Monday, December 5, 2016

summative blogpost

        Overall, my experience at Gesu Catholic School was a positive one. I learned about teaching and different areas that I am concerned about. One huge problem is how low teachers are looked at. So many people have decided not to continue their experience in education due to how teachers are looked at in our society. They are pay is low, we see a decreasing number of people wanting to be teachers and a lot of others who are not in education think that being a teacher is extremely easy. I would love to try and see a CEO of a company or an account try to do what teachers do today. It is not easy! Especially for the younger students because they are all over the place. It is extremely sad to see how our education system is not being seen as how great it actually is. 
           Another huge concern of mine includes the battle between public and private schools. So many people think that private schools should have the most funding from the government. But that should not be the case. A lot of poor students cannot afford the private education. In public schools there is  a higher majority of poor students while the richer students attend private, expensive schools. The fact that the government is trying to shut down public education is a terrible idea. There are so many children that need the free education. Some are struggling to put food on the table, how are they supposed to afford a private school when they cannot even afford their next meal? And a lot of public education institutions are not all bad. I went to one of the top public education schools in the country. I turned out just fine. It fuels my anger that unauthorized people are going to take away a free education for the poor half of America. We should be helping the poorer part of the country, not enabling them more. It makes no sense to have people with no knowledge of education or anything into power. Also, a lot of private schools are not accepting disables children and putting them into public schools so their ratings stay high, while the public schools' ratings will decrease. It seems unfair how public schools are viewed. They are not bad at all. And I wish people could see that.
        A final concern I have about America's education system is standardized tests are discriminatory toward poorer people and less advantaged children. People who have money can take these tests as many times as they want because they can afford it. While on the other hand, poorer students cannot afford the extra couple of tests or even tutoring. Standardized tests also do not evaluate what teachers are teaching them in the classroom. For instance, character, respect and many more. Instead, they are just a bunch of memorization questions that some kids have not even learned yet. There needs to be a change in our education system if we want everyone to succeed. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

week 8 of my clinical experience

Today, the children were just finishing up their multiplication quick facts for "fours" (4 x 2, 4 x 4 etc.). After, they graded them and the students graded their own mini quiz. If they got all them right they were allowed to write their name on the "Math Masters" board for the number four. I think it could be a good idea and a bad idea to have a board like this. It is good in sense where children are motivated to have their name on the board and the students that are struggling might try harder to get their name on the board. On the other hand, students could get discouraged by the board and feel bad about themselves.
Later that day, the students switched class rooms to their assigned reading teachers. This is a good way to meet new students from other classes and interact with new teachers, however it segregates the kids into groups. I am not sure what group my teacher's classroom was, but it could be very cruel to the students if they thought that they were the lowest group, making them feel discouraged.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

my clinical experience: week 7

This week at Gesu, I witnessed the children doing multiplication stations. One station was on the iPads playing math games. Another was a board game where they solve each spot they land on, while another station was will the teacher and their math book. There were more stations but I couldn't see them. I was working with the children playing the board game. It was fun watching them trying to use different methods to solve multiplication problems.
Later, the teacher explained to me that she gave them a reward for being very good so she allowed them to play until lunch. I loved that she did this because school, especially for young children, should be fun. They should be allowed to play along with learning. Playing can stimulate social skills, creativity and a lot more. Children should be able to play more and explore the world around them, what they are interested in and how things work. It is essential to human growth and learning.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

this i believe proposal

Blog Post 10:
            I strongly believe that education is a key contributor to society and that teachers do not get enough credit for their work. Over this course, I have noticed that one of my main concerns about the educational system is that teachers are looked down at for the general population. Teachers have low salaries, are looked down at, and are forced to have meet state test standards yet try so hard to give their students every opportunity they can. There are so many obstacles for teachers that for some it can outweigh the benefits of becoming a teacher. Soon, people will stop wanting to be teachers resulting in our children having a lack of education. Currently, public schools are in threat due to the presidential election. Trump picked an educational advisor who hates public schools. This is a huge concern for teachers and for everyone who goes to public schools. If these public schools shut down, then poorer societies will not be able to send their children to school, creating inequality for education. This then transfers into a different problem. Usually, the poor cities in the United States are located in an urban setting, where most of the students are minorities. This would create a huge divide between white Americans and African Americans & other minorities. Hopefully, this will not happen and things will be better in the future.
            I believe that a huge problem in today’s educational society is the use of standardized tests. Standardized tests are not supposed to be used as they are today. These tests are unfair and not important for the students’ futures. Standardized tests are unfair because for certain areas in America, they are less privileged and poorer than other places. The SAT is a more reliable predictor of demographics than it is of academic performance. In other words, lower status students will be less advantaged at the test and score lower while the richer students generally obtain higher scores. Tests like the ACT and SAT also do not test other characteristics that teachers are teaching to their students. For example, creativity, motivation, empathy and leadership. Teachers are being assessed by the scores of their students but a lot of the things they are teaching their students are not being assessed.
Problem Statement:

            In my experience, standardized tests have been a huge obstacle for me and my friends. We stress nonstop about these tests that are supposed to “decided our future”. But they are tests, not our next step into life. Society has turned standardized tests into a wicked and manipulated educational “tool”. Standardized tests are supposed to be used for to get into college, however, multiple tests have concluded that the student’s average GPA is the best determinate for their collegiate career. I also have also read multiple papers about how standardized tests are not fair for everyone. I currently volunteer at St. Thomas Aquinas for my service this semester. St. Thomas Aquinas is an extremely poor school where the third grade students can barely read or write. Knowing these amazing students and their future standardized test that they have to take, it breaks my heart. These kids probably won’t go to a good college or graduate from high school. A lot of them have been suspended from starting fights, stealing things and talking back to teachers. They live in a different environment than other rich Cleveland children. The students ae this school come to school in dirty clothes, cannot afford Halloween costumes and live in an overall poor community. It is extremely unfair that these students will have to take the same tests as richer communities. Students at St. Thomas Aquinas are struggling to get by, yet they will pay money to take tests that they will more than likely not do well in. For my field work, I go to Gesu and there is a huge difference between Gesu and St. Thomas Aquinas. The resources that the children at Gesu have are overflowing while at St. Thomas, there is little to none. This inequality of resources will influence how children succeed in life. There needs to be a better solution for standardized tests.

week 6 of my clinical experience

This week, they students were still working on their advertisements for their toy that they invented. They worked on the iPads on iMovie to create a commercial. What I noticed this week was that these students at Gesu are so lucky with the resources and opportunities they have. They have bucket loads of toys, books, all sorts of technology, different learning tools and much more. While some schools in America have little to nothing of that. I volunteer at St. Thomas Aquinas. That school is suffering. They have great kids and amazing teachers, but the money and the resources are not there. This can greatly influence the students' futures and their outlook on life and education. It's unequal and unfair but that is how it works which is sad.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

week 5 of my clinical experience

Today, the students continued to work on their project regarding making a toy and advertising it. The teacher gave them iPads to work on their iMovie for the commercial. I love this idea of having the children use the iPads because in this generation, technology is a key contributor to learning. Technology is very relevant in today's society too. I think it is good that the students can use their skill of using technology and what they are learning in class.
Also today, I worked with multiple students on multiplication and different methods of multiplying numbers together. I liked that the teacher gave her students multiple ways to do multiplication because it shows students that there is more than one way to solve a problem.
It really hit me today how lucky these children are. For my service, I go to St. Thomas Aquinas and work with students on their homework and just play with them. They have told me so many horrific stories about what goes on at their school. Today, one kid told me that there were gun shots outside his school and everyone had to evacuate to the cafeteria. While at Gesu, kids have iPads and clean clothes and working bathrooms. It is very sad that schools are very different in these ways. They are also both private Catholic schools. I just find it astonishing that no matter how similar the schools can be, there will always be a significant difference.

Monday, November 14, 2016

annotated bibliography: standardized tests (blogpost 9)

Standardized Tests: The Ultimate Setback 

Harris, Phillip. "Standardized Tests Do Not Effectively Measure Student Achievement. Standardized Testing. 2012. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, Accessed 13 Nov. 2016.

           In the article, “Standardized Tests Do Not Effectively Measure Student Achievement” by Phillip Harris, it discusses the reasons why standardized tests do not show students’ achievement. It goes furtherer into detail about how the standardized tests do not measure very important qualities of “achievement” like creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence and many other characteristics that should be included into today’s student learning. “Student achievement” should not be about what one received on his or her state math test or ACT or any standardized tests whatsoever but more about the characteristics mentioned earlier. The article then states that standardized tests is a reward for shallow thinking. In other words, tests become incentives for students to become superficial thinkers or to see the quick, easy and obvious answer. This then restricts the students to dive deeper into the problem and really think about what they are trying to find or explain. The article will be a great reference to me because it explains a lot of wrong characteristics of standardized tests. I also really enjoy how the author included multiple other sources in his work to show that other people are supporting his thesis. And finally, I know that the author is credible because in the beginning of the article, it states that Phillip Harris is the executive director of the Association of Educational Communications and Technology and was a faculty member for twenty-two years at Indiana University.

Soares, Joseph. "Standardized Tests Discriminate Against Minority and Lower Income Students." College Admissions. 2015. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, Accessed 13 Nov. 2016.

            “Standardized Tests Discriminate Against Minority and Lower Income Students” explains how standardized tests scores are setting back the poor and minority students in America. Joseph Soares explains that the ACT and the SAT put low income families and minority students at a significant disadvantage. This then results in colleges becoming less diverse. He gives an alternative to standardized tests by just having colleges consider the students’ grade point average or GPA instead of standardized tests. Richard Atkinson is quoted in the article stating that, “Irrespective of the quality or type of school attended, cumulative grade point average (GPA) in academic subject in high school has proved to be the best overall predictor of student performance in college…” (Soares 2). Also, it has been proven that there is a strong correlation to one’s family income and the standardized test scores. As the income increases, so does the test scores. I am going to use this resource in my paper because I never interpreted standardized testing as a demographic issue. It opened my eyes as you how unfair and unequal these tests actually are to students all over the nation. This is a credible source because the author, Joseph Soares, wrote a whole book on how the SAT tests can damaging to students and their futures.

“Standardized Tests." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2nd ed., vol. 8, 2008. Gale Virtual Reference, Accessed 13 Nov. 2016.

            In this source, it explains the background of standardized tests. Standardized testing was first created in 1900 with the development of the College Entrance Examination Board. The main purpose of these tests was to encourage the development of a common curriculum among elite boarding schools. Also, the original test consisted of mostly essays and was not designed for mass testing. The SAT was based on Army IQ tests to measure intelligence while the ACT was designed to measure achievement rather than intelligence. This information will be very helpful for my paper because it shows the history of standardized tests which I can describe in my essay. Also in the article, it explains key criticisms of standardized tests, which are the neglect of environmental differences among students, particularly those associated with cultural and racial differences and testing bias and validity. Finally, the article also mentions the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002 and how that affected standardized testing. This information will help me show my readers how standardized testing can be very limiting to students, how the government tried to help and if it really helped or not. The article seems very reliable because it is from an international encyclopedia of social science.

Walberg, Herbert J. "Standardized Tests Effectively Measure Student Achievement." Standardized Testing, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, Accessed 13 Nov. 2016.

            My last source I selected is called “Standardized Tests Effectively Measure Student Achievement”, by Herbert Walberg. Walberg explains why students should take standardized testing and why these tests are a good thing to our society. He goes further by saying that standardized tests are generally good at measuring students’ knowledge, skills and understanding because they are objective, fair, efficient and comprehensive. Also mentioned, the tests reveal strengths that can help identify the students’ talents to be further developed in college and in specialized fields of study like law and medicine. This source is different than my other three because I would like to use this for my rebuttal section. What I plan on doing is stating Walberg’s information that standardized tests are beneficial and prove him wrong with my other sources. This article is credible because Herbert Walberg taught for 35 years at Harvard  University and the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a member of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education. He also has wrote or edited more than sixty books on education.