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12 Oct 2018

Data Analysis.

Posted by Victoria Gurganus. No Comments

For this assignment, I wanted to investigate the claimed gender imbalance in the workplace. I used data from American Fact Finder. “Occuapation by Sex for the Civilian Employed Population 16 Years and Over” is the title of the data table I retrieved information from. I searched the United States as a whole and Virginia as a separate whole. What I found is in my link: Book1

The first table is Virginia Occupations. This is the one on the left. Below that is a pie chart covering the break down of the total employed population within each field. Below that is a pie chart breaking down males employed in each field. Below that is a pie chart breaking down females employed in each field.

On the right is the same information on a national level. The interesting thing is that the percentages are the same in each field regardless of gender. They are slightly different on the national level as compared to Virginia, but there are other states that specialize in things Virginia does not. There may be a perceived gender discrepancy within the workforce, but it is mainly due to the number of workers available.

24 Aug 2018

To sign or not to sign

Posted by Victoria Gurganus. No Comments

I have seen a lot of debate, both for and against, using what is typically called ‘baby sign’ in the past few years. As a student of both education and ASL (american sign language) this debate intrigues me.

You can look at a more formal explanation of the debate via this link: Debate

My understanding of the issue is that it is multifaceted. While ‘baby sign’ gives parents and other caregivers a way to communicate effectively with children before the children are physically capable of speech, many wonder if teaching these basic signs can delay speech development altogether. Others are concerned about the ‘appropriation of sign language’ by the hearing community.

While I understand the concern from a cultural point of view, it is nearly impossible to learn any language without getting some form of insight into the culture it is from. I also have problems with the worries about the delay of speech development. Most of these problems stem from tales I have heard from people about their family members, but there are enough of them to give me true doubts. One tale is that an uncle of my grandmother was the youngest in his family and because his siblings spoke for him all the time his first words were a complete sentence.

I also wonder if using sign language in any form would have long lasting effects. I would hope that using sign would allow children to express their ideas and thoughts in ways other communication at that age wouldn’t. One of the biggest recommendations made by educational professionals in language development and the development of vocabulary is to speak to your child as if having a conversation. My questions are would actual comprehensible communication increase the vocabulary of children? and what effect would early communication with parents have on the communication skills later in life?

With regards to American Sign Language, although the fear is the appropriateness of teaching it to very young children, wouldn’t a larger community learning to communicate more effectively with a subset of the overall community be a good thing? Wouldn’t near effortless communication on the part of those who routinely have to work through translators be an improvement on the day to day struggles people encounter? What makes learning American Sign Language so different from Spanish, French, German, or Latin that those who are bilingual in these languages from a young age are considered to be at an advantage, but being bilingual in ASL isn’t considered the same?