What’s wrong with what we’re doing now?

(testing)

1) What’s wrong with what we’re doing right now? Why are we having this conversation? Are we pressured to appease the pluralists, afraid of being called racists, so much so that we’re missing the obvious, we are one country, we must operate united, we can’t just all do our own thing because a segregationist society is arguably a very unhealthy society? The word “Homogenous” is a dysphemism– While we can all agree variety is necessary for the survival of all entities, union, connection and integration are as well.

2) What does Americanization mean? If over generations, ethnic groups become “Americanized”, it’s that they are adopting “American ways” but also, in the process of blending into the dominant culture, inevitably, infuse the dominant culture with traces of their own culture. Unless insisted upon, homogeneity is more difficult to achieve/is less naturally occurring than heterogeneity– Am I not right?

The awareness that these thoughts on literacy and discourse dominance are bringing is helpful in acknowledging that some students will need more pedagogical help (and one that is customized to their bi-cultural disposition), than is already offered to them. However, couldn’t there be a very likely backlash to indoctrinating this notion of cultural identity into literacy pedagogy– perhaps one that instead of increasing the confidence of that minority, actually alienates them by placing particular emphasis on their background and making distinctions between their culture and the dominant one? Perhaps some students will need it, but considering its application on a more universal level, it sounds and may manifest as the anti-thesis of equality. Does anyone else think it’s actually a recipe for bad morale, exactly the opposite of what’s intended?

Can we not take the example of how resistant students are to being placed in ESL as a sign that such micro-teaching can have negative attitudes and repercussions?

 

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2 responses to “What’s wrong with what we’re doing now?

  1. I’m not sure if the “(testing”” at the top of your entry is meant to hint us to the fact that you are playing devil’s advocate here or your are actually advocating this particular perspective…

    I actually agree that- to an extent- it is the job of teachers to advocate the teaching of discourses that may be considered foreign to students. And I think there is an argument to be made for attempting to bridge the barriers that can be created by differing dialects. I don’t even think the authors are necessarily against this either. What is important is understanding where it is students are entering the classroom from; what literacies they bring with them, their capabilities and limitations as a result, so that we can better teach address their specific needs. That is a very different thing from simply abandoning any attempt to create commonailty in the classroom.

  2. I think the difference here is between the idea of “pushing” a cultural awareness on a student, and simply acknowledging, as the teacher, that this cultural awareness exists, whether we want it to or not. Students come in with different backgrounds and cultural beliefs, and have cultural identities that shape the ways that they interact with the texts they read and write. Students realize there is a difference between minority cultures and dominant cultures, without the teacher needing to point it out to them. Giving students the opportunity to read texts that they are more likely to engage with might give them a chance to work with texts that they can better relate to, which can allow for more critical thinking and a more successful reading classroom.

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