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Course Reflection

The Unknown's picture

What I found as my greatest challenge during the course, which presented itself in many forms and was addressed at different angles was answering the question, how can we, as educators, and pioneers of justice, create a space where ideas outside of white upper-class, male, Christians are considered vital to our understanding of ourselves and our surroundings? Also, how can I personally participate in confronting social justice from silence and giving others space to contribute.

            Also we complicated the idea of comfort many times. Who is comfortable? Who creates that comfortable space? Where is the boundary between growth and uneasiness versus pain and humiliation? I appreciated that everyone in the class was vulnerable enough to reside in one of these spaces. 

Overrepresentation of Minorities in Special Education

The Unknown's picture

Since the 1970s there has been consistent overrepresentation of minorities, particularly African Americans, in special education programs. Today, many more people are identified with learning disabilities. The overrepresentation of minority students is an increasingly important issue as minority students are becoming the majority of public school populations. Teachers refer minority students to special education programs more often than Caucasian students, and teachers mainly refer students to special education programs. Minority students are more often referred to special education programs for behavioral problems than academic issues.

Inquiry Project

marian.bechtel's picture

My inquiry project is actually a physical booklet that I put togehter, so I cannot post it here, but I can say a few words about it. The booklet is a Junior Ranger activities booklet, called "Diverse Ecosystems: Human and Wild". It's designed to try and bring together thinking about why diversity is important both biologically in an ecosystem, but also socially in a human "ecosystem." It also is supposed to try and get kids to begin making connections between how individual differing identities can affect/be affected by interactions with the environment, and to foster respect for not just the environment, but different people.

Purposeful Tellers Surrendering Control: Reactions to "A Pedagogy for Liberation: What is the 'Dialogic Method of Teaching?"

The Unknown's picture

            Ira Shor examines the most effective ways to encourage students to challenge the status quo: “We need to discuss how the dialogic teacher works so that he or she is an artist in doing these unvelings” (Freire and Shor 97). How do we question students without instilling the notion that their ideas, values, or principles are not effective, helpful, or useful?

Schoolishness and Prohibition

Damon Motz-Storey's picture

"The schoolishness of the literacy performances in The Attic was apparent in the balance of collaboration between adults and youth. In the least school-like literacy performances, youth created the texts and/or initiated the reading or writing of them. In the most schoolish literacy performances, adults assumed these responsibilities. Most often, though infrastructure was established by adult staff members and youth decided whether to engage with it, and if so, how. Then, adults adapted the infrastructure to foster youth engagement." (Blackburn, 41)

Stories as Curriculum

Damon Motz-Storey's picture

Sleeter talks extensively about the vast resource that students themselves provide one another as curriculum. Keenan talks about storytelling as an effective tool to build classroom community and engage students in learning about one anothers' lives. The parallelism is, to me, quite clear: Students' stories help to foster a classroom community but also serve as a curriculum unto themselves. Including student voices in the daily classroom routine, Keenan reflects, improves writing skills and forms bonds both among students and between students and teacher. Students care more about learning when they have a personal connection the material at hand.

Expensive Experience

asweeney's picture

Although Keenan's article mostly focused on student voice and storytelling, I'm struck by how expensive it is to provide students with the opportunity and enrichment from which they can develop their own stories and questions about the world. It is clear that she sees the value in experiential activities like mueseums as well as using technoogy (computers and flip cams) in her room. To do so, however, Keenan needs to spend time and energy finding funding or discounts through websites like Donors Choice. When we think about "culture" within school or neighborhood communities, economic class and disparities play a role in how the educational experiences for students might differ.

Inquiry Project

Damon Motz-Storey's picture

Tied to the work that I am doing in my Praxis placement, I would like to do an inquiry into the experiences of students of color during middle and high school in science and mathematics courses. Specifically, I want to investigate if there are correlations between how confident students of color felt/feel in math and science and how much/how little positive encouragement they received from parents, teachers, and other mentors both before and during college.