I am so excited to be taking this class this semester. One of the things which really interested me about the class was the international perspective on literacy. As we touched on in our last class, it often feels as if we focus on issues primary to the United States. I find this in my sociology classes as well, that the major issues and topics are U.S. centric without an international perspective. In many ways it reminds me of Chimamanda Achide’s concept of a “single story.” I’m definitely not trying to say that we shouldn’t learn about issues in education or educational practices prevalent in the U.S. but especially as we become more dependent on digital literacy it’s important to know another story, a global story. To unpack that statement a little bit, allow me to explain. This class is relying heavily on what I would consider digital literacy. We are using resources such as Twitter and these blogs, Google docs, e-mail – all of these things are part of our digital literacy. Now, more and more people internationally are using these tools as well. I have been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit and have noticed that it is increasingly easy to stay in touch with people I meet abroad through the means of Facebook, etc. As difficult as it is for me to use Twitter and write a consistent blog, I do think that these are valuable tools which can really give us new perspectives on how education is changing and what education looks like outside of the U.S.
In Access, Identity, and Education – a course taught by Jody Cohen – we read an article by Martha Minow. This reading discussed the “Dilemma of Difference” (I couldn’t find the entire reading online, but here’s a quote: “The dilemma of difference may be posed as a choice between integration and separation, as a choice between similar treatment and special treatment, or as a choice between neutrality and accommodation”). From what I remember, Minow pointed out two problems with “difference” in the classroom: if teachers recognize that students are different, and meet their different needs differently, they run the risk of isolating some students. They might create a “different from” mentality – a separation between normal and different studdents. However, if teachers DON’T accommodate needs, some students may not get the treatment they require for learning.
Titagya Web site http://titagyaschools.org/wordpress/
Leslie Dodson, Don't misrepresent Africa.
Chimamanda Adiche, The danger of a single story. http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html
A resource: the blog for the partnership between Titagya Schools and the Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program.
From the Titagya blog,
This web page is designed as a place to collect and generate ideas, experiences, and connections useful to developing a partnership between the Titagya program to build preschools and kindergartens in Northern Ghana and the Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program, at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, outside of Philadelphia Pennsylvania. To begin, the partnership is focusing on exploring cross-cultural curriculum development, with a focus on the themes of conflict resolution and the role of creativity, interaction, and play in learning.
We will not be actively contributing to this blog in ED250, but it is still a repository of learning from Bi-Co students in past Education classes.
Written on the wall, to be seen as the first thing when entering the exhibit:
“Right relationships are human relations in which each (or all) seek, without abandoning themselves, to be attentive and responsive to the needs and emotions of one another, quite apart from considerations of entitlement. There are also several important “negative” markers of right relationships, namely they must be free of systematic oppression, exploitation or manipulation. That is, a relationship is not “right” if participants seek to overbear in power (oppress), to overreach in resources (exploit), or to mislead for selfish advantage (manipulate).” – John A. Humbach1
The introduction to this exhibit, to also be printed on the wall:
Although cheesy, the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true. To express the concept of “right relationships”, I have “curated” an online exhibit of photographs. Although all of the photographs are real, because I have borrowed them from other websites, I have created my own titles for them. Additionally, for some of the photographs, the captions below the titles are not accurate for that specific photograph, but rather are based on the content of the photograph.
Because I am not computer-savvy enough to create a virtual gallery space, I will use my words to help you imagine the exhibition space in which this exhibit would be on display. Imagine a large, open room with light, sandy-colored wood floors and high white walls. There is also an expansive wall of windows allowing for natural sunlight to flood the gallery. The photographs would be 24” by 18” framed inside of a 2” white mat and a 1.5” solid black frame. The titles and captions would be printed on cards and mounted on the wall next to the bottom right-hand corner of the frame.
Written on the wall, to be seen as the first thing when entering the exhibit:
The lecture last night was intense and, for me, different from other lectures I've attended at Bryn Mawr. Partly it was the sheer scale of it and the buildup beforehand: while I'm sure there were some audience members only there for a class, there was a collective excitement that you just don't usually feel in an academic setting. The only event I can think of that came close was the lecture by Angela Davis. So first, there was a difference in the audience.
Then there was the difference in the speaker. The biggest difference, and the one I talked about with some friends afterwards, was that Judith Butler was there as an academic and theorist but taking a strong political stance. How often have we seen that? I can tell you how often I've heard it: never. Not once. I've occasionally had a professor take up political issues in the classroom, but not often. And never in a way that tied them so thoroughly to theory. I'd never heard a lecture that was both very academic and intensely political-- they tend to be one or the other. I'd never seen theory and practice so thoroughly entangled (to borrow Barad's term, which I may or may not thoroughly understand. But it seems right here).
Then there were the ideas themselves. Other people have complained about how hard it was to take notes with hardly any light, but I did it anyway because I knew that otherwise there was no way I'd be able to remember even half of what was brought up. I can even read most of what I wrote.
Gender and Sexuality in the High School Biology Classroom: Fostering Critical Thinking and Active Engagement
Gender and Sexuality in the High School Biology Classroom:
Fostering Critical Thinking and Active Engagement
Summary: This project was undertaken with the hope of changing the ways we think about teaching and engaging with science. This paper will discuss ways to help students recognize that science is interdisciplinary and can both affect and be affected by the social and/or political context it exists in.
By asking students to think about the way science is presented and conducted, and giving them the tools to think about science not as an isolated body of information, but as a dynamic and shifting discipline, we will not only be encouraging more engaged science scholarship, but will also help students begin to notice the ways science is used as evidence in different contexts and evaluate these uses.
The goals of this project are two-fold. I hope to suggest ways for biology teachers: