself but couldn't get herself to do it because while she was walking up to the microphone, she heard the hurtful things those parents continued to say and agree on. When she started her new school, she was scared of walking in on the first day because she thought it was going to be just as bad as it was at the meeting. Fortunately, things were great on the first day for her. People greeted her in a nice way and she was even able to make a friend. Things changed when her old school, Normandy got the new title of being a non-accredited school. This put them in a whole different category so this meant that all the kids that left when they had the chance to, now had to come back. Nedra Martin found herself struggling once again to get her daughter in a better school.  Finally after trying and trying, she got a judge to side with her. Mah'ria got to transfer back to Francis Howell. That was mostly the main points of this certain talk and I liked it because it shows the different views on this matter. As a reader, I was able to pick up on the real issues with segregation in schools and how it affects a students ability to learn. 
563: The Problem We Live With Part 2
In this reading, we get to hear from Chana Joffe-walt about how other people approach this issue. Chana talks about how she knew a young lady Kiana Jackson and how she approached integration with a more positive attitude. Kiana is a person of color and she loves interacting and communication with white people because she liked experiencing something different. This is a different look because usually when students notice skin color differences, they stick to their own color when communicating. Kiana even went to a college where she knew there would be a lot of white people because she says it is important that people step out their comfort zones and experience different things. Along with Kiana as an example, Chana talks about John Brittain and his role in the steps to integration. He fought and fought and was about to create Magnet Schools that allowed all different races to come together in a school so they could learn more/better. More and more people signed up their children in these kinds of schools and notice a huge difference. They also came to conclusions that it wasn't a terrible thing to be integrated. She gave an example of a couple, Ryan and Sarah Welcome who had a more negative view on enrolling their children in Magnet Schools. After visiting and seeing for themselves that these schools are a huge tool, they were able to have a more open mind. I think this reading is a good way to show people the benefits of integrated schools. A lot of people get scared of violence, different levels of learning and things like that but I think this is a great way to give everyone the same opportunities. 
Quote From "Separate and Unequal " by Bob Herbert 
"Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discrimination, economic disparities and long-held custom, they most emphatically are in reality."
I think this brings up something very important and it's that event though there is no legal segregation in schools, it's going to happen no matter what because that it the life we live in. Most people choose to stay with others within their own races because that's where they think they seem to belong and fit more. 
Article of The Providence Journal 
I choose to include this article because I found it interesting that it relates to the school we are in. This article talks about schools in Rhode Island, Colleges for the most part. It seems to come up a lot in class how people view our school. Either people say it's the whitest school they've been to, or they say that it's the most diverse. Out of all the schools in this state at the time, Rhode Island College had the most amount of people of color attending. Each year our school seems to become more and more integrated.
** More on Statistics **
Connection to Other Texts:
Automatically I can relate this to SCWAAMP. W stands for whiteness in this activity. All these issues revolve around how much we value whiteness in this country. It's easier to go to school and get an education if you're white. It's easier to get a job if you're not a person of color. A lot of people have their stereotypical ways of thinking of people of color and that makes it harder harder to feel equal to white people. 
Questions/Comments/Point to Share:
Why must it be so hard to view everyone as equal. We are all capable of the same things but still, I think stereotypes really stick with people. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, not everyone can look past the skin color someone might have. I don't believe that one race is better than the other. Everyone should get an equal and fair opportunity at anything they want to do.
I think this is saying that everyone goes to school, but if you go to a lower end school, you're not getting anywhere near the same education as someone else who goes to a higher end school. Everyone should have equal opportunities so when they go out into the real world after school, they all have a fair shot. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

In The Service of What ?

Resources That Helped Me Get A Better Understanding: 
* Elizabeth's Blog 
*Jasmine's Blog

Terms I Needed To Look Up: 
Altruism: The belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. 
Alleviate: make (suffering, deficiency, or a problem) less severe.
Invigorate: give strength or energy to. 

In The Service of What?
The Politics of Service Learning 
By Joseph Kahne & Joel Westheimer
Extended Comments on Kate Gould's Blog 

   For this week's blog, I choose to write a response with Kate's blog as the focus because I think she did a good job at explaining and getting right to the main points. Kate explained in her post how the main concept of this piece was to show the different ways service learning effects the children, teachers and the volunteers involved. She goes on to then explain the two different learning cases that were talked about. Mr. Johnson's project  was set for students as individuals to go out and help different groups of people. On the other hand, Ms. Adam's worked with her students as a whole to raise money and from there they worked with a specific group. I agree with what Kate said next and that was, "The students in Mr. Johnson's class I think they really benefitted from the experience. This type of work helps students explore different types of careers and experience all different life styles; while also helping out those in need. Ms. Adam's class however I think is creating more of a difference towards those who need help."(Kate Gould) These two projects are really alike in some ways but then again have differences. For Mr. Johnson's project, they were able to experience and benefit more because of what they were exposed to. They were able to see different kinds of life styles that were still in need but maybe not too much in need compared to the people Ms.Adam's class worked with. Ms.Adam's class focused on more of the homeless and helped with their shelters. Both projects helped a variety of different people in their situations but in different ways through their services. 
"Are people participating in service learning because they feel they have a sense of duty or are they doing it for the greater good for those in need?" (Kate Gould)
    I think this was an important question to add in because it I think it is important to ask yourself this when you are someone that in participating in some sort of service learning. I love going into the classroom where I've been assigned and helping these kids and I don't see myself doing it just because I have to for this class. Yes, for this class 15 hours is a requirement so I go to complete the requirement but I plan to keep going and hope that I am making a difference for these kids. I go each week and work on math with them and I can already see them improving with their skills. In this case, I am doing in for the children's benefit and not just because I have to. In these classrooms they need that extra body or two to work with a smaller group of children to make sure they really understand whatever topic we are learning about. Service learning should be something we enjoy doing and see purpose in it rather then just going to say that you did. 

   Kate mentioned at the end of her blog that she can relate this article to the one we read before by Kristof's. I completely agree with how she related these two articles. If Rick had people come into his school, he may have enjoyed going to school and therefore got more out of it.

Points To Share: 
I think it is important to talk about how much service learning can benefit people and people who choose to volunteer their time,should take it serious. If there is someone who does volunteer their time and goes into a school for example to work with children, they should want to be there. They need to see the value of their time there. If you go just to go, can you really say you made a difference for those children? Did you help them learn? Do they enjoy you being there? And mostly, do they feel good about the time they have spent there?