Wednesday, December 10, 2008

one pager

Shawnee McPhail

ONE PAGER Encouraging Diversity in the Classroom

I. Your Research Question(s)

a. What is Diversity?

b. How do we encourage diversity in the classroom?

c. How do we encourage diversity with the presence of CSAPs?

d. How does the importance of diversity in the classroom change from elementary school to high school?

e. How does grammar usage and correction play into encouraging diverse learning?

II. List of your Primary Sources

a. Liza Bauer (High School Teacher)

b. Anusha Rangawamy (Indian-American parent)

c. Cecile (6TH Grade teacher at Harris Bilingual)

d. Mary Shaffer (Parent of HS student, and middle school teacher)

III. Major Findings

a. Diversity meant similar things

b. How to implement diversity was drastically different

c. Parent’s expectations and teacher’s expectatiosn differed

d. Diversity is less encouraged as time progessed in education

e. Teachers did not feel adequately educated in specifically promoting diversity in terms of grammar or in general

IV. Implications/Future Questions

a. How do we reconcile these differences?

b. How do we encourage diversity and community participation with other engagements?

V. List of Secondary Sources:

Cruz, MaryCarmen. "Can English Language Learners Acquire Academic English?" English Journal 93 (2004).


VII. Gammell, Rebecca. "Encouraging Student Voice in Academic Writing." English Journal 98 (2008).


IX. Lindbolm, Kenneth. "Teaching English in the World." English Jouranl 94 (2005).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Seconday Source

SOOOOO I only read one of the sources that I'm going to use. I think that there will always be gaps between the research and what I want to get at. I want to know how to culturally teach but at the same time, I'm tired of the hand holding and excuses. I thinking that the students and teachers I interview will give me the real answers I'm looking for.

Friday, October 31, 2008


What is the last step is a parent doesn't want a student to read a book?

I have a hard time with this question. The thing is, that although the educator side of me says that it is important to teach these books and have students wrestle with these questions because as the NCTE standard 12 says, and I paraphrase, is that literature is a record of the human experience. That's what makes our subject worth knowing and learning. Otherwise, it'd just be writing down letters and learning sounds. And there is more to English than that. We need to know these things, and see perspective and all this. And yet, as a parent, I strongly feel that as parents, for the most part we are trying to do what we find is best for our child. Sometimes this may be misguided, and that's certainly true about some parents more than others, but there will be things we do, that every parents does, that may be out of best interest but ultimately harms the child. This can be the lack of encouraging education or reading or blocking out certain book and all that. It could be teaching a child to hate another race group or something terrible along those lines. But we do it because we feel strongly about certain things and don't want those things to be fed to our child by society if we don't believe them. I understand that, even though I do not believe in censoring books or any of the above mentioned examples. I suppose then, that the only thing we can do is try to understand the parent. Instead of being defensive and saying "too bad!" it should more be a partnership. The parent is intrusting their child to us to help them raise them. And there will be times that a child isn't getting what you deem is appropriate but where do you draw the line? It's a hard one. I'd say sit down with the parents with an open mind and listen to what the real concern is, and if they haven't read the book, have them read it so they can really see the dangers and positives of the book more clearly before making a per haps rash decision. But in the end, it's their decision and as educators, I suppose we have to respect that. Such is the stress of teaching, but it's what makes our jobs more interesting than others... we never know what we're going to get.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gee V. Delpit

Can a student learn discourses that are outside their normal discourse? Does that affect status and what does that mean? Can someone acquire another discourse enough to challenge other discourses and how does that effect us? These are some arguments that Gee and Delpit address in their articles. They're similar in view, and Delpit is responding to Gee, and I have to say that I agree with Delpit more. Can a student effectively learn a new discourse well though, when they aren't native to this discourse and use it for empowerment and status? Can they make the transformation? I'm sure they can. They problem is they need to be exposed to the secondary discourse. We don't get this being so descriptive in language that we ignore and allow for mistakes in all mediums of langauge, whether that be spoken or written. We need to decide as teachers that it means, where our beliefs lie, and where we draw the line. Will we not correct spoken language, but correct written language? Neither? Both? At what extent is this necessary?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Language Investigation 3

I was that really nerdy kid that hated homework. So, basically a big dork with big brown plastic glasses and long stringy hair. Oh yeah, I was THAT kid. But I loved reading, I just hated writing. So, I didn't. I talked a LOT, but not writing. But eventually my love for reading spilled over into me wanting to be a writer. It just kinda evolved that way. I wrote journals, I wrote my first short story when I was like 8 and I think it was about something grotesque, but I blame DOOM the videogame (which I played on my old dinosaur of a computer.That and Wolfenstein. haha.) The point is, I loved it. I wrote about everything, I narrated my life in song, as if I was in a perpetual musical. Big. Nerd.
But then just as I started feeling like I was getting enough tools to articulate what I had in my brain in an exceptional way, my teachers were like "hey! advanced English for you!" and away I went to write papers. And what happened? My creativity was sucked out! I took Creative Writing in HS and that was hard for me b/c I wasn't used to writing with "I " anymore, or saying anything without it being a formal, basic, boring paper. I think I defaulted to teenage angst, which, I am NOT looking forward to reading as a teacher. I was SO whiney, it's really pathetic, and quite embarassing. Ah, the embarassment of youth! Once I was a junior and they had us writing a research paper and I think that finalized the death of my suffering creativity. Gone. So, now? I struggle between finding my voice and being appropriate, and making sure that what I say can be understood. What do I do? I speak what I'm writing outloud as I write it. Oh yes, I'm doing that right now. If you do that, you'd be an insider with me. If you struggle to find your creativity, you're an insider with me. If you can rock the 5 paragraph essay, and bust out a research paper and be damn good at it, you're an insider with me. But if you're the writing master, who never had to conform to testing and school regulations, if you had creative schooling like Montessori school, or if you don't talk to yourself when you're reading/writing you are definitely an outsider.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Warm up 2

On page 141 he says "Mys tudents needed to be immersed in talking, reading and writing, they needed to further develop their ability to think critically, and they needed to gain the confidence in themselves as systematic inquirers. They had to be let into the academic club." I think that this relates to what we were discussing as far as insiders tatus. They msispelled words or wrote fragments or dropped verb endings and this made barriers between them and others. This "labeled" them as undeducated or below. He goes on to say "Mys tduents, too, were strangers in a strange land, and I wanted to create a safe section of the city and give them an oportunity to acquire the language." So he did this by bringing in newspapers, magazines song lirics and political pamphlets to actually study and analyze language int he real world. He would have them summarize short readings, and moced from comparing and contrasting, to anaylizing and took babysteps to help them master what they were doing. I think he was fearful that he would overwhelm them and make them feel like more of an outsider instead of making them feel like an insider from gaining this knowledge through immersion. He also used excerpts, like sentences to compare instead of whole essays. That way it was easier to tackle. He also provided context and prepared these readings and writings in order so that they were easy to accomplish, and the students were able to build upon them to reach the larger goal of writing an essay or analyzing a main text.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Forwarded message from Obama:

You'd be surprised how many people you know aren't registered to vote. Registration deadlines are coming up soon, and we need every single vote we can get to win this election. Tell your friends, family, and neighbors to check out our new one-stop voter registration website. Just forward this message. makes it easier than ever to register. Instead of tracking down the right forms, all you need to do is answer a few basic questions and you'll be ready to vote. You can also:
Confirm your existing registration
Apply to vote absentee
Find your polling placeIf you don't know your own registration status or you'd like to learn more, take a minute to visit the site right now. This race is too close and too important to stay home on Election Day. If you take the time to register and vote -- and make sure everyone you know is registered as well -- we'll be able to turn the tide of the past eight years. It's people just like you who will transform this nation. Thanks, Barack