Sunday, 29 January 2012
Saturday, 28 January 2012
Students will learn about the variety of experiences that greeted immigrants to the United States during the first quarter of the 20th century and develop an understanding of the factors related to their experiences.
This is a website which provides teachers with activities to help their students learn more about immigration within America. The website provides students with the history of immigration within the USA, and how it led to America becoming a multi-cultural country, as well as the impact of societal issues, such as the World Wars and the Great Depression which affected both the increase and decrease of immigration. As a result, the website offers a balanced view toward the topic of immigration, recognising the way in which the topic has developed in both positive and negative ways.
Although immigration provides one of the most colorful chapters in our country's history, it has also brought a host of problems which have not been so easily resolved.
The website also offers student activities, such as creating a ‘Commission Hearing’ whereby the students attempt to arrive at an immigration policy. The commission encourages students to role play; to take on the roles of individual immigrants from various countries, while other students serve as lobbyists. The use of role play really engages the students within the topic which as a result encourages them to think for themselves, placing them in specific situations which enables them express their opinions freely.
This project does not force, or present any kind of biased view toward the issue of immigration within the United States. The website and activities present students with a balanced view toward the topic of immigration within the USA, addressing both the positive and negative views and issues that surround it. The activity also encourages students to think abut how the history of immigration can be applied to America today by asking questions such as, 'Should we maintain our traditional policy of openness to new migrants, or must we reevaluate this tradition in light of current circumstances?'. The students are encouraged to use their knowledge of the history of America to address these issues and to try and reach a conclusion for themselves.
In general, the students are not mislead in anyway, nor are their views shaped by the website and activities. It is the personal view of the students toward the topic of immigration that is important, welcoming their individual views without the risk of their opinions being swayed in anyway.
Friday, 27 January 2012
The unit Causes of Conflict: Issues of Immigration is taught in American high schools and 'is designed to closely align with Washington State's Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs.)'
In the introduction of the unit, students are asked to consider the controversies surrounding the consequences of immigration; for instance, the impact on jobs, wages and education. The unit therefore begins by provoking the fears and worries of immigration, showing the process in a negative light. Placing this activity in the opening of the unit suggests that the problems relating to immigration outweigh the benefits associated with it. Furthermore, instead of discussing these issues, students are merely asked to list them, providing an unbalanced view on the issue.
The unit does provide students with examples of discrimination America expressed towards some immigrants, for instance 'In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act to bar all entry of Chinese immigrants into the U.S.' Therefore, although students are exposed to the welcoming nature of America, they are also exposed to America's more unwelcoming side, providing an objective perspective.
Students are taught that the American Dream was not the only appeal to immigrants, as students are asked, 'What was the situation in the country of origin when members of this group began to leave?' The state of other countries is shown to be significant, therefore there are pushing factors as well as pulling factors that encourage people to move to the United States.
The issues of media portrayal are also explored, as students are given the task to 'evaluate 2-3 editorials and opinion articles on immigration issues ' and ' make decisions on which to publish.' This task illustrates to students that the media does not give a completely accurate angle on immigration, because all newspapers are edited, therefore not all available information is given to the public. The distrust for the media's interpretations on immigration is also highlighted in the imperative: 'Use oral history interviews as primary sources.' Therefore, the voice of an immigrant is equally, if not more important, than the voice of a journalist or historian.
Sunday, 22 January 2012
This website is involved in the celebration of gay rights within America. It organises events and tours specifically aimed at gay people within the American culture.
IGLA North America – international lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association.
This is a global organisation (this particular page is specifically for those living in North America) that works to bring about laws banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity in social services. It has 8397 supporters, and 814 members so is therefore a widely supported organisation.
This website aims to bring equality to those of alternative sexualities, allowing them to be treated the same as anyone else in terms of their identity. It is the belief that people should be able to be whoever they want to be and not have to hide it nor suffer because of who they are. This website reiterates that not being heterosexual is not something that should be prejudiced against.
There are a lot of articles and petitions over the ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy. This refers to the prejudice against homosexuals, those who were homosexual being unable to join the military. The policy prohibited military personnel from discriminating against or harassing ‘closet’ homo/bi sexual members or applicants, while barring openly gay/lesbian persons from the military service. Those willing to risk their lives for their country should be able to be themselves and not have to hide their identity. They are willing to give their lives for their country yet their country is letting them down by not allowing to comfortably live how they please as the person they want to be in society.
Saturday, 21 January 2012
Here are the questions asked by the US Census Breau, and a map which reflects why the the factor of identity has significance for America. What are the identity issues that are problematic and politically sensitive?
I look forward to seeing you and hearing your answers on Monday.
And, for an interactive map of changing immigration, send a moment observing how the patterns of immigration change over space and time - from 1880 onwards.......
Friday, 20 January 2012
Growing up isn’t easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens, who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted — even tortured — simply for being themselves.
The 'American Association of University Women' is a nationwide organisation and community that helps women and girls 'break through barriers' of educational, social, economic, and political issues, to ensure that they have equality within the educational and economic system. The AAUW have over 100,000 members, 1,000 branches and 500 college and university institution partners who each contribute to AAUW's 'powerful voice'. The website's homepage immediately draws emphasis to the many issues that effect women and girls today, from unequal pay to teenage sexual harassment, and what they are doing to overcome these issues for American women. In their 'About Us' section, the AAUW states their mission and value promise:
'AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. By joining AAUW, you belong to a community that breaks through educational and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance.'
AAUW's main goal is to ensure that women and girls have access to higher education and 'the opportunity to achieve excellence in professions of their choice.' Without the chance of higher education it could be argued that women and girls lack specific identities, which as a result restricts their future identity and their sense of self. What I found really interesting about AAUW as an organisation, was that they actually offer the chance for women to move forward within the educational system through their leadership programmes:
These programs help women and girls break through barriers to acquire the skills they need to succeed and lead in their academic, professional, and personal lives. Each year, AAUW’s leadership programs shape the lives of thousands of women and girls.
AAUW asks for donations for each of their programmes, and this money is used to fund their programmes as well as the women and girls themselves through fellowships and grants. By creating opportunities like this, it automatically enhances women's identities as they are beginning to break through their restrictions, giving them more of an equal chance of enhancing their sense of self through educational means, which of course is the core to the organisation. The AAUW enables women and girls to secure their identity in a professional capacity.