Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Empowering Education" by Ira Shor

This piece by Ira Shor really stood out to me for a couple reasons. The first reason being that he thinks its very important for students to ask questions and socialize in school. "You must arose children's curiosity and make them think about school"(page 11). When the students are asking questions, it shows they are paying attention and that they are curious about the topic. At my old school only some of my teachers encouraged asking questions ad talking, while other teacher did not want to be bothered with our questions. They preferred us to just copy down the information and study for the quiz. This was difficult. I agree with Shor here, having a discussion and questions can be very beneficial, the students will become engaged and learning will happen.
Shor also states, "People are naturally curious. They are born learners. Education can either develop or stifle their inclination to ask why and to learn" (page 12). I agree with this because I have seen it happen in my own schooling. When teachers don't want to hear your questions or they make you feel dumb for asking a question, that can do damage to someone self esteem and desire to learn. Teachers should be welcoming for all questions and be happy their students are engaged. 

I found it really strange how Ira Shor kept saying how important socializing in a school setting is. My previous schools had never encouraged our talking. There were acceptable times to talk in class but most of the time teachers wanted us to sit in silence and do our work. Doing this we would remember the lesson on our own. "Education is more than facts and skills. It is a socializing experience that help make the people who make society" (page15). I completely agree with this. Memorizing the information you learn in school isn't everything. Obliviously remembering the information taught to you in class is a good thing, but you have to be able to communicate it to others. Teachers should encourage social skills in the class room as well, this will make the learning environment comfortable for the students. This can relate to Delpit's culture of power; if the students know how to interact with one another and they know how to act in society, they won't have a big problem trying to fit in. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"The Hunting Ground" -social justice event

Yesterday, April 15, I went to see a film that was being played on campus. The film was called "The Hunting Ground" and is was about rape on college campuses. Before I watched the film I thought it was going to be a boring documentary but it was actually very interesting and informative. By the end of the film, I was completely shocked as to how the schools handled the rape problem.
One thing I noticed during the film is they only showed males as the "predators". The perspective of the victim's was mainly from females who were raped by males. They were a couple of male victims, but they were also raped by males. Girls rape guys too. A female can drug a guy for rape, just like a guy can drug a girl for rape. A female could even rape another female but that also wasn't talked about.

Another thing from he film that was really shocking to me was how the dean and campus faculty reacted to the problem. The victims would finally work up the courage to tell the dean about how they were raped and the dean would blame the victim. The dean would respond to them by saying things like "what were you wearing?", "you shouldn't have been dressed like that", or "you shouldn't have been out drinking". They would try to make the victim feel bad so they would keep quite about the issue. There would never be a consequence for the rapist, even if they were found guilty or had multiple complaints. The rapist was extra protected if they were an athlete or in a fraternity. The college always a had some excuse.
This film reminded me of so many articles we have read in class. It connects to "Safe Spaces' by August, "Privilege, Power and Difference" by Johnson, and "The Silenced Dialogue" by Delpit.
Rape complaints from Colleges
"Safe Spaces" mainly focuses on LGBT issues but I feel like it can relate to this as well because the main point is having a safe school community. Allowing people to get away with rape is wrong and unsafe for other students. The video pointed out that people who commit rape once have over a 90% chance of doing it again. By the school not expelling the rapist makes the campus unsafe. They didn't want to expel students for rape because then parents won't want to send their children there.
The males who had the most protection from the school were the athletes and the ones in fraternities because those organizations bring in a lot of money for the school. This really reminded me of Delpit's articles because of the culture of power. It this is showing that the administrators have power over the students and if the students try to stand up for themselves they get in trouble.
Lastly this can connect to Johnson's book. Johnson talks about saying the words will help solve the problem that has been avoided. This will help solve the problem because people will become aware of the situation. Faculty at this school didn't want the issue of rape to be discussed for multiple reasons. Anyone who tried to stick up for the rape victims were fired, this included teachers.
In conclusion, the film "The Hunting Ground" was very informative, there were many shocking facts that I was unaware of. I didn't realize how big of an issue rape was on a college campus. Once the film was over, the people in charge were passing out papers related to the topic. Two of the papers were articles: "Myths that Make it Hard to Stop Campus Rape" and "We Have More Than Just a Campus Rape Problem. There is Invisible Rape All Over". They also gave out a list of References and resources on sexual violence, the list ranges from organizations that are local to national. Here are a few:,, and

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"Citizenship in School"


Kliewer's article "Citizenship in school" talks about the inclusion of children with special needs into the "regular" classrooms. He mainly focuses on inclusion of those with down syndrome. He believes that there should be acceptance of those with special needs and they shouldn't be segregated from the other students in the school. While reading this article I kept thinking about "Privilege, Power, and Difference" by Johnson and "Safe Spaces" by August, that we have previously read in class. Even though August talks about LGBT issues in schools I feel like her  points can relate to any of the "underdog" groups in a school system.

Johnson states "We don't have to love one another - or even like one another - to work together or just share a space in the world" (Johnson, 6). This is a very powerful statement that Johnson makes. In schools, children with disabilities are separated from the "regular" students, not because they are disliked. I feel like this is unfair to them. Separating the students is what points out the differences between them. When students notice the differences they begin to make fun of one another; trying to get them to fully accept one another becomes little bit more difficult at this point. This quote relates to Kliewer because he states, "school citizenship requires that students not to be categorized and separated based on presumed defect" (Kliewer, 85). Including children with down syndrome can be beneficial to them and the other students. The students will be able to work together everyday and accept each other. Doing this will create a safe space. I found this really inspiring video, its about a girl, who has Down syndrome, being including on her schools cheerleading team. She was being bullied but other students stood up for her. This made me really happy because now it made her school a safe place.
The classroom is supposed to be a neutral space for everyone and some teachers try very hard to make the space neutral. "Teachers cannot legislate friendships or alliances; they cannot single handedly change minds or hearts. Educators can, however, create inclusive safe classrooms" (August 98). By including children with down syndrome, or other disabilities, into the school system can be beneficial to them and the others with out disabilities.Kliewer feels like there will become a sense of acceptance when this happens. "Such acceptance is the aim when children with Down syndrome join their non disabled peers in classrooms, and many schools and individual teachers have entered into this effort, which seeks and finds community value in all children (Kliewer 74).
After reading this article I became very interested in the topic. I decided to do some research to see if any schools actually include children with disabilities, down syndrome in particular, into their classrooms. At my old high school the children who had disabilities had their own classroom and the only time I have ever saw them was at lunch where they all sat at their own table. I also looked to see if the students were befitting from inclusion. On this website that is all about Down syndrome,  I found many interesting points. They state that children with Down syndrome put in a regular classroom do better socially and academically, and they have studies to prove it.

Monday, April 6, 2015

"Literacy with an Attitude" Patrick J. Finn

Patrick Finn argues the differences in the education between schools in different areas. Finn believes that schools in wealthier neighborhoods provide a better education for their students. The teachers in wealthier neighborhoods are well off and aren't struggling. The students have complex work and they have to think logically. While schools in working class neighborhoods, have inexperienced teachers. The students here don't have as much complex work, they get the "easy" work.
After reading this article, it got me thinking about what is going to be done about these inequalities. I have never put much thought into these equalities and I guess that's because I never suffered from them. I came from an upper middle class area and I thought everyone, no matter where they live, got taught the same way. That isn't case. One quote that I really liked from the preface of the book is "An idea that is often associated with this point of view is that our schools offer literacy equally to all comers, but somehow the have-nots refuse to take us up on our offer. They're not smart enough or they're lazy"(ix). I don't agree with this at all and neither does Finn. I find it pretty crazy how people blame the less fortunate. Students who go to school in a working class area may need a little extra help with their work, that doesn't mean they are refusing to do it or that they're lazy.
wealthy vs. poor
The way Finn described his teaching style reminded me of Delpit. He was making his students aware of the rules and codes of power so they could succeed. "But, in fact I was schooling these children, not to take charge of their lives, but to takes orders" (3). He was teaching them how to be "obedient students because those are the ones who succeed.
I think it was a good thing for Finn to do this with his students, but change is important as well. I think it would be a good thing for children in the working class area to know they have a chance to do whatever they want with their life. That they are able to move up in the world instead of staying stuck in poverty. People need to be willing to make a change so that all schools can actually have equal education instead of only schools in wealthy areas benefiting. "it takes energy to make changes and the energy must come from the people who will benefit from the change" (xi). I agree with this completely. This is a difficult topic and  a lot people aren't going to stand up for it if they aren't being affected.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pecha Kucha Update

For the Pecha Kucha presentation I am working with Kristin. We thought it would be a good idea to work together since we both go to the same classroom so we have a lot of similar experiences. The authors we decided to focus on was Collier and Rodriguez since there are many students at the school where English isn't their first language. We also connected our experiences to SCWAAMP, Delpit, and Ullucci. I'm feeling pretty good about the project, its not as scary as i thought it would be. Kristin and I have already gathered a lot of information from the texts and a lot of stories from our experiences.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Brown vs Board of Education

Extended Comments
This week I decided to my blog based off Caitlyn's blog. While looking over the website and watching the videos, I noticed my thoughts were very similar to Caitlyn’s.
She started off by quoting the author Tim Wise, "The standard that I use, ultimately, if you want to know if a problem is still a problem it probably makes sense to talk to the ones who are the target of it, not the ones who don’t have to know because we are not………. I can be a good person, a decent person and remain oblivious and I think that is where white folks have been for a long time.”
Caitlyn points out that she didn’t agree with many things that Wise said but she agreed with this. She says, “I thought that he did not give enough credit to how much progress has been made towards racism and having equality in this country throughout the many years, but when he said this quote I realized that maybe he is noticing things that I don't.”
-Personally I feel like this country has come very far with racism. America used to be very segregated, but we have been slowly making steps in the right direction. Some of the many examples would be; the Emancipation Proclamation, the civil war, the fourteenth amendment, and a person of color is our current president. These things didn’t happen overnight, it took America a very long time to be like it is today. Also, I don’t see a lot of racism, I guess that’s my part of my “white privilege”.  Now from these videos and our discussions in class, I am aware that racism exists. I feel very positive that America will slowly keep making steps in the right direction.
Caitlyn also points out how the author used the words “black and brown folk”. She says, “It is comments like that which aren't helping us get any closer to eliminating racism and discrimination because everyone is from a different culture, I thought we were past just calling people things by the color that their skin is.” I completely agree with her. I don’t understand why some people feel so important to point out the color of someone’s skin when they aren’t white. I’ve noticed that when someone talks about a person with white skin, the color of his or her skin isn’t mentioned in conversation. On the other hand when they talk about a person whose skin isn’t white, their skin color usually mentioned. I feel like skin color should be irrelevant.

Lastly, Caitlyn had a really nice video on her bog. The video was about trying to get school to be less segregated. The video was very interesting because it gave the children’s perspective. The students had no problem with skin color. The video gives hope and is another piece of evidence that shows America is a few steps closer to being a post racial place.

"In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning" by Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer

Kahne and Westheimer talk about community service  and volunteering in the schools. They brought up many great points that really made me wonder about my community service and service learning I have done. There were a few quotes that stood out to me.

1. "Educators and legislators alike maintain that service learning can improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing rich educational experiences for students at all level of schooling" (page  2).
-This quote is saying that many people believe service learning can help improve the community. Personally I think that having a college student/ volunteer go to a classroom can be beneficial for the time they are there. The person can help the teacher with lessons and they can provide extra help to the students who need it. Also I think that a volunteer or college student can't provide many "rich educational experiences for students", since they are still learning themselves. I'm not saying that service learning is a bad thing, but it does have it's negatives along many positives as well.

2."Moreover, it is important to acknowledge that the choice of service learning activities--like the choice of any curricular activities--has political dimensions" (page 12).
-This quote is pointing out that service learning is a political thing. Many people do it because they are required to. The people that make service learning a requirement are trying to teach "students the importance of charity"(page 12). The service learners are sent to schools that are usually very diverse and are struggling with poverty so they can learn the importance of helping out. To me, this seems like the people in power are trying to help the schools in need without using the money that is necessary. As Jonathan Kozal would say they "are putting a band-aid on a broken leg"(they aren't really helping).

3. " This experience and others like it, quite common in the literature of service learning, emphasize charity more than change"(page 7).
-I loved this quote from the article, it really stood out to me. I agree with this quote 100%. From what I have noticed, service learning is all about the people going and helping out at a school in need. The people they are sending are still learning themselves, so how much can they really help with? Schools  that have students suffering from poverty, need money. They need to be able to have the proper materials for their students, since the students can't afford them themselves. Yes, having people come in and help is a wonderful thing but that's charity and that's only temporary. The school needs change and something a little more long term.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us" by Christensen

Linda Christensen argues that the media like TV shows, commercial, books, and magazines set  unrealistic expectations for children and they display many stereotypes. She focuses on Disney and Loony Tunes in particular.  Christensen states, "Children's cartoons, movies, and literature are perhaps the most influential genre "read". Young people, unprotected by intellectual armor, hear or watch these stories again and again, often from the warmth of their mother's or Father's lap" (page 127). This quote is stating how she believes since children are so young and influential media has subtle stereotypes and expectations that are placed into the brains of the young children with out them even realizing.  She refers to this as "secret education".
For example, Christensen points out an episode of the Popeye cartoon, "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves". In this episode Popeye is battling the "Arabs with the same face, same turban, same body,-- and they are all thieves swinging enormous swords"(page 130). This is a perfect example of whiteness from SCWAAMP. Popeye and his men are portrayed as the good guys and they end up wining, while the Arabs all look the same, they are thieves, and in the end the lose.
Another example from the same Popeye episode is when Popeye puts a dog leash on Olive Oyl because he has to help her make it through the dessert. When I read this I was so surprised, so I went and found this episode of Popeye and watched it. When Popeye had the leash on her, Olive Oyl looked like a camel. This part of the episode was portraying women as animals. At the very beginning of the episode Popeye wasn't going to let Olive Oyl come because she was a woman. He said,"This ain't nothing for women, were out hunting bad men". This also is relates to SCWAAMP showing how maleness is valued and the men are superior.
I believe throughout "Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us" Christensen makes good points even though I don't want to believe them. As a child I loved watching Disney movies and many of the other shows she mentioned and I never noticed the stereotypes. I was obsessed with the Disney princesses and when I was really little I would dress up as a different princess each day so that made it difficult to read this article. I'm not going to lie my feelings may have been a little hurt since I loved the movies so much and she pointed out many negatives. I guess I'm one of the many students that "don't want to believe they have been manipulated by children media or advertising"(page 128) and I'm okay with that.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Safe Spaces" by August


I found this article by August very interesting to read. The author brought up many points about being and LGBT student in America. This subject in a very sensitive subject in most schools today. A lot of teachers don't know how to properly handle having and LGBT student in their class. "Many perhaps most, teachers pretend not to hear anti-gay comments" (page 97).  This quote points out how teachers aren't stoping the bullying or don't know how to stop it. I feel like many teachers ignore the issue for couple reasons. Some teachers may not know how to approach the situation or they could think it is a harmless comment. I remember being at my high school and people would say "thats gay" or "you're gay" all the time and very rarely would a teacher say something about it. I don't think that was right, they should have tried harder to stop it. Like August said "LGBT students need advocacy and protection, not neutrality" (page 84). The teachers need to stand up for their students and not just push the issue aside. 
One quote that really stood out to me was "heterosexism is one of those unexamined avenues of privilege. Assumptions that everyone is (or should be) heterosexual shape most of classroom interactions, whether academic or social" (page 84). This reminded me of SCWAAMP. In America, Straightness is whats accepted and valued. If you are anything but straight you are looked at different and thats not right.
The article points out two main problems with LGBT students not being able to find comfort in their schools. These problems come from the curriculum and communication. The curriculum talks about the LGBT community as little as possible. The american school system doesn't only ignore the issue of LGBT students but they ignore many other issues. The history books we read aren't very accurate. Many important facts are left out. Also, schools have a list of banned books because they are "inappropriate".  In high school,  I feel like you should be able to read whatever book you want. The government and schools shouldn't ban books because of their topic, language, or even they type of family represented. "While it might seem to be the safest and least political of all curriculum units, the study of family can either reinforce or interrupt heteronormative beliefs and attitudes" (page 85). As said before straightness is what's accepted and by not talking about the family types in school, the problem with LGBT students gets pushed aside and the bullying continues.
This article along with others we have read in class, reminded me of a video I saw on Facebook a couple months ago. It's of three girls from Get Lit. Get lit is a program that improves a teen's literacy through poems. Their poems are about issues in america. This one in particular address the issues of the curriculum, poverty, weight, and even sexual orientation.
After watching the poem and reading the articles, I feel like people are trying to address the issue in the school's curriculum. Like there are many things not being said or done to protect those who are different. 
Topic point: Why are so many people not accepting towards LGBT's? 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Aria" by Richard Rodriguez

Hyperlink Post

Richard Rodriguez 
The article "Aria" by Richard Rodriguez is a memoir of his childhood and his struggle to adapt to the culture of power. Rodriguez and his family spoke Spanish in their home because that is their native language and it's the language that they are most comfortable with. Rodriguez and his siblings were learning english in school. The nuns at the school really wanted him to use English at home so he could improve on it. When he got comfortable with English he felt more confident in his public identity but at his house he felt like he wasn't as close with his parents anymore. The family couldn't communicate as well. For me this article was upsetting to read. I don't think that Richard and his siblings should have been discouraged from their native language. 
I could personally relate to this article. I have  a younger brother who is only five years old and a step mom who speaks both English and Spanish. At home my brother is taught to speak in both languages but at school he is only taught in english. It would be nice if he was encouraged to use both languages at school so he could be strong in both of them. My step mom's side of the family live in Honduras and only speak Spanish. If my little brother isn't strong in Spanish too then he will have trouble communicating with his grandma, grandpa, and cousins.
Suzanne Gamboa 
After reading this article, it made me think of an article I read in the news the other day. The article is called "Are English Learners Neglected in Early Education" by Suzanne Gamboa. Unlike "Aria" where English is the accepted language, This article points out a preschool in the "San Antonio's Harlandale school District, pre-kindergarten students learn English and Spanish together" (Gamboa). 
Conner Williams from New America
I really liked this article because it points out many positives to being bilingual. Also it states how there is a company called "New America" and New America focuses on dual language education. I think this company has really good goals for the education of young children. Since I plan on being a kindergarten teacher this article really stood out to me. I liked how they want to expand early childhood education by making the lessons bilingual. I feel like the students would really benefit from that. This article is very recent it is from February 12,2015 while "Aria" was written in 2004 but based on Richard's school experience from 1951. Schools have come along way since 1950 with accommodating the needs of those who don't speak english. Many schools are starting are actually requiring students to take another language. For example, here at Rhode Island college a couple years ago they put in the foreign language requirement. Overall, having multiple languages taught in school can really benefit students and their families. If Spanish was being encouraged in school like it is starting to be encouraged in parts of the country now Richard and his family could have kept their close bond.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol

          Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol was very heartbreaking to read. It was very powerful and shocking to read about the lives of the families in poverty. I didn’t want to believe that all of this was true but it is. Some of Kozol’s main points include; the types of families that live in poverty, the living conditions of the families, the crime and drug use in the neighborhoods, and the health of the people. 
First of all, the families suffering from poverty in the Bronx are “two thirds are hispanic, one third black, Thirty-five percent children” (page 3). This was very surprising to me, I thought that it would be a lot more diverse. This quote reminds me of the article by Ullucci. Ullucci states “race and poverty seem to intersect in disturbing ways” (page 2). Here we can see that certain races are suffering from poverty, its not diverse at all. Also, I cant believe how many of these families have children. Thirty-five percent of the people suffering in that city are children, that’s so sad. This neighborhood is filled with crime, drugs, and disease, thats not a healthy environment for children or even the adults.

Some quotes that stood out to me…
1."‘You just cover up… and hope you wake up the next morning,’ says a father of four children” (page 4).
This quote shows only a small part of what its like living in poverty. In the winter if you are homeless, you don't have a nice warm house to go to. Also, if you have a house you cant always afford the necessities like and heat and food. I can’t imagine how this father felt when he said this. When I have children of my own I never want to have to experience this. I would not want to have to worry about one of my children not waking up in the morning. Overall, this quote is really scary to me. 

2."My nurse had 22 patients and was working two shifts end to end” (page 15).
I can’t believe that a nurse can be assigned twenty-two patients at time! That’s a lot.My mom is an emergency room and she said on a busy night the most patients each nurse has is five. They rarely ever get more than five patients. Twenty-two is a crazy amount. Kozol also mentions that patients often have to clean their own hospital rooms and that the patients have a very long wait in the waiting room. Some patients have to wait days before they can see a doctor. At my moms work a patient can’t be waiting in the waiting for more than ten minutes. 

3."I believe we are put here here for a purpose, but these people in the streets can’t see  a purpose” (page 24). 
         This quote really stood out to me. It shows that some of the people who live in the streets think that this is all there is to life. Some don’t understand why they are there so they just do drugs and commit crime. That’s very sad. I think these people need to be inspired so they can see their purpose in life. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

"The Silenced Dialogue" By Lisa Delpit


1. "... ensuring that each classroom incorporate strategies appropriate for all the children it confines" (page 30).

-In this quote, Lisa Delpit is pointing out that not all classrooms have suitable materials and resources for all of the children to learn effectively. She believes that all the schools should make sure that the students have the materials they need to learn. I agree with her but in reality this isn't the case. As pointed out in the article many schools suffer from poverty so they can't afford everything they need. Sadly, the majority of the students being effected by this are students of color.

2. "I am also suggesting that appropriate education for poor children and children of color can only be devised in consultation with adults who share their culture" (page 45).

-This quote goes along with my previous one. The first one stated the issue and this quote is one of Lisa Delpits suggestions on how to start fixing the issue. Many people don't notice a problem or ignore the problem of poverty effecting children of color. Getting adults together to bring up all of the problems is a good place to start. I don't really agree with Delpit here. I feel like having adults who can relate to the issue talk is a good thing but I'm not sure how effective it would be to actually fix the issue.

3. "Teachers are in an ideal position to play this role, to attempt to get all of the issues on the table in order to initiate true dialogue" (page 47).

-Throughout the whole article Delpit was mentioning that many people knew about the problems of race, culture, and poverty but they kept pushing them aside. Nobody wanted to talk about them. Here she is saying that having teachers bring up the issues would be a good place to start in getting the problems put on the table. I agree with her here. I feel like the teachers are a reliable source and that will get people to listen.

About Me

My name is Jasmine Ferguson. I am a sophomore at Rhode Island College and I am majoring in early childhood education. I am from Burillville, I have lived there my whole life. Outside of school I don’t do much except work. I work at Dino’s, It’s a grocery store in Chepatchet. I am at Dino’s way too much. When I’m not working I like to spend time with my friends, bake cookies, and play with my pets. I have many animals. I have three dogs, three cats, and even two horses. I love all of them but my dog Harry is my favorite. He is super cute. That’s basically my life.