Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Affective Dimensions

Last time in class, we talked about how culture affects literacy and learning. When I think on this, I realize that in my family, there was never any conflict between my home life and my school life. There are pictures of me sitting in front of books from the time I was one year old, and my mom tried to teach me how to write my name at that time as well. My house was filled with books.

I remember I was crazy about Davy Jones from the Monkees--I listened to their tapes so many times that the tape film grew thin and stopped working. I also watched the Monkee TV series, and my grandma taped all of their episodes and saved them for me on a VHS. Of course, that meant I read about the Monkees too, including Davy Jones trivia books, and of course, his big-time classic biography: "They Made a Monkee Out of Me." I mean, EVERYBODY has read that one, right??

So, in sum, I had lots of books and reading experiences at home, and lots of books and reading experiences at school. Because of this congruence, I did well in school, and I became a teacher.

There's a famous book by Denis Lortie, titled School Teacher, that talks about how people perpetuate the system in which they grew up. In other words, people like me who did well in school, end up liking school, graduating from school, and becoming a teacher. Very rarely do people who hated school, did poorly in school, and ended up not graduating, become a teacher.

Lortie says that the problem with this is that the system is reproduced. So instead of getting people who might diversify the system, we get people like me who maybe experience no conflict between their home life and school life, and consequently may not seek to change the system to make it more inclusive of people with different home lives.

I think it's important to recognize that students do come from multiple backgrounds and I appreciated people's suggestions for actively trying to incorporate those backgrounds into their teaching.

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