Assignment: My School and Its Culture
Assignment: My School and Its Culture
As illustrated in the introduction discussion this week, each of you has experienced a unique journey through a variety of educational experiences throughout your lives. Naturally, some of these experiences will have contributed to your personal development and identity with greater impact than others. Furthermore, many in-school variables have affected your educational journey. The decisions made by those teachers and school staff defining your in-school learning experiences were derived from their philosophies of education and their understanding of educational theory. The prevailing educational theories informing your teachers could likely be defined along the continuum of major theories that include behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. Refer to the Learning Theories resources provided in the Instructor Guidance for a concise review of these major theories. Keep in mind also that prominent educational philosophies influencing professional educators have included perennialism, essentialism, progressivism and/or reconstructionism. Each of those theories is described in within the Instructor Guidance material for Week One.
After reading selected material from Chapters 7, 8 and 11 of the course text, you should now be familiar with the research that describes the relationship between social class and school success (Chapter 7), the impact of diversity on learning (Chapter 8), and the importance of family involvement (Chapter 11). You will use this knowledge as a foundation for completing this assignment.
For this assignment, describe a school-related experience that you believe influenced your identity either positively or negatively or both. You will analyze this experience and reflect on all the factors that might have shaped it, and the different ways these experiences shaped you. This analysis will include an examination of factors outside of school (such as social class, socioeconomic status, diversity, family issues, etc.) as well as factors inside of school (theories and philosophies) that you believe influenced classroom decisions. This type of analysis provides a powerful introduction to learning more about the relationship between culture, education and the teachers’ decisions in the classroom.
You analysis should include the following:
- School Experience (1 point): Describe your selected school experience that influenced your personal identity development.
- School Characteristics and Cultural Dimensions (1 point): Describe the school where your experience took place including (a) school characteristics, (b) student population characteristics, (c) socio-economic background of the families affiliated with the school, and (d) the family structures represented in the school.
- Educational Philosophy Analysis (1.5 points): Describe the educational philosophies that defined the school’s structure, purpose, operation, and how the local culture may have influenced these philosophies.
- Learning Theory Analysis (1.5 points): Describe the type(s) of learning theories you believe your teachers used to help them design the instructional experiences including (a) why or how you believe your teachers demonstrated applications of behaviorism, cognitivism, and/or constructivism and (b) how you feel these theories affected the instructional decisions the teachers made. Refer to the Learning Theories resources provided in the Instructor Guidance for a concise review of these major theories.
- Personal Influences (1 point): Reflect on the influence that your family’s “funds of knowledge” and social capital had on your ability to succeed in your school; address your success in the following three areas: academic success, social success, and emotional success.
- Application (1 point): Explain, using specific examples, how educators could use information about culture and individual student identities to make effective instructional decisions.
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