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Journal Table #1

Demographics of Clinical Setting


I have been placed at the Cochrane-Fountain City School District which
includes students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade in one building.
When you walk into the building, the left side is the elementary side and the
right is secondary.
The Cochrane-Fountain City School District is a small district with only 679
students enrolled and an overwhelming 96.2% of their students identify as
White. That is followed by 1.9% of students being Hispanic and .7% of
students being Black.
Demographics of Student In the classroom that I am observing in, these racial demographics were also
seen. I observed a total of 28 students between 3 classes of varying second-
The student that I chose to focus my project on is a high school sopho- ary ages. Within these classes, 26 of the students were White (92.9%) and 2
more that I will call Joe. Joe is White and of average socioeconomic status. were Hispanic (7.1%).
It is obvious that he takes pride in his appearance, particularly his hair and The average household income is $53,138 which is above the $44,955 thresh-
his shoes. Joe and I are different in at least 2 areas of the intersectionality old for a family of 4 to receive reduced lunch. 34.2% of the students in the
graphic, gender and sexual identity. During my observation of Joe, I have Cochrane-Fountain City school district are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
noticed that he is passionate about two things, art and discussing sexual My cooperating teacher, Ms. Kaarin Kjos, is a middle-aged woman who has
and gender identity. From the beginning of class, it was obvious that Joe been teaching in the Cochrane-Fountain City for her whole career of 17 years.
was talented in his 3D art class. He was using clay to sculpt a figure and it She teaches all grades from Kindergarten to her Advanced Studio classes for
was exceptional. When I asked him about his sculpture, he told me that it high schoolers.
was non-binary and that he wanted to make his peers more comfortable
using politically correct terms when talking about gender and sexuality.
He then told me that he identifies as a bi-sexual. He explained to me that
he loved Art and that it was his favorite class because of the freedom and
the expression that can be used in the class.
B ) How do Personal/Cultural Knowledge or
Popular Knowledge shape the racialization of
the white student you will be working with
in your clinical setting?
Because the overwhelming majority of students in my clinical setting are
C)How can the racialization of the student you will white, I have chosen to answer question B. According to the Knowledge
Construction Table, personal/cultural knowledge can be gained from
be working with be reinforced or challenged by any of parents, peers, and significant other in the community. Popular knowledge
his other demographic characteristics? comes from television, movies, social media, and the news. I believe that the
biggest influence of knowledge in today’s digital society is popular knowl-
edge outlets. Particularly social media has an enormous effect on secondary
Even though I have not observed Joe for very long, I think that there are two areas students, when used for good social media can bring students together on
that he challenges the perceptions of white males. The first being in his passion and issues, but when used negatively, social media can tear students down and
talent for the visual arts. The society that we live in often tells us that art is not seriously affect their self-esteem. The ideas that are portrayed in the media
“manly” and that whites are superior above spending time making art and they are the ideas that students will internalize. One idea that is so engrained in
would be better utilized as doctors or lawyers. Another area that Joe challenges the our society that most students and adults do not pay much attention to is
stereotype of being White is in his love, respect, appreciation and advocacy for other the “normalcy” of being White. As noted, by Audrey Thompson, because
racial groups and those who have gender and sexual identity other than cis and being white is “normal” in America, and so it is often ignored as a race. The
straight. Whites in general get a bad reputation for being insensitive to the needs media can often generalize and put thoughts in viewers’ minds about race.
and struggles of other races. White men on the other hand, are assumed to be intol- These thoughts are called racialization. Racialization is defined in the Social
erant and unaccepting of individuals who are not straight and that do not identify as Constructs of Difference Graphic as, “expectations, assumptions, percep-
their biological gender. One aspect of Joe that is reinforced by racialization is his tions, stereotypes and fears we have of racial groups as shaped by social
socioeconomic status and academic achievement. Joe says that he lives in a mid- interactions, media images, political rhetoric, and economic forces.” One of
dle-class family which is typical of white families particularly in this region and Joe the biggest ways that social media and television racialize whites is by
says that he gets on average B’s in his classes and does not find school to be too showing them as dominant. Even though we live in a society that no longer
much of a struggle. The perception that white students are better at school and their has segregation, we still depict whites as wealthy and with successful jobs
families are less likely to struggle, support this. more often than any other race and we still depict other races such as black
or Asian in subservient and secondary roles to the whites, particularly the
males. Even though we may not have signs on drinking fountains, we are
still communicated to each day that whites are superior to other races
through social media and television.

D)How can the Funds of Knowledge approach help


you see a student’s cultural background as an asset to
his learning?
The Funds of Knowledge approach can help me to view Joe’s race, sexuality,
E)Discuss the possible Activities to Investigate Funds of Knowledge
exceptionality and gender as resources and assets as well as the barriers that that you will possibly use to identify the Funds of Knowledge pos-
may be present because of those. Michael Genzuk defines the Funds of Knowl- sessed by your student you choose to study.
edge approach as “tapping local points of view, households and community, a
means of identifying significant categories of human experience up close and
personal.” I think this simple definition is the perfect explanation of what I am
able to do with this approach. Rather than viewing Joe as a stereotypical white The Activities to Investigate Funds of Knowledge that I am con-
male, I can use his race, sexuality, gender, and exceptionality as strengths and sidering using right now are #7 which is asking about the stu-
see how I can use those to better teach him as an individual. Joe is not just the dents’ cultural background which would help me to better
demographic categories that he belongs to but I am going to go beyond those understand how Joe formed some of the beliefs that he holds. I
and use those to provide information on potential resources and strengths that am also thinking about using #8 which is discussing entertain-
can come with them. Just like Galindo did in her article Hispanic Students’ Edu- ment that he and his household members most use. This would
cational Experiences and Opportunities During Kindergarten, it is important to tell me where Joe gets the majority of his popular knowledge
get to know students to see what unique traits and qualities they bring to the from. I would also like to use activity #9 to see what Joe enjoys
classroom and then modify curriculum to fit their interests and experiences so doing to stay active and for fun and potentially social activities.
that they can better understand and relate to the material Finally, I would like to use activity 10. I want to know what places
Joe thinks are important in his life and how these might have
impacted him and how they could continue to impact and serve
as a fund of knowledge. .

F) Discuss the EDFD 400/401 Developmental and/or Learning theorists


who you can use to give a rationale for your choice of said activities.
#7, #8, and #10 all directly link to Brofenbrenner. He believes that each person is made of increasingly
large systems that begin with the person themselves being the innermost and spreading to the mac-
rosystem which include the attitudes and ideologies of the culture. By asking my student about his
cultural background and cultural identity, I am learning more about his micro, meso and exosystems
which make up his macrosystem of his thought on his personal culture, culture of his school, his town
and his world. In the same way, by discussing the types of entertainment he most enjoys, I will be able
to get a better look at the way that this media effects his systems. His entertainment preferences will
likely tie pretty heavily into his chronosystem which is related to time because of how quickly different
modes of entertainment shift in today’s digital society. The places that Joe identifies as important are
without a doubt a part of his life and have already made an impression on him. These places which will
likely be a part of his microsystem and define where he can go for resources.

#9 is an activity to investigate the social development of Joe. Although the activities that we will be
talking about are physical, what he enjoys doing and the motivation behind doing those activities is
much more telling than the physical gains he may be making. Joe is most likely in the identity/role
confusion stage of Erikson’s theory and so it will be interesting to see why he enjoys doing the activi-
ties that he does whether that is friends have a mutual interest or have a family history of doing that
activity together. This will allow me to decipher what Joe finds part of his identity in.