Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Unlearning the Myths that Bind us - Christensen - Hyperlinks

           "Children's cartoons, movies, and literature are perhaps the most influ­ential genre "read." Young people, unprotected by any intellectual armor, hear or watch these stories again and again, often from the warmth of their mother's or father's lap. The messages. or "secret education," linked with the security of their homes, underscore the power these texts deliver. As Tatum's research suggests, the stereotypes and world view embedded in the stories become accepted knowledge." (127)
           Last semester along with Karissa, I took a First Year Seminar about Disney, and how it was a huge corporation and it uses its influence and power to expose children to many gender stereotypes and patriarchal ideologies.  That class really opened my eyes to the power and influence that the media, most of which Disney has a part in and what it teaches the young, impressionable youth that we study in this class.  This is also what Linda Christensen talks about in her article "Unlearning the Myths that Bind us."  Disney holds such a large part of the control of he media and in many Disney films, if we look past the beautiful colors, fun animation, and cute characters we can see the lessons being taught.
  Women are shown as inferior, and helpless and are in need of a man to come and save them.  Until recently the Disney Princesses were depicted as being housewives, "damsel in distress", flawlessly beautiful with perfect hair, big eyes with long eyelashes, and a tiny waist.  This unrealistic expectation that every little girl looks up to is unhealthy.  Although Disney is slowly moving away from the gender roles, the physical representation is still there.  The men are all strong, rich, white and handsome.  This makes me think back to SCWAAMP.  The men of disney fit into every category, except white in some cases like Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast where Disney realized that they couldn't make another cookie cutter prince although they fit all the other criteria.  
         The gender stereotypes are a huge issue that are beginning to be discussed.  I found a video of the reactions of parents when they see a little boy that wants to dress up as a princess for halloween, and then a little girl who wants to be spiderman.  Many of the people around didn't accept these children for who they wanted to be because they got it in their minds as a child of the traditional roles we are supposed to fill.  This brings in connection to Safe Spaces  where children should be able to feel comfortable being themselves, in this case a boy dressing up as Belle and a girl dressing up as Spiderman.  
       The name of Christensen's article is "Unlearning the Myths that Bind us"  this means that we need to see past the traditions of gender roles and learn to accept that every child is different.  We need to "unlearn" the lessons that Disney taught us of a women needing and man to protect her and that every women should be physically flawless.   Like in this Youtube video, we cannot look at a boy in a dress and think that it is wrong because he picked it and he doesn't think its wrong so why should we?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

“Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome” by Christopher Kliewer- Reflection

This weeks reading “Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome” by Christopher Kliewer made me think a lot about the way being ostracized can affect a student, for whatever reason.  This article focuses on children with special needs, mostly down syndrome, but it happens to children for all kinds of reasons whether it be for race, gender, socioeconomic status, or in this case disabilities.  When we were talking about “Safe Spaces” it was said that when a student doesn’t feel comfortable in their learning environment, it is distracting and they have trouble.  I think that this can also be said about children who need some extra help in school due to a mental disability.
Also like in “Safe Spaces” there are teachers who stick out and are a good example on the right way to treat all kinds of students, and situations.  In “Safe Spaces,” Zeke sticks out as a teacher who does the right thing by teaching his class about all kinds of families, including LGBT ones.  He did it in a very comfortable way that taught it as a very normal and accepting.  In “Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome” the example of the right way to teach was Shayne.  She was all about community acceptance.  In the future when I am a teacher, I hope to be like these two wonderful examples and handle these situations just as they do in my classroom so there is no child who feels uncomfortable in my class. 
 I was reading other posts from our class and something from Alyssa’s blog stuck out to me.  She was talking about her SPED 300 class and she said there is “a student who has a learning disability and is pulled out of the classroom and goes to a resource class class, Everytime he is pulled out he says to the people at his table, "time to go to my class for stupid people"’ That really hit me that that is the feeling that he has.  It must feel awful being pulled out of class and ostracized from the other students to learn and be on the same level as them. 

On the other hand, a couple weeks ago I was at my service learning placement working with one of the students that I see regularly and I know that he struggles with math and my teacher has told me before that he has an IEP and gets some extra help.  (I included a link because I had to look up what that meant)  We were working on the 2’s tables in multiplication and he got every single one and he told me that it was because he had been practicing when he went and got extra help.  He was even able to help some of his friends at the table and show them his strategies so they would be able to do them too.  So for him the IEP is really working and getting him the help he needs to succeed and feel confident which is how all students should feel.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Literacy with an Attitude- Finn (Reflection)

When I was reading some of the other blogs in our class I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only person who struggled with this article a little more than usual.  Like Dennis, I also thought that it was lengthy and dry and hard to get through.  I am looking forward to talking about it in class to get a better understanding of what exactly the main ideas of “Literacy With an Attitude” by Patrick J Finn were.
Although I had a lot of trouble with it, I did find some connections, not only to authors that we have talked about, but my service learning, just like a few others in our class.  Finn talks about his teaching styles and how he was very no-nonsense and was very strict and down to business and that’s how my teacher is for my service learning.  The classroom I am in is a third grade one and my teacher keeps it in very strict order, just like Finn said he did.  She follows her rules and tells her students exactly what she is looking for from them so there is no confusion, or room for misunderstanding. 

“I didn't say to an errant student, "What are you doing?" I said, "Stop that and get to work." No discussion. No openings for an argument.“ (7)  In this quote I noticed that he had ideas similar to Delpit.  She has this same discussion in “The Silenced Dialogue” where she said that students were more likely to understand and respond to a direct order, rather than an instruction formed as a question.  Although it was a challenge, I can see connections to other readings in our class and I understand how “Literacy with an Attitude” is relevant to class discussion.