Annotated Bib – ChandlerBing

10 Big Advantages and Disadvantages of Standardized Testing. Conncectusfund.org. Connect US Fund. Accessed 28 Nov. 2017.

Background: There are numerous benefits as well as disadvantages when it comes to standardized testing. Whether it be that the questions are too generalized or that sometimes students are not in the effective state of mind on test day. These disadvantages aid my argument on how standardized testing stunts academic growth.

How I used it: I did not use this as an in-depth source mainly because it only pointed out a few basic facts about testing. Those basic ideas helped me find out what questions I should be looking for the answers to. The main use for this source was to further my research. It has lead me to many other sources to which I have used more predominantly.

Alcocer, Paulina. “History of Standardized Testing in the United States.” National Education Association. Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

Background: The very beginnings of standardized testing starting around 1838. Educators around the US began to render new ideas to measure the knowledge of students. Written exams replaced oral exams when the primary purpose of education shifted from educating the elite class to educating the mass population. These tests were designed to measure the educational capabilities of students in the United States. Gradually, the intention changed, standardized testing became a way to evaluate teacher and school performance to punish schools whose test results were poor and to reward those schools with high performance scores.

How I used it: One of my arguments is how once, standardized testing was an effective way to evaluate students. Today, the primary focus of testing is to make money based decisions on the basis of test scores. A timeline of the history of standardized testing has allowed me to clearly see this important shift.

Brooks, Martin. Brooks, Jacqueline. “The Courage to Be Constructivist.” The Constructivist Classroom. vol. 57, no. 3, 1999, pp. 18-24.                http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov99/vol57/num03/The-Courage-to-Be-Constructivist.aspx. Accessed 28 Nov. 2017.

Background: The constructivist style of teaching proves to be the most effective method of educating. Ideas, such as challenging the supposition of students, teaching broad concepts and valuing student opinions, are all central to the primary goal of constructivist teachers. Learning is a convoluted process in which people absorb new information to either alter their perspective of the surrounding world or not. Constructivist teachers keep relevant facts and information in their educational toolbox as to keep the minds of students engaged in classroom activity. Creativity and free thinking are lost in a world of standard assessment, forcing students to be tested on material that does not positively impact their education. Standardized testing scores the end rather than the journey of learning. Each student has a different background of knowledge; therefore, everyone learns at different rates. There needs to be a shift from students learning the same curriculum to analyzing individual student needs in the classroom.

How I used it: To understand the issues revolving standardized testing, the true meaning of an effective educator must be clear. I used the evidence and real-life examples, provided by this source, to determine my stance on the problem. The first line of the educational defense is the teacher. The research surrounding high-stakes testing has its roots in first-hand accounts from educators whom interact with their students the most. This article aided in molding my thesis; I felt that I needed to research the basics of my argument to be able to completely understand the subject.

Brooks, Martin, and Jacqueline Brooks. In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms. Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. 1993. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/199234/chapters/Honoring-the-Learning-Process.aspx.

Background: The author describes the ideas and experiences around the knowledge of student learning. The process of learning must not be viewed as a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. Each individual mind has witnessed events that have shaped how they view the world; therefore, no two minds are capable of effectively learning using the same method. Because they contain generalized questions, standard assessments stunt creativity, thus defiling the true purpose of education.

How I used it: Again, researching the basics of the argument is imperative to provide me with a solid foundation of knowledge for supporting my argument. These supporting facts assisted me in convincing readers the disadvantages of standardized assessments. Although, the author’s focus was on the meaning of effective learning, the ideas formed central arguments in my research.

Herman, Joan L., and Shari Golan. “Effects of Standardized Testing on Teachers and Learning–Another Look.” (1990).

Background: The cost, in dollars, of standardized testing has risen to the billions. Test results come with high risks, for teachers especially; the classroom then becomes a course on how to pass a test, ultimately distracting the learning of other important material. Less than one-fifth of teachers interviewed in this study, believe that the results of the tests accurately reflect the learning of their students. Even when studies have shown no significant impact on development, test advocates and policy-makers still believe testing has benefits.

How I used it: The arguments introduced, allowed me to formulate pros and cons of high-stakes testing. Herman evaluates the effects that standardized tests have on the learning community; she has found that testing provides no significant impact on educational development. Research has also proved that testing negatively affects teachers and how they conduct their classroom procedures. The article furthered my search for new sources by introducing more specific concepts. The evidence contributes to my final research paper, filling it with more facts to back up my thesis.

Klein, Alyson. “No Child Left Behind: An Overview.Education Week. Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, 2015. Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.

Background: In an effort to hold schools accountable for their student’s performance, the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 mandated school districts to administer standardized assessments to all students and report the results to the state. Furthermore, harsh sanctions are put in place for those districts who do not meet the Adequate Yearly Progress. Prior to 2010, it became clear that many schools were not going to meet the required AYP. As of that year, 38 percent of schools in the US failed to meet requirement. The current educational system has bureaucratic tendencies more than focusing on educational growth.

How I used it: The issues of standardized testing focus on math, reading and writing, ultimately narrowing the curriculum. The more time a teacher spends on test prep, the less time they have for other creative inducing subjects. I emphasize this important claim as it strengthens my argument. Hindering critical thinking skills by straying away from social studies, foreign languages and various art subjects, devalues the important life skills one must learn to progress in this world.

Kohn, Alfie. The case against standardized testing: Raising the scores, ruining the schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000.

Background: Kohn poses arguments that are for standardized testing and then immediately refutes these claims with relevant facts and statistics. Standardized testing has many negative associations with knowledge development. They do not accurately reflect a child’s academic performance; in other words, students who do not pass these exams will be deemed failures. Of course, this will damage the confidence of the student, leaving them to live a life in which they believe they are failures; forever stunting the creative and educational growth. Kohn introduces a list created by educator Bill Ayers, “Standardized tests can’t measure initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes. What they can measure, and count are isolated skills, specific facts and functions, the least interesting and least significant aspects of learning.” All the skills tests do not emphasize are very important life attributes that will increase the quality of life further down the road.

How I used it: Kohn assisted in my research process heavily. His thorough explanations of the downsides of high-stakes testing offered thought provoking ideas. What helped the most was his ability to refute the counterarguments which gave me a wide view on the subject. I incorporated his knowledge into my research paper to support my thesis. By demonstrating the negative effects, the chances of convincing my audience of my view greatly increases.

“New Jersey State Assessments.” State.nj.us. NJ Department of Education. http://www.state.nj.us/education/assessment/

Background: New Jersey’s Department of Education provides facts about standardized testing. The website includes how they score these tests, what they do with scores, when the tests are administered, and the scores needed to meet graduation requirements. There are numerous tools for students, parents, and teachers.

How I used it: I gained a basic knowledge of standardized testing through this source. Knowing what is at stake is important for emphasizing the fact that everyone involved in testing is under a enormous amount of pressure. My goal was for the audience to see the conditions in which the students are taking the test in. Testing is ineffectively used to determine educational growth.

Simmons, Nicola. “(De)grading the Standardized Test: Can Standardized Testing Evaluate Schools?” Education Canada. vol. 44, no. 3, 2004. Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.

Background: Simmons take and in-depth look at the alleged value of standardized testing. Holding teachers accountable for their student’s achievement is necessary, but testing is not an effective way to measure. Teachers will teach their children how to take a test rather than focus on important subject matter. Telling students not to be creative or make sure you complete the test within the time limit hinder critical thinking and puts a panic on the test taker. Simmons informs readers that the tests pose biased questions that are more designed for privileged kids.

How I used it: These arguments have a strong chance of convincing my readers that standardized testing does not procure the positive results that policy-makers tend to make people believe. By proving these facts, we can comfortably assume that we need to do away with testing.

Posted in A14: Annotated Bibliography, chandlerbing, Portfolio chandlerbing | 1 Comment

Definition Argument- branxmad

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disease that affects one’s ability to sustain attention and involves excessive activity and deficiencies in impulse control. Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder is a lifetime disorder that is often found in the early childhood years and affects the individual throughout their lifetime. For children who are diagnosed with the disorder, it makes it difficult for them to focus in school causing them to receive poor grades, they tend to be more awkward in social settings, and performing simple everyday tasks becomes a challenge. While they are able to learn how to cope as they get older, the problem will always exist. For adults who were diagnosed with ADHD during their childhood and still experience symptoms might end up being forgetful, disorganized and overwhelmed when it comes to their daily lives and jobs. The symptoms being experienced are more frustrating as an adult because of the impact it can have on work and an individual’s personal relationships. Proper maintenance of their medication and simply learning more about their own disorder can potentially provide great help to adults diagnosed with ADHD.

I believe that in today’s times, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder is one that is overdiagnosed and often misdiagnosed. When I was 8 years old, my baby brother was diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder. He showed very apparent symptoms and because I lived with him, I saw the diagnosis to be an accurate one. At that age, it seemed as if the discussion of mental disorders was taboo and my family was in denial, but of course my brother’s diagnosis appeared to be the truth because the symptoms the disorder seemed to accurately match what I saw in my brother’s behavior. When high school came around, a lot of my classmates suddenly began to claim to have been diagnosed with ADHD, as if it were a trend. When those classmates were asked why they believed they had such a life altering biological mental condition, their answers would be something like, “I can never focus in class” and “I get distracted so easily” like they were making it out to be a joke. We all get distracted and sitting through a 50 minute history class might cause one to gaze out the window and day dream or play on their phone, so I never took their claims seriously.  However, the frequency at which the topic was brought up sparked curiosity in me. It is true that more and more young children are receiving a diagnosis of ADHD and my classmates’ claims are exactly the type of claims and beliefs that lead pediatricians to make those diagnoses. While my high school classmates may have been making up stories for attention, there is no true way to know the accuracy of the growing epidemic.

The sudden increase of children being diagnosed with ADHD is growing at an alarming rate. While looking through statistical articles regarding the rise of diagnosis, I found that 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 through 17 years old have been diagnosed with the disorder in the years 2011 and 2012 alone. The prevalence rate of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity disorder between the years 2003 and 2011 went up by 35%. At the rate of which ADHD diagnosis is increasing, this disorder is now the second most diagnosed child disease, right next to childhood obesity. A study conducted in September of 2010 by the Journal of Health Economics has determined that a child’s birth month has a great impact on their likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD and their treatments. According to the study, kindergarten aged children who were born in August, otherwise known as before the kindergarten cutoff date, were said to be more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than those children who were born in September, after the kindergarten cutoff date. Those children born in August were also believed to be twice as likely to be treated with medications for their diagnosis. It was later found that the study could have possibly resulted in 900,000 cases of the misdiagnosis of ADHD.

Posted in A08: Definition Argument, branxmad, Portfolio branxmad | Leave a comment

Rebuttal Argument- branxmad

Over the course of 10 years, the prevalence rates of Attention Deficit-Hyperactive Disorder diagnoses have increased by approximately 40%. The cause of the sudden increase is relatively unknown. There are possibilities that it could be due to genetics, diet or environment.

While there is an apparent up rise of patients being diagnosed with ADHD, some argue that there is a significant problem with under-diagnosis. In the article, Underdiagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adult Patients, it states that adults with ADHD tend to show more symptoms of co morbid disorders, such as alcoholism or anxiety, rather than the symptoms of their ADHD. When adults go to a physicist for a clinical evaluation, they usually go for their co morbid symptoms and the ADHD goes undiagnosed. This can result in poor outcomes, whether or not the co morbid disorders are the ones being treated [8].  

Prior to the extensive research of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, it was believed that the disorder was only present in young children and they often grew out of it as they got older and began to mature. However, that belief was incorrect and ADHD is a disorder that is carried into adulthood. Adults who have ADHD will seek help for disorders other than that of ADHD because they are unaware.

Another believed case of underdiagnosis and undertreatment of ADHD could be related to an individual’s cultural and ethnic backgrounds [5].  Due to the symptoms of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity disorder being very similar to the symptoms of another disorder such as Fetal Alcohol syndrome or problems that result from poor perinatal care, the prevalence of ADHD among different ethnic groups is unclear. African-american youth who have ADHD tend to go untreated, as well as other nonwhites. Beliefs of illness and care differ upon various ethnic groups and religions, often leaving many children to go undiagnosed or untreated. I find this the be an accurate account and very interesting. Mental illness among people of color; African-Americans, Hispanics, Indians, etc. is a very rare topic to discuss. Families that come from minority backgrounds usually don’t believe mental illness is a true and sometimes severe, disorder. Parents will often see their kids who have ADHD, and show symptoms of the disorder, as misbehaved and deserving punishment, instead of taking them to see a physiatrist for clinical help.

Although the prevalence rates of ADHD have made a dramatic increase, there are still those who disagree. My belief is that Attention Deficit- Hyperactivity disorder is overdiagnosed to young children today caused them to be mistreated. To put an end to the rising epidemic, clinicians must first, be able to accurately evaluate their young patients. Diagnosing a child with the disorder because of behavioral problems in school or at home is not always the most adequate diagnosis. The disorder needs to be further looked into over a period of time, as opposed to just a single doctor’s appointment. Secondly, finding new ways to treat a child who does have Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity disorder might decrease the risk of substance abuse in the child’s future. Changing our perspectives and treating children with apparent behavioral or mood disorders could greatly affect how we diagnose and care for our children.

Posted in A10: Rebuttal Argument, branxmad, Portfolio branxmad | Leave a comment

Research paper- branxmad

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disease that affects one’s ability to sustain attention and involves excessive activity and deficiencies in impulse control. Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder is a lifetime disorder that is often found in the early childhood years and affects the individual throughout their lifetime. For children who are diagnosed with the disorder, it makes it difficult for them to focus in school causing them to receive poor grades, they tend to be more awkward in social settings, and performing simple everyday tasks becomes a challenge. While they are able to learn how to cope as they get older, the problem will always exist. For adults who were diagnosed with ADHD during their childhood and still experience symptoms might end up being forgetful, disorganized and overwhelmed when it comes to their daily lives and jobs. The symptoms being experienced are more frustrating as an adult because of the impact it can have on work and an individual’s personal relationships [12]. Proper maintenance of their medication and simply learning more about their own disorder can potentially provide great help to adults diagnosed with ADHD.

I believe that in today’s times, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder is one that is overdiagnosed and often misdiagnosed. When I was 8 years old, my baby brother was diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder. He showed very apparent symptoms and because I lived with him, I saw the diagnosis to be an accurate one. At that age, it seemed as if the discussion of mental disorders was taboo and my family was in denial, but of course my brother’s diagnosis appeared to be the truth because the symptoms the disorder seemed to accurately match what I saw in my brother’s behavior. When high school came around, a lot of my classmates suddenly began to claim to have been diagnosed with ADHD, as if it were a trend. When those classmates were asked why they believed they had such a life altering biological mental condition, their answers would be something like, “I can never focus in class” and “I get distracted so easily” like they were making it out to be a joke. We all get distracted and sitting through a 50 minute history class might cause one to gaze out the window and day dream or play on their phone, so I never took their claims seriously.  However, the frequency at which the topic was brought up sparked curiosity in me. It is true that more and more young children are receiving a diagnosis of ADHD and my classmates’ claims are exactly the type of claims and beliefs that lead pediatricians to make those diagnoses. While my high school classmates may have been making up stories for attention, there is no true way to know the accuracy of the growing epidemic.

The sudden increase of children being diagnosed with ADHD is growing at an alarming rate. While looking through statistical articles regarding the rise of diagnosis, I found that 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 through 17 years old have been diagnosed with the disorder in the years 2011 and 2012 alone [2]. The prevalence rate of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity disorder between the years 2003 and 2011 went up by 35%. At the rate of which ADHD diagnosis is increasing, this disorder is now the second most diagnosed child disease, right next to childhood obesity [2]. A study conducted in September of 2010 by the Journal of Health Economics has determined that a child’s birth month has a great impact on their likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD and their treatments [10]. According to the study, kindergarten aged children who were born in August, otherwise known as before the kindergarten cutoff date, were said to be more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than those children who were born in September, after the kindergarten cutoff date. Those children born in August were also believed to be twice as likely to be treated with medications for their diagnosis. It was later found that the study could have possibly resulted in 900,000 cases of the misdiagnosis of ADHD [11].

The increase of this diagnosis being given to children could be the result of many different factors that could potentially begin the onset of children developing Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, but also many professional beliefs could lead to a child finally being clinically diagnosed. Primarily, environmental factors are what is believed to cause the early onset. While it is common knowledge that ADHD is mainly a genetic disorder, many believe that other things contribute to their child being diagnosed with ADHD. For example, it’s believed that mothers who have smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol during their pregnancy could have possibly lead to their child being born with the disorder. However, the fact is that the use of tobacco or alcohol during pregnancy causes the child to be born with Fetal Alcohol syndrome, which has very similar symptoms to those of ADHD [7]. Thus, resulting in the children being treated and medicated for the wrong disorder.

Furthermore, in the case of misdiagnosis, the ADHD diagnosis is most commonly given to toddlers or young children. They don’t receive a diagnosis based off of abnormal behaviors, but because of the normal behaviors that toddlers and young children display at their age. Toddlers and young children tend be very active during play and behave impulsively. In today’s educational systems, preschoolers and kindergarten aged children have very high expectations placed upon them [2]. These children are expected to sit still in class while they listen to their teacher read a book out loud, or maybe expected to read the book themselves. The moment that the 4-year-old student starts to get impatient and squirms a little in his seat, there is suddenly a diagnosis he is labelled with.

A diagnosis of a mental or medical disorder almost always is followed up with a prescription of a stabilizing medication. Patients who are diagnosed with ADHD are prescribed with psychostimulant drugs, such as Ritalin, Adderall, Cylert or Dexedrine. These drugs are meant to regulate and improve an individual’s concentration, cooperation and the ability to stay on task. In relation to the problem of misdiagnosis, these medications can be given to a patient who does not need stimulant drugs. After many years of taking these medications, the patient can later on become dependent on the drugs or could end up abusing them. For example, the stimulant drug, Ritalin, has the chemical similarities of cocaine. Ritalin and Adderall are two of the most common drugs that are prescribed to treat ADHD, but are also the most commonly used recreational drugs. Adolescents who are misdiagnosed with ADHD and being prescribed those medications often end up abusing the drugs or selling them. As for young children who have been misdiagnosed with the disorder and are prescribed stimulant medications can eventually end up in danger due to the negative side effects of the drug [3]. These side effects could potentially cause the child to sleep disturbances, loss of appetite and stunted growth.

Another leading cause to the misdiagnosis of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder is the possible comorbidity of another disorder overlapping. Many of the disorders that exist today could very likely have similar symptoms as one another. ADHD and Autism both share some symptoms, such as inability to stay focused and impulsivity. However, while a child who is diagnosed with autism might show some symptoms of ADHD, but that does not mean a child with ADHD is autistic [1].  But the misdiagnosis due to comorbidity does not just end at autism. An individual may experience anxiety, Post- traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or another learning disability, such as dyslexia. The symptoms of another disorder might look similar to those of ADHD. Someone with bad anxiety, or even dyslexia, is suddenly being mistreated because of the inadequate evaluation of the disorder. Mood and behavioral disorders that can possibly be found in young children could also end up being mistaken as symptoms of ADHD. Recognizing the difference between ADHD and symptoms of comorbid disorders can lead to a more accurate evaluation and diagnosis. Having a disorder with similar symptoms to ADHD is often overlooked and the inaccurate diagnosis could almost be taken as a dismissive response.

The term “Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder” is one that is broad. Similar to many other disorders, ADHD has more than one type. The three different subtypes of ADHD include ADHD Hyperactive-Impulsive type, ADHD Inattentive type and then ADHD with the two types combined [6]. The hyperactive- impulsive type is seen in children who participate in inappropriate amounts of activity and act without thinking of the consequences to their actions. Children, or adults, with ADHD hyperactive-impulsive type will often have trouble waiting their turn, interrupting others during conversation or during class, talk a lot, play loudly and aggressively, and will stand or run around at inappropriate times. ADHD Inattentive type can be seen in children who have trouble focusing or paying attention. They may not listen when being spoken to,  they can be forgetful and easily distracted, and have trouble keeping their tasks organized. And finally, there is the type of ADHD with the two combined. The individual can have the disorder and be both hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive. While I find it helpful to be able differentiate between the various types of ADHD, I also believe that further mental evaluations should be done.

Having knowledge of the different types of ADHD and being able to identify them might be helpful when it comes to making more of an accurate diagnosis. Making an accurate diagnosis, should the disorder be present, will also be helpful when it’s time to prescribe the appropriate medication.

Boys and men are far more likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity disorder more frequently than females. However, gender differences have a great impact on the diagnosis of the disorder because each of the genders express symptoms differently [4]. Males with ADHD usually have the hyperactive-impulsive type. Boys are naturally more aggressive than girls and with that type of ADHD, boys will exert more behavioral problems than girls with the same disorder. Due to the apparent abnormal behavior boys show, they are more likely to be seen by a doctor and receive a clinical diagnosis. As for females, their symptoms are usually overlooked or mistaken for other disorders. Girls with the disorder usually have the inattentive type and show symptoms similar to depression or anxiety. Because girls don’t have behavioral problems, they tend to go undiagnosed for the disorder and will seek treatment for depression, or another comorbid disorder. I believe that before administering treatment, other options should looked in to. For example, a 6-year-old boy who seems to be active and aggressive with his classmates in school should maybe be put into an organized sport, like football. Possibly keeping the child active in a setting that is more appropriate is a lot better, and safer, than trying to oppress the child in a situation he or she might not be comfortable in. If those other options don’t work, then a trip to the child’s physiatrist might be a good idea.

While studies have shown a significant increase in the diagnosis of ADHD, there are still some who believe that the disorder is underdiagnosed, and undertreated. In the article, Underdiagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adult Patients, it states that adults with ADHD tend to show more symptoms of comorbid disorders, such as alcoholism or anxiety, rather than the symptoms of their ADHD. When adults go to a physiatrist for a clinical evaluation, they usually go for their comorbid symptoms and the ADHD goes undiagnosed.this can result in poor outcomes, whether or not the comorbid disorders are the ones being treated [8].  

Prior to the extensive research of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, it was believed that the disorder was only present in young children and they often grew out of it as they got older and began to mature. However, that belief was incorrect and ADHD is a disorder that is carried into adulthood. Adults who have ADHD will seek help for disorders other than that of ADHD because they are unaware.

Another believed case of underdiagnosis and undertreatment of ADHD could be related to an individual’s cultural and ethnic backgrounds [5].  Due to the symptoms of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity disorder being very similar to the symptoms of another disorder such as Fetal Alcohol syndrome or problems that result from poor perinatal care, the prevalence of ADHD among different ethnic groups is unclear. African-american youth who have ADHD tend to go untreated, as well as other nonwhites. Beliefs of illness and care differ upon various ethnic groups and religions, often leaving many children to go undiagnosed or untreated. I find this the be an accurate account and very interesting. Mental illness among people of color; African-Americans, Hispanics, Indians, etc. is a very rare topic to discuss. Families that come from minority backgrounds usually don’t believe mental illness is a true and sometimes severe, disorder. Parents will often see their kids who have ADHD, and show symptoms of the disorder, as misbehaved and deserving punishment, instead of taking them to see a physiatrist for clinical help.

Although the prevalence rates of ADHD have made a dramatic increase, there are still those who disagree. My belief is that Attention Deficit- Hyperactivity disorder is overdiagnosed to young children today caused them to be mistreated. To put an end to the rising epidemic, clinicians must first, be able to accurately evaluate their young patients. Diagnosing a child with the disorder because of behavioral problems in school or at home is not always the most adequate diagnosis. The disorder needs to be further looked into over a period of time, as opposed to just a single doctor’s appointment. Secondly, finding new ways to treat a child who does have Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity disorder might decrease the risk of substance abuse in the child’s future. Changing our perspectives and treating children with apparent behavioral or mood disorders could greatly affect how we diagnose and care for our children.

 

Works Cited

  1. “ADHD and the Autism Spectrum.” ADDitude, 17 Nov. 2017, http://www.additudemag.com/autism-aspergers-adhd-symptoms-in-children/.
  2. “A True ADHD Epidemic or an Epidemic of Over diagnosis?” Psychiatry Advisor, 11 Mar. 2016, http://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/adhd/a-true-adhd-epidemic-or-an-epidemic-of-overdiagnosis/article/429034/.
  3. “Problems of Over diagnosis and Over-prescribing in ADHD.” Problems of Overdiagnosis and Overprescribing in ADHD | Psychiatric Times, http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/adhd/problems-overdiagnosis-and-over-prescribing-adhd.
  4. Gender Differences in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) CPANCF.COM, cpancf.com/articles_files/art_57attached_file.asp.
  5. “Cultural Issues in Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Elsevier, 31 Dec. 2009, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856709667241.
  6. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Dr. Raun Mel, media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/SSA_SHARED_MEDIA_1/psychology/videos/MPL/Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder_ADHD_Dr_Raun_Mel.html.
  7. “What Causes ADHD? 12 Myths and Facts.” Health.com, www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20441463,00.html#tv-or-video-games-0.
  8. Ginsberg, Ylva, et al. “Underdiagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adult Patients: A Review of the Literature.” The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4195639/
  9. “Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Nov. 2017, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html.
  10. Evans, W N, et al. “Measuring inappropriate medical diagnosis and treatment in survey data: The case of ADHD among school-Age children.” Journal of health economics.,U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20739076.
  11. Morrow, Richard L., et al. “Influence of relative age on diagnosis and treatment of attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder in children.” CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal, Canadian Medical Association, 17 Apr. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3328520/.
  12. “ADHD in Adults.” Vyvanse, www.vyvanse.com/adhd-adult-symptoms.

 

Posted in Portfolio branxmad | Leave a comment

Research – ChandlerBing

A Quest for Change

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. encapsulates the fundamentals of education. “The function of education is to teach one to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Learning is a complex process in which the learner constantly changes their internal understanding of how the world around them functions. The learner, most of the time, is unable to come to conclusions on their own and they need guidance from an effective instructor. In a standardized testing era; the system impedes on students’ ability to learn new information and apply it correctly in their lives. The education system stamps on the concept of seeing the world in anything, other than black and white. When dealing with the possibilities of areas in interests, our learning system blurs out artistic or social intelligences, and focuses on socializing through the subjects of mathematics, literature and the sciences. Teachers and administrators are not to blame for this problem. Students are deprived of humanity; in aspect, everyone is seen as a number. The system doesn’t care about how the students got the score, and the effort it took to get there. All that they look at is the number they stand for. The standardized test movement has corrupted the very nature of education and learning by forcing educators to focus on test-taking skills, such as strict memorization, rather than important concepts; the overall desire to want to learn and understand the subject diminishes. These assessments thwart educational growth because their questions are generalized; they instill fear of failure in students; and they hinder efforts by teachers to improve their pedagogical methods. There must be a more effective system whose primary focus is to further grow the intelligences of the youth and to implement a new evaluation method that measures student improvement throughout their educational career.

To fully understand the issue at hand, one must know what it means to be an effective educator. To be an effective teacher, an educator must be open-minded, positive, organized, and resilient. A student that has an ineffective teacher for one year can set the student back up to three years. Traditional teaching styles have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in their curricula. The belief that all students learn at the same pace is simply not true. Each individual student has their own needs and understandings. Some students can understand the material with no problem, others need a push to get their gears turning. There are many different types of students that shine through diverse aspects of learning. For example, a student may understand a chapter of Pre-Calculus simply by reading through their textbook’s chapter. However, their peer may attain the material stronger with a visual, or hands-on approach. Each student has different past experiences that have molded how they learn, therefore, educators must throw away the one-size model and adapt to their student’s needs.

Teachers need to challenge the suppositions of their students for them to develop free thinking. In a middle school classroom, a teacher asked students to read a poem and interpret the first two lines of the poem. The first student gave her answer, but the teacher told her that was not what the author meant. When a second student answered, the teacher reminded her that she was only supposed to interpret the first two lines. When the teacher asked if anyone in the class had other ideas, not one raised their hands. This teacher conveyed to the students that there is one answer and one answer only. And only she knew the correct answer. This learning style hinders creativity, and forces students to think in a black and white matter. After the first two students were told they were wrong, the task became to find out what the instructor thought of the poem, ultimately restricting free thinking.

In a more effective environment, a 9th grade teacher asked his students to evaluate the effects of temperature and muscle movement. The students were given buckets of ice water, gauges to measure finger grip strength, and other various items to help them in their experiments. The teacher then asked a few guiding questions and let the students begin. The teacher walked around the class asking different questions to each group depending on the activities that were being performed. Even when the students were correct in their findings, the teacher challenged these suppositions and asked them to elaborate on how they got to their conclusions. The groups shared their findings with the rest of the class and some students requested to come back later that day and complete their experiments (Brooks). This teacher provided guidance to the students, never giving them the answers and never telling them that they were wrong. These methods used provided the students with a deeper understanding of the material. The student’s interests were high which led them to be more engaged in the lesson and even wanting to return to their experiments at a different time.

The typical American classroom is set up for the teacher to do all the talking. A classroom is no longer revolved around learning and understanding. Moreover, students are restricted to simple memorization, left with no room for creativity or pleasure. Educators jettison information to students and expect them to memorize key points in the lecture. The lectures are almost always in-line with the textbook used for that class. In these classrooms, students learn only one view to complex issues, inhibiting students to view the issue from all aspects of the spectrum. For example, Christopher Columbus is often taught as a respected explorer in search for a new world. The idea that Columbus enslaved thousands of Natives and eradicated most of them by bringing new diseases over, is rarely taught in the classroom (Simmons). Educators must provide students with broad concepts to ponder so that they pose their own questions.

Students must take charge in their own learning. When an instructor stands in front of the classroom and lectures for the whole class period, they are essentially giving students the answers without a clear meaning. Allowing the students to interact with one another provides an effective route to the lead objective. As previously stated, all students bring their own experiences with them to the classroom. In one classroom, students were put in groups of five or six to discuss artifacts from Egypt. As the students examined the artifact, they discussed the possibilities of the different functions these objects may possess. The students were understanding the main function of the object because they were all bringing their past experiences to the light. Essentially, these students were teaching each other, working together toward a common goal.

Evaluation of student learning is difficult to measure through pen-and-paper assessments. Some students become anxious during a high-stakes test, fearing that they will fail. On the other hand, simple interaction with a student in the classroom setting is a more effective way to measure what the student understands about the lesson. In the state of New Jersey, students that graduate in the year 2021 and beyond must achieve passing scores on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) English 10 and Algebra portions to graduate (NJDOE). The teachers must prepare students for these exams, and by doing so they align their curriculum with concepts most likely to appear on the assessments. The students are just memorizing key concepts to increase their test taking skills.

Traditional teaching styles are a method of the past and have proved to be ineffective. Educators must shift their teaching methods to a more effective standard. Students should be encouraged to deeply understand the material instead of memorizing terms. This allows students to apply learned concepts in the classroom to their everyday lives. Their backgrounds form who they are as a learner and educators need to adapt their curriculum to challenge student supposition and promote creativity along with free thinking. As an educator, it is their job to guide them to the answer. A third-grade student wrote to his teacher, “You are like the North Star for the class. You don’t tell us where to go, but you help us find our way (Brooks).”

Standardized testing in the United States predates the Civil War in 1861. Once a system that evaluated student intelligence, has transformed into a politically-driven method of evaluating teachers and schools which results in a plethora of rewards and punishments based on test results (Alcocer). States determine whether a school is fulfilling the responsibility of effective teaching or not by the results of generalized pen-and-paper tests in which all students are expected to complete, regardless of their learning capabilities. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, mandates that schools measure and account for the performance of their students. The law also mandates schools to administer standardized tests and report the results to the state. Based on the test results, harsh sanctions are put in place for those school districts that do not meet the “adequate yearly progress,” or AYP; a numerical value that defines student performance (Klein).

Standardized assessments are created from an outside source other than the school that is administering them (Kohn). Many educators and experts work tirelessly to develop these assessments, but what they do not understand is that each student has their own method of learning. Test developers do not witness the learning process of an individual in a classroom. So how can they truly be aware of how each student learns? They cannot. Teachers interact with students every single day, and they know and understand what methods positively impact their students.

Standardized means all students in the state must take the same assessment. The questions do not evaluate the skills of the students simply because the questions are vague (ConnectUS). To effectively learn, the mind must be challenged. Basic skills questions do not appropriately measure a student’s learning. When developing these tests, an important factor is not considered; each student learns at a different pace. Every brain is different from the next, it absorbs information differently for everyone. Different students implement their own learning method that individually caters to them. In the current classroom model, all students learn the same thing at the same pace. If one student falls behind, they must catch up because the rest of the class is moving on with the curriculum. While the rest of the class moves on, this child still does not understand the material but is required to move through the course. This overwhelming environment and panic negatively impacts the learning community.

Another critique on standardized testing, emphasizes the belief that tests are by procedure for the sole purpose of holding schools and teachers accountable for their student’s performance. Teachers abandon their original curriculum to prepare for the high-stake test. The school environment is shifting their main focus on their employees, not the learning rate of their students. Spending more time on test related subjects, affects the time spent on other creative concentrations like social studies and the arts (Simmons). Some school districts give their students assessments regarding the more creative subjects, although not a common practice. The questions are usually compiled with vague facts and definitions. As Kohn stated, “[Standardized tests] aren’t designed to tell who has learned to think like a scientist or a historian; they’re designed to tell who can recite the four stages of mitosis or the four freedoms mentioned by Franklin Roosevelt.” In other words, they damage the true intention of education by limiting creativity and refraining from teaching important life skills.

Subsequently, the fact that these tests are timed, raises questions about whether these assessments accurately reflect the learning of the students. It does not matter to the tests if this student excels in the classroom, standardized tests require memorization skills. Does this mean this student unintelligible? Absolutely not; there is a significant difference between being smart and knowing a lot of stuff. One student could have a photographic memory and score high on the exam, but does not fully understand the concepts she was taught. On the other hand, a student might perform exceptionally on class projects/assignments, and receive a low score on the exam. Yet, the system expects students to recall all the information they have learned over the year and apply this loose knowledge with a time limit involved. The stress of standardized testing falls upon the student as they fear they will not pass. Furthermore, no student should take a high-stakes test in an anxious state. The results of a test, where a student “blanks” because of test anxiety, do not reflect the student’s true performance; thus, creating a blurred snapshot of that students’ academic achievements.

Because of the punishments and rewards that come with the accountability program, teachers become heavily focused on improving their students test scores. Teachers spend countless hours obsessing over the content of the tests; further distracting from other subject areas. Any student will admit, their teacher has told them for multiple choice questions, “there are four choices that all may seem to be the right answer, but only one is the true answer.” “Don’t be too creative. Don’t think too hard. Only give them what they want. Pace yourself (Simmons).” These phrases are becoming too frequent and they hinder the creativity and critical thinking necessary for effective learning. Creative children are stumped when they see the generalized questions on the assessments. It teaches them that there is only one viable answer and there is no room for creativity. Educator Bill Ayers evaluates standardized testing, “Standardized tests can’t measure initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes. What they can measure, and count are isolated skills, specific facts and functions, the least interesting and least significant aspects of learning.” High-stakes exams do not value the critical skills needed to be successful in the world. Promoting creativity allows people to pose thought provoking questions to enhance their knowledge of the world. Perhaps, instead of teaching key terms and definitions, an educator should teach students how to make rightful decisions on their own. These standards stray far from the primary purpose of the educational platform.

These tests are administered to thousands of students. It is unlikely that every single student can be present on test day. Under these circumstances, it is counterintuitive to believe that a child can demonstrate their full capabilities of what they have learned. A student in South Carolina responded to standardized tests by saying, “All they care about is the test; they don’t care if we learn anything (Simmons).” Learning success should be valued more than success on tests.

A handful of students do not show much concern for the tests and do not fully understand the consequences. Students fill out the bubbles on the exam sheet so that they form a picture, thus getting the answers marked incorrect. These students are then placed in a low-level class for the following years of their educational career. Apparently, results from a single exam are enough evidence to show the full capabilities of students, even when they lack care for the assessments (Kohn). The educational future of children relies heavily on these exams. If they do not perform adequately, they will be placed in remedial classes. The nature of this situation causes an uneasy feeling; misplacing these students who do not belong in the slower paced classes, can deter them from their route of success.

Unfortunately, standardized testing is the easiest form of holding teachers accountable for their students. Test results are published in newspapers, and even real estate listings provide the most recent test scores. Valuing these numerical values of knowledge has become the norm in the US. It is agreed that teachers should absolutely be held accountable, but exams that measure the intelligence in one day just seem ineffective. With advancements in technology today, it is possible to implement a method of measuring what students learn at the same time, hold educators accountable for their teaching. Each student learns in different ways; effective learning occurs when educators cater to individual students rather than the class in whole. A large database can be created with individual portfolios for each student. This way, educators can clearly see how a student has performed academically throughout their educational career. This method values each student as one individual instead of the entire student body which, in return, allows teachers to adapt to each child. The improvement over the course of one year would be more valuable to educators and school districts rather than the results from a test only given twice a year. With this idea, the journey of learning proves to be more important than the end results. The instructor can create projects and in-class assignments to highlight creativity and free thinking.

Politics and money are much too involved in education today. By using high-stakes testing to hold teachers accountable for their students, and to reward and punish them based on test results, the politically-motivated system distracts educators from teaching creative subjects that students may be interested in. Students who excel, use past experiences to critically view the world surrounding them. Standardized testing interrupts that creativity. This current system must be abandoned before another student gets left behind by the “test-prep” teaching model mandated by No Child Left Behind.

Works Cited

10 Big Advantages and Disadvantages of Standardized Testing. Conncectusfund.org. Connect US Fund. Accessed 28 Nov. 2017

Alcocer, Paulina. “History of Standardized Testing in the United States.” National Education Association. Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

Brooks, Martin. Brooks, Jacqueline. “The Courage to Be Constructivist.” The Constructivist Classroom. vol. 57, no. 3, 1999, pp. 18-24.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov99/vol57/num03/The-Courage-to-Be-Constructivist.aspx. Accessed 28 Nov. 2017.

Brooks, Martin, and Jacqueline Brooks. In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms. Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. 1993. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/199234/chapters/Honoring-the-Learning-Process.aspx.

Herman, Joan L., and Shari Golan. “Effects of Standardized Testing on Teachers and Learning–Another Look.” (1990).

Klein, Alyson. “No Child Left Behind: An Overview.Education Week. Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, 2015. Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.

Kohn, Alfie. The case against standardized testing: Raising the scores, ruining the schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000.

New Jersey State Assessments.State.nj.us. NJ Department of Education. http://www.state.nj.us/education/assessment/

Simmons, Nicola. “(De)grading the Standardized Test: Can Standardized Testing Evaluate Schools?” Education Canada. vol. 44, no. 3, 2004. Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.

Posted in A16: Research Position Paper, chandlerbing, Portfolio chandlerbing | 1 Comment

Research Paper – rainbow987

In a society where mental illness is generally not well understood or accepted, negative stigmas are highly present in daily life for many people. Judgment is passed out like candy on Halloween regarding many different mental disorders, such as depression. In many ways, society blames a person for mental illness. Many people do not recognize disorders, like depression or anxiety, as legitimate illnesses. For example, health care insurance options for mental illness is extremely limited compared to the coverage offered for physical illness, which is discussed in detail by Dr. David Susman, in his article entitled “8 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Treatment For Mental Illness.” He explains that legislation was recently passed by the US Congress to address and correct these concerns, but that many details still need to be fine-tuned. In addition, those who suffer from symptoms of the sort often do not seek any treatment due to lack of resources or a fear of being judged by others. As reported by Fox News in an article entitled “More Than Half of US Adults With Mental Illness Don’t Get Needed Care,” approximately six out of ten young people suffering from major depression do not seek treatment in their life. Without proper treatment, many mental illnesses will develop and worsen over time. The negative stigmas surrounding depression directly impact the quality of life for those dealing with the illness. In many ways, these stigmas cause symptoms of the disorder to develop and intensify.

For many people, it is common vocabulary to refer to someone or something as crazy. The word is used in a variety of settings and scenarios. For example, if a person thought that he was going to score badly on an assessment but actually received a high grade, he may react by saying “That’s crazy!” If an upstanding member of society was convicted of a felony unexpectedly, people would respond similarly. “Crazy” can have many different meanings. Most often, it implies a sense of surprise or alarm.

Sometimes, the word can be used in a derogatory way. Without being politically correct, those with mental illnesses such as depression are often labeled in such a way as to be called crazy. People who are considered crazy are most often different than the mainstream of society. Some are outcasts and some display abnormal behaviors. However, abnormal is subjective. One person’s idea of abnormal could be entirely different than another’s. Abnormality could even be based on cultural differences. For example, in some cultures, it is abnormal for a person to walk inside a house without taking off his or her shoes. It is common to refer to abnormal behavior as crazy. However, different does not equal crazy. Therefore, abnormality does not equal craziness. This definition also explains why it is inaccurate to refer to someone with a mental illness as crazy. However, as stated in “Stigma Towards Mental Illness: A Concept Analysis Using Postpartum Depression as an Exemplar,” mental illness stigma is a serious issue in all cultures and ethnicities.

There are many negative stigmas regarding mental illnesses such as depression. Negative stigmatization of mental illness can be a theoretical death sentence for the self-esteem and confidence of an individual. By spreading a stereotype such as craziness in regards to illness, the problem itself escalates further.  For example, discrimination against those suffering from mental illness prompts many people to not seek proper treatment. The fear of being judged by others inhibits their psychological well-being as a whole. People often do not seek treatment for serious mental health concerns due to the fear of being judged or accused of having self-inflicted their issues. As stated in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in an article entitled “Mental Illness Stigma and Care Seeking,” fifty to sixty percent of people who would benefit from mental health treatment do not seek or receive it. People who suffer from these types of illnesses have to not only deal with the symptoms of the disorder, but they also have to deal with the struggles presented in society. Michael W. O’Hara explains in his article “The Nature of Postpartum Depressive Disorders,” that depression can have a significant effect on a person’s self-esteem. Therefore, the social stigma only worsens these feelings in an individual. They may face discrimination in the workplace or possible judgment in social environments. This negativity is created by the many negative stigmas that revolve around mental illness, and it does nothing but create false perceptions of the disease.

In addition, since many people with mental illness are assigned blame for their feelings, it may lead them to assign blame onto themselves as well. However, such thoughts are backwards and entirely counterintuitive. To be frank, the idea of depression as a whole makes people uncomfortable because it is not well understood. In response to this uneasiness, society attempts to “justify” depressive feelings on the basis of them being insincere. Depression is not brought upon willingly or intentionally by any person, so it is counterintuitive that people feel the need to assign blame for the disorder.

Labeling someone as crazy for an illness is not productive in any way, shape, or form. Negative stigmas revolve around these types of illnesses, which do nothing but worsen the lives of those who suffer from them and their families. It is important that the prejudice and complete discrimination of those suffering from a mental illness stops. Mental illness, specifically depression, does not have cause for blame in a person. Assigning blame to a mental illness such as depression as a method of reasoning does nothing but worsen possible symptoms and negative feelings that one may be experiencing. The lack of knowledge that many have of the illness causes a stigma that those with depression are “crazy” and looking for attention. However, such thoughts are demented and ignorant. The idea of depression as a whole often makes people squirm because it is not well understood. The stigmas related to the illness are so great that many people feel uncomfortable even talking about them. Therefore, minimal progress has been made to broaden people’s knowledge of mental illness. Instead, in response to this uneasiness, society attempts to “justify” depressive feelings on the basis of them being insincere. Depression is not desired by any person, so it is counterintuitive that people feel the need to assign blame for the disorder. Therefore, assigning blame for depression does nothing but worsen heavily stigmatized thoughts on the disorder as a whole. It is the hope that over time, society will become more accepting of mental illness and all that it entails. Society needs to realize that being different does not make someone less of a person. Discrimination and prejudice related to the topic needs to end.

Negative stigmas can lead to negative, hurtful labels, and it can lead to symptoms of loneliness and distress. The common term of calling someone crazy if they are different in any way plays an extremely significant role in the field of mental illness. Calling someone crazy is an ignorant way of looking for causation. Since mental illnesses such as depression are not well understood, it makes people uneasy. Therefore, calling someone crazy is an implication that blame has been assigned. It does not make sense that a serious illness that is most often caused by traumatic events or biological chemical changes can be one’s “fault” for having. People are not blamed for illnesses such as cancer or diabetes, so it is unfair that others are blamed for having a mental illness of any kind. The lack of knowledge that many have of the illness causes a stigma that those with depression are “crazy” and looking for attention. Unfortunately, these ignorant thoughts are extremely prevalent in daily life for those struggling with mental illness, and they can prove troubling in a variety of ways over the span of a person’s life.

According to stereotypes and how mental illness has been portrayed throughout history in media, those suffering from a mental health issue are “crazy” or “insane.” The media’s depiction of a “crazy” person often stems from severely abnormal behaviors. The media is a direct factor as to why some people do not respect people dealing with mental illness, which is further explained in Patrick Corrigan’s “On the Stigma of Mental Illness: Practical Strategies for Research and Social Change.” The person who sits by themselves on the subway, mumbling under their breath at no one is “crazy.” Imagine this person, who is very alert and aware of everything going on around him. His eyes are very wide and he appears to be in a great amount of distress. Physically, he looks to be sweating profusely, and he is tapping his foot very quickly. He continues to mumble and scan his eyes around the subway car. His talking begins to get louder and turns into a shout as he yells at no one. In reaction, the surrounding passengers sense that he is extremely angered and frightened. To them, the man appears to be the exact definition of “crazy.” Upon further psychological inspection, it could be assumed that the man is suffering from delusions and hallucinations. He may have schizophrenia, which is believed to be caused by a mixture of genetics, brain chemistry, and environment. Many of these factors are uncontrollable, and therefore, the man could not control the onset of his illness. The passengers on the subway are judgmental and think that the man is causing an unnecessary scene. However, the man is ill and cannot be blamed for “looking for attention” or “making up” his symptoms, as these thoughts are untrue.

Now imagine Jane, who is a young woman also sitting on the subway car. She was recently diagnosed with major depressive disorder. However, she is struggling to accept to her diagnosis. While witnessing the events transpose on the subway with the man, she can clearly see the hurtful judgment on the faces of the other passengers. No one seems to be concerned for his well-being. Everyone tries to keep their distance and avoid eye contact. This behavior angers Jane. She can sense the cruel thoughts that all of the witnesses have regarding the man. They all think that he is “crazy.” No one acknowledged his behavior as a legitimate mental illness or health risk. Jane compares this man to herself. She does not want to be labeled as “crazy” for her mental illness, so she does everything that she can to keep it a secret, even from her loved ones. She stops receiving treatment and attempts to ignore her symptoms. However, these actions cause Jane to struggle with her emotions and hinders her well-being greatly. Her fear of being stigmatized and judged indirectly caused her symptoms of depression to increase.

There are many reasons why a person may not receive treatment for a mental illness. Among these are the fear of being judged and feeling as though they are a failure if they seek treatment. Social constructs in our society cause self-doubt when a person is debating seeking help. Factors other than the person’s well-being often overpowers their health, which should be most important. Fox News documented that approximately 56% of people fail to receive treatment for major depression, for a variety of reasons. However, one of the most influential reasons as to why a person would avoid seeking treatment stems from fear of judgment by others, including family members, close friends, and co-workers. The pressure that many feel to be “perfect” causes many to deny symptoms of mental illness, which can lead to destructive and degenerative behavior. If the negative stigma regarding mental illness did not exist, or even if it was not as severe as it actually is, many more people would seek treatment for mental health issues. In turn, by receiving proper care, the quality of life for those suffering from mental illness would increase dramatically. For many, treatment would help to reduce symptoms and daily struggles caused by the issue.

As a society, we treat mental illness as a taboo topic. It is not well understood and therefore often misunderstood. There are many negative stigmas surrounding the idea of mental health issues as a whole. Many do not even acknowledge disorders such as depression and anxiety as legitimate illnesses. In addition, those who suffer from mental illnesses are often falsely labeled with hateful and cruel words such as “crazy” or “unstable.” If someone suffers from a mental health issue, society will often blame the person. If someone is depressed, he is causing it himself. If someone is anxious, she is looking for attention. However, these stigmas and stereotypes are spread by ignorance and an overall lack of understanding of mental health. They can cause severe damage to an individual’s well-being. Stigmas cast mental illness in a very dark shadow, which causes people to deny many if not all of their symptoms. Over time, the denial of symptoms due to fear of judgment can eventually lead to a decline in mental health when a person has an illness. Negative stigmas regarding mental health directly impacts a person’s management of an illness. These stigmas indirectly cause symptoms to intensify and affect people’s lives negatively. Not everyone acknowledges that the negative ideas surrounding depression are highly exaggerated and often fabricated. Some people question the legitimacy of the disorder, arguing that it is not real for a variety of reasons.

Many people agree with the argument, which is that depression is not a legitimate illness. This argument proposes that depression is exaggerated sadness and those who say that they have the disorder are attention-seeking. In addition, proponents for a similar argument say that although the symptoms of depression are real, depression itself is not an illness. Dr. Greg Henriques argued this point in an article entitled “Anxiety and Depression Are Symptoms, Not Diseases,” posted by Psychology Today. He states that anxiety and depression are only symptoms of a greater illness, but that they are not diseases in themselves. This statement degrades the legitimacy of an illness that so many suffer from without suffering from another illness.

For many, it is difficult to distinguish between those who are exaggerating emotions for the purpose of gaining sympathy and attention from those who are genuinely suffering from chronic negative emotions, which is depression. Therefore, it is a common misconception to believe that those who are chronically depressed are actually just looking for attention.

The idea that depression is not an actual illness is entirely invalid. There is an ample amount of scientific evidence proving that the brain imaging of a person with depression looks different than a person without depression. There is a neurological factor that contributes to depression that cannot be “faked.” Therefore, it is not true that depression is just people exaggerating and seeking attention. However, people with depression have a physical chemical imbalance that impacts their mood, as stated in the article “Hormonal Changes in the Postpartum and Implications for Postpartum Depression.” The information in this article is relevant to major depressive disorder even though it discusses postpartum depression, as the symptoms of both disorders are extremely similar. It is true that there are people who exaggerate their emotions for the purpose of gathering sympathy and attention from others. This type of person does not necessarily have depression. Depression is a legitimate mental illness that affects many people of all ages, races, and genders.

Many people suffering from depression are discredited in a variety of ways. People do not understand how they feel. People disrespect the idea of the disease. Therefore, many sufferers refuse to acknowledge their illness or seek treatment. This negative perspective can lead to a worsening of the illness. With aid from this mindset, many negative stigmas about mental illness, specifically depression, have developed.  These negative stigmas imply that it is not acceptable to have a mental illness. According to them, people with mental illnesses are “crazy” or “insane.” The negative thoughts surrounding depression and other mental illnesses lead to people not seeking treatment out of fear of being judged. In turn, the symptoms of mental illness may get worse. Therefore, negative stigmas regarding depression lead to a worsening of overall symptoms of the illness.

A common worry that many people suffering from depression have is that people are not going to believe them. Unfortunately, there is a stigma in place that many believe to be accurate, which is that depression is not a real illness. However, depression is a disease that can be proven neurologically through brain imaging. Depressed people are not looking for attention. Depression needs to recognized for what it is, a legitimate disorder.

In conclusion, it is common in our society to discredit those individuals suffering from depression, while also discrediting the illness itself as a whole. However, this belief is inaccurate. There are major differences between a person that exaggerates in an attempt to gather sympathy and a person that has depression. Depression is caused by a combination of environmental factors and chemical imbalances. The chronic negative emotions and feelings of worthlessness that a person experiences while dealing with depression are debilitating. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 80% of Americans over the age of 12 experienced depression in a two-week time period. 27% of these people faced significant difficulties in their work and home environments. Based on this information, it is obvious that the experience of depression is genuine. The illness is just as “real” as cancer or diabetes. Disrespecting a person based on their mental health is common in today’s world, but it is not justified in any way. In turn, it is important that our society begins to understand and respect those with depression. In the words of Barbara Hocking in her article entitled “Reducing Mental Illness Stigma and Discrimination – Everybody’s Business,” the community needs to improve upon their “mental health literacy.” In order to make progressive steps towards a better society, we must be accepting, understanding, and knowledgeable of the symptoms surrounding depression, as we are with all other illnesses, regardless of whether or not we experience those symptoms ourselves.

Cooper, Amy, et al. “Mental Illness Stigma and Care Seeking .” Ovid.

Corrigan, P. W., Kleinlein, P. (Ed.). (2005). On the stigma of mental illness: Practical strategies for       research and social change.“

Hendrick, Victoria, et al. “Hormonal Changes in the Postpartum and Implications for Postpartum Depression.” Psychosomatics, Elsevier, 29 Apr. 2011,

Henriques, Gregg. “Anxiety and Depression Are Symptoms, Not Diseases.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 26 Mar. 2016,

Hocking, Barbara. “Reducing Mental Illness Stigma and Discrimination — Everybody’s Business.” MJA.

“More than Half of US Adults with Mental Illness Don’t Get Needed Care.” Fox News, FOX News Network,

O’Hara, Michael W. “Postpartum Depression and Child Development.” Google Books,

Pinto-Foltz, Melissa D., and M. Cynthia Logsdon. “Stigma Towards Mental Illness: A Concept Analysis Using Postpartum Depression as an Exemplar.” Taylor & Francis,

Pratt, Laura A., and Debra J. Brody. “National Center for Health Statistics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 Jan. 2010.

Susman, David. “8 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Treated For Mental Illness .”

Posted in A16: Research Position Paper, Portfolio rainbow, rainbow | 1 Comment

Research- phillygirl

Abuse in Foster Homes

Children are to be put into foster care so that they can get away from home abuse, not so they can move closer towards it. Children are usually placed in foster care when their own parents struggle to overcome an addiction to alcohol, drugs, illness, financial hardship or other difficulties. However, the widespread of intensive abuse in foster homes occurs so frequently and these children have no way out. According to Foster Care Statistics, there are 427,910 children that are in child care in the United States. Children suffer from physical, mental, and emotional pain with being under foster care units. The greater part of these kids has been the casualties of rehashed mistreated and delayed disregard and have not encountered a supporting, stable condition during the early years of life. The negative effect is that these children are immune to commit criminal behavior or become suicidal. Depression and mental abuse can contribute to long term stations of posttraumatic stress disorder. Like the feeling of being alone and unloved. Children in foster care experience multiple forms of abuse, for example, having multiple placement, neglect, and physical abuse for all that, these children should not have to be put through a system that is not functioning the way it should.

The mental abuse of children may be the most damaging form of maltreatment. Most children are switched from one foster home to the next. Noting that not all foster homes are abusive, but some families create lifetime bonds. This causes one to have temperamental beliefs of trust. Trust is hard to gain, but easy to lose. A child is expecting to be placed somewhere they will be comfortable, loved, and acknowledged. Those children who were taken from their parents, have to struggle with keeping attachment with their biological parent and gaining the attachment to their foster parent.  Not only could it be insulting, but it is also mental abuse. The mental feelings that occur are more of feelings that they are not loved or they have only themselves. According to Foster Care Statistics studies for 2015, their research shows that 45% of foster children are White, 24% is African-American, and 20% are Hispanic. In each foster home they are transferred to, the kids experience a tremendous amount of different forms of abuse in each home or if not yet the same. The size of the household can change as well; they can be transferred to a home with a few kids or to a huge home with tons of kids. In some cases, children are no longer allowed to be under custody of their biological parents for safety reasons. If the system or the foster parents feel the need to keep them away, they’ll move the children around from one house to another. It’s especially harder for kids who already grew an attachment to their parents

Neglect in foster homes have a high percentage rate of children who all experience some form of abuse. Neglect is the failure to care for properly. This can cause developmental issues for the child. According to an article on healthcare.uiowa, “ The more changes in caregivers young children in foster care experience the more likely they are to exhibit oppositional behavior, crying, and clinging (Gean, Gillmore, & Dowler, 1985). These behavioral and emotional difficulties can lead to further disruptions in care as children’s behavioral and emotional difficulties are one of the major reasons for disruption of a foster care placement.” More prominent quantities of youthful kids with complicated, genuine physical wellbeing, mental health, or formative issues are entering child care during the early years when brain development is generally dynamic. There are changes in the children that they develop after traumatizing abuse. Kids eating habits will change, socialism, moods, sleeping habits, and so many more little things that can affect almost everything. Also, being a foster child to a family that has biological kids can be dreadful as well. Sometimes the foster child will get treated less than what they are. Even the biological family members will even bully or make them feel as if they are not wanted. Name calling, taking away items, being mean, and even telling them that they mean nothing is a form of neglect. The state of being alone is neglect. This makes them not trust anybody or encounter some friends. All they are expecting is to be loved, nurtured, and treated the same. In reality, neglect can be any type of form that can cause one to feel left out or alone.

Physically abused children are one of the biggest issues facing America today. Physical abuse occurs commonly then all. Things to be considered physically abusive is starving them, beating them, make them sleep with no bed, chaining them to objects for what they consider “bad” behavior, manipulating them, and so much more. This teaches them that violence is accepted in society when things don’t go their way. Physical abuse can have created experienced criminals. Basically, an abuser teaches them that hurting another person in anyway or form is acceptable. In adolescent years it’s easier to teach because they are gullible to everything. Also, sexual abuse can also be a form of physical abuse. According to a lifting the evil.org, there was a case in Missouri where “a 1981 study found that 57 percent of the sample children were placed in foster care settings that put them “at the very least at a high risk of abuse or neglect.” Molesting, raping, or even telling them to perform an act can be penetrating to the mind and body. This lowers their self-esteem and confidence levels. If the abuse is so serious, it can eat the body. Meaning they can be killed accidently or purposely. In most times, it is considered purposeful. Even siblings will beat on one another. Considering what someone does; they were taught to do that. In society, people don’t realize that kids pick up on everything. Some children hide the fact that they are being abused, because they are scared that if they tell they’ll serve consequences. More so, that would be considered fear. Being physically abused causes fear and low self-esteem. Some of these foster parents are not equipped enough to take care of children. Even family members can be a child foster parent, not necessarily a person that they don’t know.

Children should not have to be put through a system that does not function as well as it should, especially when they experience multiple forms of abuse like having multiple placement, neglect, and physical abuse. Foster care is not always necessarily the best choice. Some foster parents can be as intimidating and dangerous as a child’s biological parents. The effects that these situations leave on the kids can be life threatening. Especially at young ages, because some are forced to be away from their families. Young children are supposed to be nurtured, supported, and living in stable conditions under foster care help. However, that is not always the case, some kids are bullied, abused, and traumatized. What they see and what they are taught can play a significant part in how they are when they are grown up. They could be helpless criminals in the making, or even they’ll think that the way to discipline children. The goal is to give them the treatment that they deserve to have a better future.

There are kids who are suffering deeply due to the abuse they experience within foster homes. Even after leaving foster homes, children may struggle with a lot of things in their life because of what they’ve gone through in foster homes. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, children suffer from psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences after being under these foster care units. Because of the abuse a child has faced while living in foster care, that abuse may play a huge role in a child’s future. Especially if they’re at a young age. Usually as they get older, they might start to form insecure attachments or may struggle with emotional development later in life also. Children are struggling and failing to be successful because they lack the support and connection that comes from a family.

Child abuse and neglect can have a multitude of long term effects on psychological health. There was evidence that shown how foster care decreases the risk for physical harm and substance-abusing parents. However, nothing ever shows the effects of children being abused while in the care of foster homes. Young children placed in foster care homes at young ages has a significantly elevated risk for mental health and psychological problems. According to childwelfare.gov, “Physical consequences, such as damage to a child’s growing brain, can have psychological implications, such as cognitive delays or emotional difficulties.” Alternations as such in the brain maturation have long term consequences for cognitive, language, and academic abilities. The emotional effects that comes from abuse a child experiences changes into lifelong psychological consequences for cognitive, language, and academic abilities.

Antisocial behavior and physical aggression are among the most consistently reported childhood outcomes of physical child abuse and neglect. The consequences of abusive range from mild to very violent behaviors. Young children usually exhibit oppositional behaviors such as crying or clinging which leads to further disruptions in care. The child’s behavioral issues causes the child to be replaced into a different foster unit, and this causes the child to become distraught and to have similar disruptions later in their life. According to childwelfare.gov, “more than half of youth reported for maltreatment are at risk for an emotional or behavioral problem.” Children who experience child abuse and neglect appears more likely to have difficulties during adolescence, abusive behavior, and juvenile misbehavior and adult criminality.

The consequences of neglectful behavior can be especially severe and powerful in early stages of child development affecting the neglected child’s expectations of adult availability, problem solving, social relationships, and the ability to cope with new or stressful situations. Consequences of child abuse in foster care includes the lack of development of stable attachments. According to childwelfare.gov, “The immediate emotional effects of abuse and neglect—isolation, fear, and an inability to trust—can translate into lifelong societal consequences, including low self-esteem, depression, and relationship difficulties.” Children who experience poor attachments in foster homes are at risk for diminished self esteem and usually view themselves more negatively than non maltreatment children.

Children struggle and fail to be successful because they lack the support and connection that comes from a family. Even with children being removed from the care of an abusive or substance-abusing parent. It is still difficult for a child to be removed from their primary caregiver. However, children still expects to be placed somewhere they will be comfortable, loved, and acknowledged. Instead, children are taken away from their biological parents to be placed into an even harmful environment where they are abused and left to deal with psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences even after leaving foster care. That is abuse.

The foster care system is a system in which a child (under the age of 18) whose biological parents have abandoned them, or they simply cannot take care of them due to reasons like a financial burden. The child is then placed into private homes, wards, or group homes and when placed in homes with a family who are their “foster parents” that family then sometimes adopts them. Adoption is a complex process and so much goes into trying to get guardianship of a child. While in foster homes, their safety is supposed to be number one, and they’re always in the safest positions. Some children sadly get abused by their foster parents, which then makes these homes unsafe.

In my essay I have come across articles that try to rebut my opinion on the harm of children in foster homes, saying that foster care decreases the risk of physical harm. In an article written by Richard Wexler, on chronicles of change.org, he talks about a story where 2 children were starved by their foster parents and once they notified their caseworkers, it was overlooked even though they physically showed what was happening. Case workers have a huge load of work; therefore, they aren’t able to take on every case which then makes these homes unsafe since nothing is ever done. In terms of the foster care system, it was put in place to ensure the safety of children and to keep them comfortable, but in simpler terms to ensure the wellbeing of children.

In my opinion I think that the case worker is the first part of ensuring safety for a child in foster care. According to the Huffington Post, there is little you can do about a bad social worker. If you come across a social worker who you feel isn’t looking out for the best interest of the child, there isn’t really anything you can do to change that no matter the situation, which truly fails to ensure the wellbeing of the child since they are the ones mostly affected. In that same article, a foster parent spoke about a caseworker getting so angry at a child that they demanded the foster parents to remove the doors from the girl’s bedroom and bathroom. This doesn’t seem like a way to keep a child happy, or comfortable. In fact, this is the total opposite. The Caseworker also told the family that she would not leave the house until her request was put into action, which is another example of how the foster care system doesn’t hold up to the definition of the word well-being. I feel as though that this a huge problem within the system because the Caseworker who is an adult portraying this act of spitefulness towards a child whose life is already unstable isn’t fair at all and it goes to show how much the children of the state are cared for. Which there is none.

I think that abuse in foster homes can be physical, mental, or emotional. Anything someone does affects a child and their well-being. There is no way that anyone could possible say that foster homes decrease the risk of physical harm because we have seen it from time to time with so many cases across America. To fix this problem, we need to one: hire many more case workers so that one case worker doesn’t have an entire caseload of children to look after, and two: begin to believe these children when they say that something has happened to them, they’ve been through enough.

Works Cited:

Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption and Dependent Care. “Developmental Issues for Young Children in Foster Care.” Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 Nov. 2000, pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/106/5/1145.

Cross, Theodore P. “Why Do Children Experience Multiple Placement Changes in Foster Care? Content Analysis on Reasons for Instability.” Taylor & Francis, 14 Feb. 2013, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15548732.2013.751300.

Troutman, Beth. “The Effects of Foster Care Placement on Young Children’s Mental Health: Risks and Opportunities.”

Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2017). Foster care statistics 2015. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/foster.pdf.

McFadden, Emily Jean|Ryan Patricia. “Abuse in Family Foster Homes: Characteristics of the Vulnerable Child.” ERIC – Education Resources Information Center, 31 July 1986, eric.ed.gov/?id=ED277460.

“A Critical Look at Foster Care: How Widespread a Problem?” A Critical Look at Foster Care: How Widespread a Problem?, 1 Dec. 2005, http://www.liftingtheveil.org/foster04.htm.

Teo, Dawn. “The 10 Most Surprising Things About Foster Care.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.Works Cited
“Abuse in Foster Care: The Denial Runs Deep.” The Chronicle of Social Change, 5 Nov

Posted in A16: Research Position Paper, phillygirl, Portfolio phillygirl | 2 Comments