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szhang01's picture

Re-uploaded reaction #3

Sikun Zhang

                During my first visit to the all-girls, private school, Cherrywood ,there was a tremendous pressure that was felt as I entered the school building. The inside of the main foyer was wide and spacious with an aged, yet elegant sofa in the center. Beside the sofa was a fireplace with an aged chimney, displaying a bright fire. A grand set of stairs was near the administrator’s office. Without even meeting my hosting teacher and her students yet, I was incredibly nervous. This environment was abnormal and discomforting for a person of my background. I was raised in a suburban, middle-income township with a wide variety of people; from those who made less than 40,000 dollars to those who made over half a million annually. Although our incomes were varied, our school was modestly built and funded. This prominent school was foreign and almost threatening for me with the way it held itself. There was an obvious sense of pride and elegance that the building and administration promoted. Aside from the environment, the children continued to emphasize the school’s ethos. In the dress code, students are required from a young age (as young as pre-kindergarten) to maintain their clothing in “neat, clean, and in good repair” (Cherrywood, Lower School Dress Code). This kind of responsibility evolves from the parent’s into the student’s responsibility when the students reach sixth grade, where they will be reprimanded for their own dress code issues. 

Sarah Moustafa's picture

Reflection 3

During my field placement in a 5th grade classroom, the students are given a daily puzzle to work on. These word puzzles are very challenging; I myself often have difficulty coming up with the answers when I have a moment to look over a copy. The students have about half an hour during which they can work on the puzzle and start another independent activity that they have selected from a list of assignments that are prioritized. As my visits have approached the end of the school year, I find that the puzzles are getting more difficult. I have also noticed that the students do not spend as much time or effort on the puzzles as they did during my first visit. This can be summarized by the following interaction that I witnessed:

Teacher: “How far did you get on your plexer [puzzle]?”

Student: “Not far.”

Teacher: “How many? 3? 4? [Out of 16 or so]”

Student: “1.”

Teacher: “Try to get at least one more.”

It seemed that this student’s approach was the norm when it came to actually spending time on the puzzle. As far as I know, the students had been doing these puzzles all year, so they may have lost the novelty and challenge that they once have, simply becoming one more thing to do. Over the past few weeks, I have witnessed students who spend less than 5 minutes skimming the page, dismissing it as too hard and moving on.

fli's picture

Reflection #3

Park Elementary School is a small public elementary school in the suburbs of Pennsylvania. The school is one story above ground, and one story below. In front of the school is a large, well paved parking lot. The cars are not luxury cars, but they are clean and shiny. The building is also clean, and kind of pretty. Walking in, you can see that the interior is bright and spacious. There is a sign directing you to enter the main office first. The secretary who I shall call Carla is well put together, dressed in a floral blouse, some dark jeans, and a pair of boots. Today is Wednesday, February 13, the first day of my field placement, and I am normally supposed to show up on Fridays. 

I tell the secretary that I am from Bryn Mawr, and that I normally would show up on Fridays, but I could not make it the Friday before so I am here today. Carla smiles and accepts my explanation, scans my ID, gives me a visitor tag, and tells me that the teachers are in a meeting. There is no animosity, no rush in her movements. While I wait in the office for the meeting to end, a child walks in. Carla greets him by name, and asks him why he is there so early. Without hesitation, he looks Carla in the eye and answers her. 

lcarrenoro's picture

Reflection #3

For my field placement, I tutor one to two elementary school children on a weekly basis as a part of an afterschool program. A few weeks ago, my peers and I unintentionally arrived nearly thirty minutes early and the elementary students were not released for afterschool tutoring yet so we patiently waited in the hallway for them to arrive when something in particular caught my eye. Alongside ESL pamphlets and food nutrition pamphlets was one pamphlet that stood out to me—on the cover it stated in bolded letters “FIGHT BACK AGAINST: Drugs, gangs, robbery, vandalism, violence, and weapons in your school by calling WeTip inc”. And the pamphlet went on to describe how an individual can anonymously report a crime and potentially receive up to a $1,000 reward by reporting though a specific number and website.

This pamphlet prompted me to begin asking many questions about the environment and the concept of safety within and outside of a school setting and the impact it can have on a student’s education. So as a result of my curiosity I began to question: is this a standard program for all public schools in this area? Was the school required to implement this program or was it the school’s choice? Was there a particular instance that “set off” an insecure feeling that led to the execution of this program? From what I discovered from the WeTip website, it is a service that can be bought by schools and companies in order to secure anonymity of anyone reporting a tip and the service has been in existence since 1972.

Sarah Moustafa's picture

Paper 2

Sarah Moustafa


Reflective Writing 2

Critical Issues in Education

            In Ray McDermott and Hervé Varenne’s paper “Culture as Disability, the two authors discuss the concept of disability and how different cultures define ability and disability. This article focuses mainly on traits that are commonly regarded in society as being disabilities, such as trouble with reading or being deaf, but I have been considering whether being considered “able” can be a disability in and of itself. While this statement may seem like a privileged one to make, further explanation may shed light on my meaning.

            This idea was prompted by a conversation with one of my high school classmates in which we joked that not having to study throughout high school resulted in us being unprepared for college work. Reflecting on this further, however, makes me think that it is not simply a joke to excuse our procrastination. Because I never really had to study, I never learned how to study. Having the skills to succeed in the education system may be a privilege, but the lack of effort I had to put in to my schooling resulted in missing out on important skills and practices that could help me in the outside world.

fli's picture

Reflection #2

In Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods, she explores how children grow up and are treated differently because of class, gender, and sometimes race. 

The middle class children all underwent concerted cultivation. Their language was nurtured by their parents. They were taught to shake hands, look people in the eye, and to expect others to bend to their way of thinking. Their parents were always involved in their packed lives, and often had to give up much of their own lives in order to fully cultivate them. Most of their lives were scheduled, and without organized activities, many of them felt lost.

The working class or poor children all were left to natural development. Vocal exchanges are always short and to the point, with little done to encourage the children’s growth in language. Many of them lived in places where they could not look people in the eye, and they were taught to respect what elders said. If a parent said, “Jump,” they are expected to reply with something along the lines of, “How high?”. For many of their parents, it is enough work to make sure they go to school, do homework, and have food in their bellies. Anything extra is extra work and hassle they do not want to deal with. They have much free time, and their creativity allows them to fill that time with games and activities they organize. 

lcarrenoro's picture

Second Assignment

Lucy Carreno-Roca

February 19, 2013

Paper 2


An Insider looking Within: Analysis of Lareau’s Theoretical Approach


In Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods, she associates class, race, and gender as the key to a child’s educational experience and what they learn in the course of their life as they grow up to become citizens of the society that defined their learning and educational experiences. Through the information gathered in her research team’s field work, Lareau develops two constructs in which theoretically all middle and lower class fall into: a concerted cultivation experience or an accomplishment of natural growth experience. This either-or approach has many flaws but has helped lay some sort of ground work that can be built upon in future field work research that could potentially benefit the children of the United States in the long run. While reading this text, I felt as though there were many fundamental concepts that needed to be defined before truly diving into the field placement research. For example, the definition of lower class versus working class versus middle class is ambiguously established as this concept that defines a child’s potential and learning experience.

jayah's picture

Paper Two

Jayah Feliciano

February 18, 2013

Paper 2


Theoretical Analysis Reflection

     In Lareau’s text, she focuses on low/working and middle class families and the impact that their way of living has on the offspring.  She states that middle class families engage in concerted cultivation as opposed to the low/working class families who prefer natural growth for their children. Lareau believes that the children raised in the middle classes families gain more of advantage than the children in low/working class families, and I agree with Lareau.

            Chapter three is about a boy, Garret Tallinger, who is raised in a middle class family. Organized sports are a top priority for him and they shape Garret to be competitive, aggressive, and teach him how to work with a team. In addition to sports, his parents use a technique of answering questions with more questions to arrive at an answer. They also teach Garret how to interact with adults, making sure he gives eye contact when shaking the hand of an adult. The parents of Alexander Williams, who is also middle class, makes sure that he questions authority.

szhang01's picture

Educational Influence

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