Educational Empowerment

allisonletts's picture

What is a writer in first grade?

I had an amazing experience in my field placement on Friday. I'm in a charter school where the special ed program is primarily inclusive. I frequently work with a student named "Jeremy" who often struggles to stay with the lesson, especially in large group instruction. One specific behavior that can be disruptive is when he calls out in the middle of the lecture--it is frequent enough that his classmates are distracted and that it interrupts the flow of the lesson. Throughout my time at this school, the teacher and administrators have been working on various interventions for him, including a paycheck for good behavior, check-ins with the teacher after every subject, and "choice time" when he makes it through a lesson. On Friday during the Writing mini-lesson, when he started to interrupt, the teacher told him to get a piece of paper and write it down. He did! He makes so many connections to the material, and he wants to share it with everyone, but in the middle of the lecture is not the most appropriate time. By writing it down, he got to express himself without requiring anyone's immediate attention. He made it through the rest of the mini-lesson and worked productively and independently throughout Writer's Workshop, specifically answering the prompt from the mini-lesson using appropriate vocabulary and responding to the feedback I gave him.

pyiu's picture

Thoughts on Improving Education in Ghana

After skyping with the founder of an NGO which provides libraries and Ghanaian children novels in Ghana (I forgot the name of the NGO but I believe Kathy Knowles is the name of the founder) and learning more about the history of formal education in Ghana, I became to reflect a lot about what could be done to improve the education system in Ghana. According to Ms. Knowles, literacy is a problem in Ghana because reading is not seen as a leisurable activity, and is only associated with academic work. Moreover, education there is based upon repetition and memorizatioon, thus school can be very boring and dry to students. Also, students are constantly anxious about being graded since the whole curriculum and attitude of the teachers is based upon doing well on the exams. Additionally, I personally feel that such a system does not cultivate appreciation for the art of learning. We've virtually discussed (via twitter) the importance of making mistakes for one's learning and education. However, such a system in Ghana appears to leave no room for mistakes, or creativity for that matter. These aspects along with many others compose Ghana's education system and consequently do not appear to be conducive towards a positive, fun, and interesting learning atmosphere for students (or the teachers).

couldntthinkofanoriginalname's picture

Imagine Africa Field Trip Reflection: Healing & an Unforgettable Experience

I have three words: What. A. Week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are so many things that I want to blog about but I will stick to my incredible experience at the Imagine Africa Exhibit at the UPenn Museum.  I’ll do it in two parts:

Part I: I really enjoyed the field trip with the high school teenagers—I don’t think the trip would have been the same without them. My favorite part of the museum was the exhibit that allowed us to “create” Africa or, better yet, to reveal the many “stories” of Africa. Aside from the fact that the exhibit was limiting because you could only “imagine” Africa with the images/words/media clips available, I felt empowered. I felt empowered in the sense that I had the ability to determine whether or not I wanted Africa to be described as “beautiful” vs. “Unique” or “Modern” vs. “Rural.” Of course, Africa can embody both components but having a say in what Africa meant to me instead of having someone impose their views on Africa, particularly in education settings, on me was a powerful moment. My group happened to have the word, “healing.” And although, initially, we thought that there was no healing in the world, or very little, seeing the high school sophomores excited at the chance to define Africa and to make meaning out of her history was healing happening right before my eyes.

jfwright's picture

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: A Continuation of Web Event #2

http://thestorieswetellourselves.tumblr.com/

This webpaper expands on the children's book I started for web event #2. While this book isn't finished - and isn't meant to be - I sincerely hope you enjoy the work I've put into it! I certainly have been.

chelseam's picture

Planting Justice: Examining the Potential for Alliances between Urban Garden Groups and Other Environmental Health Organizations

           Recently, our class has been confronted with many theorists who urge us to recognize that we exist in relation to one another and that our concerns are closely tied to others. Farmer reminded us that we live in an “increasingly interconnected world” (Farmer, 158). Barad urged us to “experience life like electrons” and be aware of the ways our lives and concerns are entangled with those we share the world with (Barad). Finally, Butler suggested that it is time to “expand what we mean when we say ‘we’” and to foster alliances across groups that have been subjected to various levels of “precarity” (Butler, Flexner Lecture 2). I decided to investigate the potential for alliances to be formed between the food justice movement and broader environmental health movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. The research led me to Planting Justice, an Oakland, CA based organization that seeks to increase access to organic produce by installing organic gardens in community spaces and private homes. By using the work of Growing Justice as a model, this web-event will seek to suggest ways that community gardens and the organizations that support them can mobilize political action on local environmental health issues.

chelseam's picture

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.

Objective:

The goals of this project are two-fold. I hope to suggest ways for biology teachers:

aybala50's picture

All "Women's" College

Both the conversation and the letter are fictitious. I do not know what the college's response would be to a student who sent in a letter of a similar manner. I can speculate based on informal conversations and in these conversatinons I was never given a definitive answer, which is what inspired this project.

Sex: biological distinctions between males and females
Gender: based on societal factors such as values, perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes

Casey- A high school senior in the process of deciding what colleges to apply to. She is a trans woman who has male biological sex organs.

__________

Mom: Hey Casey, how is the application stuff going? Can I help?

Casey: Good and I think I'm ok

Mom: Just okay? When is everything due? Are you on top of it?

Casey: I still have a few weeks before the apps are due. Right now I'm trying to decide if I want to apply to Bryn Mawr College ED

Mom: ED is really serious. Are you sure? Tell me more about Bryn Mawr

Casey: I really think it's the right place for me Mom. Bryn Mawr is an amazing liberal arts school, it's not too far from home and it's an all women's college

Rae Hamilton's picture

The pursuit of education through access

I struggled greatly with this paper. The prompt was too board for me and I feel like my paper didn't have substance. I tried to focus on how access and education were connected--stemming off from the idea that experience and thought were connected. I tried to explain that education is useless without access and that it is society's job to ensure that everyone is getting an equal access to education. I am not entirely a sure that I got that sentiment across. Its hard to talk about education and access when the definition is so relative. I cant truly express about education, because I have a personal definition of it that applies, I feel, only to me. I wonder if anyone else is struggling with this and it also makes me wonder about how much emphasis there are on definitions.

alesnick's picture

Agency Journal Compilation and Reflection

Hallie Garrison

Empowering Learners

 

This student reflects on the entires she wrote in her agency journal for the Empowering Learners course.

alesnick's picture

Cross-Cultural Connections in the ESL Classroom: Forging Respect and Shattering Societal Barriers

Riley Diffenderfer

Empowering Learners

 

 The author responds to an earlier paper in this handbook, focused on transcending cross-cultural barriers in mentorship and teaching.

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