1.) How was Mendez v. Westminster different from Brown v. Board?
2.) Why did the children keep comparing Mendez as the precursor to Brown despite reading the “other white” narrative?
3.) How would you teach the nuance of race and whiteness in your classroom?
4.) What does it mean to be “White?”
- What personality type are you? Describe what that means (in a paragraph or two).
I have “the mediator” or INFP-A personality. Mediators are very individualistic people whose actions are guided by their ideals. They tend to put other people’s interests above their own, which can lead to them to burn out. They are also very creative and deep thinkers.
- What professional advantages does your personality type have for being a social studies teacher?
Mediators make good teachers in general because they are very passionate people and will work hard for their students. A mediator’s deep thinking skills will also be good for coming up with essential questions in the social studies curriculum. Mediators also have an advantage when it comes to language, which can allow them to provide good illustrations for social studies concepts. Mediators are also more egalitarian, which would make for a good democratic classroom as long as the mediator can instill discipline when needed to. Furthermore, they have very strong morals that they will keep their students accountable to. Lastly, the teaching profession is perfect for mediators who love to help people grow and learn.
- What professional disadvantages does your personality type have for being a social studies teacher?
Mediators hate teamwork, bureaucracy, and are easy to get burn out when they neglect themselves because they are putting the needs of everyone else above theirs. They are also easily stressed in high stress and very busy work environments. They also take criticism much too personally. They also tend to avoid conflict, which makes it tougher for mediators to instill discipline.
The article describes three different teachers classrooms: Mr. Appleton, Mrs. Baker, and Ms. Cassell. All three teachers are teaching about ancient Rome.
Mr. Appleton’s class is very structured in that students go through the same process every time they learn a new subject which is read the textbook, take notes, listen to a lecture while taking notes, take quizzes, do the study guide, and then take a test. It is also structured in that students know exactly what is expected of them to learn. Mr. Appleton’s class is not differentiated at all. There are not many different activities that students can do to learn the material nor are there different questions or readings based on students’ capabilities. All students get the same questions and readings regardless of proficiency. Mr. Appleton’s class is also very fact based and fails to have students connect the material to big ideas or themes. It is also not very engaging.
Mrs. Baker’s class would be somewhat differentiated and lacks structure. She focuses on a lot of activities that engage her students. However, her activities are all over the place in that students get to learn what they want rather than all students learning the same thing. It is unclear what is expected from students to learn. Her activities also fail to capture big ideas or themes. She also fails to differentiate in a way that takes the content that all students are required to learn and tailoring it based on their proficiency.
Ms. Cassell’s class is structured, engaging, and differentiated. Ms. Cassell has clear objectives for all her students to learn. She connects these objectives to big themes. She also has activities and allows students to pick different activities, but her activities match the same objectives expected of all students. She also differentiates in a way that is tailored to students’ proficiency. Some students may get harder assignments while others easier, but all assignments have the same objectives.
People confuse differentiation to mean that students do different activities. However, different activities is not differentiation unless it is attached to the same objectives expected of all students. This is where Mrs. Baker’s class fails at differentiation. Differentiation also means taking the same assignment and varying it based on a student’s level. Differentiation also happens when students take the same objectives and personalize them, such as in Ms. Cassell’s class where each student adds his or her personal research and writing goals.
There are many ways to differentiate. In her class, Ms. Cassell differentiates learning-profiles, instruction, readiness, interest, and difficulty. All of this differentiation is tied to the same objectives expected of all students. If it wasn’t, then it wouldn’t be differentiated activities, but merely different activities.
“1. In a few sentences, what (according to the text) is “social responsibility” and why does it take courage to teach social responsibility?”
Social responsibility is both individual and collective action towards making the world a better place. It takes courage to teach social responsibility because it is difficult and has many obstacles. Some of those obstacles are dealing with politics and controversy, maybe a politically hostile environment, and may require changing teaching methods and school and classroom culture.
“2.In a few sentences… of the “four basic processes that nurture social responsibility”(see page 192), which process(es) do you believe to be most important in forming socially responsible citizens? Explain.”
I think the first one, having a caring environment with reason, democratic norms, efficacy, and communal spirit is the most important in forming socially responsible citizens. I think, for the most part, humans are easily able to be emphatic towards other groups with education and understanding. It is not our lack of empathy that holds us back at being socially responsible citizens, but rather our indifference. There is nothing I can do so why bother? Or it does not affect me, so why bother? In his book, “Making Democracy Work,” Robert Putnam says that the reason people could be less civic minded is because they do not trust one another. Trust comes from people joining associations, unions, clubs, and other organizations. It is doing activities consistently that allow you to get to know your community. It is the same in the classroom. In other classrooms at MSU, I am afraid to speak, afraid to be judged. In our classroom, we have such a strong community that I am not afraid to make mistakes, say the wrong thing, and know any criticism from my peers and superiors comes from the motivation to see me succeed and not just to put me down. In short, I have trust in my classmates and teachers. This fosters greater learning because we then are not afraid to open up and ask questions. Also, having a greater community helps get away with indifference. Kind of hard to be indifferent at a policy that, although may not affect me, may affect my friend. This, obviously, is not the whole story, but I think it plays a strong enough part to do some good if we address it.
“3. In 2-3 few paragraphs… how do different people (who have different values and fundamental understandings of justice, truth, & etc.) disagree about what values to promote and pursue? What do you think about pursuing a common vision when there isn’t a consensus?”
A classic example of people having different values and fundamental understandings of justice and truth occurred in the National Association for Colored Women (NACW). Obviously, the intersectionality of race and sex, made NACW disagree on things with the NAACP, but even within the organization you had differences of values. The NACW was run by middle class black women teaching respectability politics to working class black women who didn’t have the financial means to implement respectability politics in their lives. Also, there was a disagreement on whether respectability politics was justified or was it just another form of victim blaming that put responsibility of not having rights on the oppressed rather than the oppressor.
I think the best way to pursue a common vision when there isn’t a consensus is through coalitions. People should have their own factions if they are marginalized from the larger club, such as the NAACP and NACW, but get together for political action whether it is testing cases, strikes, boycotts, protests, marches, and etc.
“4. In 3-4 paragraphs… offer your own stance: what does it mean to be ethical/moral in a descriptive and normative sense? How have you come to that conclusion/what is that based on?”
In a descriptive sense, you are a considered a good person if those who know you describe you as so. This really holds true no matter where you go. Reputation has so much weight that people will defend people who did something evil, such as Brock Turner, because the person they know is a good person. However, we forget, under the right circumstances, how good people can directly or indirectly do great evil. This brings me to normative sense of what is means to be a good person.
I think you can count yourself as a “good” person if you are always trying to do less harm in the world and be better. The moment you stop holding yourself accountable is the moment you stop being good. This is from my experiences and one of the rules I live by. This rule allows a lot of leeway because you will not always know what is good or wrong necessarily and there will be some sins that you may choose to make and live with such as the act of killing in self-defense. I also think it is imperative that people study evil, know its trap falls, and especially be aware of the evil lying within! I am sick of hearing people say “I would never be able to do that…” as if they are incapable of great evil, but the sad news is that everyone is capable of such great evil under the right circumstance. Knowing one’s capabilities and pit falls will make it much more likely that that person can stand up to evil and not fall in.
A lot of these conclusions are based on experience and seeing the world. Being good is not easy. It takes courage, work, the right motivations, and a very strict sense of accountability. As long as you are working on and doing those four things, then I think you can consider yourself good, despite what evil you may have done in the past.
Government & Economy:
- Largest sector of the economy is oil and gas.
- GDP per capita (Average income): $129,700. (#1 in the world)
- Absolute Monarchy
- Mixed system of civil and Islamic law
People & Society:
- Population (25-54 years old): 1,321,973 M & 269,072 F.
- Religion: Muslim (77.5%), Christian (8.5%), and other such as Hindu (14%).
- Urbanization: 99.2%.
- Ethnic Groups: Arab (40%), Indian (18%), Pakistani (18%), Iranian (10%), and other (14%).
Has Wealth Made Qatar Happy? (BBC News):
- “We have become urban. Our social and economic life has changed – families have become separated, consumption culture has taken over.“ – Dr Kaltham Al Ghanim, a sociology professor at Qatar University
- Qataris get free education, electricity, job guarantees, grants for housing, water, and healthcare.
- Qatari society is defined by class, which is often linked to race. It is desperately unequal.
3.) Why do you think the Nazis forced the Jews to strip out of their clothes and followed this by shaving their heads? What did this do to the Jews?
The act of being exposed naked in front of all to see, being forced into cattle cars, to use the restroom in corners, to have your head shave, and other things that the Nazis did was to humiliate and dehumanize Jews. It was not only a form of conditioning to teach Jews to look upon themselves as lesser beings, but also for the Nazis who run the camps. Perhaps in doing this, it made it easier for the Nazis to kill them and broke the spirit of the Jews in the camps in order to prevent a rising.
This question reminded me of harrowing images of lynching where women, men, and children are smiling while they take a picture in front of a man who has been lynched or burned and lynched. These images were then made into postcards. This too was not only to teach blacks, but also white people that black people were inferior beings, especially the men, women, and children in attendance.
1.) What do you think Moishe the beadle meant when he told Elie “that every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer…?”
2.) Based on Elie’s account, there is at the very least some evidence that the German people were aware of what was going on in the concentration camps, (watching the marches from their windows and they could have seen and smell the same smoke and fire coming from the chimneys) yet they did nothing. Were they in power to do something? Should they have done something regardless? What could they have done?
3.) There were many reasons that the Jews of Sighet thought they were safe (the USSR army was getting closer, it was ridiculous to think that people would be that inhumane in the 20th century, the German soldiers that occupied and lodged in their house were not unpleasant to them, etc. Were there any signs that could be deadly omens in Elie’s story? Is there a way to predict such atrocities, such as the Holocaust, before it occurs?
4.) Elie struggled to keep his love for God during and after the Holocaust. The question he struggled with was how could a loving God allow such atrocities to happen? What are your thoughts to such a question?