Link to What's New This Week UWP Commentary on Recent Lectures:Week of September 15, 2002

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UWP Commentary from Lectures - Week of September 15, 2002

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: September 6, 2002
Latest Update: September 22, 2002

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Site Teaching Modules UWP Commentary on Recent Lectures:
Week of September 15, 2002

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, September 2002.
"Fair use" encouraged.

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Comments grouped by course.
Subject of comment in green.
susan's commentaries in bright blue. Template:

  • Student Name: CRMJ/SOCA 233 - Criminology, CRMJ/SOCA 363 Corrections, CRMJ/SOCA 365 Race, Crime, Law

    For All UWP classes:

    On Monday, September 16, 2002, Amanda Heflin wrote:
    On external and internal motivators in learning

    ... How much of a childs hatred/lack of willingness to learn is based on their dislike of their teachers? What do you think?

    amanda -- teachers can have an influence on one's motivation to learn. in fact, it's called the "pygmalion effect." look up the concept and let me know what you think.

    On Monday, September 16, 2002, Chrissy Knox wrote:
    On external and internal motivators in learning

    I was thinking about the whole postive reinforcement theory we discussed in class today. I think that getting rewards when you are younger definately helps you to do the right thing. Also, if that is the only way parents can get their kids to do something, then so be it. Also, with the whole internal or external learning, I think that for myself, I learn both ways.

    chrissy -- but can a parent teach a child to do something without the rewards/bribes? why. are you more externally or internally motivated? why.

    On Monday, September 16, 2002, Heidi Schneider wrote:
    On external and internal motivators in learning

    Just from listening in class today I figured out why none of us could find a moment in our learning when we have been extatic. We have all been taught by "gold stars" which means we aren't excited about learning we are excited about getting rewarded.

    heidi -- wow! now, what does that tell us about our schooling? good observation!

    On Tuesday, September 17, 2002, Erica Gavins responded to Heidi Schneider's comments:
    On external and internal motivators in learning

    I was on the website reading the commits that students made about being rewarded for good behavior. Heidi Schneider made a good point about why we can't remember an extactic moment in learning. She said that we are always excited about getting gold stars. I think that sometimes students are learning the same thing that they learned in previous years, therefore, we become bored with the same material and no longer see learning as exciting but as boring.

    erica and heidi -- isn't this neat? now we have a dialogue started and maybe others will join in.

    On Tuesday, September 17, 2002, Jenny Kruesel wrote:
    On external and internal motivators in learning

    Today we were talking about how parents and other people brib kids to do well in school. I think that that is a bad idea. After awhile kids are only trying so they can get money and candy. Once you take that away from them they don't want to try anymore. I was not bribed to do good in school. I did good on my own. I think that kids should be taught that right away instead of bribing them to do things.

    On Tuesday, September 17, 2002, Mike Rosandich wrote:
    On external and internal motivators in learning

    Yesterday in class we were discussing gold stars. Somebody said it was age appropriate, but I disagreed. I stated that I believed grades could be considered gold stars. I just wanted to know, was I right?

    On Tuesday, September 17, 2002, Heather Schultz wrote:
    On external and internal motivators in learning

    After reading the "Gold Stars" and discussing this in class, I don't believe in the rewards "problem" that many are discussing. My whole life I was rewarded for doing good in class and I was told that if I did do well than I would get this or that and I am not a reward orientated person. I think that it all depends on the amount of responsibility and pride your parents instill in you throughout the early years. I work hard for the grades and the knowledge I earn and I don't expect anything, it just happens that way.

    jenny, mike and heather -- that's basically alfie kohn's message about gold stars and rewards. Might want to take a look at his book, Punished by Rewards.

    On Wednesday, September 18, 2002, Jackie Marolt wrote:
    On external and internal motivators in learning

    In the movie [Dangerous Mind], the teacher gives the kids candy to the children for getting the right answer. When she stopped to give candy the kids didn't want to learn anymore.

    jackie --- i haven't seen this movie but it does sound like a good example of external motivations for learning.

    On Thursday, September 19, 2002, Laura Kristiansen wrote:
    On theory, policy, practice

    After reading Hassine's book this is what I found out about theory, policy, practice. Theory is suppose to be a good idea... "I have a theory that if we lock up all the bad guys, we won't have to worry about them". Policy is the act of executing that idea through general consensus and a great deal of red tape... "Now we have built this great big building, and we're putting all the bad guys in it so we won't have to worry about them." Practice is where you discover that you've messed up, and try to tweak the original theory. "Ok, now we have far too many prisoners in this building, so let's go back to the drawing board, and build a bigger building so we can put all the bad guys there, and not have to worry about them anymore." Sort of scary huh?

    laura --- a good explanation! but you don't have to email me answers to discussion questions. imagine if everybody did that -- i'd have an avalanche of emails in my inbox (in fact, been there, done that!)

    On Friday, September 20, 2002, Mike Miller wrote:
    On theory, policy, practice

    Is theory policy practice the most optimul way to solve society as a whole? To me it seems like a long process, but does the job.

    mike --- a good question! is there a better way to problem solve? maybe others can think through this question also.

    From CRMJ/SOCA 233: Criminology

    On Sunday, September 15, 2002, Jaime Stephens wrote:
    On "more guns, less crime"

    On Friday you mentioned John Locke's view of more guns less crime, well that is absoluly ridiculous. I'm not sure the exact statistic but when you own a gun you are MORE likely to have your gun used against you and be involved in a gun related crime than someone who doesn't own a gun. I do not like guns. They scare the life out of me but I do understand hunting. It is very important when used for food and keeping animal populations like deer in check. How can carrying a dangerous weapon make you feel safe? One wrong move and hasta la vista a limb or worse your life. Not to mention children getting a hold of a gun and thinking its a toy like they see on tv....

    good to hear from you. the researcher's name was John Lott. you might want to look up his study. what stats do you have to counter his argument. want to research this gun issue in more depth?

    On Thursday, September 19, 2002, Michelle Sims wrote:
    On "more guns, less crime"

    Today I checked out the comments on the dear habermas page. I wanted to respond to Jaime Stephens 9-15-02 comment about how she questions how "carrying a dangerous weapon could make you feel safe." I think that carrying a weapon can definitely make you feel safe because if you know everyone in your neighborhood has a gun and you have one, too. You are going to feel like you can protect yourself. And usually protecting yourself makes you feel safe.

    michelle -- might want to check out Lott's book or find other studies that strengthen your argument.

    On Monday, September 16, 2002, Rebecca Mains wrote:
    On Pollock's Criminal Women

    I've started to read the "Criminal woman" chapters and has increased my interest in female offenders, but I think I would be more interested in doing some research in juvinile offenders. Can I do that by looking through the internet and doing a web page review?

    rebecca, we haven't had a chance to discuss pollock in class but i'm glad you're finding the book interesting.

    On Wednesday, September 18th, Nick Contreras wrote:
    Felons and Voting

    Today in class, Chelsey asked about the voting rights of felons. I looked it up and found a website at and it was asked why felons can vote, and if it's a violation of their constutional rights. The staff answered as follows, (this is not a quote): 4 states allow felons to vote while in prison, 18 allow them to vote while on parole, 21 allow them while on probation, and 10 permanetly disenfranchise them for a period of time. "The Sentencing Project" says that 13% of blacks in America can't vote under these laws. Basically, voting is a civil right which is forfeited when you're convicted of a serious crime. Makes one think, doesn't it?

    nick -- thanks for quickly researching this issue for us!

    On Wednesday, September 18, Tony Ciardo wrote:
    On D.A.R.E.

    the article I read on the internet was about a boy who inhaled amounts of toxics chemicals from a spray can. This boy died after using this spray can. But the shocking news is that he was in the dare program and was the top dare student of his class. Does the program work for children at a young age. I don't think so. The policy of this program isnot keeping them off drugs at all. I got the article from

    tony -- want to review this website? is it a reliable source?

    On Saturday, September 21, David Peter wrote:
    On juvenile mentoring

    The juvenile mentors programs are one of the best methods of keeping children away from crime. I have seen these programs in action and know people who went through them, they work.

    david -- what does this tell us about the interrelationship between "theory, policy, practice?" why?

    On Saturday, September 21, Bettie Poole wrote:
    On measuring crime

    Friday, class discussion on measuring crime. Uniform Crime Report, and Index Crime and National Victimization Survey. I understand there are many ways to measure crime, but what about the elders who are terrified of someone robbing them because they would be to afraid to say anything because of the fear and things they watches on television, if they didn't kill them they best keep their mouth shut and consider themselves lucky. It is a real issue out here with crimes not being reported because of the consequences.

    bettie -- what does this tell us about the interrelationship between "theory, policy, practice?" why?

    From CRMJ/SOCA 363: Corrections

    Nikki Rosa wrote on Sunday, September 15, 2002:
    On Hassine's Life Without Parole

    I am aware that their are those corrections officers that would do anything for their prisoners....but our society as a whole has deteriorated so even those who try to do good are sometimes over powered by the evilness...i believe even those guards who try to do for their prisoners and are inherently good can be swept away in the "prison society" I will further explain..if this does not occur I also see it a point that good corrections officers can be over powered by other officers who may not be of the best morality...As I read more into Life Without Parole I realize in a whole prisons are just a way to take criminals out of main stream society and allow them to create a whole new society based on survival of the fittest and a whole new world of deception..with this in mind I am finding it harder and harder to believe prison provide much rehabilitation and prepare those in it for the outside world if they are ever to be released...

    nikki -- why do you think "evil prevails?"

    Amanda Coy wrote on Monday, September 16, 2002:
    Hassine's Life Without Parole

    i am in your corrections class m, w, f. my name is Amanda coy. i have read the book holes and i am know just about finished with life without parole. i strongly agree that there are a large majority of people in prison that should not be there, but if they have to be, the system should pay more attention to what is going on is there, and not make it so easy. Take away the t.v.'s, and give them a book. make them work for food, clothing and the other stuff that they get for free, the stuff that the non-criminals have to pay for.

    what did you like best about each book? why? why take away televisions? how should their time be spent? why. would if an inmate is illiterate? then what?

    Shelley Brown wrote on Monday, September 16, 2002:
    The Readings

    I was wondering why we don't discuss the readings we do outside of class in class? I do like the class discussions so far, and I enjoy the fact that this is not a traditional class. I think the text books used for class are interesting and it would be a good idea if we discussed some of our reactions to the readings in class.

    shelley -- we will discuss the readings in class but we've been busy getting on track with Dear Habermas and the learning/teaching module.

    Feras Farhan wrote on Wednesday, September 18, 2002:
    The Readings

    Something i found interesting was on pg.68 ( Dilemmas Corrections)out of the over 50 other countries United States had the most number of incarcerations in 1995, which i thought was sad. ALTHOUGH I personally think the Hassine book is much more interesting

    feras -- why sad?

    Karla Snopek wrote on Monday, September 16, 2002:
    Follow-up to class discussion on sex offender community notifications

    I too tried to access the sex offenders registration link, to be nosey and look around a bit, but failed! I couldn't seem to find any links that let you put in zip codes or anything. If you know the exact site, I'd love to have the address!!!

    karla -- i'm glad you asked because here's the link for all to use: Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registration Link

    Jill Kayon wrote on Wednesday, September 18, 2002:
    On punishment and discipline

    In class today we talked about punishment. I believe that there is a difference between punishment and discipline and some people do not know the difference between the two. So if punishment only makes the problem worse why do we as a society continue to do so. When we could choose to discipline and try to correct the problem.

    Jill -- what is punishment and what is discipline? might want to read alfie kohn's beyond discipline

    Anel Garza wrote on Thursday, September 19, 2002:
    On the case of the Nigerian woman and her punishment

    About the story regarding the woman getting stones to death, I'm against that and I don't believe such a thing should be done to one and not the other. That doesn't make sense to me. But if I knew what the consequences where for what I did, then I shouldn't be surprised when they want to do it to me. Like in her case she knew and she still did it.

    Anel -- yes, if she was aware of the consequences of her actions, and she still did it, then what? which correctional ideology best applies here?

    Sarah Brown wrote on Friday, September 20, 2002:
    On the "Prison or Probation?" case and class discussion

    I was deeply disturbed by the class discussion today on probation or prison. I heard people say that she doesn't deserve to have her children or be a mother, and I wonder if they even know how bad home situations can be. I am a firm believer in the theory that we are all just a few small steps from the bottom and I think we would all want to be evaluated according to all aspects of our lives not just the one-or even few moments-when we let temptations and smaller evils get the best of us. If we are going to expect people to act in a certain way then they must be equipped with the tools, and if for some reason they didn't get them, I think we have a responsibilty as a society to do everything we can the ensure that thet get them--for their sake, their childrens, and our own. I know this was more that 25 words but I feel very strongly about this topic.

    Sarah -- there so many different levels, dimensions, persons, etc. to take into account. that's what makes "corrections" so complicated and decisions difficult. maybe others will join in on this commentary.

    From CRMJ/SOCA 365: Race, Crime and Law

    On Sunday, September 15, 2002, Kim Dexter wrote:
    Current Events and Fellman's Rambo and the Dalai Lama

    The U.S. told the UN that they want to overthrow Sadam Hussein and stated that they would do it with or without the support of the UN. Is this a sign that the U.S. is not a cooperative nation and tends to "throw around its weight?"

    Kim -- good question. What is your answer to this critical question? Why.

    On Monday, September 16, 2002, Tracy Blauser wrote:
    Musical Chairs and Fellman's Rambo and the Dalai Lama

    I noticed that when we played musical chairs, most of the class was uncomfortable with the second game. After having a chance to think about it, next class, they agreed that the second game was better-everyone wins. Cooperation is uncomfortable, we've all been taught so much competition, but when we step back and > look rationally, it works.

    tracy -- goes to show you how difficult a "paradigm shift" can be. what do you think?

    On Monday, September 16, 2002, Sarah Serpe wrote:
    Musical Chairs and Fellman

    i would love if more games could be like the 2nd. I just dont think certain it is possible for all of us to be on the same level. The world is to competitive. Fellman states a proposition in his book: An essential piece of most encounters as they so far appear in history in most societies is that each party tries to overcome the other.

    sarah -- why can't we make a change to be less competitive?

    On Tuesday, September 17, 2002, Kim Dexter responded to my question to Sarah Serpe:
    Musical Chairs and Fellman

    Susan, You asked Sarah Serpe why we can't make a change from competition to cooperation?I believe we can make a change but it will not happen over night or even in our lifetime. The first step is to change how we define competition. There does not always have to be a winner and a loser. Like Fellman suggests, instead of bombing Afghanistan and killing several people in a effort to neutralize the terrorists threats, why not build houses for those Afghanis who need them? Provide food and medical aid. Do something to neutralize the hostility aimed at the US, neutralize the threat of winning or fear of losing (a war).

    On Wednesday, September 18, 2002, Angie Siemers disagreed with Kim Dexter and Sarah Serpe:
    Musical Chairs and Fellman

    i was reading your convos with sarah serpe and kim dexter and i would have to disagree with what kim said. I don't think that we will ever make the transition to be less compettitive and more cooperative. We we taught to be the best that we can be in everything that we do. Whether its in school, sports, or even hobbies. A lot of people can't settle being the same as the next person. and i have to disagree with fellman: he suggests that we build houses and supply food for the afganis, but they are the ones who had a terrorist attack on us. how does that work out?? how can we ever trust them??

    kim and angie - i'm so excited that you are reading and responding to what's up on the commentaries page and hope that others will join in. and here are some more questions for angie -- does cooperation mean that "we are all the same?" why? who are the afghanis? are the terrorists and afghanis one-in-the-same? why.

    On Wednesday, September 18, 2002, Angie Siemers clarifies:
    Musical Chairs and Fellman

    cooperation doesn't mean that we are all the same. i have thought about that since i wrote that. a lot of people cooperate , and that is what makes them go to the top . like you said in class you don't do it by yourself you always have someone there, whether its your teammates/support. i guess it depends what you are striving for. you can be cooperating with someone and be competing with the next person at the same time. when i was talking about the afaganis i was referring to the terrorists.

    angie - thanks for clarifying your points.

    On Monday, September 16 2002, Akela Brown wrote:
    On Fellman

    Fellman is sorta difficult to abstract a stable point from. The scale is not balanced, our world is tilted more so toward adversarialism is embedded in our society and everday life. Adversarialism is an expected and familiar behavior in our world .

    akela -- why do you think things are "tilted toward adversarialism? Why can't we seek a balance?

    On Tuesday, September 17, 2002, Maggie Cronin wrote:
    Whatever happened to "it's how you play the game?"

    In class we were discussing is winning everything. What happened to the old saying "It's not if you win or loose it's how you play the game." I think people should be competive for their own benifit and if they loose they can at least say they tried their hardest. That's what's important.

    maggie -- good question! whatever happened to "it's how you play the game?" have we lost sight of that?

    On Wednesday, September 18, 2002, Rick Hribar agreed with Maggie Cronin's point:
    Whatever happened to "it's how you play the game?"

    i was looking on the web site and just wanted to say i agree with what Maggie Cronin had to say about being competitive. i believe you have to be competitive in order to go after the things you want in life. the most important point is to understand that everyone loses and when someone loses they should use that opportunity as a learning experience, because that's how we get better at things.

    rick -- but, no "man is an island." we don't succeed because we've done it all by ourselves. there's been help by others all along the way in order to succeed. what do you think?

    On Wednesday, September 18, 2002, Tim Mostowik wrote:
    Group/Class Discussions on Fellman's Rambo and the Dalai Lama

    today we got into groups and taled about the question due for today. my group had question 1 and we all agreed that competition is more of a characteristic of american society than cooperation. it seems like from day one competition plays a part in your live from school to work to sports. there always has to be a winner and somebody always has to be the best.

    tim -- why must there always be winners and loser? can you imagine a world that is not so competitive? Why must there always be a "#1" or "the best"?

    On Friday, September 20, 2002, Amy Plaza wrote:
    Reactions to the Concept of Race Lecture

    You mentioned something on reverse racism in class today. I must say that I disagree with that notion. Isn't all rascism the same? Why would it have classifications? Unless I am misinterpreting the concept I cannot hold this term as plausible.

    amy -- you raise some critical questions here. check out the Bakke decision and the discussion of reverse discrimination in this case. let me know what you find out.

    On Friday, September 20, 2002, Tim Mostowik wrote:
    Reactions to the Concept of Race Lecture

    today we started to talk about what race is. the most interesting thing that we talked about i thought was how most things that are thought of as bad are black or dark colors and good things are white. like black cats and white doves.n i never thought of things like that.

    tim -- isn't language fascinating? can you think of other examples for symbols of color?