Dear Weis Markets

Dear Mr. Brua,

A few weeks ago I was in a Weis Markets store in Hagerstown, MD. I noticed that there was new signage all throughout the store. When I turned the corner to enter an aisle labeled “international foods,” I saw a section in that aisle labeled “African American.” I was immediately upset by this. A picture I took during that visit is attached to this email.

In general, I am very concerned about the ignorance Weis markets demonstrates by this type of signage. First, African Americans are in no way “international.” By definition, they are Americans and fellow nationals. Secondly, the whole aisle demonstrates a lack of understanding about world geography. For instance, “Italian” has it’s own section right next to “European” — although Italy is in Europe.

I request that Weis Markets removes the African American label from the International Foods row in all of its stores. I also recommend that the company attempts to organize its products based on the product rather than stereotypical associations to nationalities. Weis’ current approach using stereotypic labels does more harm than good.

I have and will continue to post about this on my personal blog, facebook space, and to third party sites that feature poor and unthoughtful marketing techniques. I hope that Weis Markets takes action on this item so that I can follow-up with positive comments about how the company responds to their customers. Until then, you have lost my business and the respect of many who, like me, do not believe that stereotypical labels are helpful or productive.

Sincerely,

Leslie Gates

——————
(You too can email Ken Brua at kbrua@weismarkets.com)

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Benefits and Challenges to Art Integration

Yesterday in class my undergraduate elementary education majors worked collaboratively to compile a list of benefits and challenges to art integration. They have been reading a bunch of resources and this served somewhat as a “summary” activity of what they have been learning. Here is their list:

Benefits:

express yourself
thinking differently
Engaged students
Imagination
Less rote teaching
Envision abstract
child-centered learning
gives creative and artistic kids a chance to have fun in an academic class
makes subjects more interesting/fun
motivates students to engage in class
stimulates mind
creates student confidence
helps enforce the lesson
working cooperatively
fun/pleasure
Think about the thinking process

Challenges:

Lack of funds
Lack of time
Lack of teacher appreciation for art
Lack of teacher motivation / teacher doesn’t want to put forth the effort
Lack of knowledge
too messy
school district demands
parents disagree
NCLB law – push on tested subjects
Criteria for grading
not enough resources
may not think its important
teacher isn’t prepared to teach art

The following are a list of sources they have been reading and viewing about the topic:

Arts and Smarts Article
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/greatergood/2009winter/Evans353.php

Arts Appear to Play Role in Brain Development
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/education/bal-md.arts18may18,0,1345340.story

Article in Washington Post about Art Integration at a Local Elementary School
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/03/06/ST2008030601398.html

Jerome Kagan on Why the Arts Matter
http://www.dana.org/news/features/detail.aspx?id=21740

Why We Make Art
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/greatergood/2009winter/QandA.php

Dan Pink’s Pop!Tech Podcast
http://www.poptech.com/popcasts/popcasts.aspx?lang=&viewcastid=158

Ken Robinson’s TED Talk – Do Schools Kill Creativity?
http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

So you want to be an (art) teacher?

Recently, a friend asked me about the various routes to becoming certified as a teacher. I sent a long email filled with links and then realized this might be something worth posting for the common good. Here is what I came up with.

I live and do most of my work in Pennsylvania, so some of this information is Pennsylvania specific. but there is a good site that describes the varying certification requirements state to state at http://education.uky.edu/AcadServ/content/50-states-certification-requirements.

Basic info. on teaching certification in PA
(from http://www.teaching.state.pa.us/teaching/cwp/view.asp?a=90&Q=32511&g=140&teachingNav=|93|94|&teachingNav=|1904|)

“Pennsylvania considers the education of its children to be among the highest priorities of state government and has dedicated many resources toward that end. Educators prepare for their responsibilities in the schools of the Commonwealth by the completion of:

(1) state-approved teacher education programs including a student teaching or intern experience,

(2) Praxis I and Praxis II assessments and/or America Council Testing Foreign Language (ACTFL) and

(3) application materials documenting that all certificate requirements have been met. Those requirements have been raised significantly in recent years.”

From what I know, here are the options to complete the first part:

1. Get a bachelor’s degree in teaching from an accredited program. There are 93 programs in PA. They are listed here: http://www.teaching.state.pa.us/teaching/cwp/view.asp?a=6&Q=32315&teachingNav=|540|&teachingNav=|93|102|.

2. Get a teaching certification after a bachelor’s degree by enrolling in a Teacher Intern program. The programs in PA that offer teacher intern credentialing is here: http://www.teaching.state.pa.us/teaching/cwp/view.asp?a=6&q=32343.

3. Enroll in a MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) program. It is a master’s degree program that includes the student teaching experience. Lots of PA colleges offer masters degrees for those who are not previously certified.

Here are a list of schools in PA that do art. Those with an * offer post-bac certification. Many of these schools offer an MAT but that is not indicated on this list.

ART (K-12)
Albright College
Arcadia University*
Bucknell University
California University of Pa
Carlow University
Chatham College
Edinboro University of Pa
Holy Family University
Indiana University of Pa/Main
Keystone College
Kutztown University of Pa*
Lebanon Valley College
Lycoming College*
Mansfield University of Pa
Marywood University*
Mercyhurst College
Messiah College
Millersville University of Pa*
Moore College*
Moravian College/Theo Seminary
Pennsylvania State University/Main
Rosemont College
Saint Joseph’s University
Saint Vincent College
Seton Hill University
Shippensburg University
Temple University/Main*
University of the Arts (The)
Washington & Jefferson College
Waynesburg University
*Intern Program Approval

For a full list of teaching certifications in PA, visit: http://www.teaching.state.pa.us/teaching/cwp/view.asp?a=3&Q=22599&teachingNav=|93|94|

Micro-blogging

I believe I understand Twitter. I don’t love it’s 140 character limit sometimes, but it’s a nice challenge for those of us in academe who need a fresh reminder not to use so many big words all the time. (Thank goodness APA format is only one space between sentences!)

My new understanding of twitter has come from the realization that it has significantly reduced my desire to blog. I now microblog. What I can’t microblog due to length, media type, or privacy usually never makes a non-micro blog (e.g. this space).

However, I have been thinking about bloggable-issues, and might return more regularly again soon. Until then, you’ll have to follow me on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lesliegates.