Archive for October, 2012

Culture and Technology in the Classroom


27 Oct

-How will the difference in values between Anglo-European American and Asian American students affect your teaching and your relationships with students and parents?
It will affect my teaching because I want to make sure that all of my students can relate in some way to they lessons and material I will be teaching. Learning needs to be fun and relatable and in order to do that students need to be able to make real life connections to what they are learning in the classroom. They need to be able to answer the questions: why this is important to my life and how does it relate to me? If we can’t get students to relate to the information most likely they won’t find it interesting and that will lead to them being uninterested in school. I would like to make sure that I understand the different cultures that are coming into my classroom. I want to make sure that I understand them well enough so that I’m not offending any student or their parents and to make sure that I can relate the subject matter to their lives. As for my relationship with the parents I will make sure to have a understanding of their culture so that I don’t say or do anything that will offend them. I want to make sure that they know I have their child’s best interest in mind and that I want to be able to teach their child in a way that they can agree with even if we don’t agree on every small detail.

-What are some cultural patterns that will influence you instruction?
I think that this statement depends on where a teacher is teaching. Different parts of our country is going to have different cultural patterns. For example: where I grew up and went to school we had a very, very low Asian American population but where my friend grew up there was a very high Asian American population because of this there were different cultural patterns that affected our day to day live and our education. With that said no matter what cultural patterns that are around me I plan to teach my students tolerance and understanding for cultures that are different from them. Even if I teach in an area that isn’t very culturally divers I still plan to have lessons about other cultures because most likely as my students grow they will be exposed to many different cultures and have knowledge about those cultures will help them be a better well rounded person. Assigning my students projects like researching a culture that they don’t know much about and then presenting that information to the class will benefit the class as a whole because it “can help to eliminate the crux of stereotyping, prejudice, racism, and bigotry”(Wilson, 2012).

-How will gender roles have an impact in your teaching and your students learning?
“Recent studies in the United States indicate that sex differences in academic achievement are relatively small to nonexistent” (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 327). I think this is a wonderful statement because I truly hope that gender roles have a very low impact on my teaching and my students. I don’t want my students to feel like they aren’t good in specific subject just because they are a boy or a girl. I want to motivate my students by building up their confidence levels and feeding their curiosity. No girl should ever be told, “you won’t do as well as Charlie in math because he’s a boy and you are a girl” and they same goes for boys. So I really do hope that gender roles have a very low to zero impact on my teaching and my students learning.

-How will educational technologies help your instruction?
Students today use so much technology on a daily basis that I think it would be nieve for teachers to not use it in their classrooms “by age 20 many youth will have been on the internet for 30,000 hours or more” (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 325). I would like to have a balanced classroom. A classroom that uses technology along with traditional teaching methods. I really hope that I can have computers in my classroom so that students are able to do research based learning activities so that they are able to not only learn about the subject but also learn about the multiple resources that are available to them and how to use those sources correctly to collect the information they need for the assignment. I also think it would be a good idea to use a social media sight to help stay in contact with my students even when they leave class. Being able to set up a classroom blog or even something like a facebook page for my classroom would be very helpful. It would allow me to answer questions that students or parents might have about daily homework and it would be an easy way to keep in touch with parents, I would be able to easily get a message to them about the activities that are going on in the classroom that week or any other issues they may need to know about.

-The Chinese Proverb “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.” After reading this proverb, answer this question. How will you become knowledgeable about your students differences?
I think one of the easiest ways to become knowledgeable about my students differences is to ask them. So many people just assume things about people when they really have no idea what is really going on inside that person’s mind or personal world. Talking with my students, having them write their own bibliography as an assignment so that they can tell me things about themselves that maybe they don’t want the entire class to know. Also, doing my own research. Looking into cultures that I know very little about will continue to educate me about the different types of students and their families that will becoming in and out of my classroom.
This is a fun and quick youtube video about using technology in the classroom. He had some interesting ideas that I had never thougt about using before.

 

Sources:
1. Wilson, K. (2012). Critical multicultural pavilion – research room. Retrieved from http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/keith.html
2. Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Issues In Education


14 Oct

In the September 27, 2012 edition of the Chicago Tribune an article titled “District 86 allows R-rated movies in classrooms” was published. The article discusses that at Hinsdale South high school and Hinsdale Central high school parents and community members were outraged that “the Hinsdale Township High School District 86 school board voted not to suspend the showing of excerpts of such films as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘American Beauty’ in a film-as-literature class, and  that the board will not prevent any other R-rated films from being shown in other classes at the schools” (Mannion, 2012). At the school board meeting many parents expressed that they were upset because they felt that the movies were exposing their children to topics that they felt were too mature for they children to view. The Hinsdale Library Board of Trustees President Johanna Delaney disagreed because parents had to to sign a permission slip allowing their children to see the movies. If parents didn’t want their children to view the film the students where given an alternative assignment. Delaney ultimately put the responsibility back on the parents saying, “Have the courage to say ‘no’ to your child — no you may not watch those movies” (Mannion, 2012). Many other parents and some students, who wanted the movies to be shown, said that “removing them would amount to censorship and loss of academic freedom and would rob students of an educational experience” (Mannion, 2012). In the end the school board voeted 5-2 in favor for allowing the videos to continued to be shown in the schools.

This is a very interesting situation because it comes down to people’s individual morals and what they view is appropriate for their child to be exposed to.  No matter which way the board voted they were going to get backlash from someone and they were going to be imposing on someone’s values and wishes. In this specific situation I think that the board made the correct choice. All teachers have the right to academic freedom in their classrooms. “Academic freedom refers to the teacher’s freedom to choose subject matter and instructional materials relevant to the the course without interference from administrators or outsiders” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 268). The schools also informed the parents what movies where going to be shown in the classroom. They sent home permission slips for the parents to sign stating if the parents and/or students were uncomfortable with the movie material they were allowed to complete another assignment without punishment or question from the school. One thing that I think the teachers could have done to strengthen their argument and further justify their use of the movies would have been to send home a written explanation justifying their use of the movies in the classroom. “Teachers should have a written rationale for the materials they select, explaining how they fit into the curriculum…” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 269). I think this situation may have been less of an issue if the parents had a full and complete understanding as to why those specific movies had been chosen, instead of say a PG-13 movie that parents see as more appropriate and they think could relay the same educational message. All in all I think the school board made the correct choice and the schools followed the correct steps to show the movies in their school. The school sent home permission slips and gave alternate assignments for students to complete if they were uncomfortable with the movies. Teachers should be allowed the teach with materials that they view will be effect and that they think will interest the students the most. No teacher wants to teach with materials that are over used or that they think are boring and no student wants to sit in a classroom and be bored! Students these days are so use to over overstimulation because they have cell phones, the internet, video games and many other devises that it can be hard to get them to focus so I can completely understand a teacher trying to find new ways to teach and engage their students and sometimes the materials they use not everyone is going to agree with. That is why it is wonderful to have academic freedom so that the teacher can be protected and given the chance to justify their teaching materials and lessons.

Sources:

1. Mannion, A. (2012, September 27). District 86 allows r-rated movies in classrooms. Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-27/news/ct-tl-hinsdale-d86-movie-talk-20120927_1_victor-casini-sign-permission-slips-movies

2. Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.).      Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.


07 Oct

1. Where does the money come from?
Surprisingly I had never really considered where the funding for schools came from until I decided to become a teacher. I went to a private school up until my college years so my parents paid a tuition fee because of this I never really thought about how public schools got funded. On a local level public schools get most of their money from local property taxes. “The property tax is the main source of revenue for local school districts, accounting for 77 percent of local funding nationwide” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 237). They also receive  funding from personal income tax, special taxes and user fees and also product rights (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 238). Schools are also starting to use exclusive product rights to help raise money for their school district. An example of exclusive product rights is when a “school signs an exclusive product contract with a soft drink company to allow that particular brand to be sold on school property in exchange for a set fee” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 239). I thought this was an interesting idea for schools to take advantage of. At the state level public schools receive funding from sales tax, other taxes: excise taxes, severance taxes and lotteries (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 238). From the federal level public schools receive funding from the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. Treasury “distributes funding to states primarily for designated purposes, such as reading improvement and special education. Current No Child Left Behind regulations require states for show adequate yearly progress in student achievement and provision of highly qualified teachers in every district” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 238). Many schools also use fundraising as a way to get more money for their school. Even though I want to ultimately work in a private school, which will most likely get most of it’s funding from tuition, any school can use exclusive product rights to help raise money and any school can come up with fundraising idea. I greatly look forward to working with my peers, students, and the school board to come up with creative fundraising ideas.

2. Why is there so much concern over funding public schools in the United States today?
There is concern over public funding because as a nation we want be sure the money is going to good use. We want to  make sure our students are getting an adequate education. Which is a bit hard to believe when a 2009 study found that the United Stated ranked 25th in math and 17th in science out of 34 countries (Zhao, 2012). People are worried that the money that is going to education isn’t being used properly making people even more concerned about giving education more money. With our country being in a recession people are even more concerned about their money and what their tax money is being used for. People want to see results and that’s hard to see when we have schools with leaking roofs, out of date tools and textbooks and low test scores.  Also, parents want to make sure that their children are getting an education that is going to make them a successful person in society someday. Many parents also become nervous that the money that is being used to fund schools isn’t being used properly. Parents begin to wonder if there is a better use for the money. They wonder why schools don’t have the necessary supplies or they become frustrated when books and other supplies are out of date.

3. Is the financial voice of a teacher (or other decision makers) always, often, or rarely the voice for children?
I like to believe that the financial voice of a teacher is mostly the financial voice for children. Teachers are aware of what students need on a daily basis in the classroom.
They also know what is needed to help improve the learning environment of the child. So I believe when a teacher brings up financial issues that are affecting their school they are thinking about what is best for their students. I think almost all people who go into the teaching profession are aware of the financial situation so when the bring up financial issues, and equipment that they need in their classroom they are doing it because they are looking for ways to improve their students’ learning experience and not bringing up the issues for their own personal gain.

4. Why are there different funding configurations among states?
There are many factors that add to the wealth of a state for example: the number of people living in the state, the concentration of people in a specific area and the annual yearly salary of the population. If you take two states and compare them based on their population the 2 states are going to have different funding configurations. A state such as California, which is the highest populated state in the nation, with a population of 36,756,666 people is going to have a very different funding configuration than the state of Wyoming which has a population of only 532,668 people (“Worldatlas.com,” 2012). These 2 states, because of their populations, are going to collect different amounts of money from their sales taxes and their personal income taxes; and it’s through these 2 taxes that states get 47 percent of their funding for public education (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 240). That alone shows a reason why states are going to have different funding configurations.

Sources:
I found this to be a really interesting and informative article as well. It shows where the United States stands in education as compared to the rest of the world.
1. Zhao, E. (2012, July 23). U.s. students still lag behind foreign peers, schools make little progress in improving achievement. . Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/us-students-still-lag-beh_n_1695516.html

2.Worldatlas.com. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/populations/usapops.htm

3. Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.).      Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

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