Intelligence: Educators Influence

I don’t believe to constrict the definition of an educator to the sole responsibility of a school teacher.  I have had a wide range of educators throughout my life consisting of teachers, family, friends, and even strangers that I believe have had a huge influence in making the person I am today. Intelligence in my eyes is a matter of not only genetics but the impact that those around you have had in how you perceive and interpret the knowledge you are dealt with. We are constantly presented with new information each day in the classroom and outside of the classroom what we do with it determines our intelligence.

An educators expectations has strongly influenced how I have learned.  When my teachers in the past have wanted me to do well and succeed I tend to be smarter and learn more.  It is nice to know a educator is on your side and wants you to be your best.  An individuals positive encouragement and personal interactions can go a long way in helping me learn.  I have crossed teachers who have motivated and inspired me to be engaged with readings and lessons, these teachers have grew my intelligence. I have also experienced nasty and cruel teachers that have even said the words “I give up”. I had trouble in math in fourth grade and I can recall my teacher telling me that I wouldn’t pass that grade if I couldn’t multiply.  She had no encouragement to give me and she didn’t believe I could do it but my parents did.  My dad started working on me with math every day he didn’t give up he had faith I would succeed even if we had to start at the bottom.  I ended up completing that year with a good grade and even ended up being in the accelerated math class in middle school.  The best teachers are the ones that push you to do your best and don’t admit defeat when things seem impossible.

A teacher not bringing outside influences or belief into a classroom can be beneficial. An educator entering a situation with an open mind, not being judging, or having a preference to favor can be a positive in a classroom setting as well.  The ability of a teacher to recognizing different learning styles of students and where to direct there attention to can help a child improve learning. School systems should encourage teachers to put their best foot forward when teaching and have the attitude and mentality that every student should succeed.  Come in with the thought that “as an educator I will do whatever it takes to help them reach success and be their best”.


Week 10 First Impression Prompts – Intelligence

Hand writing on a notebook

Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the tag “Intelligence.” The first impression posts will be due by noon on Saturday, 11/4. The refinement posts will be due at noon on Tuesday, 11/7.

Option 1:

Many people consider intelligence to be largely determined by genetics, but there is substantial evidence that the environment and social processes play a large role as well. Since schools are a place where children try to determine how smart they really are, it is important for educators to understand the impacts of their subtle or not-so-subtle interactions with students. In your blog post, reflect on your interactions with educators throughout your school career, and discuss what changes to the school system could improve students’ performance in the classroom.

Option 2:

In 1998, the Governor of Georgia, Zell Miller, proposed spending $105,000 of the state’s budget to distribute a cassette or CD of classical music to the parents of each new child born in Georgia (see the NY Times article). Governor Miller was a staunch believer in the Mozart effect, a theory that listening to Mozart can increase intelligence. The Mozart effect is highly controversial and has spurred numerous research studies, but was based on one study published in 1993. Read the original journal article by Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky and discuss whether or not the original evidence supports Governor Miller’s decision.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator

First Impression Post: Learning

Violence in video games has been a popular concern among parents since video games have started getting more advanced. Video games are no longer puzzles or arcade-style; instead them simulate life, which isn’t always mild. In fact, video games nowadays seem to use extremes to appeal to young people who haven’t been exposed to the more feared, graphic parts of life. War games have an enormous appeal, as the challenge is one that deals with the lives of people, or even national pride. U.S. military recruiters have even used these kinds of games to reel in young people who enjoy challenges of that severity. I don’t necessarily disapprove of violent video games, but I think it’s awful that it takes images of decapitation to interest a playful child in 2017.

I think violence in video games reflects how different our definition of a game is today vs forty years ago. I don’t think it necessarily makes kids more violent, but I do think it gives kids an understanding of the extent of violence and what they could do to someone if they were angry enough – which is scary. There’s also a strange, eerie appeal in a lot of people to seeing gore and destruction, which I think violent video games activate at an early age. I don’t think they should be banned, but I do think parents should hesitate to buy violent video games for their kids, as they might have a dark influence on them in such a formative years of their lives.

Violent Video Games

I believe that violent video games can have very negative effects on children who do not receive enough supervision from their parents. Video Games have ratings for a reason, and that reason is so that children who could be susceptible to violence and destruction do not play and are not exposed to the video games, however, many parents ignore the ratings and allow their children to play violent video games without watching to see just how the games could effect their children. Parents should at least watch the video game in action before allowing children to play them so they can decide whether or not their child should play it or not.

Three of my younger cousins have disorders such as ADHD and anger management issues. The three of them have been playing violet video games since they were very young (around 6). Since they were already violent by nature, they felt the need to learn how to execute different moves in the video games, which I have observed other children to do as well. I believe that this is a disturbing practice because of how interested children are in correctly stab a teddy bear in the heart with a pencil just like their character in a video game did to another person.

Children who play video games will be less affected by violence in the future, they may even enjoy watching something violent or even doing something violent. Exposure to violent video games at a young age should not be something we are allowing to happen in our world, and I believe that if we were able to get rid of violence in video games altogether children will grow into more peaceful, less violent adults.

First Impression Post- Week 10

For this week’s first impression post I chose to write about option 2. For this option I will be discussing my opinion on violent videogames among children. I have a younger brother, he is thirteen years old. My mom never let him play video games that are violent because she thought it was inappropriate for a kid his age to be playing. When he comes home from school he always says he does not know why he can’t play certain videogames that his friends are playing. He says that kids even younger than him are playing games like Call of Duty and Battlefield. I have seen people play these games and they are downright gory between all the shooting and stabbing. Whoever gets the most “kills” wins the game. Should kids really be getting rewarded for killing people? Even if it is not real, and it is “just a game” as a lot of people say, I still say the answer is no. I don’t think games like that are necessary, or safe to be showing children. If children start playing violent videogames when they are young, they can become less affected by the violent images and become more likely to become violent as they grow up because they are used to seeing violence in their life. What is wrong with playing normal videogames like old school Pac-man or something? I am not a big video gamer, but after all the gun violence that has been occurring in our country I think banning violent games should be a no brainer.

The Debate on Video Games and Violence

The debate over violent video games is a very difficult topic for me to make up my mind over. As an adamant lover of video games, I know that I have a bias opinion when it comes to censorship of violence in games. To me, blaming violence in children on the video games they play is not a fair statement. Although I do agree that children being exposed to violence in video games on a daily basis would be harmful, simply turning on the news every night would supply children with the same amount of violence in real life. Just as banning the news would be an unrealistic notion, the same can be said of completely banning all violence from video games.

As well, as an effort to prevent young children from witnessing extreme violence and gore, video game creators put specific ratings on their products in order to prepare the audience for the content they will be seeing. In fact, many of the more violent video games have specific ratings that do not allow children under a certain age to purchase the games themselves. Therefore, if a child who is younger than the recommended age range for a video game does acquire that game, it is likely that the parents supplied it to the child, which would not be the fault of the video gaming industry.

Overall, I believe that any regular exposure to something can be habitual-forming. I do agree that exposure to violence and gore in video games should be monitored by parents, as too much exposure can cause children to become influenced by the actions they are seeing; however, to make the claim that violence in video games is what is causing violence in children and that it should, therefore, be banned is unrealistic.

First Impression Week 10

Lynsey Wissler

Video Games

Violence in the Media has been controversial for decades. The increasing attention to the video game violence in the last 20 years has definitely raised some eyebrows. I think that video games are definitely getting more violent but how much research backs up the claim that children are becoming more violent. When just looking at the surface it would make sense that this is a possibility but how accurate is this claim. I personally think that video games as they are becoming more violent should definitely be making it clear that they are violent. However, I do not think that it should be the video game companies being punished for making the games this way (by banning). I think that if people are concerned about their children becoming violent then they should be using their own discretion on how much their children are playing the games. The video game companies are trying to please the customer, they cannot decide who plays their games and how often they are played; that decision goes back to the consumer. I feel that permanently banning video games will not solve the problem at hand. Possibly a solution to this problem would be making it a clear rating on how violent the games are for the parents who are giving their children these games. Another solution could be regulating the game makers. Overall, I do agree that video games are becoming more violent, however, how this is impacting children seems unclear to me. I feel that regulating the sales and making of the video games will not solve the problem and it is more the parent’s responsibility to monitor what and how much of these games their children are playing.

Week 10 First Impression: Option 2

Violent video games are all over the place. If you talk to someone under 50, there is a good chance they have at least a vague idea of what Call of Duty is. The Call of Duty games are just a fraction of the violent video games available for people to play. If I had to guess, either games like that or sports games are the most popular video games on the market. Growing up, I would have described myself as a casual video game player. My games of choice were sports games like Madden or NBA 2k but I would occasionally play a game like Call of Duty or Halo while over at a friends house. The violence and gore really had no effect on me. Part of this is probably because I was a little older when my friends started playing those games and understood what was going on. I saw the violence as just part of the game and nothing else. Judging from the way everyone else talked about it, it seemed like they felt the same way. Of course there were those kids that wanted to be in the army because they liked playing first person shooters. As they grew up they were never more violent than any of the other kids. I see where calls to ban violent video games come from; those games could be a lot for a kid to handle. I don’t think that is the right path to take though. Even before video games, I was exposed to violence. Whether it was grabbing gun-shaped sticks and acting like soldiers with my little brother or hearing about something that made national news, violence was still there. Banning video games will only take away one form of exposure. It sucks that we live in a world like that but there isn’t much we can do about it at this point. Instead of trying to hide our kids from violence by doing things like banning video games, we should take it head on. Teach them that there is violence in the world and that in many cases it is wrong. Then teach them how handle conflicts without violence. It’s not an ideal solution but it beats hiding our kids away.

Spotlight Blog 2 Prompts

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to use the tag “Spotlight” on your post. Also include the tag listed for the option you choose below. The spotlight post is due by the beginning of class on Friday, 11/10.

Option 1 – Use the tag “Intelligence”

There has been a lot of controversy around the way our educational system works to improve learning outcomes for our children. For this post, you are going to investigate one of these issues and present your conclusions based on the evidence you review. You may select either year-round education (i.e., whether or not there should be a long summer break) or single-gender education (i.e., should boys and girls have separate classrooms). You will need to find two sources arguing for year-round education/single-gender education and two sources arguing against it, review the evidence in each source, and present your conclusion on the issue. Make sure to cite your sources.

Option 2 – Use the tag “Stress”

We’ve discussed a number of different stress management approaches in class, and now I want you to evaluate online resources for stress management. Specifically, I want you to identify three websites that provide stress management tips and discuss how likely you think the strategies they provide are to be successful. Make sure to explain your rationale using what we’ve learned in class and your textbook. Each of the three websites need to be targeted at a different audience but you may select the audiences you want to use (e.g., college students, athletes, parents, artists). Make sure to include links to the websites as part of your post.

Option 3 – Use the tag “Drugs”

One of the largest campaigns to prevent drug use among children was the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. This federal program sought to provide kids with information about the dangers of using drugs, using things like the slogan “Just say no!” While people had high hopes for the program, it ended up being very controversial largely because of how it ended up impacting the rates of drug abuse among children exposed to the program. Research what the data say about the DARE program and argue whether or not it was a successful program. Then take what we learned from DARE and argue whether or not you think similar abstinence-based programs (e.g., sexual education programs) should be used in schools. Make sure to cite your sources.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Thomas Hawk

Week 10 First Impression: Learning

Operant conditioning is a type of learning where behavior is controlled by consequences or rewards. Skinner believes that free will is not a thing because of operant conditioning. I disagree with Skinner, no matter if you are effected by the power of operant conditioning, you still have free will. Free will is the ability to make your own decisions. As I read more and more about operant conditioning, it sounds very similar to the way I was raised by my parents. I am rewarded for doing good things and punished for doing bad. But if I didn’t have free will why did I sometimes make bad choices that resulted in me getting punished? If we did not have free will, why do people make bad choices all the time? Frequently, people get into trouble with the law knowing there is a possibility of them suffering the consequences. If Skinner was right, then there would never be any crime in the world. Everyone would always make the right decision. Life is full of operant conditioning, if we do something right such as work hard at our job we might get a promotion. If we are slacking off at work, we might get fired. If we study hard we’ll ace the exam, if we don’t we might fail. We receive consequences and rewards for our actions on a daily basis. Whether or not it was a good choice, we still have the ability to make our own decisions no matter what the outcome may be.