Saturday, March 29, 2014

Finn Article Extended Comments

My blog this week will be an extension of Jackie’s connection on the “Literacy with an Attitude” piece by Patrick Finn. I found this to be a tedious piece but like Jackie, once I got through the first few pages I was intrigued.
The first connection made was between The Brown vs. Board of Education based videos featuring Tim Wise and a quote by Finn about the “status quo” amongst society. This was a great connection that I actually did not think of. Jackie brought up a good point that if people stuck with the status quo of society and did not attempt to make any changes in a bad situation, that equality may never have been achieved, or would have taken much longer to make such strides. This sort of reminded me of the invisible privilege that McIntosh introduces, because people who “choose to remain comfortable”, as Jackie said, do not realize that they are not helping the bigger picture in the end.

The other connection Jackie made was to Delpit’s rules and codes of power, and I thought the exact same way when I was reading this piece. Jackie explains that Finn made sure his students knew who the authority figure was in the classroom and that his rules would not be compromised. His methods mirrored the exact ideals of Delpit. Like Jackie, I am also a fan of Delpit, and try to look for the “rules and codes of power” displayed in my service learning classroom each week. Sometimes it is hard to notice when the teacher is being explicit or not in their ways of teaching, but one way to know is based on the reactions of the students.

I feel that this would be a great discussion as a class, as well. We can compare our different classrooms that are most likely filled with different economic classes just as in Finn’s article, and then gauge how students react positively and negatively to the teacher when they are displaying the ideals of Delpit. Once this is accomplished, we can further compare our real classroom observations to the classrooms in Finn’s piece to see if the social classes mentioned have any actual effect on the teaching of literacy to different students from different areas.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Brown vs. Board of Education


      This week’s blog may be a bit all over the place, just an FYI. The website on Brown v. Board of Education, the article by Bob Herbert, and the videos featuring Tim Wise are all strongly related because they talk about the same topics of racial issues, segregation, and power. The videos and the article touch on more recent examples of this bias, but if anything they bring more insight to the issues.
      The website on Brown v. Board of Education explains what this movement did and what it means for society today. The act was passed and said that segregation in schools was unconstitutional, thus leading the nation into an era of desegregation. While this was no simple task and took decades to accomplish… even though we are still technically working out the kinks to complete racial acceptance…it was vital for the future of our schools.
      On the topic of racial acceptance, the videos featuring Tim Wise talk about just that. Tim Wise wrote a book Between Barack and a Hard Place, which talks about the racial issues the country still faces in the time of a black president. They talked in the video about the stereotypes that still cling to minorities, regardless of the actual statistics. I really enjoyed listening to the videos because they put into words exactly what everyone is thinking when it comes to combating racial issues and their causes. It’s just like Johnson believed, that we need to learn to say the words and not beat around the bush. Otherwise, nothing will ever be accomplished or changed. 
      The article by Bob Herbert talks about racism within schools today, but he explains that race is only an issue because it is tied to the economic issues of the students, who happen to be part of certain minorities. Instead of seeing a poorer school district and assessing its standings in terms of curriculum and learning environment, the schools are looked at as having a failing black or a failing Latino community, when race really has nothing to do with it.
      These sources made me think of McIntosh and “whiteness”. When Wise said that there is a level of acceptable whiteness, I automatically thought of McIntosh. Just because someone is white, they automatically have the upper hand in a situation, whether they are deserving of that position or not. Wise mentions in the video that mediocrity is only okay if you are white….obviously racist and untrue!!
I feel like I have a lot more that I want to say and explain in regards to this week’s blog, but again I am at a loss for words so I hope this does the job!