Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us

Linda Christensen argues that "our society's culture industry colonizes their minds and teaches them how to act,live, and dream." Christensen then discusses how even at an early age our minds are altered by fairy tales, cartoons, and toys and this even continues into adulthood when people allow the media to manipulate them. She gives examples from Disney movies, which I am a total Disney fan girl and hate hearing anything bad about the movies, but an example of this is the movie Aladdin.           

The bad guy in the movie jafar is characterized darker skinned and ethnic where as the good guys are lighter. This teaches kids a certain stereotype that ethnic people are bad. Linda Christensen argues that analyzing these things can " develop their critical consciousness...(and) move them (the students analyzing) to action." She wants students to not only critique these manipulative sources but also to become aware of the "secret education" and become aware of how powerful it really is. She teaches students strategies to become aware of this issue which is a huge step in the right direction. Once awareness take place in society a plan of action to fix the problem can take place. Christensen also gave her students the opportunity to create projects that made the students assess their everyday life. Once a person sits back and reflects on why they do things a lot of actions and influences come from the media. Lisa Christensen makes the main point to not be manipulated and allow these stereotypes to be accepted knowledge. I can connect this article to SCWAAMP and the stereotypes given above of the "whiteness" power.

Here is a video I found of some ways the media is sublimely stereotyping, if you guys have 5 minutes you should seriously watch it, I found myself reacting shocked on how these companies got away with some of these commercials!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Safe Spaces by August

     As I was reading "Safe Spaces" by August I becomes really distracted at times because I wasn't too intrigued by this authors writing style. I really liked that August was informative of the LGBT lifestyle and gave examples of teachers discriminating against students that are not heterosexual but the author never really said anything to pull my attention in. As I continued to read the article I read some of the students stories for example Maria. Maria is an "out" lesbian taking a Spanish class, and on her test she got back from her teacher she noticed the teacher marked wrong one of her answers. The question include " Do you have a sweetheart?" And Maria responded with " yo tenga una novia." Maria's response with "novia" was marked wrong because it is the female representation of sweetheart and next to it the teach put "novia" the male version of sweetheart. Maria was offended by this because her Spanish teacher just automatically marked it wrong because she was a girl and her sweetheart was supposed to be a boy, which in Maria's case it isn't. I tried to imagine myself as the teacher and wonder what I would do in a situation like this. What if I didn't know the student is gay? Is that my fault? My intentions wouldn't mean to offend her but if I had in any way I would have apologized and gave her back to points that she deserved because in her situation her answer to the question was correct. I then reflected on this article to my own life. I went to a Christian school for elementary school and I was really sheltered from the outside word. For example, when I had no idea what 92.3 pro FM was until 5th grade! My dad is also a State Trooper so he tried his best to hide the mess of the real world from me, my brother, and sister until we reached an appropriate age. When I switched to a public school in sixth grade I think I learned more about the "real world" than I did in school. I started learning this about myself, my friends, my town and especially my family. One day my dad had finally told me that my aunt, his sister, was a lesbian, it was as if so many things clicked at once. I had never given it a thought why she wasn't married, or why she didn't have a boyfriend, or why she occasionally brought friends that were girls over to my grandmothers house for dinner sometimes, until that moment. My dad and his family also grew up very religious and believed that being gay was wrong. Because of this it created a lot of turmoil between the two of them and we had actually lost connection with her for years, until my dad opened his heart and came to terms that it wasn't his life so why was he worried about it. I felt really bad for my aunt that he made her feel so ashamed for who she was and that she missed a lot of years of our lives for a reason that doesn't make us love her any less. I couldn't imagine my own family basically shunning me for who I was just because society and religion didn't think it was "right." My aunt is married now and the happiest I've ever seen her I'm glad that she can be who she is and happy in her own skin and that she could forgive my dad.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Aria by Richard Rodriguez

After reading the article Aria by Richard Rodriguez I felt really bad for Richard and his family to have to change their family values and culture for the sake of their children to become "Americanized" and fit in. As I was reading this I looked back a few times in my past when I did not understand why they accepted people who did not speak English in America. I remember a few times talking to an operator on the phone and becoming frustrated with them because I could not understand a word they were speaking and I made them put someone on the phone that spoke English in a way that I could understand what they were saying. This was totally wrong for me to do. What gave me the right to expect someone who just has a different background than I do adjust to what I can understand and how I spoke English. I felt really bad for Richard that he was somehow categorized as someone with a special need just because he did not know English. Then his nuns forced him into the language by making him have special assistance class time through out the school year so that he could learn to speak English. This would make anyone feel segregated from society especially a young kid. The Untied States does not have a primary language, so teachers or nuns forcing this on students of different cultures is wrong. This is another example of teachers expecting students to change when the teachers should be the ones accommodate the classroom and the curriculum so that ALL students can learn no matter what race they are, language they speak, or gender they are. This point makes me connect it to the Delpit article where in the article "The Silenced Dialogue"

it tells the readers how teachers should learn to hear students not just listen.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Amazing Grace by Kozol

For my post on Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol I will be discussing three out of many powerful quotes from his text. His piece has overall been my favorite read yet of the semester just because of how realistic he is and how personal he gets with his words. His text reminded me a little bit of last week's read " The Silenced Dialogue" by Delpit because of her persuasion on the power of great teachers creating great education for all children no matter the difference of learning styles or race.

" No matter what happens in a child's home, no matter what other social and economic factors may impede a child, there's no question in my mind that a first- rate school can transform almost anything." 
This quote shows the reader the importance of school to each child. A struggling home life can impact a child's education greatly but with a strong support school and teachers to form a comfortable safe community the children will get the help they need to succeed in school. They will want to attend school more and when they do something right their self esteem with grow. I think this quote is relevant to the text because it is important to stress how much education impacts a child's life and the many doors a good education will open for them to succeed.

" Wonderful teachers should never let themselves be drill sergeants for the state."
To me this quote means, that although teachers do have standards and rules to follow they should be themselves and be welcoming and make students feel comfortable in the classroom. This will create great student teacher relationships that help children succeed and do better in school because they feel like someone cares about them and wants them to do well. Teachers need to have their own guidelines in the classroom that do not make their room seem like a jail cell or somewhere where the students are constantly scolded and not given praise to.

"Apartheid education, rarely mentioned in the press or openly confronted even among once progressive educators, is alive and well and and rapidly increasing in the United States." 
Apartheid education is in other words education is still separate and still unequal, although blacks and whites are segregated in school there is still a difference between education in socioeconomic levels. This should be an issue brought to more people's attention so that more children can succeed through their education and receive the education they deserve no matter what color they are, how much their parents make, what city they live in all children should be educated the same way.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Hi Everyone! My name is Samantha. I am a sophmore at RIC, and really hoping these next two years fly by because I can not wait to be OUT of school. I graduated from Ponaganset High School in the boonies in 2013. I work at a daycare in Chepachet I've been there for almost a year. I have a two and a half year old who is obsessed with Monster Trucks and goes to Monster Jam whenever they are in RI or Mass. Over break I went on the newest Disney Cruise and it was the best vacation I ever had, it's a whole different experience from when you go on vacations as a kid to watching your kid on vacation having so much and enjoying every minute of it. One the cruise we went with 15 other family members, I got to snorkel and feed stingrays which was pretty awesome, and I got engaged to my son's father and that was pretty magical. So coming back to school after having the time of my life was pretty much a drag but I have to d

o what I have to do.

“The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People's Children”

     “The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People's Children” by Lisa Delpit, is an empowering piece discussing the culture of power that exists in schools systems. I found this article extremely interesting and eye opening. Lisa Delpit's argument is how teachers base their curriculum and education techniques around students of color or Native American students this also includes teachers of a different ethnicity. Delpit also discusses how teachers of color even teach African American students and Native American students differently than white teachers do. One of her main explanations for this is because white educators do not listen to the educators that are of color, they hear but do not actually listen or take into concern their main concerns of the difference of philosophies and how students of the minority shouldn't be taught differently. She hopes that future educators will learn how to listen to educators of color.
     One of my concerns is that teachers and educators will continue to blame the students for why they are not learning or why they are not caught up with the rest of the class. This is hard because overall everyone believes in different philosophies and have different ways of teaching that they think are the most effective. I think that sometimes a lot of people will be offended if they are criticized on the way they teach when they really shouldn't. Teachers are not really in school to learn, the students are and if the students are not learning the teachers need to adapt of accommodate the students needs that fits best or is most effective.