Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 5

I really liked how they talked about “pseudoreading” and the various ways in which this is seen.  While I do advocate for fully comprehending the material in the readings, this directly contrasts with what is expected of students on the standardized tests and other high stakes testing.  I remember practicing certain techniques for getting the right answer on the standardized tests, whether it was through first skimming the reading then answering the questions or first reading the questions then finding the answers in the passage.  In addition, I was given clues when practicing, about the types of answers the were usually correct, such staying way from extreme statements that included words like “no,” and “only.”  These practices did not improve my ability to comprehend readings or prepare me for college, they only enabled me to obtain a “high score,” falsely indicating to colleges that I was ready for higher level subject material and standards.  Buehl touched upon this in his book, that the greatest complaint of students is not being adequately prepared for college level material and skills.  However, whose fault is this?  The teacher’s?  Schools? Students?    

While I completely agree with Buehl, he does not include the reality of the current situation, save for the hopeful claims of the new standard curriculum and core.  He stated that the student body is incredibly diverse but he did not talk about the implications.  Asking students to analyze and critically think about the readings and their implications opens the doorway to personal interpretation.  Thus, while Buehl indicates that teachers can instruct and foster this academic instruction, it takes time.  Where will this time come from?  Especially for ELL students and students of various cultural backgrounds, how will teachers have the time carefully foster this academic knowledge and way of thinking while at the same time fostering and developing the student’s identification with their native culture?   

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