Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kohl and Kohn- Argument

‘Five Reasons to Stop Saying “Good Job!”’
 I believe that the author’s arguing it is important for both teachers and parents to understand that you do not need to evaluate your students or children in order to encourage them. The author supports this by explaining how constantly saying “Good Job” manipulates children in a silent way in taking advantage of children’s dependence. Continually saying ‘Good Job’ to your children or students can create praise junkies meaning the more you use praise, the more the child seems to need it, so we continually praise. This can result in child growing up and as an adult continually looking for praise. Praising your child or student all the time is also a silent way of stealing a child’s pleasure. When a child is constantly praised for everything they are doing, when they actually deserve praise and receive it they feel less pride when they deserve it. The more a child is praised the more they start to lose interest in whatever task they are performing. Consistent praise can start to become the only thing the child is motivated to receive. I strongly believe that this is a huge problem in not only classrooms, but in homes. After reading this article I couldn't stop but catch myself saying “Good Job” or seeing teachers and parents saying it all the time. It makes me just want to hand this article out to all the parents and teachers I know. The motivation is no longer completing the task, but completing the task and receiving some form of praise. I strongly believe that the author’s main point of this article is to have teachers and parents consider motives for what they say and the actual efforts of their motives. 

‘I Won’t Learn from You”
               I feel that the author’s argument is that learning what others want you to learn can sometimes destroy you.  In some cases teachers and other individual interoperate refusal to learn as failure to learn which the case is not always.  Sometimes learning from a stranger who doesn't respect your integrity can result in huge losses in self which can result in the student rejecting to learn and the world. A student refusing to learn isn’t a bad thing, but an unhealthy way to respond to racism, sexism, and other biases. If teachers and the community respected individual students and their culture through embracing personal change instead of rejecting student’s culture, fewer students would reject learning. This article reminded me of Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege” in how by making children learn English is cultural-zing them and making them part of the white culture of power. To me this is a huge issue in our culture. I think it is really hard and will be difficult for classrooms to except and make the fact they have students who speak another language as a resource to other students learning. I strongly believe that the author’s main point is that this cultural personal problem has turned into a personal psychological problem.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Talking Points #3 Safe Spaces

                                                                Safe Spaces
                                                            By Gerri August    

“Classrooms lay the foundations for an inclusive and safer society; a just community where common interests and individual differences coexist. To the extent that teachers, schools, administrators, and college professors create an atmosphere in which differences are not only tolerated, but accepted, explored, and embraced, students will be more likely to develop perspectives that result in respectful behaviors.” (pg. 83)
               This quote talks about the impact the classroom and the teacher have on a student’s perspectives and respectful behaviors. A teacher has the ability to explore and embrace the differences in others, negative or positive. It is important for teachers to grasp the opportunity put in front of them and try to make the changes possible. The rest of the text provides different ways to help a teacher incorporate other types of perspectives into the classroom environment.

               “In an episode entitled “Sugartime!” Buster’s adventures take him to Vermont, where he meets, David, Emma, and James, and their two moms, a blended family that teachers Buster the art of maple sugaring.” (pg 86 )
               When reading this quote I was more upset then taken back by the end result of the program being taken off the air. I grew up in Vermont and have always been very aware that it is one of the more unpopular, unheard of states. Reading that out of all the states that the show decided to select Vermont to represent the state that same sex parents, really left me with an unsettling feeling and I think creates just another issue. I strongly believe that selecting such a small unheard of, unpopular state will make children associate that same sex couples and parents to only be in the smaller states or states like ‘those’. I strongly believe that if the show should have done another episode with another same sex couple in California learning how to make raisins or something along those lines in a bigger state it would have a better effect. Though in the end the idea of even showing a same sex couple in a children’s cartoon was strongly rejected and unexpected by parents, I still believe that it is important and that the media is a great place to start.
               “Good intentions are not enough; trying to see all students as the same is not enough. Being a fair-minded individual is not enough. We argue that educators must publicly commit to creating classroom climates of inclusivity and respect with the pledged cooperation of all students. Only then can we create classrooms that are safe for LGBT youth.” (pg 99)

               This quote talks about how it isn’t enough to just have good intentions, see all the students equally, and to be a fair-minded individual. Teachers need to be more comfortable using the words, gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual to help students be more comfortable with the words. Publically creating a classroom that doesn’t exclude any member or participant of a different gender, race, class, sexuality, or disability is the start of creating a safe LGTB classroom. It is important that the exclusion of others amongst students is enforced and that students are required to cooperate in not excluding anyone.  After the students are capable of not excluding others, only then is the classroom environment a comfortable and safe setting for LGBT students. Though as a teacher you may want to change the way your student’s minds and hearts think and feel, but it is not possible to do it all.  A teacher can create a classroom environment that is accepting and safe for LGTB youth through the curriculum used and the communication inside the classroom.