Mrs. Purple

Mrs. Purple

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Accepting the truth in Amazing Grace

Its been months since I read Amazing Grace in FNED 346. But during that period of time, I've had the time to think about what I read about the neighborhood I grew up in. When I wrote my first response on Amazing Grace, I felt embarrassed and offended about what I read. Here I am in a classroom where I would be discussing the community I grew up in all my life....among a predominately white middle class group of students. How was I suppose to feel? But the truth is that in 1991, I was only four years old. I can't remember the conditions I lived during that time. But according to my parents, we lived in horrible conditions, It was always cold in our apartment and in order to warm up our home, my mother warmed up water on the stove. As bad as it may seem to be neighbors with drug dealers, they were harmless and only wanted to pay bills, just like anyone else. In fact, we got along well and were neighbors for more than ten years. I will never knock anyone's hustle, everyone is just trying to put food on the table and clothes on their backs. On the behalf of the South Bronx community and my family who Johnathan Kozol has helped tremendously... I just want to say facts, are facts whether I like it or not. But from 1991 to 2008, there have been lots of changes in the South Bronx. Housing has improved somewhat but the hustle and violence due to poverty still remains.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My Final Thoughts

This was truly and amazing class. It has opened my mind to new ideas and the importance of diversity. I am not the same person who entered FNED 346. I have improved as a person and as a future educator. I learned new ideas and spoke about things I thought I would never be comfortable speaking about, considering our circumstances(being in a majority white class room.) This class was important to me because I was able to learn about others and their thoughts on racial and other issues which affect us on a daily basis. As ignorant as it may sound, I needed the reassurance that not every Caucasian was racist, self centered and careless about the existing racism in our society. One thing that will remain with me forever is the film on blue and brown eyes. I honestly think that everyone attending college or who will go into a profession where they will have to work with a diverse group...should do that project. It would give everyone a chance to experience racism in their own way. This year I lived on campus and had 2 racist suite mates who called me a nigger and my roommate spic. When we saw the film on blue and brown eyes... I thought of those two ignorant nurse majors. Who I feel sorry for because they will be responsible for the lives of many people who may not be white. If there was a project like this on campus, it would make a huge difference. I used to think that African Americans needed equality, but now I understand the importance of equity. But the only way we will have equity on this planet, is if reparations are given to the families of those who were slaves. Even though slavery occurred long ago, if slavery did not occur, maybe we would all be seen as equals. And maybe.... just maybe African Americans would not be seen as inferior.

Service Learning

I loved the kids! They were great...and I could not think of just leaving after my 9th visit. So I'll still be going there until Christmas break...or until they kick me I just love it there and I refuse to be another face who enters and leaves. The teacher is awesome and Guatemalan...we'll her kids are Guatemalan at least and she's very familiar with my parent's hometown. The kids are very smart and love art. They bought smiles to my face all the time. Next week they're having a party and I have no idea what I'll be buying for them. But I am looking forward to seeing all those wonderful smiles that will definitely brighten up my day : )

I think I'm done running my mouth for that last time : ]
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What Can We Do- Allan Johnson

What Can We Do by Allan Johnson is about...







Allan Johnson argues that there are challenges that need to be faced in order to change the pattern of priveldge, exclusion, rejection, discrimination, harassment and violence. In order to change the pattern of priveldge and etc, you must think of the troubles and find new ways to challenge them.


1. " The greast barrier to change is that dominant groups, as we've discussed, don't see the trouble as their rouble, which means they don't feel obliged to do something about it. This happens for a variety of reasons- because they don't know the trouble that exist in the first place[...]"(page 127.)

2. " Seek out alternatives to systems of priveldge, we have to move from social life organized around priveldge and oppression and move toward the certanitiy that alternatives are possible, even though we may not have a clear idea of what those are or ever experience them"(132.)

3." Most cultures of priveldge mask the reality of oppression by denying its existence, trivializing it, calling it something else, blaming it on those most victimized by it or diverting attention from it"(137.)

Questions/Points to share/ Comments

This artcle is very intresting...but very long. I'm very this is the final blog! But must say that I look forward to using blogs one day in my class room. I do believe that if everyone challenged the system of priveldge, the system can be changed. But the victims who are most affected by priveldge can not do it alone, it takes an entire society regardless of race to cause change. I don't think the system of priveldge will change anytime soon. Everyone is so focused on acting like the system of priveldge does not exist...or worried about their own lives. But one day... I hope it will change....maybe starting with the next generation...but on realistic Charles Lawerence, theres always another river to cross.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

School Girls- Peggy Orenstien

School Girls is about...
  • Hidden curriculum
  • Male dominance in eduacation
  • Gender equality
  • Teaching methods
  • Inclusive education
  • Girls vs. Boys


Peggy Orenstein argues that a gender fair curricula must be established in all subjects and all traditional assumptions on how students should learn should be reexamined. By creating a gender fair curricula, retaining a girls self esteem will be alot easier, even though there isn't a formula that can do this.


1. " This is a classroom that's gone through the gender looking glass. It is the mirror opposite of most classrooms that girls will enter, which are adorned with masculine role models, with male heroes, with books by and about men"(4.)

2. "Curriculum should be both a window and a mirror for students , that they should be able to look into other's worlds, but also see the experiences of their own race, gender, and class reflected in what they learn"(5.)

3. " McIntosh had developed a five phase curricular model based on the changes she'd seen educators go through when trying to teach inclusively"(15.)

4. " Feminist teaching isnot about allowing a win/ lose situation to develop between boys and girls"(16.)

Points to share, Questions and Comments

I never realized how male dominated curriculum's can be. But in class we did see how changes in women and men bodies are expressed. In a short paragraph about menastration, it was expressed very negatively. While men's semen was expressed positively and seemed more cherished. This was the first time I realized how male dominance affect the way we portray ourselves and how we feel about ourselves as women. I did realized in my history class in high school and in college that women were only taught as a way to show the roles they played in the lives of men. Such as being housewives, mothers and women struggles to becoming more than just a wife and mother. We never learned more than that,women weren't as important as men and how they affected history.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Schooling Children with Down Syndrome- Christopher Kliewer

Schooling Children with Down Syndrome is about...

Equality Education

Down Syndrome



Disability vs. Ability





Christopher Kliewer argues that acknowledging students with down syndorme as thoughtful, creative, and intrested learners with personal identities that distinguish them from all other people suggest an individual value that enhances any context containing the child. In classrooms that recognize all children as citizens, teachers and peers have rejected the image of community burden attached to down syndrome.


1. Now that we know that people with disablities can learn and have a full, rich life. The challenge is to erase negative attitudes about people with developmental disabilities, get rid of the stereotypes and break the barriers for people with diabilities.(Kingsley, 1996 p.6)

2. " Culture of segregation surroundng people with diabilities actually teaches underdevelopment of thinking through the isolation of children from socillay valued opportunites. [...] Altering the culture of disability requires that a child be recognized as an active learner, a thinker, and a problem solver"(83.)

3. "School citizenship requires that students not be categorized and seperated based on presumed defect"(85.)

Points to share/ Questions/ Comment

This article made me think of how disabled people are viewed in society and how I viewed the disabled. Reading this article made me realized that disabled people regardless of thier disability are capable of learning. During my volunteering at Pleasant View Elementary School, I am working with bilingual students but there are a few students who I mentally challenged. It is very difficult working with them because you must use two different methods of teaching when you are working with a mix of mentally challenge children and "normal" or average students. I don't think theres really a such thing as normal...but average students who can learn at the same capacity. To me... it seems unfair to mix them up because you hold students back from learning. But down syndrome children may be different, just because they look different doesn't mean they are incapable of learning with the average child. I do not know exactly how down syndrome can affect learning or intelligence but regardless of the matter, all children have different methods of learning. They should be taught accordingly. If down syndrome does affect their learning...than maybe it is best that they are taught seperatly.But if a teacher notices that this child is capable of learning more, than maybe they should be switched to an average class. I don't think segregation is good at all, but their learning should be based on their skills, capacity to learn and their intelligence.

Friday, November 9, 2007

One More River to Cross- Charles Lawrence

One More River to Cross is about....
  • Failure
  • Success
  • Racial segregation
  • Inferiority
  • Superiority
  • White vs. black
  • School systems
  • Desegregation
  • Power
  • Remedies


Charles Lawrence argues that the Brown decision created a form of thinking about segregation that has allowed society and the judiciary to deny the reality of race in America Recognizing that segregation existed is an important remedy judically and politically.


1. " Once the system is established, any attempt to distinguish "active" govermental involvement in racial segregation from "passive" or nuetral tolerance of private segregation is illusionary"(286).

2. "Blacks are told we have no right to an end to the institution of segregation, and in bith cases we are told that this is so because the injury we claim is figment of our imagination"(292)

3. "The oppressor's understanding of his oppression is limited by self intrest, and ultimately we must find ways to make our oppression operate against the self intrest of thos in power"(293).

Points to share/ Comments/ Questions

The Brown vs. Board of Education case was a turning point in education and has affected the lives of everyone since. I found it very intresting that black schools during segregation in the South was superior to the white schools. I always thought it was the opposite, especaily since it was a time of racism and blacks were seen as inferior within the society. But in reality segregation continues to exist in our society based on race and wealth. When I was living in the South Bronx the people living in that neighborhood were hispanics and blacks and seeing whites in our community was rare unless they were from a phone, cable or housing company. Asians lived in our neighborhood but ran the chinese restuarant. Like Jonathan Kozol said i n Amazing Grace 86 street was the last stop on the train for whites or maybe even 125th. When I moved to Rhode Barrington the town is surrounded by whites and I don't even know another colored or hispanic family within my community. The members of my church are all white and my family is the only Guatemalans/ blacks in this church. We are not treated differently from the others at the church but the difference is there and blaintly obvious to anyone who isn't blind. Segreation in the Unites States is illegal now... but is all around us and has affected my life regardless of whether Brown vs. Board of Ed led to desegregation. We as a people have a long way to go before we can be desegregated in housing, employment and education. Diversity is supposed to be important but our society is still segregated. Will this ever change within future generations?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tracking: Why Schools Need to Take Another Route- By Jeannie Oakes

Tracking: Why Schools Need to Take Another Route is about...

  • Tracking

  • Education

  • Differences

  • Low ability classes

  • High ability classes

  • Teaching methods

  • Changes

  • Achievement

  • Lack of achievement


Jeannie Oaks argues that tracking leads to differences in learning experiences that students have at schools and tracking benefits high ability students but does not benefit others. Alternative strategies are also offered even though it wouldn't be easy to implement.


1. "High ability English classes were more likely to be taught classic and modern literature, provided instruction in expository writing and library research, and expected to learn voacabulary that would eventually boost their scores on college exams"(178).


"Low ability classes were likely to have little contact with the knowledge skills that would allow them to make it into high classes or to successful if they go there"(178).

2." In low ability classes. for example, teachers seem to be less encouraging and more punitive, placing more emphasis on discipline and behavior and less on academic learning. Compared to teachers in high ability classes, they seem to be more concerned about getting students to follow directions, be on time, and sit quietly"(179).

3. " The quality of classes for average students usually falls somewhere between the high and low class extremes"(179).

Points to share/ Questions or Comments

This article is very intresting. As I read this article I thought about honor classes as high ability classes. I also thoughr about regular classes as low ability classes, especially in public schools. It is very intresting to know how tracking affects students. Another comparison I made was Public schools vs. Private schools because since children are paying for their education in private schools, they may benefit as a high ability school while public schools may be more focused on state wide exams and be considered a low ability school.