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.