Friday, December 5, 2008

My One-Pager

I. My question was about censorship. I wanted to know how teachers/future educators felt about censorship and book banning. What do they think would cause a book to be banned from a school or classroom? I was also interested in what actual students felt about the same question. Would they all say the same thing, or would their answers vary as well?
II. For my primary sources I asked several of my education classmates what they would think would be the reason a book was banned. I also asked them what grade levels they were planning on teaching to see if the grade level affected the answer. I went to a 7th grade class at Mead Middle School and asked them why they thought a book might not be allowed to them. Why they thought a book might be kept from their classroom or the school.
III. I expected the main reason to be named by the teachers to be things like sex or violence. What I received surprised me but made sense after analyzing the data. Almost every single one of them named religion as a context to be censored. Many of them also gave reasoning behind the answers that they gave me. I thought that the students would give me answers like sex, drugs, cuss words and so on. They did give me those answers but the majority responded with that the book was to mature for them. It seemed as if they knew that there were things that they had to wait to read and weren’t bothered by that fact. I was very surprised that a group of 7th graders would be so aware of the world and what went on in their own classrooms.
I had planned on going to more than one classroom, however that didn’t work out. I think that if I had gone to another class I wouldn’t have gotten the results that I did. I would have never seen that even in one single classroom that the students had these great responses about their class material. I was very impressed with the answers that they gave me and I really think that if I were to have surveyed more students that the results would have changed dramatically.
IV. In the future the number of books that have been censored can either grow or shrink depending on the decisions of an entire school or community. It is up to everyone in education, including the students, to know what is appropriate or not. What is read outside the classroom is out of the teacher’s hands but what goes into it may be entirely up to them to decide.
· American Psychological Association (APA): censorship. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved December 04, 2008, from website:
· Cossett Lent, ReLeah. "Facing the Issues: Challenges, Censorship, and Reflection through Dialogue." English Journal 97 (2008).
· Unknown. "Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q&A."
· Interviews of other English Education Major students
· Survey of 7th class at Mead Middle School, Mary Schaffer’s classroom

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

He said, She said

For my topic I have been looking at censorship and what constitutes a book to be banned. One of the secondary sources that I have found is an article about a book called The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things. The article talks about how parts in the book that may be considered controversial for teens and adolescents to read. Another article that goes along with this is the author actually talking about the fact that her book did get banned from some schools and what she thought of that.
I think that it is good to see from both the perspective of those who banned the book and why they thought it needed to be banned and the author's argument to that. I found it interesting that the author could see how the book was questioned but still argued that they may have been a little out of line to ban it all together.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Question about Censorship: parents challenging a book

How does a teacher choose an alternate book for a student when the parent disapproves?

I think that one way to go about this is to have a conference with the parent and the child. Its important to find out why the parent is wanting to dismiss the book in order to find an alternative. I think that its not fair to simply talk to the parent without finding out what the student is also interested in reading. I don't think there is any real solution to this question. I think that it really depends on the book, teacher, parent. student, grade level and even as far as the school and the district. One suggestion is that individual attention is needed in every situation.

Before assigning every book and alternative list can be made just in case something like this comes along. That way when there is a talk or conference with the parent(s) and student there shouldn't be any brain storming needed. However like all other solutions there might still be some arguing or even questioning on the alternate titles as well. I'd like to say there is a clear answer but there really doesn't seem to be one.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gee & Delpit

Delpit has a few terms that differ from what Gee has defined them to be. One example is acquisition. Gee defines it as some information that is given rather than being learned by a student on their own. Delpit states that acquisition is an adaptation of values and discourses that a student already has. Another word that seems to contradict Gee is that of cheating. Gee seems to want to give students’ answers and Delpit thinks students should figure some things on their own. Gee seems to think that students come with information into the classroom and that everything else is learned to given to them there. Delpit thinks that “cheating” or showing the students how to work a system or giving them all of the information in not very conducive to learning in the classroom.
Delpit’s essay seems to take Gee’s ideas and terminology and change them to fit their ideas on how a classroom might work well. As far as where I stand on their issues, I think that both authors have good points here and there and together they make a good strong argument to what a successful classroom is. They also mirror together what a good relationship between students and teachers can be. These arguments are relevant to use as English teachers because it shows that not all students coming into a classroom are going to be at the same level. They are all going to have different home, dominant, or secondary discourses (terms depend on the author). As teachers we need to acknowledge this and find ways to help all students in our classroom no matter what previous and current discourses they may have encountered.
I would like to further look into the concept of “cheating”. I get the main idea but I would like to see examples.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

warm up #2

1. Rose thought that it was too soon for him initially to be giving writing assignments to the students. He thought that since he wasn't the teacher and he didn't know them well enough that it was to soon to start this. He came up with an exercises with bringing in some pictures and posters. Many of the stories the students were about their lives outside of school. What kind of places that they lived and sometimes how hard it was to deal with the types of neighborhoods that they lived in. Rose also had them write about what they saw in posers and pictures. Some to me lacked creativity and didn't write much at all, although I'm not sure how much time they had to write. Although some of the writings that the students did weren't long Rose was able to engage them into writing and thinking. Overall the picture exercises went very well. This helped him to come up with future writing assignments and so see where the students were in terms of learning and creativity. It was a way for him to get to know the students.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

language investigation #2: Go Nuggets!

It was a little difficult for me to think about a community that I shared a language with. I don't think that my friends and I talk in a way that no one else would understand or if they were present would make them feel like an outsider. The closest thing I can think of as a community with its own language is being at a Denver Nuggets games or being a Nuggets fan. If you don't know that is our NBA basketball team here in CO, just in case. Unless you go to or even watch the games you wouldn't get any of the remarks, who certain people there were or some of the players nicknames. One thing that is pretty big is when the announcer says "Melo" for Carmelo Anthony, everyone repeats him. You can even hear this on TV. If you didn't go to the games you would never know how crazy the mascot is, or even know that is name is Rocky. No who goes has to say, "the mascot Rocky who is the big yellow mountain lion in a Nuggets sweat suit"; its just plain Rocky. Also when the announcer says certian players nicknames and not real names, you might not know who just scored. For example "The Answer" is Allen Iverson. So next time you go to a Nuggets game if you haven't been before, you have a little heads up than all of the other new people there.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Warm up 9/3/08

1. I noticed that most of the post that I read had to do with humor. Many of the words that were unique to each family had to do with something funny or some sort of good memory. Like mine I noticed that a few of the posts had to deal with their families culture or where they came from before moving to the U.S. Only one of the people that commented on my blog said something about the other words I use in my family. The other two only commented on the German part. I wonder if this is because this really was the most interesting of the three or that they only read that part because it was the first part.

2. It seems that many families get their language from where they came from, such as country or what area they come from. A family on one side of the U.S. may not have the same language as another even though both families are from the same country. I also think that families get thier language through experiences with one another.

3. To be an insider of language means that you may have been there for the "creation" of the word and may know a little bit more about it than others do.