Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Promising Practice Conference

The Promising Practice Workshop was held in November 7, 2015 at Donovan Dinning Hall in Rhode Island College campus.  In attendance were educators, social workers, teachers, students and myself.  It was a bit boring but very educative.

The boring part was the long Keynote address by Dr. Alexander Scott, Director of Rhode Island College Department of Health.  Dr. Scott's address was an hour long, mostly on specific health related topics.  She was in charge the entire hour presenting her power point in which to me became boring.  Through her address I pictured a Kozol moment where families with low-income suffered mainly issues like drugs and diseases.  In power point, she did showed the statistics of  the increase in teenage pregnancy, HIV Aids and Drug Abuse being high in Rhode Island State among low income families.  Few questions were allowed after.

My first workshop was Assessing Teaching Confidence and Proficiency with Sexual Health Education Standards.  It introduced a study by one professor in Rhode Island College who set up questionnaire on how Sex Education should be taught in schools to all school nurses, physical educators, health educators in Rhode Island Schools.  According to statistics shown, the response was very poor, many refused to complete the questionnaire because they felt uncomfortable discussing the topic.  I did not learn much, just the figures of who was interested and who was not.  August explains that if we officially acknowledge the roles of LBGT individuals in the development of this country, harmfully stereotypes that have contributed to recent suicide attribute to antigay bullying.  I believe we should all created safe space for everyone.

The second workshop was Changing Lives Through Collaboration.  The main concept of the workshop was on how health workers in New England with addiction issues could get resources to overcome their fear and became better people to the society.  It was a small piece but very informative. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015


By:  Ira Shor


Ira Shor quotes from Paulo Freire that, "To be a good liberating educator you need above all to have faith in human beings, You need to love, You must be convinced that the fundamental effort of education is to help with the liberation of people, never their domestication.  You must be convinced that when people reflect on the denomination they begin a first step in changing their relationship to the world".http://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/opinion/item/13276-education-and-politics

This quote is very true and relevant to all teachers and educators.  A good educator must be a believer in whomever he or she is entrusted with.  As a matter of fact, an educator needs to love his job and his students.  Love, as I see it requires patience and devotion.  Also an educator must teach to free his or her students and never teach to domesticate them.

Ira Shor again quotes from Freire that, "This is a great discovery, education is politics".  Ira Shor goes on to say that, when a teacher discovers that he or she is a politician too, the teacher has to ask, what kind of politics am I doing in the classroom?  In favor of whom I am I being a teacher"  I believe Shor and Freire are right because as they say, the teacher works in favor of something and against something.  Due to this, he or she will have a great question, how to be consistent in his or her teaching practice with his or her political choice. Ira Shor says that a teacher cannot proclaim his or her liberating dream and, next be authoritarian in his or her relationship with the students.

Ira Shor explained that politics also resides in the discourse of the classroom, in the way teachers and students talk to each other, in the questions and statements from teachers about concepts being studies in the freedom students feel when questioning the curriculum, in the silences surrounding unorthodox questions and issues in traditional classrooms.

In this article, Ira Shor suggests that the entire school experience has political qualities and consequences.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015



When Jason Kingsley and Mitchell Levitz were growing up with Down Syndrome, they noted that their valued participation within the community was really a challenge of recognition posed to those who seek to exclude them.  This ultimately falls heavily on the shoulders of people with disabilities.

People with disabilities can learn and gain a full, rich lives.  Kingsley states the challenge is to take away negative attitudes about people with developmental disabilities , get rid of the stereotypes and break the barriers for people with disabilities.  As Kingsley thinks heavily about the above quote; "How do we erase those negative attitudes",  in light of the fact that people with disabilities are judging us.http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/downsyndrome/data.html

Isaac who attended the Shoshone School was considered by clinical judgment as low- functioning, with no speech intelligent to teachers, was awkward with severe dilemmas with fine motor skills and scored poorly on developmental instruments.

At 52 months, Isaac tested to a level appropriate to a toddlers level of cognitive functioning.  However, Shayne the teacher, did not see Isaac as defective.  Shayne was a sympathetic teacher because she admits that none of her students go to school to be labeled.  She also indicates that every body works together, play together and be together.  And, rightly, she says that's what learning is.

Shayne built a community with acceptance for all and whatever all kids were participating in.  Shayne did a lot for all her students especially, in finding a job for Anne in a video rental store.

Colleen Madison agreed with Shayne that no child was inherently an intellectual burden to a classroom.  There is an individual ability in every child.  Down Syndrome or not.

Christopher believes that educating children together makes the representation of Down Syndrome from burden toward citizenship.  To conclude, when the Pope visited the United States, I was surprised to see a Down Syndrome man read an Epistle at Mass without a single mistake.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

By:  Finn

Mr. Finn discusses what some minorities feel about acting, while as a betrayal of the people.  They think they have been wronged by mainstream Americans.  This he maintains in the opening of his preface. 

While writing his book, he considered several titles and after reading Kozol and Paulo Friere, who was a professor at the University of Recife in Brazil, who taught his students literacy to engage in the struggle for justice, a dangerous undertaking.http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/implement/improving-services/plan-adult-literacy-program/main

Mr. Finn talks about his upbringing as the eighth of nine children whose fate changed because of a birth injury that left part of his left arm slightly paralyzed.  His father and brothers were plumbers but he pursued education which he was pretty good at; After graduation at the local teachers' college, he started teaching in a school in a black neighborhood in Chicago's south side.

Since he himself was from the working class, he knew how working class and poor kids related to authority.  He taught well and got praise from his principal.  However, Mr. Finn praised on teacher, Ms. Kennedy who he thought was a better teacher.  He describes her as a very beautiful black lady who had just graduated from Fisk University.

Mr. Finn married a very conservative teacher who taught in a suburban school while he pursued his education to the doctorate level.  He later taught English at the graduate school.

In Mr. Finn's second chapter he saw, as Jean Anyon's study of fifth grade class of the white, elite, affluent, professional, middle class where almost all the students were white and then the lower class.  These schools had similarities.  There were many teaching skill discussions among the teachers.  Some were good, others were bad.  The chapter discusses the nature of teaching in these class cultures.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


DELPIT:  In my 2nd grade classroom, I could tell that the students are in check to learn, do home work and follow the basic rules unlike my 1st grade students who are quite young and not focused. 

Ms. Bliss is a polite, older, experienced and a very strict teach who gives her students simple instructions to be followed.  She thinks if all powers are taught in the right way, there would not be any silence dialogue. 

She knows power and authority comes a long a way in the teaching process in the classroom.

COLLIER:  I could see that teaching multilingual children is exciting but also, challenging in my 2nd grade classroom.  The teacher's primary language is English, but most often whiles helping with their readings, I hear the students communicating to each other in Spanish or a different language.  Since I do not understand what is being said, I normally smile and ask if one needs help but the reply is no Ms.  Am in Spanish class I still cannot figure what they saying.  Anyway, will try and catch up.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Problem We All Live With
Brown v. Board Education

Educational achievement of poor black Hispanic public school students is sadly not considered by the political giants, according to Bob Herbert in his March 21, 2011 article in the New York Times.

Based on my thoughts about the two broadcast, I will say the expectations for student achievement are lower with lower parental involvement and unfortunately, these are the schools which has a great majority of Black and Hispanic students.  It is proven by evidence, that poor kids of minority backgrounds do better academically when they attend school with their more rich, middle class peers.  After the Brown versus Board of Education school desegregation ruling, the country is still trying to justify the separate by equal school concept.http://arthistory.about.com/od/famous_paintings/ss/The-Problem-We-All-Live-With-By-Norman-Rockwell.htm

An important study in Maryland showed that low income students who went to affluent elementary schools did far better than low income students in higher poverty schools in one country.  Studies have shown that it is not the race of students but rather the improved environment of schools with better teachers, fewer classroom disruptions, students more engaged academically and more parental involvements.

It is always about the uncomfortable issue of race.  What is most important is racial integration.  Chana  Joffe did not know the meaning of "white kid wasted".  Kiana also did not know of and a New Yorker in a city of four million white people, who never even had one white friend, she was curious about white kid.  She decided to go to college in Upstate New York on a one woman integration program.

Chana notes that there are only few places in the country that have seriously committed to school integration over a long time.

Monday, October 19, 2015


By Kahne / Westheimer

In the 1960's President Kennedy in his inaugural address challenged the country with his well appeal - "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can for your country".  This is the beginning of service to the country.  Educators and Legislators say that service learning can improve the community and make the classroom interesting whereby rich educational experiences for all students can be provided.  Service learning makes students active participants in projects that have an impact to the needs of the community and further the academic goals of students.http://citl.indiana.edu/programs/serviceLearning/

In addition to those they help, such service learning can promote self esteem , develop higher order thinking skills, make use of multiple abilities and provide good learning experiences.

The two service learning cases which were proposed by Mr. Johnson states , "Serving those in need" and "Homeless Here and There" by Ms. Adams.  Mr. Johnson had his students take part in community service of their choice,  In which, one student worked in a baby center where babies, while their mothers were pregnant and had high levels of crack cocaine in their blood streams.  Another student distributed survival kits for the homeless.

Ms. Adams class examined the social, economic, legal, and political causes of homelessness in the world and the local school community.  Mr. Johnson's students were not asked to articulate the understanding of the conditions that brought about the loss of a family's home or to a pregnant mother's decision to turn to crack cocaine.  Ms. Adam's class, however started by analyzing the causes of homelessness and ways to prevent them.

The current discussion of service learning emphasizes charity, not change.  As I conclude, there are three domains of service learning which are the Moral, Political and the Intellectual.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

By: Christensen

All too often, cartoons, the media and other books have given the youth "secret education.".  Exposing the myths can give us a good idea of the stereotypes of who is the hero or heroine, the beautiful one, and who the servants are.

In some of the cartoons, people of color or poor people are either absent or servants to the rich white pretty people.  Overweight people, as Tyler point out, were portrayed as buffoons in every episode after episode. 

Mira attacked the racism with the Native American culture citing in Looney Tunes depicting the race as inferior human beings.  She said, the characters are stereotypical to the greatest degree, carrying tomahawks, painting their faces and sending smoke signals as their only means of communication.

Kenya even scolded parents in an essay "A Black Cinderella Give Me a Break"  She wrote "Have you ever seen a Black person, an Asian or a Hispanic in a cartoon.  She ended her piece: Women who aren't White begin to feel left out because they never get to play the princess.http://sterlingresistance.blogspot.com/2013/02/unlearning-myths-that-bind-us-reflection.html

Mary Carter Smith's delightfully retells Cinderella, Cindy Ellie look like an African Princess with her dazzling dress of pink African laces, a hundred shining braids which had beads of pure gold at the bottom.  And her arms were covered with golden bracelets and on each ear hung five small diamonds earrings.  But both Cinderella and Cindy Ellie had one focus - a man, so happiness for a girl or woman is look for a man.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

By August

Extended Comments

In this our modern era when there are issues about LGBT people, others have harassed or abused them causing some young lives lost through suicides.  Classrooms of this era should lay the foundations for an inclusive and safe society: a just community where common interests and individual differences coexist according to August.  Any adult interested in creating safe spaces for LGBT youth needs to consider the impact of schooling on the social and psychological development of young people.

As a community, we must discuss and describe how some educators reinforce lGBT exclusionary attitudes and beliefs that find expression in everyday acts of discrimination against LGBT people.  August states that heterosexism is one of those unexamined avenues of privilege.  Assumptions that everyone is heterosexual shape most classroom interactions whether academic or social.  August goes on to say that educations and all adults must forge new paths or widen existing ones to make room for all youth.

Tammy Aaberg spoke about the challenge to all adults in the aftermath of her 15 year old son's suicide.  The son was bullied because of his sexual orientation.  I personally think that lGBT students need advocacy and protection, not neutrality, according to August.https://www.hrw.org/topic/lgbt-rights

Other students might see negative representations of the LGBT community in the health or biology classroom, where they learn about HIV/AIDS as a gay related disease.  History classrooms are no different, even though the themes of oppression and the struggle for civil rights are routinely examined.  There are constitutional protections waged by African Americans, women and the disabled.

If we officially acknowledge the roles of LGBT individuals in the development of this country's harmful stereotypes that have contributed to recent suicide attributed to antigay bullying.

Monday, September 28, 2015

By: Collier



According to Collier, teaching, multilingual children is exciting but, also challenging.  As politicians sometimes think, if limited English proficient students can converse with their monolingual English speaking counterparts, then these English leaners can compete with them on an equal footing.

This is wrong and not that easy.  There is a difference in spoken English and academic written English.  Monolingual English speakers don't have to translate from a students native language to English which is sometimes at odds with local English.  Also, for the non English speaker, it might take up to about five years to be conversant in academic spoken and written English.

Politicians always speak their minds on this difficult issue and, probably, they are not to be blamed because they are not in the classroom with these multilingual students.  There is a connection between Collier and Delpit.  Delpit believes that students can learn the codes of power to succeed in mainstream America.  And also teachers should be encourage and adapt to students background, culture and language styles.

As the writer indicates, "Natives like conversation proficiency generally takes students two or three years to master.  It is not as intellectually as demanding as school or academic language". 

The writer uses one Dominican native who came to America and was working at Domino's Pizza.  Suilo was able to have small conversation in the store and was able to pick up on gestures when dealing with customers.  But Suilo had trouble answering the phone because it required a little more knowledge and understanding of the English language.  This makes it true that, there are many people out there who are proficient in the spoken English but don't have proficiency in the other aspects of English.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

By: Mclntosh


"I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group".

White privilege is not, always subtle, especially, male white privilege.  According to Mclntosh, there are so many things a white person can do that is taboo for people of color.  As the author of this piece suggests, a white person can choose public accommodation without fearing that, people of his or her race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places he or she has chosen.

The author further , singles out that he or she can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having his or her co-workers on the job suspect that he or she got it because of his or her race.  She further more explains that his her skin color was an asset for any move he or she was educated to want to make. 

Peggy thinks that in proportion as his or her racial group was being made confident, comfortable and forgetful, whereas other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable and alienated.  She goes on to pinpoint that whiteness protected her from many kinds of hostility, distress or violence.  White privilege intertwines with male while privilege.  I cannot even imaging why females whether they are white or black should be paid less even if they have the same qualification.  This makes me think that, a white man buying a new car will be offered a cheaper price than a woman buyer.

In my conclusion, as I said in the beginning, of this write up, white privilege is not subtle but easily not noticeable.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

By: Kristof


I am very grateful to Nicholas Kristof  for his good exposition on his topic U. S. A., Limitations. 

He argues that America is unlike the former land of opportunity.  I agree with him that the gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening greatly.

The one percent rich of the population are paying less taxes and the poor are taxed unequally.

My reflection on this passage is that, it's very hard now for a person who is in a well to climb out of it and ascend to the mountain to the economic ladder.

As a black African woman, in this society, with two children, going to college and working at the same time, I can arguable agree with Kristof, that, America is increasing becoming a land of limitations.  I know am hardworking and smart.  However, I believe that through hard work and a little lift from my professor, I can slowly crawl out my well and begin to ascend the arduous task to the top of the mountain.

I particularly, don't want to be a talented person like Rick, as mentioned by Kristof who made wrong choices and ended up receiving disability, that's not me.  As Kristof, clearly points out "school might have been an escalator to a better life", which I truly believe in, I am determined that through perseverance and hard work in college, American won't be a land of limitations but, truly a land of opportunities.

My name is Tina Sam. I have two kids and work in a Special Education School in Canton Mass.