Sunday, March 30, 2014

Literacy with an Attitude: Connections

Okay, so this week's article was super long and hard to get through, but I did it. While reading this article I kept thinking about Delpit, and Rodriguez.

There are more examples for Delpit than Rodriguez, but one quote in particular stood out to me:
         "The discourse (ways of communication and the beliefs, attitudes, values, habits, and behaviors that underlie them-especially attitudes related to authority, conformity, and power) of working class communities is at odds with the discourse of the schools. This makes acquisition of school discourse and powerful literacy difficult for working class children".
This quote reminds me of Rodriguez in the way that he describes "private identity" and "public identity" because if the discourse at home is that school isn't very important and what is important is being able to work without knowing a lot, then students won't try as hard at school. I have known many people who Rodriguez would describe as having two identities because they act a certain way outside of their house and the complete opposite once they are home. I feel like when students think they must keep their private lives a secret from their public lives then one of their lives will overpower the other. 

The next quote which I absolutely love is one that has Delpit written all over it,"
          "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". 
This is such a great example of what Delpit was saying in her entire article. The fact that Finn strictly tells the students the rules and codes of power without asking useless questions is exactly what Delpit wants all teachers to do. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Brown vs. Board of Education Free Response

 Let me start by saying that usually I can't stand politics and I get so bored listening to people talk about them. This made watching the first clip difficult because they started by talking about politics, but I watched it twice and got through it.

In the beginning of the first clip Tim Wise, the author of the book being discussed, says that he isn't very optimistic about the progress we've made with Obama as our president because there is still "evidence of racism against the average, everyday black and brown community". I think that from that first part of the interview I can see what Tim is saying is true and I think there are still signs of it. I mean I've seen people think that someone who is black is obnoxious and rude because they state their opinions even if people don't agree with them. Then the same person who thought it was obnoxious of the black person stating their opinion can be completely fine with a white person being rude when stating their opinion. I view that as a sign that people haven't really changed as much as we hoped because it means that a white person can say whatever they want how they want and that a black person can't say what they think if it isn't of popular opinion.

The next comment the interviewer and Tim Wise say is that "racism 1.0 was defeated this time but will it be defeated every time". Tim defines racism 1.0 as the type of blind hatred that has been seen less but it is still seen today. He then goes on to talk about "racism 2.0 the enlightened exceptionalism", which many people who support Obama have because he is different from the black or brown norm which is still seen in a bad light. Tim describes polls that prove that many whites today still think that most blacks are lazy, don't want to work, and cannot be successful. Many of the points that were brought up by the Tim Wise interview are seen in the history of the Brown vs Board of Education website.

I found this fact to be very cool I never knew that they had made a movie about the case of separate but equal. It bothers me greatly that people can still hate someone just because of how they look. I wish I could believe that it takes more than appearance to make someone hate you, but I know first hand that it is not true. I just don't understand how people can hate someone when they don't know one thing about that person except the color of their skin.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

In The Service Of What? Hyperlinks

This week's article, "In The Service of What?" by Joseph Khane and Joel Westheimer made me think about where else I have seen projects such as the ones described in the article, but also like the one we are currently doing for our class.

The author's main question is in the service of what?, and I think it is a good question. The website that the link brings you to is all about the service learning requirements in Wisconsin and why they use it. While Wisconsin isn't Rhode Island the ideas can be transferred over into our own state. When you click on the other links on the website you can see the standards that the state has for service learning projects and also the research that the state has done in order to decide if they will use these projects. The second website link brings you to a website from Carlton College and tells you why they use service learning projects in their classrooms.

When the authors began describing the two cases that they studied when writing this article the first one immediately made me think of something my high school had us do. In our US Democracy class the students put on a Democracy night at the end of the quarter in which everyone in the community is welcome to come and see the students projects. While our democracy night is different from what the authors were describing it is related in that it gets the students involved in problems in the community and makes them think of ways to bring about change.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us

This week my blog post will be an extended comment based on Brandy's blog.

      In Brandy's blog she focuses on other articles she found that relate to our article for the week. In her post she talks about the cartoons that most of us grew up watching or have at least heard of before. One of her hyperlinks from the website Cracked tells all the dark sides of some of my old favorite cartoons. As Brandy points out that Dora trusts her life to a bunch of random strangers, what are the kids learning from that? We spend years telling the kids in our lives that they shouldn't talk to strangers or trust them, but when we let them watch something like Dora (or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) they are learning that maybe it is okay to talk to strangers to help them out. No wonder so many kids are confused about what to do when they are put into a situation where a stranger is trying to talk to them or ask for their help.

      Brandy's next link discusses the effects cartoons and TV in general has on children. The article states that many of the children shows and cartoons that are on now feature violence and have become addicting to children. I have seen that first hand when my friend puts her daughter down for a nap they must watch one episode of one of her favorite shows. I know that when I was young I was allowed to watch The Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, and Rugrats. After reading this weeks article and the article Brandy posted I can see how these "innocent" cartoons can be seen as violent or teaching kids how to get into trouble. In Looney Tunes and Scooby-Doo there is violence and some inappropriate ideas being discussed. In Rugrats the babies sneak out of their playpen and go on "dangerous" adventures that, in the end tell a moral, can seem to teach kids the wrong things to do.

      In the last link Brandy posts, the hard truth about Disney movies comes out and breaks all of our fairy tales. As many YouTube videos and news articles show, Disney has hidden messages in their movies but all seem harmless to little children and the rest of us may choose not to believe it.

After reading this article and Brandy's post I am upset that the dreamland of Disney had to be broken down, but everything that I read makes sense and is, I think, in a way true. I completely agree with Brandy's post and the article, even though I wish I didn't.