Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spending the week with you...

Just saying hi since I feel like I am spending the week with all of you, surrounded by your portfolios of work!

Come visit me in HBS sometime in the fall and let me know how everything is going. Good luck with PPSTs and your FSEHD applications.

Have a great summer!!

LB :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Reading for this week

Greeting from sunny California!

So it seems that I do not have the Shor reading up in my electronic reserves... apologies for that!!! But fotunately, if you go into the RIC Library reserves and search for Professor AUGUST, you will see the article posted there.

It is by Ira Shor, and it is called Education is Politics.

Have a good weekend... if you celebrate Easter (or even if you don't), you might like this tasty, crafty snack to share with your friends and family. Sushi... made from rice crispy treats, fruit roll ups and PEEPS! (My sister and I made them last night)


LB :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Random and cool

Just want to share these amazing short films... all about how media representation and beauty culture influence how we think about ourselves and each other.

You can view them for free until the end of this month using the password: Body Typed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Keeping Track

You have a lot of reading this week so plan carefully to manage your time...

First, read Patrick Finn, Literacy with an Attitude.
But you don't need to read the whole 35 pages that is on reserve. Instead, read the Preface, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. You can skim chapter 13 and 14, though chapter 14 is when Finn talks about real teachers working to change the system of tracking and inequality so you might enjoy reading about some "solutions" since we spend so much time talking about the "problems" in this class!!

Then you are reading Jeannie Oakes' short piece about tracking. This is a good summary of the basic debates around tracking that will anchor the key concepts for you.

If this issue around social class and schooling interests you, there are so many cool resources to check out. PBS did a great project called People Like Us that you can watch or explore via their website. The Center for Working Class Studies in Ohio has a ton of resources to explore.

As always, make sure you have all of your articles with you in class. We will definitely be using the text in our activities next week.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

From today's news....

Given our topic this week -- Title IX -- thought I would share this article from today's news.

Powerful reminder that gender still matters in 2011...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gender Play

We have talked a lot in class about how issues of race, language, ethnicity or sexuality impact the teaching and learning that goes on in classrooms.

What about gender?

For decades, researchers have documented how schools shortchange girls. Girls have been called on less often, rewarded for good behavior rather than good work, and discouraged from pursuing interests in math and science fields. This has happened both in the classroom, and on the playground as well where girls have had fewer opportunities to explore their athletic interests or be taken seriously as a formidable athlete. And what about the boys?

How do issues of gender impact schools today??

This week, I want you to go find the texts that we will discuss in class. Learn as much as you can about the history of gender differences in American schools and abut the current issues as they play out in 2011. You can search the web, the library, youtube, itunes, your SL classroom, etc to come up with some ideas about how and why gender matters. Some search terms to start with:

Title IX
Gender and education
Gender and schooling
Girls academic success
Boys and schooling
Gender differences in school
Single sex schooling
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Sexual harassment and schools
Gender and dress codes
gender bias in education
Supreme court gender school
gender school policies

Post about some of these on your blog and bring at least one printed text with you to class on Tuesday.

Have a good weekend!

LB :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Readings" for March 29/31

The readings for this week are not exactly readings, but things to check out online. This week marks a shift in the syllabus. Up until this point, we have been reading about broad theories about diversity and difference including the Culture of Power and issues of White Privilege. Now we are going to start to look at historical moments where these topics came into view in our schools.

Our topic this week is about Brown vs. Board of Education (1954), the historical supreme court decision that made the segregation of public schools unconstitutional.

You have FOUR tasks for this week:

1) I want you to explore this website to give you some background on Brown v. Board of Education.

2) Then I want you to watch these two videos that highlight the work of Tim Wise, author of "Between Barack and a Hard Place." Take notes while you watch so that you can refer to specific quote in your blog post and in class.

4) Read this very short article from last week's New York Times.
How do the issues that Bob Herbert raises shape how you think about Brown v. Board of Education?

3) Now blog about it.
What is the relationship between the historical issues you see in the website on Brown v. Board of Education and the contemporary issues of race that Bob Herbert and Tim Wise raise here?

Leave comments if you have any questions...

LB :)

Final Project Resources

Here are some of the resources I talked about in class, as well as a few others that might help you in planning the digital aspects of your Service Learning Final Project:

McIntosh Video

Photostory Software

Camtasia (for taking on-screen video)

Other free video editing software

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hope everyone had a good spring break!

Don't forget to bring your journals to class on Tuesday. You should have at least three journal entries by now... we will be working with them this week as we talk about the Kahne and Westeheimer piece. How are you thinking about your SL project -- does it feel like a Charity Project or a Change Project?

See y'all on Tuesday!

LB :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

I hope you enjoyed the Linda Christensen article for this week. If you want to read more about teachers who work for social justice in their classrooms, you should check out the journal Rethinking Schools where Christensen is an editor.

So why media literacy?
What does media literacy have to do with Schooling in a Democratic Society?

There are lots of folks who are invested in thinking about this questions... check out Media Education Foundation, the Center for Media Literacy, the Media Literacy Project (out of New Mexico), and even some corporate interests that are asking questions (see the Dove Real Women Campaign).

And I see that several of you have already started trolling on youtube to find the many people who are exploring media literacy work on their own. I am looking forward to talking about all of this in class on Tuesday!!

LB :)

Midterm Letter and Blog Assessment

When we meet tomorrow, I am going to hand you two midterm assignments.

First is a Blog Self Assessment where you can check yourself and your blog posts to get a sense of how you are doing with this part of the class assignments. I will look at your self-assessments and give you some formal feedback on your blogs over spring break so that you can use that feedback to enhance your posting for the rest of the semester. This is due to me on Thursday, March 10 (this week).

The second is a midterm letter that you will write to me to give me a sense of how the course and your learning in the course is going for you. These letters are anonymous, giving you the full freedom to write about the course without worrying about being judged or graded for your thoughts. I will accept these on Thursday also, but if you want to work on them over spring break, I will take them on Tuesday, March 22.

Just a heads up....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Jonathan Kozol is sick...

Just an FYI that apparently Jonathan Kozol is under the weather and will not be speaking tonight. They will have a replacement keynote instead. :( It will still be an interesting conference on charter schools, but you won't get what you were going for. Bummer!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jonathan Kozol in Providence

I just found out that Kozol will be speaking in Providence on Wednesday, March 2. THIS WEDNESDAY! The event is free but requires a reservation so if you are interested in seeing him, check out this link. He is one of the most important voices of this generation; if you can make it, I highly recommend seeing him. This is truly an opportunity that shouldn't be missed!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

English Language Learners

I was teaching a class for high school students at a local Providence school last week and was reminded of the issues that Virginia Collier raises in the chapter you are reading this week.

I had students working on college application essays, brainstorming descriptive words about themselves to use as an anchor for their writing. "Dedicated," "creative," "driven," "curious..." I gave them five minutes to draft a list. I watched two students on my right struggle with pen to paper. They are both native Spanish speakers, and they often talk to each other in Spanish when not addressing the group so I guessed that Spanish was a more comfortable place for them if given the choice.

They each had one or two words on their papers, while most others in the room were jotting down lists of 7, 8, 9... so I thought of Virginia Collier and had an idea.

"When you are brainstorming words for this essay," I said to the whole group, "you can write those words in any language. This is just to get your brain warmed up, and to get your initial thoughts on paper. When you write, you will write the essay in English, but as you are jotting down the best words to describe yourself, write freely in any language that feels most comfortable to you."

I made eye contact with the young women to my right and they smiled at me. Suddenly their lists or words flowed freely, filling up the page. And I knew that allowing them to start in Spanish would make this writing exercise much more successful for them.

Monday, February 14, 2011

If Kozol, McIntosh and Delpit hung out....

Delpit Culture of Power #5:
People with power are often least aware of, or least willing to acknowledge, its existence. People without power are often most aware of its existence.

What does this have to do with Kozol's narrative about Mott Haven?

How might McIntosh provide evidence of this very same argument?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Culture of Power

As you read Lisa Delpit's piece, are you hearing echoes of SCWAAMP in her "culture of power?" Do you hear Allan Johnson's discussion of privilege, power and difference as she talks about how some kids come to school already knowing the "rules and codes of power" while others do not? I know her voice is very different from Johnson's, but she is also talking about how some people have more privilege than others and how that impacts their lives in important ways.

As you move through your college experience, do you think that you were taught the rules and codes of college life before you got here? Are there some rules about how to be successful in college that you had to learn along the way? Are there elements of the 'secret rule book' that someone taught you at home or in high school?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Welcome to FNED 346

Welcome to this FNED 346 blogging adventure!

Sometime before February 15, you will set up your own blog to use this semester 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 someday.

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 "fned346 spring 2011")

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, how your semester is going so far, 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 :)