Forthcoming Research

Budget Cuts:

1. http://www.educationminnesota.org/news/edmnupdates/2010/021510budget.aspx

*While proposing this topic, I realized I have a lot more to research than I thought. I am still unclear about a lot of the budgeting, especially the who, what, where and why of it. Since this journal was assigned, I asked my mother (who is a teacher in the Centennial School District) to start forwarding me all of her emails so I can be up to date on current events from the Department of Education and all other aspects related to the teaching world. When I found this article, I began reading the numbers. It is so hard to believe how much money has to be cut from the state’s budget for education when in reality, the students are our future so from my perspective, money should be spent on them so help them be successful. This short article covers areas from elementary to higher education and is only a short overview of what is to come for this next school year. It ends in a proposition to make the budget cut fixed for years after.

2.Rochester Budget Cuts

When the budget is shown in charts, and the graphs that show the drastic plunge in money available for schools, it is scary to say the least. It is, however, nice to see what the money is put into and where money is taken from. Having this document available through the database is important, I think, because people of the community can look at it and see where the funding goes, where money is cut, and even have the ability to disagree if necessary. If change needs to be made, facts need to be within reach to know what change is desired. There is such a tight budget for schools that what little money can be spent must be spent carefully.

Poverty:

1. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/01/21/backpack-food/

This website is actually from a broadcast from Minnesota Public Radio that recognized one of the community resources I listed in Journal 4. For students in impoverished areas, it is sadly fair to assume that some only get meals throughout the school day, so the question then becomes: What happens when they go home for the weekend? This program in the community packs backpacks with food for children and their families for the weekend. Some of the food is donated, and other food is purchased by the organization when they have money in their budget to do so. This is important because it connects the community to the issues within it.

2. NCLB

This article is great because it relates the NCLB act with minority students in impoverished areas. It discusses the pressures teachers from these areas are put under, especially since the minority students are expected to do poorly. This bias is common, but with help of Title 1 and other programs that focus on drills to ultimately benefit student’s MCA scores they have been matching scores of that of the majority in the school. Schools that experience an AYP that doesn’t show adequate progression begin to develop more central focus on test taking strategies to help their students receive higher scores on statewide testing.

Assessments (NCLB):

1. http://search.ebscohost.com.wsuproxy.mnpals.net/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&jid=55E&site=ehost-live

This article discusses the stress put on teachers for the results of the assessments each year placed upon them by the No Child Left Behind Act. The NCLB creates an uneasy feeling for even the best teachers, because in order to be successful, each child has to score a certain number to make the district look like its teachers are doing their jobs. When it comes to children, there is no telling what is going through their minds, and the importance of the assessments could be the last thing on their minds. It is possible that even the brightest child in class can end up with one of the lowest scores, but that could be because she has a dance performance that night and the show could be the only thing she can concentrate on. So many factors can contribute to the results of a single assessment, and other than AYP’s, there isn’t a score to show progress, which should be the most important score of all.

2. http://web.ebscohost.com.wsuproxy.mnpals.net/ehost/detail?vid=16&hid=15&sid=d3998e8f-d7c3-4596-9605-ee11d8446138%40sessionmgr15&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=33530007

This link correlates failing schools to failing tests scores. I agree with this in a sense; however, failing schools cannot be singled out based on one set of test scores that are taken at the end of the year when students are restless and eager to get out of class and begin their summer vacation. It is understandable that the closer to the end of the school year, the more they will know, but is it the quality or the quantity of the knowledge that is important in these assessments? This article requires payment to read, but so much information was covered in the abstract alone, that it is safe to draw the conclusion linking failing schools solely to poor test scores.

Choice Time

1. Importance of Play

After my first experience in a Kindergarten classroom, I realized that social skills are very important to develop throughout this year of school. One of the easiest ways for them to have social interaction, I observed, was during their free or “choice” time throughout the day. An obvious observation would be that five-year-olds have a very short attention span. When they get a chance during the day to play and interact however they’d like, they develop important social skills. The St. Paul schools want to cut all choice time to leave more time for content from the curriculum, which would be easily defended if the social skills weren’t so prevalent during this time.

2. http://childparenting.about.com/od/schoollearning/a/kindergartenplay.htm

This article covers the importance of both sides: giving Kindergarten more responsibilities and harder curriculum, as well as encouraging the vital need of play time for social interaction. Play time and recess can be identified as a stress reliever, especially during the end of the year assessments. Connecting test scores to free time is another way to possibly improve the schools where test scores are falling, instead of increasing in-class time and drill practice.

Positive Reinforcement

1. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Exceptional-Children/69697627.html
According to this article, “Positive reinforcement is a universal principle that is in effect regardless of the age, gender, culture, or disability of a child”. This is very true. When it comes to encouragement and influencing good behavior, there is no better way than to recognize what is being done correctly. During my classroom experience last week, I noticed my cooperating teacher encouraging students by saying things like, “I like the way _____ is reading quietly” instead of pointing out misbehavior, because that would be recognizing it, which is highlighted as an important strategy in this article.

2. Positive Reinforcement Experiment

This research based article was written about an experiment conducted on a deviant 9 year old student. This student constantly disrupted his classmates and was not grasping the content. The experiment was to use positive reinforcements in order to correct his poor behavior and to influence his academics. It was interesting to find that the initial change of enforcers dramatically changed his behavior, and the cycle went in full swing, ending in extinction and according to Pavlov’s studies would now need internal motivation if the behavior was going to stay in tact.

Advertisements

Journal 5: Real Life Learning

As the week comes to a close and I look back to my notes about all of the knowledge I have acquired throughout the duration of this trip, I feel it all starts to connect like a web. I have so many new resources and awareness of things I wouldn’t have understood had I not had this hands on experience. Doing the readings, and looking over the turn around strategies, I can pin point certain instances from the classroom where my classroom teacher used them very well.

When discussing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s hard not to pay special attention to the students in the classroom that clearly have minimal resources, structure and support at home. Maslow’s theory becomes apparent in the classroom when everyday begins with breakfast. The students have come to learn that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and they were sure to finish everything they had to start the day off right. Growing up in middle to upper-class area and community, we rarely had breakfast in the morning, but in the school I was placed, almost every student in the class ate breakfast each morning. Another thing I realized was the fact that students ate everything they were given and never complained. This concerned me because it was obvious that for some of the students, the meals at school were the only ones they would receive that day.

The communities that surround the schools can truly be the best resource for teachers and students. There are so many programs available for any student if they need it, with people more than willing to help when necessary. With the way the economy is today, many parents are working multiple jobs are aren’t able to be home to help their children as much as I’m sure they wish they could be; this is one more reason the community can be beneficial for students. In any area, with emphasis on urban areas, the more structure students have, the more likely they will be successful.

I noticed how well behaved Ms. T’s Kindergarteners are, and I asked her how she had them so focused. She told me it was a lot of work, but she started right away in the year with a routine, and has followed it all year. She built relationships with every student to gain trust, as well as letting them know what was expected of them in her class. By giving them the responsibilities of expectations, weekly duties, and the structured daily routine, each student has been successful in more ways than one throughout the year.

This experience has been so influential, and being in the classroom has made it so easy to take the readings seriously and be able to apply them to a real classroom setting. I used one turn around strategy this week and knew I was doing it as it was happening, and it was successful. After a short conflict with another student, a child moved to a different table, feeling left out. I decided to have a seat next to him and asked him to read for me. He turned the other way and ignored me. Instead of taking it personally, I simply told him that I was really looking forward to him read, but if he didn’t want to I understood. Then, as I got up to walk away, I told him that if he changed his mind he could come find me. Sure enough, about three minutes later he came up to me and started reading.

Being able to apply new knowledge right away makes it very relevant. All of the text and lecture came to life, and hearing stories about situations cannot prepare you like living in the experiences first hand. This travel study has allowed me to embrace and use new strategies in multiple cases as well as prepare myself for my future.

Journal 4: Community is the Best Resource

Journal 4

  1. Resources in Community

A: Boys and Girls Club of Rochester

Contact: Ellen Hamernik (Director of Organizational Impact). The Boys and Girls Club has three units, and the Unit Directors of each are as follows:

Center Street- Ewell Bryant

North West- Tony Luna

Blooming Prairie- Mary Sherman-Ahrens

The Boys and Girls Club is an active program that helps youth direct their actions into positive ones. They strive to help youth find a “sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence” in their homes, schools, and community. This organization is available for children to create a safe and educational environment for them outside of school. The focus is the future of the children that attend, and helps to build character and healthy decision making in the long run.

B: Bright Futures

Contact: Joel Dwine

As scary as it might be, teaching middle school could mean I can potentially encounter some teen pregnancies. Bright Futures is a program for pregnant teens that help support them in both their own health as well as the health of their child. They work with the Olmsted County Public Health Services, and have social workers and nurses there to help. Bright Futures is a support for young mothers when they might not get it anywhere else.

C: Family & Children’s Center- Youth Night Campus

Contact: Arley Armstrong- Coordinator.

The Youth Night Campus is a well-structured treatment program for adolescent youth. If I worked in a middle school, this program would be a potential resource for some students. One of the curriculums used in this program is called T4C (Thinking for a Change). This is an important resource for the teachers of the community because some students cannot learn or create risk for other students being in a regular school system. By entering a treatment center, behavior is the main focus for the students, and they can benefit from an experience that specializes in that area.

D: The Backpack Club

Contact: Susan Wakefield (Executive Director)

The Backpack Club is a program from the Leroy Christian Community Church focusing on helping poverty stricken children. This program started because of the large amount of students on low income reduced lunches, and realizing that the meals given at school might be the only meals the students receive all week, meaning they will be hungry for the duration of the weekend. This program receives donations or uses funding to purchase food for students and families to bring home.

  1. Budget cuts

After having the opportunity to be a part of a staff meeting this week, I learned that new teachers struggle for job security every single day before they earn their tenyer. Students are not the only ones that suffer from budget cuts and lack of updated materials, but teachers might do as well. It was also very powerful to feel the tension shift in the room once the legislature was brought to topic. Although job security is guaranteed for tenyered teachers, they still might have to move locations because of seniority. It honestly makes me scared for my future because of the constant change, but being flexible and willing to change can be the most beneficial trait.

  1. Poverty in Urban Areas

This week has been completely eye opening for me. The struggle for basic needs becomes apparent when looking at the lives of some students that were in the schools in St. Paul. After reading the article about turn around strategies, it stood out to me when Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was drawn to attention. Students can’t learn unless their basic needs are met, and researching places such as The Backpack Club, contribute to the basic needs of the children in schools.

  1.  The Stress of Reading Scores and Comprehension

This time of year is known for stressful assessments for the students and teachers. When it comes to reading, students can vary so drastically in a single classroom because of all variables of diversity. If a student doesn’t speak English at home, they don’t practice the language they speak at home, and although they might be able to read and pronounce a word, they might not be able to comprehend it enough to match it to a picture. If a student can read a book, it doesn’t mean they can understand what the sounds mean. I think it is so important for students to have support in any possible way to not only say the sounds that make up words, but to use curriculum that will also allow them to match words with pictures or activities that make it comprehensible.

  1. Choice Time

Being in a Kindergarten class this week has shown me that students need to have time to move around throughout the day. Children have short attention spans, and if they are sitting too long, they won’t want to learn. There are so many ways to get their brains moving by allowing them to dance or play around for a while and choosing what they want to do. By choosing what they want, they are making their own decisions and practicing social skills, which is crucial in the early years.

  1. Positive Reinforcement

Behavior slips, and calls home for poor behavior are commonly heard about, but recognition of good behavior is not as regular. A call home from a teacher should not have a negative connotation connected to it. When students do exceptional behavior, especially if it isn’t very common for them to do so, they should be encouraged to repeat it. The best way for a student to want to repeat an action is to hear about how great it was the first time.

Journal 3: The Circle of Trust

Journal 3

5/17/11

The Circle of Trust

” The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth.'” Trust is gained from the power of a relationship. When a student can trust his or her teacher, the teacher can conquer any obstacle. Understanding why a student behaves the way they do can unravel any mystery and lead to unlimited opportunities.

Today was an unusual day in a classroom for me, yet my mentoring teacher faced it in a calm and common way. As she put it, “There is always drama around here” and acted as if everything was normal even though some behaviors were some I would have never expected to happen in a Kindergarten classroom. The morning started with a girl returning from class after missing school because she was kicked off the bus for biting other children. The next occurrence happened when one boy was dwelling over something that happened before class started, then found more small things throughout the day to complain and whine about. Each time he acted out, my mentoring teacher handled it extremely well. She first gave him a verbal warning while continuing with the lesson, after the second time she talked to him when it fit into class time so other students weren’t disrupted. The third outburst followed with him “taking a break” which means he sat in a chair in a corner while the rest of the class participated in a fun math lesson. After this time, he was also warned that if anything else happened he would be written up and his parents would be called. All of this happened before noon. Ms. T (my classroom teacher) was continuously calm, acted as his superior, and kept the rules on consequences consistent. When the class went out for recess, of course the sprinklers had to be on. They got a verbal warning that if anyone played near the water, they would have to sit out. Sure enough, five minutes later, this student was standing right in front of the sprinkler, getting soaking wet. The water made it easy to prove any student guilty, so when we called him over to sit out, he argued and tried denying that it happened even though the evidence was all over his wet clothes. The teacher has an excellent relationship with each student and understands their family life and what they go through when they go home. This student is an exception for a struggling family life because he seems to get almost everything he wants, plays video games constantly, and is very spoiled and rarely punished. After recess, his parents were called and following the phone call his father came into school to discuss his behavior. The student continued to argue about every question, every statement, and basically anything that was spoken by either his father or his teacher. He was very disrespectful and didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. As I listened into the conversation between Ms. T and the student’s father, I felt nervous for her because I thought the father would become upset. After the meeting was over, we talked about the small conference and I asked if she was nervous. She talked about how important it was for parents to be notified when there is poor behavior and not to be hesitant. She followed by telling me having the resources and proof to back up any previous behavior helps with credibility. She had an entire file cabinet with a folder for each student marking their progress as well as behavior slips, including a log of calls made home. This is very good advice because according to the fourth turnaround strategy, parent involvement is crucial in a successful academic status of any child.

Caring and trusting relationships are vital between teachers and students; however, they are also imperative when it comes to parent-teacher connections. After the tiff that occurred today with this student, the behavior was monitored with consequences after expectations were not followed, and a phone call was made to home. Ms. T also told me that every time there is a call home, the mother feels attacked. After thinking long and hard about it, I began to strategize what I would do if a parent felt that way about me if I was the teacher. I thought about the negative connotation that is more than likely related to the phone calls. It might be possible that there aren’t enough positive notes or calls made. Since the parent involvement is linked to the success of the students, I would be sure to balance positive phone calls or notes with negative ones, and instead of only sending behavior notes home, whenever exceptional behavior is demonstrated to recognize it. Doing this would benefit in turning around the relationship between the parents and teachers, which would ultimately create a support team for the student to strive.

Teachers have many relationships to be successful and intentional in their job. It made me think during the presentation at the Cultural Wellness Center that without the relationships, only the “tip of the iceberg” is visible to teachers. In order to understand where a child is coming from, why he or she is frustrated, or why their scores aren’t where they should be all depends on internal things. By uncovering all of the layers behind the outer core of a student’s life will only create a stronger relationship between them. Tonight, I had a discussion with our guest panelist, Pam, and Tom Stevens about relationship banking that I later found in the reading from the CWC from the Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire: “Education thus becomes the act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor… This is the ‘banking’ concept of education…” I like this concept a lot, because I feel like it gives relationships a sense of worth and importance. In order to understand, manage, and unravel misbehavior, a teacher must initially assess what is going on inside that student’s mind, and this couldn’t happen without trust.

When certain scenarios grow out of a single person’s control, and help is still necessary, it becomes crucial to have an infinite inventory of resources. Knowing students can help create a sense of their own personal community, which may be different from the community of someone else. Because culture can create many various perceptions and values, each student might have different uses for several resources. Being involved in the community in which a school is located can create unlimited sources of help that can help benefit during crisis, or just to help students be a part of the community they live in. Every family has a different story, and every child has a mind of their own. Knowing something as simple as what church a student attends can be beneficial at a time of emergency.

After these past two days, it became more clear than ever that building strong, trusting relationships can be the most important aspect in a child and teacher’s life. Success and failure come hand in hand with whether bonds are developed enough. Once relationships are built, they need to be maintained or trust will be lost. If a child can be understood, resources can be infinite if community involvement is achievable.

Journal 2: Knowledge is Power

*Updated version

Journal 2

5/15/11

Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is power, and that power comes from the strength of passion. When children feel inspired, they will put their whole hearts into something. Children cannot be underestimated and should always have high expectations set upon them. After seeing some students in a new setting and understanding the importance of relationships, I can only begin to understand the complexities and hard work it takes to find these; however, they will be the most significant relationships I will ever get the chance to have.

The Knowledge Construction Table provides us with a resource to refer our knowledge to, and going into the Baptist church today for the first time was a vision based on Popular Knowledge. I envisioned a church lit only by stained glass windows, a huge organ, a choir of at least 30 people all in robes that constantly fan themselves with the music sheet, and a boisterous crowd. Even though pieces of this vision were true, my experience was a lot more spiritual than I could have ever expected. It was a surprise to be so welcomed this morning, and to see how many people were excited to see their church grow in faith with some new temporary members. I was not expecting to feel so comfortable and appreciated, but having that warm welcoming made the experience an extremely positive one. We falsely based stereotypes about African American children, and assumed them to be short tempered and misbehaved; however, throughout this experience, the children were very well mannered and respectful. This makes me think that environment has all to do with behaviors. These children had relationships with not only their families but with God as well.

One of the most powerful things the Pastor said really touched me at a deep level, being that my grandpa passed this week. He talked about the assurance of God. Having the feeling of assurance that everything okay will literally help you through tough times. Hearing that everything will be okay, even if its from a stranger, can lift spirits so much, and I know I will carry this advice with me into my future classrooms and relationships.

It was nearly a culture shock to hear from the principals about the demographics and communities of the schools they administer. Coming from a decently well-off school district, hearing a 97% poverty rate is almost unbelievable. These students have such different lives than what I am used to, but they strive for excellence. These leaders spoke of expectations and progression success stories. These stories are that of love and passion for their jobs, schools, students, and communities, and this shows through as they hire new members to their team of teachers. They told us that having passion about teaching was more important than having a 4.0 in school, which is very inspiring.

Talking about relationships was a main point brought out during our dinner and panel with the urban school principals. Principal Hendrix made a strong point to us that shaping a strong and sincere relationship with each student will mirror a positive relationship with the students’ outlook on academic success. When a teacher is intentional about all actions, the students can only benefit. Listening to what the principals look for in students was very helpful, because wanting a job is not the same as having a passion to teach. Each principal had a different perspective for his or her students, but all looked at their students as their own children, which to me was extremely powerful. They have such a caring relationship for all of their students that they strive for them to succeed. The discussion of these relationships correlate with “Closing the Achievement Gap” because of the importance emphasized with caring relationships. The development of these relationships is crucial in gaining the trust and respect of students, because when the teacher cares about them, they will care about the teacher and what they have to say. It seems as though having these Turn Around Strategies are all linked together to create the most positive classroom environment and most successful academics for the children in them. I can’t wait to get into my placement tomorrow and see these relationships, as well as built them myself.

Overall, I believe the environment children are set up in has the largest impact on the way they react, behave, and respond to all situations. If they are placed into a classroom where they feel comfortable and respected, they will want to be there and want to learn. Using these important strategies and understanding their importance will only help me become a super teacher in the future, and to help build the passion I have for children and teaching.

Journal Entry 1: Coexisting Cognizance?

Journal Entry 1

5/14/11

Coexisting Cognizance?

            It is important to recognize differences between cultures, and even better to be knowledgeable about them when applicable, especially in the classroom. The terms “ethnicity” and “race” are used interchangeably when they are not one in the same. In fact, differentiating these terms is an excellent start to further develop within the Intercultural Development Continuum. After taking the IDI assessment, it is fascinating to determine my own cultural competence according to the results.

Ethnicity is not race. Race is not ethnicity. I feel that these terms have been freely adapted to be used as with the same definition. After tonight’s lecture, it became clear that they are, in fact, very different. Ethnic and racial slurs can be equally disrespectful; however the context won’t be the same. Ethnicity falls back to the roots of a person’s being. It has to do with where a person comes from, what their ancestors have been through and what language is spoken. A person’s skin color might be white, but their ancestry could be from Poland, Germany, or many other places in the world. Race is a very broad term used to differentiate obvious physical differences like skin color. I suppose I never really gave these differences much in depth thought, but it is very clear when separating the terms this way.

“Above all, a consensus seems to have been reached that regards any claims of biological superiority or inferiority as belonging to a class of belightened ideas that have no scientific validity whatsoever” (pg 79 New Darwinism). It is interesting to try determining the roots of stereotypes and the reasoning and legitimacy behind them. Comparing commonalities to social groups can contribute to classification, which seems to be a repetitive action that takes place on a daily basis. Grouping people together seems to happen without even acknowledging it, but being conscious of when it is happening can help diminish the polarization and find a strategy to develop. If these categorizations are invalid, where do they come from? It’s hard not to link the New Darwinism with the Polarization stage of Intercultural Development. Cultural differences in fact exist; however, improperly identifying cultures by invalid assumptions is no way to develop. By becoming overly critical toward people or cultures that are different, there is no room for progression. I feel like being cognizant of this in the classroom can contribute to a mutual understanding of the many differentiations that will be within all students.

Perception is the heart of distinction. You can assess values in different ways depending on your culture, beliefs, family, or even the media. The IDI assessment we had to take was a lot more casual of a test than I imagined; however, the results were nearly mind blowing. Perceived Orientations are judged far too generously according to the results. I was completely taken back by the difference of my Perceived Orientation compared to by actual results of the Developmental Orientation. I could literally describe it as shock, because I thought I was much more aware of cultures than I am. This makes me want to be more aware of things I don’t know, and strive to find ways to develop further towards Acceptance. I feel extremely naïve after seeing the results, but this is such a great learning process. During lecture tonight, the reference to being “color blind” or “ethnic blind” sort of took me back, because I feel like I try to see everyone as equals. It is important to have equal expectations, but everything has to do with the context behind the content. Context leads to the acceptance of recognizing differences between people, and not being equal. I hope to grow from this experience and to become more aware of recognizing cultural relativity and differences.

All in all, I feel that I have so much to learn. I am closer to Polarization than I am to Acceptance on the Intercultural Development Continuum, and I want to develop. Today was an excellent start to my journey of collective mental programming that is to come throughout this course. Development is extracted from being conscience and intentional so ethno-relativism is within reach.

Perceptions and Assumptions

Sarah Parker

Perceptions and Assumptions

5/14/11

EFRT 308 SPTS

1.) Bill Nye: http://cuindependent.com/tag/bill-nye-the-science-guy/

Bill Nye the Science Guy is depicted as the typical scientist. He is a geeky, tall, skinny, white male with a lab coat and crazy ideas. Scientists are stereotyped this way, however there are many other types of scientists besides ones that use chemicals and experiment in labs all day. This impacts me because I watched Bill Nye as a child, and now find myself assuming scientists are this “type” of person. I feel like it has possibly set a negative example for me, as well as women in general to fight the struggle in math and science classes. Since men are typically better at math and science, this could have been reinforced at an early age when Bill Nye was “the science guy”.

However, the show also created fun and exciting experiments that inspired me at times to recreate them which infused my curiosity for science. He also had helpers on his show that were children of all ages as well as cultures. They were all very smart and conducted their own experiments as well. They made science look fun and easy for people of all ages.

2.) Sex and the City: http://www.reviewstl.com

Sex and the City is a popular show that has been on TV for decades. It is a positive influence for me when discussing the star’s successful careers. Since stereotypes leave women trapped under a glass ceiling, Sex and the City shows a positive role for white women to be successful on their own. They start off single, and extremely successful in their careers; however, they still find flaws in white-corporate America. Since they are female, they run into issues of moving up, as well as being stereotyped as emotional and unstable, when they are strong and independent.

This show clearly has a targeted audience, and therefore probably hasn’t and won’t reach everyone. The main characters are white females, and at times discriminate against men. It is important for all women to have role models that have made it in the corporate world and fought threw some of the many struggles that take place in the work place.

3.) “Ms. Swan”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVXViw1qx9o

Ms. Swan (MAD TV) is a completely racist skit that became vastly popular in the 90’s. A white woman plays a small, old, Chinese woman and mocks all stereotypes. From her wardrobe to her accent, she is portrayed as unintelligent, and many racial slurs and stereotypes are constantly in the script. Because her character is not an American, she is made fun of because she does not fit in with common American culture.

This character is completely offensive, but has been recognized in pop culture for years. This clip is from a scene at a movie theatre when all she is trying to do is purchase snacks for the film. Because it is an everyday scenario, it is easily recognizable, however; the movie theatre employee is hardly accommodating. (But of course not, that wouldn’t make good TV.)

4.) Pocahontas: http://www.historiann.com/2010/09/17/disneys-pocahontas-reconsidered/

The Disney movie Pocahontas shaped my image of Native Americans at a very young age. Although the movie demonstrates strong family values, tradition, and lifestyle, these depictions are not entirely accurate anymore. There is little respect or credibility given to the Native Americans as a whole, and even less towards the women. This affected me because I had a very solid stereotype set in my mind for how Native Americans looked and acted.

This movie, along with Bill Nye had such an impression on me so young, that I feel they shaped my outlook completely, and now thinking of Native Americans automatically brings an image to my head of chiefs and feathers and talking willow trees. These images can be restructured with more knowledge and understanding of the culture and traditions.