Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rethinking Thanksgiving

Some food for thought as you spend time in your SL placement this week... and perhaps helpful if you want to spark controversial dialogue at your family Thanksgiving table!!

This is a great article abut how to teach about Thanksgiving with social justice in mind. Rethinking Thanksgiving from Rethinking Schools.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Promising Practice Write Up

So great to see so many of you this morning! Hope you enjoyed the conference day!!

In the syllabus it explains that you have to attend some kind of social justice event this semester and write it up as an assignment on your blog (10% of your course grade). I know most of you attended the PP conference this morning. You need to create a blog post (due Th, Nov. 17 by midnight) that meets the following three criteria:

1) Describe the event(s) in detail. Teach the rest of us about what you learned at the session you attended, the Promising Partnership Expo, the Teen Empowerment plenary and the Youth Panel. Your post should be no fewer than 750 word but may be much longer if needed.

2) Make connections to three course readings and themes to help you analyze the events. What does this event have to do with everything we have been talking about in FNED 346?

3) Include pictures and links to at least three external web resources to help explain the meaning of this event.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Other SL Project Content Ideas

Some of you have interesting stories about rewards programs that you want to analyze in your projects. You could use Alfie Kohn to help you with that analysis. Check out this article or this one to use as a resource.

If you are interested in analyzing gender in your classroom, you can draw on our conversation the week of Nov. 1, including any of the articles you found online for your blogs. Also, check out any of the resources at AAUW.org (research).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Brown V. Board Images

Videos about Kenneth Clark's Doll Study

Obama's Speech on Race: A More Perfect Union

On Being an Ally

Stephen Colbert (Racism 2.0)

Dave Chappell on the Importance of Talking about Race

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Technology Resources for your SL Projects

As you start planning for your final SL project, you will need to think about what kind of digital project you want to create. I would like to encourage you to stretch beyond the powerpoint to pick a different tool to use as you present your findings to the class. Be creative -- use smart phones, video, presentation software, wikis, wordpress, facebook, flickr, twitter or anything else you want to play with...

This LIVEBINDER (created by my colleague, Dr. Josh Stenger at Wheaton College) is filled with technology tools that can help you in your presentation. (The PRESENTATIONS tab could be particularly helpful.) Over the next few weeks, play around with this resource to see if any of the tools would help you tell the story of theory and practice.

I also have flipcameras that you can check out if you want to make a video of some kind. Or feel free to use your cell phone if you prefer.

Have fun with this!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Response to your letters....

Hi folks,

I just finished reading all of your letters. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with me. These letters helps me get a better idea of what is working and what is not working on our classroom. Here are some things that I learned from you.

First, most of you are reporting a generally positive experience in this course. Some of you are having a FABULOUS experience here and report that this class is unlike any you have ever taken given how we sit, talk, blog and connect to one another. I am so glad that you feel like you are valued here, but also sad that you have not had other classroom experiences — in K-12 or college — where you got to share your voices in this way.

One of the major issues that came up across your letters was COMFORT. Many of you used that word. The circle is seems to work for you. As one person said, I feel connected because of the circle, and because of the blog which forces me to now everyone’s voice better. A few of you commented on nametags: at first I thought it was childish but now I like being able to call everyone by name here. It also helps to know who is who when reading the blogs!

Here are some other issues that seemed consistent across your letters:


While many of you said you don’t know how anyone would get by without reading in this class (“I would be LOST in class if I didn’t read!”), others of you said that you don’t really read. “I don’t read, I just skim.” Someone else said, “Honestly, the articles are all pretty boring except one or two…” But one person reported, “A few times I haven’t read the reading all the way and I was so lost in the discussion…” One person said that they could get by with a skim but then would not feel comfortable speaking the next day… still someone else said the same thing followed by “…but I know I do not have to take notes because there are no exam, test, or quizzes.” This does make me wonder if there is not enough reading accountability built into the syllabus. While many, many of you talked about the benefits of not having a midterm or final, I do worry that without them you will not feel accountable. I know that those of you who do read feel challenge (“readings are hard!”) but also that you are learning to be a better thinker if you engage deeply in the texts.

Texts you Remember:


Beauty and the Beast


GLSEN website

Card game

Alfie Kohn chart


Detailed syllabus is intimidating at first, but it really helps. One of you said you read it three times every week. A few more remarked that you appreciate that we actually stick to the dates and deadlines.


There was mixed feeling about the blogging we do. Some of you hate the technology of it because Blogger is confusing and difficult to manipulate. A few of you said that you don’t like the blog at all and wish you could just turn in papers. Several fo you talked about having to comment on others blogs: “Too many comments!!” They feel pointless to you. But I think that I need to find some way to teach you how to use the blogs better. You are right that the comments aren’t being used well. But I want o find a way to help you use them better so that you are learning more from each other each week. In spite of these frustrations, a few of you agreed that blogs are a great tool to use with future students someday. “Blogging really helps me feel prepared for class, boosts my confidence to speak.” Good or bad, almost 75% of you said that you hate the Sunday night deadline. I will talk more about this in class.

Service Learning:

Only a small handful of you even mentioned the SL project, but those who did seemed to be having a positive experience connecting the VIPS tutoring to our class themes.

Overall, many of you said that this class is helping you think about what kind of teacher you want to be. And further that you like our little community. “I will be sad when this class is over” One person noted, “I feel more comfortable addressing issues that before I once was afraid to talk about…” and another said, “I am learning acceptance…”

Specific Suggestions:

Have us move seats around every so often

Put the syllabus up on the blog

Change up the way we make groups for variation

“Seriously, this Sunday by midnight garbage needs to be eliminated or at least justified…”

We should be able to make our own groups sometimes…

Talk about religion as a cultural category

We can talk more about all of this in class!

LB :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Readings" for this week...

The readings for this week are not exactly readings, but things to check out online. This week marks a shift in the syllabus. Up until this point, we have been reading about broad theories about diversity and difference including the Culture of Power and issues of White Privilege. Now we are going to start to look at historical moments where these topics came into view in our schools.

Our topic this week is about Brown vs. Board of Education (1954), the historical supreme court decision that made the segregation of public schools unconstitutional.

You have FOUR tasks for this week:

1) I want you to explore this website to give you some background on Brown v. Board of Education.

2) Then I want you to watch these two videos that highlight the work of Tim Wise, author of "Between Barack and a Hard Place." Take notes while you watch so that you can refer to specific quote in your blog post and in class.

4) Read this very short article from March 2011 New York Times.
How do the issues that Bob Herbert raises shape how you think about Brown v. Board of Education?

3) Now blog about it.
What is the relationship between the historical issues you see in the website on Brown v. Board of Education and the contemporary issues of race that Bob Herbert and Tim Wise raise here?

Leave comments if you have any questions...

LB :)