Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I know you will like this...

If don't already know about TED, you need to.

From their website, "TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds:
Technology, Entertainment, Design." THe talks that you can watch and listen to from this organization will blow your mind. A few of my favorites include Elizabeth Gilbert, Jill Bolte Taylor, Rives and Gladwell.

But for an inspiring school story that I think you will really love, watch this piece by author Dave Eggers. It is worth your time. Promise.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Last Article -- Ira Shor

As you read the last article of the semester -- an excerpt from Ira Shor's Empowering Education -- I think you will find that it clearly resonates with so many things we have read this semester. It should be easy to make some connections to our other texts.

Shor is one of the more important theorists in the field of critical pedagogy. His work on schooling in a democratic society is the foundation of so much of what we talked about in this class. The chapters are a little long, but read the first one really closely. You can skim a little on the second one. Enjoy! See you Tuesday!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Changing Education Paradigms

In light of our conversation in class about inclusion and disability, check out these two videos by Sir Ken Robinson: one we looked at in class and the other is just food for thought. I think the first one is a clear example of the educational models Kliewer talks about: utilitarian individualism and human reciprocity.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work

Given our discussion about empowering education and how it works to produce and reproduce social class, I have a few resources to share with you. I think that these sites will help you think about how social class gets reproduced. Finn says,

"The status quo is the status quo because people who have the power to make changes are comfortable with the way things are. It takes energy to make changes, and the energy must come from the people who will benefit from the change. But the working class does not get powerful literacy, and powerful literacy is necessary for the struggle. How can the cycle be broken?"

Here are some things to help you think about breaking the cycle. Knowledge is power. What do you need to KNOW in order to enhance your power to make change??

Off Track (a film about tracking and inequality)

PBS: People Like Us (Social Class in America)

Center for Working Class Studies

Paolo Freire Institute

Critical Pedagogy

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Can separate be equal?

Hope you enjoyed the conference yesterday!! Looking forward to hearing what you have to say in class on Tuesday.

As you read the Finn and Oakes texts for this week, I want you to think about the question in the header of this post: can separate be equal? We talked about this when we read about Brown v. Board of Education -- the supreme court said NO in 1954. Does tracking in America's public schools violate this understanding? When we separate kids in schools based on their perceived academic abilities, is this fair and just? Can separate be equal? Can separate be equitable?

As always, please make sure you have your articles with you in class. We will be workings with them on Tue and Thursday!

Hope you had a good weekend!

LB :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Promising Practices

Promising Practices — Saturday 11/6

This weekend, you are attending the Promising Practices Conference at RIC. Registration opens at 7:45am in Donovan Dining Center. If you have registered ahead of time, you will have a folder waiting for you in Donovan when you arrive — you will likely have your first or second choice for the workshops. If you have not registered, you will have to find the Walk-In Registration table to register, pay $20, and select your workshops from the available spaces.

Take notes throughout the conference. At each workshop and at the keynote, jot down any thoughts you have about how the speaker's points connect to the issues we have been covering in class.

The Assignment:
In order to process and make sense of the things you learned at the conference, you need to write a reflection about the day. Post that reflection on your blog by 10am on Thursday, November 18. The reflection needs to include the following:

1) Narrative description of what the day was like for you, including your experience in the 2 workshops, the Curriculum Resource Fair, and the keynote address.

2) A deeper analysis of what you learned at one of the sessions (workshops or keynote) including two connections to authors we have read in class.

3) Use the blog technology to include at least three links in your post to help illustrate what you learned.

Enjoy the conference!! See you Saturday!

LB :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Obama Effect

In class this week, we talked about the history and legacy of Brown v. Board of Education. You raised great points about the lasting implications of what the Supreme Court called the "badge of inferiority," the psychological impact of segregation on the lives of African Americans.

If you want to read more about the most contemporary challenge to this psychological impact, check out this important study out of Vanderbilt University. The Obama Effect -- what do you think??