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.