EDU 6120 – Week 3 “Clear and Unclear”

After reviewing this week’s readings I noticed that when I read scripture such as the “parables” I feel a need to self reflect and look at some of my weaknesses in comparison. The one that jumped out at me this week was when Jesus referred to the “eye for an eye,” and instead asked for compassion and to turn the other cheek. I am reminded that sometimes when people do wrong to me that it can be a test to my temperament and judgment.  Whether it’s someone being rude to me in person, or a discourteous driver on the road I need to remember that I’m in control of my reaction, so if I react poorly it is myself that I blame. I feel there is a lesson in that for the students that we will be teaching as well, and while they have leeway because they are children, we can set a good example for them to follow.

The excerpt from “the Nature of the Profession” by Arthur Ellis was a paper that encompassed several valid points concerning our stage in becoming educators from comparing, such as “

Educational theory conflicts with teaching practice.” (Ellis, 1986)  He goes on to compare different schools, subjects, and age levels to give a picture of where we might like to accept a teaching position. I found his hypothetical situation illuminating on the legal rights of teachers and students.

Dr. Scheuerman gave a fervent talk about “viva activa,” and asked us to think about providing a life of action in our future classrooms. The special education environment provides extra challenges to overcome when taking this into consideration. First and foremost concern is the safety of the students, so I tried to think of different tiers of options from which to attempt. My first idea was to introduce the students to volunteering outside of the school. Whether it is at the zoo, a soup kitchen, or the city parks and recreation department, but there would be additional factors such as transportation and safety, which is problematical in the special education classroom. The idea would be to not just visit these places, but to actual volunteer and work to provide real world “hands on” experience for the special needs students. My hope would be that even the students with profound disabilities could find something to take away from the event.There are many unclear items in trying to arrange an event like this, and I think the only true way to find out what will work is to attempt them, and adjust plans accordingly.

In conclusion I would like to reiterate a few numbers Dr. Scheuerman has mentioned (passionately), which include:

$7,500,000,000 (money the U.S. has spent on weapons of mass destruction)

36% (U.S. national high school dropout rate)

162,000,000 (orphans in the world… reported)


Ellis, Arthur K. (1986), Introduction to the foundations of education (ch.3). (3rd ed.).   Boston, MA:  Allyn and Bacon.

This entry was posted in L1: Learner centered, L2: Classroom/school centered, L4: Contextual community centered, P1: Informed by professional responsibilities and policies, P3: Informed by legal and ethical responsibilities, S1 - Content driven, S2 - Aligned with curriculum standards and outcomes, S3: Integrated across content areas and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to EDU 6120 – Week 3 “Clear and Unclear”

  1. aaronclaar says:

    Good points, James. It’s interesting to me how we started the discussion on education with Jesus’ parables on turning the other cheek, and ended with statistics that show we have spent 7.5 trillion dollars on the arms race. Is it possible to stay out of the race? The perplexing aspect is that which we say is for the defense of our children seems to drain so many resources that could have been theirs. We often think of how this affected kids in the U. S., but I am left wondering about those in the former USSR. Is it possible to combine theory and practice?

  2. Hi James,

    I wholeheartedly agree that encouraging students to do volunteer work is an excellent way to promote the “viva activa”. Not only does volunteering promote service and kindness, but also opens students eyes to new experiences and opportunities, most of which are learning experiences in themselves. And you’re right–volunteering is beneficial to both disabled and nondisabled students. As a future secondary English teacher, I plan on requiring community service to pass my classes (if something like that’s allowed..). 🙂
    And thank you for posting those numbers–they’re scary statistics!!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Yes, the special education classroom would present extra challenges. One of our volunteers at work brings her sister-in-law, Jane, who has downs syndrome, with her each week. Jane is a blessing to all of us as she makes a point to greet each of us when she comes in. She does many things for us from grouping like items together, to shredding paper, to attaching safety pins to name tags or us. She looks forward to coming each week. She enjoys contributing, and we are thankful that she does.

  4. Chabot says:

    I love your idea of visiting places to volunteer. I feel like most fieldtrips are educational or recreational, where students go to places but are just shown things or learn some facts about where they go. But actually participating in what goes on at the place of visit seems like so much more fun. You always learn better by doing hands on work and getting the real experience.

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