Eisler-Rattling Chains Reading Reflection

Riane Eisler brings a new perspective to social justice: “empathy and caring” as “the core of how we treat one another” (Eisler, 2012, p. 51).  In this text, Eisler explains how caring and empathy were erased from social justice to begin with.  Several cultures deemed anything “soft,” or “feminine,” to be related to “caring, caregiving, and nonviolence”, which is seen as inferior (Eisler, 2012, p. 55).  Eisler discusses the importance of social justice not only in the public realm, but the private realm as well.  This is crucial because children begin to understand the world in ways they were taught or observed while growing up.  In order to stop people from assuming things are just supposed to be the way they are and to promote change, we must understand the importance of social justice in the private lives of society as well.  Eisler’s view of social justice is much in line with mine, creating “‘caring societies’” (Eisler, 2012, p. 54).


Source: Eisler, R. (2012). Cultivating compassion: Lessons learned from society and culture. In L. G. Denti & P. A. Whang (Eds.), Rattling chains: Exploring social justice in education (pp. 51-56). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.


Reflection on Morrell Ch. 7 Reading for PAR

            This reading will inform my thinking about Participatory Action Research (PAR) in a variety of ways.  First, Morrell provides the notion that participating in action based off of research develops a person to really learn about the material and become an expert.  This concept is a motivational tool for me to keep in mind while I work through my PAR project.  Although I will be researching and finding a lot of useful information, I will learn even more about the developmental benefits of music education by doing action within music education.

            Next, Morrell advocates for students to be involved in the research and implementation of change within schools.  This informs my thinking about research of schooling because students are the ones educators, administrators, and policy-makers are looking into developing and educating better and they research a variety of ways to do this without consulting the students.  Since the students are the ones who will be directly affected, shouldn’t we be consulting them first or have them involved in this research process?

Finally, Morrell discusses the action the students took after synthesizing their research.  The students led a presentation to parents, faculty, and administrators; posted their research to an online journal and continuously uploaded further research to the forums; helped advertise and develop an after-school club; and attended and presented at the American Educational Research Association.  This informs my thinking about what is considered action.  I do not have to hold a large protest, but I could write my research down and post it to an online forum.  By doing this and continuously updating it with more recent research, I am doing an action that allows others from all around the world to take action. Other people can research and find holes within my research to fill with their own research and action.

Rattling Chains Class Discussion Reflection

Noddings stressed the importance of student choice in tracking programs. In class discussion, I brought up one possible solution.  I suggested students be offered a choice in every class they take, not in a specific track.  Students would be given the course overview of each course in a catalog and could choose the courses they want to take.  To refrain from students choosing the easiest class they can pick from, there needs to be structure in the number of specific types of courses (i.e. languages, electives, sciences, etc.). Teachers and advisors need to really know their students to guide them through choices in future courses.  By offering students these options, students do not have to choose between college and career right away, but between which classes interest them most.  Then, students can learn from these interests, with guidance from their counselors, to go into the appropriate path after high school.

Participatory Action Research Project Proposal

Participatory Action Research Proposal

            Participatory Action Research is defined, in my view, as researching approaches to changing something that is not currently working, implementing the change, then reflecting and evaluating the results of the change.  I propose to extend my capstone project in ways that align with this definition of Participatory Action Research.

Currently, my capstone project is the Benefits of Music Education: Promoting College Attendance in High School Students.  The research I want to do will be answering the primary question: How can educators promote college attendance to high school students through music education?  An extension of this research will be to implement music in a classroom and study the benefits and drawbacks for the students.

I will be conducting the Participatory Action Research Project with a classmate, Amanda Schemmel, as she is on the pre-capstone path and is working within a field similar to mine: Performing Arts.

In order to successfully implement music in a classroom I need to find the right type of music, the right way of implementing music, and the appropriate classroom in which to implement this study.  The type of music and the way I implement it will be based out of the research, literature reviews, surveys, and an interview that I conduct to find the most beneficial approach.  Additionally, I will select a classroom that currently does not incorporate music which will either be my Sunday school class at a local church, an elementary classroom in Salinas, or a local high school classroom in Seaside, depending on approval by the primary teachers in each of these classrooms.

The timeline I am working with for my capstone project is conducting and analyzing all research in the form of literature reviews, surveys, and an interview by March 21st and writing the first draft of my capstone paper by April 1st.  In alignment with these dates, the timeline for my action project will be to implement the action the week of April 1st, then to analyze the results and findings by May 1st.

After the action project is over and I have “data” on this topic, I plan to incorporate this data into my final draft of my capstone paper and present these findings during the capstone seminar.  Furthermore, I will be archiving my capstone (action project results included) into the school library, as well as posting my findings on my social media sites.  I hope one day for the data to be used by policy makers to spark a change in education systems to influence the introduction of music education courses being incorporated back into schools.

In conclusion, the assessment of my success will come from the feedback of the students who experience this inclusion of music in their classroom.  My hope is this will help students succeed in their coursework and be able to find benefits within music education.

Rattling Chains Reading Reflection

After Christine Sleeter’s reading from the book, Rattling Chains: Exploring Social Justice in Education, I found myself in agreement to the points Sleeter made regarding multicultural education versus social justice.  The conversations outlined in her dialogue sections were accurate to the conversations I have heard from several parents regarding multicultural education.  These parents believe their children’s education is multicultural because the school or teacher hosts celebrations surrounding food, clothes, and songs of different cultures occasionally.  Some parents believe parents of a different culture do not care about their children’s education.  This belief is naïve and this type of multicultural approach is so narrow it does nothing to show the realities of the people within these cultures.  A truly multicultural education, which Sleeter renames social justice, involves enlightening the class about the hardships different cultures face due to oppression and the privileges certain groups have due to being a dominant group.