Summer 2009 Retreat

Summer 2009 Retreat

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Research Solutions Journal - Natalie Johnson

I decided to research the issue of education for disabled students because of my interview for the Social Change Account, as well as some previous experiences. I have tutored a very young child who was diagnosed with ADD, and right now I’m currently tutoring two high school students who have ADD as well. It is challenging to work with these students and accommodate their needs and keep them focused, especially since we only have one short hour per week together. I strive to help them as much as possible each week, and I am constantly wondering what more I can do in order to be the most help to them that I can be. Another thing that sparked my interest in this topic is the interview that I conducted with my high school French teacher for the Social Change Account. She told me that at our school, the disabled kids are called “resource children” and go to “resource classes” for English and Math. For the rest of their classes, they are integrated into mainstream classrooms with the rest of the kids at the school. She said that this is starting to cause some problems, both with teachers and students. Teachers become aggravated because they have to slow down their lesson plans to accommodate the needs of these kids, and children in their classes also become frustrated because they wonder why they have to be bored in class going over the same things repeatedly for these few disabled kids in the class. I think that it is an extremely important issue that needs to be recognized and vastly improved in our school system nationwide.

Upon starting to research this topic, the first thing that I typed into Google was “special education teaching solutions.” Something that I came across that I wasn’t really expecting was a company called “Simple Solutions.” They sell software programs supposedly designed to be able to accommodate students at all levels of learning with their “universal design strategy.” Basically, it “supplements the curriculum by providing daily distributed practice.” They claim that if teachers use this product in their classrooms with special education students, these students will be better prepared to understand the general curriculum and keep up in the classroom with other students because of the practice they get from this program. I didn’t quite understand the specifics of this product, and chose to move on to different research because this was not what I was looking for. I wanted actual teaching methods, not a product that you can buy. Especially after having read the “Heart to Heart” segment, this website seemed like an easy way out for special education teachers that may not even work that well.

I then came across the "National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER)", which was established in 2004 with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). I was glad to see that there is research being devoted to this issue: “Since 2006, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has funded more than 150 research grants through the National Center for Special Education Research.” The site listed several research initiatives that are currently being done and have already been done, and though I wasn’t able to really obtain as much information on the results of these initiatives as I would have liked, I was pleased with the array of different things going on in this area of education. With these grants and this research happening, I believe that one day children with disabilities will truly be able to get the education that they deserve.

Journal 16: Lessons From Finnish Education-George

For this assignment, I thought to myself: to be the best, why not learn from the best. With this in mind, I googled, "the best education system in the world." Lo and behold, "Finland" popped up in the search result. Last year, Finland was deemed the best education system in the world based on the scores in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) taken by the country's teenagers. This was not the first time that the Finnish Education was regarded as the best. How do a Finnish education work?

-Efficient Implementation of ideas without any politics
-Teachers teach the same cohort of students, essentially "growing" with the students
-Country perceive development of education as "nation-building"
-Decisions are made by teachers and educators and never by business professionals-turned educators.
-Have standardized exams frequently only for confidential evaluation and never released to the public
-Have a nationalized curriculum but with no government intervention on pedagogy
-Marry the belief that education is about cooperation and sharing, not competition (US)

Here is an interesting comment that should give us more perspective on a US education:

"The Hechinger Report: How did Finland do it? Sahlberg: Most educational ideas that we are employing are initially from the United States. They're American innovations done in a Finnish way. You know, in the United States, there are more than enough ideas, there's superior knowledge about educational change and you speak a language that has global reach. "


Journal 16: Researched Solution-- Aimee Liwanag

 There are many problems in American Education that we face everyday.  One problem that has always been on my mind had much to do with the attrition rate of teachers.  Having gone to inner-city schools where fights almost always broke out, bullying took place, and a place where students can care less about getting an education, I have seen teachers break down, lose their cool, and leave their post within the next semester.  I have witnessed teachers get pushed around by not only their students, but their colleagues for being "weak".  The fact that they weren't tough enough to handle their students properly and deal with overwhelming issues that teachers usually deal with, definitely made it easy for others to poke fun at them.  It is this issue of education that needs to be addressed and dealt with properly.  
 In the Article "Problems Facing American Education" by Ashley Boyer, Boyer addresses the fact that one major problem that American Education faces is the high attrition rate of first-time teachers.  In the article, Boyer describes that many first-time teachers see teaching as a fun, laid back job, where in reality, it is a very demanding profession.  Besides coming up with a lesson plan and teaching students material to help them pass standardized tests, first-time teachers do not take into consideration other responsibilities that almost always get dumped on them.  Some of these responsibilities include being involved in Prom, the yearbook, Sports, etc.  The fact that teachers have more responsibilities than expected, it is easy for one to understand why first-time teachers have such a difficult time coping with this demanding profession.  According to Boyer, there is no "cure all" medicine that teachers can take to rid themselves of all of their problems.  Although there is no one simple solution, there are steps that schools, teachers, and districts can take in order to solve this problem-- create a strong and successful support system and offer introductory foundations classes.  
 Because first-time teachers are new, they do not have the support of their colleagues to help them overcome the issues that they continue to face.  Because of this, many first-time teachers leave their post after a couple of years.  Teachers need the support of not only their colleagues, but of their students and parents to help them carry on with their profession.
 Introductory foundations classes may also serve as a step to a solution for it prepares first-time teachers for issues that they may face in and outside of the classroom.  Since the course is based on case-studies, first-time teachers are given situations and are walked through how to solve these problems properly and efficiently.  I personally think that by creating a support system for teachers and by providing these intro foundations course, we can solve these problems that American education faces by solving it one step at a time.
Article: Problems in American Education

Journal 16: Violence Prevention

An issue that I am very passionate about is violence. When we had the ED190 violence facilitation day, I was very devastated by the experiences that people shared. It also reminded me of the violence that I’ve seen in my own lives and within my friends and communities. So when I found out about the Prevention Institute and Cease Fire Chicago through my Public Health 116, it gave me so much hope thinking that there were effective ways of ending violence.

As the article reveals, Prevention Institute focuses on ending violence through a more comprehensive approach rather than the simple act of strengthening law enforcement. Prevention Institute works at multiple levels – from community organizers to legislators – to ensure that the city is working together to end violence. They also work on different levels of intervention – violence “upfront”, “in the thick”, and the “aftermath”. Thus, there work doesn’t end at one point but continues until violence can be successfully reduced.

The CeaseFire Chicago model is one of the models that really follows the ideas outlined by the Prevention Institute. Statistics have shown that CeaseFire was able to reduce shootings and killings in CeaseFire zones by 41-73%. They have also been able to end retaliation murders in 5 out of neighborhoods. They do so by bringing in community members to become gang interrupters that actively seek out folks and try to appease any conflicts. They also collaborate with the city to ensure that violence is understood and actively being fought against at many different levels.

Thus, these two programs makes me think about how ending violence is possible with the right framework in mind. Rather than believing that we are all meant to compete with another in this world, these two programs show that issues in education, such as violence, can be addressed if we all work together on multiple levels to end these problems. I truly admire the violence interrupters in CeaseFire because they struggle everyday to try and make sure violence does not occur. Many of them are people who come from those communities and are trying to actively end the problems they’ve dealt with in their own lives so that others do not have to go through the same thing. To me, they truly come from a place of love for their communities – a love similar to what bell hooks was thinking of.

Journal 16 | Researched Solution | Wendy Wu

A hot topic discussed in the education arena is charter schools. I have definitely been drawn to this as it's been discussed in the previous team facilitations. It's also something that highly interests me because I attended Oakland Military Institute, a charter school in Oakland, that I personally think was unsuccessful. That's why I have mixed feelings about this push for charter schools, and the New York Times article discusses some of these mixed feelings. However, because of this push for charter schools, the topic has definitely come to my attention, and I've been wanting to learn more about it. Recently, Waiting for Superman came out. Although I have not watched the movie, I know it's very controversial and discusses Harlem charter schools that have been successful such as KIPP.

This past weekend, I got to have a very deep conversation with a friend who's in the Teach for America program. He's currently working with students with Aspergers, and he's have a wonderful time in TFA. As a graduate from UC Berkeley, I got to ask about his experience in Education 190 and talked about the social change account where I got to ask him how he was using education as a vehicle for social change. We talked a lot about charter schools, and he brought up how he wants to work at KIPP for a few years to gain experience before working for school administrations. The topic of KIPP intrigued me because I heard about it in high school and how successful it was. I really liked the model of the schol, and I can see why many charter schools use it as a model. My friend said he advocates for charter schools but only if they are like KIPP. KIPP definitely has an amazing track record and it's amazing how it's keeping low-income students of color off the streets and into higher education. I had my doubts about charter schools, but I have to agree that if charter schools can be on the same level as KIPP all over the nation, then charter schools will be the way to go. However, right now, there's no standardization in these charter schools and they are free to do whatever they want. Moreover, I have noticed that many of the charter schools in Oakland are unsuccessful because they replace public schools that failed. Some even move into the old public school property and just change the name to a charter school to get different types of funding. I don't think charter schools like that work and just increase the problems education already has. Not only does KIPP have great teachers who definitely care about the students, but KIPP also has uniforms. Although I went to a school with uniform, I hated it, but I can definitely see the benefits of uniform. It takes away something that differentiates students and decreases bullying due to one's lack of money to purchase the best clothes. When it comes down to it, KIPP emphasizes high achievement, so if all the students care about this the most, then there's potential for success as seen in these schools. Moreover, KIPP schools are from K-12, which definitely incubates students for success in life and higher education. In conclusion, I have mixed feelings about this huge push for charter schools based on my own experiences, but if all charter schools can model that of KIPP's and if there's standardization across the board for all charter schools to be successful and meet standards, then I support charter schools.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Journal: Researched Solution - Angela

An issue in education that drove me towards taking Ed190 and has continued to be on my mind throughout the semester is how we can work to close the achievement gap and begin to mend the many injustices that often afflict and stand as obstacles for students coming from disadvantaged or low-income communities. As documentaries such as "Waiting for Superman" and organizations such as Teach For America have brought to public attention, many young students start off with college goals and huge ambitions, but unfortunately are born into a system that stifles these ambitions and makes their goals seem like distant dreams.

A solution that has been catching my eye for the past year or so has been the Harlem Children's Zone Project, led by Geoffrey Canada (who was featured in 'Waiting for Superman'). The Project began in the 1990's, starting with just one block in poverty-ravaged Harlem. It provided a slew of support and resources to address the area's biggest concerns, and has now grown to serve almost 100 blocks of the city. What I really admire about the approach - and perhaps this is biased by my interest in health/medicine and the holistic approach learned in public health courses I've taken - is that the project serves not only the children and students, but also the adults in the area. It surpasses serving the pure academic needs, and reaches further to address issues such as obesity and how to best manage asthma. It also provides parenting workshops, and targets parents with children as young as ages 0-3. I think it's great that the program targets so many different components of the community it serves - especially as early on as it does - in its mission to surround developing children with a positive environment that supports higher education and increased opportunity. Another aspect of the program that makes it stand out to me is that they offer all of their services free - a quality that realistically speaking, is challenging to achieve but so necessary when the demographic to serve does not have the extra resources to spend on participating in these programs, beneficial as they may be in the long run.

In the end, what HCZ is doing seems like one of the most sustainable solutions because it is involved past the age group of students it originally had planned to serve and includes the entire community, which is an amazing first step towards building support in multiple sectors of the population that will enhance the development of the social change it hopes to achieve.


Journal #16-Veronika Castellanos

Veronika Castellanos

ED 190


Journal #16

Research a present solution to an issue in Education that is on your mind from this class. Attach the research and discuss what you learned using the readings from class.

An issue that has been on my mind while being within this class is the inequality that exists within the education system. The article I came across touched more upon the inequalities between the white and black population within the U.S. I thought it was a generally informing article, but I don’t really like that it so specific about the ethnicities. I felt like it ignored many of the other minorities that struggle with a lot of the same issues. It doesn’t really bother me that much, but I was just a bit surprised that it did not mention any other races except the differences between the black and white communities. But anyways, this article talked about many of the socioeconomic issues that come along with certain types of people succeeding and not succeeding. Within this reading it mentioned that “whites tend to have parents who have high levels of education, occupational status, and income than do blacks.” With referring back to history, the Jim Crow Laws attempted to lay out the notion of “separate but equal,” but of course this did not live up the a true standard of equality. African Americans still experienced a great amount of discrimination pertaining to various educational and socioeconomic disadvantages. A large portion of the white population has always experienced this sense of privilege, so they have not had to deal with being oppressed in this manner. This in turn made a big difference in the educational outcomes between the two communities. And when people are set in a mold of most likely not to succeed, sometimes they are bound to this idea and they stay there. I think that is one of our major problems here. If someone comes from a poorer socioeconomic status and they are aware that their race is “not supposed” to become successful, it is not likely that they will step out of this mold that they have been placed into without their consent.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yania - Journal 16 :)

Yania Escobar

I really like that there are a lot of people in the United States who are asking questions about race and ethnicity. In many countries, including my own, we like to pretend we are not racist because we never talk about it. This only makes us more racist, nobody is asking me to check the “colored” mark in Uruguay, yet most poor people are colored just like here. I appreciate the straightforwardness of this country and wish to explore that a bit more. Students in schools are learning about these issues not only by special race and ethnicity workshops, but also by personal experience. I used to complain about these special classes and claim they are not necessary, and they would not be if racial disparities in school were not so obvious.

I was tutoring a girl from Berkeley High the other day and she told me that she skipped class. Astonished (because I went to a school with high fences that made it really hard to skip class) I asked her how she was able to do this without anyone seeing her. Then I remembered Berkeley High is a come and go type of school and, as I began to wonder where the supervisors were as she just walked out, she blurted out “I can leave when I want because I am a white girl, nobody stops me.” I continued to ask her “who gets stopped?” She said “Young black men and sometimes women too.” We digressed from our Math discussion to talk about race a little bit; she made all the connections we have made in this class right in front of me. She talked about how she knew the institutions were set up to keep colored people at the bottom of the financial scale and this could be part of the reason why her family has money. Since her family has enough money to pay for Classroom Matters Tutoring, she will make sure she does well in school and so on.

It was then I became really interested in what the students have to say about race. So far I found a couple of articles and books narrating some of the student’s own experiences with race and ethnicity in school. The one I would like to share first is Making and molding identity in schools: student narratives on race, gender, and academic engagement by Ann Locke Davidson. Part of the book is on google books <> I have not yet read it all so I cannot recommend as a great book but I can say it is real, and I really cannot critique people’s experience.

It just stresses how important it is to realize that, as teachers, we have an impact on shaping students’ ideals of themselves and the world, and we need to take that responsibility seriously.

Journal 16-Jenna

Research a present solution to an issue in Education that is on
your mind from this class. Attach the research and discuss what you learned
using the readings from class.

In education, it is seen often enough that many children find themselves disillusioned by school and, therefore, become disengaged from learning. One of the most depressing scenes depicted in Waiting for Superman, a documentary about the failure of public schools and the need for charter schools, is of these children who have huge academic dream and are inspired to learn but who are not able to access a quality education. How long does it take for a student who has always wanted to be a doctor to abandon those dreams and school itself when he or she attends a school that doesn’t even offer the A-G requirements to get into college? These students do not need a teacher to inspire them to learn, they need a teacher who will allow them to learn.

Throughout this class, we have been challenged to expand our own understanding of education through a form of democratic education. Most of us have never experienced democratic education outside of this class; however, as we have discussed in earlier classes, there are some schools that are designed to let students learn in such a way. These students are able to study what they wish at their own pace, such as at the Montessori Schools. These schools are designed under the idea that students desire to learn and will be more motivated to learn when they are given the resources and support to educated themselves at their own pace.

Kid Politics”, a podcast that is part of This American Life goes through different stories of children learning on their own. The first story is from Please Vote for Me, a documentary film that takes place in a class in China. The third graders in this class have elected positions and throughout this story these students begin using negotiating tactics without the guidance of adults to convince fellow classmates to vote for them. The interesting thing is, even though these students were not aided by parents, they formulated many of the same tactics as politicians use in their campaigns. Another story examines the Brooklyn Free School in New York. At this school, students decide their own “system of accountability” for the entire school. At this school the students choose all of their own classes, design the structure of the school, and still nearly all continue on to college. Students make all of the decisions. The only requirement of this school is that students attend the weekly meetings to make decisions. The vote is based off of majority. If something is occurring that the students dislike, they would call a school meeting, which sometimes resulted in the same lack in a solution. In one case, the students’ ability to make decisions was called into question regarding the use of screens in the school such as computers and cell phones. Adults thought that the use of screens would be distracting; however, the school agreed to continue to allow screens because the students votes greatly outnumber those of the parents. As it turned out, the students were very responsible and conscious of their use of those “distracting” technologies because they knew that they were accountable for their own decisions.

The first example demonstrates that students are capable of learning on their own. Through this method of education where students are allowed to make their own decisions and work together to address issues that come up during school, these students are more motivated to to continue learning. One student brought up that she is grateful for being able to attend a school where she has a voice. This level of empowerment leads to increased engagement and excitement to learn. Without teachers and administration setting a structure for the school and requiring students to conform to that structure, the school becomes a freer environment that is more conducive to learning. Additionally, because students are creating their own rules, they are holding themselves and each other more directly accountable for obeying those rules because they know it is something either they decided on or that the majority of the school decided on.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Journal #15

Veronika Castellanos

ED 190


Journal #15

What characteristics do you think make up the "mythical norm" in American society (or in the world)? Relate these to the topics we have covered in class. Where do you feel like you fit in society with respect to this "norm"?

I really want to apply this idea of the “mythical norm” with the ideologies that come along with race and ethnicity. I think that there is an abundance of stereotypes when it comes to thinking about various cultures around the world. As a society, not only do we judge and stereotype ideas of “otherness” when it comes to other parts of the world, but we also apply this to people who live in this U.S. We take ideas that have been thrown at us whether it is in the classroom or by the media, and we begin to adopt them as a universal truth because that is all we have been exposed to. I also think that when people hear and see a consistent idea of race and/or ethnicity they reflect upon society and they begin to generalize as a whole. And if someone becomes aware of this mold that they are supposedly suppose to be a part of, they can make the decision to either sit back and accept it, or they can change it and progress from that. To be honest, I am finding it really difficult to place myself into a particular “norm” of society. One thing I can think of is that since I look white, I’m sure many people assume I’m privileged. I have been told that I look like a snob and a “princess.” I have always had to work for my own money; I come from a low-income family, and my parents aren’t able to contribute a dime to my education and it’s ok. I have learned a lot about responsibility because of it. I don’t come from a college bound family; I’m the first one in my family to go to college. Both of my parents are immigrants from Mexico and they are not familiar at all with the university system, so I have had to navigate myself through school. It’s a person’s choice whether they want to branch out and learn about different cultures, and I know that I want to continue to be a part of such a diverse community.

Journal 15: Mythical Norm--Aimee Liwanag

The "mythical norm" is all around us.  It is what we see
everyday. It is how we judge people before getting to
know them. It is because of the mythical norm is life
and interactions with others the way that it usually is.
In American society, there are several characteristics
that make up the mythical norm. Certain characteristics
include: gender,race, sexual orientation, age, religion,
ethnicity, etc. Although it isn't proper for one to judge
a person based on a particular aspect of their identity
whether it be because they are Jewish or because they are
a woman,the mythical norm enables us to do this. Since the
United States is a melting pot filled with various cultures,
identities, etc. we don't always know how to interact with
one another, especially if they are of a different identity.
To know more about a different identity, many of us do not
go up to a person and learn about him or herself, for that is
too time consuming and involves a lot of effort. Instead we
judge them based on what we hear about them, and not about
what we know. This relates to everything that we have
discussed in class, especially when it comes to education.
For example, since the mythical norm of asian students is that
they are very intelligent and excel especially in Math, it is
normal for one to attribute an Asian's success in one's math
class to the fact that he or she is Asian, without even
attributing one's success to the fact that the student has
studied hard. Although Asians are seen to be great students and
great at math, I feel as though I fit into the "mythical norm",
but at the same time I don't. Even though I would like to deem
myself as an intelligent student, I can't say that i fit into the
norm for I am not good at math. In fact, math is one of my
weakest subjects. The fact that i do not fully fulfill this
mythical norm, it is one step in breaking this assumption for it
enables people to realize that this norm is false and that one
should not assume that one is a certain way because of how
society generalizes and makes them out to be.

Journal 15 Mythical NORM ...TERUKO

The mythical norm to me is just a scale that all americans try to fit into and it is a way to WEIGH privilege. Think of it this way The mythical norm for an american to really succeed and obtain the AMERICAN DREAM is a Middle class, white heterosexual christian man. The less classifications you identify with is the furthest away from the American Dream you'll be. I put this picture because it represents the idea that the American Dream is not all that obtainable and it is not all that it is squared up to be. I feel as if society proclaims that a woman who is mixed race like me, homosexual and in an impoverished state could not ever obtain the american dream.
The american dream is such a drag, especially for those people who immigrate to this country believing that they will have a better life and opportunity yet majority of the time Immigrants will take low wage jobs painting white picket fences they'll never get to own and washing glass ceilings they'll never break through. The whole reason why this norm is called MYTHICAL is the idea that it is not fully true that there is room for us to obtain this success, but unlike those who fit into this privileged category we are not as equipped for this road so we must pick up appliances and resources along the way. BUT WE CAN ACHIEVE IF WE PUT OUR MIND TO IT...lets beat oppression with its own stick!!!!!

Mythical Norm Journal- Fazal Mogaddedi

I'm not completely sure what characteristics make up the "mythical norm" but I'm sure they have a lot to do with race, gender, social/economic standing etc! Chris Rock once joked "Shaquille O'Neil is rich, but the white guy signing his check is wealthy." I think that one of the characteristics within' this norm is that if you're white you are at the top of the social/economic ladder and you're automatically going to get the job over a minority. I think at times that is true, but not all the time. I have thought that if I were white things would be a lot more easy, and I'd be able to get a better job, get away with more things but I know that's not true deep inside. I myself feel that I fall in the category of Immigrant-American. I come from a low income family who puts a lot of focus on education, i wasn't the most popular kid in school but I had my group of friends that i hung out with. These norms also fall into sports as well. If you're African American you're automatically supposed to be good at a sport, you're supposed to be a jock etc. These are stereotypes that have been implanted within our minds unconsciously. At the school, the athletes, tough guys were always popular and if you weren't categorized in that circle you were outcasted at times because you didn't fit the mold. i think everyone is unique in their own ways, and everyone has something different to offer the world, this mythical norm that everyone is measured up against takes away the uniqueness of the individuals and it makes people act like someone they are not just to fit in and be "normal."

Mythical Norms - Natalie Johnson

It is difficult for me to list the characteristics that make up this "mythical norm." I guess factors such as race, age, gender, the clothing one wears, and a person's actions are all part of what make up stereotypes. It's weird for me to think about stereotypes because honestly I wonder where how they originated and where they came from. Was it our basic human nature that makes us want to categorize things- including people- that put this idea into our mind that because a majority of a group acts in a certain way, every member of that group must act that way? I"m not really sure. But it is an interesting thing to ponder.

I think that someone who didn't know me would say that I fit into the "typical white girl" stereotype pretty well. I come from an upper middle class family and have lived a comfortable life in terms of always having the essentials and being able to do extracurricular activities and things like that. I live in a suburb, have an older sister and two younger step sisters, and 2 dogs. If someone who didn't know me had to categorize me and say whether or not I fit your average white girl stereotype, I think they would definitely say yes. I'm not going to lie, this still bothers me. I wish it didn't, and I think in time it won't anymore, but it does. Yes, I was born into a family with the means to provide me with everything that I needed and most things that I wanted. I did not choose this. It was what I was born into. It doesn't mean I'm some spoiled brat who doesn't appreciate what I have though, and recognize that I am extremely fortunate. I have felt attacked at times, whether directly or indirectly through passive aggressiveness and what have you, by people who fit into different stereotypes than me. And honestly, I think that everyone in the world can fit into a stereotype, because there are SO MANY it's ridiculous. And that's exactly what stereotypes are- ridiculous. I think we should all make it a point to make a conscious effort to abolish the stereotypes we encounter each day in our lives. And that's what it must be- a CONSCIOUS effort- because I think that stereotypes are so engraved into our minds without us even realizing it (for a lot us, that is).

Something else that bothers me is being put into the stereotype of the typical "sorority girl." I know a lot of you will probably read this and laugh. But I hope that one day you will be able to get over this stereotype. People laugh at sororities because of many different reason: "you're paying for friends," "you're all a bunch of idiots who just want to do each other's makeup and have pillow fights," the things I've heard on this list go onnnn and on. But while you judge me for being in a sorority, just remember that you don't know what it's like to be in a sorority. I don't pay for friends- I pay dues for the upkeep of the house and the chapter. I have literally met my best friends in my sorority, people who have changed me for the better and have affected my life permanently. While you may judge me for being in a sorority and spending money on things you may think are stupid (but you really just don't understand), just remember that I find it silly that someone would spend thousands of dollars "pimping out their car"- but then I check myself and realize "hey, it's their money, and it's how they want to spend it. It doesn't affect me at all- why am I even thinking about this person?" You really can't judge anyone until you've taken a walk in their shoes and truly know them, and while people look at me and see all of the privileges that I have (and that I am aware of!), just take a step back before being bitter towards me and give me the chance that I am giving you. I try my best to give everyone a fair chance in life without judgement, and I only ask for the same from everyone else.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Journal 15 | Mythical Norms | Wendy Wu

I think the most prevalent mythical norm for me is the white male, the cream of the crop. I think males in the world, in general though, get distributed more resources. I hear this reoccurring a lot in my discussions, lectures, conversations, etc. For me, when there's a talk about minorities or discrimination, the white male is used as a comparison to show the difference in privileges. I think with time, I have somewhat internalized this, but I don't believe it's a fact because I remain optimistic. Although I agree that the American Dream is a myth, I do not agree that social mobility is a myth even though some say it is. I will remain hopeful because I want to be that anomaly to inspire others to question and challenge the system. I know the journey will be tough, but bring it! As a first generation college student, low-income, person of color, immigrant, and womyn, I want to prove to myself and the world that you can overcome obstacles to be in industries and positions that are not conventionally held by people like yourself. Although I am just a second year and I know my sentences are packing a punch because I cannot control what will happen in the future, I will continue to be optimistic and I will continue fighting. I've noticed that my passions - politics, law, business - are all industries that are dominated by white men, but this will not phase me. I want to be in these industries because I want to break stereotypes. I like to say that I have a progressive way of thinking, and I want to keep providing this voice in all the spaces I will be a part of in the future. I will remember my roots and return to my community to inspire youth to pursue higher education and to create the life they want to live because social mobility is possible despite how hard the path might be. Maybe my previous statement is idealistic because I can be idealistic at times. And I know that I have been pretty privileged to get to where I am today. I know hard work isn't everything, but we should not be controlled by the circumstances that we were born into and had no control over. We cannot control what we were given at birth, but we can control our present and future. I like to say that anything is possible because that's just my personality, and I want to be able to inspire others to do the same. I want to remind others to check themselves if they are not being politically correct, so I will set the example by using gender neutral language and voicing my opinion in a way that represents my community. There is hope. I will believe. :)

journal 15 - Isel Lee

I feel that mythical norms are what people accept as reality without questioning them. For example, I have been brought up in my family to believe in the model minority myth, which was also reinforced in school. Listening to conversations between my mom and other Asian women, I came to believe that Asians are better academically and have good work ethic because for some reason it’s within our blood. At school, both teachers and students made stereotypical comments that generalized Asians as smart, talented, etc. etc. Since I was a beneficiary of it at first, I welcomed the categorization and accepted these characteristics as the norm. That is, until I became a victim of it. As I began to discover my shortage in math and science I began to question my abilities in a negative way. I began to internalize my inability to meet the “norms” and also became sensitive to negative comments made by my other classmates. Constantly being compared to other Asians, I felt like I was not normal—all Asians are good at math, why wasn’t I?

Journal 15 (Norms)- Ashmi

I think it's really hard to say what exactly creates these mythical norms. I feel like society perpetuates characteristics that are present in a majority. For example, there are different norms in different countries because there are so many factors that shape ideas and notions of normality such as culture, race, and socio-economics. I think everything listed in the picture to the left characterize what is considered "normal" in the American society. Institutions are what establish and perpetuate them. Institutions include the government, media, religious establishments, etc. I think these social norms create a lot of injustices in our world, like racism, discrimination, and violations of rights. Stereotyping low-income students has become a norm. The stereotype that low-income students don't go to college and instead will work in fast food restaurants to make a living. This is a stereotype that has become normalized. Many schools have stopped focusing on providing students of low-income and opportunities the resources needed to pursue higher education. Many of these students start internalizing that they are failures or that they aren't meant for college.

Everyday we forget that normal can mean a million different things. Nobody can define what normal means. Normal can mean eating dessert before dinner, or wearing your shirt inside out, or eating ice cream with a fork. Normal is never definitive and I a lot of times I personally forget that. Many times I feel like I need to be conforming to society because if I don't, then I feel like the odd man out. I realize that I do this though and I try to make an active change in the way I see myself in society. I am not sure where I fit into society because even though I fit into the "norms" in some respects, I also challenge them. I challenge my parent's traditional beliefs all the time by asking them to volunteer abroad, or go to school away from home, or even pursue high school 17 hours away from them. I feel like I am in two different societies. One is the American society and the other is the Indian American society. I am trying to find a way to fit into both of them and sometime it requires that I settle for the norm in one society to challenge the other.

Journal 15-There Is No Such Thing As "Normal"-George

I am surprised I have not heard of the term mythical norm before. However, once I learn about what the "norm" is from the reading, I realized that I have known this "mythical norm" all along. The idea that those in society who are “white, thin, male, young, heterosexual, Christian, and financially secure” are somehow superior to those who are not is a dangerous notion of injustice. Those who fall outside of this norm will internalize the fact that they are inferior. Worst, the mythical norm causes activists to be myopic in their cause. For instance, people tend to link the achievement gap due to racist education policy and practice. However, the achievement gap can be tied to many factors including but not limited to policy, poverty, cultural differences, geographic location, and availability of resources. As agents of change, we cannot afford to subscribe to the "mythical norm" when tackling social injustice. We have to think broad and deep and engage multiple stakeholders when possible.

I definitely don't fit into the so called mythical norm and it has been both a curse and a blessing. I feel that I am not as sheltered in society because my family is not financially secured or Caucasian. But at the same time, being who I am and my upbringing have given me unique perspectives and unique skill sets. For instance, I am more empathetic to students who work 10-20 hours a week to pay their tuition. Even though I am not part of the "norm," I am still proud of where I come from and how I get here. Yet, the "norm" affects all of us. What we can do is to be aware of this norm, constantly educate ourselves, and be above the "norm"--whatever that may mean. I don't think there is such a thing as "normal."

Yania Escobar - Normality

It is pretty refreshing to see stereotypes referred to as myths. I have often been and seen others be compared against these myths, and it can be very painful. The mythical norm can lead people to live in a constant chase of what is accepted that will never be completely fulfilled. It is impossible to ever be normal because it is not an attainable human condition. Even when one feels that normality has been achieved, this norm can change and even if one changes with the norm, there is still a feeling of discontent. Happiness cannot be reached by seeking a tangible thing or status, it is only by letting go of these preconceptions and changing only for oneself that happiness can really develop.
In the United States, there are infinite norms that keep people constantly doubting their human emotions and actions and altering their behavior in a way that will be acceptable to everyone else. One broad example is the way we must speak to each other. I have never encountered so many euphemisms and fake speech as when I moved to this country. People are constantly checking what they say as to not to offend or hurt anyone. Of course this is not necessarily always bad, it is nice to take other’s feelings into account, but it would be nice to really free our speech a little more. Saying “that is interesting” when we mean “I dislike that” is a little too far, and this is something I have done to fit the norm.
I feel like I have been told I am weird more times than I can count, and I make it a mission to defy the norm. It can sometimes be hurtful, especially when I was in high school, for people to “ok…?” me and tell me I was not normal. I think my mission statement was titled defining my normality or something like that. In high school I became really interested in redefining norms for myself and allowing them to morph as needed. Now I have taken a step further and have not thought about it seriously in a couple of years. I am trying to get rid of definitions about myself altogether, because there is no such thing as “myself.” I have started to realize how different I can be in any given moment, and I embrace that wavering phenomenon.
Even if we were able to define normal one second, it would have to be re-defined completely the next. I am glad I can now stop thinking about what is normal for a little while because it is starting to feel absurd <3.

Journal 15 - Norms

I believe that there many norms in American society. For instance, the typical “American” person should be someone English speaking, white, at least middle class, a citizen, able bodied, heterosexual, and male. Also, this person typically aspires to become well-off one day, have two kids, and a dog and does all of this based on merit. This means that they also prescribe to the American Dream, where this person believes and is proof of how we can all achieve what we want based on our hard work. However, I believe these norms need to be re-examined. To me, these norms are not only false but also extremely hurtful to those that do not fit the norm in America. There is little room for anything that deviates from the norm.

In my own life, I feel like I can sometimes fit the norm but many times, I do not as well. For instance, my queer low-income Asian female identity already sets me outside the norm. And this manifests through daily experiences in which I recognize that I am not the norm. It can range from watching television shows where Asian Americans are completely absent or to watching commercials about dating services only catered to heterosexual couples. At the same time, I contain many attributes that allow me to fit the “norm” in other ways. For example, I am an abled bodied person, a citizen, and I can articulate my thoughts clearly in English without a problem. As an Asian American, people can also see me as a person who fits the American Dream, despite my struggles as well. Thus, if I tried really hard to “blend in”, I think I can fit aspects of the “mythical norm”. Therefore, I believe that every single person can fit certain characteristics of the “mythical norm” and at the same time, not fit in as well.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Journal 12- George

Being disabled is a huge challenge. Whether it is physical or mental, a disability is a struggle that others cannot understand. Just imagine how hard it would be to lose our ability to walk, write, eat, or memorize? Even though that most individuals with disabilities I come across tend to be very strong-willed, I know that being disabled is a challenge. Regarding disability as a label, I think there is a difference between describing a condition neutrally and applying negative attitude, thoughts, and even acts to a condition. The latter serves to enforce an ideal that is utterly devastating to people who live with disability. It is precisely the negative labeling that makes living with disability hard to cope with. Schools and public places are definitely breeding grounds where such negative labeling exist. Reflecting back in my schooling, the students are absolutely brutal to students with disabilities. Furthermore, disability is a term that needs more defining. Disability is a spectrum and includes not just loosing a limb, but also illness that negatively impact our bodies. But I think that is another journal prompt for another day.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Journal 12- Aimee Liwanag

I think that the term "disabled" is a term that is socially constructed in order to classify people.  To be disabled, whether it be mental or physically, is just like saying that a certain individual is unable to do certain things because of their physical/mental disability.  I don't think that it is right for one to call someone disabled, for being disabled connotes to negative thoughts, such as being restricted from doing things that normal people do.  For example, one who is confined to a wheelchair may be identified as being disabled for he/she may need extra assistance in getting around.  These individuals may not see themselves as being disabled for they are able to do everything that everyone else can do, just differently.  Throughout school, I have witnessed student being bullied due to being differently abled.  Whether it was mental or physical, students would bully these differently abled students for being different.  Having a nephew who is autistic, I do hope that students do not bully him for being differently able.  We must understand the struggles that these individuals face on a day-to-day basis.  Students must learn at an early age that we are all different, and that we must respect and accept one another for these differences.  I don't want to say that my nephew is disabled, for he is not.  He is a fun, loving, adorable, and intelligent child that just learns differently, and people should realize that regardless of him being autistic.  

Journal 14: Alternate Pedagogies- Aimee Liwanag

Of all the teaching methods that I have read, I must admit that I do admire John Dewey's view of education, especially when it comes to how education should be interactive between both teachers and students.  As amazing as it may sound to interact on a one-on-one basis with your teacher, this doesn't always take place.  During my first semester of college, I had a math professor who was all about lecturing.  In fact, the lecture would take so long, and he would be so into his lecture, that he never stopped to ask questions to ensure that his students even grasped the material and understood what was being taught.  Whenever someone would stop the lecture, and ask a question, he would ask that we wait until after class to discuss this with him, however by then, most of us would forget our questions.  It is the fact that we were silenced, and asked to remain silent until we were allowed to speak that made learning Math extremely hard for me.  To this day, I hate math for I don't feel as though I have ever had a teacher that fully engaged me in the material.  I wish that I would have had a math teacher throughout middle school, high school, and even college, that made an effort to ensure that his/her students understood the material.  Perhaps if I have ever had a math teacher that fully was fully engaged with their students and the material that they were teaching, I would like math more.  However, this is not the case.  Because I have been silenced throughout my education, I don't feel confidant to go out there and ask for help.  If all teachers and professors could just know the importance of interacting with their students and being engaged with the material that they are teaching, then they would realize how effective their actions are when it comes to teaching their students.    

Pedagogy Journal-George

All the authors of the this week's reading raised valid points on education: education should prepare us for life, should be independent and democratic, and enable students to demonstrate what they learn as well the What You Test Is What You get principle. Reflecting back, all of my schooling contained elements of a "great" education. However, none of my schooling--from elementary to high school struck a balance between each elements on the list. My middle school emphasized on rote learning and life skills, but felt short on creating a group environment. My high school was the opposite--it was very Socratic and presentation based that our teachers neglect importance of standards and tests. Furthermore, lack of resources in the classroom and the fact that our school was nomadic were perennial problems. Not to say that schools should or should not prepare us for standardized tests. I just think that there should be a balance of combining a pedagogy that not only prepare us for life, but also ensure that the knowledge we receive can be applied to society--ie. having a broad base of knowledge for conversations and higher learning. In this case, I believe standardized tests serve the purpose of getting our foot deeper in the door of society. Standards such as the SAT is important for college admission. In my high school, most of the teachers had a negative disposition about teaching students for standards. While I admired this attitude, I thought to myself, how many students won't get into the college of their dreams because teachers don't prepare them enough for standardized tests? I argue that in an effective, empowering, and adaptive pedagogy, a balance must be attained.

Journal 14 | Alternate Pedagogies | Wendy Wu

After looking at Burkhardt's, Dewey's, and Montessori's teaching methods, I've been thinking about the way I've learned. For me personally, Montessori's teaching method has been the most effective because it helps me engage with the material and how it applies to my experiences and life. Not only does it help me build a deeper connection with what I'm learning, but I also tend to remember the material after the course. However, I was not very fortunate to take many courses where the professor or teacher applied real world experience to the classroom. Many of the classes I took were like Burkhardt's teaching method. I just took tests, and many of them were multiple choice questions. It's not to say that I didn't learn anything at all because I did. However, I felt it was just a bunch of memorization and reflecting back on my education, that was the majority of it. For math, I learned the most when I actually had to solve the problems and write down the process. It helps me look at the bigger picture and forces me to really understand the material. When I do multiple choice tests, I have a 25% of getting an answer correctly, so I might not even know what I'm doing and have the possibility to get the answer right. Therefore, I don't really like multiple choice tests, but I can see why teachers prefer them because it makes their lives easier. I think Dewey's teaching method is interesting, but I don't think teachers can give that much attention to each student. If it were possible, then I think that would be amazing because each child could reach their full potential. That might be possible in a very exclusive private school where 1-on-1 attention is possible, but for public schools, that's just not practical. Therefore, looking at my education and considering practicality, I wished every class incorporated Montessori's teaching method. If my classes did, then I think I would remember more than I know now. All I did was regurgitate information, but I didn't really understand the material at times. That's why after the class, I forget everything because I didn't really learn that much to begin with. Montessori's teaching method helps me see things on a larger scale and how I fit into this scale.

Pedagogy Journal - Natalie Johnson

After doing these three readings and then thinking about my own educational experiences thus far, I have realized that my classroom experiences were largely affected by the teachers I had. I don’t really remember specific teaching styles that my teachers had in elementary school, but as for middle school and high school there are plenty of examples of classes I either loved or hated completely one hundred percent because of the teacher. For example, I despised my 7th grade Algebra 1 class because of Mrs. Bryant’s teaching style: on the first day of class she literally said these words- “This class will not be fun. We will not do group projects, and we will not have holiday parties. You will come here, take notes, take tests, and that is all.” I was astounded- I don’t care if we don’t have parties and it’s not a class completely based on fun, but this teacher was outright admitting that she didn’t care if we hated the class. From that day on I had a horrible stigma against that class because she was just such a negative person that there was no way I could enjoy it. Unfortunately, she was true to her word- we literally just took notes every day. Luckily I am an adaptive learner and can teach myself basic things if I don’t understand them at first, so I still did alright in the class.

On the other end of the spectrum, my favorite math class I ever took was my junior year of high school with Mr. Darrow- Probability and Statistics. He did real life examples and projects that allowed us to apply what we were learning to our lives so that the material was solidified in our minds. I usually despise math because it doesn’t come very naturally to me, but Mr. Darrow actually took an interest in each of his students and wanted us to understand the material and succeed in his class and in everything we were doing in our lives.

So though I haven’t focused much on teaching methods, it’s because I think that the single most important thing is the quality of the person who is your teacher. If the teacher cares about her students and isn’t just teaching as a job and for a paycheck, then I think that the students will want to try harder in the classes. As for methods, I completely agree with Dewey’s philosophy. Education should be a balance of taking the student’s experiences into account as well as taking the quality of the curriculum into account.

Journal 14 - Angela

*Journal: *Reflect on components of Burkhardt’s, Dewey’s or Montessori’s
teaching methods. How have the teaching strategies you have encountered been
effective or ineffective? How could they have been improved?

I realized, sitting in an American Lit class I was taking this time last year after getting our first essay back, how programmed I had been to take in what the professor tells you in lecture and say it right back to demonstrate your understanding of a particular concept.

Most of the teaching strategies I've encountered in the biology/chemistry/physics and sociology/American studies/ethnic studies classes I've taken have kind of centered on this idea, that there's a concept to understand and the goal is to learn and understand that concept. Not to say that I don't like this type of teaching strategy - I love when something finally clicks and you DO understand how (for instance) electromagnetic fields affect a sheet of metal. But in the American Lit course that I was taking, I realized that that idea was completely wrong and invalid in that class. The comments scribbled in red asked me for my own opinions and ideas/thoughts on the readings, not only what the professor lectured on. I felt really unsure putting forth my own ideas, since I wasn't sure if they would be "right", and it wasn't something I was used to. In many of the science courses I'm used to taking, there can be plenty of room for creativity - but only if you know very well what you're talking about and have solid and sufficient background knowledge. I didn't feel that I had this strong grasp on how to interpret American literature, which is why I felt so uncomfortable stating my own opinions and ideas. I think I realize now that as a whole, that class had relied on a different type of teaching strategy/pedagogy that was fundamentally different from the types I had become accustomed to, and the two clashed a little. Both are effective in their own ways, and I'm still trying to figure out to incorporate/improve both as I learn.

journal 14 - Isel Lee

Most of the teaching strategies I have encountered were more of the “banking system” where I was fed information and expected to regurgitate them on very objectively designed tests. Through these experiences, I realized how “hollow” I became—whatever information/knowledge I had learned had always been spilled out, leaving nothing left in my mind. My mind felt so empty and numb that it was difficult to adjust to the learning environment demanded at Cal. Many of the humanities courses I took here demanded a different type of learning—one where I needed to REALLY understand and know the material that I read and learned in class, and also show my mastery within the tests. I was also expected to interact with other students and professors through discussions and office hours. The existence of an environment where students were allowed to speak in class, present their opinions, and also participate actively was an overwhelming experience for me, who was used to sitting quietly as a submissive student in class. I remember my surprise and confusion when the GSI in my English writing class explained to the class that she wants to see our own interpretation and ideas in the essays assigned. I was always taught to integrate the themes and ideas presented by the teacher rather than coming up with our own in our literary essays—I had an experience where I got a bad grade because my interpretation of symbols within the book were wrong and was given a better grade when I only included the interpretations and ideas presented by the teacher in class. Thus I had come to think that whatever I thought never mattered because it was wrong and whatever the teacher says was right. Yet, now they’re telling me to do something I have always thought was wrong?! Adjusting to my new educational environment was a slow and difficult task, but it was worth it because I feel like I own my education more. Before, whatever I learned was only at a level where I was able to “recognize” the information without actually “knowing” it. My approach to educational material has begun to change to one that is more subjective. I wish that I encountered such a learning environment earlier in life as an active member in my learning community rather than being brought up to be a passive, mindless student.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Journal #14- Alternate Pedagogies (Ashmi)

I feel like my education has revolved around the classroom. Teachers giving the same standard test, over and over. I think this comic embodies how I feel about my education. I know teachers want students to be innovative and independent, but the way they educate is not conducive to accomplishing this. Students are confined to books and classrooms which does not provide them with the skills they need in the real world. I took a botany class in high school where I was able to grow my garden and conduct experiments with my own vegetables. I was able to get hands on experience which provided me with valuable skills that I can now use for the rest of my life. I think that teachers need to start shifting towards hands on learning and working in different environments because this actually allows students to be creative and innovative. It gives students a break from the repetitive routine in classrooms and allows them to gain experience and new perspectives on their education.

Journal #14 - Teaching Stategies

It’s really interesting but when I look back on what I’ve actually been able to learn throughout my college and my high school experience, I feel like I haven’t learned very much in terms of the actual content taught in the classrooms. Most times, I was just forced to sit in my seat and listen to the teacher speak. Then all the material would leave my mind as soon as I finished my tests. It’s the same even now with all my lectures. I realized, I don’t remember crap unless I have to. And I really believe this is what John Dewey and Burkhardt was speaking about. It doesn’t make sense to force students to sit quietly and absorb the materials that teachers teach. Furthermore, much of the material we learn do not have real life applications. It does not make sense to us because we cannot understand how it relates to our own personal experiences.

However, the few times that I really enjoyed learning was with teachers that had interesting teaching strategies. For instance, one of my teachers taught in a very Socratic way. He always asked us to analyze U.S. history and the way it has been written. He also made us question how history relates to us nowadays. These lessons definitely influenced me in so many ways. Its probably the reason why I started loving history and why I would love to teach it later in life.

Furthermore, currently I teach history and poetry to high school students at Berkeley Technology Academy. Throughout all of our lessons, we break it down into three parts: We broke it down into 3 parts: a historical event, a current issue, and an activity. For example, during our lesson on imperialism we decided to focus our topic on the theme of home. We decided to teach about one, how Native Americans are constantly being pushed out throughout history, second, gentrification nowadays in their own community, and lastly, a poem about home. By doing this, we were able to teach history lessons that made sense to the students. Furthermore, the activity was an outlet for them to connect to the material, to express how they feel about the topic, and a method of assessing the students’ maturity on the topic. Through this experience, I realized that there was a possibility of teaching students in more effective and practical ways.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5 Funding Poetry-George

Education in America is a funny thing.
Because of varied standards, you can be the king
Of one institution, and a naive child in another situation
And our teachers are so underpaid
For the work they contribute
To the Future of WORLD
Funny thing is how America downgrades
Its education and pay tribute
To prisons and war swirled
In party politics
We want a nationalized standard with a curriculum
that prepares us for life
Just like Finland and Singapore
But Education in America is a funny thing
When the solutions are there, and nothing happens.

Journal April 5th (Funding Poem)- Fazal Mogaddedi

On the brink of graduation
excited to start my life with a good education
i have 2 classes left to complete my degree
but because of budget cuts, summer sessions is where i'll be.
The heads of the university are living care free
while the students are struggling to complete their degrees!

Journal Entry on Funding - Palm Trees

Here's my lil poem on my school. I always like to say that there is no final draft with poetry. But here is what I have so far for this assignment. Its about how my school struggled with funding but masked these problems by putting on image that we were an amazing new school.

My school is a billboard without content
Flashing laptop guarantees
Collaboration unheard of
College style classrooms teaching me how to move about the rest
As if competition didn’t already fuck up our society

And hey! We got palm trees
Palm trees planted into our “new innovative school”
Portraying a learning paradise
Trying to catch the sunrays of our community
With their smooth green leaves reaching for a hopeful sky

But palm trees, shit
They are fuckin expensive
As we plant and plant images of richness
We forget that money needs to go to more important things
We rip out the roots of our schooling
Leaving it without the critical groundwork to sustain itself
We cramp classrooms
Making students hustle for help
And we slash all forms of creativity
Of an outlet
Saying art classes and sports are not valuable

But hey! We still got palm trees, right?
Coconut pleasures so sexy
But a reality untouched by many
Achievement gap growing as fast as my parents’ hustle for money
Teachers laid off as much as my brother drops out
Laptops stolen by young teens believing that
this is the American Dream

but hey, we still got palm trees…
we got no problems..
we got palm trees

Journal 13 | Funding, Control, & Reform | Wendy Wu

I sit here,
crowded classroom,
as if
the walls
close in on me,
absorbing each breath that I take,
leaving me empty,
empty of knowledge.

cry in the corner,
pages dangling from the edge,
damaged from
colliding with walls,
rather than
children with knowledge.

scream of pain,
left a
welcoming, warehouse home
of appreciation
for a
mad scientist experiment,
to be scraped,
scarred with the
sharpness of knives.

I sit here,
in this crowded classroom,
with a thirst for knowledge,
but this thirst
is not quenched,
I ask for
an education
abolish proposition 13.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Journal 13 - Angela

From the issues brought up in the readings draw a comic (with at least 5
slides) or write a poem (on the class's blog) that addresses a problem you
could relate to your educational experience caused by lack of funding and
offer a solution (you can use one from the readings or be creative).

"Freedom Writers", a film based on a true story from an LA classroom
Best summarizes, for me, the impact of funding on educational experience
Before her, the students used old books: marked up, decrepit, low quality, second-rate
Exactly what the school administration had seen in those students: unworthy
Her attempts at change were hindered by a lack of funds
Driven by the apathy at the top
Her passion drove her to take on side jobs to fund new books, enhancement trips to museums, et cetera
Showing exactly what funding, with the correct intents and usage, could achieve

***** I apologize for my sub-par and somewhat corny poetry, everyone!

Solution: From what I understand, the current money in education is given to high-performing schools in a "race to the top". However, I believe a clause is needed in this policy that provides underserved schools with the resources necessary to pursue goals for their students that may help them improve school performance as a whole.

Funding, Control, and Reform Journal... Edith C

F airness is necessary for equality

U nequal quality of education

N o soccer team

D rop out rates were high

I n one school year had 5 Spanish teachers

N o prom for my sister

G angs were uncontrollable

Solution: fair funding, funding based on need rather than have a revenue cap, eliminate proposition 13