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.