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Education

Book review Supporting boys’ learning: Strategies for teacher practice, pre K- grade 3

Sprung, B., & Froschl, M., & Gropper, N. (2010). Supporting boys’ learning: Strategies for teacher practice, pre-K-grade 3. New York: Teachers College Press.

Educators in early childhood education are responsible for providing opportunities to all students to explore their passion and creative potential and it is indeed a huge responsibility. This is why Sprung, Froschl and Gropper attempt to help educators and readers better understand the needs of the children in the early childhood education system, especially those of boys. Sprung et al. (2010) contend that teachers need to understand the interests and individual differences between children. Teachers, whose students include boys, should develop teaching strategies that build upon the strengths of their students and take into account differences in individual development levels.

Being a practitioner, a teacher educator, and a mother of four boys, this book taught me several useful tips and strategies that are applicable to both professional and private aspects of my life. I have also learnt that not only boys and girls have different interests but there are also differences in the ways both genders receive and process information. Sprung et al. (2010) highlight many studies that demonstrate why there are serious concerns regarding maturity of young boys in terms of social and emotional development as well as academic success. In this review, I summarize the major points in each chapter and also address the recommendations made by the authors to better understand patriarchal society in regard to education. In addition, I offer strategies that may help teachers develop more effective teaching plans.

The book is divided into seven chapters, the first two of which introduce the main ideas discussed in the book. The next four chapters focus upon social and emotion development, literacy, learning through play, and school/family and community partnership. The last chapter offers practical strategies that could be utilized by the teachers to more effectively observe the behavior of their students in classroom settings. Each chapter includes clear heading, examples and anecdotes from the lives of children and teachers and ends by offering conclusions, innovative strategies to achieve chapter goals, and summary of the central points.

In the first two chapters, Sprung et al. (2010) introduce the general idea of the book which is gender differences, boys’ interest and strategies that teachers may develop to meet boys’ need in classroom settings. Active boys are usually most at risk because labels such as “bad boy” or “troublemaker” continue throughout their school career. In addition, research also shows that African American and Latino children often face problems because their teachers have poor understanding of the boys’ physical needs. Relational teaching is the key to deal with children’ academic hurdles as well as to development of social/emotional skills. Teachers need to address sex role stereotyping issues, create learning environments, and capacity to connect with boys.

The next four chapters outline four factors that hurt boys’ academic progress. Authors address the tools teachers can use to support boys’ learning such as social/emotional development, literacy, learning through play, and school, family, and community partnerships. Many boys are discouraged by long curriculum which negatively affects their social/emotional development and also cause low self esteem and confidence. As a result, boys turn away from books and this trend may be severe and long lasting. Play and recess should not be ignored because replacing them with reading and writing means boys do not get adequate physical play. In other words, there is no language development if boys do not have time for spontaneous language expression, physical movement, and cannot develop social relationships.

Furthermore, even educators who focus on playtime often contradict themselves by reducing playing time and creating highly structured lessons. Play experiences enhance vocabulary, literacy, and social/emotional learning and even research studies prove they result in long term benefits. However, the partnership between school and families is a major factor in children’s academic success. Research shows that teachers become more sensitive and understanding of children, and parents become more supporting of children’s learning if both parties cooperate with each other and cement the partnership. Teachers can play an important role by promoting partnership between school and families.

The last chapter in the book offers suggestions to observe children in classroom settings in order to achieve goals mentioned in previous chapters. Running records, sociograms, and checklists are different methods of observing and recording children’s behavior. These observational tools allow teachers to gather information about children to better understand them. This allows teachers to focus their attention on gender differences as well as children’s unique identities. Teachers can help boys succeed in their academic life by tracking individual participation in physical activities,

Sprung et al. (2010) try to alleviate concerns of educators who worry about children’s learning in early years, especially boys. The author finishes the book by calling upon schools to pay more attention to boys’ interest and needs. Authors also suggest strategies to help children understand their individual capacities and gain confidence instead of turning into submissive recipients. This is a great book that will be of much use to all of the stakeholders such as teachers, parents, administrators and government because of the many insights it provides.

What I have learnt by reading this book is that academic struggle doesn’t always point out to a disability. Children may struggle due to too much curriculum, thus, it is the teachers’ job to understand individual differences among students. Even though there has been substantial progress in early childhood and elementary programs, the standards still do not reinforce child development and mental maturity. The educators should focus on the needs of the children and not on their own.

Reference

Sprung, B. & Froschl, M., & Gropper, N. (2010). Supporting boys’ learning: Strategies for teacher practice, pre-K-grade 3. New York: Teachers College Press.

 

 

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Education

Airport Full-Body Scanners

Full-body scanner has emerged as one of the most controversial debate topics in recent years because the issue pits two fundamental constitutional rights, the right to privacy and the right to security, against each other. The supporters and the opponents of the full-body-scanner disagree upon the degree of compromise that should be allowed in these two individual rights. The supporters argue that the right to security takes preference over the right to privacy, especially in the light of events that have taken place since 9/11, and no security measures should be spared when hundreds of lives are at stake. The opponents argue that full-body scanners go too far and similar objectives could be met through less-intrusive measures and devices. The opponents further argue that these violations of constitutional rights granted under the Fourth Amendment (Fuller, 2010) only advance the terrorists’ agenda who want to create an atmosphere of paranoia in America. A critical analysis of the arguments relevant to the issue confirms that the benefits of full-body scanner outweigh the costs.

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Education

An Article Critique Assignment

Armatas, C.; Holt, D; Rice, M.(2003). Impacts of an online supported, resource-based learning environment: does one size fit all? Proquest Education Journals. Vol. 24 No. 2. Pg. 141.

Introduction

  1. Who was the author(s) of the study? Identify the institutional affiliation of the author(s). (2pts)

The authors of the article include Christine Armatas who is a faculty member of the Health and Behavioural Sciences in Deakin University in Geelong Australia. The other two authors were notable members of the teaching and learning support unit in the same university in the person of Dale Holt and Mary Rice.

  1. What was the title of the article? Does the title meet APA requirements? Justify your answer. (2pts)

The title “Impacts of an online-supported, resource-based learning environment: Does one size fit all” specifically follows the guidelines for titling in consideration with APA style referencing. It could be analyzed that with the definition of the topic discussed in the paper. It does define clearly the main topic and the supporting ideas that further strengthens the issue being presented.

  1. Analyze the reference and identify the journal name, volume number, issue number, and pages for the article. (2pts)

The journal from which the article has been sourced from is the Proquest Education Journals published in its 24th Volume second magazine release noted on page 141.

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Education English

Prejudice

Description

I was born and raised in Haiti, but currently living and working in Brooklyn NY, since I was a little girl my ambition is to build a career in the entertainment business as a solo singer, specializing in R&B, Zouk and Reggae. This goal brings me into contact with famous producers like Wyclef Jean, Kevin Little and Beanie Man and it is against this group that I have developed a deep and abiding prejudice.

The idea that producers are only considered with getting a female singer on to their casting couch and seducing them is definitely a stereotype, but I have found it to be a cliché that is actually quite accurate. Many of the producers with whom I have come into contact have made it quite clear that if I did not submit to their sexual advances, I had no hope for finding employment or building my career. I believe that this is one of the major problems why there is a gender gap in the entertainment industry and it is one we all heard about frequently. There are significantly fewer good roles for women than there are for men. This pertains to all aspects of this industry including film, TV, and music.

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Education

Ordinary Resurrections

Dear Professor Jonathan Kozol,

I have read your work and it moved me. Your blatant and harsh criticisms of the American education system were both eye-opening and heart wrenching. When you published “Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope” you brought the reader into the classroom, into Mott Haven- you allowed us to feel the emotions of both you and the children through your passionate and persistence for changing the education system.

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Education

School Culture

The chapter argues that school cultures should evolve to accommodate the growing diversity of students as well as locate more resources to planning and monitoring. They should set goals, allocate adequate resources, monitor the progress, and evaluate the implementation. Even though school culture is made up of both observable and non-observable traits but the management can significantly shape the culture through explicit guidance and policies. Quality of education can also be improved through various measures such as delegating more responsibilities to subordinates by the school management and reducing class sizes. Reduced class sizes all instructors to give more individual attention to the students and also increase participation by each student in the class.

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Education

Teaching Methods

REAT Task 9

Unsurprisingly, research confirms that a student who is not interested in a lesson is less likely to be engaged in learning and is more likely to comprehend less. Teachers have long struggled with the challenge of maintaining practices based on evidence without discarding the potential contributions of adaptations which are increasingly familiar to modern students. Today this is true even of the first through third grade students for which this training has been designed.

Strategies

A strategy is a sequence of events through which to analyze reading (in this example). Strategizing for reading is two-fold: the teacher is learning and modeling this sequence and the student is interpreting and adopting this sequence. The context of the class, the teacher, and the student should aid in finding the best fit. The following strategies are flexible and can be tailored to different needs and goals.

The High 5! Strategy first seeks to make the personal connection between the students’ past experiences and their understanding of the literature. If there is a widespread common interest within the student group, then this provides an excellent starting point for discussion about relevant facts. If the reading takes place in a foreign country, the student may discuss culture or the geography of the setting, getting in the mindset to understand the reading as a whole. Second, space should be allowed for students to ask questions before and during readers. For larger groups, this can be easily managed by scheduling mini-breaks after reading a chapter. Next, students should be able to identify what type (or structure) the reading follows. Does it follow a list, a single complicated subject, or multiple complicated subjects? Does it occur in a certain order and why or why not? Fourth, students should be able to create a mental image of the setting or characters. For some, this is difficult, so asking students to cut images from a magazine, collage, or draw their own visualizations is helpful and ensures that they understand the small details of the reading. It also engages their imagination and personal perspective in the discussion. Much like in the fourth stage, the final stage verifies that each student has an accurate understanding of the reading (which Van der Schoot et al. call a mental or situation model) and provides an additional benefit because students describe the events in individualistic ways which may make the content more accessible (Dimock & Nicholson, 2010).

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Education

Annotated Bibliography

Shange, N. (2004). Ellington was not a street. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

This book fits well into the third grade reading level for African American culture.  Through the genre of a children’s poetry book, author Ntozake Shange writes a story through poetry remembering a childhood in which many of her family’s friends were famous African American men throughout history such as W.E.B. DuBois, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington.  Although the book has traditionally been well-reviewed for its incorporation of a biographical note on famous African American men found throughout the poem, it has received some negative reviews arguing that Shange failed to showcase the famous women during this time period.  Despite this negative view, the story helps children to identify major historical figures throughout history not only through Shange’s famous poem, but also in the biographical notes telling about the lives of each of these major figures in African American and United States history.

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Education

Reaction paper

The Heart of a Teacher: Identity and Integrity in Teaching by Parker Palmer

What a teacher is for and what teaching is about; these are the primary themes that Palmer intended to tackle in the context of his article with regards how he recognizes the Heart of a Teacher and how it basically impacts the teaching process that a teacher intends to embrace and apply in relation to the profession he is perfecting. In considering to the matter of relating to the students needs and not just serving as the presenter of ideas, Parker points out that teachers do more than just pass on knowledge, they do well to instruct, to provide an understanding that the students would be able to use fully as they age. This, according to him, is the real meaning of teaching. To be able to establish a heart behind the art of teaching, Palmer mentions that the tangles of teaching have three important sources. The first two are commonplace, but the third, and most fundamental, is rarely given its due. The first specific element of teaching is based on what is being taught. Most often than not, these are the subjects set to be taught in standard approaches. The second specific element is that of the complexity of life and how it likely is able to become the basis of inspiration on what the first aspect of teaching is about. The third aspect is more focused on the dedication that the teacher has on the profession that he has promised to excel in. The personal desire of a teacher to be the profession he lives specifically affects how he is able to portray his role in connection with the first two aspects mentioned. The consistency of the presentation of options for a teacher’s growth are numerous in number. It is the professional call of the teacher whether or not he would accept such chances and actually make a difference on how he presents his subjects to his students. Understandably, it is only through this that any instructor would be able to add in life to the way he reaches the minds and hearts of his students and not only affect their intellectual growth but also that of their overall development to maturity. This is specifically agreeable as teachers are intended to take on possible considerations to make sure that the lessons they present do not only remain in the minds but also in the hearts of their students.

reaction paperA Voice from the South: The Higher Education for Women

By Anna Julia Cooper

            Back then, women were expected to remain in the house completing their task of dealing with household chores and making sure that the children they bear are able to become good individuals through the training that they give them. However, as years pass, the recognition of women being individuals made to stay home changed. Relatively, entering the professional real, of work, women are now given the chance to accomplish for themselves a higher level of education which could help them perfect their skills in handling tasks that have been given to them. Gaining such freedom to getting higher education has had its rough roads though.

According to Cooper’s article it was felt to be rather dangerous experiment to consider the possibility of women embracing a particular sense of control over their lives because of the opportunity that is being opened right in front of them. Nevertheless, the first women who received training and education proved to be more than just the ordinary individual who can perform task. They were able to perform beyond expectation therefore imposing that it is safe to give women as sense of education allowing them to grow apart from the stereotype role that has been given to them ever since the beginning of human history.

Nevertheless, in the latter context of her writing, she mentions how much change in time reflected the change in the attitude of women towards knowledge and the desire for power that has developed among the said individuals. Apparently, giving them knowledge has created a sense of authority on some women therefore making it easier for them to defy what the norms specifically impose on who they should be and what they should be able to do. Some women have even neglected their natural role of being good mothers. The article then raises an important question on whether or not higher education really does improve womanhood or did it serve as an escape goat for women to neglect the real meaning of their being. Relatively, this article’s theme and presentation of information could be highly regarded as it does exploit the reality behind the changing course on how women decided to live their lives during the past few years of liberalization.

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Education

National Youth Leadership Forum Essay

There are two things I have enjoyed since my childhood; reading on a wide range of subject matters and intellectual discussions. We live in fragile times and it is almost impossible to not think on political issues which not only affect current generations but may also have widespread implications for future generations. I first became truly interested in politics in the wake of 9/11 tragedy and like most Americans of my generation, I also became confused by the growing tension between the West and Islam and initially supported use of force against the enemies of peace. But as I read more about leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. (King) my views have changed and I have become a bigger proponent of diplomacy. I realize there are instances where use of force is inevitable but it should be pursued only where there is no other option left because Iraq War represents an extremely irresponsible use of force by America and has only hurt America’s security and global reputation.

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Education

Learning game “Responsibility launcher” – A manuscript for mock publication

Outline

Introduction

Situation

Highlights of the game

The process

Conclusion

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Education

Home safety for infants and toddlers

All parents desire to have healthy and happy children. To achieve this, daily dedication is needed. When a new child is born into the family, the caretakers or parents need to protect the kid from any harm that may come along. There are several ways parents need to do to make the home safe for the baby.

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Education

Junie B.: A Catalyst of New Learning

One of Barbara Park’s popular series, Junie B., First Grader (at last!) is well-written and aided by engaging illustrations by Denise Brunkus. Originally published in 1992, the book became a children’s classic which has been beloved by children, parents, and teachers. One dedicated educator and blogger even develops her teaching philosophy around the creative, adventurous whimsy of the protagonist, Junie B, and even includes ideas for a coffee cup with excuses already written on it—just in case other spirited first-grade students need to justify staying awake (Coolley, 2011).

The plot is not imaginative or risky. Junie copes with the changes she encounters in her social and school life- complete with new teachers and new experiences with friends. Critics warn that too many wild, young girls already fill children’s literature, citing the examples of Pippi Longstocking and Ramona Quimby (“Children’s-Lit Girls Gone Wild”, 2007, p.18). Unlike Pippi and Ramona, Junie shows hostility mainly through head-butting games and other typically-masculine-but-harmless ways. This contrast is particularly clear as Junie’s friends change and interact with her own changes.

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Education

Statement of Purpose for New Mexico University

We all are the outcome of our life experiences whether they come in the form of family life, education, or interaction with people we know as well as the greater society. My mother has been disabled with severe depression since I was four and I have seen three of the closest people committing suicide, i.e. my father, grandfather, and an uncle. I have personally observed as to what happens when help is not available to vulnerable citizens of the society.

Due to my family experiences, I have also become more compassionate, non-judgmental, and empathetic than an average person. This is because I try to put myself in others’ shoes and not understand their problems from my own perspectives. My friends often tell me I am really good at understanding people because I listen attentively and do not judge people. Thus, both my family experiences as well as my ability to understand people have motivated me to seek my Masters in Counseling.