BC: CEP 240 Spring 2010
FC: My Portfolio | Lauren Bennett CEP 240-004
2: Voices in the Park Critique | Anthony Browne’s Voices in the Park is a socially biased picture book that illustrates the many ways the upper class oppresses not only lower social classes, but also its own members. By visually representing each Voice through different mediums, styles and fonts, the reader is positioned to relate to those oppressed. Finally, through the Fourth Voice, Browne’s political agenda becomes clear. Browne represents Voice One as a snobby, upper-middle class woman. On the first page of the story, the illustrator depicts her walking her dog and son stiffly away from her brooding white house. The fence surrounding it is white and even. One of the fence posts incorporates a hat that strongly resembles the red, wide-brimmed one she wears (3). It is as if she not only owns the house and fence, but her power over that domain is extended in a symbolic way. This motif continues throughout the book. When the Third Voice begins to speak, the hat is all around him. The clouds in the sky, the tops of the lampposts, and one of the trees are shaped like the First Voice’s hat. Charles stands on the sidewalk with the shadow of a hat-shaped lamppost cowering over him, as if it is reminding him who is in charge (17). When the First Voice shoos away the “strange” dog, the Fourth Voice portrays her as big, scary, and frowning. Her infamous hat is raised above her head in rage, the two dogs near her ears as if emulating smoke (25). Finally, the First Voice leads Charles away from the park toward two pillars topped with the shape of her hat. On the other side of the pillars, a violent, threatening street that looks like a raging sea awaits them (31). The hat motif seems to represent the First Voice’s intimidating stronghold on the atmosphere around her. The font Browne uses for the First Voice seems proper and refined; it serves as a further visual representation (3-8). Overall, the First Voice is expressed as an overbearing, snobby, well-off society woman.
3: In contrast, the Second Voice is portrayed sitting in an armchair, looking defeated. Even his dog is sadly hiding behind it. His painted-splattered clothes and slightly worn armchair both suggest that he is of a lower social class (10). On the next page, when he is walking with Smudge and Albert to the park, his depression is depicted by not only his slouching, but also with the similar slouching of the light post and the two trees. Santa Claus sits on the sidewalk holding a sign that says “Wife and millions of kids to support”, as if every child’s dream is being shattered by poverty. Even the Mona Lisa is crying, sitting on a sidewalk surrounded in a puddle of tears (11). The font Browne uses for this character is plain and bold (10-15). The Third Voice is first depicted with detailed cross-hatching (16). Even where the colors are soft and not outlined, Charles is sharply crosshatched. This is especially apparent when he is going down the slide, surrounded by happy bright colors. Even then, the cross-hatching still metaphorically holds him back from truly experiencing the happiness a child should experience at a park (19). As his portion of the story progresses, his time with Smudge seems to gradually smooth out these lines until they are no longer existent. When he is happily climbing in the tree, he smiles, freed momentarily from his lines that serve as metaphorical boundaries (22). This character’s font is also very line-oriented, as if it is the font of an old typewriter (16-23). | The first three voices are portrayed using relatively gloomy color schemes, except when Smudge is in the picture. Smudge, the Fourth Voice, is a playful child with a happy ponytail sticking straight up. Her world is full of bright, primary colors and fruits (24). Even when she sees the First Voice so angry, she sees happy flowers sprouting from her scarf (25). She is very blunt in her choices of words, like a child normally is. For example, she admits that at first she thought the Third Voice was “kind of a wimp” (26). Her font is bold and childish, like a child’s handwriting (24-32). Even when she recognizes the world as being gloomy for others, like “Charlie”, she sees light, color and happiness around her. For example, when “Charlie” picks a flower for her just as his mother calls him to go home, the two children are depicted surrounded in a sunny yellow light, despite the dark, intimidating trees around them (30).
4: This book portrays the wealthier class, represented by the First Voice, as oppressive to both those caught in it and oppressed by it. Charles, the Third Voice, is caught involuntarily in the wealthy class. He is portrayed as being held down by the stiff boundaries it enforces. This is metaphorically illustrated when his mother tells him to sit on the bench next to her, under her watch (5). She doesn’t want him running wild with members of a lower class, such as the Fourth Voice (8). This illustrates the gap that the upper class tries to enforce between themselves and members of the lower class. The reader is positioned to believe that the First Voice is the oppressor. Beginning with the Second Voice, and extending through the Third and Fourth Voices, the reader beings to relate more and more with each character. The First Voice believes she is in power, largely due to her social status. This is shown through out the book in how she treats the other characters and in the visual reminders, such as the hat motif, that she maintains. On the front cover, all of the different Voices’ fonts are represented in the word “Voices”. However, the rest of the title is written in the First Voice’s font, as is the author’s name. This is symbolic of the power that Voice One, or the upper class, perceives itself as having. In many ways, this perception is very realistic. The Second Voice is out of a job, Santa Claus is begging for money, and the Third Voice is restrained from expanding his social horizons (14, 11, 22). All of these restrictions are meant to be perceived as being enforced by the upper class or, in this case, Voice One.
5: 7.14.09 | Does this mean that the First Voice is truly in power? No. The Fourth Voice (Smudge) has taken a stand against the upper class by not letting its characteristic gloom put a damper on her colorful world. Even though she shares the same world that the Second Voice lives in, she doesn’t let the depression fade her sunny perception of life. Smudge goes so far as to call Voice One a “silly twit” when she got angry about the two dogs sniffing each other (25). In this way, the Fourth Voice trivializes the concerns of the upper class. She sends the message that even if you are a member of a lower social class, you can overcome the oppression of the upper class by refusing to let it ruin your perception of the world around you. Everywhere she looks she sees bright colors (24-29). This represents the hope that Smudge sees in the world, despite the ugliness that seems to radiate from everything tarnished by the upper class. In conclusion, Anthony Browne’s Voices in the Park illustrates the differences in social class from the perspective of those oppressed by it. The First Voice is representative of the upper class and metaphorically oppresses both the Second and Third Voices. The Fourth Voice is the small streak of hope in the story and is a part of the lower class. This picture book is not meant for children. It illustrates the harsh realities of class differences in a politically biased manner.
6: Bone: Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith is a young adult graphic novel. It is the first in a series of nine books. This book follows three cousins as they escape their hometown, Boneville. Fone Bone is the protagonist. He is helpful and compassionate. Phoney Bone is the rich, dishonest, scheming cousin that gets them all run out of Boneville in the first place. Smiley Bone is the wandering, cigar-smoking, happy-go-lucky cousin who seems to always have a trick up his sleeve. When they wander out of the limited range of their map, a swarm of locusts separates them. This book follows the cousins as they try to find each other, running into strange creatures, making new friends, and fending off evil. The first thing I noticed about Bone was that from page 1, Phoney Bone is smoking a cigar (Smith, 1). He’s not quietly puffing on it, either. Special attention is paid to Phoney’s cigar as Fone Bone relights it for him and he talks loudly, waving it around in his hands (Smith, 2,3). This cigar seems to indicate both that Phoney is “free as a bird” and that he is irresponsible, “like a mangy, stray dog who doesn’t eat very often” (Smith, 3). The only other character that smokes in this book is the dragon. When Fone Bone is first separated from his cousins, he begins following a trail of cigar butts, thinking they belong to Phoney. It turns out they belong to the dragon, who also smokes cigars incessantly (Smith, 14). | Bone:: Out of Boneville Critique
7: Another thing I noticed was the role of gender in Bone. The only female characters are Thorn, Grandma, and “Miz Possum” (Smith, 28). Thorn is a skinny, Caucasian girl who lives with her grandma. She plays the classic nurturing feminine role with Fone Bone when she takes care of him. The book also portrays her cooking, cleaning, and gathering water. At one point, Thorn says to Fone, “If you finish up the dishes, I’ll go split some firewood” (Smith, 54). Fone argues, saying “Where I come from, what you just said is backwards! Choppin’ firewood is a manly thing!” (Smith, 54). Because Fone is so small, he cannot reach the ax, let alone chop the wood. Therefore, Thorn suggests that they “get the firewood later” (Smith, 55). This is an interesting scene to include in a young adult novel. I’m interested to see if this comes up in the discussion.
8: Thorn’s Grandma is a tough Caucasian woman. She is drawn as a stereotypical old woman, with white hair, an apron a prominent chin, and a squinty, yet pleasant, face (Smith, 64). She races cows and easily handles both the rat creatures and the dragon. She is definitely a strong woman, but, nevertheless, many of the stereotypes that generally describe elderly women like herself remain true. Finally, ‘Miz Possum’ is the mother of three possum babies. Her character definitely plays into the traditional view of women. She is nurturing, but not too bright. She brings Fone Bone blankets and supplies, but leaves her three children with him (Smith, 28). After he loses them, she continues to dote on him and his “stories” (Smith, 40). The remaining characters in Bone are male. As you may have noticed, all of the humans in this book are Caucasian. This book was definitely written for a white, male audience.
9: Another interesting thing about Bone is its implications about social status and wealth. Phoney Bone is rich and dishonest, a combination stereotypically paired together. Even his name serves as an indicator of his personality! Phoney continues to act like a selfish jerk and is villainized throughout the book. All of the other characters either seem to be hard-working individuals or are on the poorer side, like Smiley. If we take a look at Smiley, starting with his name and moving on to his carefree demeanor, it is clear that Smith wants readers to notice the significant difference between Phoney and Smiley. In noticing the difference, it is natural to dislike Phoney and, despite his irresponsibility, to like Smiley, I believe that this was intentional. Overall, Bone is an interesting book. It has a lot to say about what the role of women is in society. It takes a much more traditional and conservative look at the duties and personalities of women. Furthermore, Smith seems to strongly dislike excessive wealth. Additionally, the Dragon and Smiley are tied together by their love of cigars, which is not a normal theme for a young adult graphic novel. All in all, I didn’t really like this book. I thought it was largely based on stereotypes and is meant to be read by dominant white males. I also didn’t find the storyline particularly compelling. It was even a little confusing. For a young adult graphic novel, I thought that Jeff Smith’s Bone was sorely lacking.
10: Important Concepts to Remember | IDEA oZero Reject oFree Appropriate Public Education oLeast Restrictive Environment oNondiscriminatory Evaluation oParent and Family Rights to Confidentiality oProcedural Safeguards Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 oExtends protections to both public and private sectors, regardless of federal funding No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 oAvailability of assessment results oAssessment in English of ESL students after three years of language instruction oDemonstration through standard assessment of academic proficiency for most students by 2013-2014 oSanctions for Title I schools that fail to make AYP two years in a row oHighly qualified teachers for all students The Civil Rights Act of 1964 obanned discrimination in schools, employment, and public accommodations, and gave voting rights to millions. Collaboration oVoluntary oRequires sharing resources oBased on parity oEmergent oInvolves shared responsibility for key decisions oRequires a mutual goal oIncludes shared accountability for outcomes Interaction Process Steps o1) Create a climate for problem solving o2) Identify the problem o3) Generate alternatives o4) Assess potential solutions, select one o5) Implement the idea o6) Evaluate the outcome o7) Continue, modify, or select new idea
11: Co-teaching Delivery Models oOne teach, one observe oParallel teaching oStation teaching oAlternative teaching oTeaming oOne teach, one assist Building Partnerships with Parents oEncourage parent participation oAddress cultural differences oAvoid treating all members of a cultural group as though they are alike oDevelop cultural sensitivity oAsk parents for their unique perspectives oListen to their points of view Cognitive Styles oField independence Analytical Focus on specifics, less on context Learn best in discrete, incremental steps oField sensitivity Holistic approach Focus on broader concepts before details Learn best through hands-on, authentic tasks M2ECCA Framework oMethods of instruction oMaterials of instruction oEnvironment of the classroom oContent of instruction oCollaboration in instruction oAssessment process
12: ADHD oTypes Predominately inattentive Predominately hyperactive/impulsive Combined oCognitive characteristics Problems with Executive Functioning Working memory is not efficient Self-directed speech not utilized effectively Difficulty controlling emotions or motivation Reconstitution – the ability to break down what is observed and to combine parts to carry out new actions oAcademic characteristics Some students are very successful academically Other students consistently achieve below their potential Academic self-concept is important oSocial/emotional characteristics Self-esteem is a problem for some, but not all, students with ADHD Students often have problems coping with social functioning Developing and maintaining friendships Rejection by peers oBehavior characteristics Failure to attend to details Make careless mistakes in work Failure to complete schoolwork Failure to listen when spoken to directly Difficulty organizing tasks and materials Avoidance of tasks that require sustained mental effort
13: Hearing impairment oAn impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating that adversely affects education Deafness oA hearing impairment that is severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects educational performance Deaf Culture oRefers to members of the Deaf community who embrace Deaf culture, a unique subset of American society oDeaf culture identity includes (1) being deaf (2) using ASL (3) attending a residential school for the Deaf oDeafness is not considered a disability Hearing Loss oTime of hearing loss Congenital Present at birth Acquired/adventitious Occurs after birth Prelingual Occurs prior to speech and language development Postlingual Occurs after speech and language developed oEncephalitis oCauses of hearing loss Prelingual Genetic disorder Prenatal infections Illnesses Other conditions present at time of birth Postlingual Meningitis Ear infections Medications Measles oTypes of hearing loss Conductive Outer or middle ear problem Amplification may help Sensorineural Inner ear or nerve problem Mixed oAdditional factors Bilateral or unilateral hearing loss Fluctuating hearing loss Degree of hearing loss Measured in decibels (dB) 7 classifications of hearing loss ranging from normal hearing (0-15 dB) to moderate (41-55 dB) to profound hearing loss (+91 dB
14: Visual impairment oAny vision loss oLow vision Individual has difficulty accomplishing visual tasks but can use compensatory strategies or technological modifications oBlindness No vision or only light perception oVision loss can be congenital or adventitious Gender oCulturally determined Sex oBiologically determined The Equal Pay Act of 1963 oRequired the same pay for the same job for men and women. Title VII oApproved in 1964, prohibited discrimination based on race, color, national origin, or sex. Mental Retardation oIDEA definition “significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.” oAAMR 2002 definition Mental retardation is characterized by intellectual and adaptive behavioral limitations emerging before 18 years of age: Must be assessed in environments typical for age and culture Must consider cultural, linguistic, communication, and sensory factors Must consider strengths as well as limitations Purpose of describing limitations is to develop support needs Appropriate personalized supports will, over time, improve the life functioning of the individual with mental retardation oCauses Most are unknown Prenatal (before birth) Chromosomal abnormalities (e.g., Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) Perinatal (during/immediately after birth) Premature birth, low birth weight, anoxia Postnatal (after birth) Accidents or illnesses (e.g., encephalitis, brain injury)
15: Language oThe system of symbols that individuals use for communication, based on their culture Expressive language Receptive language o5 Components Form Syntax Morphology Phonology Content Semantics Function Pragmatics oDisorders Specific language impairment Language delay Aphasia Central auditory processing disorder oCommunication and technology Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) Unaided – sign language Aided – depends on equipment or materials oCommunication board oComputer with speech processor oWord prediction software
16: Autism oIDEA definition a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. oCauses Biological May be inherited Higher frequency of siblings with autism No single gene responsible Brain-based Abnormalities in cerebellum Abnormalities in frontal and temporal loes Environmental Controversy over immunization oCharacteristics Common Difficulty relating to others Wide range of language and communication disorders Insistence on environmental sameness Stereotypic, repetitive, self-stimulatory behaviors Cognitive/Academic Cognitive abilities vary widely Over-reliance on rote memory Problems with theory of mind Problem solving challenges Social/Emotional Language disorders Problems with communicative intent Asperger language problems Immaturity Behavior Self-stimulatory behaviors Generalization difficulties Sensory issues oSocial skills supports Instruction in social skills Social stories SOCCSS Situation Options Consequences Choices Strategies Simulation
17: Physical/health disabilities oTypes Chronic – e.g., cerebral palsy Acute – e.g., childhood cancers Progressive – e.g., muscular dystrophy Episodic – e.g., epilepsy Congenital – present at birth Acquired – occurs after birth oParts of the body affected Monoplegia – only one limb is affected Hemiplegia – one side of the body is affected Paraplegia – only legs are affected Tetraplegia (formerly called quadriplegia) – involves all limbs and trunk of the body Diplegia – both legs or both arms are affected Orthopedic impairments oIDEA definition a severe impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease, and impairments from other causes Traumatic brain injury oIDEA definition an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. oTypes Closed head injury No physical injury to the skull Open head injury Skull is fractured and membrane surrounding the brain is penetrated Emotional/behavioral disorders oIDEA emotional disturbance definition One or more of the following characteristics, over a long period of time, to a marked degree, which adversely affects a child’s educational performance – inability to learn that can’t be otherwise explained inability to build or maintain relationships with peers and teachers inappropriate types of behavior or expression of feelings pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression physical symptoms or fears associated with personal/school problems Includes schizophrenia but excludes social maladjustment
18: RARA SCAMP!
20: Interview | Amin is a 56-year-old Iranian man who fluently speaks English, Farsi and Azeri Turkic. He was born in Iran in 1953 and at the age of 26 moved to the United States where he has lived for 30 years. His mother tongue is Azeri Turkic, which he learned from his parents growing up. This language was spoken by the majority of the people that lived in Amin’s home city in Iran. In Iran, Farsi, a Persian language, is used in schools. The instructors teach in Persian, the children learn to read in Persian and so on. Therefore, Iranian children automatically learn the language as soon as they begin school. This means that most residents of Amin’s hometown are bilingual in Azeri Turkic and Farsi. When Amin came to the United States, he learned English out of necessity. When he arrived in the country, he started school and got a job; both helped to familiarize him with the English language. He pointed out, however, that one of the most important factors that helped him to learn English were day to day activities, such as watching English television and talking to friends that spoke English well. When asked which language he preferred to speak, Amin immediately answered “Turkic”. He explained his choice by saying that his mother and whole family speak “Turkic”. However, he did make it clear that the environment, including the people around him and the country in which he is, greatly influences his language choice. I asked Amin if he spoke either of his languages in public. He said that if he sees a friend from oversees or someone who speaks either Farsi or Turkic he would converse with them in those languages rather than in English. I then asked whether he would speak English or Farsi to his wife if they, for example, went to a primarily English-speaking environment, such as the mall, together. He responded by saying, “If we are alone, Persian [Farsi], but if we are with [an] American friend, English”. Amin said that he has never gotten any kind of negative reaction from a primarily English-speaking person who had overheard his use of Farsi or Azeri Turkic. In fact, he said that listeners usually “like it”.
21: Amin has been married twice. His first wife was American and did not speak Farsi or Azeri Turkic. Neither of the children from his first marriage learned his native languages. His second, and current, wife, who also originates from Iran, speaks Farsi but not Azeri Turkic. This is because she is from a region that is completely dominated by Farsi. Unlike the area Amin is from, Turkic is rarely spoken there. When asked if marrying someone who speaks at least one of this languages was important to him, he said, “Very much so.” He supports this assertion by explaining that because language is closely tied to culture and customs, couples that speak the same language “understand each other better.” In addition, his daughter from his second marriage is fluent in Farsi. Amin goes on to discuss the importance of shared language in raising children. He admits that he experienced challenges raising his two kids from his first marriage with his American wife. For example, he tried to teach his children his native languages but was unsuccessful. Drawing from this experience, he believes that “both parents have to speak [the] same language” in order to build a strong enough foundation to successfully teach the children a language. In his first marriage, only he, not his wife, spoke Farsi and Turkic; therefore, he was unsuccessful in teaching these languages to his children. In his second marriage, however, he was able to teach his daughter to speak Farsi and to understand a little Azeri Turkic. He believes that this is due to the fact that both he and his current wife speak Farsi. Amin’s repeated efforts to teach his children his native languages demonstrate his deep sense of loyalty toward them. As he answered this question, his face lit up and it was apparent that his native languages were greatly valued in every aspect of his life. He felt so emotionally attached to them, that he relentlessly attempted to teach them to his children, even when there were obstacles. Amin did not abandon hope of the revitalization of his native language. His attitude toward his languages reflects a sense of emotional attachment and loyalty that he went on to share with his children.
22: Amin was also asked whether he felt more American or Iranian. At first he was a little stumped, saying that he felt “both of them, really”. But eventually he admitted that he experiences stronger connections to his Iranian identity because he was born there, his family lives there and he has many memories from when he lived in Iran. Although he is living a fairly American lifestyle, he maintains his culture and language in many ways, such as by practicing his native religion, by cooking native Iranian food and by teaching his daughter Farsi. When asked whether he could express himself fully in each of his languages, Amin confidently answered, “Yes I can.” He went on to approzimate the extent to which he is able to express himself in each language. In English he admitted that there was room to improve, estimating his abilities to be “95 or 98 percent”; he assessed his Azeri Turkic and Farsi abilities to be 100 percent able to support self-expression. He said that the language in which he thinks is heavily dependent on his current environment, mood or situation. For example, when he is upset, he thinks in English. When he is happy, he thinks in Azeri Turkic. In addition, Amin informed me that he “always dream[s] in Turkic” and in his dreams, he is always in Iran. When asked if he ever feels isolated due to his languages, Amin confidently answer, “No.” When I inquired further, asking if he ever feels isolated when speaking Farsi or Turkic around English-speakers in America, he asserted that he usually spoke English when there were Americans nearby. He believes that this awareness demonstrated politeness. Amin makes a conscious effort to make sure he doesn’t put himself in a position where he could be isolated. He believes that being isolated is essentially a choice. He summarized, “I don’t [feel isolated] because I don’t want to.” Amin further contends that he has never felt discriminated against in in this country or another country.
23: Amin feels strongly about maintaining his linguistic identities. When asked if he had ever thought of abandoning his languages, he explained, “Oh, not at all! No!” He elaborated by announcing that he “love[s] them” and that his whole family speaks his languages. He is particularly concerned about being able to fluently and skillfully speak Farsi and Azeri Turkic to his family members when he visits Iran in the future. He said that although a few of his family members do speak English, he prefers to speak Farsi or Turkic with them. In order to further explore the subject of his family, both distand and near, I asked about their attitudes toward Farsi and Azeri Turkic. He explained that Iranian people, whether currently residing in Iran or not, are very proud of their languages. His family in Iran loves that he has maintained the languages so well. He boasts, “They’re surprised that still after thirty years, [I have] no accent change and I know the customs [and] culturesand follow the customs [and] cultures.” Amin’s family in the United States feels exactly the same.
24: Last summer I began working for Rochester Avon Recreation Authority (RARA) as a camp counselor for one of their many day camps. I worked at SCAMP, RARA’s special needs day camp. This organization is filled with compassionate people who are just trying to make a difference in the community. I have included several excerpts from the current brochure. RARA’s website is http://rararecreation.org/. The full brochure can be found there.
25: "RARA has been the recreation provider to the communities of Rochester and Rochester Hills, Michigan, since 1946. We provide recreation programs from 12 months to adults in a variety of areas, such as dance, sports classes, sport leagues, pre-school classes, special events, fitness, skiing, and so much more. RARA welcomes you to enjoy the recreational opportunities of our community." -Website
28: This class has impacted me in many ways. I have learned basic information about special education that I will probably use routinely in my career. Also, I hope to apply some of the teaching techniques that Professor McCarthy taught us: | What I've learned...
29: "Go into every new relationship with a fresh pair of eyes." | "Every relationship is emergent!" | Basically, I learned that patience, flexibility, & openness are the most important things in both life and in teaching. I will always remember this class because it changed my outlook on teaching from focusing everything on structure to focusing everything on learning. (And all learning should be reciprocal learning!!)