Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Week 6 Response on Strolin-Smith: Roaming in the Known

cteng's picture

I simply enjoy the light-hearted temperament and the several engaging methods adopted by Strolin-Smith in the article. She worked with Tekwan during an important transition period for children learning literacy, from spoken words to pictures then to print words. Much attention was focused on Tekwan's personal and cultural backgrounds, such as his pictorial reading, community configurations and familial stories. In her words, it was using "students' primary discourse" as the foundation for learning and honoring their cultural asset or "funds of knowledge". There are a number of detailed pedagogies worth noting, which are writing a book about Tekwan with images in reference to the community he lives in, collecting his family stories and scribing them in print and making special alphabet book with objects of the student's familiarity. Thus, the materials utilized were not only multicultural but also multi-modal, sounds, image and many other forms of stimuli involved.

In retrospect to what we discussed last week on the cultural and social capital, Strolin-Smith demonstrated a strong personal example of how to capitalize on or create relatable and enriched curriculum with students' unique experience cherished and involved. It serves a multitude of purposes: it effective makes connections of the student's known with the unknown, well integrates his personal and community cultures with the school culture and transforms his everyday life into a place of learning, all of which done in an interest-spurring, receptive, non-intruding and captivating manner. It demonstrates that print written words, or moreover, sophisticated forms of intellectual inquiry are not far from the student's life. 

As the title suggests-beyond print- the respect and responsiveness as well as an appreciation for the student’s unique identify and culture can be applied to a larger sense. I also noticed a number of qualities repeat themselves in the pedagogy readings, positive belief and expectations for all students, genuine care and engagement, respect for and responsiveness to student's discourse and establishing a personal relationship. I believe this may be especially helpful in teaching some urban and underprivileged kids. After all, schooling is most indispensable to teach those who are in most need.