Friday, October 23, 2015

Separate is not Equal

Reading and listening to these stories and articles really opened my eyes completely. Thinking about the way that I grew up these types of situations were never truly a problem, but after reading and listen they really are. There were black and white students in my school although most were white. Once I read the Hebert article things made sense. He was basically saying how highly profession teachers try to avoid the schools that black or latino students attend nothing due to the fact of their race but more to the fact that those are lower poverty schools. Therefore, the teachers who are not so well trained are teaching these students giving them a lower "student achievement rate." So it still kind of shows in our generation that segregation is still part of our culture but we are not fully aware because it is not as crucial as it once was.

The two listening pieces were a little different one spoke about the same things that Hebert was speaking about and how these students in the poor poverty schools are getting worse teachers than those students in better schools. Now the students in the lower schools are getting a worse education and lower test scores, now these students are behind. They spoke about there own lives as well and trying to discuss integration schools but no one wants to talk about it or make it happen. These were the problem that these people were facing and the schools were facing.

The second listening piece was basically speaking about how students and the environment that you're in makes you who you are. They speaking about "integration happening by accident." These students went to a school where no white students have never been in before. The students there were not mean but this happened to be the opposite students were interested in why they were there and asking questions. They kept speaking about how the environment that these schools are in like the location these changes the view of the schools.
These parents were talking about North Hartford and make it sound like it was a bad area. Some parents are nervous that they will be the only white people in these schools. Integration by accident. This happens because people are starting to change the norms.

These four pieces that we had to read and listen too all connect to one another. For me I needed to listen and read all of these things because I never thought about any of these problems still being a problem. We know now that they still are though, even looking into the real world and the connection to all of our service learning experiences. Looking at their test scores compared to the average state test scores, like we had to do for our journals, I noticed the school I am at has very low percentages. Like I stated above the higher professional and educated teachers avoid the lower poverty schools. This then affects the students and I am able to connect this through my service learning experience. These pieces really opened my eyes in a way that I was not looking at the world before and that these scenarios are still problems in the world around us.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kahne and Westheimer

"Serve learning makes students active participants in service projects that aim to respond to the needs of the community while furthering the academic goals of students." 

This quote explains how service learning is important because it helps students and teachers with having an extra hand in the classroom or just helping the community in general with whatever service learning they decide to go into. It also helps the actual student doing the service learning better themselves. It gives the student a better understanding of the things that they will experience when they actually go out into the field. This also helps the student because it helps them really decide if this is the path that they want to go down.

"By finding and engaging in community service activities, Mr. Johnson explained, students would interact with those less fortunate than themselves and would experience the excitement and joy of learning while using the community as a classroom." 

When this teacher explained that the students were going to help people that were less fortunate than they were, he explained that they are going to feel happy about doing this. By having the chance to use the "community as a classroom" just gives students a chance to explore their options and see how many opportunities are truly out there in the community.

"By engaging in meaningful service - whether tutoring children for whom English is a second language, helping patients in a hospital, doing difficult chores for the elderly, or supervising younger children's recreational activities - students will have opportunities to experience what David Hornbeck, former Maryland state superintendent, referred to as 'the joy of reaching out to others.'"

This quote is meaningful because it shows that there is joy when you each out to helps others. From something as little to helping a student solve a math problem to helping elderly people move from a chair to a bed any of those things can be so rewarding. When you find something that you love doing it just starts to naturally come to you and you feel that joy throughout the entire time you're engaged with it.

After doing our service learning for class and reading this article, I know that I get really excited when the students I work with get what they are working on after I helped them on it. It feels so rewarding to be able to help someone understand something especially when they are struggling. I also believe that these three quotes that I have picked to share express the true meaning of how you should feel when you find something you are truly inspired by.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Christensen's article really discusses how our world revolves around what we look like and how we all present ourselves and who we look up to. Mainly children and younger people. She brings up media and how movies and characters in those movies portray themselves. Children see that and keep in there mind how they are "supposed" to look.

"To help students uncover the values being planted by Disney, Mattel, and Nick, and to help them construct more just ones, I begin this 'unlearning and myths' unit with two objectives. First I want students to critique portrayals of hierarchy and inequality in  children's movies and cartoons. Then I want to enlist them to imagine a better world, characterized by relationships of respect and equality." 

Christensen wants students to realize that they are all beautiful in their own way. She wants them to realize that we are all equal no matter what we look like or what movies are cartoons display. We live in a world where beauty basically comes before most. Women go through plastic surgery all of the time to look "perfect." So many women are insure with themselves and they do these things to make themselves feel better. Christensen is explaining how at such a young age these things are exposed to young children. If we think about the Disney princesses, they "originally" princesses were all white. Until recently when the first black princesses was introduced. Many may not thing that this is a problem but when we think of princesses we think of beauty and power. When you are a young black girl growing up only seeing white princesses how do you think they feel?

I believe that Christensen is trying to prove a point in that fact that at a young age we need to try and expose children to knowing that it is not all about how you look. Movies and cartoons need to really start realizing that as well, and have more of a variety. As a young child they need to know that beauty comes in all different forms and make sure they they feel good about themselves everyday. Even though it is really hard to change the cultural norms of todays society and what is considered beautiful, hopefully this can change and hopefully movies and media are a start of this change.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Safe Spaces

This book really gets into a lot of detail on the school systems and how they may or may not include LGBT into the way students look at one another. I know that in the high school level of schooling this can become something that many students start to become aware of more and more. Gerry the author of this book says that teachers should be accepting of LGBT students and should be making sure others are not making fun these students.

"Teachers cannot legislate friendships or alliances; they cannot single-handedly change minds or hearts. Educators can, however, create inclusive and safe classrooms" (p.96).

I believe that Gerry is trying to get teachers more aware that they do have the power to help LGBT students feel more comfortable in the classroom by educating the other students more about LGBT students. I know in my school there where a few LGBT students and they did feel like outsiders because some people were just mean about it. I think it is completely unfair to judge anyone off who they like or what they want to do with their life. In Gerry's story I believe that is somewhat what he is trying to prove. He wants people to hopefully become more educated on this especially students, this way the LGBT students can go into a classroom and feel comfortable like the quote above states. 

Hopefully parents as well will get involved and teach their children from a young age that it is okay to be different than other people. Whether someone has two moms or two dads or want to be gay or lesbian or even transgender no matter what a person is a person and everyone should be treated equally.