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Ladies, After watching the video last week, I was angered and upset about the way that the "upper crust" treated the Spanish girl. She never really did fit in, and in irony of this, also lost her place in her Spanish society. It would be interesting to see what has happened to her now. Thinking of our own students in our classrooms, we unfortunately see this type of grouping among our students. Can we do anything to help with this, or are we destined to be a nation of the predjusticed? Penny

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Penny Barnes


Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:49 am
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Penny,
I agree with you, but I am going to play the role of devil's advocate here and say that I also thought the Spanish girl was a little too defensive and quick to bring up her differences. While she was trying to explain her art, the one guy kept saying that what she was feeling and facing wasn't just a ethnic or cultural delimma, that it was universal. In a way I thought the Spanish girl was playing the poor pitiful me card a little too much. I think it is hard for everyone to fit in at times, not just because of your skin color, race or cultural identity. I believe it to be somewhat of a universal teenage problem;granted some may seem to feel it more strongly.
Just my own thoughts...

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Teresa Goodman

ALL STUDENTS DESERVE THE CREAM!


Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:47 am
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Penny, I completely agree with you. It's a shame that eight and nine year olds have the ability to form social classes in our classrooms. In my room, the groups are based on grades and surprisingly reading levels. I don't point out which kids are on which reading levels, but the kids know. There's a big difference in a child reading a Hardy Boys mystery and a child reading Frog and Toad. We can tell kids that we all have different strengths and that everyone is good at something, but in our public schools we don't value everything. We don't value artistic skills as much as reading and mathematical skills. How do we "fix" this?


Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:53 am
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I'm with you ladies. Heather, you touched on a topic near and dear to my heart. We do not appreciate other gifts like art, music, or physical ability (until the kids get to high school - then we want our football and basketball teams to excell!) Is it the "standards" movement that decides what matters? Or are the standards a reflection of the culture of the elite that sets them?

Connecting this to Cedric, in A Hope in the Unseen, he has such great musical talent. But it is subordinated to other more valued academic expressions - in his case math and science. He is fortunate he possesses these talents. When he writes a "rap" to describe and analyze the experiences he witnesses at Slater Junior High in innercity Providence for the Education class at Brown, the professor chuckles and wonders how Cedric got into Brown. (p. 299+) It turned my stomach. So when Cedric takes a risk and expresses himself using a format that's culturally familiar to him, the reaction is not understanding but disbelief. The rap was too emotional. Cedric had not distanced himself from the assignment and taken an objective and dispassionate stance. I know objectivity is an important quality to cultivate when evaluating....but, how many times does a professor at Brown get a student who has actually lived the same kinds of innercity school experiences found at Slater? Couldn't Larry Wakeford have capitalized on Cedric as a resource for the class, since Cedric has such a unique point of view? Instead, Cedric is asked to conform to the distanced objectivity cultivated in the Ivory Towers.

Am I missing something?

Cindy

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Cindy Fowler

"Read it and weep!"


Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:31 pm
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When reading Penny's first post, I immediately thought of how much Cedric and the Hispanic girl at Groton have in common. Both felt like an outsider no matter where they were. I have such empathy for this, and I don't have a clue where a solution should begin. I just know that as an educator we all wear our hearts on our sleeves, and I hate hearing things about unhappy, mistreated, discriminated against students!

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Jamie Little


Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:24 pm
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