The truth about music.

"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtues"


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Literacy with an Attitude- Argument

This was a really long article to read.  After reading this article, I like my other peers read some other posts from our classmates.  I believe that everyone can make the connection between Finn and Delpit.  The rules and codes of power affect every school system.  Our society is based upon following the rules and codes of power.  The way Finn handled his classroom is a great representation of how a classroom should be run.  He treated the students like adults and was straightforward with them.  In today's society, teachers can't baby the students any more.  Our society consists of both independence and individuality.  How can students become successful in this democratic society without being taught how to become a successful and independent individual?

One part of this article that was a real eye opener was when Finn talked about the five schools in Northern New Jersey.  I understand the rules and codes of power and how they affect every school district in the country.  It's still unbelievable to see these drastic differences within a close distance from one another.

I personally believe it's despicable. The fact that students are limited to what education they receive based upon where they are from and where they live.  Reading about the inequality students have is a cause for action in my opinion.  I understand the variety of levels in education in order to adapt to the individuals that are learning said education.  I guess what I don't understand is the differences in education at an early age.

Finn talks about these five schools and compares them by contrasting their differences through the education students receive and the teachers teaching. Finn gathered this information from Jean Anyon's study of fifth grade classes in public schools.  These five schools are located in either "rich rich neighborhoods" or "not so rich neighborhoods" in northern New Jersey.  The differences between them is unbelievable.  The way some teachers teach and how they teach their students is preposterous.  Telling students to "do it this way or it's wrong" and to say that "students are getting dumber every year" shows how the education system is at fault for the level of success with our society.  The best way to put it in my opinion is as simple as this.  TEACHERS AREN'T DOING THEIR JOB!  No teacher in our society should speak, think, and act this way with students.  These teachers are found in schools called a "working class school".  Then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have schools that are considered "executive elite schools".  These schools are considered more rigorous and more intellectual.  Finn wrote towards the end of this section describing "executive elite schools" the purpose of these schools.  "In the executive elite school the children were developing a relationship to the economy, authority, and work that is different from all the other schools. They learned grammatical, mathematical, and other vocabularies by which systems are described. They were taught to use these vocabularies to analyze and control situations. The point of school work was to achieve, to excel, to prepare for life at the top." Which is great for students in those schools cause they are receiving a "BETTER" education.

Once again I understand how the education has to have diverse ways to receive an education to adapt to the population.  What I don't understand is why the place you live or where you come from or money you have affect this?  I have to note that I'm talking about the differences in education from public school K-12, not college or any extra education methods.  The contrasts from public school to public school are too radical.  I regard this information and facts should change because we aren't giving students an equal or fair opportunity to achieve to their highest ability.  No matter what public school you come from, everybody should be taught in the best way for them to achieve success.

If public schools became less diverse in their teaching methods;  Students would all have an equal chance to make a difference and have the qualification to strive for something more.  I know from experience that some teachers teach students how to be successful after high school.  Meaning that some teachers don't prepare you for the college level.  In order to be successful in society today, you almost have to go to college.  These variations from public school to public school jeopardize the students' chances at being successful.

To summarize my beliefs and my post.  Students are either screwed or privileged from their first day of school in a public school.  Why should students be segregated like this and possibly loose an opportunity to receive an education that'll do more than just get them by? After all, we can't know how or what a student will become at such an early age.  As teachers, we need to give students the freedom to learn and figure it out on their own.

This is a great youtube video that I found taking about the education system.  It's also pretty cool because of the drawing but please watch it.  It's very thought provoking.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

In the Service of What?- Extended Comment

Service learning is one of the best experiences I've had.  Being able to serve in a public school in providence is simply life changing.  I have the opportunity to start teaching young students music and make a difference.  I don't consider service learning a chore or a requirement for FNED 346.  I see it as a start of my journey to becoming a music teacher.  I never participated in service learning before I came to Rhode Island College.  I learned from this read that some high schools require service learning or some type of volunteer work to graduate.  Since, service learning today is mostly considered a requirement to either graduate or for a class.  Do the students or participants learn or receive a positive experience because of service learning?  Sadly, that statement is questionable.  Service learning is considered volunteer work and people either don't have the time or simply wish not to participate sometimes.  Making service learning a requirement at some schools and in other programs is forcing people to take part in the service learning experience.  I personally think that people should experience service learning.  It will change their lives for the better and can ultimately create a positive society.  

I read Shannon's Blog about this article and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  I think that are stories and experiences are similar considering we are both music education majors and have the same teacher for our service learning.  I agree with Shannon about "directly and indirectly using service learning".  I was glad that Kahne and Westheimer talked about these differences.  Service learning is considered either a charity or a change.  The best way to describe the difference between the two is from the quote on a worksheet Dr. Bogad gave out during class by Nessa Sylvia.  Nessa wrote "In this Essay, Kahne and Westheimer discuss two different viewpoints on service learning: the charity view and the change view.  Those who support the charity viewpoint want to promote a sense of altruism in students by encouraging them to focus on the rewarding emotional experience of volunteerism.  Those who support the change viewpoint want to encourage students to think critically about the socioeconomic state, how dominant ideology works to create inequalities, and how it might be reconstructed."  Service learning can be categorized as either charity or change.  Both categories make a difference in my opinion.  Whether or not you make a long-term change or a short-term charity, it makes a difference.  

Shannon did a great job of talking about the two different cases in this read.  The one aspect that she wrote about was the "caring and personal relationships" that can be formed from this type of work.  I personally believe that the connections and relationships you create make the service learning experience remarkable.  Shannon and I have the same teacher for service learning and I can relate to her experiences.  I've also made a close bond with the students over the semester.  I definitely plan on visiting and continuing my services throughout the rest of their school year.  Shannon talks about the students as her students, and they are my students as well.  Being able to help teach these kids the one thing I love is life changing.  The service learning that I'm in is the best way to start my career as a music teacher.  This experience has solidified my decision and is the reason I want to teach music.  If I had to categorize the service learning we engage in, I would call it a change.  Making this change while creating great relationships with others is momentous.  I have had some great experiences throughout my life.  Service learning in a Providence school is by far the greatest experience to this day for me.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unlearning The Myths- Hyperlinks

This read is quite intriguing.  Considering the fact that it incorporated a lot of historical truth.  I know for a fact that since I was little I always watched cartoons.  To be honest, I watch some cartoons still to this day.  I know that I am not the only kid that can state how the media affected my life.  The studies have shown the impact of cartoons.  Our society is trying to "fix" or "get rid of" racism.  We can't do this if we don't realize where it all started.  Fortunately, Christensen was able to post this article and shed a new light on the troubles of our society. 
The reason for this article is to talk about how cartoons affect young children.  I read this one blog post by Mr. Epidemiology about how cartoons affect children's attention spans.  I have attached the hyper link at the end of the paragraph for your reading pleasures.  This article consists of a study by researchers at the university of Virginia.  This test was testing for the attention span of children enduring three categories.  The three categories are fast-paced television, educational television, and drawing.  After reading the post and research, it's blaintenly obvious that television has an affect on children's attention spans.  When children's attention spans are altered, their learning capabilities are altered as well.  How do we expect our children to learn and succeed with these conditions?  The conditions of watching cartoons and simply loosing brain cells.

This next hyperlink is very informative because of all its valuable information.  This article titled "Effects of Cartoons on Children", mentions the serious impact of cartoons on children from every aspect. "Television's Effect on the Brain and Eyes", "Increased Risk in Child Safety", and so on are a few aspects that cartoons impact.  This article states the research from every angle about the effects of cartoons.  It's a great article with one problem.  The only problem is the research is accurate and correct.  Read this article and after you read a section question our society.  Ask why our society has become violent, prejudice, racist and so on.  We wonder why we have these problems in our civilization.

Unlearning The Myths" is a fantastic read.  The key point and phrase throughout this article is "secret education".  Meaning what children learn from cartoons without being told deliberately about the subject matter.  Children learn from experiences and what they learn.  "Monkey see monkey do" it is as simple as that.  Children aren't born racist or violent, they simply watch and learn.  Cartoons affect children in a variety of ways.  It's not the child's fault, they don't know better.  They soak up what ever they can in their brain, like a sponge.  I can connect this article to on of my posts about "Saying The Words".  Christensen wrote this article to simply say the words.  Being able to admit a problem and come up with a solution and put it inaction is inspiring.  Cartoons do alter children's lives in a variety of ways.  Cartoons can either be a positive or negative influence on children.  How society decides to adapt to it and make a change is up to us.  That's what Christensen is doing; she is simply "saying the words".