Saturday, April 16, 2016

"Empowering Education" by Ira Shor

Empowering Education
By: Ira Shor


This article truly showed how to teach in a classroom and how to include all of your students. If they are able to participate and connect it to what they already know, they will be engaged and not resist anything that the teacher does.

On page 13, Shor says that "students who come to class with their own dreams and agendas, sometimes cooperating with and sometimes resisting the intentions of the school and the teacher". So Shor is saying the the reason some children go to school is to follow their dreams but then on page 15, he says that schools "teach students what kind of people to be and what kind of society to build". So what is is??? Are they going to follow their dreams only to be turned down and have to do what the school tells them is right for them? I think Shor is contradicting himself there....

Page 28 gave a good example on how to run a class so as to involve the students and not have resistance.
"...students could participate more, answer their peer's questions as best as they could, practice thinking out loud, and display what they already knew-all this before I provided nay academic response. They syllabus was built upward from student responses instead of downward from my comments...making a democratic curriculum is a way to authorize students as co-developers of their education...which in turn will reduce their resistance."

Teachers need to "embrace education without fear of boredom or of a cultural invasion" (54) and have their students use what they know and their cultural background to help them understand and let their peers learn more about them as well.

"Few students will learn academic material if it is lectured at them in a manner designed simply to transfer information...subject matter is best introduced as problems related to student experience" (54).
Then why do we still have lecture classes in college and in other schools? We are literally just told information to remember for a test and then it is forgotten. We need to be able to participate and relate it to other things so students can remember it and use it in the future and not just forget about after they write it down to be graded.

Point to Share:

This was a great reading to wrap up the semester with because you can connect it to a lot of the other readings we had, like Delpit and Johnson. Also was a great reading on how to structure your classroom and lesson plans.

I also thought Shor was a woman until I googled the name and realized he was a 70 year old man...because most of our readings were from a female's perspective.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
By: Christopher Kliewer


"I have Down syndrome, but I am not handicapped." (93)

Down Syndrome: genetic disorder where there is an extra chromosome 21; causes developmental delays as well as intellectual delays.

This article was a hard read. The personal stories definitely helped me understand it better. I don't know how else to organize this post so I am just going to go by page and type what they made me think of.

"Community acceptance requires opportunity for individual participation in the group, but opportunity cannot exist outside of community acceptance." (75)
 I believe that every person, no matter who you are or what you have, should have an accepting community that helps them strive in whatever they do. If there is no accepting community, then that person cannot strive and will just go deeper into a hole and not believe in themselves.

The story on page 78 about Anne reminded me about a young guy in my high school, let's call him Bob. At my high school, we have a Special Ed. room. It is located in a huge classroom where the art hallway and music hallway meet. There are many teachers in the room for the maybe 7 students that stay in that room all day. Bob stayed in that room for all of his high school education. In fact, he stayed in that room and learned until he aged out of the system at 21 years old. My high school also had a Playschool Program where kids from the community could come in and be taught and we would be certified in the Rhode Island teaching standards. Bob loved kids and his aid thought it would be great if he could come in the room and hang out with the children while we taught. He was in the room each day the children were there for all 3 years I was in the program. When he spoke to us, we could only catch a few words. His aid understood everything he was saying since she was with him for many years. The children also completely understood what he said to them and always wanted him in the room. Each day, the "teaching" group of students would set aside time for Bob to talk to the students and basically teach them, too. Bob and the students loved that time and were so involved. Sadly, Bob turned 21 and had to leave and the children were so sad because they knew he wouldn't be coming to teach them anymore. Those days were just so important to Bob and he loved them and I wish they would let the other students in the Special Ed. room be more involved with the school and community rather than just staying in that one room all day and go to art or music at their designated time.

"No child...[is] inherently an intellectual burden to a classroom; in fact,...each student...[contributes] a unique and potentially valuable dimension to the web of relationships that formed a school community." (83)
The children should be able to interact with students who are not disabled and learn just like how non-disabled students learn. Some may need an aid or extra time, but accommodations should be made so they can learn and strive. Some students at my high school had disabilities and had an aid with them in certain classes and had extra time on some assignments and they did perfectly well interacting and learning with other students. Just like on page 92, when integrated into a "normal" school, the disabled student did completely fine and actually improved on her gross and fine motor skills.

The spoon and block test for Isaac on page 84 just aggravated me. He did EXACTLY what the psychologist told him to do, which was sort the spoons from the blocks, and Isaac did it but in his own way (licked the spoons). He sorted the spoons and the blocks but not the way the psychologist wanted him to so he was not given credit...but there were no spoons with the blocks and no blocks with the spoons....crazy lady.

Lastly, on page 86, John moved to Mendocino, California and considered it his "safe space." That relates to August and how the LGBT community needs a safe space. Disabled people need safe spaces too....everyone should have a safe space.

Points/Questions to share:

Just a thought/ this where Oakes' tracking should come into affect? Should we not categorize by disability and say "No you have Down Syndrome, you aren't smart, you belong in a special ed room" but instead say "Oh even though you have down syndrome, you are in the 70-80 range and belong with other students in that range even though they don't have down syndrome".....I don't know, it's just a thought...

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Map the Authors

Here is the link to my "Map the Authors".

It's basically just all my notes and ideas from FNED class time and from my time at my SL classroom. There might be some sentences that are basically the same because I did not know how to word it but I will figure that out for the Pecha Kucha.