Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Racism and Discrimination Essay

Racism and Discrimination Essay

1. Introduction
As members of modern and civilized societies, we must always attempt to educate each other if we wish to live in a cohesive community. Sociology is a study that focuses on actions which effect society and how the characteristics of societies influence human development. Scholars of sociology analyze factors such as race, religion, and national origin, among others, in the hopes of determining the various ways that these factors shape a society’s beliefs and attitudes towards their fellow citizens. Issues that are often discussed throughout the sociological circle are racism and discrimination. Racism and discrimination can take many different forms and can have a negative effect on one’s career, health, and personal development. This paper will use sociological principles in order to analyze examples of the way various aspects of one’s life may be affected by discrimination, prejudice and racist behaviour.


2. Defining the standard terms
The line between racism and discrimination is often blurred and it is a task in itself to classify acts between the two categories. In order to determine the ways that racism and discrimination affect one’s life, we must first determine the difference between these two classifications. Race can be defined as a social construct that can group people based on characteristics such as skin colour, ancestry, cultural affiliation or history, and ethnic background (Adams et al) and therefore, racism is prejudice against, discrimination towards, and unequal treatment of people based on these categories. The concept of discrimination spans across multiple factors such as age, gender, sexual orientation as well as race and skin colour. Furthermore, it is important to realize the way that the individual’s race, gender, ethnicity, culture, or background can be correlated to the variety of issues different groups experience. The stereotypes and prejudice people experience vary greatly and we must analyze which groups of people are most commonly affected by potentially harmful misinformation.

3. Historical Review
Throughout history, differences in race, ethnicity, and religion have been the source of many problems, including slavery, wars and even genocide. Racial tension is creating civil wars and wars on the street, which are constantly occurring all around the world anywhere from France to South Africa to Detroit, Michigan. In order to understand the serious nature of these crimes, we must analyze the past. The most outstanding example that comes to mind is the events directed by Adolf Hitler, who came into power in 1933, as he managed a group that discriminated with acts that will hopefully never be repeated. The discrimination affected groups based on racial, political, ideological, behavioural and religious grounds. Among these groups were homosexuals, socialists, Gypsies and Jews, as well as many others. In what is largely considered the most extreme act of racism in history, the German Nazis killed nearly two out of every three Jews in a plan they called the “Final Solution”. A few years later and across the pond, there was a different form of discrimination taking place. Until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, racism in the United States took the form of slavery, via capture and breeding of Africans on slave ships to America.

4. Implications of Past Events
The implications of these events span many years past their abolishment. Although slavery as an institution has been put to an end, many who have the ancestry of slaves suffer from an inferiority complex and are therefore still victims of mental slavery. A former sports announcer, fired for the proceeding comment, announced that black people have an advantage in sport because of the past breeding of big black people to make good slaves. According to this announcer, for this reason, there are so few black individuals in coaching and executive positions (Fields, 96). Although the highest paid athletes in the United States are black, there is still a feeling of discrimination as blacks are rarely become managers or executives of the same sports (Kahn). The trend here is that more and more professions are becoming equally available to people of all races, creed, and colour. The construct that was once dominated by slavery has been transformed into equality via pioneering activists and history changing occurrences such as affirmative action.

5. The Current Situation
Although there has been a lot of progress made over the past years, there are currently many various problematic issues in this world that are contributed to by discriminatory behaviour and belief systems. The issues that are most alarmingly affected include poverty and poor lifestyle, mental and physical health, and self-perception. For example, racial bias in medical care, dwelling in bad neighbourhood, the trauma of experiences of discrimination and the acceptance of the societal stigma of inferiority can have damaging consequences for one’s health (Williams, 2006). Unfair hiring practices and wage inequality are customs that perpetuate poverty. Although much progress has been made, there are still cases like the recent black fire-fighter lawsuit in which the Supreme Court in Washington ruled on Monday. The issue here was discriminatory testing towards black firefighters in Chicago as only 11 percent of those who scored ‘high enough’ to be hired were black. However, the judgement ruled that the city should hire 132 randomly chosen black applicants who had a passing score and the test should be changed to a pass/ fail format in order to remove potential discriminatory practices (Holland).

As sociologists focus on people and the social development process, it is perhaps most vital that we focus on the place in which all modern civilizations develop, the schools. Discrimination is a problem that children commonly face, even as teachers and administrators push the social justice curriculum. Even in countries where education is considered above average, such as Canada, a higher rate of inclusiveness and empowerment of all children is considered a priority. The Canadian Race Relations Foundation published an article exemplifying concrete examples of racism. Quotes from children of all ages show students acting misinformed, ignorant, uninviting and other students being bullied, victimized and marginalized. An example of a common trend shows that there is an assumption that immigrant, visible minority and Aboriginal parents are less intelligent because of their accent, income level, or ability to speak English (Mentor, 4).

This type of belief that can escalate into dangerous behaviour and it is crucial that it is dealt with at an early stage in order to halt any advancement.

6. Conclusion
Using sociological studies can help one understand all of the aforementioned issues and in turn help minimize the problems with which they are associated. Conflict theory would help one under how the Nazi regime managed to dominate others so effectively meanwhile critical theory has helped change the unlawful nature of past incidents of genocide and slavery. Social constructionists could effectively explain how the social phenomenon of race oriented bullying develops in the school setting. The dynamics, which contribute to an individual’s ability to develop within a group and the development of the group itself, also contribute to the segregation between groups. When defining differences such as race, it is in the definition where the difference is created. The problem lies not within the special treatment of certain groups of people and offering relief based on racial classification should not solve the solution as any type of discrimination towards any type of people is unjust and should not occur in the first place.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Term Paper on Autism

Research Paper on Autism

In its most general sense, Autism is a heterogeneous syndrome determined by impairments in three main spheres: social interaction, language, and flexible imaginative functions. Autistic disorder is the most severe example of a group of neural development disorders also called the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) that share the common feature of dysfunctional reciprocal social communication. The current essay briefly describes the disorder, its characteristics, potential causes, and focuses on the existing intervention methods designed to help the patients and their families to manage the crucial challenges autism issues to them. Most existing intervention methods are subject to further research and improvement, as the lack of common methodology in measuring the results of such interventions does not offer sufficient scientific evidence of their efficiency. Nonetheless, both educational interventions and medical management are widely used in handling autism today.


The official definition of the disorder can be found in The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), according to which autism means “developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction” (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). It is generally evident before age three and it affects immensely a child's educational and communicative performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are: engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) 1 provides standardized criteria to help diagnose Autistic Disorder: to diagnose autism, six or more items from the three categories (qualitative impairment in social interaction, qualitative impairment in communication, restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities) should be met (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, 69-70).

Potential causes
Autism has a strong genetic basis, though its real causes are still unknown, while the potential causes are much argued about. The list of existing theories of the potential causes of Autism includes: biological theories, psychological theories and an MMR theory. The Biological theories discuss the genetic model, although no specific gene responsible for causing an autistic disorder has been identified yet. According to Bauxbaum (2009, p. 40), “there is overwhelming evidence that ASDs are genetic disorders, but the genetic mechanisms are varied, involving both inherited and de novo changes, as well as mutations, trinucleotide repeats, CNVs, and larger chromosomal abnormalities”. Most scholars agree that autism might be caused by a complex number of overlapping reasons of different nature.

The characteristics of autism include qualitative impairment in social interaction, qualitative impairment in communication and restrictive, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities. Qualitative impairment in social interaction includes one or more of the following: poor eye contact, poor use of gestures and facial expressions, inability to recognize the effect of their behavior on others, lack of interest in forming social relationships with peers, no participation in group activities. Qualitative impairment in communication means speech delay, taking things literally and eventual inability to interpret figurative forms of speech, poor understanding of non-verbal gestures and limited own non-verbal gestures. Restrictive, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities might result in excessive talking on the topic of overwhelming interest, anxiety about changes and daily routine interruptions. The majority of children with classic autism have low IQ, some suffer from epileptic seizures, and some individuals are subject to self-injury.

Intervention Methods
There is no known cure, no specific treatment for the autism. Interventions are mainly tailored through focusing on the specific needs of an individual and their families. The main idea is helping children cope with difficulties caused by communicative, cognitive and behavioral differences by developing special skills and teaching their families to help them. The most popular types of intervention include: psychological education (providing support, reassurance and information for the family in order for them to understand the disorder and cope with it properly), educational placement (improving the child’s educational situation, e.g. via structured teaching use strengths and special interests of children with autism to provide necessary education), behavioral treatment (using modeling and reinforcement methods for achieving developmental goals), occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and social skills therapy. Applied behavior analysis and treatment are well-established for improving intellectual performance and global functioning of young children.

It has also been suggested that certain diets (e.g. avoiding foods containing gluten and casein) may be helpful in dealing with certain autistic traits. However, there is still no trustworthy scientific proof and further research is needed on the issue. According to Oswald and Sonnenclar (2007), the seven most frequently prescribed classes of psychoactive drugs were antidepressants, stimulants, tranquilizers / antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, hypotensive agents, anxiolytic / sedative / hypnotics, and benzodiazepines. However, it is clear that no known medication relieves the core symptoms (social and communication impairments) of autism. Only accompanying disorders or problems may be treated more or less successfully. For example, the results of some studies published in New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 show that aggressive and self-injurious behavior may be successfully reduced with Risperidone (as cited in Bauxbaum, 2009, 41). Medications are far less successful due to the individual’s atypical reaction that is quite common for children with autistic disorder.

Autistic children are normally eligible for state Intervention programs - children must be less than 3 years of age and have a confirmed disability or established developmental delay in either physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, or adaptive area of development. Before implementing any intervention methods, an autistic child would normally be assessed by a specialist, who would evaluate the original situation and the original intervention, if any. Various screening tools and checklists (e.g. the Autism Behavior Checklist, and the Child Development Inventory, Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, etc.) are available for the therapists to be able to evaluate the child. These documents may be helpful in evaluating the child’s overall state and ability to adapt to the existing social schemes. Therapist’s assessment also serves as a basis for the development of the individual intervention program that would serve best for the taken individual.

The cognitive-behavioral therapist’s services are necessary to help the patient diagnosed with autism. The therapist creates a system of weekly practices that will help the child gain the skills and experience needed in social environment, e.g. attention, compliance, and imitation. Most specialists turn to the applied behavior analysis practices that focus on teaching tasks one-on-one using the principles of stimulus, response and reward, based on the theories of behaviorist. The observed behavior is measured and evaluated objectively. Depending on the child’s reactions and abilities to fulfill the tasks during the therapeutic sessions and, which is more important, within the natural environment, the initial stimuli are being re-assessed and the best practices are implemented in further sessions. Such interventions are generally more successful if an individual is treated simultaneously by the family and the relevant professionals, while the developmental program is customized in a way that is most effective for this very individual, with his or her set of individual responses.

Intervention may only be less successful if an individual has a non-typical reaction to the methods of treatment – in this case the methods should be adjusted to the needs of this separate individual (possibly through enforcing his or her strengths and fields of interest). Intervention may certainly not work if an individual has been left unattended for a long time, his reactions are atypical due to additional complications of the disorder or the methods chosen are of no interest for the autistic individual. Customization is generally the best option for such problematic autistic patients. Risks are generally connected with the medical treatment as individuals atypical reaction may provoke further complications in the process of determining and treating the disorder.

The non-medications intervention effectiveness has been showing mixed results in a number of studies, though there are examples of successful recovering (some as a result of intensive behavioral interventions (Francis, 2005, 497). As for the overall success level of treating the autistic disorder it is commonly believed that the outcome greatly depends on IQ and the development of language. It is also commonly believed that intervention is beneficial for autistic patients, some form of treatment is preferable to no treatment at all, and autistic children should not be left unattended and uncared.

Autistic, a disorder of neural development, has no scientifically determined cause or treatment. It has several possible symptoms and criteria that usually develop and may be diagnosed before the age of three. The existing forms of intervention rely on families and the educational system as the main resources for treatment and care of autistic individuals. Treating such children is quite costly due to extra education and loss of economic productivity, moreover, there is no guarantee an autistic individual will be able to recover as the causes and the responses statistics is still quite vague due to lack of common methodology. However, it is generally accepted that intervention is beneficial for autistic children and their strengths might be rewarding in achieving developmental goals necessary to gain relative social stability and well-being. Further studies are necessary for defining the real reasons for the emergence of the disorder and the ways of its management and treatment.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

My Area of Practice Essay

Area of Practice Essay

My area of practice is accident and emergency care. Due to the acute nature of the cases dealt in this department and the need to make rapid, life-saving decisions, emergency unit staff must be not only highly skilled and professionally competent, but should also be mentally flexible, with extremely well capabilities of working under pressure. That is, specific professional skills (e.g., animation and diagnoses of complex injuries) are only half of the story; the challenges of practitioners in emergency and accidents departments include, among others, the need to consider the properties of a single patient in the context of a whole event (e.g., an accident with several casualties), current priorities in the department, and rapid, often unexpected changes in vital signs.


Proper triage is a prerequisite for optimizing care in busy emergency departments. The Australasian triage scale (ATS) is a standard means of categorizing new admissions by prescribing maximum waiting time. As defined by the Australian College for Emergency Medicine (2000), patients can be ranked using five ascending scales between ATS1 to ATS5, which imply waiting time of 1 to 10, 30, 60 and 120 minutes, respectively. The triage is based on a battery of clinical indications, which define the critical interventions needed for patients who might be presented simultaneously in an emergency department.

The patient population who I cared for are patients who have been assigned a triage category of ATS 3-5. The cases varied significantly and included medical, surgical, orthopaedics, gynaecology, plastics, trauma, preventative care and other disorders. Some patients were bright into the unit by ambulance, whereas others were able to walk in independently. Due to the limitations imposed on my practice (see below), I handed only patients aged 13 and above.

As a member of the nursing staff, I carried on a wide array of tasks, including comprehensive health history, physical examination, clinical assessment, differential diagnoses and planning of care. Such tasks require a multidisciplinary approach, since the interventions (in terms of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological measures) relate to different medical disciplines. Apart from being highly challenging, this aspect of my practice was also very rewarding, as I constantly interacted not only with generalists, but also with specialists from diverse professional backgrounds. In addition to following general and case-specific instructions, my responsibilities included deep acquaintance and constant vigilance in regard to life threatening clinical situations, including the initiation of essential care immediately after onset.

In order to reduce the risk from employing an inexperienced staff member, I was excluded from caring for patients with ATS1 and 2, as well as below 13 years of age. In addition to patients over 65 years, these two populations are relatively more prone to complications, and thus are usually handled more by physicians rather than nurses (Read, Jones, & Williams, 1992). This approach is yet another important aspect of triage in emergency care; not only priorities of care, but also human resource allocation within the department must relate to the specific properties of incoming cases.

Holistic and multidisciplinary thinking is one of the cornerstones of success in emergency care units (Corker & Kellepourey, 2008). And indeed, in my area of practice, where trauma may involve multiple injuries in different organ systems, the collaboration among various staff members is imperative. Experts are responsible for undertaking specific procedures, such as surgical interventions, establishment of airway and dealing with comatose patients. Nurses, on the other hand, do not only perform many other interventions, but also takes to duty of establishing communication and coordination between the various departments and sub-specialties according to the presented symptoms and patient history. Such coordination has to be achieved in specific and predefined time frames according to the triage category.

It should be noted, however, that the tasks and responsibilities allocated to nurses might vary among regions and departments, as well as according to the individual nurse’s level of qualification. Nursing practitioners (NPs), registered nurses with advanced and extended clinical roles, are extremely important where physicians are scarce, especially in remote areas (Gardner, Hase, Gardner, Dunn, & Carryer, 2008). Although the concept is novel in the Australasian region, the premise of NPs is so significant, that NPs grow rapidly in number and extent of responsibilities. Following the successful implementation of training and assessment schemes for NPs in more than a few developed countries, we cannot go too far by saying that this as an important link in the healthcare delivery system, NPs should and will be utilized in greater proportions in the future (ibid.).

Nurse Practitioner Practice in New Zealand
The notion of empowering NPs to carry on a wide array of diagnostic and patient management tasks is nothing less than a radical reform, which raises significant questions and debates, particularly regarding issues of patients safety (Lim, Honey, & Kilpatrick, 2009). In the New Zealandian health care system, which implemented the reform only in 2001, the concept of NPs has yet to be fully recognized and accepted. We can observe, however, a gradual process of implementation, in which nursing evolves from its traditional participatory role to extended prescription rights – from physician assistant prescribing to supplementary prescribing and finally independent prescribing (Lim et al., 2009).

Independent prescribing for NPs has now been recognized as the preferred model in New Zealand, and as such requires designated mechanisms of education and licensing. Most of the responsibility for ensuring a successful implementation of NPs in the country falls within the premise of the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ), the regulatory authority responsible for the registration of nurses. NCNZ’s principal purpose is to look after the health and wellbeing of members of the community by assuring that nurses are capable and fit to practice. The NCNZ has set several thresholds for the qualification of NPs, including a master’s degree (or equivalent) as well as 4 to 5 years of experience in a specific area of practice. Training programs must include comprehensive knowledge of pathophysiology, advanced methods of assessment, pharmacology, nursing research and practicum.

Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act – 2003
Notwithstanding fundamental differences in the academic and regulatory treatment of NPs, the main characteristics of this profession in New Zealand are rather similar to those of the British and Australian systems (Currie, Edwards, Colligan, & Crouch, 2007). The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA) provided the legislative framework for standardizing the level of competence of practitioners and their fitness to maintain those standards throughout their professionally active life. The Act was passed by the New Zealand Parliament on September 11, 2003, received the Royal assent a week later and was operationalized during the following year.

The primary purpose of the Act is defending the wellness and safety of the populace by setting uniform guidelines for practitioners, as well as mechanisms to guarantee that registered practitioners are fully competent and capable of putting into practice their respective professions throughout their careers. At the same time it prevents the registered practitioners from practicing outside their settings of practice. The (Nursing council) registration agencies will be responsible for licensing the practitioners on a yearly basis (Ministry of Health, 2002), based on four domains of competencies: (Nursing Council of New Zealand, 2008)

  1. Professional responsibility and leadership: knowledgeable and skilled professional performance, including the ability to enhance patients’ and colleagues’ cooperation to optimize the outcomes of care. Typical indicators here are communication and follow-up activities, participation in joint efforts to promote health in the community and beyond (e.g., on the national level) and implementing novel methods of measurement and treatment.
  2. Management of nursing care: professionalism in proving direct patient care. As the very essence of NP is the ability to work independently (i.e. without direct supervision of a physician), NPs should posses extremely high decision-making and diagnostic abilities, as well as competencies such as learning from experience and create a sense of collaboration from patients and other caregivers (such as families and non-medical stakeholders).
  3. Interpersonal and inter-professional practice and quality improvement: The competencies within this domain ensures nurses’ engage in professional, respectful relationship with the client, can work with other health professionals to ensure best health outcomes for the client and participate in monitoring and improving own practice. A network of NPs acts as a central agent to nurture co-actions between members of all fields in the healthcare team to work toward faultless patient care.
  4. Prescribing practice: thoughtful and professional execution of the prescribing rights given to NPs, including understanding the nature, the use and the risks embedded in the clinical situation and pharmacological intervention in question.

Nurse Practitioner in Emergency department in New Zealand
By virtue of its role in the contemporary healthcare system, the Emergency department has the most heterogeneous array of tasks, in terms of both the patient population and the variety of clinical situations presented for care. Patients who will proceed from this point to most other departments will find a different reality, facing physicians and nurses practicing in highly specialized units. Similarly, the healthcare system as a whole adhere specialization and professional focus as a means to solve the scarcity of resources (first and foremost human capital), whereas the demand for healthcare services is soaring.

The role of emergency NPs in New Zealand underwent major changes throughout the recent decade, corresponding with trends in other countries and the growing importance of NPs in New Zealand (Currie et al., 2007). From rather minor duties of triage and assistance (Read et al., 1992), the responsibilities allocated to today’s emergency NPs are diverse, showing higher complexity and independent work. The contemporary position of emergency NPs is thus based on two grounds: the recognition of NP as a dominant and significant link in the chain of healthcare, and the variety and intensity of the departments in which emergency NPs practice (Fry & Rogers, 2009).

Comprehensive utilisation of NPs allows hospitals to ensure adequate care despite clear human resource shortages and overcrowding in their Emergency departments. Corker and Kellepourey (2008) report that as many as 30% of the patients present in the Emergency department can be handled by NPs instead of physicians, while retaining patients satisfaction and compliance. Reports from an Auckland Emergency department suggest that skilled and experienced NPs can solve 80% of the cases without consulting with a physician (Auckland District Health Board, 2008). These data relate not only to triage and initial diagnostic procedures, but also to the complete provision of care, ending with either further procedures in the clinical facility or by releasing the patient. Moreover, collaboration among NPs in the Emergency department and the ambulatory NPs was found to reduce appearances in the department and/or turn physical appearances into mere telephone consultations (Geraci & Geraci, 1994).

The influence of emergency NPs on patient outcomes grows both quantitatively and qualitatively, with considerable contribution to the clinical and nonclinical (e.g., efficiency) operations of Emergency departments. Although tasks and responsibilities may vary according to the nurse’s specific qualifications and environment, and despite what seems as rather incomprehensible definitions as of roles and responsibilities (Hooker, Potts, & Ray, 1997), recent research findings suggest that NPs’ performance is much more resilient than the bodies that regulates their activities. Emergency NPs tend to provide more holistic care, which goes beyond accurate clinical performance. Their ability to ensure patients’ understanding of the situation and to follow up on referrals and compliance increases satisfaction, treatment effectiveness and organizational efficiency (Corker & Kellepourey (2008).

These roles and indications from recent decades imply growing expectations from the emergency NP. If concentrating on core tasks (such as initial anamneses and triage) was sufficient to meet those expectations, contemporary emergency NPs must expand their line of activities and their involvement in the needs of the target populations, as well as the declining capacities of the system. Key implications are nurturing the communication between the department and the ambulatory system, methods of presenting cases to physicians, and decreasing repeated visits to the Emergency department of patients, who present because of misunderstandings and/or lack of alternatives for receiving the care they need.
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

9/11 Effects on America Essay

Essay on How 9/11 Changed America

Americans have seen a lot of changes occur in the country they call home in the past decade. A major turning point in the country’s recent history was the unfortunate events that occurred in New York and Washington on September 11th, 2001. These terrorist attacks would spark many changes in the lives and morale of the citizens of the United States of America. In this paper we will examine how the attacks contributed to different factors, such as the new terror alert systems, the utilization of the U.S customs service and security agencies such the Federal Marshalls Service, heightened airport security and the Patriot Act. Another objective is to determine how these factors relate to American patriotism, military enlistment and the overall culture and state of the American people.


A recent study observed that immediately following the attacks of 9/11, a large percentage of American citizens found it necessary to display the American flag on their cars and homes (Skitka 1995). This sparked a debate about whether Americans were expressing patriotism or nationalism, and whether the two go hand in hand or can be separated. It can be easily argued that nationalism is exactly the reason for such terrorist attacks. It is considered important to differentiate between these two concepts as patriotism is a more critical appreciation of one’s country, whereas nationalism is supported by the thought that since it is one’s own nation, it does not matter if the country is right or wrong (Skitka 1997).

Heightened Airport Security
After the attacks, the aviation industry in the United States experienced a dramatic increase in expenditure and activity for security purposes. The Transportation Security Administration was instated and costs associated with enhanced security measures totaled over $9 billion USD. Passengers were now required to check their jackets, computers and shoes and commercial pilots were required to be trained and armed with weaponry. The evaluation of the federalized security system led to a move from federalized security to private in order to combat inefficient screening and inadequate detection procedures (Keane).

Immigration and Customs Enforcement
American airports and airlines have seen the leverage of many defense and security agencies affect the production process through regulatory changes over the course of the last decade (Grand 26-39). These changes have been enforced to create a safer environment in the country’s air transport system. The ICE team consists of the U.S Customs Service, the Federal Air Marshals Service, the Federal Protective Service, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. In order to control terrorist activities, airlines are mandated to have air marshals present amongst many commercial flights in order to prevent any situation that would endanger the safety of passengers. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency also requires immigrants to get photographed and fingerprinted before entering the country and regulates special programs for students.

The Terror Alert System
The terror alert system is a system that was created to inform the public using colors to indicate levels of terror-associated risk. The majority of the time, the color/ level jumped back and forth in between yellow (elevated) and orange (high)(Keane). This made certain that the public felt that the government was aware of the terrorist activity going on and ensuring the safety of the people. The system, however, provided little important information and was heavily criticized for unnecessarily instilling fear into the public.

The Patriot Act
The USA Patriot Act was instated just weeks after the attacks that occurred on Sept. 11. Its main purpose was to extend the power of regular police officers in order to strengthen the security of the American people. These changes were suppose to make it easier to obtain information in terror-stricken circumstances, to share information from intelligence and criminal investigations, and make it easier to survey terror suspects along with increasing other rights and privileges (Kean).

The predicted benefit of the Patriot act, however, was coupled with criticism from civil liberties groups. These groups claimed that the fear instilled in the people due to these attacks would propel people into a willingness to give up many rights. The argument concluded that this could lead to nationalism that could contradict the concepts associated with liberal democratic environment that is the backbone of American society (Skitka 2008). Studies have shown this to be a valid theory as conformity and concern for criticism from others for not being patriotic was also a factor in the aforementioned peoples’ display of flags and patriotism.

The level of trust in government rose dramatically in this period of time. The shifting focus from international affairs to domestic issues such as homeland security was joined with a doubling of the population who said they trust the government to do what was right most of the time (Chanley 469). One can conclude from this that although people became closer and more supportive of each other after the terrorist attacks, there was still a divide amongst the masses of patriotic people and the few who wished to critically analyze not just the attacks but also the procedures that followed. This mass appeal to homeland security also indicated a public acceptance to increase on military spending, which would lead to an increase in military enlistment (Chanley 469).

National Identity
There has been a recent rise in the the growth of studying American identity. This can be attributed to the dramatic rise in the multiethnic population (SchildKraut, 513). When the American people experience a threat to their safety in their own land, they are often left examining their own national identity. The ideas involved concerning one’s own national identity and the general public policy preferences are closely related, especially when there is a threat to safety (SchildKraut, 512). The divide between the masses’ opinion and elite rhetoric lay exactly therein the concern of national identity. The recent efforts of multiethnic understanding of American identity have been hurt due to ethnic tensions during peacetime. There is a logic that says that the terrorists’ main objective was to create a divide among the citizens of the USA. This is why it is important to understand and combat the reasons for the resurfacing of old stereotypes. Therefore, it is vital to identify how the white American population views their non-white counterpart and how the non-white citizens view their relationship to the country (Schildkraut, 531). This paper supports the view that one’s national identity is a large indicator of political view and preference.

The increase in public trust in government decisions can be expressed as determinant of two factors. It is predicated by national identity and encouraged by public policy. Public policy has attempted to create a safety net for the American people to feel that they are out of harm's way, and have done a great job in doing so, albeit utilizing a large proportion of resources. However, the psychological consequences have taken their toll on the country as well. Confusion in one’s national identity can cause divide amongst civilizations. For instance, the confusion of the point of views of patriotism versus nationalism, especially in a multiethnic society, can create misunderstandings. This is truly visible in the times of fear and helplessness. As America is relatively a safe country to live in, the attacks of September 11th, 2001 created a lot of change in the views and actions of the general population and public officials.
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Research Paper on Physical Education

Teaching Individuals with Hearing Impairments in a Physical Education Setting

Helen Keller was a student and an entrepreneur. She was an inspirational leader for children everywhere. She was also, by the age of 19, considered legally both blind and deaf. As the personification of the Helen Keller Foundation, she overcame many obstacles throughout her life. She set the tone and paved a path for a confident generation of people who are in one way or another handicapped.(Helen Keller…, 2005) As someone who was trapped in a silent and dark world, Helen Keller managed to visit 35 different countries and taught the world that one should not be considered inadequate due to his or her physical limitations. (Helen Keller…, 2005)

The following essay has attempted to describe the different educational techniques for instructing people like Helen Keller. More specifically, it has attempted to identify the best methods for teaching physical education to students with hearing impairments. Included are findings on different levels of hearing loss such as those who are deaf or hard of hearing. General education principles for the deaf as well as more specific techniques were researched. There are various aspects of education that are limited by various handicaps. Therefore, it was important to analyze the different approaches that can be beneficial to each type of handicap.


Literature Review
1. How Can Martial Arts Benefit the Disabled? (Lichtenthal, 2004)
This is an article that focused on the ways the physical education of various types of martial arts can benefit people living with different disabilities. This article described how martial arts can act as a therapy, how it can help in rehab practices, and how it empowers the deaf, the blind, and mentally disabled. A martial art based on Zen philosophy called akido emphasizes the ability to fully control one’s mind. The article referenced several organizations, such as DAS (Deaf Akidoists Society), AMAAD (American Martial Arts Association for the Deaf) and IMAFD (I.M.A.F.D), which focus on providing resources and the development of a good environment for this type of education to deaf people. It also provided a key statistics, courtesy of the U.S Census bureau that showed 9.3 million people suffer some type of hearing loss in the year 2000. This article provided an idea of the availability of resources for the physical education of deaf people.

However, the article offered little insight into the techniques and tactics one can use in order to provide this type of environment. Furthermore, this article was most likely posted as a tool for promotion of private martial arts organizations so it must be taken in stride, accounting for professional bias.

2. Academic Status of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students in public schools: Student, home, and service facilitators and detractors. (Reed et al., 2008)

This journal focused on a study determining the effect of various facilitators and detractors of DHH (Deaf or Hard of Hearing) students in the public school education system. Relevant data that the study found included the following: A major detractor of studies for the deaf is the lack of communication, due to the parents’ lack of English speaking skills, between parents and educators, as well as parents and students. On the contrary, high expectations from parents and teachers proved to be a facilitator of success in multiple instances. Constant staff development, instructional practices, and strict homework policies were necessary elements in order to maintain high expectations.

Applying these principles to physical education would be very helpful. For example, a policy regarding in-class assignments and homework assignments such as stretching and muscle development should not be modified on a routine basis for DHH students, but rather on a need-met structure. The article also provided key statistics that would greatly benefit educators when conducting a lesson plan. An example of these statistics is; the most common family detractor, affecting 24% of the students, was the inability to encourage or help with homework.

3. Article Abstract: Physical education for deaf students
(Stewart et al., 1999)
This article, originally published in the American Annals of the Deaf, highlighted the need for and characterization of an ideal physical education program. The hypothesis was that the goal of such a program should be to promote a life-long love for physical activity and healthy living. This required a passion filled, inspired creative, and informed approach, which would in turn motivate the students.

4. Council on Education of the Deaf: Office of Program Evaluation (Strong, B., 1998)
This document was used as a tool for the purpose of evaluating various educational programs for DHH students. It evaluated mostly general, yet important, criterion. The first category of criteria was curriculum design. This comprised of factors such as the preparation of the teachers for teaching the deaf and hard of hearing and the relativity of set objectives to the students’ career path. Another category was practicum, which analyzed the amount of supervision provided for each phase of practicum and the availability of appropriate/ specialized facilities.

Qualifying data is important in any field and in this case, it has helped many organizations construct a stable and effective environment for children with disabilities. The guidelines that could have been provided with the data gathered are bound to assist educators. This data, however, is not practical enough to ensure the most efficient and effective method of instruction.

5. Deaf Educator’s Tool Kit (Johnson, C.D., 2008)
This is a 98 page electronic pamphlet that was designed to assist educators with the instruction of deaf and hard of hearing pupils. The toolkit covered the assessment, placement, instruction, monitoring, and coaching of students, as well as other elements. It reviewed common behaviors as well as classroom management strategies. The details covered in this document include descriptions of optimal listening conditions via survey and assessment. It also outlined, in detail, the importance of technology as well as self-advocacy and leadership development amongst students.

This tool should be seen as a vital proponent for any teacher of DHH pupils. A component that would have been especially applicable to physical education is the ‘Functional Communication Continuum- Receptive/ Expressive’ structure, which helps to detail the preferred method of communication for pupils in various classroom settings. Other supporting techniques included the communication plan as well as the classroom participation questionnaire, among many others.

Literary Summary
There is a lot that is involved in teaching physical education to children with hearing impairments, and ensuring that they maximize their potential. It involves planning, research, and excellent communication skills. Applying the benefits communication skills is a skill that can be developed by any educator, with the proper tools.

It is also important to remember the small things. For instance, seeing as hearing aids amplify all the incoming sounds for the child, it is important to minimize background noise. This can be done by doing simple seemingly insignificant steps such as keeping windows closed, turning down air conditioners, as well as taking more drastic measures such installing acoustic wall panels or installing tennis balls on the bottom of chairs, even if it means ordering twice as many tennis balls.

Discussion/ Future Consideration
The ability to keep up, listen, and learn with their peers, is largely affected by the environment in which the special needs child is placed. For instance, a child with a limited hearing range should be situated closer to the teacher than a child with fully functional hearing. However, this may be hard to do in a gym where the children like to spread out and enjoy their bodies. Even so, there are many small things one can do that would in turn help a student with a hearing disability study. (Plumley, 2008)

For students with limited hearing range, it is recommended to use visual aids during instruction. This means instead of saying basketball, one should show the basketball. Other tactics include recording key points on the board, or in the case of hands-on instruction, presenting handouts of vital information, lecturing loudly and clearly, and facing the students while talking. It is also important to speak slowly and repeat ideas in distinctive ways. To ensure full understanding, one may want to couple students with a partner, or “study buddy” or even arrange the classroom in a circle so the student can see the rest of the class during instruction. (Plumley, 2008)
Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on Physical Education topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Essay on Virtual Teams

Essay on Virtual Teams

In modern business, the cost of communications is frequently underestimated. Only the most visionary and experienced leaders fully realize the dangers of workplace communication problems and the immense potential effective communication holds for organizational effectiveness. The issue is especially topical in the light of accelerating internationalization and globalization of business activity. The development of ICTs has enabled the so-called “virtual teams” to work jointly on projects from different countries and sometimes even continents. Virtual teams, sometimes referred to as geographically dispersed teams, are groups of individuals working together separated by distance, time, and sometimes even organizational boundaries (Duarte & Snyder, 2006). While there are numerous technological applications designed specifically to enable virtual teams, the absence of face-to-face communication often poses significant threats for the functioning of such teams. Thus, virtual teams should be carefully guided by understanding and ethically skilled leaders, and well-defined procedures for resolution of conflicts and misunderstandings should be in place.


A fact frequently overlooked by business managers is that every small group has its own dynamics, be it a virtual or face-to-face team. However, with face-to-face teams, it is easier to detect the first signs of a failure of communication or serious disagreement among group members. It is a much more challenging task with regard to virtual teams. Moreover, the question remains whether “social capital [can] be built over communications technologies rather than through face-to-face interaction” (Gibson & Cohen, 2003, p. 10). Building social capital is the ultimate goal of any kind of communication: in both personal and professional settings, human beings communicate in order to develop trust and enhance community cohesion. In an organization where trust exits, employees are enabled to collaborate more efficiently, there is less interdepartmental competition and overlap, team members have an easier time delegating tasks to their colleagues, and employees’ personal goals are more aligned with those of the organization.

At the same time, when group members are not in a position to meet in person, “[c]ollective trust is challenged by the often prominent differences in culture and lack of face-to-face interaction in virtual teams” (Gibson & Cohen, 2003, p. 59). The term “culture” used in this sentence can be interpreted in two different ways: first of all, culture can be defined in conventional ethno-national terms; secondly, differences in organizational culture can undermine the effectiveness of virtual teams. As concerns the first definition, Krebs and Hobman (2006) carried out comprehensive research on what impact cultural, social, and demographic variables have on the effectiveness of workplace teams in general and virtual teams in particular. The issue of trust building in a diverse environment is always a complex and sensitive one, and it becomes even more complicated in online settings. Here it is important to keep in mind that different people have different perceptions (conditioned by their culture, prior experience, and a myriad of other factors), and different organization and even department have their own engendered work routines, informal practices, and approaches to problem solving. Open and honest communication is the best tool for preventing problems that usually originate from such differences.
Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on Virtual Teams topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

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