Friday, May 1, 2009

Diversity Event

This event was honestly sent by a saving grace. There were many events that I had wanted to attend but because of my work schedule and school schedule I wasn't able to go to them until today. 

There was a conference held in the Student Union from 10:00 am till 5:00pm. It was an all day event but split up into different sections. I went to the event at noon. It was session two titled Diversity.

I wasn't sure quite what to expect from this conference at first. I wasn't sure if it would be just facts or stories or idea swapping. I was very surprised at how much I really enjoyed it. I felt engaged in what they had to say. The main idea was how diversity can bring in a whole new realm of ideas and contributions to not only the workplace but schools, community, and government as well. IT was put into terms that diversity wasn't just a word that could be spoken about, rather a word that should be built on change. There is no reason why we cannot add these ideas to our regular lifestyle. Rather than point out the differences, accept  and embrace them. The enforced the ideas that our world can grow much more efficiently if diversity becomes a part of our lives. 

I find nothing wrong with bringing about diversity into our society, actually i see it as very beneficial. I have always wondered what it would be like to be a different race or have a different accent or live in a different country. I'm sure many people have wondered that as well. Well, if we continue to accept the ideas of diversity and act upon those ideas then we will have real life examples of the differences we once though about in ourselves. Diversity should be big in schools, children should be able to feel comfortable whenever they are in a diverse setting and by starting them off young they will adapt and it will become part of their regular routine. 

This event made me realize that when i finally do become a teacher I will embrace and promote diversity as much and as well as i can.  I will put posters up showing diversity, teach about, do activities. Each little thing counts and I want to be that someone who makes that little difference. Children today, especially now need to lean on a good foundation if they want to get a good understanding of how the world should be rather than how it has been.

Talking points...#10

Privilege, Power and Difference
What can we do?
Allan G Johnson

Johnson argues about racism. He claims that in order to fix what the present problems we need to learn from our past mistakes and take into account what has been done before. 

1> " Dont let other people set the standard for you."
This quote was short but I really enjoyed for the simple fact that it is 100% true. We need to find the power within ourselves to be ourselves and think our own thoughts. we need to be heard, seen and understood if we want to make a change. But it starts with our individual self.

2> "Its easy to have opinions, but it takes work to know what you're talking about."
So many people in this world, even our own friends and family members have done this in the past. They can spit out all they have to say but its straight air. I know I have done it before to. Sometimes its hard to have facts to back up what you really mean to say but the more we do that the more informed we will be.

3>"Its amazing how much of the time we compare ourselves to other people as a way to see how well we fit in."
I know for a fact that this occurs far too often, especially with women. People are so worried about fitting in that they forget what is really important and that is coming together to brign about change and acceptance of diversity. 

Once again as said before, all this talk about change and acceptance does no good if there are no actions, facts and will power behind this method of madness. People can talk all they want but can they do?

Talking Points...#9

Citizenship in School: reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
By: Christopher Kliewer

The issue with equality in schools has always been visible, however it is a double edge sword when it comes to children with down syndrome. Its often hard to find that happy medium for all the students. I do feel, however, that those with down syndrome should be taken out of the classroom when working in subjects with which they have a hard time understanding. this way here those students in the classroom will be able to understand at their pace and the down syndrome students wont become overwhelmed with the ideas of finishing their work at the time of all the other kids.  I understand that Kliewer wants everyone to have individual needs met and respect. In order to have those individual needs, sometimes those children need to be somewhat separated from some class situations to help them better understand. 
1.} No child was inherently an intellectual burden to a classroom, in fact she argued each student contributed a unique and potentially valuable dimension to the web of relationships that formed a school community." The quote is basically saying that students who attend shcool should receive the same treatment regardless of their diagnosis. No child should have guilt of feeling like they are hindering the other classmates. The teacher should recognize each child and what they have to offer. 

2.} "If you came into the room and were told there was a retarded child in class, a child with special needs, I dont think you would pick Lee out. The kids really agree that he is as capable as they are. Intellectually the same." I liked this quote because the kids see him just the same as they are and i feel that it allows the student (lee) to feel more comfortable in a classroom setting. 

3.} "Its about all of us working together, playing together, being together, and thats what learning is. Dont tell me any of these kids are being set up to fail." Like I said above, i feel that inside the classroom if a particular student or students are having a tough time with the curriculum then it is okay to take them aside but I dont not feel that these students should be completely shut out and sent off all together in a separate classroom. 

I think each student should be accounted for individually this way here the teacher is able to pin point they needs inside and outside of the classroom. I enjoyed this reading because it opened up my eyes to what is happened without many realizing the controversial split. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Anita hill is a Boy

I love her argument that gender should be equally accounted for within a classroom setting. It should be implemented at a young age therefore there is no superiority battle between men and women later on in life. Those parents who freak out if their son chooses a more femanine color or toy over a matchbox car need to rethink how they react to their child's choices because that can be just as detrimental. I do however believe in some form of guidence as to gender role as far as dolls, shoes, colorful toys, and mak-up for girls and cars, sports, and dump trucks. However as much as this guidence is important it is also important to embrace if they choose otherwise.

""If i told them I was interested in women's history, theyd call me a fag, so i just take it and dont talk about it."....This quote angered me because I hate the idea that what people say controls who you choose to be as a person. Words hurt especially from people your age. I went through so much shit in high school with what people said about my body shape, being thick, i changed so much to a point where i was in an intensive care unit\ rehab center because of "words" and the idea that women are all supposed to be the shape of elegant ballerinas. 

"When boys feel like they're being forced to admire women they pick one that they behaves sort of like a man. Thats what they can best relate to."...I like this quote, I grew up with boys my whole life and they always tried to out-do their manliness and it was so funny to sit back and watch it all as a girls perspective. I feel like it is just a male instinct to be that way, it is true that you tend to classify yourself with what you know...both males and females.

"Some educators are developing strategies to break down gender and race hierarchies in cooperative learning groups."...Every person develops their mind differently. Even though it is a good idea in theory to break down these hierarchies different learning and viewing strategies need to be taken into account. Its not wrong but there is far more to it than just a "break down".

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lawrence Talking points...

Lawrence argues that sure, its great to make the change to desegregate schools but that is just the foundation to this sand castle of little grains. We need to understand that all this change cannot come at once, people need to accept that change is a progression and a slow one if it is done correctly. It goes beyond words and new rules, it is actions as well as dicipline. You cant just wake up one morning and say okay the world has changed, because that is the furthest from reality. We also need to embrace the idea that no matter how much change is implanted into our world, there will still be a select few who feel the necessity to combat this change through and through. This, once again, is reality that we must face.

"In 1954 we believed that school integration would break down racist attitudes by bringing white and black children together."......Once again this is also an issue much like Kozol and connecting to Tim wise. Clearly it is a good idea but racism goes way past good ideas, we cannot put another band-aid on a broken leg. Change needs to occur and reoccur..not just a quick fix.

"The mere placement of black and white children in the same school does not remove that brand imprinted by years of segregation."

This quote hit exactly on the head of how I feel about this whole situation. It basically is saying that we cannot just say ok, everything is fixed, lets move on from doesnt work that way...this issue is like kneeding dough, oyu cant just roll over it once, it need to be worked over and over again to become one flat equal playing field for all races.

"We must devise and demand remedies that go beyond mere pupil placement."

We need to recognize that the problem of racism occurs outside of school and we need to say the right words in order for that change to occur. Things dont just happen by one change in events. It is a process and with that process change will follow. We need to 1) recognize our problem 2) say the right words to process the changes 3) take actions on our words because ultimately words are nothing without actions.

Tim Wise...Talking points..

Tim Wise makes a good argument when he say that those who are in the dominant race tend to neglect the idea that racism still exists. Those who are not reminded on a regular day-to-day basis forget about these occurences. Once again, we are reminded from previous pieces that this lack of understanding and taking part is just putting another band-aid on a broken leg. In that way he connects to Kozol but he also connects to Delpit with the codes of power and Johnson with the initiative to speak out and make a change.

"So even the truly talented students of color will be unable to access those extra points simply because of where they live." This quote is so true and yet so sad. I even see it in the Elementary school that I teach at. I see some kids there that are so great and are so smart but unfortunately the odds are stacked against them. I came from a private catholic school my whole life and I've seen kids get into different things or onto different teams just by who they knew or their social status. Its so aggravating to see that happening when those kids don't care to have the potential they just have the right status to excel.

Monday, March 23, 2009