My name is Jackasha-Janaee Wiley. I have a Masters of Education with a social studies certification from Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. I have a Bachelors of Art in History and Women and Gender Studies. I am currectly teaching two Social Science classes for the Rutgers Upward Bound program. I am looking forward to becoming a social studies teacher in an urban school district that is very warm and friendly with goals of educating their students to become successful professionals through student and educator mentorship to ensure further growth and development.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blog 4-Due April 13.

It is extremely important for there to be positive teacher mentor ships and relationships available. I think it is extremely important for teachers not to fall short inside or outside of the classroom. Teachers must be provided with the necessary resources: professional development as well as enough class books, spaces and other educational resources needed to ensure that all students are learning and are actively engaged in school.
Keith Barton and Linda Levstik (2004) made the claim that teachers graduate programs that promote and engage multiple viewpoints and active student learning, however, “even when they clearly understand and accept [those] principles, their instruction bears little relationship to such knowledge” (37). It is believed that this occurs for authority purposes: to control students’ behaviors and covering content. While in some aspects, it is definitely tasks that most teachers constantly think of, I do not believe that it is the primary reason teachers abandon the content and pedagogical knowledge learned in school while they are teaching. Teachers are dealing with the teaching dilemmas and a new form of professional practice, constrained professionalism. The major issue is combining “progressive” education (learned in today’s graduate schools) and the education climate that occurs in school. Most schools still practice the repetition, rote-learning process and differentiated instruction and performance-based units and assessments aren’t as focused as they should be. In most cases, “novice teachers and their veteran peers feel pressured to undercut their pedagogical goals in reaction to state test process … it is hard to ignore the conclusion that state-level tests produce a crazy quilt of responses... that influence teachers’ content, instructional, and assessment decisions differently” (Grant 44).
Teachers must make reasoned judgments in determining how to make content and ideas more accessible to students by drawing on their specialized expertise in making independent decisions about their work (Williams & Sandholtz, pg. 3). Historical empathy and perspective provide the opportunity to expand one’s capacity of difference (Brooks, 2008; Barton & Levstik, 2004); Foster & Yeager, 1998; Ashby, 2001). Empathy allows the process of understanding people in the past by contextualizing their actions” (Books, 2008 pg, 130) Barton & Levstik, 2004). With this process Brooks (2004) reemphasizes Foster (1999) declaration that historical empathy must be carefully distinguished from identification, imagination and sympathy” (130). While our students should have the opportunity to participate in various educational exercises, including simulations, that gives them access to different viewpoints so they can recognize the value of understanding multiple perspectives. Through historical empathy and perspectives, our students must understand and acknowledge that the past (and others) are different in unimaginable ways. This enables our students’ understanding that everyone experience things differently, especially thoughts and feelings (Seixas & Peck, 2004). My primary goal is to work with students’ images and thoughts about history so they can have a better basis understanding of their national past so they can have a better sense of their own lives (Colby, 2008; Seixas & Peck, 2004). This allows us to reconstruct what happened and why and what it all means, especially when things change over time. It is important for our students to have the ability to see that the “past shapes everything we are, everything we do” (110).