The Important Work of the MS Educator

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The Important Work of the MS Educator

  1. 1. The Important Work of the Middle School Educator… WBMS, Aug. 2, 2007 Rebecca L. Lucas Maryville College
  2. 2. <ul><li>Who are we and why are we here? </li></ul><ul><li>Video Intro </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Southern Appalachian, Adolescent Female’s Experience of Being Violent
  4. 4. Explode scared/alone weak good/ bad Black out Bigger/Stronger
  5. 5. Importance of the Topic <ul><li>This is a topic that has largely been ignored. </li></ul><ul><li>Girls present unique problems and possess unique needs… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>pregnancy, cultural expectations, social control, programs designed to meet needs of boys, abuse/runaway/detention,discrepancy in treatment </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. In 1992 and 1993, Knox County’s arrest rate for females was greater than the national rate.
  7. 7. Total Arrests: Juvenile Females
  8. 8. Arrest Rates: Females 108% increase
  9. 9. Arrest Rates: Males 54% increase
  10. 10. Research Process <ul><li>Extensive review of the literature </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring personal biases </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Transcribing interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Analyzing text </li></ul><ul><li>Emergent theme identification </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic representation of the common experience </li></ul>
  11. 11. A phenomenological study of the Southern Appalachian, adolescent female’s experience of being violent <ul><li>10 girls </li></ul><ul><li>10 stories </li></ul><ul><li>10 complicated lives </li></ul><ul><li>1 experience of being violent </li></ul>
  12. 13. Criteria for Participation <ul><li>Adolescent females who can describe the experience of being violent </li></ul><ul><li>Girls between the ages of 12-18 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Girls willing to talk about being violent </li></ul><ul><li>Girls being served by DCS </li></ul><ul><li>Girls living in Southern Appalachia </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>“ I am bigger/stronger” </li></ul><ul><li>SELENA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I still feel myself fighting and jumping on top of this girl. My whole body was jumping on top of this girl and crushing her skull and head and stuff… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SARA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Like in situations like when I’m fighting. I mean I wouldn’t use weapons or anything. Just myself, I mean, because I don’t, I mean, think I should have to you know, really hurt somebody. But I mean just hurt them to let them know to leave me alone you know. But I mean, I don’t know. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>“ I am bigger/stronger” </li></ul><ul><li>PORTIA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… three different women staff just came over and they all were on me and I was like pushing them off me and stuff and moving their hands off me and stuff. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Well then, uh, she gets up off the ground and comes back over there and tries to restrain me again. You know, like she didn’t get enough or whatever. And I was like, you better get off me or I’ll pop you in the mouth again. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RENA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually it’s big boys that I do the fights with. And I usually win the fight, in all honesty. Cause I’m very violent and stuff. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. What is the experience of being violent for these participants? <ul><li>For these 10 young women, the episode of violence occurs contextually and experientially . </li></ul>
  16. 17. Themes of the experience of being violent <ul><li>Contextual themes: Girls view themselves as good (but can be bad when provoked), scared and alone , and weak . They react with violence when they perceive a threat to their safety, property, relationships, or reputations. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Themes of the experience of being violent <ul><li>Experiential themes: In the episode of violence, the violent girl experiences herself as scared/alone, weak, and wanting to be good , but knowing that “If I am good, I will be destroyed,” so “I am going to be bad.” She becomes a violent body, but there is no self. This experience is described as blacking out, exploding, and growing bigger/stronger . </li></ul>
  18. 19. Explode scared/alone weak good/ bad Black out Bigger/Stronger
  19. 20. “ When I am violent, I black out.” <ul><li>“ ...everything just stopped…” </li></ul><ul><li>“ ...I blacked out and stuff and it was over and stuff then...” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I didn’t really even know what I was doing, I had blacked out.” </li></ul>
  20. 21. “ When I am violent, I black out.” <ul><li>“ And the only thing I knew was that my mom was laying there with a…And a piece of glass was sticking out of her head, and she was bleeding everywhere.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I just wanted to die. I just wanted to fall in and everything.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I mean I couldn’t think. I had stuff blocking my mind.” </li></ul>
  21. 22. “ When I am violent, I explode like a ball of fire.” <ul><li>“ Uh, it’s like when I get hit, I be real, real, real, real mad, like something that has probably been up in me for a long time, and stuff.” </li></ul>
  22. 23. “ When I am violent, I explode like a ball of fire.” <ul><li>“… and I be thinking, and I just be thinking, then all of a sudden I start getting heated and all sorts of things be crossing my mind then the next thing you know I might be walking up towards a girl and just ‘Boom’ knock her out.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I can’t control myself.” </li></ul>
  23. 24. “ When I am violent, I explode like a ball of fire.” <ul><li>“… if I’m hiding my feelings…they’re in me…they’re just progressing…like a big ball of fire or whatever. And it’s like, if you are very angry and you don’t have nothing but anger inside of you and it just keeps building up, then what do you think is going to come out to the other person? Nothing but anger, right?” </li></ul>
  24. 25. “ When I am violent, I explode like a ball of fire.” <ul><li>“ I be real quiet and I be looking around and then all of a sudden I have a look come up on my face and then that tear come out through this eye and that’s when I start going off. When I feel anything run down my face, a tear, or I just start thinking about a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff be shooting through my head, that’s when I go off.” </li></ul>
  25. 26. “ When I am violent, I grow bigger and stronger.” <ul><li>“ I still feel myself fighting and jumping on top of this girl. My whole body was jumping on top of this girl and crushing her skull and head and stuff…I was jumping on her with my whole body. I used to be big. I used to weigh 220-225. I was young. I was about 14, 13. She was pretty big, too. She was pretty good size.” </li></ul>
  26. 27. “ When I am violent, I grow bigger and stronger.” <ul><li>“ Like I didn’t know I could be so mean, I don’t know. It was just like whoa. Well, I feel like big , like whew!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Usually it’s big boys that I do the fights with. And I usually win the fight, in all honesty. Cause I’m very violent and stuff.” </li></ul>
  27. 28. What stands out? <ul><li>The need for connection </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of “family and kin” </li></ul><ul><li>The acceptance of violence as “normal” </li></ul><ul><li>The cycle of abuse/runaway/detention </li></ul><ul><li>The implications of “voice” </li></ul><ul><li>The potential of schools and teachers to positively or negatively effect change </li></ul>
  28. 29. What can we do? <ul><li>Juvenile Justice System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine gender biases in program development and move toward creating gender specific juvenile justice programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seek out and listen to at-risk, adolescent females </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involve families in treatment </li></ul></ul>
  29. 30. What can we do? <ul><li>Schools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish, foster, maintain, and initiate collaborative partnerships between human service organizations and public school systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accept, embrace, and target innovative practices (Full-Service schools, alternative school calendars) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support and hire teachers skilled in finding ways to connect with students at-risk </li></ul></ul>
  30. 31. Final Thoughts… What are the implications of this study? What can you do to make a difference?
  31. 32. Explode scared/alone weak good/ bad Black out Bigger/Stronger
  32. 33. Activity Closure <ul><li>Record personal reactions on index card </li></ul><ul><li>Share and post </li></ul>

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