Saturday, April 9, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

Literacy With An Attitude by Patrick Finn

One of the most interesting things Finn says in the beginning is straight from Delpit. "I didn't say to an
errant student, "What are you doing?" I said, "Stop that and get to work." No discussion. No openings for an argument."  However, he then destroys the image of him doing something good by saying that he kept things simple for everyone.  Yes, he had his little extra credit assignments, but he played down the entire class.  He does redeem himself though, and it just goes to show us that not everyone is perfect and, as Dr. Bogad has said, "you're going to screw things up. A lot."

Just a thought, it makes me wonder if there would have been as much resistance if those schools were mixed race.  Would the other students balance out the white resistance and want to learn?  Or are the teaching methods so bad that no one would really benefit?

"Eight of twenty students interviewed expressed antagonism toward "the rich," who they said were greedy, spoiled, and snobby. This is interesting in light of the fact that these students' family incomes were in the top 10 percent for the nation."  So, since they're not rich, who is? Just those at the very top, it appears.

It's interesting that 16/20 in the affluent school said they could make knowledge but only half of those in the elite school said they could.  Perhaps this represents their privilege that they do not have to do as much work and direct those underneath them when they join/command the workforce.

This ending quote from Finn is quite extraordinary: "And so I ask, "Those who are smartest and work hardest go furthest?" Who's kidding whom? When students begin school in such different systems, the odds are set for them. President Kennedy once said that he hoped that a person's chance to become president was not determined on the day he was baptized (referring to the fact that some said a Catholic could never become president). I'd like to hope that a child's expectations are not determined on the day she or he enters kindergarten, but it would be foolish to entertain such a hope unless there are some drastic changes made."

To me, this entire article could be a pitch straight from Delpit and McIntosh.  And Kozol gets a silent mention because Finn references him himself. Students in the lower schools are not being taught the rules and codes of power to do anything other than minimum wage labor jobs.  White privilege here is selective based on who your parents are (which would in turn dictate where you live), not your individual abilities.

This was an interesting article to read.  There are so many relevant and startling points made, for anyone but especially for us.  Finn's book could be looked at as a road map of how to make a difference.  Maybe our classroom can be that one to do group work and more student involved learning.  Even if it's only that one teacher in the school doing it, do you think it would help to make a difference?


On a completely unrelated note, I just found this page on Facebook.  Especially today, when there are more openly gay individuals, how does this work?
"Parent's don't let you spend the night of the opposite sex, but they let you spend the night at the same sex?? Do they want us to be gay?"
^ While the grammar and final remark aren't very good, it does make a good point.  If someone is a lesbian, would their parents let them sleep over at a female friend's house?

Another page:
See that boy doing his homework in homeroom? He couldn’t do it last night because he was too busy talking his best friend out of suicide. See that girl, with her face caked in make up? She’s bullied, she needs to feel beautiful. See him, the one who wears long sleeves everyday? He covers his arms to hide the scars. See her, with the cheap, hand-me-down clothes? Her family can’t afford food for half the month, let alone get brand names. I'm against bullying. Like if you are too.

Yet another:
A 15 year old girl holds her 1 year old son, people call her a slut. But no one knew she was raped at 13; make fun of someone for being fat, but you don't know that person has a serious medical condition that causes her to be fat. Call the old guy ugly, but you don't know if he got a serious face injury after serving the country or saving a life. Stop stereotyping and think before you start talking trash of others

Promise I'll stop now:
Today, I was shopping with my daughter.
I am 17, she is 2.
A woman came up and said;;
"its a shame to see young girls having kids. Poor thing, she will never have a good life."
I had no idea what to say. She was wrong, and I could not believe some stranger said that.
Then my daughter Charlie goes:
"I love my mommy"
The woman was stunned and walked away.

I lied:
the class b**tch jokingly asked a slightly overweight girl
"So, when are you due?"
The b*tch was speechless when the girl replied,
"I don't know, ask your boyfriend ;)"

1 comment:

  1. Finn's book could be looked at as a road map of how to make a difference. Maybe our classroom can be that one to do group work and more student involved learning. Even if it's only that one teacher in the school doing it, do you think it would help to make a difference?

    I think it could help...or rather would help...I don't know though...Like in my gut. It's not enough. Just like with the schools and poverty rates and everything, it isn't enough to just mix the schools or rich and poor schools. It's like a band aid on a shot gun wound. I feel in my gut, that if you just mixed the higher and lower ability students, then so many parents, primarily of the higher ability students would complain that they are being held back and they the parents will send them to private school and the lower ability students will feel so much worse knowing that they left because of them...and they'll feel like rejects. I don't know...I mean it's a stretch for sure, but it's just how my gut feels. I don't know what would be a good solution and it's driving me bonkers!!!