Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cinderella Ate My Daughter...

We talked today in class about how the choices we make (as teachers, and as parents) demonstrate our values. They teach kids about who and what is valued, and send a message about the way power works in the world.

Just in case you want some summer reading, you can check out this book. I read it in a weekend and it was both entertaining and so informative!!! Here is a book review from the NY Times that you might also be into.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Some notes from Gerri's visit

Is there such a thing as designed and dynamic MONOLOGICALITY -- where teacher action works to maintain the dominant ideology in planned and in the moment ways?

Louisiana boy gets in trouble for talking about his gay mom

What is the goal of schooling in a democratic society?

Nel Noddings -- "the ethic of care"

Windows and Mirrors
Emily Styles

Thursday, June 9, 2011

LGBT Issues

The reading for Monday focuses on issues surrounding lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender kids in schools. Over the past year there have been many public instances of bullying LGBT students; just last fall there were FIVE SUICIDES (that we know of) in one week of LGBT students who were bullied and harassed in their schools. This reminds me that no matter what your politics are, no matter what your religious background is, no matter what your personal opinions are, teachers MUST WORK HARDER to make schools safe spaces for all students. The Meyer article you are reading for this week (sent over email) raises questions about why teachers fail to intervene on behalf of LGBT students and how we can be getter at this kind of advocacy work.

The most extensive collection of educational resources for teachers is the Gay Lesbian Straight Educators Network. GLSEN is full of statistics, information, lesson plans, activities, and other resources for educators. Talk a look at everything that is available for you.

And you may have seen this video from Ellen Degeneres that has been widely floated around Facebook. It is worth watching and sharing.

Further, there is a powerful campaign on youtube right now, started by blogger Dan Savage, called the itgetsbetterproject. Check it out.

We will talk much more about all of this in class.. see you Monday!

LB :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Not Waiting for Superman

There has been a lot of talk lately about America's public schools and how they are failing to serve our students. The blame is easy to spread but more often then not, teachers bear the brunt of that burden.

The film Waiting for Superman is one example of public discourse around education -- it takes up the failing public schools by naming the problem, explaining why it matters and then proposing a solution. But not everyone like the way WFS defines this problem or the remedies it seeks.

Rick Ayers, for examples, wrote a point by point critique of the film to explain how it functions to mistake the symptom for the cause and undermine the very efforts it seeks to aid.

The editors at Rethinking Schools (a progressive journal about educational reform) have also offered a counter narrative to the one that WFS puts forth. In the name of teacher professionalism, critical pedagogy and the silent majority of families who bear the burden of our failing schools, the editors initiated a response:

Next week in class we will watch the Waiting for Superman documentary together. For Thursday, please read of listen to Stan Karp's address found here. Also take a little time to explore the NWFS website to see what else it has to say about the film and the general controversy over educational reform.

See you on Monday!

LB :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Delpit gotcha...

Happy Tuesday, folks,

Read all of your Delpit posts and many of you were able to untangle the complicated claims she makes in her text. Excellent connections to Johnson and great use of hyperlinks! You are showing off your blogging skills already!!

Looking forward to talking about Delpit and all of the emotions and analysis she inspired... :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Welcome to FNED 502!!

Welcome to this FNED 502 blogging adventure!

Sometime before June 1, you will set up your own blog to use this summer session for all of your Talking Points assignments, and to keep track of your thoughts about any of the issues we cover.

A blog is your very own, personal online journal. It is public, in that I and your classmates can read it and comment on it, but it is your space and you can control most everything about it. (If you want to make it private so that *only* members of this class can read it, I can show you how to do so).

In the context of this course, your blog has two purposes:

1) Your blog will provide a space for you to keep all of your Talking Points assignments over the course of our semester together. You will not hand in written assignments to me each week; rather you will post them on your blog. In this sense, your blog is merely your assignment notebook that you will use as you read and prepare for class each week. You will also be posting any additional thoughts you have: responses to class discussion, after thoughts, things you forgot to say in class, relevant experiences you have, etc.

But importantly, your blog is a public space and as you post (and comment on others'), you will gain a much richer understanding of everything we read and discuss in class. I want you to think of it as interactive and intertextual in that way.

2) Creating your own blog will also introduce you to the blogisphere if you don't know this place already. I hope that you will discover creative educational uses for this online medium. You will see how easy it is to use, and perhaps it will inspire you to bring blogs into your own classroom.

To start your own blog, you will go to:

The big orange box at the top right of the page will direct you to creating your own blog on a site called Follow the instructions to open up a free account. Don't forget your Username and Password!! You will need them to login everytime.

As you fill in the info, you will be asked to name your blog. This title will appear at the top of your blog. (Mine is called "Social Issues in Education")

Then, you need to choose an address:

This will be the web address associated with your site. you can call it anything you like. Be clever or simple (or both) -- it is up to you.

You will also need to choose a design template for your blog. Look through the options listed and see what appeals to you. You can change this later and can even find fun, creative templates at sites like PYZAM.

Once you have the account set up, you can start posting. A “posting” is an entry on your blog. (For clarification, you have one blog, but many postings). Give the post a title and then compose as you would any journal entry. When you are finished, hit the button at the bottom that says Publish Post. It will not appear on your blog until you publish it. You can always go back and edit old posts and create new ones.

Your First Post:
Your first post should be a short introduction to you: who are you, what graduate program you are in, where you teach, what do you do when you are not in class, etc. (Just a short paragraph — no big deal). You will post the rest of the entries as they are due (see course syllabus for dates), or whenever you have something to say!

When you are done creating your site and posting your first entry, please come back to this blog and post a comment at the end of my first posting (scroll down) that includes your blog address so that I can post it in the link list to the right.

Some Tips and Helpful Hints:
  • Once you are in your blog, look at the top right corner of the screen. If you click on the word DESIGN, you will be able to make design changes, create new posts, edit old posts, etc. (You can only do this if you are logged in to your blog.)
  • Once you are in the DESIGN screen, you can do all kinds of things to make your blog a bit more interesting. Change your fonts and colors, edit a post, change your settings. See the tabs at the top of the screen for all kinds of options.
  • Poke around online and make a list of websites related to education, diversity, social justice or anything else relevant and post them on your blog. You can add all kinds of things by ADDING A GADGET from your Design Screen.
  • Just do the best you can with this. If you get stuck, don't fret... I am happy to help you anytime as you work on getting this started. Send me an email, come see me in office hours, or grab me after class. And remember: you can't break it. It is just a blog. Everything can be changed if need be!
Good luck!!

LB :)