Thursday, October 18, 2012 Wednesday, September 12, 2012 Thursday, September 6, 2012
wnyc:

Happy first day of school! READ MORE

Pictured above: kindergarteners at Harlem Village Academy. #dyingofcuteoverload

wnyc:

Happy first day of school! READ MORE

Pictured above: kindergarteners at Harlem Village Academy. #dyingofcuteoverload

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kids of Color, Learning, & Narrative Justice

afroremix:

I had an interesting experience with my nephew recently that left me wondering how much curriculum can impact learning. I gave this book to my sister for my nephew and he fell in love with it right away.

Tired of his endless requests to read the book to him, she hid it under the couch. I recently pulled it out from its hiding place and was surprised to see how much he still loved it. But why? It didn’t have a special texture/distinctive color scheme from any of the other books on his shelf, and it didn’t rhyme in a way that sparked his interest.

In fact, the only (and perhaps most meaningful) difference with this book is that it features people with brown and black skin and many hijabis. Even though he’s just shy of two-years-old, he’s aware of his surroundings and is drawn to it because it reflects his culture and identity. I’m amazed at how much this book has had a profound impact on him and makes him want to read. This makes me wonder if we’re losing a lot of our kids in the K-12 system because the existing curriculum is generally produced from a white American perspective with little or no recognition of the historical, economic, and cultural experiences/contributions/expressions of the diverse ethnic, racial, and religious communities around us.

Among the various challenges in our education system, it seems like we pay the least attention to inequalities and injustices when it comes to curricula. We don’t spend enough time considering: 

  • how people are portrayed and by whom,
  • what information is shared and from what perspective,
  • and who wins/loses in the process.

I’m amazed that our collective society fails to question why our young kids are exposed to racism through Harper Lee? For as brilliant as To Kill a Mocking Bird is, I think it’s a tragedy that the leading (and often ONLY) book most American youth read about racism is written by a person who has not experienced it personally.

From literature to history and everything in between – I remember constantly feeling academically disengaged, left out, and misrepresented throughout my K-12 school experience. But I don’t want to give the impression that this only matters to kids of color. The existing system breeds a population of young white people who are growing up in an increasingly interconnected world but have no conceptualization of their privilege, are exposed to an ethnocentric view of the world, aren’t aware of how they fit in the global context, and are ignorant of the existence of and immense wealth communities of color have to offer.

What if we changed our history books to reflect the demographics in our schools, include narratives from indigenous communities, and represent various other perspectives? I think this could potentially play an important role in helping us close the academic achievement gap and create a more informed, culturally competent, and thoughtful members of society.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 Friday, August 24, 2012
That education reformers have long argued that ‘incentives’ are necessary to improve the teaching profession underscores another in a series of ironies that mark the movement. Reformers believe that if teachers are subjected to ‘market forces,’ such as merit pay and job insecurity, they will work harder to improve the education they provide for their students. The need to incentivize the teaching profession is the most popular argument against teacher’s unions, since unions supposedly protect bad teachers. But, in a predictable paradox, by attaching their incentives agenda to standardized testing, the reform movement has induced cheating on a never-before-seen scale, proving the maxim known as Campbell’s Law: ‘The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.’ In sum, the TFA insurgency’s singular success has been to empower those best at gaming the system.

Andrew Hartman, “Teach for America: The Hidden Curriculum of Liberal Do-Gooders,” Jacobin Magazine (via andrewfm)

Full article here.

(Source: wendfarm)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 Thursday, August 16, 2012
thepeoplesrecord:

According to Bloomberg, college tuition and fees have increased 1,120 percent since records began in 1978.
How is education the great equalizer if not everyone can afford it?

thepeoplesrecord:

According to Bloomberg, college tuition and fees have increased 1,120 percent since records began in 1978.

How is education the great equalizer if not everyone can afford it?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Three Free Ebooks On Unschooling.

howtodropoutofschool:

1. The Uncollege Manifesto: Within two weeks of reading this book I made plans to quit school. It doesn’t pertain to high school, but holds contagious inspiration that any unschooler will gobble. You have to sign up for the UNcollege newsletter to get a free copy- but the newsletter is brilliant, one of my favorite weekly emails.

2. The Edpunk’s Guide to a DIY Education: This guide highlights every trick to get tangible credentials without entering an institution. There’s a brilliant sliver on approaching online learning and a resource page chocked full of stunning web courses. This guide is essential for anyone taking an unconventional approach to education.

3. Stop Stealing Dreams: No pictures and neat layouts here. This informative blog-like journal points out the fundamental flaws in school. This little ebook will have you clawing to get out of school and lend  the information to defend your decision.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 Tuesday, July 10, 2012 Thursday, June 28, 2012 Thursday, June 14, 2012