Sunday, October 30, 2011

Talking Points #7

Gender and Education-Hyperlinks
I did quite a bit of research and this really interesting article is one of the first things I came across. It talks about how schools are gender biased and barely even realize it. I read some interesting points in the article about the different types of gender bias in education. Even over-looking sexual harassment is gender bias, and even gives the hidden message that it's okay to degrade others. I poked around the website a little and it's a very interesting site. It even has a section for songs dealing with social justice.

I came across this informational graphic that seems to contrast with the previous article. The article states that girls tend to score higher on tests, but the graphic above contradicts that with men scoring higher on the SATs. Does that mean that once in high school, men tend to do better? The website that I found this graphic on has some more interesting graphics comparing men and women.

The final article that I came across made a very good point. Instead of constantly forgetting about one gender to help the other gender do well in school, use the same method to help both genders. The article uses a hands-on experiment as an example. If boys learn better with this hands-on experiment, then girls will learn better with the experiment as well. Don't just ignore one gender; otherwise that helps to strengthen the gap!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Talking Points #6

Quotes from the Tim Wise interview.

"We're nowhere near a post-racial America." (Tim Wise)
As he discussed in his interview, even though we've passed the civil rights amendments, outlawed segregation with the Brown v. Board of Education case, and even have an African-American president, the United States is far from being a fully accepting nation. We can't even move past calling African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans "minorities". This is just my personal opinion here, but why do we feel the need to belittle other races by calling them minorities?

"Even in the midst of horrible oppression, individuals of color can accomplish great things." (Tim Wise)
I really love this quote. Tim Wise was talking about how any everyday, bright person can accomplish so much, even in the face of darkness. Take Nelson Mandela, for example. His efforts in South Africa helped to abolish apartheid.

"People don't always say what they really believe." (Tim Wise)
This is sadly true. We are all afraid to give our true opinion, and that doesn't help at all. The interviewer was talking about how in recent polls people seem to be more accepting of others from a different race, and Tim Wise raised this very true point.

Yes segregation has been abolished, yes America is making progress, but it's still not enough. We may not realize it, but there is still certain aspects of segregation in today's society. As I said earlier, we segregate the other races by calling them "minorities".
While I enjoyed the interview, I must say that I winced at the pun Tim Wise used for his book. Clever, but there are just some play on words that shouldn't be used.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Talking Points #5

"In The Service of What?"Joesph Kahne and Joel WestheimerExtended Comments
I'm extending my comments from Kayla's blog post about our week's reading. She says that she thinks it's a great idea to have students teach or tutor those less fortunate than them, and I have to agree with her. When I was in high school, we were required to do community service to graduate, and I chose to volunteer at our local recreational center. I would monitor the children's playtime, then I would help them with homework. There were a few whose parents didn't really care about their school life, so I would be the one to push them to do their homework. I'd help with any questions, I'd check over their answers, and I'd listen to them if they had to read out loud to someone. These students came from poor and extremely diverse backgrounds and I even had to deal with a child abuse case during my volunteer times. It's heartbreaking sometimes, but it made me realize just how good I have it.
I also agree with Kayla about the key to being a successful teacher is to not be afraid of change. A good teacher is one who is willing to change things around in order to make themselves a better teacher. Who knows, the change could actually benefit a child!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Warning for Language

I subscribe to Jenna Marbles's YouTube videos, and this week's video relates a lot to what we discussed in class. She does like to swear a lot, so I'm warning you now, but what she has to say is pretty funny but it also makes you think!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A very interesting link I came across...
As it says on the website: "Use this map to find out if your state offers protections against employment discr

imination based on sexual orientation and gender identity." I thought it was extremely relevant due to our discussions in class. Here's what it has to say on Rhode Island:
Same-Sex Relationship RecognitionCivil unions available since 2011
Workplace RightsProhibits discrimination based on sexual orientation since 1995; prohibits discrimination based on gender identity since 2001

I just thought it was a pretty nifty website and thought I'd share with the class!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Talking Points #4

Argument for "Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us" by Linda Christensen

Christensen's argument is that children are taught stereotypes from a very early age. "Cartoon images, in particular the Disney movie Peter Pan, were cited by the children (in a research study) as their number one source of information. At the age of three, these children had a set of stereotypes in place." In other words, if you were to show a three year old the movie "Peter Pan", and if you were to ask what a Native American looks like, they would most likely respond by describing them with extremely red skin and always wearing moccasins and animal skins. That's not how it is, though. People no longer need to be stereotyped; this is the modern world! "They assure me that they make their own choices and the media has no power over them -as they sit with Fubu, Nike, Timberlands or whatever the latest fashion rage might be." If the media has no power over anyone, then no one would be bullied for not wearing what's "hot" or "cool" or "in." It seems to me that now  the media is pushing "Be yourself! Individuality! Yay for uniqueness!" so of course, all the kids are "finding their individuality"--by copying everyone else.
"I don't want students to believe that change can be bought at the mall, nor do I want them thinking that the pinnacle of a woman's life is an "I do" that supposedly leads them to a "happily ever after." This is something that I personally relate to. I tried the whole changing my wardrobe and look thing. I dated a guy, and four months later I found out he was cheating on me with a girl who was much prettier than I was. I gave up, I knew I would never be beautiful in society's eyes. Then I met the man who would become my husband. He didn't care about my looks, he didn't care that most of my clothes were hand-me-downs, he cared about me, about my intelligence, my personality, my sense of humor. We started dating, and now we're married. It's not a happily-ever-after sort of thing, but it's real life. We argue, we get mad at each other, but at the end of the day we still love each other and that's a picture perfect ending for me.
Christensen isn't trying to destroy our dreams or ruin our childhood, she just wants to show the truth that the media hides behind. She wants society to break free of the chains of stereotypes. I personally can't wait to discuss this in class, I know it will be a very interesting topic!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Talking Points #3

Quotes from
LGBT Parents Involved in, Excluded from K-12 Schools; Children Often Harassed

  • "All families in a school community should be valued and respected as equals" 
Why should it even matter what family background a student comes from? Why must we disrespect people because of something that isn't even our business to know? It really "shouldn't matter what your background is, everyone should be treated respectfully! We are all human beings, we're all made of bones, muscles, tissues, and organs. Who we are or what we choose to be shouldn't affect what we think of others!

  • "More than half (53%) of parents described various forms of exclusion from their school communities: being excluded or prevented from fully participating in school activities and events, being excluded by school policies and procedures, and being ignored and feeling invisible." 
This just doesn't seem fair to me at all. You're willing to teach someone's child, yet you disrespect the adult? What kind of message does that teach our children? If that's the kind of lesson you're teaching, then I wouldn't want you educating my children. I'm sure many parents who have been excluded from school activities for silly reasons like that would agree with me.

  • "LGBT parents reported mistreatment from other parents in the school community and even from their children’s peers at school – 26% of LGBT parents in the survey reported mistreatment from other parents and 21% reported hearing negative comments about being LGBT from students."

As I stated before, what kind of lesson does this teach our children? It's only okay to be different if you're different in certain ways? It upsets me to know that not only are children disrespecting LGBT adults, but other adults are being disrespectful too.

Overall, this article made me angry. I read through a lot of the other articles and was equally enraged by those as well. Slowly but surely I'm losing faith in society, but I still have a small glimmer of hope that one day, no matter what kind of background you come from or your personal choices, we can all just get along without any hate.