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Field Placement Post 3

At the W school, I had sat through two class periods where the students, 7th and 8th grades, were watching a film on the Salem Witch trials. It was a documentary that attempted to uncover the mysteries behind the series of odd events that happened so long ago, through science and psychological tests. While watching the film, I noticed that the teacher paused the movie several times to reiterate what was said to make sure all the students were paying attention. What was interesting and commendable about her teaching strategy during this section was that she constantly reminded the students that these townspeople of historical Salem were not “crazy” or “stupid”.

For young middle school students, it is easy to judge people as simply “crazy”. Both the film and the teacher’s lesson for the day was to justify what went wrong in the town of Salem, reminding the students that there is an explanation for how this idea of a witch came to haunt the town. This open mindedness helped students understand the reasons behind the Salem witch-hunt and gradually students began a discussion on their own experiences of instances when they thought they were being haunted because of a series of odd events around them. It was a short discussion but I enjoyed hearing how students did not think the townspeople of Salem were merely “crazy”. This lesson to share experiences and digging deeper into the Salem mystery relates back to the importance of experience that Dewey writes about.

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Post #2: Culture

McDermott and Varenne define culture as a term “that is generally taken to gloss the well-bound containers of coherence that mark off different kinds of people living in their various ways, each kind separated from the others by a particular version of coherence, a particular way of making sense and meaning,” (325). Reading McDermott and Varenne’s article on culture, and focusing on the wording of how they defined culture in the beginning--by emphasizing on "separating" people and identifying differences in one another-- I am curious as to how their perspectives would apply in the setting of my field placement at a school with students who have learning differences, as they call it.

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My Educational Autobiography

  1. Preschool: Learning about Colors
  2. Elementary School: Birds, Earthworms and Bees
  3. Elementary School: Rollerblading
  4. Elementary School: Pokemon Cards


Learning about Colors


This chapter discusses an altercation that I had with a student in preschool. I was being picked on and I lashed out by kicking a redheaded boy in the shin. During this altercation, I first became aware of my status as a minority in the school.

I seemed to have been oblivious to that fact for some time. In my mind, I saw the redheaded boy as an easy target; he may have been laughing at me because of my pale, yellow skin, but I fought back easily because he was no less unique than me, with his red hair and his freckles. To others, I was an easy target because I was so physically different from them. My skin color, my eyes and nose, all showed that I was not like the majority of my classmates. After the fight, I remember an older student from the elementary school entering my classroom after recess and reporting the incident to my teacher. I was being picked on, yet I was sent to time-out. The title of this chapter is a reference to race and the colors of our skin and hair. Being one of the few Asian students in the class, I was quickly aware of such characteristics and now wonder why these were never a topic of discussion in class.

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