Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 5/In the News

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SOCIOLOGICAL INFLUENCES: Economics and Culture
IN THE NEWS
By:Lyndsey Williams
LEARNING TARGETS
1. Students will be able to define poverty.
2. Students will be able to distinguish between bullying and media violence.
3. Students will be able to identify positive and negative aspects of peer pressure.

INTRODUCTION

We live in a society that depends on communication and information. Our society is surrounded by technology. The news airs consistently throughout the day, the media is constantly keeping us up to date on the latest news and celebrity gossip, text messaging has become a norm in society, and one can even find love on the internet. Our schools have begun to integrate newer technologies, such as computers in the classrooms and teletechnet courses. Today in our daily lives we rely heavily on the media to deliver fast news and information. The media focuses on all the important issues that are surrounding us. The media also focuses on many of the important issues that directly effect our schools and our children. Poverty, bullying media violence, and peer pressure all effect the students and the schools around us on a daily basis.

POVERTY AND THE MEDIA

Poverty is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. In today's schools poverished children are often lacking the basic necessities to allow them to learn in an effective way. According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (2007), poverty affects the overall well-being of children, from health to behavior, to social environment and education. Poverished children are at times lacking in their educational abilities. Poverty affects children and families on a daily basis. It also effects that school system that are educating these children. The following article is based out of Portsmouth, Virginia and identifies a school in a povershed area that could possibly be closing because of low test scores.

CLICK ON THIS LINK http://hamptonroads.com/2006/02/struggling-school-may-close-portsmouth

BULLYING AND MEDIA VIOLENCE

"Exposure to media violence and bullying stand out as two distinct factors that contribute to aggressive and violent youth behavior" (Werle, 2006). "Bullying is a form of behavior characterized by repeated aggressive acts against a weaker individual. Bullying may be verbal, physical, or social, and can include sexual harrassment, racial and ethnic harrassment and intimidation" (Werle, 2006). Each year thousands of children are victims of bullying. Nansel et al. (2001) reported on the results of a nationally representative survey of 15,686 United States youth in grades 6-10 and found that 29.9% of the sample reported moderate to frequent involvement in bullying. The following news article shows proof that anyone can be a victim of bullying, and can overcome the effects of being bullied.

ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM OF BULLYING

CLICK ON THIS LINK http://hamptonroads.com/node/222571

Grossman and DeGaetano(1999) define media violence as portrayals of violence in the media that glamorize or sensationalize violent acts toward human beings or animals and show them as acceptable behavior. Many of the stories on the news and in the newspapers are constantly exposing the media violence that surrounds us on a daily basis. Parents need to be aware of the violence within the media that is being exposed to their children and need to know how to handle the effects of that violence. The following is a link to a complete guide for parents on media violence and children.

CLICK ON THIS LINK http://books.google.com/books?id=4B-J0U2TIwcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=media+violence+and+children

PEER PRESSURE AND THE MEDIA

According to wikipedia.org, peer pressure is defined as a term describing the pressure exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change their attitude, behavior and/or morals, to conform to, for example, the groups' actions, fashion sense, taste in music or television and outlook on life. Teens and youths today are pressured into a variety of situations which can be negative or positive. They can be pressured into negative situations such as trying drugs an/or alcohol, having sex, stealing, cheating, and lying among many other negative situations. Teens and youth can be pressured into positive situations also such as attending church, getting good grades, finishing school, going to college, doing chores for allowance money or even getting a job to buy the things they may want or need. As positive or negative as peer pressure can be, teens are faced with tough decisions every day. Parents and teachers can only hope they guide their children and students to make the right decisions.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW FOR AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT PEER PRESSURE

CLICK ON THIS LINK http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz8NSbdN7aE

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

1. The term poverty is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as

A) The state of one who gains an acceptable amount of money.

B) The state of one who loses an acceptable amount of material possessions.

C) The state of one who lacks an acceptable amount of money or material possessions.

D) The state of one who loses an acceptable amount of money due to a gambling problem.

2. What percentage of youths in grades 6-10 reported moderate to frequent involvement in bullying?

A) 22.3%

B) 29.9%

C) 29.4%

D) 27.6%

3. What technique could best be used to educate students on the negative effects of bullying?

A) Allow the students to fight each other and write a report on their experiences.

B) Watch an educational video on the effects of bullying and assign a written report.

C) Bring in a guest who was a bully as a child and have him/her talk about their experiences.

D) Bring in a guest who was bullied and have them confront their childhood bully.

4. Michael has been acting out in school and his mother learns he is hanging with the "wrong crowd." She is concerned because she found beer cans and cigarettes under his bed. She confronts him and he says he has been getting pressured to drink and smoke in order to hang with his "new" friends. What is the best advice to give Michael's mother.

A) Michael's mother needs to pull Michael out of school and home school him.

B) There is nothing Michael's mother can do for him.

C) Michael's mother can explain the effects of negative peer pressure and hope Michael starts making the right decisions.

D) Michael's mother needs to call the police and let Michael spend some time behind bars, maybe he will learn something in jail.

REFERENCES

Anyon, J., & Greene, K. (2007, March). No Child Left Behind as an Anti-Poverty Measure. Teacher Education Quarterly, 34(2), 157-62.

Definition of Peer Pressure.Retrieved June 2, 2009, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictionary

Fernandes, Dierdre. (2006). Struggling School May Close in Portsmouth. Retrieved June 2, 2009 from http://hamptonroads.com/2006/02/struggling-school-may-close-portsmouth

Gentile, Douglas, A. (2003). Media Violence and Children: A Complete Guide for Parents and Professionals. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Grossman, D., & DeGaetano, G.(1999). Stop Teaching out Kids to Kill. New York: Crown Publishing.

Howcast. (2008). How to Deal With Peer Pressure. Retrieved June 2, 2009 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz8NSbdN7aE

Jeter, Amy. (2007). Once, a Victim, Miss Virginia Now Spotlights Bully Prevention. Retrieved June 2, 2009 from http://hamptonroads.com/node/222571

Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M., Ramani, S.P., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, B., Sceit P. (2001). Bullying Behaviors Among U.S. Youth. Journal of The American Medical Association, 285, 2094-2100.

Werel, G.D. (2006) Taking Steps to Promote Safer Schools. The Journal of School Health. 76(4), 156-158.

Answer Key: 1)A 2)B 3)B 4)C

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