Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pecha Kucha

Promising Practices

I had a very good experience at promising practices. I enjoyed the keynote speaker the health issues she talked about in Rhode Island were very interesting. It related a lot to a class I am taking now called principles of health education. It helped improve our mission of why we need Health Educators in the school systems to help improve public health in Rhode Island which is very important.
I was a little disappointed that my first workshop I signed up for got canceled and then I was not able to get into the Special Olympics one. The workshop I went to instead was an integrated behavior health approach to peer recovery. This workshop was very interesting. It is a program that is designed to help people with mental health issues or addiction problems by teaming them up with someone who has already been through recovery. The stories the people had were very interesting and moving

The Next workshop I attended was Advancing Health at the city level. This was also a very informative workshop. They talked about how they were attempting to improve the health and environment in certain areas of providence. It was interesting to me because I live in area where they are trying to do this type of project and I actually live right above one of the free clinics they funded to improve the health of people in the area. They also started summer lunch programs for kids who received meals at schools during the school year but no longer got meals during the summer.

Overall I was very happy with my experience at promising practices and will attend next year’s event. 

“Education is Politics” Shor

“Education is Politics” by Shor is about how fundingeffects schools and how less funded schools are more disadvantaged then schools with more resources. And is a system that the well-funded schools have excess resources and the poorly funded schools receive less and less resources.

I can relate Shor’s work to Johnsons and Kristof. I believe it is similar to Johnson because this work has a lot of parts that I believe relate to privilege. That schools which are more well-funded are typically located in privileged areas. Which can also relate to this American Life and the re-segrigation of the school system. I believe this work relates to Kristof’s article about how inequality is institutional, not individual. I believe all these articles include
how money impacts school system and how it is designed to keep the good schools good and the bad schools bad, and it effects everyone.

I also can relate this work to my service learning. The school I am in is clearly poorly funded. The teacher to student ratio is very good, however
students with special needs don’t receive the help they need. Also school activities are very limited. I can remember in my elementary, middle and high school we had many activities outside of the classroom. We were able to go on expensive field trips and had many sports teams and after school activities. I believe I was able to do all these activities because of the funding our schools got. The school I am in the students will not have access to these types of resources and will suffer for it.

"Citizenship in School: Re conceptualizing Down Syndrome” by Kliewer

"Citizenship in School: Re conceptualizing Down Syndrome” by Kliewer talks about how students with disabilities and special needs should be integrated into schools and not separated into separate classes and kept away from the regular students. In my service learning classroom there is a student that the teacher may be on the spectrum but is not sure. He sits at his own table in the classroom, however he does participate in group work.with the class. Other then that I don't see any other students with special needs in my service learning. In my school growing up there were students with special needs and for the most part they were integrated in our classes. I can remember having multiple students with special needs in my classrooms. However when I got to high school they were separated from other students. I rarely saw special needs students after middle school. In my physical Education classes at RIC we are always learning how to adapt activities to accompany students with special needs. I have found a few quotes that stuck out to me during my reading.

If you came into the room and were told there was a retarded child

in the class, a child with special needs, I don't think you would pick

Lee out. The kids really agree that he's as capable as they are Intellectually the same.

this quote was meaningful to me because I had a few students in my class's growing up
that were very hard to tell special needs. the only way you could tell was that they had an aid with them during classes. But they were just as smart as the other students and could participate in all the activities.

Vygotsky found that the culture of segregation surrounding people

with disabilities actually teaches underdevelopment of thinking through

the isolation of children from socially valued opportunities. As described

in more detail below, altering the culture of disability requires that a child

be recognized as an active learner, a thinker, and a problem-solver, but this

cannot occur apart from relationships that allow for such engagement.

I found this quote this quote to be very important to the text. This quote I believe helps sum up what he is talking about in this article. That isolating students with special needs it creates a negative affect on them and restricts them from getting the same socialization as other students. As the quote says this cant occur if students with special needs or disabilities are separated from everybody else.

I don't tend to see Down syndrome as something. If you look at

those three kids running around the room, they're incredibly

different from each other. They're different in terms of what their

bodies are like, how they best communicate, what they're like

socially, their interests. And with those three kids in the room it

would be hard to say, "This is how you should teach kids with

Down syndrome." They are not at all alike.

I like this quote because it shows that there are different levels of disabilities and you cant label them all the same. Each individual person learns in their own way.

My personal connection to this work comes from the neighborhood I grew up in. The family that lived next door to me had twins one was a boy who did not have autism and the other one was a a girl named Marry who had autism. They were both older then me. We had a very close neighborhood growing up and all the kids used to play together. and Mary was no different we included her in all the games and activity we played. Nobody treated her any different and you could see how happy she was when she was allowed to participate in our activities. From a very young age I learned to try to include everyone in the games we played and one of the reasons why I believe I gravitated towards being a Physical Education teacher. Unfortunately she passed away when I was in middle school but her influence has stuck with me till this day. Her family are still strong advocates for inclusion for kids with Autism and organ donor's since Mary Kasprzak saved 5 other lives, But she had touched many many more with her spirit and personality.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

"Tracking: why schools need to take another route" Jeannie Oakes

Jeannie Oakes “Tracking: why schools need to take another route” talks about the issues related to schools placing students by their performance in class subjects After reading Jeannie Oakes “Tracking: why schools need to take another route” I could relate this to the schools that I grew up in. Looking back at my middle school English and math were separated into levels. There were A level B Level and C level based on a test you took at the beginning of the year. I can remember clearly being placed in B level math and telling my parents. My parents were furious at the system and demanded the teachers to move me to A level math class, after some fighting they agreed to move me up to the A level class which I stayed in for the rest of my middle school.  

This experience relates very well to Jeannie Oakes “Tracking: why schools need to take another route” and the uneven opportunities it creates for students. After being switched from the B level class to the A level class I was able to catch up very quickly even if I was a little behind everybody else. My friends in the B and C level classes were sections behind us and were not challenged as hard in as students in the A levels. This created separation and made students in the lower levels feel bad and feel that they were not as smart. If Students were integrated more and not separated based on academic skill level, students would feel more on the same level as everybody else and not like they are dumb or not as smart as the other students. “Recent work of cognitive psychologists suggests, for example, that academic ability is not unchangeable but developmental and grows throughout childhood. As children interact with their environment, they acquire cognitive abilities.” This quote from the text helps explain how a student’s academic ability can change over time and is effected by the individuals and environment around them. In My schools once you were assigned an A B or C class you remained in those types of classes throughout the rest of their education it was highly unlikely that you would be able to improve or move up to the next level in the system they created at my school.
In my Physical education classes I am taking at RIC we are told specifically not to separate the students based on physical ability, but to separate and create groups with a mix of students at different levels so the students can use teamwork and learn by watching students who know how to complete a task successfully.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Problem We All Live With Part I and II

After listening to this and looking over the transcripts I related to this work a lot. I grew up in a suburban area and my family moved to an area specifically for the school system that was located there. My school growing up was almost 100% white you could see all the kids with color during lunch because they all sat at the same table. After listening to this and reading the transcripts it helped me realize this is how we are segregating schools nowadays. At my service learning school it is the exact opposite of the school I grew up in. There is only one white student in both my classes and the majority of students are of color. for this blog post I chose to use quotations.

"One of the best districts in Missouri was just five miles away. It would have been very easy for Normandy students to get there. Why not send them there?"
"Well, if you don't want students to leave your district, one way to keep them is to make leaving inconvenient. Make them ride a long distance to school every day, though Normandy officials deny that's why they chose Francis Howell. Douglas Carr was a teacher in the Normandy district. He says when they first heard about the transfer option on the news, a lot of the Normandy teachers didn't expect many kids would take it."

I thought this was an important quote because when the Normandy school was shut down by law they had to give the students the choice to attend any school but they only had to provide the transportation to one school. And they chose the school that was further away. So by making it inconvenient for students to attend a better school less of the students would take that option which would continue to help keep schools segregated. 

"This is what I want. I want the same security that Normandy gets when they walk though their school doors. And I want it here. And I want that security before my children walk into Francis Howell, because I shopped for a school district. I deserve to not have to worry about my children getting stabbed, or taking a drug, or getting robbed because that's the issue. I don't care"
I wanted to Include this quote because it included how people shopped for school districts. This reminded me of the film we watched about the schools on Long Island and how they were separated by district. Wealthy people can afford to choose where they want to live and can decide where they want their kids go to school, however low income families can not easily do that and are stuck sending their schools to whatever district they are in. The woman in this quote is clearing saying that she choose where she live because of the school system there and she is judging the other students from Normandy saying they will endanger and cause problems with their school system. there is another person who says that people who were planning on moving to the district to where this integration was happening and are now planning on moving somewhere else. these quotes are prime examples that segregation is still a big issue in our society
"One teacher testified, "I think that children can overcome the stigma of poverty. I think children can overcome the stigma of their ethnicity. But what they cannot overcome is the stigma of separation. That is like a damned spot in their being, in their self-image. And that's what segregation does to children. They see themselves as apart and separate because of the language they speak, because of the color of their skin, the origin of their parents.""
I chose this last quote because it is a good example of how separate is not equal. Students and children can notice when they are not treated the same as others. and it affects how they see themselves and how they think others perceive them. when this happens in schools it can effect learning and a students motivation to learn.
I really enjoyed this work and was able to connect the district and the separation by district to my own educational experiences. At my high school there was a system where some kids from another district could come to our school. But it was not well known and many parents or students did not take advantage of it.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

In the Service of What? by Kahne and Westheimer

After reading Erica's blog about In the Service of What? By Kahne and Westheimer. I agree with the point she makes about how many people who participate in service learning only participate until they have met their required hours, and how that many service learning projects have become about charity and not about change. I liked the quote she used about the girl who volunteered at the veteran’s memorial senior center for thanksgiving. This was a strong representation about how giving back to the community helped her feel better about herself for giving back to the community but did not bother to really understand the situations these people have come from.
 I do agree that a lot of things can be learned from service learning projects and they can be great learning experiences for all who participate. I can relate to your experience so far in your service learning project. I spend an hour in two different classrooms, and I have done my best to learn all their names and things about them. I can defiantly see them become more interested in working with you the more effort you put in to get to know them.

I also think that some people are afraid to get involved in service learning because of working in poorer school and the stereotypes that are related to those schools. Like in the article when she explained about were nervous about going to schools in a poor area. This is another reason why I think service learning is important to help dispel stereotypes and prejudices that people may have about schools in poorer areas. In the article the students who were nervous are often surprised by their experience and realize the students are just normal kids wanting to learn

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us

"Unlearning the Myths That Blind Us" talks about stereotypes that are seen in children’s movies, cartoons, and literature and how these stereotypes effect the views of children. There are several important quotes in the text that show this.

1.      1.  “Children’s cartoons, movies, and literature are perhaps the most influential genre “read.” Young people, unprotected by any intellectual armor, hear or watch these stories again and again, often from the warmth of their mothers or fathers lap.”

This quote explains that children get all the stereotypes that cartoons and movies show at a very young age that they get used to the idea of always seeing Princesses always being white and getting the prince just because she is pretty. Themes like these are similar in all Disney movies and children don’t have the intellectual mind to analyze these films for stereotypes like she has her students do in her article.

2.      2.     “There should be more women of color who play the leads in these white on white wedding cake tales. Of course, there should be more woman of color on the Supreme Court, in Congress, and scrubbing up for surgeries. But I want students to understand that if the race of the character is the only thing changing, injustices may still remain.”

This quote is important to the text because it addresses that changing race is not the only thing that will erase stereotypes. Like we saw in the Kristof piece that the financial gap also causes huge issues with stereotypes and inequalities. Most of the movies and cartoons kids watch especially Disney movies are families that come from wealth or power that are higher up in society because they are more affluent.

3.       3. “For some the lesson doesn’t end in the classroom. Many who watched cartoons before we start our study say they can no longer enjoy them. Now instead of seeing a bunch of ducks in clothes, they see the racism, sexism, and violence that swim under the surfaces of the stories.”

This is important to her text because after the students get through her study they are more aware to what exists in these cartoons. When young children watch these shows they are unaware they are receiving these messages unless it is brought to their knowledge. 

"Amazing Grace" Kozol

“Amazing Grace” by Jonathan Kozol

The personal stories told by Jonathan Kozol help us see the issues that less privileged people have to deal with in everyday life. He describes the locations these people live in, Drug and alcohol many of these communities deal with and job opportunities and schools they attend.

As I was reading this these stories and heard him talking about the locations these people live in it reminded me of when I used to work at PSC environmental services as a receiving chemist. PSC is a Hazardous waste transfer station, and stores many kinds of Hazardous chemicals and waste. As I would drive to work it is easy to see the neighborhoods and community’s change as I got closer to PSC. Like the Kozel piece many disadvantage people are forced to live in areas that are not as appealing to the more privileged. 

He listens to stories of communities who live near
landfills or dumps. He also tells a story about the incineration plant and how it was built in their area even with objections from the community. These plants burn hospital waste such as limbs, fetal tissue, bedding, and syringes that can be harmful to health. Nobody should be forced to live next to places like these but in many cases the under privileged have to. At PSC Environmental Services it is not an Incineration plant but, transfers hospital waste and other very hazardous waste to plants that do exactly that. The locations of these incineration plants were mostly in run down places when sent within the United States. The main places we sent waste to be incinerated were places in Detroit or New York City and what we are not allowed to incinerate in America gets sent to Canada. I can guarantee that privileged people do not live around these incineration plants. Even in Providence around the Hazardous waste transfer station it was clear that the underprivileged lived all around this area. One of the reasons I left PSC Environmental Services was because I learned about the potentially hazardous ways we get rid of dangerous waste, But I never really focused on which communities would be effected the most until I read  the stories written by Jonathan Kozol. The neighborhoods we live in affect have very strong connections to the health of communities and the ability to live successful lives and the underprivileged should not be expected to live in areas especially if there are health concerns related to that area.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces
Making Schools and Communities 
Welcoming to the LGBT Youth


In the book Safe Spaces Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to the LGBT Youth the authors talk about how LGBT are a big issue in our schools and schools should be more accepting and advocate more for LGBT students. 

I found this related article from the Huffington Post on a recent study they did in schools to find out when students were being bullied or excluded from other classmates based on their sexual Identity and sexual orientation. They found Students as early as the 5th grade begin to get bullied and excluded based on their sexual identity or orientation. In Safe Spaces that teachers should be accepting and not discriminate towards LGBT individuals as well as add LGBT history to the curriculum to get students more familiar with the issues at a younger age. As we saw from the stories told in Safe Spaces bullying and social exclusion can lead to to horrible problems for LGBT individuals. 

In the Huffington Post article 91% of the students who were in the LGBT community reported being bullied or socially excluded the percent was higher if you were a minority. Both these passages were trying to focus on a similar concept that no matter what your sexual orientation is you should be able to feel safe in school and be able to focus on learning. But that is not the case for many schools. There are many stories of unfair treatment and bulling of LGBT all across America in schools like this one story from 2012. The school system and the teachers didn't seem to care and thought the solution was to send the kid home so they didn't have a problem anymore. If this keeps happening to the LGBT community, students will continue to not want to come to school due to physical or emotional duress they are receiving at school.

This issue is very similar to the other issues we have talked about in class one of the culture of powers is straightness and we can see how it is effecting the LGBT communities in our school system.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rodriguez "Aria"

After reading this article Aria by Richard Rodriguez I can relate this passage to the first time I volunteered for inspiring minds and entered a providence school last week.

Entering the first class of kindergartners during a English lesson she had me work first with the students who were learning English as a second language. They were separated from the rest of the group and like the passage they were encouraged to speak in English and do English related activities. However I did notice some differences, the teacher did speak/say some Spanish words to the Spanish speakers unlike in the passage where the nuns did not speak to them in Spanish at all. In the second class I met with I did not work with any of the English as a second language learners but I could see where they were working. They were also separated from the group and were working on IPad's while the rest of the students did another activity. Like the passage from Rodriguez those students must have felt separated from the group because English is seen as the public language. 

After reading this passage and attending the providence school I was curious to see how many English language learners there were in Rhode Island and I found these statistics

When seeing the statistics for Rhode Island's English as a second language learners I am curious about how much encouragement there are in the households for the parents to speak only in English to their kids. As we saw from the Rodriguez passage this type of encouragement damaged his family relationship and had a hard time connecting with his parents after.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Blog post #1

This author Nicholas Kristof argues that the race gap is not the biggest issue with education but it is the income gulf that determines who is successful and who is not in America.

In this article the idea that is expressed is those who come from a poor income household are less likely to rise to the top then those who come from wealthy households. He compares it to the height of your parents saying that you will most likely not grow taller than your mother or father meaning that you will not surpass their income but either make the same amount they did or less. The higher income household’s kids are more likely to complete college at the age of 24 then those who come from lower income families. So instead of focusing on closing the race gap we should focus more on closing the income gap and get more kids from lower incomes to stay in school. Many bright kids that come from low income families are unable to reach their potential or reach their potential and are unable to capitalize on in and are stuck in low income jobs like their mothers and fathers were in. Check out this similar article about income and education.

I liked the story the author told about his friend and how when he skipped class they suspended him for more time out of school. I thought it was interesting how all people are smart and have the potential to improve their lives but are limited by the income of their parents and starting circumstances


Hello everyone my name is Andrew I am from connecticut but have lived in providence for the last four years. I am a health/physical education major. Over the summer I took anatomy and physiology. When I am not in school I spend my free time playing basketball, golf and tennis.