Week 1

The focus this week will allow us to start to develop a common vocabulary and framework for our work with our science students.

Here is the work for this week:

1. Listen. There is an excellent podcast from NPR called Invisibilia. Please listen to this episode "How to Become Batman." Feel free to listen more than once if you are so moved.

2. Reflect. Think about your reaction(s) to this story. What did you think? What did you feel? What surprised you? How do you think what was discussed might apply to our work with students?

3. Respond. Now that you have reflected, please create a blog post here on Pace Commons (within our group) and write about your responses to the podcast. Please use the tag ed644batman in your post. Please post your work by Tuesday.

4. Interact. Learning is a social activity, so I ask that you read the work of your classmates and leave comments. Let's see where the conversation takes us.

    • David Evans
      David Evans


      When I first started listening to Daniel's story, I was skeptical that his story had real application to the larger world of being a blind person in the world, as I understood it.  As I listened, I was amazed at how the technique of clicking could activate parts of the brain that allowed a type of peripheral sight as described by the neuroscientists in part 2 which in turn allowed Daniel and a small group of blind people to minimize their "disability".  I was especially taken by the notion that love inhibits self-realization, whether the recipient of the love is a blind boy or a rat perceived to be "smarter" in the other experiment I listened to in the other podcast.

      I am realizing through my work in the schools that my prejudices toward "disabled" human beings have nothing to do with the very complex and surprising ways students "surprise" me with their abilities to answer questions correctly with the right kind of scaffolding and classroom environment.  My expectations and assumptions about special ed prior to this work have been like the expectations (limitations) imposed against blind and other disabled people in the world. 

      When I was done listening, I danced.

      Dave Evans

      • Giuseppe Marchica
        Giuseppe Marchica


               When I was first hearing the podcast I was confused and wondered why are we listening to this? Why is someone asking to hold someone else’s eyeball? Who in their right mind would even rip out their eyeball from their socket just to have someone hold it? However as the podcast went on then I found out the man is blind and the eyeball is a prosthetic. That makes perfect sense. For a second I thought the guy was crazy to even agree to give his eyeball to a stranger. The story progresses and I also became skeptical. Can a blind person see? Of course not, and if they can, they definitely can’t identify the physical object. That’s impossible. However, I was wrong again because Daniel can.

                    What surprised me and got me so infuriated was when I heard “No that is not acceptable.” Who are you to say what is acceptable and what is not. You have a human being who lost one of the most important 5 senses we have and you are telling him he can’t adapt the best way he sees fit. Better yet it came from Daniel’s teacher. That in itself is what’s “not acceptable.” I applaud Daniel. Actually I envy him because I doubt I could do what he has done. He adapted to his environment and developed a skill to counter the loss of his sight. Not only is that incredible but genius.

                    This applies to my work as a teacher with my students because throughout the pre service training done in the fellowship program we have been taught to always have an open mind and never make assumptions. In my classrooms that is what I have done. My struggle is my ENL students who don’t speak much English. I have an open mind and look for progress and participation. I don’t care if they get something right or wrong. I want my student to grow and develop their scientific skills and that starts with them trying their best every day. The same goes for all my students not just my ENL students. As an educator it is my job to promote the success of my students. If have a negative mindset and act negative towards them; by avoiding contact and not calling on them, not assisting them when they need help because I know they are disinterested and don’t care to be in the class, then it will promote a negative effect on that student’s success.

                    This in itself surprised me especially with the rat experiment discussed in the podcast. I was baffled that if you think negatively towards someone then it can still negatively affect them. I asked myself how does that make any sense. My mind was blown that it did and the reasoning behind it made sense. Everything we do even cognitively will affect a person’s success. This applies to how I should think about my students as well. 

      ED 644 Fall 2017

      ED 644 Fall 2017

      Here is the online home for ED 644 Fall 2017.