Monday, March 25, 2013

Back to Princess Culture...

I found this video on Youtube and it kind of connects to what we were talking about in class last week with Princess culture but it puts a satirical spin in the endings. If you haven't seen it you should check it out!

I'm not sure why the video won't show up here, but to see it just follow the link! :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Service Learning Connections

In the Service of What?-The Politics of Service Learning
By: Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer

Asa Messer Elementary School. This is where my Service  Learning Placement is. 

In the Service of What? talks about students learning in the environment of a school to learn how to teach appropriately in a school setting.
“Educators and legislators alike maintain that service learning can improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing rich educational experiences for students at all levels of schooling. Service learning makes students active participants in service projects that aim to respond to the needs of the community while furthering the academic goals of students.”
This point and quote I feel relates to what we read by Lisa Delpit. Delpit writes about teaching students the rules and codes of power clearly as to give all students the same knowledge of the culture of power. I find that this article and this experience are similar and have a similar purpose. I think that part of the purpose of service learning is to learn the rules and codes of the classroom from the teacher perspective even before we are teachers. To learn the culture of power in a classroom to make sure that is a place where we want to be and work. Which is part of what Kahne and Westheimer in the quote above that it beneficial for all involved, partly because it helps teach the perspective teachers the dynamic of a classroom.
Another quote that really resonated with me was this one;
“The experiential and interpersonal components of service learning activities can achieve the first crucial step toward diminishing the sense of"otherness" that often separates students-particularly privileged students-from those in need. In so doing, the potential to develop caring relationships is created.”
I felt that I could relate to this personally coming from a rather privileged town being in Providence Elementary schools is very different from being in schools in my hometown, I also think this relates to Aria though. Aria’s main point was that he had to abandon his culture to take on the culture of power. While he didn’t think there was any middle ground I think this piece does not say that but rather to find common ground by giving potential teachers a different perspective, it will help them be more aware and accommodating of all students. As Aria said even if his teachers had said his name correctly he would have felt more comfortable in school.
Points to Share:
I think that Service Learning is for the purpose of exposing potential teachers to a classroom setting and the culture of power there, as well as students who may have grown up in a different culture. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Extended Comments to Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Cinderella Ate My Daughter
By:Peggy Orenstein

After reading this piece I read Nicole's blog on it and I found it really interesting, so I decided to write my post this week as an extended comment to hers. First off if you haven't read it, I really recommend you do, it really opened my eyes and mind to perspectives I hadn't even thought of while reading this, you can read it here. 

My first reaction to this piece was, "Wow, this is SO true!" As I sat  reading it on my computer that has a pink case, in my room with bubble gum pink walls, a pink lamp, a pink chair and I sat there with pink sweatpants, a pink sweatshirt, and pink socks on next to my pink backpack and purse. Okay so it wasn't until I read this that I realized all of my stuff was SO pink. Granted, pink has almost always been my favorite color although I would not really consider myself an extreme girly girl. Although my love for the color had to come from somewhere. Now here is where I totally agree with Nicole, that maybe that is my favorite color just because, she says in her blog that her favorite color is blue. I totally agree that it might be a little far fetched that the toys we play with determine everything about us even down to our favorite color. Do I think my favorite color would be pink even if I never played with dolls when I was younger? Probably. I just really like the color and I don't think things like that are nessesarily determined by our toy culture.
A Groovy Girl. The line of dolls me and my sister liked to play with when we were growing up. 

And that bring me to where I have to disagree with Nicole. Although I do not believe the toy culture determines every aspect of our lives I definitely thinks it has an influence. Nicole brings up a point while connecting this piece to Delpit that I found really interesting. She says "Children need to be told directly what to do; otherwise they will not follow the directions.  A child needs to be explicitly told what to do, so how can they get a message that is barely implied?" 
I find this to be a valid point, however, I think part of each child's toolbox that they come in with is their culture and I think part of that culture is implied and learned behavior.
Points to Share:
I found that this piece was easy to read (just a little long) and brought up some great valid points, and others that are a little over the top. Do you think that some of these veils are extreme? Do they necessarily dictate every aspect of our lives? Or are they Actually reality?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Unlearning the Myths that bind us- Argument

Unlearning the Myths that bind us
By: Linda Christensen

Argument:  In this piece Christensen argues that today's society, pop culture, and the media are responsible for skewing our images of ourselves and others in today's world. She states that Disney, and other cartoon producers portray multiple stereotypes throughout their cartoons and characters that subliminally affect children and shape their view of themselves and the world. She also believes that because these messages and stereotypes start influencing kids at such a young age that some of these kids will grow up believing that these ideas they have about themselves and/or others are their own ideas when really they are the ideas of the society that influences them. She also argues that it goes beyond the typical racial stereotypes, and depicts many other  stereotypes that cast a bad light on people who do not fit into the "pretty" or "white" categories.

Points to Share: I believe that this is true, that society affects the way children/people view themselves and others. But it is hard to avoid every possible media outlet that might stereotype. As Christensen says, it goes beyond cartoons and Disney Movies. It includes movies, cartoons, books, television
shows, songs and the list goes on and on. So although some part of me feels that we should keep children from such media so they can create their own perspectives on life, however that seems impossible due to the sheer volume of aspects of the media that include negative stereotypes. As Christensen suggests we can try to change this part of society, however difficult this may be, I think we must try, as I agree with Christensen that this is our only option, if we don't fight this than we are consenting to having more children grow up believing that the lens society gives them is always crystal clear, when in reality is cracked and distorted they just don't know it because they have always only seen the world through that lens.
Here is a list of 10 books that have recently been banned in different elementary schools across the country for different reasons. Number 2 on this list is "And Tango makes Three" which was mentioned in class. By banning books in schools we shape the experiences that children can have, which will later shape their views about the world.