As I arrived at RIC on Saturday morning to participate in the annual promising practice I was in a very grumpy mood. My Saturday mornings are usually dedicated to resting because of my busy work and school schedule throughout the week. Despite the challenge of having to drag myself to the conference the worst part was having to sit though the introduction. As I sat there and listened to the guest speakers I couldn't help but notice how the mayor said that every child can succeed, poverty is a factor not destiny which made me think about Bob Herbert’s article in which he states that “residential patterns, housing discrimination, economic disparities” do contribute to the success of a child. Not every child will have the opportunities he did despite the fact that he came from the same kind of background. In conclusion to the intro part of this conference I came to the realization that after hearing all of the guest speakers and the way the treated some of the individuals made me really upset, I was not too fond of it. I prayed my first session would go well and make me forget all about the introduction.
For my first session it dealt with Action Civics model within democratic classroom structure. Going into this session I found it extremely difficult to understand what it was that they were trying to teach me about action civics. I think that if they had started with the definition of what Action Civics is then I would have had a better understanding of what they were looking. I was completely dumbfounded entering this session but after looking up the definition I become a little more engaged with the conversation. Action Civics is basically an applied education process where the voices of participants are encouraged, valued and used to the fullest and how we could incorporate civic participation in and advocacy within the classroom pedagogies. This session reminds me of Christensen because she believes in taking action step by step to solve the issue of secret learning. In comparison, this session also deals with something called an advocacy hourglass which consists of steps that have to be taken in order to resolve issues in the community
The second session on Student/Labor Solidarity as pedagogy. I found this session to be even more challenging that the first one. I thought the presenters were extremely quiet and expected us to know a bunch of information on their organization. Every time they would ask questions that we didn't know the answer to, things just got really quiet and awkward. However, after doing my own research, what I understood from this organization was that students from this organization were building relationships with local workers organizations and unions. The students would team up with these workers and in order to acquire benefits for these workers. For example, students don’t buy school name clothing like Nike or Adidas sweaters so that sweat shop workers produce in order for them to get the chance to get better pay. This meant that the sweat shop workers wouldn't work until they are able to get a higher pay. At the same time students aren't buying the clothing and sweat shop workers aren't working. Which then forces the big companies pay more to the workers. Basically it’s like a big protest. This reminds me of SCWAAMP because these big companies that refuse to pay their workers less than minimum wage are basically power junkies. They make tons of money off the materials they produce but still feel the need to pay their workers crappy pay. These people clearly know that their employees cannot live off of the pay they get; but no sympathy is felt whatsoever. This organization is really striving for change and I think it’s really great what they are doing.
Over all I think my day was very interesting and although I feel like I didn't feel like even going to the conference at first, it ended up being a great opportunity, and a learning experience.