Monday, October 31, 2011

Talking Points #7 Educating Students About Gender Diversity

Everyone should be taught or at least become aware that confusion of one's gender exists. One can feel like like they are a male, a female, both or even neither. Gender also has it's stereotypes and that affects the learning environment. That leads to bullying in schools. An example would be a male who is feminine or a female who is masculine. They are made fun of in public because our society teaches us that male goes with masculinity and female with femininity. Because it's not what they perceive as what is normal in our society, it becomes something funny to make jokes about. In a way, what society teaches us is exactly the cause of the problems we face today. If we were taught in school that it is possible and accepted for each gender to have both or opposite gender identities, there would be none to less bullying in schools for being a feminine straight/gay, masculine straight/lesbian, and a transgender person. The video below talks about a elementary school that implements teaching gender diversity within the classroom. It's such a great idea for all schools to consider teaching children.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Talking Points #6 A Connection Between Brown vs. The Board of Education, Tim Wise and Bob Herbert


What Tim Wise mentioned in the Youtube video was that racial inequality is not over. Just because Barack Obama became president, it does not mean everyone can now sing kumbaya. It's like that band-aid on a broken leg. Obama becoming president could actually form a different kind of racism. For example, Obama sort of sets an example for black people and because of that, accepted black people would only be the ones who meet that standard or level of knowledge. There would be that racism between those who excel and those who don't. It takes time if we want to lessen the racism and that is what the website shows us. The history on how we got segregation to be illegal proves that it requires time in our society. Bob Herbert writes that there is still racial inequality in his article "Separate and Unequal". Education reforms try to separate schools for just the rich and for the poor and so expectations are lower for poor schools than rich schools. Brown vs. Board of Education, Tim Wise and Bob Herbert all have a connection and that is inequality never disappears without a fight.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Talking Points #5 In Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning by Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer

Extended Comments:

Ariel's Post:

Ariel discussed that service learning is a fundamental approach to help the improve a community. It serves as a backbone for future goals and builds character. I agree that service learning is a good experience and everyone should do it, but we have to also consider the types of service we do. Like the article mentioned, there are two levels, charity and change. I like to compare that to the band-aid on a broken leg and surgery. The charity work often times help cover the surface of the problem like donating food and to apply the Michel Foucault quote "We know what we do, we often know why we do what we do. But what we don't know is what we do does.", some people could really hate themselves for not being able to provide for their family and instead accepts donated food because there is no other option. To take a bigger step than that and potentially "perform the surgery", we could work on critical analysis of the cause and strategies to prevent the problem from happening.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Talking Points #4 Unlearning The Myths That Bind Us by Linda Christensen


Christensen argues that young children are being manipulated by society through the books and movies they grow up with. This secondhand experience is not the same as the firsthand experience people should get with children of different cultures. When children are shown only one side of a culture, they learn only that one side and it becomes an embedded knowledge. Christensen's students read an article by Dorfman that suggests that our lives are shaped by the industry and a secret education lies within these books and movies children read and watch.

The students broke down and digested books and stories made by Disney and found the values, stereotypes and social roles. Many of these were very prevalent and obvious. By making her students work on the in depth critiquing, many of them realized how much they have accepted the inequality of power and economic relationships. Christensen gave them assignments which were solutions in how to go beyond the classroom and help the world realize the manipulation of society. One group had an interesting idea to create pamphlets that had ratings of children movies from A-F for parents to carefully consider what their children watch.

Sharing Ideas:

In the beginning of the article, Christensen mentioned how many of us don't get the interaction with culturally different families. It made me think of the video that we watched with the African woman who talked about people who hear only one side of a story, makes assumptions and stereotypes based on that one story.

Click Here for a youtube video that has someone explaining Prince Charmings in Disney movies. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Talking Points #3 2009 National School Climate Survey: Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment in School by Daryl Presgraves

 Happy Couple


"An analysis of National School Climate Survey data over 10 years showed that since 1999 there has been a decreasing trend in the frequency of hearing homophobic remarks; however, LGBT students' experiences with more severe forms of bullying and harassment have remained relatively constant."
 In over ten years, the National School Climate Survey had collected data and had been analyzing it since 1999. Although it showed them how there had been a decrease in the offending remarks by those who were homophobic, LGBT students still deal with cruel harassment and bullying on a constant scale. This tells readers that there is still more to do to help keep LGBT students feel safe in their schools. The more awareness and sources of help students can get in school, the better it'll get.

"84.6% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed and 18.8% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation. "
From the statistics of the survey, it seems that safety concerns were still a big issue in LGBT students. Almost 85 percent of LGBT students reported that they were verbally harassed in school. That is a huge percentage and is proof that harassment and bullying still occurred. Even though the percentage of physical harassment and assault is lower than 50 percent, it still is a concern to be noted. This data is reflective of the constant bullying and harassment.

"Having a Gay-Straight Alliance in school was related to more positive experiences for LGBT students, including: hearing fewer homophobic remarks, less victimization because of sexual orientation and gender expression, less absenteeism because of safety concerns and a greater sense of belonging to the school community."
Implementing a Gay-Straight Alliance in schools will help reduce the amount of  homophobic remarks, harassment and assault than a school without a related organization. It indeed helps LGBT students feel safe and connected within the school. They won't feel as if they are an outsider who don't belong. It creates a positive outlook for LGBT students and students around them. When LGBT students have this connection and safe environment for them, they can enjoy their learning journey in the school environment with further success.

Sharing Ideas:

As I read this article, I was reminded of how great it is that RIC has a couple of organizations for LGBT students. I know from experience and from friends that it truly does help when a community has some sort of support area or organization for people who are LGBT. It creates a home-like feeling that you are not alone and everyone should be able to have that feeling.

Click here and this link will bring you to the homepage of Youth Pride Inc. of Rhode Island. They provides support, advocacy, and education for youth and young adults throughout Rhode Island who are impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.