Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Social Justice: Sex Positivity, Feminism & Health Implications - Deirdre O'Donnell

On March 24th I attended Deirdre O'Donnells' social justice event on sex positivity, feminism and health implications. O'Donnell is a RIC graduate and is currently getting her masters at BU. During her presentation, I learned a lot about feminism and different things that I thought were true but turns out they are not. O'Donnell's presentation/research touches base on a lot of ideas of the authors we have read in class. While listening to her talk, August popped into my head because a lot of what she was saying was how people of the LGBTQ community do not have the equal rights they deserve. August expresses the need for people to come to an understanding of the LGBTQ community, their needs, and how they deserve to feel safe just like everybody else. Grinners M from SCWAAMP comes into play in O'Donnell's work because she talked about how all females are presented as pieces of meat compared to males.

Deirdre O'Donnells' presentation really opened my eyes to the world we live in as females versus males. I really enjoyed what she had to say and all the research she has done has not gone unnoticed. I'm glad that she made it interesting and how nobody felt uncomfortable at some of the topics.


Monday, April 11, 2016



While reading Citizenship in Schooling: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome, it made me realize why I want to become a special education teacher. I do not want my students to have to feel the way Mia felt during the classes she took. The students who are classified as "disabled students" should be able to interact with others and not just the people in their classes/teachers but also the entire school. They should not feel as though they are different or left out. 

In one section of Kliewer's work, he talks about the elements of citizenship. This reminded me of my high school where we had multiple programs where students got to work, help and create friendships with students with different intellectual disabilities; peer pals (spending a class period in a special education classroom helping), best buddies and project unified. These three programs allowed for the entire school and town to come together and get to know these students unlike before. I believe these programs are important just like Kliewer stated: "it establishes the equal worth of all schoolchildren, a sense that we all benefit from each other, and the fundamental right of every student to belong" (Kliewer, 79).

I believe that this connects to August because those that do have learning disabilities deserve the same chance as anybody else to be socialized like any other person would be. They deserve a "safe place" where they can be themselves and accepted for that. 

Points to Share:
I enjoyed this reading because I feel very strongly about accepting those with down syndrome. Nothing bothers me more than those who are disrespectful towards those with down syndrome or any other disability. I am lucky enough to have been able to spend time with kids who do have down syndrome and other disabilities thanks to the different organizations at my school that allowed me to be a part of. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

This American Life Episodes, Herbert Article & Brown vs. Board of Education

Extended Comments

This week I decided to use Carlene's blog for my extended comments. She chose to argue the authors points in her blog. Carlene did an awesome job of connecting Herbert to the reporters of This American Life, The Problem We All Live With. In her blog, Carlene discussed the key facts for each. For example, for the first radio episode, she talked about how a Missouri school district did not care about integrating schools. Because of this, there was an achievement gap because, like Carlene stated, they would not integrate, allowing for the gap to remain open. I agree with her when she says that the students in Missouri deserve an equal, fair education just like anybody else. When Carlene discusses the Herbert article, she identifies a really important quote: "Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discriminations, economic disparities and long held custom, they most emphatically are in reality". This is important because Herbert is speaking the words just like Johnson tells us to do. By admitting the issue first is how the problem could eventually be solved. It is true that just because schools are integrated, does not mean that certain things still aren't segregated. Carlene also connected the readings to Kristof. She mentions that "some kids are stuck in a place where they see no room for improvement". This is an important connection because with there still being a type of segregation around the country, these students living in these environments that are not allowing them to succeed in life because of what they are being held back from.
I really liked Carlene's post (like always!) because she did a really great job of explaining this week's reading and putting her own thoughts into it. Her blog definitely helps for a better understanding of the readings. 

Points to Share:
It is important that everybody is treated equally. Reading this article and hearing these radio episodes were important because they show that people still aren't treated equally.

Monday, March 14, 2016

In the Service of What? - Kahne and Westheimer


Service learning is an important experience for all ages. Service learning allows people to experience other ways that people live and teaches them that there are other people out there that are going through hard times and need some support. In Khane and Westheimer's piece, they give examples of two different types of service learning where one is hands on while the other is through interviews, documentaries, and legal paperwork. Service learning provides people with skills like analyzing certain situations handed to them. Some may say that having one on one experience with service learning is a better approach because the volunteers are actually witnessing first hand rather than reading and imagining these situations. Of course, like in Khane and Westheimer's piece, Ms. Adams seventh grade class is using all resourceful information and they are still learning about the same difficulties that the homeless face, just like Mr. Johnson's class. It is important that all students experience opportunities, like August states, and service learning is an opportunity that people don't forget because of the impact it has on those they are helping. 

Points to Share:
I personally believe that everybody should do some form of service learning while in school. Service learning is a great opportunity to experience new things while helping others. It also allows for somebody to see the world we live in differently.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Safe Places - August


1. "Refusing to talk about LGBT issues or showing discomfort issues when LGBT topics arise are nonverbal messages that tell youth that being LGBT is abnormal or wrong" (p. 1)
This quote is important because there are people that refuse to acknowledge the LGBT community. Those who refuse to acknowledge the community are older generations meaning that the younger generations look up to these people and seeing them being rude or acting like there is something wrong with the LGBT community, teaches them it is wrong. 

2. "Teachers around our nation narrate stories about single-parents... The idea is that tolerance will grow as students gain appreciation for difference... So far, so good - until the family is two moms and their children... they are invisible" (p. 85)
In order for today's generation, along with future generations, to be more active and acceptable of the LGBT community, we must teach from the start that same sex marriage is normal. 

3. "... instructors committed to inclusion find ways to bring the voices of the LGBT community into their curriculum... when a chorus of these voices are heard across our college campuses, anti-LGBT violence will cease" (p. 94)
Society today must identify the violence to the LGBT community and put an end to it. It must be stopped because it is wrong to be violent towards people who are doing nothing wrong and are just trying to live their lives.

Points to Share:
In all three quotes, they are connected to Alan Johnson because he talks about how we must speak the words to solve the problem. As a society today, we must talk about things and we must teach the younger people how to be more accepting and that there is no right and wrong way to live your life.