Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What is PYD?

Positive Youth Development touches upon the basic foundation of needs that youth require. Positive Youth Development entails basic needs are met such as; food, shelter, and safety. They need to be taught values and connect with others. We know this is true by looking at research done by well known experts such as Maslow who formed the hierarchy. 

Maslow's hierarchy describes the basic needs that all humans require in order to be successful. The hierarchy starts with basic needs such as air, food and shelter, moving up to safety, protection and security. Then moves on to feelings of belonging and the need for love, family and affection. When someone has reached these they are then able to move on to esteem needs such as achievement, status, and responsibility and ending with self actualization. 

In order for anyone to be able to accomplish what they want to, they must meet these needs. I bring this hierarchy up because in Jutta Dotterweish’s introduction piece to her presentation she mentions how "young people cannot focus on learning when they are focused on survival." They need their basic needs met "before they are able to survive in a complex world." This seems like something very basic and well-known, but it is shocking how many people do not have these basic needs, and therefore find it very difficult to have a positive youth development experience.

According to Jutta we need to look at our society, it was claimed that our society is “socially toxic”. There are too many things toxic that are present in our society such as; poverty, sexism, racism, health threats, and violence to name a few. If all of these things are present, it makes it difficult for our youth to survive let alone try to become successful. 

Prevention research focuses on risk and protective factors. It "aims to prevent or reduce negative behaviors such as teen pregnancy, school drop out, substance abuse, and violence... Factors that lead to an increased likely hood that young people will engage in negative behaviors."

This is the purpose and reason for having the youth development program. It is the objective that we can provide programs to children and young adults in order to allow them to meet their basic needs and to move on to become successful. If children are able to have a positive environment at a young age, the hope is that they will become less likely to become involved in some of these toxic behaviors that Jutta discussed in her presentation. 

"The philosophy or approach that guides communities in the way they organize programs, supports, and opportunities so that young people can develop to their full potential." This is our ultimate goal as youth developers to ensure that all young people are able to work to their potential and have the equal opportunity at success. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

27 reasons why parents shouldnt text...silly digital Immigrants

I came across this link the other day and couldn't help but feel it was closely related to our conversation with Digital Natives and Immigrants.

And they especially don't understand how to use their phone's camera:


By blogging we are able to reflect on our own thoughts and values, and see how other people may differ with their own thoughts or opinions. Blogging enables us to write out our own experiences and express ourselves so that anyone is able to access and read about them. In having these documented experiences, ideas, or images we can see ourselves grow and develop throughout time.

Encouraging youth to blog provides these abilities. They can have these memories instilled, and as opposed to paper, it is something that is held in a concrete database that can be accessed for lengths of time. We want youth to be able to feel comfortable to express themselves and have these entries to look back on . It is easier for youth to use technology as a basis for writing down their thoughts, and allows more flexibility then a paper to show creativity and proof of knowledge on given topics.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Digital Native or Digital Immigrant?

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants only puts my fears further into reality that very soon this world will be ran by computers. With technology at it’s near peak advancement, people are able to do things we never thought able many years ago. Now there are programs like “Khan Academy” that has children in classrooms learning through their computers. There is no longer the teacher to student interaction, and for that matter almost not any interaction at all when it comes to these new learning programs. “A really big discontinuity has taken place. One might even call it a “singularity” – an event which changes things so fundamentally that there is absolutely no going back. This so-called “singularity” is the arrival and rapid dissemination of digital technology in the last decades of the 20th century.”  As someone who would describe herself somewhere in between a digital native and digital immigrant, I have seen and grown up with drastic changes in the educational system. I have seen computers and touch screens take over in every day places like the grocery store, to banks, and now the school setting.

The Khan academy is a program all online that is able to teach children about any subject from math and arithmetic to science and reading. It provides coaching and tutoring for children who struggle with certain subjects. Teachers are now being given tutorials and are bringing these methods into their classroom. I do think this is hugely beneficial to many students, and helps the teacher in many ways. Those students who are struggling and falling behind are able to continue with the lessons they are having trouble with, while the other students who wish to go on to further their understanding are able to do that as well. Again, while I do think there are many benefits to this type of setting, it furthers my fears that this limited amount of interaction is just as unbeneficial to students.
Sitting in front of a computer all day, using this as your main source of education there is no interaction or socialization among other human beings. Students are going to become so glued to a screen and their social and emotional skills are going to become very limited. We can see this happening all ready; families out to dinner instead of talking to one another all sit on their Ipads and Iphones playing games, texting, or Tweeting. This is extremely unhealthy. Humans have an innate need to be social, so why are we making these children so incredibly unsocial?

Below I have provided an example of the Khan Academy and its lessons. It is pretty amazing that this one man has invented a program that has been used internationally. Even Bill Gates uses it to teach his children!

Friday, September 13, 2013

hyperlink to rubric

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

“Our ideas about what is appropriate for children to do has changed radically over time.” We as Americans, went from a society that placed children into the workplace, to allowing children to play alone out in the street with friends, to now where children have GPS trackers on their I-Phones. At one point there were children who were capable to work starting at age four in factories to support the needs of their families. Today, people scowl at the idea of sending their children into daycare for eight hours. Has our society become a tad too soft towards children?

I realize that as a student without children of my own this is easier said than done, and I don’t doubt that one day I will be more protective of my own children then a lion with her cubs. I do think though, that today there are some parents that would rather put their children in a large plastic bubble and send them off to school rather than have them come home with one tiny scrape on their body.

I can remember as a child running around my neighborhood for hours and hours on end. When it was dark, I knew it was time to go home and have dinner. My parents did not stand outside watching me as I played with my friends, making sure that I would be okay. You know what though? I survived. There is a reason that childhood obesity has become an epidemic today. It is because, instead of going outside to play, children are glued to their television, computer, or I- Pad provided to them by their parents. These children have become lazy, droning zombies. While reading this article, I couldn’t help but run this thought through my head, that we have raised a generation of electronic junkie children. It is our own faults, we spend too much time on things like Facebook, Twitter, and Vine that we miss what is happening in front of our own eyes; life! We need to put down the phone, take it away from our children and get out to see the world around us. Let children go outside and play with their friends, and when they come home with a scrape…use a band aid! This is the reason that has inspired me to want to create activities and things for children to do, making sure they are getting involved physically, mentally, and emotionally with other children.

As I was reading “Child Labor and the Social Construction of Childhood” I tried to imagine even myself as a young child working all day to make a possible two dollars. I was lucky enough to not have to have a job until I was in high school, I could never imagine myself at the mere age of 6 sowing all day! Initially reading this article I was angry, thinking about these children blistering their little fingers over machines all day to support their families. Then I thought about our society today. Why have we gone in such an extreme opposite direction? Not that child labor is any where near my idea of morally correct. But when did we become so very, very soft to the point of harming children instead of helping them?

These kids don't mind getting their hands a little dirty!

Image from URL,r:36,s:0,i:195&tx=104&ty=54

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My name is Mackenzie Miller Davidson, when I first began my journey at Rhode Island College I was 21 years old and had never blogged before in my life. I had just transferred from Plymouth State University where I attended school for two years and came to RIC with every intention of becoming an Early Childhood Education Teacher. Now, recreating myself into the blogging world I am 24 and have discovered a similar, but more diverse path for my future career. Starting this past spring, I became involved in the Youth Development Program in hope to be able to inspire youth around the world.

As I become more involved in Youth Development my hopes have been that I will be able to be active in communities where there are young people and help guide them as they are learning and developing.  In this class I hope that we will become more involved in our communities and divulge ourselves further into service learning practices.

After attending the first class this week, I felt a feeling of relief that I would be working with people who I have begun to build a bond with. This is a new program, and we are all going through its highs and lows together. It will be a truly exceptional experience to introduce our practices to people as this program becomes discovered world wide.