Monday, October 28, 2013

In the Service of What?

First off, I would just like to build on what Kahne and Westheimer say about service learning. In the introduction of this passage, they talk about how service learning can "improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing rich educational experiences for students at all levels of schooling". I definitely agree with them on this one. As we all know, our whole class is involved in a service learning project this semester. I believe it is a good thing because it helps us learn in different ways than we normally would inside the classroom. It's more of a hands on/experience based learning; this kind of learning can not be achieved in a classroom. It shows us first hand what it will be like to be a teacher. Even though we are not officially the 'head of the classroom', it still gives us a pretty good feel as to what exactly it is like. Also, as the authors say, it does improve the community. It gives us student who are actually doing the service learning an insight as to what our community is like. I believe all of us are doing this project in Providence Public Schools, and many of us did not come from schools like these. As we know, RIC is in Providence, and for people like me it is a different community than what we grew up in. Being in the public schools of Providence really gives me an understanding as to what this areas community is like. On top of that, I also look at it as us helping the community. As we are learning and building our skills, we are also helping out the teachers as well as the students. When we are in the classroom, our knowledge helps the overall status of the classroom. It is always good to have more than one educator in a classroom, because I feel like the kids will learn more. One teacher can not help 25 students all at once, so our presence in the classroom not only helps the teacher out but helps the students out as well. They now have that extra person to go to for help. At the same time, the students get very happy when we come in. I feel as if they get so excited and look forward to seeing us every week, and them being happy is always a plus.

Monday, October 21, 2013

5 Reasons

In this weeks reading, we read about Kohn's 5 reasons as to why people should stop saying "Good job!" to kids and praising them. One good reason I would like to point out if the second reason he talked about, which was 'Creating Praise Junkies". Obviously, we all want to praise children and reward them for every task they do because it makes them happy and who doesn't like making children happy? But, he makes a great point. Praising children too much will cause them to only rely on our decisions and our opinions, as Kohl says. It takes away from their ability to evaluate their work themselves, and learn from their own judgement. Don't get me wrong, I do think everyone should compliment kids and reward them because it does boost their confidence, but as Kohn says, it should not be done as much as some people do it. It may even go into their adulthood. If they are praised too much as kids, then they may need that same 'pat on the back' as adults in order to be motivated and successful. Attached below is a photo of Alfie Kohn, and you can learn more about him here

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Response to August

I do not mean to sound too off-topic with this post, but I would like to relate this to something that I actually personally experienced myself. In this post, August talks about the suicide of Justin Aaberg; he was bullied because of his sexual orientation and, because of that, killed himself. I have a younger sister (who is a senior in high school now) who has played softball her whole life. She always plays for her high school, but during her summers she plays on an all-star travel team. She has been on the same all-star travel team for about 9 years now, so she knows all of her team mates very well. Her travel team has generally consisted of the same girls since she first started. Anyways, one girl on that team just recently openly admitted she was a lesbian. It was always assumed by the team, but it was never official. My sister has always been close friends with this specific girl since they have been on the same team for so long. It was just about a year ago this girl "came out". Maybe a month or so before she was comfortable to admit it, she was being bullied by people in her school about being a lesbian. It was just assumed because of how she dressed and acted. She always dressed up in boyish clothes and never really acted like a "girly girl". One day, these two girls bullied her so bad about being a lesbian that she actually went home that day and tried to kill herself. She tried overdosing on her prescription of Adderol. Luckily, her parents called emergency services in time and she survived, but it was a close one. Bullying is a serious problem in schools in todays society no matter what the reason is for it. One of the main reasons of bullying, sadly, is kids being gay or lesbian. As wrong as it sounds, it is still an issue.