Friday, December 2, 2011

Gender and Education Research Reflection

Gender Equity In Education: Is It Possible?

I found this article online and it immediately caught my attention with its introduction:

"Gender equity in education. Despite efforts to create a better environment for girls in the education system, barriers to learning persist and gender inequity continues to flourish. Here's why."

It is very true that girls and boys are treated differently in the classroom whether it be in elementary school or even in college. In my opinion, it all has to do with the fact that in history boys were the only ones who went to school and girls were expected to stay and tend the home. This article states that boys in school are more likely to be called on, given attention, and be put into higher level groups than girls. The article also states that colleges now are not working hard enough to teach students how to avoid gender bias in the classroom. Because of higher expectations for boys they are the ones expected to be in the higher level classes, "girls are cheated out of the education they deserve."
I find it ridiculous that this occurs but honestly I have never really focused in on it before this year. Thinking back on when I was in school I remember the boys in my grade being encouraged to take the AP classes or they purposely did not do well in class in order to not be recommended for those certain classes. The girls that wanted to take the higher level classes, I feel, were held to a higher standard in those classes than the boys just because they were there. When I was in high school I remember taking honors French class and I remember getting much more specific detailed corrections on my assignments that had wrong answers than my guy friends in that class.
The fact that Gender inequality exists in the classroom needs to come to an end which is easier said than done.

Wise/Brown V. Board Reflection

Wise "Between Barack and a Hard Place" Reflection
Everything Wise had to say was very interesting and really made me think things over. I agree that people over reacted when Obama got elected because lots of people thought this was the end to racism but that is not true at all. Racism is still here, even saying that Obama becoming president was a triumph for his race was a racist comment. No white president had a triumph for their race when they became president. We are used to a white president, some people say, but honestly what is the difference besides their skin color. Either way they are going to be president and rule based on what they believe the country needs not based on anything having to do with their race. I have heard someone say that now that Obama is president our country is in worse shape but not because of his race but due to the fact that he is not following through on some of his promises. 
Brown v. Board of Education website
"Brown did not constitute a perfect solution to the problem of unequal opportunity, but it did help end legal segregation in the United States. It also demonstrated the resilience of our democratic institutions. Americans’ pursuit of racial justice is a complex story that reveals the weaknesses of the human character, while at the same time affording hope in the triumph of the human spirit."
I completely agree with this quote because it says how it is illegal now to segregate but people thought that this was an automatic solution to racism. It has been a long road and will continue to be a long road till racism disappears. The only way for racism to be gone is for everyone to be a part of the solution because in a way everyone is a part of the problem.

I feel like this is a bit scatter brained but I think i got my point across at the end...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Promising Practices Post

I really enjoyed the promising practices event we went to on November 5th. Almost everything about it was educational but some parts were not.
The session I was in was session H called Art and Diverse Expressions.
The first workshop was called Honoring Diverse Expression through Artistic Processes and it was conducted by Virginia Freyermuth. She discussed how art is more than just self expression. She said that art can lead to personal change/ social change. I completely agreed with this statement because I am a music major. Although it is a different form of art I still feel that any form of art can lead to personal change and social change. We worked on a project called prayer sticks originally of Native American tradition. Instead she called them hope sticks. Everything on the stick was relevant meaning anything from the colors of the beads or number of beads, to the number of times one wraps string around the stick. There is also symbolic meaning for the type of tree a stick came from. If the hope/prayer stick was given as a gift it was a very meaningful present. This project when done with the kids is to help them understand that there will always be hope. Another favorite thing that she had said was that there is an inner artist in everyone.
The second workshop was called Celebrating Diversity- Using Art Merged with Literacy conducted by Kristen Vito-Silva. She discussed about how when the students walk into the classroom it is a blank canvas and they will be creating their own space with all of their own art work. "Art can be anywhere and everywhere, even woven into everyday teaching practices." In order to work with them, you need to know your students, their background, and what makes them tick. She gave us a packet that included some of their work. My favorite one was this one:

High places
Can't go to the edge
Heart starts beeping
Like never before
Try to get
To the edge
Feel like
Somebody is pulling me
Scitter scatter
Right out of the room
On a boat I feel like
I am going to fall over
Tall building
My blood
Really fast
I feel like
It's trying to
Pull me away
From the edge
Fears started
When I cracked my head

Just the fact that this came from a young child is amazing to me.
The workshops were my most favorite part of the whole conference. I did not enjoy the teen empowerment was not useful because they were doing ice breakers which would have been more useful in small groups. I found the panel informative but I did not take many notes on it so I sadly do not have a ton to say about that.

In conclusion, I am very surprised that I enjoyed the conference but I am glad I went and maybe I will go next year...

Talking Points #5 Kahne and Westheimer extended comments

In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning

I used this post as extended comments from Elyssa's reflection on this article.
I agree that the students would get more out of the experience in Ms. Adams' class project than Mr. Johnson's. All the students in Mr. Johnson's class tried to be a part of the solution but they did not try to hard to find the exact root of the problem. Ms. Adams' class examined all aspects of homelessness such as political, social, and economic causes.
I also kind of agree with her point about service learning having a negative effect. In my high school it was a requirement to do a certain number of community service hours. When senior week came along we all were separated and divided among different community service opportunities. I was required to go to the Greater Boston Food Bank. All we did was divide foods that were brought in as donations. I honestly did not feel like i knew where it would go, how it would be distributed, or anything like that. I only felt as though I was doing this just so I could graduate. We never had any interactions with the people we would be helping which would probably have been a better way of showing us what we are doing to help.
Elyssa makes a good point about how in order to help the less fortunate to the best of our ability, we must have a hands on first hand look at the problem.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Random Post

This is a little random but it had to do with the week that we talked about the GLSEN articles. I thought of a play the I have read called "The Laramie Project."
It is a true story basedin Laramie, Wyoming on Matthew Shepard, an openly gay college student beaten and left chained to a fence to die because of his sexuality.

It has also been made into a movie that I suggest everyone watch the movie or read the play.

Talking Points #4 Christensen Hyperlinks

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us

While reading this article the first thing that popped into my head was the children's movie "Cinderella." I think that this movie has a lot of ability to influence the thoughts and mindset about others for children.
The Cinderella Complex is all about girls just waiting for their prince charming to come along and save them. It also has to do with the idea of beauty. Ever notice that most of the original Disney Princesses, such as Cinderella and Aurora, are blonde with blue eyes.
It was later that Disney actually added a brunette princess, Belle. Still when it comes to beauty for girls in disney movies, all the princesses a skinny, light skinned, and they all have a beautiful ball gown that fits them perfectly.
The next thing I thought of when I was reading this article was this video by Jenna Marbles.
She makes very good points during her video. She focuses mostly on the Disney princesses.

It's Jenna Marbles... Sorry about the language, it's how she is in her videos....

  • Completely inappropriate for young girls; Jasmine is a genie, ariel has barely any clothes on
  • All the evil characters are old, ugly, or big
  • Main goal is to find a prince to take care of them, and live "Happily Ever After"
  • Most of them do not listen to their parents directions
I really enjoyed this article in general because it is very true. Most children are easily influenced by these movies.

Talking Points #3: GLSEN article reflection

Harsh Realities Finds Transgender Youth Face Extreme Harassment in School

This article discusses transgender youth harassment in school.
"Nearly nine out of 10 transgender students experienced verbal harassment at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation and gender expression, more than half experienced physical harassment because of their sexual orientation and gender expression and more than a quarter experienced physical assault because of their sexual orientation and gender expression."
This article made me really think about how much harassment there is in school, whether its by students or teachers. I know of a couple of students from my high school that are transgender. One of my friends, who I knew as Eva has just recently changed her name to Evan. Since the end of high school, I feel as though she has become more comfortable with herself. In our high school, most of the students were not very accepting to the LGBT community except for those students in our Gay-Straight Alliance. It is sad but there were a lot of students harassed in school because of their sexual orientation and/or their gender expression. I heard many people referring to some of my friends in the LGBT community as"faggot" or "dyke," it really bother me. Honestly, even though I was bothered by it I was usually just a bystander and never did much about it, even though I felt bad for not speaking up.
Similar to the statistics in the article, few of the teachers from my high school ever said anything if they heard a homophobic remark. Unlike the article, as far as I knew, there were no incidents of teachers making homophobic remarks to students.
The statistics in the article were very upsetting cause I had never realized how bad harassment towards the LGBT community was. 
Now that I have read this article I want to do something about the harassment that occurs. I have been considering joining ALLIED if I had the time to keep up with it because I would love to be a part of the solution rather than just a bystander.