Sunday, October 25, 2015

Separate and Unequal


Back in 1896 U.S. Supreme Court case upheld the constitutionality of segregation under "separate but equal". Which means the facilities can be separate by  color as long as they equal. It stemmed from an1892 incident in which African-American train passenger his name is "Plessy". when he refused to sit in the car that was for his color. This case was known as "Plessy V. Ferguson". It was the spark for the civil rights movement. Then came "Brown V. Board of Education" to be an overruling case for Plessy's case.

It's been more than 60 years since Brown V. Board of Education. There is still challenges to Brown in Urban America, Where many schools are just for African-American students.
The following video show where we are now. How the low income districts are suffering compare to the wealthy districts.

Resegregation is  happening all over the south. In 1954 the south was the most segregated part in the country. I was wondering Are they still suffering from segregation after all those years?
The following video about the Central high school in City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama as an example. But it's not the only one. There are numbers of schools in the North East (especially in New York city) which are only for African-American students. 

Bob Herbert's New Times article "Separate and Unequal" and  the first listening Piece from the American life episodes "The Problem we all live with" they both describe that a majority of teachers and educators are trying to stay away from schools with "high concentrations of poverty", which is a racist thing to do. Also the low income schools don't get enough funds compare to other schools in wealthier areas. Which based on The department of education research.

When I listened to the story of "Chana" the student from an African-American high school, in part two of "The problem We All Live With". When Chana describes how she is still in touch with the white students from the private school when they were visiting her school as a part of an exchange program between the two schools. That opens my eyes on how the integration between the students can remove many of our racial problems.

Herbert says "we pretend that no one's a racist anymore, but it's easier to talk about pornography in polite company than racial integration" which reminds me of Jonson's reading when says "We must learn to say the words".
I also found a great article called" America isn't colorblind:we need to talk about racism" by Errol Louis Which discuss the famous incident of Trayvon Martin. The video shows how the public reactions are different towards many of the famous trails because the racial backgrounds.

Segregation has been a challenging problem in this country. It seems that it will always be the case. We just need to keep on trying to overcome any issue that we might face. Herbert emphasizes on such a problem in his article "Separate and Unequal" he mentions says "Separate but Equal. The Supreme Court understood in 1954 that it would never work. But our perpetual bad faith on matters of race keeps us Trying"

Sunday, October 18, 2015

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


Quote Number One:
"Educators who emphasize change would clearly also value the educational benefits of this approach. To tap into the full power of service activities, however, these practitioners would want to combine critical inquiry with action. This process can transform students' understandings of both disciplinary knowledge and particular social issues with which they are engaged." (page 6)

I greatly agree with this quote. When talking about educators who support change within their curriculum, the technique used would be disciplinary knowledge as well as engaging students in topics and issues they are interested in. By doing this, students will benefit from this within their education, because they will understand the importance of learning the material as well as have a sense of interest in the issue.

Quote Number Two:

"Similarly, many contemporary scholars focus on change over charity and argue that the lack of connection between individual rights and communal obligations within our culture has left us with bankrupt sense of citizenship." (page 9)

When I was reading this quote I felt little confused. I had to read it more than one time to understand it. Then I was able to conclude that there is a debate which should be done by the service learning for change or for the good of others (charity). This quote states that this confusion takes away our sense of citizenship  depending on which way you feel, it's like change vs. charity. 

My Personal opinion that I don't see any wrong in either way of the service learning. In both ways (change or charity) the students are benefiting in their educational journey. This quote made me think into the deeper meaning that reminded me of Christensen's views about hidden meanings and hidden learning.

Quote number Three:

"To be critical thinkers, students must be able to consider argument that justify conclusions that conflict with their own predispositions and self-interest." (page 12)

I believe this quote is a perfect example of what Johnson describes as privilege. As a future teachers we should not have a SCWAAMP attitude and consider ourselves privileged. The quote says, we must "consider arguments that justify conclusions that conflict with our own predispositions and self-interest." we must not let the outside influence come between learning something new and possibly mind-changing. I believe we can make a difference in our service learning placement. As well as the students they can a make a big difference in our lives.    

Points to discuss in class:

When doing service learning which point should we emphasize, charity or change?
Are we wrong if we prefer one more than the other? 

Friday, October 9, 2015

"Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us" - Linda Christensen

Extended Comments:

 As I was reading through the FNED blogs for this week, I came across Ilana's post that I really enjoyed reading it. She started by explaining how much she loved growing up watching Disney movies, always trying to look like how perfect the princesses were.
Ilana said "These movies represent and teach children the wrong doings of society, but under an appealing light".

I strongly agree with you Ilana, that young children are manipulated early by things such as cartoons, fairytales, and toys . Such things stay with those children till they grow up. That reflects what Linda Christensen said  in " Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us" that "Our society's culture industry colonizes their minds and teaches them how to act, live and dream".

That explains why Ilana follows the idea of being a perfect princess when she said "I started to really get thinking, has my whole life been controlled subconsciously by the norms a rules that Disney movies imprinted in my younger self ?". I still remember when Disney presented the first black princess which made a huge controversy.

 I also have a personal experience with my kids. They were born in the USA. They were thinking that Egypt (my home country) looked like what they used to see on cartoon and some kids shows. It was displayed as an empty desert that had the Pyramids, the Sphinx, Mummies and some camels which people used them for transportation. I tried many times to change the way they think about Egypt but I couldn't till we went for a visit. They were shocked when they saw that Egypt was  totally different from what they used to see on TV. In Egypt, there are underground trains, buses, taxis, and nice cars for transportation.  Also there are malls, schools, cinemas, and much more. After that visit to Egypt, my kids never believed everything on TV.  

 I also agree with Ilana when she makes a great connection to Delpit by describing the Disney movies how taught us the codes of power in a hidden way without respecting diversity in the society. There is also a great connection to SCWAAMP ideologies as well, Straightness, Whiteness, and  Able-bodiness , are all themes and ideas which valued in Disney's culture and characters.

I think  that Ilana did such a great job on her post this week. I also like to thank her for letting me use her post as the center of my blog! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Safe spaces

.Making Schools and communities
Welcoming to LGBT Youth

For my talking points this week I will be discussing an important quotes in  Safe Spaces by Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, and Megan S. Kennedy. While I was reading, I figure out that they are trying to send a message to teachers and others who needs to integrate the idea of LGBT youth not only in their curriculum, but their everyday lives. 

1- "Tammy Aaberg spoke to this challenge in the aftermath of her 15-year -old son's suicide. Justin, a promising musician, was bullied because of his sexual orientation". (Pg. 84)

This quote is such a massage to us, to open our eyes on how bullying can destroy a whole family. Justin was a promising musician, he has lots of dreams that he wishes to come true, but some individuals put an  dramatic end to all of his dreams because of bullying.

2- " The oft-stated objective is for children to learn that families come in different shapes and sizes, live in different dwelling, observe different traditions and celebrate different holidays. Teach around our nations narrate stories about single-parent families, adoptive families, divorced families and foster families". (Pg. 85) 

This quote reminds me of last week reading (Aria by Richard Rodriguez) . Rodriguez had to leave his native language because at school it was not acceptable to speak Spanish but only English. But in fact children should be learning about other classmate's cultures, because not everyone comes from the same background. Teachers should start teaching  the students that not all families have a mom and a dad, not all boys like girls....etc.  

3-  " We contend that including LGBT people and issues in the curriculum is an important first step toward creating safe spaces for LGBT youth. We say first step because, as educators, we know that visibility and normalization alone cannot transform our schools into safe and affirming space". (Pg. 94)

This is an important lesson for us as a future teachers. Having a curriculum that does not include LGBT facts or stories is not going to create  an equal classroom. It is very sad but this is the reality of our schools and education system. As a future teachers, we can change the lives of so many students. We will have LGBT students in our class and it will be our responsibility to protect them and treat them with the respect.