Monday, December 15, 2008

My Visit to Newark to Start my Research

Method of Research

I started my research project by reviewing several articles that covered similar is-sues of the importance about teaching science in urban schools. I needed to start to be-come familiar with the community and get an idea of where the schools were located. I went to the Newark Broad of Education web site to print a list of schools and their ad-dresses. While I was on the website, I wanted to know what the district philosophy is for the science curriculum. I continue to glance at some other locations on the web site. I needed to get the address of a schools that I could visit while I was in the area. I printed the addresses of all of the schools so that I could put them in my GPS system.
I went to the area of the website that would tell me what type of materials were used in the classroom. I discovered that FOSS curriculum (Full Option Science System) materials were listed on the web site and when I do my interviews I will ask the teachers about the materials. I started my Research at the Newark Museum. I wanted to see what cultural activity’s there were in the area that a science teacher might take a field trip to. I had heard about the Newark museum from others and then I was reading the news-paper and spotted information about an exhibit that was there.
After my visit to Newark, I had lots of questions. My next steps was to talk to some teachers working in the middle school and ask questions about the curriculum, the material used and the lack of green space in the area. I needed to go back on line and
this time I started to look through the Star Ledger newspaper for articles on communities in Newark using or creating green spaces. I went to the web to research an organi-zation that donates fruit trees to schools and though that may be a future project. This organization prepares activities on gardening and creating food by growing plants.

Working on My Reflections and Conclusions

I am still work on my conclusion and reflection because I am trying to come to a decision about the information I have gathered.

I went to Newark to the museum to start my tour of Newark. I have not been in the area for more then 12 yrs. As soon as I arrived there, I traveled off the highway and headed to downtown area. I started to see some familiar site, like the path train and the prudential building. I noticed that much of the area had newly constructed buildings and roads.
The down town area reminded me of Harlem 125th street. The street in certain areas had lots of people walking. There were lots of police present. After my visit to the museum I travel to Shabazz High School. You could clearly see the area was changing. There was new apartments and new home amongst the older building, churches, and business in the area. I notice a supermarket chain that is very common in urban communities. C town is a chain of supermarkets that I grew up with in my urban communities. I have not seen that chain since I move out of Harlem. The down town area had a Sports arena, NJ Pac, pawnshops, banks and some fast foods.
I looked for places that provided healthcare however I did not notice any doctor office or health clinics. I through that was strange. Were would people in the community receive care? The ER is there community healthcare provider. I did notice a hospital sign right outside of the grounds of Shabazz.
Shabazz HS had a gated entrance. The school looks new and there are other schools located on the grounds I started taking pictures of the new football field. The school is located among homes and apartments. I was very surprise to see the school located in this area. It was very nice, but I felt like I was in a concrete city. There were very little trees and plant life. Where are the trees and the parks? The nearest restaurant was McDonald. My visit was very nice, it remind me of where I grow up in Harlem. I discover that schools in this community play a very important role in the life of the students. Much of the students learning take place in school. The school is a place where children will receive support when they are struggling in their subjects. School is also a place where the community will also rely on. It is a place to conduct business and pro-vide activity and events for the community. The roles of the teacher in this community will be a difficult one.

My Visit to Newark

I have been thinking about my inquire project. I needed to start to gather information to do my research. I decided to go to Newark to take a look at what was in the area. I had several questions about how I was going to do my research and collect data on HIV. I had information on the types of programs that provided treatment to Aids patient in the community. I had researched how much federal money was given yearly through the Ryan White foundation. I went to the Newark website and I was still trying to make the connection of HIV and Adolescents in an urban community. I did not notice any healthcare services and it was not until I arrived at Shabazz HS that I saw my first hospital sign.
Once I started to do my walking tour in Newark, I decided that I wanted to change my topic and gather information that would help me to understand what my role would be as a teacher in Newark. Once I arrived home, I kept thinking about what I observed today and I wanted to get to know the community and then I can revisit my original topic of how does HIV affect Adolescents in an Urban Community?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Compare Schultz’s Pedagogy to the Pedagogy of Poverty

As I started to think about what my response was going to be in my blog to answer the question: Compare Schultz’s pedagogy to the Pedagogy of Poverty, I believe Schultz felt that his student were entitled to receive an education that would modify progressive education and hold them to a higher expectation then what they were use to by their other teachers and peers.

In the Pedagogy of Poverty, students must be involved to show examples of good teaching going on. Character is built by students who have had practice at comparing ideas with reality in their own lives and in the lives of those abound them (Haberman pg. 6). The students in the Spectacular Things had the reality of a school with lots of problems. The students worked on helping others to see that they deserved a school that was free of the problems. There should be no excuse for the heat not working or having broken toilets and leaking water. The students were able to learn and applied school curriculum through the work being developed through the projects. The project began from questions. The students could clearly identify the problems in the school and how it affects their learning. Schultz created a cooperative and democratic classroom. All of the students had control of their education. The students learned from each other. The teacher gained knowledge and understanding from his students as well.

In the Pedagogy of Poverty students should be asked questions and think about answering the questions that may require a student to now go beyond what they were taught and discover how to apply what had been discovered. The students in Spectacular Things were able to build on what they learned about the original request for a new school building. The students took different approaches to move forward in their effort to get the new school. They applied technology and media to get their information out to others. The class used all of the students working together, the weak students worked with the stronger students to develop ideas to change their lives at school. The lesson they learned working on the project are skills that the students can apply throughout their lives.

Schultz’s sets the bar high for urban educators to create an environment that will question what is and work to change what was. Students should be encouraged to think and determine how they can change their education to meet their needs.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spectacular Things Happen Along The Way

There were several challenges that Schultz’s students faced. The book points out some of the daily event that occurred the lives of these urban students in a Chicago school.

The students were expecting to receive their education in a building that was inadequate. The problems were a part of their school life. There was no lunchroom which means the students ate in the hallway. The restrooms leak and were dirty. The students refused to use them. There was no gym. The students had to use the facility of another school. The windows had holes. The holes in the window created a problem in the winter. The classrooms were cold and the heat and thermostat never worked. How could the student be expected to learn when it was so cold? There were so many problems facing these students. There were many promises made to the school from administration and politician’s however none were forthcoming.

In addition to the building problems, the curriculum did not meet the needs of the students. The students struggle with the basic education of reading, writing and arithmetic with no way of getting support. They did not have books. The curriculum itself and the way it was taught are often the driving forces responsible for gross an inequality that advances the unjust socioeconomic stratification in this country (Schultz 2008)

The problems the student faced in this school is a realistic view of what is being faced in many of the schools in the urban community. The curriculum is not a one size fit all. As an example, the students in Schultz’s book did not know how to react to their teacher’s style of teaching. The students were given choices and asked their opinion on issues in the classroom daily. The teacher was determined to change what was norm while empowers the students through the process.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Annotated Biobiography

Diane M. Reddy, Raymond Fleming, and Carolyne Swain
Effect of Mandatory Parental Notification on Adolescent Girls' Use of Sexual Health Care Services
JAMA, Aug 2002; 288: 710 - 714.

The article discussed the use of prescribed contraceptives offered through a public health clinic in an urban community. The clinics were receiving federal funding. The study looked at the need for consent of a parent and how it would impede a girl seeking the health services. If the adolescent need the consent of a parent to receive the contraceptive, it could cause an increase in teen pregnancies, abortion, and STD because the teen would refuse to seek care if it was needed.

The study took a look at urban female adolescents, younger then 18 years old. The studies gather information form different variables of age, race and socioeconomic. The two issues being debated in the article discussed:
1. Having parents consent, which should open dialog between the parents and the child leading to a decrease in pregnancy and STD’s.
2. If an Adolescent engages in sex and chooses to use contraceptive, it should be kept confidential between the clinic and the patient.
The article at this time could not conclude any evidence that showed a correlation between having parental involvement, which will change sexual behavior of adolescent girls.

As I was reading the article, I would research further, the idea of including parent’s awareness in their daughter's choice to engage in sex at an early age. I want to further explore the idea of the effects + or – on parental influence on sexual behavior and decreasing STD especially HIV, abortion, pregnancy. I would like to see know how parent eduction in conjunction with student education would effect or have a change on adolescent experimenting with sex.

According to the article, more than half the girls interviewed, indicated that they would stop seeking health care services if their parents had to be involved. The next question would be to investigate WHY?

Election Day November 4, 2008

November 4, 2008 was a day made in history. I woke up at 5:30am to go to the polls with my family. As I was pulling off of my drive, I saw my neighbor's window opening. I stop in front of her house to asked if she wanted a ride to the polls and she said yes! My husband was asked to called several of my neighbor for a wake up call and he did that too!

When I arrived to the polling location, I could not believe my eyes!!! There was no parking anywhere. People were standing in line waiting to vote. The line extended more then two blocks. People of all ages and all cultures were waiting to cast their votes. I waited on line with my family for 45 minutes after the polls opened. While I was waiting I started to take pictures of all the people waiting and listening to all of the excitement as they were talking to people standing and waiting.

I went home feeling so happy and saying a a pray that my candidate would win and that it would be a land slide so that the vote would not be contested in anyway. I was later told that the people started to gather about 5:30am just to vote. No one wanted to miss their opportunity to vote.

As I was watching the results I started to reflected on how I am part of this historical day in history and that I am alive to see it. I can share this historical day with with my children and husband. This is a day that I never thought would happen in my life time, "A person of color would win the highest political office in the nation". Many of my friends called and text me that night. I received calls from all parts of the country.

Our new President Elect,Mr Obama has empowered all of us to help him to continue to make changes in America for all people and I will do just that as an educator!!!!!