Per Ardua Ad Astra

Monday, December 3, 2018

What are your take-aways?

This written page is a self-reflection from the class of equity and inequality in schools. Some of the following issues may be similar to what's happening in my country and can be my homework to deal with promptly.

1.     Deficit thinking
What I learned from this material is that deficit thinking accounts for student’s academic and social failures at schools by blaming on the students, student’s family lack, and student’s lack of traits necessary for academic success. Consequently, the students are at risk of bullying or not confident. By acknowledging this term, I think teachers should stop this thinking by realizing that every student has inherent strength and value and try to learn more about the life of a student outside of school. I believe some students are good in outside activity in which the teachers can bring it to adapt the learning in schools.
2.     Social construction
As one of the foundational terms for engaging with areas of difference, social construction is important to note. We as a society commonly make the meaning of what happens around us, and its consequence is socially constructed. It can be either advantages or disadvantages. So that, we need to understand better the diversity of difference and create the meaning that can lead to equity in a society because I believe that social construction can be changed as we want to.
3.     Brown at 60
What I want to point out here is that it is critical to report what the government should do for creating equal opportunities in public schools. According to the data provided by Brown, the South made impressive progress on reducing segregated school rate from 1968 to 2011 because the South was targeted for the implementation of Brown v. Board Education and Civil Rights Act. This report contains data that we can use to gauge the progress of it and what works and what does not work, so that, we can improve as needed. Here, the data is really important to reflect what do’s and don’ts on the issues of students, and we can use it as accountability for creating and promoting equal opportunities.
4.     NPR interview or conversation
What I take away from this activity is that we need to involve parents as a collaborator in schools. Based on this conversation, the parents were worried about their children in schools in the name of racial discrimination. It is critical for schools to create equal services by inviting student’s parents to discuss what happens in the schools and what the parents and schools should respond to it. Regardless of that, I think the schools should engage students and student’s parents in planning and evaluating the learning programs.
5.     The book of The Story of American Public Education by Sarah Mondale & Sarah Patton
What I gained from this is that it is noteworthy to historize the story of public schools. By learning what happened in the past, we can learn how the public schools grow and impact on society. We also know the progress of the education from the racial era to segregated schools to integrated schools. We know that the practice in schools seems like an experiment in order to know which the best programs for desegregating the racial issues. Then, I learn about how the society or an activist tries to campaign the justice in schools. There is a big role in society, community, or an activist on improving the integration.
6.     Racial disparities in special education: how widespread is the problem?
This article highlights a standardized yardstick that should be used by all states to investigate the districts for identifying and punishing minority students at markedly higher rates than their peers. However, it could be done since every state has different results. So that, the U.S. government lets states develop and promote their own guidelines. In this case, I agree with that because we cannot generalize that what a state needs would be not similar to others.
7.     The book of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
What I reflect on this activity is about justice and how we can uphold it for the Black people who are oppressed. This leads me to think that the justice that we need covers more than in court but all elements such as in schools. As Bryan’s dedication of doing the right thing to help those who were in unsupported or restricted conditions is to justify the justice in the U.S. In schools, teachers can hold up the justice for their students by providing equal opportunity and treatments without looking at their race, gender, or categories of disabilities.
8.     LGBTQ
What a tough material! Many issues follow the existence of LGBTQ such as discrimination, harassment, gender facilities, gender activities, and policies. Interestingly, there is a LGBTQ community, but we have no legal laws either prohibiting or allowing this community to exist. On the other hands, as the God-believing population, we have cultural mores and religious rules banning the activity of the LGBTQ community. So that, there is still no place for LGBTQ youth to express in schools or society, and for LGBQ adults, they have to keep their identities or they will be expelled from society. Then, transgender lives in a hard situation and discrimination, especially in employment. What I want to point out is that the issue of LGBTQ still remains, and I think the government in my country should enact the legal laws for LGBTQ whether or not they are accepted. 
9.     Opening activity: untie the chain of hands by Wenjie
This activity is interesting for me. Initially, I thought it was not really possible to deal with the chain of hands. By tying the participant’s hands, it felt so complicated, and I nearly gave up. However, it was solved by working together. In this case, I reflect on the issues in schools such as racial disparities, segregated programs, and unfair services. I think if everybody sees the issues individually, it would be impossible to solve. However, if we collaborate with others, it would be not easy but it is possible to grapple with together. This connects to the ELL student material whereby when the academic material teachers and ELL teachers worked jointly, the achievement gap between ELL and non-ELL students was decreased. This activity emphasizes that we are in need of collaborating with others in regards to solve the issues and to create an equal environment.
10.  Programs for students with disabilities and English learners
A term that I want to highlight is “integrated but still separated” for students with disabilities and English learners in schools. Despite the fact that they are schooled in integrated schools with their peers, the system still removes them from the regular class. I think the schools need to eliminate the self-contained program, pull-out program, and other separated program. It is important for schools to encourage the academic materials teachers and special educators or English teachers to work jointly and be responsible for the student’s progress altogether.

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