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Melissa Colando
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Why Gender Discussions Matter
Here’s the simple truth...Gender and biology are not one in the same.  This notion is incomprehensible to many, but at the same time essential for people to understand. Take my parents for example: they are in their early sixties and moderately progressive ...
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Taking the Risk out of Risky
As I read Chapters 2 and 3 of Nakkula and Toshalis’s Understanding Youth , I was brought back to my many undergraduate psychology courses at Rhode Island College.  However, contrary to what many might think, it wasn’t necessarily a bad reminiscence because ...
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A Meeting of the Minds
In Chapter 1 of Understanding Youth, Michael Nakkula and Eric Toshalis argue that adolescents are in a constant state of “constructing their lives”(5) and “creating development itself”(5).  While the authors ultimately feel that an adolescent’s development ...
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The Underbelly of Learning
Frank Smith is absolutely correct when he asserts that students always learn from their teachers.  In fact, he contends that, “Something is being learned, whether we want it or not, all the time”(5).  I’ve never thought about learning in such absolute terms...
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Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
Taken from the words of Freire, Kliewer argues that, "Humility is central to democracy.  'How can I dialogue,' Freire asks, 'if I always project ignorance onto others and never perceive my own?  How can I dialogue if I regard myself as a case apart from oth...
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Multicultural Children
     Virginia Collier writes that "language is enchanting, powerful, magical, useful, personal, natural, all-important"(235) and this description instantly reminded me of the Spanish language Richard Rodriguez's family and he used before learning to speak t...
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When Silence Just Isn't Enough
In Chapter 5 of Safe Spaces-Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGTB Youth, Vaccaro, August and Kennedy argue that we as educators must be vigilant in making sure LGTB students have access to a school atmosphere that is safe both in the curriculum i...
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Cloudy with a Chance of Some Fog
It's been a crazy busy week for me!  On Monday, I had a professional development meeting until 4 followed by my son Zach's football game in Barrington. After that, I headed to trivia at Chelo's where our team scored pretty well until the last question and i...
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Conversation, Connection and Anti-Teaching
Sherry Turkle in the  New York Times article "The Flight From Conversation" makes a paradoxical yet strikingly true statement. "We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating.  And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere conne...
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Reflections on Facilitating...The Nature of Class is Unique
     Facilitating a graduate level college course is certainly something I've never had the experience of doing before.  I knew that I already had some ideas that I wanted to focus on in our discussion.  I was also intrigued by the notion of class and the d...
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