Consider specific school or teaching practices associated with any of these schools. How might these practices be understood in relationship to other systems in the ecology of these schools. This is Bronfenbrenner’s ecological lens and I’d like you to try to use it. How do these practices relate to other systems in this schools ecology? For example, how is the all-boys Urban Prep Academy a response to something in Chicago environment? What are your opinions of the way these schools have responded?

Chicago Public Schools really makes a difference in how we look at the schools in urban areas. The students at these schools really valued their education. I know that some kids at the schools I went to would of rather been at home. The kids in these areas are sometimes even scared of their homes and they would rather be at school. To see so many young kids happy and enjoying their learning experience is wonderful. Even though all the schools we saw were in urban areas the teachers and faculty held their students to pretty high standards. They weren’t lenient because their school wasn’t in the best area. They expected their students to work hard and do above and beyond because they are given this opportunity. Each school we visited in Chicago each had goals for their school. The main focus was mostly students doing well academically.  A lot of the schools were lacking a lot of resources and that is something important in making a school run. Some of the schools had history books from the 1990’s which is not up to date information. That means the teachers have to be more creative and find different resources. Even though there is a lack of resources the students still need to learn with what they have in the classroom. From listening to the radio talks and reading information online I found out that each of the schools had practices that relate to the environment that their school is in. At Urban Prep Academy, one of the practices that relates to the ecology of the system of the schools is by having uniforms. Uniforms helps them get out of how they act outside of school. A lot of the students don’t have good home lives so coming to school and putting on this uniform is helping them stay focused. We also learned while at the schools that uniforms are for success. They are now ready and dressed for the work world. They are presentable males when they wear their school uniform. Another ecology practice I asked about when viewing the school is that of all the teachers, they were predominantly male. I was kind of surprised about this. I asked our student who was touring us why this was and he told me because then they have a man to look up to. This is relating to home life because for some of the students, they don’t have a man to look up to in their household. This helps give the boys at Urban Prep a male role model since they are boys they need a boy to look up to. I did see one woman teacher there which surprised me but I was glad because they need to still be accepting of woman teachers.

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