Busy October

This month has been extremely busy, but a lot of things have been added to the project. I have finally been able to take a look a new discipline initiative being implemented in a middle school in order to examine how many of the schools’ concepts compare with the discipline initiative systems I have been reading about. I have also finally finished my abstract and my poster board for the upcoming presentation in the Charles Center, which took much longer than I thought. I have also started to write Chapter 1 of my thesis which is comprised of: a brief introduction of my topic, the problem at hand, the brief literature review that relates to the topic, how I plan on conducting my project, how my study will contribute to society and my research questions. This chapter has been a hard one to sit down and write, but is almost complete.

This month was also a great month for hearing different lectures. I was fortunate enough to listen to the John Rickford lecture given at UVA on the varieties of English that we find in the American education system today. He talked about the historical significance of how the terms African American English and Southern English were established as a mainstream terms in discussing language variation. He also discussed how these language variations play a key role in our school systems in terms of the achievement gap. He was very passionate about spreading awareness about these language variations so teachers understand them and can learn how to teach Standardized English.

The other lecture I was able to attend was given by Diane Ravitch who raised some very important concerns about the education system today. I would love to hear from people who attended the lecture about what they thought. I personally thought she raised many important concerns that I have been reading about such as: Are standardized test scores an effective evaluation to determine schools should receive funding or not? She also mentioned the early history of charter school models and how they have transformed from what the founder’s ideas intended. She mentioned that education in schools needs to include a strong curriculum as an essential building block for a successful educational system.