Different from the success strategies proposed under some government-led education reforms, Kirp gave his own diagnosis and treatment of the urban education crisis which suffocates America. The chapters began with stories of a classroom in a school in Union City. The close-up descriptions accentuate two features to my attention: the culture of abrazos and special education for ESL immigrant students.
Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!
You are here
The field trip on last Wednesday (2/18) is comprised of two parts, an info session with Ray O (Ms. O) and a brief introduction with the Ms. K’s literary class.
I was drawn to the program because it uniquely avails of the Fairmount water works as part of the curriculum. Engaging local resources, community culture and linking the known environments with the unknown knowledge have repeated themselves many times in our pedagogy and curriculum readings, thus it is exciting to see how theory can be put into action. Though with benevolent purpose, there still exists a primary challenge of incorporating the specially designed curriculum into the existing standard.
I simply enjoy the light-hearted temperament and the several engaging methods adopted by Strolin-Smith in the article. She worked with Tekwan during an important transition period for children learning literacy, from spoken words to pictures then to print words. Much attention was focused on Tekwan's personal and cultural backgrounds, such as his pictorial reading, community configurations and familial stories. In her words, it was using "students' primary discourse" as the foundation for learning and honoring their cultural asset or "funds of knowledge".
Following how Dance weaves theoretical abstractions of social and cultural capital with the case study of Malcolm, I will critique the article in a similar fashion. First, I found the dialectics of social and cultural capital a helpful add-on or even override to the view of education as the incremental instrument for pure human capital (knowledge, skill training), endorsed by both my personal and the student-centric analyses emphasized by Dance (p72). She attributed both Malcolm’s compliance with Ms. Bronzic’s demand and Ms. Bronzic’s caring for students to the establishment of a dyadic but egalitarian relationship as an investment capable of reproducing positive outcomes (p72 + p84).
I thought it was interesting that Bondy et. al. observed and interviewed teachers of different racial backgrounds to "explore potential cultural differences in their use of strategies" (332). I would like to know more about how each teacher's culture affected the effectiveness of their teaching styles, and differences in classroom response. I agree with the fact that first and foremost, it is important for a teacher to express genuine care, and to not be demeaning or condescending towards his/her/their students. However, what role do cultural differences between teachers and students play?
"Throughout the United States, schools most frequently punish the students who have the greatest academic, social, and emotional needs." (112)
"Even the education levels of welfare recipients are high"
As The Nation article explains, “…the basic structure of school financing in Philadelphia is rigged to benefit these privately managed companies. Public-school money follows students when they move to charter schools, but the public schools’ costs do not fall by the same amount. For example, if 100 students leave a district-run school at a cost of $8,596 per head (the district’s per-pupil expenditure minus certain administrative costs), that school’s cost for paying teachers, staff and building expenses doesn’t actually decline by that amount. It has been estimated that partly because of these costs, each student who enrolls in a charter school costs the district as much as $7,000.”
“NCLB imposes a mandate on schools that is put on no other institution in society: wipe out inequalities while the factors that help produce them remain in place." (Karp, 220)
"In fact they are not educational strategies at all, but political strategies designed to bring a kind of ‘market reform to public education’.” (Karp, 220)
"Desegregation will not occur without judicial action; desegregation lacks sufficient national and local political support for elected officails to remedy the problem."