PUBLIC SPEAKING 101

In today’s society, it is essential to learn proper speech and diction techniques in order to communicate effectively build lasting relationships and become self-sufficient adults. A proper speech gives the person security in human relationships

This course consists of 16 lessons, delivered once a week in classes of 2 hours in length. The purpose of this course is to teach the appropriate parameters for a proper locution; from reading, breathing, speed, rhythm, gesture vocalization and body language, tone, silence, the correct pronunciation of words, improvisation, the importance of the recipient or stage fright, among others. Classes are mostly practices, developed in group work for a more flexible and effective training.

EDUCATION WITHOUT A PLAN IS WORTHLESS

Aaron Bady and Mike Konczal’s “From Master Plan to No Plan: The Slow Death of Public Higher Education” wrote about how Ronald Reagan’s decision in the 1960s severely impacted free higher education. According to Bady and Konczal “He (Reagan) cut state funding for higher education, laid the foundations for a shift to a tuition-based funding model, and called in the National Guard to crush student protest, which it did with unprecedented severity.” This caused severe consequences to the education system of California that is still observed today.

This decision was only the beginning of a mediocre education reform. Bady and Konczal stated that “Thanks to the Reagan revolution, in short, we’ve forgotten that the United States was building public schools and universities for a lot longer than it has been letting them crumble.” And this is the reason why Bady and Konczal wrote about Ronald Reagan in 2012, and we are still talking about him to this day.

It’s hard to believe how such a controversial decision can disrupt an education plan with lasting effects although it is evident that such a decision was the worst ever. Reagan’s revolution was initiated in California and it didn’t take long before spreading throughout the country. Concluding with the end of free higher education and turning Colleges into a business where growth and quality education took a back seat and now the only thing they care about is the profit margins.

Nowadays, there is a massive demand for higher education. Bady and Konczal explained in their article that higher education is some sort of a requirement for middle class life. The problem now is that the state neglected to its responsibility towards public higher education, and as a consequence, educational institutions did not grow enough to meet the high demand of higher education; which conducted many students to pay extraordinary amounts of tuition for poor quality education.

This situation is a vivid example for Queens College to do something soon to prevent the same situation from happening. According to Queens College Mission Statement “As a public institution, Queens College provides affordable access to higher education and embraces its special obligation to serve the larger community.” In relation to this, Queens College should take all required action to prevent the deterioration of education and to improve affordable and quality education according to the current demands. Something that happened over 50 years ago should not continue to impact the future of all students. In conclusion; this is why I believe that Queens College should be more interested in what’s going on with California’s higher education system.

Questions:
Why do you think the state should support higher education?
Why if Reagan decision was so absurd, the next governments did nothing to revert it?

Work Cited
Bady, Aaron, and Mike Konczal. “From master plan to no plan: The slow death of public higher education.” Dissent 59.4 (2012): 10-16.

Queens College of City University of New York, “Queens College Mission Statement.” https://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/administration/Provost/Pages/College%20Mission.aspx, Accessed 18 Sept. 2016.

EXTRA CREDIT

This happened towards the end of college. I had to submit the thesis research project to the committee of the department of my program in order to obtain approval for my degree. I did not have a teacher to explain me a lesson or clear assignments to complete for the project. I was solely responsible for the topic, research and presentation. I was afraid.
My hands were sweating, more than once, I ended up at the emergency room due to the headaches and high blood pressure because of stress and sleepless nights to finish the project. For the first time on my life, I lost weight without dieting. What is really stressful is to know that the four years in college depend on this research and that I am the only responsible to complete it. My only weapon for the success of this project were all the memories I carried from the classes I took before and the advice of my professors.
That’s when I realized the reason I spent four years in college. That’s when I noticed how capable I was to complete things. That’s when I discovered the power of education and the final product of four long years of effort and sacrifice to obtain a college degree.

Analysis: Project Classroom Makeover

Untitled

In the third chapter of the book “Now You See It”, Cathy N. Davidson suggests an innovative education system, providing an emphasis in today’s digital era, and claiming that the existing education system needs to be renewed according to the new expectations of the digital era.

Davidson states that in the last half century, many changes have occurred in the technology field; however, classrooms and educational methods have remained fairly steady for the past years and in consequence students are not being prepared for the future advances of society. That being said, it is vital to improve and to give a change to the current educational methods, adjusting them to the existing demands of the era that we are living and taking advantage of the resources that it provides.

First of all, Davidson suggests that education needs to implement crowdsourcing as a learning method; diversity is a very particular characteristic of our society and teachers should take advantage of those different ways of thinking to allow students join forces to find solutions on different problems, share knowledge and explore new ways to research things; parting from the premise that it doesn’t matter how brilliant a person could be, collective group is always smarter than one person separately.

Davidson also suggests that the traditional testing standard and state-controlled educational parameters should be avoided and instead classrooms should be adapted to each student’s individual talents; the skills of every student differ from one to the other, strengths and weaknesses are not the same for everyone; every student is different. As a result, Davidson states that there is no way to measure knowledge in a standardized manner and this practice needs to change in order to decrease the amount of students labeled as failures, just because their strengths and abilities are outside of what tests usually measure.

Davidson emphasizes that teachers need to make use of the current innovations to attract student’s attention in class. In relation to this, teachers should incorporate student-driven lessons, group work and strategy games to their lessons in order to conduct classes in a more interesting, funny and interactive way, to work towards reaching a goal. Davidson also recommends that teachers should create intellectual challenges and competitions as a method of learning, to develop student brains.

Additionally, teachers need to learn to unlearn; to unlearn the rigid and obsolete education method and work towards a new learning revolution adjusted to the digital era, to achieve a better learning method and provide eager students the tools to survive in today’s and future eras.

To finalize this analysis, I want to point out the organization that Davidson employed to develop her argument. It’s fascinating the way in which the writer begins the chapter by describing the success of the “iPod experiment” at Duke College to prove her thesis. Then, she presents the different current scenarios of educational systems contrasted to the past educational systems to demonstrate the slow improvement on education in the last years, and provides comparison with other countries and their statistical evidences that validates how we are failing in education. The writer also show examples of what is expected in classrooms in the digital era, what activities schools need to do in order to improve and change the present educational system according to the needs of era we are living, and a description of a successful environment in school. To end the chapter, Davidson displays the “project classroom makeover”, setting up a classroom according to today’s expectations and incorporating technology practice as fundamental to improve paper-based requirements in school.

If you had the opportunity to work on the Project Classroom Makeover, what would you suggest to improve education?

Do you agree that standardized testing for all students should be avoided? Why?

Celina Batista – Introduction

Hello, my name is Celina, I am from the Dominican Republic. This is my first semester as a transfer student in Queens College, I am pursuing my 2nd bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I enjoy studying anything that requires analysis, and further discussion. I really enjoy defending and supporting my ideas.

I consider that my main weakness in writing is that since English is my second language, I struggle a lot to express my ideas in paper due to my limited vocabulary. However, I truthfully think that my biggest strength is that I am persistent to improve and bring to perfection my writing skills.

I am looking forward to take the most advantage of this class to improve my writing skills since this is fundamental to ensure my success in college.