Monday, April 21, 2008

Thinking Piece #10: Johnson Reading

Allan G. Johnson, Ph. D.: Privilege, Power, and Difference


• Trouble
• Change
• Power
• Difference
• Challenges
• Race
• Class
• Sex
• Limits
• Solutions
• Individuality
• Oppression
• Being Heard
• Change
• Opportunities


Johnson argues that we as Americans need to realize that with our powers and privileges we can finally create the many changes that our society needs. We need to also be aware that if we believe in a particular change/event we need to stick by it and support it, because one voice can still make the difference.


1. “Their silence and invisibility allow privilege and oppression to continue. Removing what silences them and stands in their way can tap an enormous potential of energy for change” (125). This is Johnson proving that if just one person “taps on the glass” it is just the start of something that many others will begin to see. Just one voice, one tap, can make the biggest change.

2. “A society isn’t some hulking thing that sits there forever as it is” (129). Johnson is stating that we sometimes forget that we can create change. When earth was first created it was not said that it had to stay that way forever. We need to continue changing our society; we need to make the changes!

3. “People often like to think of themselves as individuals—especially in the United States. But it is amazing how much of the time we compare ourselves to other people as a way to see how well we fit in” (144). This is an example where Johnson is stating, that we (Americans) are so afraid of enforcing changes but when we look around and see that everyone is different we begin to compare ourselves. We begin to wonder, what is the correct way of looking? And the answer is, there is no correct way, everyone is different, everyone brings differences to our society, just as we should look at the future changes.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:

This article was by far my favorite article. I believe in everything that Johnson is trying to say, we need to “tap the glass”, accept change, and realize that one person can make a difference. He used many great examples and really summed up everything we have learned during this semester in FNED. As I looked at Tiffany’s profile before I wrote this I really liked her comic strip. I really felt it had to do with exactly what Johnson was saying. So just as I went looking for one I saw this one (above) and I liked it because it reminded me of the activity we did (I cannot remember what reading it was for) where we couldn’t talk and each wrote our ideas about that one topic that was on the top of the page.

As I read this, however, I was unsure of what the “tin cup” approach and the “business case” arguments were. From the text it seemed like it was written about in the previous chapters of his book but I was just unsure. Does anyone know?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Today's Class

Today's class deffinitley helped out my group with our presentation. We used our time wisely and got most of it done :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thinking Piece #9:Orenstein Reading

Peggy Orenstein: School Girls


• Silence
• Gender
• Schooling
• Equality
• School
• Teachers
• Society
• Communities
• Inequalities
• Racism
• Sexist
• Differences
• Fairness
• Disadvantages
• Adolescence
• Data
• Struggles


Orenstein argues that there are silent and hidden curriculums when it comes to teaching a co ed classroom. Girls are hidden and rarely mentioned in any type of text books, media, etc. and the men always seem to be imaged as superior. This causes our women of our society to grow up with a lower self-esteem that is always presented silently.


1. "I usually find that boys only resist studying women when they're presented as 'lesser,’ She says.’and if they're presented 'lesser' girls don't want to study women either"(16). People (especially teachers) do not know how important it is to teach ALL of their children/students that both men and women have equal opportunities and strengths. Orenstein states that in today's society women are always given the 'lesser' roles, therefore, causing student’s to never want to exemplify them, rather than being able to play a big, macho, lead role that of course belongs to the males.

2. "Sexual harassment is part of the hidden curriculum for girls, and for boys, too, because they learn whether it has anything to do with them or not"(25). While most teachers today are still hiding the ides that in their everyday lessons and text books there are many sexual harassment examples for both males and females. Orenstein proves that if all teachers not only read and point out the different ways each curriculum involves a certain type of sexual harassment then each student (male or female) will be able to recognize if it is similar to something they have experienced or not. This way children are able to understand the truth behind all types of sexual harassment because they are finally able to compare it to everyday life experiences.

3. "They're trying not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, trying not to dress a certain way. They learn to become silent, careful, not active or assertive in life. That's what the hidden curriculum teaches girls'"(25) Orenstein proves her argument by stating that even though Ms. Logan taught her students that every student, male or female, might have experienced some form of sexual harassment. But all of the girls stayed quiet, they acted like society has intended, they were conservative and of course silent.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:

This article was a great read, it kept me interested all the way through. As I read I realized that every point the Orenstein presented about how girls are always portrayed as a 'lesser' role, I realized it is 100% true. I never once thought of how our important texts books, media, est. are always exemplifying men and their masculine achievements, but there always has been many women who have also made many great life changing achievements such as, Susanne B. Anthony, Alice Paul, and even Amelia Earhart, but no one really talks about them because in today's society because women are supposed to remain silent.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thinking Piece #8: Wise Reading

Tim Wise:Whites Swim in Racial Preference


• Color
• Action
• Pride
• Advantages
• Whites
• Blacks
• Differences
• Privilege
• Treatment

Authors Argument:

Tim Wise argues that because of “racial preference” whites never truly realize/realized how privileged they are in our society. It is up to the whites to finally realize that they are privileged and finally act upon it so that everyone is finally truly treated equal.


1. “While many whites seem to think the notion originated with affirmative action programs, intended to expand opportunities for historically marginalized people of color, racial preference how actually had a long and very white history” (1) Wise is stating that whites always seem to believe that they are among many other colors whom are privileged, when in fact it is proven that through out history those whom live privileged lives are whites.

2. “White families , on average, have a net worth that is 11 times the net worth of black families, according to a recent study; and this gap remains substantial even when only comparing families of like size, composition, education, and income status” (1) This is one of many ways Wise proves that statistics prove that whites are privileged. Even though two families are similar when it comes to their income, education, and family size, the white family is still making more net worth just because of their skin color.

3. “So long as those privileges remain firmly in place and the preferential treatment that flows from those privileges continues to work to the benefit of whites, all talk of ending affirmative action is not only premature but a slap in the face to those who have fought, and died , for equal opportunity” (3). Wise strongly states that since whites still do not see how they are living a privileged life it is slapping all the faces of all of our great historians that were of color that have fought for equal rights. It needs to be recognized and prevented!

Questions/ Comment/Points to Share:

This article was very eye opening and an easy read. I really enjoyed how Wise included a lot of true data to help get his point across without including too much of it. It just made me think of our discussion in last Thursdays class when Matt pointed out that we are privileged as whites but when it comes to colleges and SAT type of materials minorities seem to benefit. This article was a great read!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Thinking Piece #7: Lawrence Reading

Charles Lawrence: “One more River to Cross”—Recognizing the Real Injury in Brown: A Prerequisite to shaping New Remedies


• Supreme Court
• Recognize
• Segregation
• Race
• Blacks
• Struggle
• Difference
• Life Expectancy
• Mistaken
• Misunderstood
• Law

Authors Argument:

Charles Lawrence argues that, “Supreme Court’s reasoning in striking down an interdistrict desegregation order in Detroit was flawed in that it misunderstood the true nature of the institution of segregation” (0053). Meaning that the Supreme Court’s order completely missed the real meaning of segregation acts that are still taking place in today’s society.


1.“Segregated housing and zoning practices are equally effective means of labeling blacks as inferior” (0056). This quote proves that Lawrence was using how just by separating the blacks from the other people of color is still labeling blacks. It does not matter if they are being separated due to the house they live in or the region they grew up in, they are still segregated.

2.“…The Supreme Court’s distinction between Northern and Southern cases of desegregation is not really a matter of state action at all: it is simply a matter of timing” (0057).Lawrence is proving that no mater how the court’s explain themselves on their segregated actions they seem to always blame it on the cases desegregation (unification) when all it has to do with the states timing.

3.“This means that it is not only appropriate but necessary for courts to look beyond the school system both to determine whether black school children’s constitutional right to equal education has been violated and in formulating remedies to address those violations” (0059). Lawrence once again brings up an important method that will be very useful for the court’s to grasp the full understanding of the way blacks are segregated. This method in particular proves that if a child is talked to outside of his/her school surrounding then the court’s will truly observe that black children’s constitutional rights and equal education is not equal at all.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:

As you all probably realized this article was VERY hard to read. I am not sure I fully understood all of his points but I did however keep reading a rereading all of his material and got what ever I could out of it. It involved many different cases and lawyer terms that I am not familiar with, therefore, I felt as though I really did not connect with Lawrence’s article as much as I wanted.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thinking Piece #6: Oakes Reading

Jeanine Oakes: Tracking: Why Schools Need to Take another Route


• Parents
• Teachers
• Students
• Tracking
• Grouping
• Strategies
• Different
• Normal
• Knowledge
• Consequences
• Ability
• Mission
• Accomplish

Authors Argument:

Jeanine Oakes argues that educators and parents need to come together, compromise, and take action when it comes to being able to help make every child, no matter what their ability range is, understand and be provided with all of the material that is needed to succeed in their future classrooms.


1.“Alternate strategies, while not simple to implement, promise to help schools reach their goal of providing high-quality, relevant education to all students” (178). According to Oakes quote she is stating that students that have strategies and appropriate materials are gaining a “relevant education”. However, she also states that all of these strategies and materials are only going to those students who are at a higher advantage than other, what about the rest?

2.“First, lessons will probably be most successful if they require active learning tasks rather than passive ones, have students working together rather than alone.” (180). Oakes is proving that although many teachers might be scared to teach in a different way, there are many techniques they can use to help ALL of their students understand. And this is only the first technique!

3.“Second, learning tasks are probably most helpful when they are full of complications and when they require multiple abilities…” (180). Oakes also suggests that using some lessons that pull together more than one skill gives the students a better grasp of not only the required material but when the appropriate time to use it will be.

4.“Third, learning tasks will suit most students if they are modeled on complex and challenging “real world” problem solving” (180). The last technique Oakes points out is a very important one. She explains to teachers that whenever teaching a lesson do not be afraid to go big, introduce and prepare children to the real world. It’s never too early!

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:

This week the reading was definitely easier that last weeks. This article really affected me when I realized that some teachers and parents actually have a problem with new material. If something is thrown at me (especially something that will help my students) I will not be afraid to try it. I, personally would want to be able to pass all of my knowledge down to my students and if there is ever a way to make that more successful then I probably will be the first one to use it. Wouldn’t you?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thinking Piece #5: Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer Reading

Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer: In the Service of What? The Politics of Service Learning


• Community
• Learning experience
• Educators
• Legislators
• Politics
• Community service
• Controversial issues
• Engage
• Help
• Opportunities
• Encourage
• Teachers
• Students
• Volunteerism
• Compassion
• Participation
• Support
• Choices

Author’s Argument:

Kahne and Westheimer argues that today in America there are various ways in which children can actually gain satisfaction by wanting to take part in their community service requirements.


1. “In addition to helping those they serve, such service learning activities seek to promote students’ self-esteem, to develop higher-order thinking skills, to make use of multiple abilities, and to provide authentic learning experiences—all goals of current curriculum reform efforts” (2). Kahne and Westheimer explain that while students are helping those in need they are also helping themselves. The students might be required to complete their community service but it is something that will open their eyes and realize how good they may have it.

2. “Service learning can advance other priorities, such as the acquisition of vocational skills” (6). Again, as the students realize how fortunate they are they begin to care more about what surrounds them, which then causes them to gain and act upon more professional/mature skills.

3. “They [school administrators] were ’surprised at the children’s responsiveness and their attentiveness,’ they found the children to be ‘extremely polite and surprisingly friendly,’ and they discovered that they ‘listened well and had excellent behavior’” (9). This just proves my assumption on what Kahne and Westheimer were trying to prove. Teachers and administrators are actually becoming shocked with the outcome of their student’s actions and new changes.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:

While reading Kahne and Westheimer’s article I found my mind continuously wonder. However, I do feel that this article had some very good examples and criteria to help back up their arguments but I still felt like it was repetitive. I was very astounded by the student’s overall improvement in each teachers challenge. I also felt that the teachers and administrators in the article were strong by consistently encouraging these students to help out that in need, but I still feel as though Kahne and Westheimer were weak when it came to not repeating the same facts over and over. Am I alone in this opinion?