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Rethinking Popular Culture and Media

Rethinking Popular Culture and Media should be required reading for educators in today’s society. Students are exposed to an increasing amount of popular culture and media and much of that is from corporations that promote ideas like consumption, competition, hierarchy, sexism, homophobia, and racism. It can be overwhelming to approach how to teach students that are so heavily influenced by things out of our control. However, this book provides helpful information, analysis, and insight into the best ways to help youth and adults reflect on what they see in pop culture. Teachers are required to make themselves aware and familiar with the many types of pop culture and media that their students read, view, and consume. Because this book was mostly written by teachers for teachers, it is very useful in offering real examples that examine pop culture and media in relation to education. We think this book has provided us with knowledge about the classroom that will be especially important as we enter the world of teaching.


The Truth Behind House Bill 318

This was seen all over the news and heard all over the radios. However, it didn’t stop Governor Pat McCrory from singing this bill on October 29, 2015. Also known as “Protect North Carolina Workers Act”, this House Bill 318 has now caused a great number of difficulties to undertake the undocumented families, which will also have a direct effect on the children coming in to be educated.

As discussed in class today, many immigrant children come to school with a lot of anxiety and stress that is a result from the tensions that they have to deal with from living with parents who are illegal immigrants. Many of these children are considered to be unaccompanied, with no parent/guardian taking care of them. It isn’t surprising as to why these children come to schools full of tension and some even becoming defensive when being confronted about the topic. While some children might be considered unaccompanied, many other children have to live in households with parents who cannot provide for them due to the lack of jobs available for them.

The House Bill 318 provides a lot of hostility to immigrants who are struggling to find employment. In addition, the HB 318 restricts any government intervention for working within the immigrant community, even restricting power of the state executive branch. Parents of the children would now have to have state their immigration status when applying to jobs that can make them very vulnerable to becoming deported. If this becomes the case, the children are then placed in a poster system and older children are likely to feel insecure, which can affect their studies greatly.

If this is the case, it is very important to know the story of each individual student in order to be able to make him or her feel safe and engaged during the class period. This might include being flexible and changing the curriculum or being open to staying after school to help the individual students who need someone to talk to. As educators, it’s crucial to teach each individual student and not allow for any student to be left behind for any type of reason.

Confronting the Myths

Immigration seems to be a topic of discussion for many grade levels. In the media immigration can be depicted in several stereotypical ways and cause stereotypes towards certain races. It is important for teachers to address these stereotypes with the class and provide clear facts about immigration before discussing this topic in order to have more meaningful conversation between the students. This why we  chose to analyze the pdf above this week called “The Truth about Ten Immigration Myths” which addresses the ten most known myths about immigration by students. By addressing these myths early in the class you are able to keep children from offending others with things that they have heard rather than facts that are known to be true.

Using Hip Hop in the Language Arts Classroom

The text we read was about involving hip hop into language arts and other subjects as a way of creating a curriculum that students who are normally forgotten, in regards to curriculum, can connect to. Usually, math problems and stories used in schools are about Sally and John and how they went to the market to buy 27 apples. Not all kids come from the same background and it is important that teachers create an environment where all students feel validated and can relate to the subjects that they are learning about.

These ideas also connect to the topic we discussed in class about language. We explored how language and dialects differ dependent upon background and the stereotypes that stem from these differences. Many students who are learning English or come from backgrounds where they have “country” or “urban” dialects are treated as less simply because they use a different form of speaking. We discussed the importance of a curriculum that highlights and caters to these differences.

Gender in the Media

This week our group read the article “Looking Pretty, Waiting for the Prince” This article discussed the gender roles that cartoons and media enforce on children. After watching different cartoons and movies children strive to be these characters and have the features that the media presents as ideal. These cartoons and movies can play a major role in the lives of the children in your classroom. They watch these cartoons and feel that they have to be these characters. For minority children these cartoons can be a problem because they are often left out of them, and  the films that they are portrayed in don’t necessarily cast them in the best way.

The article relates this week’s topic because we are discussing gender roles and how to approach them in the classroom.

Taking a Step back from our book!


This video discusses four main agents of socialization: family, schools, peers, and media. This captures the main ideas illustrated throughout the book. When discussing socialization, we are looking at how people (mainly children) learn how to interact in society. In reference to our book, we look closer at how socialization affects race discussion and issues in the classroom and how best to address these. Looking at what effects students as individuals can help educators create better lesson plans and material for classes as a group that take into account all different types of backgrounds and upbringings.


Question: What’s appropriate when confronting race in the classroom?

Group 7: Stereotypes in education movie and pedagogies in the form of arts

This week we read three articles in Rethinking Popular Culture and Media. The first article talks about two films related to the stereotypes in city teaching. The other two articles talks about two ways that teachers can do to help students deal with the unfair treatments and defend their rights.

In the article City Teaching, Beyond the Stereotypes, we learned about two films that talks about a round character of teacher and what can urban teachers do to resistance to inequity in schooling. Half Nelson showed us a “real teacher” rather than a cardboard protagonist of most urban teacher films. Dan Dunne called obstacles to people’s freedom “the machine.” In our understanding, “the machine” is a metaphor of the whole rigid, inequitable education system. Dan Dunne is a responsible and inspiring teacher, but he is also a drug addict. It’s interesting that the author pointed out a question: Is Dan a good teacher? In some ways, yes; in others, probably not. This is really provoking. This film also tells us about the real teacher-student relationships: teacher could also learn from students. The nature of the relationship is reciprocity.

Another point that impressed us a lot in this article is a detail in the film: “As Dan arrives at school one morning and gets out of his car, we don’t hear sirens, gunshots, or a thumping hip-hop sound track. Instead, we hear the chirp of a lone song bird.” The feeling of this neighborhood is isolation and abandonment, rather than menace or impending danger. The value of the film also reflected in playing against the stereotypes. This reminds us of the vicious circle caused by the stereotype in the trite conventional Hollywood films in which teachers are all heroes and the marginalized people are described as evil, hideous. This would deteriorate the discrimination and the inequities.

Moreover, in the film the first year, the point inspired us most is “ how the needs of a child can be crushed by the entrenched bureaucratic machinations of a mammoth school system.” This is a also a serious problem in China. Also the “mammoth school system” may have the power to cultivate some elites in the society, it destroys most children’s eager and interest in learning. In China, thousands of students burned up their test books after GaoKao every year. In this article, the author points out that the teacher cannot change the whole hidebound education system and “tear down the wall that stands between their students and a truly humanizing education”, but they can “ chip away at it brick by brick. Urban requires teacher to do more by a long shot by making class more colorful and humanizing.

In the article The Murder of Sean Bell, it’s really provoking to hear the children’s about their safety. They are afraid of violence, drugs, bullying, and police brutality. In our opinion, this is a disadvantage for teachers when applying a curriculum. However, we can turn this disadvantage to advantages by teaching them to express their anger or fear in poetry or other forms of art. Moreover, sitting in the classroom doesn’t make children feel in a real world. Teacher could also encourage students to defend their freedom and right outside the classroom in the form of art, such as stenciling or writing poems. Those practice could change student’s perspectives and make the pedagogy culturally relevant.