Sunday, October 20, 2013

The "Secret Education"

The author argues that “Our society’s culture industry colonizes their minds and teaches them how to act, live, dream. This indoctrination hits young children especially hard. The “secret education,” as Children writer Ariel Dorfman dubs it, delivered by children’s books and movies, instructs young people to accept the world as it is portrayed in these social blue prints. And often that world depicts the domination of one sex, one race, one class, or one country over a weaker counterpart.”

I believe what the author is arguing is self-explanatory. This is my second time reading Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us by Linda Christensen. I believe Christensen is saying that the children in our society gets blind-sided by what we think are innocent for our children to view and read but little did we know there is more to it. We let our child watch a movie or show because it says it’s PG and let them read a book because it categorize is a children book.  At a young age children are starting to learn to read and write and understand the English language. A lot of movies and cartoons especially from Disney portray only certain things and a lot of children who view these things tend to “accept the world as it is portrayed.”

Going a little further an example is the movie Cinderella. I believe a lot of people know about this story where a Caucasian girl ends up living with her step-mother and step-sisters because her father got re-married and died. Both her step-sisters and mother are mean to her and she acts as their servants. She gets lucky and goes to a dance and meets prince charming but then has to leave early so she can make it home on time before she gets in trouble. She accidently loses her glass slipper and the prince picks it up hoping he will meet her again. Cinderella on the other hand hopes he will come save her from her life at home and sweep her off her feet. There are a lot of movies like this, has a similar story line and sometimes there are remakes of the movie. Many times what don’t change are the depictions of the story. Usually the race that is dominated in this story is Caucasian. U rarely see people of color in Cinderella. How do children feel when they do not see any representation of their own race? In Cinderella the class domination shows that the working class or poor are ugly. Another think about the movie Cinderella is it shows how women are portrayed where life is all about meeting the right guy and getting married. It also shows that it is all about beauty and your looks. Cinderella had to disguise her-self a little and dress up to make her-self look beautiful. The prince found her because of her slipper. I can go on and on about how children movies and books depict certain things but this blog will be like 1000 and 1000 of words.

I feel as parents should be aware of this. Yes, they can stop their children from watching these types of shows and reading these types of books, but these kinds of things happen everywhere. Also, I know many parents do not have time to sit down and watch a movie or show with their children 24 hours. I believe parents should at least take their time to talk to their children about what they view is not all it seems. When I first read this story I wrote a blog, Unlearning Myths, and I said,
“Talk about should these shows be banned from TV because it is teaching young children the wrong things. Since there so young they are learning from these shows and as they grow up their going to think that’s how life really is. This might sound stupid, but should there be an warning sign in the beginning of each show saying what is depicted here should not be taking seriously because it does not portrayed the real world.”
Questions/Comments: Did anybody else think if these shows should be banned from TV? After reading this did it make you realize something you did not realize before when you was a little child?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Say "Good Job!" But tell them why!

In my first blog, About Me, I stated that I was majoring in Physical and Health Education. As soon as I read Five Reasons to Stop Saying “Good Job!” by Alfie Kohn, I connected it to some of the content I learn last semester in my PED 243 class, Foundations of Movement. After reading Kohn story I believe it contradicted with what I learn because I thought it was good to tell children “Good Job!” Telling them “good job” is a motivation for them to keep striving to keep performing and it is also telling them not to give up. Then I made some connections and realize what Kohn was saying did not contradict with what I learn. When teaching a child to do something it’s good to tell them “good job” but it is also important to tell them why they are doing a good job. Kohn stated,

“Say what you saw. A simple, evaluation-free statement tells your child that you notice. It also lets her take pride in what she did. In other cases, more elaborate description may make sense. If your child draws a picture, you might provide feedback-not judgment- about what you noticed: “This Mountain is huge!” “Boy, you sure used a lot of purple today!”

I connected this statement with the content I learn about augmented feedback. A lot of this information I will be talking about is from the book I used during class which is called A Practical Guide to Motor Learning, Second Edition by Douglas E. Young, Michael G. LaCourse, and William S. Husak.

Augmented feedback is where “Instructors and coaches can provide a wealth of information to a performer during the learning process. This information can vary in its form, content, and function. In order to describe this information, numerous terms that defines and separated the various kinds and characteristics of feedback have been used.” (Pg 180)

The types of Augmented feedback are Knowledge of results (KR), Knowledge of performance (KP), and Social reinforcement (SR).

Knowledge of results is giving “information regarding the response outcome or overall success.” “KR is imperative for performance and learning without it, subjects may not improve or learn a task effectively.”

Knowledge of performance is “information given in regard to the movement pattern produced by the performer. This augmented feedback can directly change specific parts of behavior, and can effectively direct response toward the correct pattern of action.”

Social reinforcement “is a type of feedback which provides non-movement related information. SR is an important feedback variable because it plays a significant role in motivating performers.

When just saying “good job” it is a Social reinforcement. I believe what Kohn is trying to say is you can say “good job” but try adding some Knowledge of results and Knowledge of performance with you Social reinforcement. It is more beneficial because at the end you are still motivating them and letting them know why it is good or right.

Comments: I will like to if Kohn changes my classmates way of thinking about the word “Good Job!”

Safe Spaces; Making Schools and Communities Welcoming LGBT Youth

This week on my blog I will be discussing about Safe Spaces; Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth by Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, and Megan S. Kennedy. While reading my classmates blogs bout Safe Spaces I really connected with Kyle’s blog, “Inclusion in the Classroom.”  At the end of his article he stated,
“Students have to stop feeling like they are different for the wrong reasons. Things like sexual orientation have to be introduced at a younger age in order for children to learn that it is ok and normal to feel or be the way they want. The reason why children make fun of each other would be because they are afraid of what is different. If gay or lesbian isn't a term or concept they understand they will immediately think it is wrong due to that fear of the unknown. The easiest thing to combat this would be to teach them what it is and why there is nothing wrong with it.”
I can really agree with Kyle because the whole time I was reading Safe Spaces I was thinking about how LGBT should be introduce to children at a young age so they can understand what it is and accept it. I believe they would also be able to understand the terms that are involve with the LGBT communities like gay and lesbian. In Safe Spaces they talk about a fifth grade teacher name Patrick and his two encounters with a student Derek. Derek used the words gay and bisexual during class and Patrick was there to intervene when he used them. He question Derek what they meant and if he can explain the definition of each word.
“Patrick does not scold. He does not snicker. And he certainly doesn’t pretend that he does not hear. He explores the negative usage of words such as “gay” or “bisexual.” He prods and questions, requiring students to define the terms. Patrick’s actions promoted discussion and understanding: he asked students to students to think about the power of their harmful language. We believe that Patrick is right: That is what a teacher does. That is what any concerned adult does.”
This here ties to why I agree with Kyle and why I believe LBGT should be introduce to children at a young age because if there was any confusion or question it can be clear up. I also believe if LGBT was introduce at a very young age, children will see it as a so called “norm.” If they see it as a “norm” they can accept it.
Questions: In class I would like to ask my classmates would they incorporate LGBT in their curriculum. If so, how would they do it?

Aria by Richard Rodriguez

One of the stories I was assign to read this week was called Arai by Richard Rodrigues. I honestly did not know what Aria mean and I was wondering what the story was going to be about. I actually thought it was a word in another language because the other reading that was assigned this week was called Teaching Multilingual Children by Virginia Collier. After reading the story I still wonder what it meant and thought it was a word in Spanish. In the Google search box I type define Aria. The definition that pop-up said, “A long, accompanied song for a solo voice, typically one in an opera or oratorio.” At first it did not make any sense to me and then I try to search for other definitions. Then I start to realize something and then it made sense to me, maybe that is how Richard felt when he heard people speak in English to him. English was a second language to him. Richard also felt that the English language was force upon him.  I also thought okay usually not a lot of people understand opera and maybe that what he might be comparing that too. To be honest when I hear opera all I hear is a loud man or woman yelling very in a high pitch and it seems like it is going on forever and ever.

Rodrigues stated, “Shortly after, I stopped hearing the high and loud sounds of los gringos. A more and more confident speaker of English, I didn’t trouble to listen to how strangers sounded, speaking to me. And there simply were to many English-speaking people in my day for me to hear American accents anymore. Conversations quickened. Listening to persons who sounded eccentrically pitched voices, I usually noted their sounds for an initial few seconds before I concentrated on what they were saying.” Rereading this section after finding defining the term Aria it give me a reinforcement maybe that how Richard really feels.

Rodrigues also stated, “The silence at home, however, was finally more than a literal silence. Fewer words passed between parent and child, but more profound was the silence that resulted from my inattention to sounds. At about the time I no longer bothered to listen to the sounds of English in public, I grew careless about listening to the sounds family members made when they spoke. Most of the time I heard someone speaking at home and didn’t distinguish his sounds from the words people uttered in public.” Here Rodrigues still talks about the sounds and what he hears. By this time Rodrigues was more use to the English language, to me I feel like something is bothering him but he seems likes he can careless too.

Question/Comments: I wonder if anybody had the same issue as me trying to figure out what the title meant? What were their first thought? What hint and clues did they get from the story?

My Personal Thoughts on "Amazing Grace" by Jonathan Kozol

I found “Amazing Grace,” by Jonathan Kozol to be very interesting. Many things I read in the story did not shock because growing up I did not live in the best neighborhood. I cannot complain because I feel that the neighborhood I grew up in which is Smith Hill in Providence Rhode Island could not have been worse than in Mott Haven in South Bronx New York. Reading Amazing Grace it made me wonder is anybody in the government system pushing to help this city. This story is and eye-opener for me and its making me wonder how the government cannot do anything about it. Now it makes me understand why Kozol said “Amazing Grace; the lives of children and the conscience of a nation.”

As a future health educator I had many concerns and felt pity for the condition that people in Mott Haven have to deal with. Kozol stated, “A city-run institution known as Lincoln Hospital, which had been denied accreditation more than once over the years because of the failure of the staff to monitor patients after surgery and to enter critical data in their records. At least 12 people, including two infants, says the Times, have died because of staff mistakes at Lincoln, which is the hospital relied upon by families in the St. Ann’s neighborhood.” This was very mind-boggling to me. I understand people need some where to go when their sick, injured or ill etcetera, but I believe Lincoln hospital should have been shut down immediately until things were clear up and fix.  It makes me wonder what are the rules and regulations for things like this. What bothers me the most is the hospital was not denied once it was more than once. How long is this going to go on, who is responsible? There were just a lot of questions running through my mind. “

Kozol also stated, “The pastor tells me that the place is known as ‘Children’s Park.’ Volunteers arrive here twice a week to give out condoms and clean needles to addicted men and women, some of whom bring their children with them. The children play near the bears or on a jungle gym while their mothers wait for needles.” This also made my mind boggle. I do not know the whole situation and I do not want to call these mother a bad parent but to me I do not believe that is not a good environment to have your child in. I respect that there were volunteers out there trying to keep people clean and safe but what about the children. What was being done for them? How was their home life? Instead of giving clean needles to encourage the usage what about stopping them for their children? I do not know I just had so much thoughts running through my mind.