Sunday, April 24, 2011

Citizenship in school: reconceptualizing down syndrome

Sorry this is late!! i have been crazy busy lately with lacrosse and school. 


This weeks discussion in class opened my eyes to a lot of things, and i am sure had the same impact on other students in the classroom. Although I believe that it is very important with students who have down syndrome, or any other disability get all of the attention that they need, I also believe that it is important to interact these students with your typical everyday student. It only benefits each person and it brings out the best in people. It makes people with a disability more open and they feel more accepted if they are part of the group, and it makes your average student more open to things, and becomes a well rounded person. Though out this week I was thinking about how my high school dealt with the issue of integrating students with disabilities into the regular class room setting. My high school did an awful job at it. There was one class room, room 104 that was at the back wing of the school that hardly any students ever made their way over too. There was only 3 other classrooms in that wing, and what used to be a very crowed place filled with seventh graders, three years ago when the school changed from a jr/sr high school to a straight 9-12 high school that hallway became vacant. It was a shame to see this students not have a lot of interaction with other students, when in reality thats something that they could use.

I believe that the students should be incorporated into everyday classroom settings, along with a teacher assistant so that students can learn how to act and help these students, and the disabled student will feel more welcome.  Most of the time these students can brighten someones day because they have such a positive outlook on life and are usually always happy. When ever i got a chance, I would always go out of my way to say hello to these students, because they were so excited and proud to call you their friend.

I think that it is morally wrong to seclude these students just because they have a disability. They are your average student, they just need a little more help then others and their is nothing wrong with that.
It only help build better people, and helps everyone become more well rounded.

Was your resource/inclusion classes separated from your regular classes in high school?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tracking: Why schools needs to take another route.


One of the pieces we had to read this week was How Schools Structure Equality by Jeannie Oakes. In this piece Oakes discusses the problem of tracking in class rooms. Although some people think that separating the gifted students from the slower learners is necessary to provide more challenging material for the fast learners, Oakes argues that there are ways that work well to get the most out of each student by intergating fast and slow learners.

"students in high-ability English classes were more likely to be taught classic and modem literature, provided instruction in expository writing and library researcb, and expected to leam vocabulary that would eventually boost their scores on college entrance exams."

This quote is a great example that shows separating fast learners and slow learners create a huge disadvantage for those slower learners later on in their education. The teacher of the class will take  time to teach the fast learners important vocabulary words and gives them challenging activities that will help them succeed in the future. . The students in the lower level classes may not get that information till later in there education and that is a huge disadvantage.  The problem is that faster learners are getting more from school. The slower learners learn less just because it takes them longer to learn. That's not an equal education, especially when you think about the different ways that these students are being asked to learn. The faster learners are being challenge while the slower learners are just being asked to keep up.

"In low-ability classes, for example, teacbers 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."

I notice this occurring a lot in my VIPS tutoring. I am working with a lower level student, and the teacher just seems to ignore the fact that she is not learning as fast as the other students, and the student is left behind.  The teacher seems to work more with the advanced students and is encouraging them to do more work. I feel like the student I am working with is at a complete disadvantage. 

"In many classrooms the evidence 
of students' capability is a matter of public record. Grades and progress are prominently posted: letters, numbers, stars, smiley faces, race horses, and halos - along with sad faces, zeros,and the ever present blanks."

Also, I see this a lot in my vips tutoring and I do not agree with it at all. For example there is a "We know our multiplication tables 100%" chart on the wall. Everyone in the class has stickers in every single column except 2-3 students. The student that i mostly work with does not have any stickers on her chart. I feel bad because it is praising the more advanced students, where as my student is left behind because she is a slower learner. 

This weeks readings were very interested, and I am excited to hear everyones reactions about them in class on tuesday! (:

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Title IX, in my opinion has been one of the best things that has been passed by congress. It has opened up so many opportunities to women all over the country, and I would not be half the person I am today, if this act was not passed.  Sports are such a huge impact in my life. I played 3 varsity sports throughout high school, and 2 sports in college. Also I am a physical education and health education major, so sports is a huge part of me. If title nine was never passed then I would not have been able to experience a lot of the most memorable things in high school, because I would not have been on the court, or on the field, only the  boys in my grade would have. I would never have been able to experience winning a state championship, becoming a captain, or even just being a good team player. Title IX has opened many opportunities, not just in the athletic field, but for women in anything.  It is very imporant that it was instated, becuase there is no such thing as a man, or womens job. If it can be done by a man, then it can deffiently be done by a women.

This video show what Title IX means to people.