Wednesday, May 5, 2010

banking vs problem posing education

The discussion that we had on this topic was quite interesting. That is because unless you have a very strong curriculum and lots of ideas, then it is really hard to only conduct a problem posing classroom. It is almost inevitable that a banking method is present in each classroom. Even in our class, though problem posing is strived for, banking is still there. It's especially hard when the principle or whoever is in charge expects you to teach using banking. That is because schools generally teach in that way. If any of us think back, or even now in college, banking is present and that's what we are used to. Plus, it is easier to just spew information out on children and have them take a test than it is to conduct an open discussion, especially on topics that the students aren't so informed on to begin with. Or if there is a lack of participation then problem posing is even more difficult. Usually problem posing forces you to participate, but often times even if they are put in a group and asked to do some sort of job, they don't do that job asked because they don't want to. With banking, all you have to do is have them sit and "listen", it is up to them if they choose to hear you and if they don't they will most likely fail.

Problem posing is great because it evaluates you on your skills and matches you with people of your skill. Where as in banking you are placed in areas based on your grades. Often times though you can still be very disadvantaged and often can struggle in your placement. Then there is the possibility where the teacher does not want to help you or is unable to help you so you keep failing and get no where. It is of course important to try to incorporate both problem posing and banking education into your plan. That way students are still engaged and eager to participate. Also you can keep them alert and have them think about what is being taught instead of just having them sit there and have it go in one ear and out the other. Everyone likes a fun class that is also informative that they can participate in and share their ideas. In this way they feel part of a class and like intellectuals rather than insignificant insects that you can just bounce information off of.

homosexual's can't donate blood

Somehow this was mentioned in class one day and I was surprised. I possibly could have heard of this before but when it was said in class I was just like wow. I wanted to know why this was, what risks could arise from a homosexuals blood? Also, why is it just homosexuals who can't donate blood? What makes blood drives want to stay away from acquiring their blood?

Well basically from what I found is that the reason homosexuals could not donate blood is because the HIV virus is prominent among male homosexuals. They believed that if they were to take blood from a homosexual male then there would be a good chance that they would also be extracting the HIV virus in the blood, therefore putting blood recipients in high risk of acquiring the virus as well.

So in March 2006, the Red Cross came up with a way to detect the HIV virus in blood if it had been up to 10 days since they had acquired it. Therefore it would be possible for a homosexual male to donate blood because they could then detect the HIV virus if it was present. If not then the blood is perfectly good. Though this did not change anything because the FDA still says that until significant evidence is shown that no one would ever get HIV through a blood transfusion again then they would possibly consider this method. They claim that though it is very effective, it is not 100% accurate and they dont want to take the risk.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Talking Point #10

"If the aim of intellectual training is to form the intelligence rather than to stock the memory, and to produce intellectual explorers rather than mere erudition, then traditional education is manifestly guilty of a grave deficiency"

What this is saying is that if out goal is to make everyone intellectually more capable rather than having everything just be memorization, then our traditional education needs to be fixed. I personally can vouge that the traditional education system right now is based mainly on memorization. Once in awhile you might have a good teacher that actually teaches, but for the most part you get teachers who read off notes, might do an example or two, and then give you a quiz in hopes that you know it. So as a student, all you can do is quickly memorize the material and then take the quiz and then relax from the topic because you'll never go over it again. A few days after the quiz you will forget all about what you had "learned". So this quote is saying that we need to break away from that, and to make everyone more intellectually smart, and want to perhaps explore these teachings on their own to broaden their mind. Our job is to provoke curiosity, not pain and boredom.

"If the students task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted."

This quote backs up the previous quote. But like it is saying, usually all it takes is just backing up and asking simple questions like "what does this mean to you" and "how does this happen". This encourages the students to refer to previous knowledge or starts up their critical thinking process, which could in the end help them understand the material better and also make them more interested. You cant just assume everyone is an expert and just know everything you are talking about, therefore reading off a slide and hoping something catches will not help any student in the long run.

"Participation is the most important place to begin because student involvement is low in traditional classrooms and because action is essential to gain knowledge and develop intelligence."

A class that is eager to participate is a class that is eager to learn. Students who like to show off their knowledge should be rewarded (like they are at my elementary school) and hearing what students have to say should always be encouraged. Usually what I hear is "there is no such thing as a stupid question", and to me I think that actually helps. That is because many students are afraid to participate because they don't want to sound stupid in front of all of their peers. So saying that phrase could break them out of their shell and eventually make them an active participant in the classroom. Participation is still encouraged in college as a good portion of your grade. That is because teachers know that participation is key to get students engaged to the class and hopefully encourage them to learn. The problem is though that schools still don't encourage participation, so instead they just sit around and take notes or goof off. So maybe when we some day fix the teaching style, that will also effect the amount of participation in a good way.

Overall I found this to be a good article. What helped was that this topic can apply to any situation. The article wasn't too difficult to read and parts caught my interest. I hope that a way is found to make learning more fun and helpful, rather than boring and pointless. A lot of things that we learn already will probably never be used again, so if there was a way to take out all of the pointless stuff and keep the important stuff, then we could use the extra time to make a bigger impact in the important areas and perhaps instill the information into the students mind for a much longer time. Then perhaps overall interest in school will go up too and less students will drop out or fail out as well.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Social Justice Event

For my social justice event I too had gone to see Beauty and the Beast (a few days before Mike) at the Providence Performing Arts Center. I was so glad that this counted because I was going to see it anyway. Though I was pre warned that the play would be ruined for me now that I'm taking this class, it didn't end up being too bad. If anything it made the play more interesting because I had already seen Beauty and the Beast, except this time I would get a whole new perspective on the play.

It ended up being more than easy to pick up some examples of sexism. I mean right off the bat they play the song that we listened to in class. It was re-enacted on stage of course in a much more explicit way (seeing as its not a Disney movie). Obviously as you can tell Belle does not fit too well into the towns "culture of power". Instead of being obedient and appealing to men, Belle does what she enjoys and seems to show no interest in them at all. In fact, Gaston, whom most of the women dream about, flirts constantly with Belle. Eventually he proposes saying "this is the day your dreams come true" and yet that couldn't be further from the truth. He is just appalling and you can tell by Belles face that it is hard for her to even bare his presence. Though this scene is different from the play, this scene clearly shows Belle's complete uninterest in Gaston, and shows Gaston's repulsiveness and how he acts (as a steryotypical male) throughout the play. (Other steryotypes include the small and slightly deformed guy is Gastons servant more or less, girls druling over Gaston, and the women are expected to please the men while the men work and hunt.)

Later on during the play, I felt that there was also a Rodriguez moment, when Belle moves into the Beasts castle. As everyone may know the Prince is cursed to an outer apperance as terrible looking as his soul. Only when he can truly love another will he transform back to his origional self. So when Belle moves in, the Beast is forced more or less to drop his ways of life that he used to have, and adapt to become more like a romantic gentlemen in order for anyone to accept him. He was pretty much forced to because otherwise he would be a Beast forever, plus all of his friends/servants were basically forcing him into love as well so that they could be cured too.

It ended up being true, the way I had once loved and percieved Beauty and the Beast was shattered. It turns out that there is a lot of "secret education" to even Disney cartoons than I would ever expect. There was so much sexism, and in almost like every scene. So though my view of these movies have been ruined with what I have learned in this class, it's good that I can see the "secret education" and understand what sort of messages are being taught to the younger minds as being acceptable.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Talking Point #9

"the individual is prior to society, which comes into existence only through the voluntary contract of individuals trying to maximize their own self-interest"

This is a very powerful quote I feel. What it is saying (in my opinion) is that an individual starts off with their own unique qualities (etc) but to be accepted into society, they voluntarily pick up other qualities to "maximize their own self-interest" and fit into society. (please let me know if I am way off)

"we have got to learn to get along as individuals and as citizens"

I completely agree, a lot can be accomplished if we could just get along. There are many conflicts, such things include unnecessary violence and stealing and wars, countless things really. If all of that could just go away then we could stop worrying about our defenses and armies and instead deal with our other problems, like those facing our schools.

"community acceptance requires opportunity for individual participation in the group, but opportunity cannot exist outside of community acceptance."

It is true, if you are not accepted by a group then you are basically a shadow, an outcast. This may not be true for everyone, but for the most part those who are alone are usually lonesome or maybe even depressed. Therefore people need to be given the opportunity to be part of the group, or else it will never happen on their own doing. So if you see someone sitting alone with no one to talk to, go say hi and invite them to do something, it could make their day and also some confidence.

I found this article to be very interesting. I personally have no real experience with Down syndrome individuals because probably like Kliewer said, they are separated early from main stream society and therefore I would have no real opportunity to see them. The only view toward Down syndrome individuals is through the media, which talk about shows like Family Guy that give Down syndrome individuals a bad reputation. Back in high school I did notice Down syndrome students walking around the hallway but there were no real opportunities to get to know them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Talking Point #8

"The observer did not hear the terms dividend, quotient, and so on, used again."

I can imagine this can be very frustrating. I know in most of my classes that if a word or concept isn't mashed into my brain over and over then I will never remember that word or concept. Then it appears again and it feels like it is my first time seeing it. For most of my classes I could not tell you one thing that we learned in the beginning of the semester, it's just impossible. So yes there is a poster in the class that shows you all of the answers, but now they rely on that poster to remember how to do things and without it they are hopeless. If you take down that poster, then your essentially removing the only source of information on that topic from the class.

"Their work should be "verified" by a classmate before it is handed in."

I really hate when you have to do this. One of the main reasons is because some people are able to give useful feedback and are helpful and others are not. Plus it makes it awkward for the person who feels that they did a bad job, because they now have someone reading their bad work and making judgements on their intelligence. Also this could promote laziness to the completion of the assignment. Someone could put minimal effort into something and then hope that their classmate will fix it and do it correctly for them.

"Schoolwork helps one to achieve, to exel, and to prepare for life."

This quote is reguarding the Executive Elit Schools. Just reading about the executive elit schools its no wonder that the children of executives usually follow in their parents footsteps. The education that they recieve is much more rigerous and thoughtful then any of the others. These types of schools aim to make their students the best of the best, and im sure that they usually prevail. Where as the other schools for the most part just dump information on their students and hope that they grasp some of what they learn.

In general this article was very extensive and there was not much to get out of it. I suppose I could now say I know what type of schools do such and such styles of teaching and where my child would be best off going to school. I also understand that working class schools dont actually teach they just sort of convey information and hope it sticks instantly. Unfortunately there is no repetition or rewards so there is little learning and no rewards for those who do try. Those with more power get the better education and usually follow in the footsteps of their parents. But in reality I believe that it's what you make of a school that gets you to be successful. It may be harder for those who dont have good teachers but it is still possible if parents play a key role in motivating their children to strive for success and to do great things.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Talking Point #7

After reading what a few others had posted, I was surprised that I had found an article so quickly compared to others. What I found was this website, and in the second bullet titled Gender Equality in Schools: A Primer, I found there to be a lot of useful information about issues on gender and education.

To start off I was introduced to a very interesting fact, though when you think about it, it is very true. That being that there is major discrimination in sports funding based on gender. If you think about it, all of the major games as well as the most talked about games are based on male sports teams. For the most part it seems that female sports don't exist, and some don't like football, because hardly anyone watches them or finds them interesting (in my experience).

Then Sadker brings up another good point. That is that girls and boys receive very different educations, even though they are in the same room doing the same exact work and readings. The way I see it, girls in schools are treated like the middle child in a family who doesn't get much attention or encouragement but yet seems to do just fine on their own. Whereas boys are like the first child in a family, they receive almost all of the attention, everything they do is acknowledged and considered a big deal. The only problem is that they can be screw ups and become hated or a "problem child", or they can be brilliant and the pride of the family. The way Sadker puts it, girls are seen as invisible; they don't get as much help or interaction with the teacher than boys do. Boys on the other hand are idolized and receive much of both the attention of their teachers, and society. The giant spot light placed upon boys can be overwhelming or uncomfortable at times. Then he says quote "Labeled as problems in need of special control or assistance, boys are more likely to fail a course, miss promotion, or drop out of school. Prone to take risks, they jeopardize not only their academic futures but also their lives as they dominate accident, suicide, and homicide statistics."

That quote of Sadker seems true to me. Usually for the most part boys are seen as troubled and in need of assistance more than girls are. There aren't many times where you see a girl pulled out of a class room, or sent to the principles office. Boys do tend to fail courses more, but that's just usually because boys don't care as much as girls do. Then to my experience it does seem that guys drop out of schools way more frequently than girls do (at least in my high school). Boys do seem to take more risks than girls, probably again for the most part being that they just don't care as much as girls do. I was curious how many more males get in accidents than girls do, so I found on this page from 2006, that male car accidents are more than double that of females (which explains the car insurance difference). And then on this site, it clearly shows that all over the world male suicide rates are higher than females. Who really knows the reasons for these dramatic differences, it could be the difference in how both genders are treated in society, or just some kind of internal genetic differences that makes males more prone to be careless.

In the end, I have to agree with most of what Sadker says. He brings up very good points and covers most of the issues both genders face. I tried to check out the link to the official website, but it came up with some sort of problem. The other sources were useful as well