Saturday, May 31, 2008

Assault on Gay America

Psychology students: After viewing "Assault on Gay America" spend some time visiting the sites below. Take the quiz or complete the self-assessment. If time permits, post any comments you may have about the quiz, Dr. Kimmel's assertion that there may be a link between homophobia and sexism or the research expanding on Freud's theory regarding homophobia.

Frontline: Assault on Gay America
Viewers Guide:
Read the introduction and take the quiz:

Self-Assessment (Copy and complete):
More on Sexual Prejudice (the section on correlations is very interesting)
Scientific research on homophobia:
Lesson Plan:
Other blog posts relating to this topic:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Insider (Discussion Questions)

Post-viewing Questions:

1. What did you learn about the media from this film?
2. What factors influence publication of a story?
3. How "democratic" is the media today?
4. What factors influenced censorship and eventual publication of the Jeffery Wigand/Brown and Williamson story?
5. How did this story affect the credibility of CBS News, in particular "60 Minutes"?

Extra Credit:
Briefly discuss one of (many) reasons this film has been surrounded in controversy since its release.
Additional information about the film (including information on the controversy surrounding the film):
A great interactive resource on the growing consolidation of the media - what effect this has on consumers - what this means with regard to information, etc. (useful in answering #3):
Another useful resource - especially useful when answering #3 (scroll to page 8 and 15 for specific information relating to question #3):

If you finish early, visit the links below. Post your comment under this post for extra credit.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Eyes on the Prize - Mini Course

Episode I: Awakenings
1. Briefly discuss some of the barriers Blacks faced in achieving racial integration in Southern schools following the Brown decision. Site specific examples from "Awakenings."
2. Briefly discuss Southern backlash against the Brown decision. Site specific examples from "Awakenings." What was the intent of such backlash?
3. Briefly discuss the reasons the Montgomery Bus Boycott eventually proved successful. (What elements were in place that enhanced the probability of success?)
4. Of the three main stories dealt with in the first episode, which story affected you most profoundly? Why?
5. Why are these three stories relevant today?
Extra Credit: In the image above, what is happening? How would you describe the learning environment? This picture was taken before the Brown decision was handed down. Do you think white-only elementary schools would look similar to the one pictured above? What does this imply with regard to the doctrine of "separate but equal"?

If time permits, visit the link below for more information on the issue of "Institutional Racism"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Images in Action

Visit the link below (from the Teaching Tolerance website).
Examine the hidden history behind each image.
Answer the following questions in the comments section:
1. Of the images included, which three did you find most offensive? Why?
2. Of the images included, which images did you initially regard as harmless?
3. After examining the hidden history behind the images you initially found harmless, did you change your mind? Why or why not?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Civil Rights- Mini Course (The Brown Decision)

Segregation - our nation's caste system (keeping the races separate - denying access to African Americans)

The Brown decision would test the validity of the law - law that existed for decades (Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896)

It was essential the Supreme Court decide the case unanimously, anything less would appear weak - considering the controversial nature of the issue, unanimity was key - the Court could not give the appearance of division

The reasoning: Segregation in public education was a violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause

Many people viewed schools as the ticket to advancement - segregated schools would have a detrimental effect on Black children - sense of inferiority has an effect on a child's ability to learn

"... to separate them from others of similar age and qualifications because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way very unlikely to ever be undone." From the majority, Chief Justice Earl Warren

-Controversy over footnote #11 (Clark's research)

"We conclude unanimously, that in the field of public education the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

-Controversy over the language (some felt the language was weak and/or vague - for example, no specific timeline for desegregation)

Brown II: "...with all deliberate speed." Again, some felt the language too weak/vague - left open the door to Southern resistance. In fact, desegregation in much of the South moved along at a snail's pace. From the perspective of the Court, their choice in language was necessary - stronger language could have triggered greater Southern resistance.

The decision was met with harsh reaction - especially in the South (In Mississippi, there was a steady increase in violent crime against Blacks who exerted their rights following the decision.)

Violent backlash took the form of beatings, burnings, lynchings, etc.
Citizens' Council - urban, middle class hate group (goal was to make it extremely difficult for any Black to find and hold a job, get credit, vote, etc.)

Many Southern districts stalled implementation

Where desegregation occurred, what seemed to be the motivating factor(s)?

Psychology connection: What is "the psychology of inevitability"? Could that have played a role in "speeding" up the process of desegregation in some districts?

Brown was a success when all three branches of government took the decision seriously:

"The peak of the effort to desegregate the schools came in the late 1960's and early 1970s. The only period in which there was active, positive support by both the courts and the executive branch of the government was the four years following the enactment of the l964 Civil Rights Act. During this period federal education officials, the Department of Justice, and the high courts all maintained strong and reasonably consistent pressure for achieving actual desegregation. During this period desegregation policy was transformed from a very gradual anti-discrimination policy to one of rapid and full integration."
1988 was the peak year for integration - steady decline ever since

Legacy of Brown:
*Offered the possibility of long-awaited change (would have consequences extending beyond public education)

*Perception the Supreme Court was an ally in the struggle for Civil Rights
*Brown shaped policy in other areas such as the criminal justice system

Additional information:
Information about the Brown decision and lesson plans/activities:
Oyez Project:
Teaching Tolerance - Timeline of Integration
Brown's Legacy
Where are we now?
The Strange History of School Segregation - Rethinking Schools
Schools More Separate - Rethinking Schools
"When President Kennedy asked Congress in 1964 to prohibit discrimination in all programs receiving federal aid, 98% of Southern Blacks were still in totally segregated schools."
(I'm still looking for the statistic you asked for....there is a lot of good information including the quote above from the article linked above.)
The most segregated states for Black students include the leaders for the last quarter century: Illinois, Michigan, New York, and New Jersey. California, which has a small percentage of Black students, and Maryland have moved rapidly up this list. Outside the South we find the two states with the most dramatic declines in Black student contact with white students since l980: Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

White Privilege Presentation

Movie Trailer on YouTube on the topic of White Privilege:

Civil Rights Mini-Course - The Hurricane

Visit the post below for additional information on institutional racism and in particular, institutional racism in the criminal justice system. This post also contains links to additional information about Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and controversy over the film.
Assignment: Respond to the film, "The Hurricane." Despite the controversy over the accuracy of the events portrayed in the film, what did you learn about the issue of institutional racism in the criminal justice system? Do you think the portrayal of institutional racism in the criminal justice system in the movie is "dated"? (In other words, do you think the examples from the film are remnants of the past or do you think similar examples can be found today?) Post your comment here.
The Hurricane Lyrics:
Once you are finished with this assignment, visit this link for information about your final:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Be the Change

Civics, Psychology and Civil Rights Mini-Course students: Need to make up a missing assignment? Visit one of the links below. Comment on one of the change agents profiled in the CNN or Facing History and Ourselves sites. Which change agent did you select? What issue or cause are they fighting for? What can you do to help? Will you do it?
Be the Change on CNN:
Facing History and Ourselves:
Need extra credit?
Visit the site below and learn more about the "Fill the Cup" campaign:
Or, visit one of the sites below to learn how you can make a difference!
In the comments section, briefly explain the purpose of the site you visited. Does the site have information for people who want to help? If so, what can you do to help the cause? Are you going to do something? If so, what?
Imagine- Video:

Thank you Britanny Barto!

Thank you Brittany! You are the best Guardian Angel ever! Who would have thought you could find world peace in a pint of Ben and Jerry's?!?

Situational Depression Resources

ABC News story:
Web M.D. information:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Quotes - Making a Difference

Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. ~Author Unknown
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~Robert F. Kennedy
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. - Albert Einstein

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.

The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference. - Elie Wisel
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. ~Mark Twain

FreeRice Story:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Psychology Final

Clinical Diagnosis Final Paper

Choose a movie from the list provided in class.

Pretend you are a clinical psychologist.

Identify a character in the movie you selected who exhibits symptoms of one of the psychological disorders we discussed in class.

Identify the diagnosis. How did you reach this diagnosis? What symptoms does this person exhibit? Does this person exhibit all of the symptoms of the disorder? If not, what symptoms are absent?

What do you think caused this disorder? Is there any evidence that leads you to this conclusion?

What treatment would you offer this client?

What do you think is the long-term prognosis of this person? What prognosis do you see in the movie? Does the patient commit suicide? Does the patient recover fully?

Note: See handout for more detailed instruction.

Final Paper - 100 points

Respond to the reading - "Growing Up With Privilege and Prejudice"

1. How does Russell describe the "new" racism?
2. What is implied in the statement, "I think of you as white."
3. What experience with racism did Russell have as a child?
4. What is tokenism?
5. What concerns the author about tokenism?

We will discuss this reading on Tuesday, May 13th.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Civics Final

Final for 2nd Semester Civics (Final given on the day of Senior Finals - Either May 20th or 22nd):
1. Choose a case from the list of Supreme Court cases I handed out in class at the beginning of the unit.
2. Find a story in the media relating to the issue dealt with in the case you selected.
3. Review the Constitutional issue, facts and competing arguments relevant to the case you selected. Complete a note card containing all of this information and bring it to class on the day of the final.
4. Read and highlight the news story you selected. Bring a copy of your highlighted story to class on the day of the final.
5. On the day of the final, in class you will write an essay explaining the case you selected and it's historic significance to the First Amendment's provision on Freedom of Speech. In your essay, you will briefly discuss how the news story you selected, related to the case you chose as the focus of your final essay. (How does the case and the story relate?)

The Final is worth 100 points.
Did you select an appropriate case?
Did you complete a note card?
Did you select an appropriate news story?
Did you bring a copy of the news story to class?
Did you highlight and/or take notes on the story?
In your essay, do you include the name and date of the case?
Do you explain the facts and legal arguments of the case?
Do you explain the relationship between the case and the news story?
Is your essay organized?
Is your essay neatly written?

Having trouble finding a story? Look here for ideas:
Schenck v. United States, Chaplinski v. New Hampshire, Miller v. California, New York Times v. Sullivan, United States v. O'Brien, Tinker v. DesMoines, Bethel School District v. Fraser, Cohen v. California, Texas v. Johnson, Wisconsin v. Mitchell, West Virginia v. Board of Education v. Barnette
Need Case summaries/opinions?:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Social Psychology - Unit 1

1. Click on the link below and view the multimedia presentation. There is music if the sound on your computer works. If not, you can still view the presentation.
2. Read the instructions in the post linked below. (You need to complete as many online quizzes, activities and personal inventories as time allows.) Comment under this post, not in the post linked below. In your comment, focus on what you learned about yourself after participating in some of the online quizzes, personal inventories, activities, etc. Comments are worth 10 points - based on quality of response.
Go here (includes quizzes/activities from Teaching Tolerance):
Click here to find the Scientific American article on hidden bias:
Teaching Tolerance - Images in Action - go here:
Notes and Resources:
A "stereotype" is a generalization about a person or group of persons. We develop stereotypes when we are unable or unwilling to obtain all of the information we would need to make fair judgments about people or situations. In the absence of the "total picture," stereotypes in many cases allow us to "fill in the blanks." Our society often innocently creates and perpetuates stereotypes, but these stereotypes often lead to unfair discrimination and persecution when the stereotype is unfavorable.
A stereotype is a way we simplify our world. It is a short-hand way we deal with complex events. Stereotypes become dangerous when they leave us blind to individual differences.
(Discuss two studies: 5th and 6th grade students - rate classmates on a number of characteristics...peers from "upper class" families rated more positively on every desirable quality. 2nd study: Charles Bond Study- Treatment of Black and white patients at a psychiatric hospital run by white staff...2 most common methods of dealing with violent behavior - seclusion or restraining individual in straight jacket followed by sedative..harsher methods used against Black patients (4x more likely compared with white patients) despite the fact white and Black patients virtually identical with regard to number of violent incidents. Over time, as patients and staff grew more familiar, prejudice decreased.
Lessons, activities and information on stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, racism and genocide:
In Class Activities:
Headband Activity (comment for extra credit)
Excellent article dealing with so-called "positive" stereotypes:
Prejudice: A negative or hostile attitude toward another social group
Discrimination: Refers to an unfavorable action, behavior, outcome or treatment
Threat to self-esteem
Exploitation Theory
Scapegoating Theory
Authoritarian Personality Theory
Less access to:
-approval and popularity
-rights and privileges
-power, knowledge and popularity
Exposure to social risks:
-victimization through violence
-suspicion and blame for crimes
-rejection, alienation and isolation, which contributes to low self esteem, self-hatred and self-destructive behavior
-economic exploitation and oppression
One of the worst effects of prejudice is SELF-FULFILLING PROPHESY
Examples in history have been:
* African-Americans being forced to ride in the back of the bus
* German Jews being required to wear a yellow "Star of David"
* minorities being referred to by pejorative slang names
* minorities being the subject of jokes which poke fun at the target's race, religion, or ethnic origin, and which rely on stereotypes
* Japanese-Americans being isolated in camps during World War II
* Native Americans having their land confiscated in violation of treaties, being the victims of government-sponsored massacres, and being placed on reservations.
(The Social Animal Table of Contents) Most of my lecture is based in information from Elliot Aronson's, The Social Animal
Brown Eyes/Blue Eyes:
Watch and discuss, "A Class Divided"
Racism of the past - overt
Racism today - subtle, hidden, difficult to combat
Examples of Modern Racism:
-Foreigners (People of color are perceived as not being American)
-Rightness of Whiteness (renaming Native American named lakes, lands, etc.)ethnocentrism - white/western norm/standard
Individual Racism
-Denial (Brown v. Board and cases like this, solved racial problems)
-Avoidance (white flight)
-Blaming the Victim (urban poor need to "get a job")
Institutional Racism
-Employment (word of mouth, seniority system)
Discuss the "Resume Study" University of Chicago/MIT
-Housing (steering, red-lining)
-Education (few minority teachers and professors, curriculum, affirmative action)
Assign "Racism in the English Language."
In class, brainstorm a list of words with "black" and "white" in them. After five minutes of brainstorming, form groups. In your groups, categorize words into three categories: Negative, Positive and Neutral. Read several dictionary definitions of "black" and "white." As a class, discuss brainstorming and categorizing activities.
White Privilege:
In class, complete the checklist and discuss.
Hate Crimes:
Bias motivated crime which the offender is motivated by a characteristic of the victim that identifies the victim as a member of some group toward which the offender feels animosity
Psychology and Racism:
Groups Fighting to End Discrimination:
Did You Know? (Thanks Zach for these!)
"Right Now" Van Halen
Psychology Syllabus (Issues of Discrimination, etc.):

Monday, May 5, 2008

May is Mental Health Awareness Month - What Makes Us Happy?

"Exploring Ways to Help Ourselves and Others"
How to you cope when things seem difficult or impossible?
Do you turn to music?
Other people? What inspires you?
What motivates you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on?
Step I. Reflect on a time you faced adversity. How did you get through it?
Step II. Brainstorm a list of phrases, slogans, images, poems, books, songs, activities, etc. that get you through difficult times.
Step III. Choose items from your list to include in a motivational poster for the Social Studies Hall.
Step IV. Create your poster. (All words must be typed and NO rubber cement!) This assignment is worth 30 points. Looking for extra credit? Share your favorite quotes, slogans, songs, movies, books, etc. in the comments section. (Share the favorites you turn to when you are feeling blue.) Due: May 9

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Multimedia Resources:
"We're under a lot of pressure you know."
"When is somebody gonna go on the record in this story?
"Follow the money."

Ben Bradlee discusses "Deep Throat"
Bob Woodward discusses "Deep Throat"
Analysis of the journalistic legacy of the Watergate story:

The Washington Post's coverage of "All the President's Men"

Lesson Plans and Activities/Resources/Past Posts:

Questions to think about with regard to anonymous sources:
Why do you think journalists are willing to use anonymous sources? Do you think journalists are to quick to grant anonymity? Do you think if they pushed harder, they could get a source to go on the record? What risk do journalists and editors take when using anonymous sources? What risk do they take not using anonymous sources? (Do you think some stories might never come out if anonymity was not an option?) If an anonymous source is used, what standards should papers follow to ensure accuracy?

Our Assignment:
1. Analyze the impact the Post's coverage of Watergate had on investigative journalism.
2. Criticize or defend, techniques used by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
3. Discuss the proper use of anonymous and unnamed sources. Discuss the controversy surrounding the use of anonymous sources.
4. Using history and the resignation of President Nixon, discuss the power of the media and its treatment of public officials during and since the Nixon administration.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Abnormal Psychology Review Activity

On Monday, we will wrap up our Abnormal Psychology Unit with a review activity. This activity will better prepare you for your "Clinical Diagnosis" final paper.

On the whiteboards, I will start concept maps pertaining to many of the disorders we've covered in class the past few weeks. You will be required to explore each disorder by adding to the concept maps. Each student will be expected to contribute at least one detail to each map, initial his/her contribution, then move on to the next map. Your contributions could include details pertaining to cause(s), prevalence, symptoms, treatment(s). This review activity will be worth 30 participation points.

Note: You may use your notes or handouts I've given you pertaining to each of the disorders. If you are missing notes, search the blog for additional material.

Disorders covered in the activity:
Depression, Bipolar Disorder, S.A.D., O.C.D., Simple Phobias, Panic Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anti-Social Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Dissociative Identity Disorder

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Resources - Dissociative Identity Disorder:

Overcoming Childhood Trauma:

Samples of Student Work

May 2 Holocaust Remembrance Day

Remember the victims of the Holocaust.
Remember what can happen in the face of indifference.

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

- Martin Niemöller

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
Museum of Tolerance:
Anti-Defamation League
Simon Wiesenthal Multi-Media Education Center: