Thursday, October 23, 2008

School Mascot

Go Onteora Indians!
1. School mascot was chosen out of respect and considered non-discriminatory. (pg. 129)
2. Mascot had been a symbol of motivation and inspiration. Mascot was painted on a wall as a reminder of school spirit. (pg. 129)
3. Debate over censorship; would removing the painting go too far? (pg. 129)
4. Straw pole of students and community members felt in favor of keeping the mascot (,%20American)

Community: One Love One Race

Pro Stance Hyperlink

Con Stance Hyperlink

IV. Evaluate Progress and Recommend Follow-up

In light of the established activities and evaluation criteria, what progress has been made?

Are all the individuals/groups involved satisfied with this progress?

Note any changes that have occurred and any new problems that have arisen

Identify necessary revisions to the Plan of Action

III. Plan of Action

Goal 1:

Activity, Referral, Resource, Strategy:

Person(s) Responsible:

Criteria for Evaluation:

Time Line:

Goal 2:

Activity, Referral, Resource, Strategy:

Person(s) Responsible:

Criteria for Evaluation:

Time Line:
Goal 3:

Activity, Referral, Resource, Strategy:

Person(s) Responsible:

Criteria for Evaluation:

Time Line:

I. Identify and Frame the Problem

What are the facts?

  • Jim Peterson is a student teacher
  • Mrs. Fitzgerald is Jim Peterson’s cooperating teacher
  • Mrs. Fitzgerald is seen as strict and inflexible with the students
  • Jim thinks Mrs. Fitzgerald treats him similar to the students
  • Mrs. Fitzgerald is the wife of the principal
  • Jim is an older student, at the age of 35
  • Jim is still attempting to find a job
  • Jim is more laid back
  • All classroom doors must remain open all day
  • Mrs. Fitzgerald makes it clear that behavior management is the most important than anything else a teacher has to do
  • Students are easily intimidated by the nearly 7 foot tall and deep voiced principal, Mr. Fitzgerald
  • The class Jim was student teaching in was an 8-week summer program
  • The students who qualified for the summer program are those with disabilities that make them eligible for 12-month school years.
  • No air conditioning made it feel miserable to both students and teachers many days
  • School-wide discipline plan was in place and was expected to be used in every classroom (response-cost system)
  • Mrs. Fitzgerald had 7 students who are classified as seriously emotionally disturbed, between ages 11 and 13
  • Six students are African American, one is White.
  • This class was not representative of the general population (Minority was only 3 to 5 percent of school population)
  • Semirural and small urban setting
  • Class did depict the disproportionate placement of African American’s into such classes
  • Teacher did not know many of the children as they came from all over during the summer.
  • Mrs. Fitzgerald is White, as well as many other teachers
  • She taught through traditional teaching styles; Jim has a style that includes creativity throughout the lessons
  • Jim has had prior work experiences with these type of children, allowing him to easily connect with these students
  • After presenting several lessons that focused heavily on African Americans, the White student became upset and created chaos in the class.

The Problem:

  • Jim Peterson
  • He is treated similar to the students by Mrs. Fitzgerald
  • Jim is an older student at age 35 who is still looking for a job.
  • He wants to be creative with his lessons and method of instruction, but is being restrained by Mrs. Fitzgerald.
  • Jim fails to recognize the only white student when planning lessons as he focuses solely on African Americans.

  • Mrs. Fitzgerald
  • Wants Jim Peterson to be as strict and inflexible to the students as she is.
  • She only uses traditional teaching methods to deliver her instruction.
  • Teacher does not know many of the children and does not show a will to want to know each on an individual basis.
  • Teacher yells at Mr. Peterson when the white student causes chaos and causes him to become upset and worried with what potential he thought he had.
  • Students
  • They are all diagnosed as being seriously emotionally disturbed.
  • There is only one white student in the class, the rest are all African American.
  • White student becomes enraged with having to read and participate in many lessons that incorporated African American’s.
  • African American students become enraged over the white student’s remark about “niggers” and reply that “we’ll whip your ass.”

Problem from different perspectives:

  • Jim Peterson
  • I think he feels because he was successful in a previous setting of similar type children, he can be successful in Mrs. Fitzgerald’s classroom too.
  • I think Jim shows signs of struggling, especially since he is an older student and may feel out of place being in this situation.
  • Mrs. Fitzgerald
  • I think Mrs. Fitzgerald thinks the only way to keep order in the classroom is through traditional instruction. She is afraid to step outside of the box and be creative with students, which could potentially improve student learning.
  • I think because of the marriage, Mrs. Fitzgerald is also afraid to switch her style since Mr. Fitzgerald appears to have a strict style himself.

  • Students
  • I think the white student is feeling singled out and is extremely uncomfortable with being the minority in this classroom. Him being the minority is a new concept as compared to being a part of the majority in actual society.

Discrepancy between expectations of the characters and the actual events:

  • The white student expected to be given fair treatment in the class, if not better treatment than the African American children since Mr. Peterson also happened to be white. Instead, Mr. Peterson treated the African Americans very well and related his instruction to their ethnic background.
  • Mrs. Fitzgerald expects Jim Peterson to be as strict and inflexible with the students as she is, as well as teach through more traditional methods. Jim is unable to adapt to this due to his educational background and how he has learned to incorporate creativity and engaging lessons for his students.
  • Jim Peterson
  • Problem: Focuses heavily on African American’s in his lessons and does not relate any material to white people.
  • Trigger : Jim causes the students to erupt into chaos during a lesson.
  • Mrs. Fitzgerald
  • Problem: She does not feel comfortable with Jim’s attempts at being creative as well as his behavior management as he enjoys being laid back.
  • Trigger: Mrs. Fitzgerald lashes out at Jim when chaos breaks out in class, accusing him of letting the students to misbehave like they did.
  • Students
  • Problem: Jim reads material to them that is related to African Americans.
  • Trigger: The white student becomes irate and erupts with a derogatory remark against the African Americans and the African American students then became angry against the white student.

II. Generate Alternatives

I. What does research and the experts say about the problem?

II. Identify alternate goals that address the important issues in the case

  • Goal # 1: Design lessons that engage students to find similarities of their culture to that of their classmates. This should also include cultures not currently represented in the classroom.
  • Goal # 2: Increase understanding of Mrs. Fitzgerald to teaching styles other than traditional that can result in desired cognitive and behavioral outcomes.
  • Goal # 3: Build a classroom environment that encourages interaction of all students and teachers in an attempt to develop a trusting community.

III. What are the short- and long-term consequences of the alternate goals for the student, teacher, family, and community?

  • Students may become more encouraged/discouraged to learn about cultures other than their own.
  • Mrs. Fitzgerald may learn new teaching styles that may lead to more creative lessons while maintaining appropriate behavior.
  • Classroom community may lead to extended friendships or greater trust among previous friends.
  • With lessons including diverse cultures, students may develop a stronger sense of belonging and ownership in the classroom.

IV. Note which goals best consider the important issues

  • The ability to trust the individuals you are working with is important. There are several trust issues among this classroom which I believe extend back to the unwillingness of the cooperating teacher to get to know her students and student teacher. Developing a trusting community will encourage the students to understand and accept the students from other cultures. This also may lead to helping Mrs. Fitzgerald accept new teaching styles other than traditional.