I was quite perplexed by Django Paris David E. Kirkland’s notion of AAL as a vernacular literacy and a form of resistance against DAE. I was skeptical about this approach and felt uncomfortable reading through their work mainly because I felt a sense of sensationalizing of minority culture. I constantly found myself thinking about how their description of AAL made it seem like this paper was for an upper-class White audience. Although I felt this way, I found their concluding thoughts to be quite useful in applying student life experiences into the classroom. The student vernacular literacies, being able to bring them into the classroom to help students better interact with their educative experience appears to have so much potential but also presents other interesting challenges.
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After reading “The Consciousness of the Verbal Artist,” there were some aspects of the chapter that left me feeling uneasy. I found myself agreeing with the final adages of the importance of learning through different vernaculars, the colloquial in conjunction with the academic. This offers students a chance to bring a personal addition into the classroom and allowing them the chance to find validation in their personal practices within classrooms, a place where deviance from status quo is often labeled wrong and less than, thus creating a contrasting image of school.
Paris and Kirkland in the essay “The Consciousness of the Verbal Artist” say that “teacher educators, for our part, must become conversant in the complex linguistic and ethnic identity work of vernacular literacies” (191), as if to do so is such a simple task. I am not African-American and I do not know AAL well enough to be able to teach it. Although I do agree that it is important to teach all vernaculars and not to represent Dominant American English as the only legitimate way of speaking, I also do not feel comfortable being the authority on African American Language. I might be oversensitive, but I worry a little bit about cultural appropriation if I were to teach it. The way that I would feel more comfortable teaching it, however, seems problematic. Paris and Kirkland talk ab
For my inquiry project, I'd like to focus on the educational system in juvenile detention centers. I have organized my proposal through a series of questions. Learners and teachers and more fundamental aspects of my research, while effectiveness and potential will be my main areas of inquiry. I realize that some of these questions will have to be eliminated since they are so vast and complicated, but this is just the beginning so I assume my research will narrow the more I learn.
I keep going back and forth between two topics that I am interested in studying more in depth. The first is high education why do we split it off? How do people who teach in these offset fields feel about not being not part of the mainstream teaching? I was thinking specifically about African American studies, Asian studies, gender and sexuality, how they are destiny separated out from departments like history. And how we call one ‘history’ and the other is offer just viewed as a side subject, why are they not taught in more intersection. My other ideais in erasures in history, and how when we erase a certain group of people (specifically my focus would be women) from history and how it creates problems.
I have been wrestling with questions of identity and the role it has in education. I am particularly interested in the development of identity in children as they maneuver their way through the education system. In my placement in a pre-school with a majority of Latin@ students, many of whom come into the pre-school only knowing Spanish, I find something problematic in the fact that the school district demands students to learn English only and asks parents to speak only English at home. Volunteering at another school with a similar demographic but an older age group, I have seen that in only 3 years identity becomes problematized among students.
I want to look into the way that schooling plays a role in the development of gender ideas. Because we have not focused on gender so far in this course, I am not completely sure how I want to focus my research. My praxis placement in a preschool has peaked my interest in this area because at such a young age, there is already a distinct difference in the way the girls play, participate in class, and what they are interested in as compared to the boys. In addition, the teacher uses gender as an easy divider, further creating separation between the two groups, and also assuming that there are only two groups.