BlogPost 1: CLASS SURVEY 2021

1. What is your first name? Please use your preferred name, nick name, etc. Do you have preferred pronouns?

Hi there! My name is Hannah Ingram.

2.  Where are you from?

I am from Willoughby Hills, Ohio which is about a 20 minute drive from John Carroll. I currently live in an off campus house on South Belvoir with some amazing girls! I grew up around Cleveland so I love that I am so close to my favorite city during my college experience.

3. What are you into; what makes you special? Share a few “unique” aspects about yourself that would help our classroom community get to know you a bit.

Before college, I spent a lot of my time teaching swimming lessons at the YMCA and working at different summer camps. My experiences with teaching and helping children was the main reason for my decision to be a teacher. Every education class that I have been in, so far, has validated my desires for being a teacher. In my free time I enjoy being around my friends and roommates. We always go on crazy adventures including spontaneous trips to Florida, Myrtle beach, and anywhere that peeks our interest. Covid has put a halt to our adventures but we still try and find joy in our everyday activities.

4. Being as specific as you can, what must be in place for you to feel comfortable taking intellectual and creative risks in a course?

Classes on zoom can be difficult for me because I get very tired looking at my computer screen for a long time. I work better when the class has a lot of discussions and activities throughout it so that I can keep my mind focused. I have been struggling at getting a routine this semester. It has been hard to manage in-person classes, asynchronous classes, and synchronous classes. I am trying to figure out how to manage my time everyday so for the first couple weeks I might be struggling with the format. Overall, I am really excited to learn more about this class but I will need time to adjust to the different circumstances.

5. I want to know what matters most to you about education.  To this end, please share with the class an essay that is essential to your interests/concerns as a preservice teacher. (Include the reference to the essay [chapter, article, website] and a few sentences about its significance to you).

It is very important that my future classroom incorporates differentiated instruction. I have learned how to differentiate my instruction through many different classes here at John Carroll but I am not sure how to effectively do this when teaching online. I found this article from Education Week talking specifically on differentiated instruction for online classrooms. Not only does this article talk about how teachers can engage diverse groups of leaders, but it explains how to accommodate a student who is not physiologically comfortable learning in a stayed position for a long period of time.

6. Write down a question or two that you would like to ask about me or the class.

Will you also be giving us tips this semester on how to run an online class, especially with elementary school students?

The School to Prison Pipeline

I think that society is stuck in their old ways with stereotyping people and limiting themselves from diverse environments. This idea has contributed greatly to the school to prison pipeline. While discussing this in class, we talked about “white flight“ and how it affects certain neighborhoods. Legally we do not have segregation in schools and in the society but it happens slowly and indefinitely. This is not the same for all areas. At my school, Willoughby South, I believe every year we become more and more diverse from the families in Cleveland city schools moving out to the suburbs. A lot of the diversity in schools depends on the area that you are from. This affects the school to prison pipeline because of the uneven ratio of white to black kids that get put into prisons and go through juvenile courts. What happens is that schools with a majority of black students have more security within them. Creating more arrests especially for minor offenses. The intense amount of security is not helping the students or keeping them safe, it is increasing arrests which effects the students lives in the long run, creating a prison like environment. In the article, it discusses how rare of an event like a school shooting is. I calculated the statistics and it states that a billionth of a percent chance that a school shooting will take place. With all of these security measures into schools that are meant to help students feel safe, have actually just increased the amount of arrests with in the schools of high-security. Most of these arrests are for actions such as speaking out in class, fighting, truancy and others just like it. With actions like this it does not declare the student harmful to the community. It is an unfair system that needs to be fixed but in the long run. This can start when desegregation becomes enforced again to create equally diverse schools and communities.

Resegregation as Curriculum

  1. After viewing your demographics from your own high school, do you think that segregation is making a comeback in American schools today? After viewing my high schools demographics I was not very shocked. My school is pretty diverse with a mix of all different cultures. It was however not completely even. About 50% of our school population was white and the other 50% consisted of other cultures. What happened to be the most shocking was the other students input on the graph with in the class. Every single one of the schools had a majority of white students that attended the school. It is hard to think about segregation nowadays considering all of the laws against it, but it is clearly still apparent in the school systems in the US. The graph calculated by the class blew my mind and how little diversity there is within schools. Even with how shocking the graph is, I do not believe that segregation is making a comeback in American schools today. I believe that it is very difficult trying to change the past, but many people are stuck in their old ways. I do not think that it will fully return to segregated schools considering how much fire that will fuel many people to retaliate and make a scene. I feel like it is gradually getting more more diverse but there should be a plan in place to try and fight back on the school that seem to be predominantly a certain race. Diversity is important in the school systems because it makes them more culturally understanding country. Therefor United States is considered a melting pot and it should be represented in that way in schools.
  2. Difference between Brown vs. Board of Education and Green vs County School Board? he difference between these two court cases is pretty important. Brown vs Board of Education created laws making it illegal to segregate in schools. Whereas Green vs County School Board actually started implementing the previous laws. Schools that did not want to desegregate, were taking their own time and really not changing any of their old habits. Green forced schools to start desegregating and not take their time. This was the start of diversity in schools. Both court cases were important in American schools, but should be remembered when it comes to today’s education system.

School choice

  1. Do you believe school choice is fundamentally against the “democratic vision of public education”?  If so, how? If not, why? I do not believe that they are against the democratic vision of public education, I feel that they are just creating schools that can only fit certain types of people. In a way, school is like a business, and each type of school is run differently. I do believe however it is hindering the overall population of public school kids. In the quote stated in the article and in the presentation, I feel it describes perfectly how this division of public and charter school are effecting one another. In the quote stated in the powerpoint is describes how this has a major effect. “The question for the future is whether the continued growth of charter schools in urban districts will leave regular public schools with the most difficult students to educate, thus creating a two-tier system of widening inequality. If so, we can safely predict that future studies will “prove” the success of charters schools and the failure of regular schools, because the public schools will have disproportionate numbers of less motivated parents and needier students. As charter schools increase in number and able students enroll in them, the regular public schools in the nation’s cities will be locked into a downward trajectory. This would be an ominous development for public education and for our nation.” In a sense, this division has to do with money. It should be equally distributed but as stated before, school is like a business and functioning to stay open. Especially in a charter school. The students tuition is the basis of their money flow and is they reason they stay open.
  2. How can charter schools have detrimental effects on public schools? (Think: who are the majority of charter students?) As stated previously Charter schools consist of students with a wealthier background and parents/family members that have the drive for the students success. It is creating a separation of public school and charter school students having different standards, even if the flow of teachers does not change. I did not experience this in my public high school. I feel that expectations were still upheld and the wealthier students were not dropping and transferring to a charter school. I do believe that the urban schools are spanning outward toward the suburban areas which might influence the wealthier children to move their children to charter schools.

The Progressive Era: Fraser, J. (2014)

  1. Do you believe that the Administrative Leaders should come from a background in business experience or come from teachers with experience in a classroom? In my personal opinion, I feel that a background in both business and classroom experience is important for many reasons. Teachers and professors spend each day figuring out ways to better there teaching for all of their classes. Every class is different because ever person is different. Teachers have learned to adapt their teaching to every class setting, and over time, their experience provides them with an open mind and ideas for change. To be on the school board, these qualities are important because teachers know the the way around a classroom and the way around a students mind. The business major would be able to provide a different view then the view of teachers. A business man or woman could see the statistical point of view along with keeping the order without an unbiased view.
  2. What do you think was the most defining characteristic of the Progressive Era? The most defining characteristics of the Progressive Era were a combination of social activism and political reform across the United States. The main objectives of the Progressive movement were eliminating problems caused by industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and political corruption. This era brought out many educational leaders such as John Dewey and Margaret Haley. John Dewey was a philosopher, psychologist, democratic socialist, and educational reformer. He believed that students should use real world problems to enhance their learning to find interests and that the role of the teacher in this setting would be to serve more as a facilitator than an instructor. John Dewey thought that teachers should observe the interests of the students, observe the directions they naturally take, and then someone who helps develop problem-solving skills while learning through a hands-on approach. He started the Laboratory School at the University of Chicago in 1896. Dewey had a huge impact on education that still effects the role of educators today. Personally, I find Margaret Haley’s effect on education was inspiring. Haley was a school teacher in Chicago where she had a strong voice for teachers. This was years before women could even vote. By the year of 1904 she was already recognized as the best-known teacher advocate in the United States. Margaret fought for: Increased salaries, job security and pensions, an end to overwork in overcrowded classrooms, and recognition of teachers as educators instead of “factorized education”. Both have been a huge impact of education today as well as become a huge icon of the Progressive Era.

BlogPost Paulo Freire & Schooling as Liberation

The banking method of education is a term used to describe and critique the traditional education system. The idea of the banking method hinders the learning of students. Students learning is being hindered in the way that banking method takes away creativity and individuality of the students. Throwing information at students without letting them dive into what they find important or interesting, is basically just teaching to the test instead of teaching to better the students future. While reading this article some oppressive statements were brought to my attention. For example one of the of these ideas stated that “The teacher knows everything and the students know nothing.” This perfectly describes the idea I had already brought up. In this scenario, the teacher is pictured as an authority figure that dictates the entire class. This takes away the students voice in the classroom because they are not treated as equal. Along with this idea of teaching, students are not able to become involved in the learning experience that a classroom can bring. Another example from the text states “The teacher is the Subject of the learning process, while the pupils are mere objects.” With this state of mind, the idea of letting the students become involved in the learning is nonexistent. In my opinion, middle school students along with high school students need to be in control of their learning while the teacher guides the students into their academic endeavors. Especially at the young adult age, becoming involved in the lessons will challenge the students to use there brain instead of taking notes and memorizing facts. This might not be the case for elementary school kids. I believe that at that age, the students need more structure while learning the core ideas of their every day subject skills. Having the kids become more involved in the classroom would definitely keep the attention of the students, but structure and guidance by the teacher is greatly needed. Children at an elementary school age have such a creative mind, it is very important to make sure that they are understanding the concepts along with going in depth on areas that spark their interest. Freire used problem-posing as an alternative to the banking method of education. Problem-posing refers to a method of teaching that emphasizes critical thinking. This way uses the creative and interactive teaching methods in the classroom. Both methods affect the students inside classrooms today because they are the one interpreting all that the teacher is saying. The methods used by the teacher will affect the way the students understand and comprehend the lessons being taught.

Koretz, D. (2017). The testing charade

  1. How does test prep methods corrupt the idea of good teaching? Can you distinguish one from the other? If so, how? If not, why? Test prep methods are corrupt because the teachers are basically teaching to the test. This takes away valuable learning experiences from the students because they are memorizing the test and not really learning the information. It is difficult when teachers are judged on how the tests turn out rather than the overall content learned by the student. Because teachers are judged on the overall grades in the class, and have limited time to teach the information, they really have no choice but to teach to the test.
  2. How do you think test prep methods have been relevant in your educational development. As a future educator that was constantly exposed to test prep methods, what steps can you take to avoid teaching to the test? In my educational development I have noticed test prep methods that have hindered my learning, as well as methods that I still use in college. It really matters what kind of test prep methods that you use. I would use study guides as an actual “guide” when it comes to studying instead of my only means of studying. That way I will grasp onto the overarching idea and not just the main idea of the exam. As a future educator I will involve more critical thinking into my teaching experience and limit my use of multiple choice tests. In my group discussion during class, we talked about how multiple choice tests can be taken in the way of a guessing game. Take away the two answers that do not make sense and use process of elimination. This does not benefit the student or the teacher because it gives an inaccurate representation of how well the student actually know the material.
  3. What is the point of testing? What are the benefits or disadvantages? How can we evaluate student success without tests? Testing can not be completely taken away. The way tests are given can be changed though! Tests are used to show the teacher what the class knows and does not know. Tests given that are essay or short answer exams will allow the students to have a more creative aspect by having them think past what is just right and wrong. Another way to evaluate students that does not involve taking tests could be oral presentation or essay. Discussion evaluations are also an effective way of evaluating a students success because it involves talking through the concepts and going in depth on the ideas.

Cheuk, T. & Quinn, R. (2018) & Bigelow, B. Post.

  1. Do you think a wall still exists between church and state? Why or why not? The idea of church and sate being separated is a complex idea. The wall between church and state is definitely still present especially nowadays. For example in the public school that I went to, religion and politics were never talked about with in the classroom. The teachers were not allowed to have an opinion because it would be considered biased. Most discussions that had a religious aspect to it were shut down immediately by the teacher. I feel like society has gone soft to the idea of offending people or influencing people in the “wrong direction.” This idea between church and state having to be separated has turned into a problem because of how ignored those topics are in a classroom. Relating back to the article, this can be a problem with the voucher system that was put forth in Cleveland. It seems like the government was supporting religiously affiliated schools and people thought that it was against the establishment clause. Where as it was overturned in the supreme court because the families had the right to choose the school of their choice. This wall that is put up to protect and maintain the separation of church and state has its pros and cons, but is also holding back information that can be taught with in the public schools. I think that taking students out of their comfort zone and breaking down the barrier between church and state will allow more creativity and learning to flow through the classroom.
  2. What do you think can be done to increase the diversity of historical perspectives in the classroom?  To increase the diversity in the classroom, the full picture of each historical event needs to be seen instead of just the view of the hero in the situation. All sides of the story should be taken in part to the history that is taught in the classroom. An action that can be put in place to change how we teach history could be to stray away from some of the stories with in the history books and go into detail on the background of what is being talked about. In our class learning experience, groups talked about different ways in which this can be brought into the classroom. A tactic that stuck out to me was an idea about having the class write a newspaper article in the view of the opposing side. This way the class uses critical thinking techniques to fully understand the emotions and reasoning as to why events happened in a certain way. The idea is not to make America look like a horrible country, but to inform future generations so that the same mistakes will not be made again. That should be taught in the perspective of all participants involved in that historical event for the main reason of not letting history repeat itself. It is not fair for the students to be falsely led into this idea of how America was founded. The United States is a melting pot filled with all different cultures that came back to this country in many different ways. The history of our country involves each and every one of those cultures. The more we avoid the past and twist the truth, the more we increase the chance for this to happen again. The topics covered in class might be heavy and hard for some students which is why it should be taught respectfully, but should fully inform the students in our country‘s history.

Fraser, J. Blog Post

What did you find most interesting about this reading? I found it interesting when the school systems started replacing the traditional male master with a much lower paid female teacher. These female teachers brought so much to the idea of teaching. Before female teachers, the classroom setting was very dense with a strict male enforcer. In a setting that has so many harsh rules, learning is almost impossible to take place. Female teachers brought a sense of care and nature to the traditional classroom. Creativity would be able to thrive and learning can take place. This also is the reason why teachers are paid so little nowadays. The fact that women would work for such little pay back in the day just to be able to teach.

What is your thought on Horace Mann’s thought on the “common school”? Mann argued that the common school, a free, universal, and public institution, was the best means of achieving the moral and societal uplift of all Americans. I agree with his ideas because he believes that in a way, the center of a good community is a well put school. Schools educate the new generations which is important for the future. In this article Mann stated that “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.” This is a very powerful sentence because he is telling us that schools are one of the building blocks to life itself. He was a strong enforcer of the “common school” to help reach children’s minds at a young age, and to help the communities better themselves for the future. This is a concept that should stick with teachers throughout their entire career.

In Catherine Beecher’s section, what interested you the most? I am inspired by her forthright opinions on female education and how she fought for what she believed in. She fought for the idea that women, especially with her background, were equipped with the wisdom and care to be excellent teachers. I agreed and support her ideas and claims including the implementation of kindergartens.

Post Prompt Maxine Greene

Maxine Greene reflects upon many interesting topics throughout her article Wide-Awakeness and the Moral Life. This article mainly targets the idea that humans may not always be fully “awake” or “aware” of little factors in society that are involved in everyday life. A quote stated within the article that helps describe this idea was spoken by a social philosopher named Alfred Schutz. Schutz talked about wide-awakeness as an achievement, and a type of awareness, “a plane of consciousness of highest tension originating in an attitude of full attention to life and its requirements.” Maxine Greene aimes this idea toward teachers. She is writing specifically about teachers because eductors are the building blocks of society. This article shows that teachers are put pretty low on a scale of hierarchy in the field of education. Teachers usually follow the instructions of what the administration thinks is right. To be “awake,” the teachers need to ask the question “Why?” Teachers are very important especially in creating generations of well rounded kids. This brings us to the question, how do we educate our students? There needs to be wide awakeness within the teacher. The teacher needs to be aware of his or her own morals while taking in count the morals of the students. This involves teaching them certain things such as right from wrong and always asking “why.”