Sunday, February 24, 2013

Reflection on Safe Spaces

          I agree that LGBT youth must not be excluded, especially because it affects their incentives for learning and wanting to go to school. However, I must note that adults must look at the classroom and socialization from a child’s point of view. Young children do not judge each other by differences, even though they may notice them, unless they are accustomed to an environment that teaches them to think in a biased way. They do not understand terms such as inclusion and exclusion, though they are well aware of the basic concepts through play. (ex. one child wanting or not wanting to play with another child). I strongly believe that children should not be exposed to adult terms . Children need to be creative, explore fantasy and not be told about realities, such as racism because it casts a negativity on their world of creativity and enjoyment while playing. They should not be taught to look for differences  but rather  taught to include each other at playtime, and be taught that if someone is different, it is just a part of life. Not all people are the same.
          Words have various meaning, interpretations and connotations, depending on the context. Children may say a word innocently, but an adult may interpret it a different way. Nonetheless, children’s actions reflect their home environment and what they are accustomed to. Youth older than twelve are more self-conscious, but must be showed acceptance in the classroom. This  happens when people, including teachers, speak, connect and apply everyday experiences that most students and people in general experience. Seeing and hearing about the simlarities will help these youth realize they share the same qualities. Sometimes, youth become so enveloped in thinking about themselves and how people perceive them, that they end up making up assumptions they think other people are making about them, but they are actually making it up themselves.
           The classroom is the place where students learn socialization outside of the family. The family is where their mindset is molded. The key to effective socialization is including everyone in activities, observing similarities and accepting differences. Newman noted that ideologies affect LGBT youth (83). Ideologies also influence the way people respond to situations, how they communicate with others. These ideas impact their motivation to listen and learn in the classroom. I wonder just how effective it would be to hear each other’s ideologies and note the similarities and differences. What would we learned from that?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Aria...Affects/Process of Teaching Bilingual Children

          Reading this piece reemphasized the points Delpit and Johnson made about perspective. Teachers and white people in general need to see situations they encounter from the other person’s point of view. For example, the narrator stressed how she just wanted the teacher to address her in Spanish in order to relate to her culturally. While this seems unlikely, the teacher could have done other things to make the student feel comfortable, such as playing an educational game from a cultural context. The main point the narrator made was the teacher’s apparent lack of care in tending to the students need, which made it even more difficult for the narrator since she was unfamiliar with American customs anyway.
          The narrator’s way of labeling language as either public or private shows how children perceive difficulties. They tend to be observant of differences, as shown  by the narrator’s interpretation of English at school being spoken for a purpose. Though it is not common referring to English and Spanish like this, the way people usually act toward speaking a different language proves it to be true. Foreign languages tend to be private, between the people who only understand them. Such is true with English. If someone who does not understand it overhears it, then the English is private to the Spanish speaking individual.  

          After reading this article, I realized it must be truly difficult to be expected to understand and comprehend a language while just learning it. Sometimes people wonder why children are quiet. Sometimes it is because at home they are not spoken to, as shown with the narrator, whose father seldom spoke in the house.
          The point where the nuns visit the narrator’s home and speak with the parents connects to Delpit’s article. In this story, the narrator says how his parents were eager to listen to the nuns since it would benefit their children. Such is true in Delpit’s article, where black parents urged teachers to show their children how to learn white values so they too could succeed in society. Parents just want their children to grow outside their culture in order to work with various types of people.

          Still, learning about different cultural values, such as Spanish to English language, is a psychologically difficult situation for a child. For example, the narrator recounts how he felt disappointed when he came into the kitchen and his parents stopped speaking Spanish and spoke English to him instead. To a child, it seems like their comfort zones as well as familiar family values are being torn away. Therefore, it is important for the parents and teachers to emphasize that the child is learningbeing taught, not trying the change or take away cultural values, such as the family language. Children like familiarity. So, at first it may be difficult, yet with gradual assurance children realize they are just learning more, not being separated from their culture.


Having  a lesson that includes Spanish is effective to help children understand English while also making the children feel welcome.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Think Piece McIntosh

McIntosh states that men refuse to admit to the glass ceiling, despite the fact that they know it exists.

“Men’s unwillingness to grant that they are over privileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged…these denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened, or ended.”

Moreover, by not talking about it, it prevents the social problem from being fixed, which implies that men agree by not taking action to change it. Similarly, Delpit said change must be instigated from those with power.  McIntosh declares that men want to maintain high positions, an in turn introduced the idea of “unacknowledged privilege,” where white people do not admit to  the social power they have in society. Just as men do not see gender as an influence to their high rank, white people do not realize that simple daily activities for them can be strenuous for  the opposite culture.  McIntosh uses the term “oblivious” similar to Johnson, where she relays that those who are in power [white middle class] are unaware of the lack of privileges for colored people.

If a colored person made a list likes McIntosh, how would their responses differ? In #2 McIntosh relays that she has several options if she wanted to buy/rent a house. She implies that colored people do not easily find opportunities, even if they are financially stable because homeowners may be judgmental. This coincides with Delpit’s point about culture of power, where the majority [white middle class] creates the codes for society. Buying a home in a certain location might be difficult for a colored person if the majority of the neighborhood is white. Unfortunately, people judge others based on appearance and pre-determined generalizations. Thus, McIntosh’s point refers to the unacknowledged privilege, where whites do not have to be concerned with codes in society, since they are part of the culture that creates the code. (similar to Delpit).

While writing about her education, McIntosh refers to the culture of power.

“When we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow “them” to be more like “us.”

“Them” refers to colored people whereas “us” refers to the dominant, white culture. It is as though whites want to assimilate rather than educate.

McIntosh makes the white class appear as opportunists, who only communicate with other cultures if they are gaining something in return.

“If I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color, who constitute the worlds’ majority, without feeling g in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.”

 This is the problem: white culture does not reach out to other cultures if there is not a perk for them.

 While I agree that the underlying meaning of privilege is dominance, sometimes I disagree with McIntosh; specifically on #18 where she implies that specific races mostly hold leadership roles and #24, where she suspects unequal legal/medical help.

I sum up McIntosh’s ideas in this equation…unearned advantage=privilege=dominance




Monday, February 11, 2013

This class is one of the best requirements for my major because it involves learning from many ways, which is great to teach children. I enjoy being outside, traveling, playing tennis for fun and riding my bike. The warm weather is the best, but I do enjoy winter because it makes everything outside look beautiful. :]