- I will tell the parents that the students are expected to do their assignments which involve participating in class discussions. This helps the instructors understand how well the students are learning and how committed they are to the assignments. Class discussions also make the learning fun for students and increase their motivation to do assignments. In addition, students gain confidence when they are praised by the instructors. The purpose of school is not to make students only to memorize lessons but also to think over them and class discussions force students to think.
- I will tell the parents that all children in the class participate in class discussion, just like their daughter. These discussions help all the students and by expressing herself, she benefits her fellow students just as she benefits by the ideas of others. I will also tell the parents that she is always trying to help other students with class assignments and many assignments are team based. I will also mention the fact the student’s friends often come to her for help and speak very highly of her. I will inform the students that if their daughter doesn’t speak, it will hurt other students many of whom lag behind in the class. In fact, more students come to their daughter for help because this is how they find out that she can help them. If she won’t speak, many students may never seek her help. I will also explain that a significant portion of course grade is based on teamwork and unless one does well in team assignments, he/she can’t have a good grade. So the fact that their daughter has a good grade means she does well in team assignments and get good feedback from her team members.
- In a western culture, it is important that a child has confidence and self-believe. A child should not be afraid to question as well as develop critical thinking skills. This is why class-discussions are important because they teach valuable critical thinking skills to children and give them confidence. Intellectual development and self-dependency are essential skills to succeed in the real world and a child should not be afraid to question instead of blindly following everything he is taught or told.
- As a teacher I would think that the Hawaiian boy must have lived in a relatively homogenous town in Hawaii with rare opportunities to interact with people of other races and, thus, must have felt overwhelmed in the new environment. In addition, he was the only Hawaiian boy in the school and must have a strong awareness of his unique position. When the black girls took liking to him and identified him as a “Brother” he might have taken the term literally which is why he didn’t hesitate to ask other people for lunch money. His behavior may have become unsettled due to his upbringing and the teachings he might have been exposed to while growing up. He came from a family that took great pride in their heritage and might have instilled in him a sense of isolation from other races who he probably viewed in competitive terms.
- The boy’s family had a strong sense of pride in their heritage and might have been concerned that the young generation would lose their distinct cultural identity if they were to freely interact with other races. It may also be due to the American history as the whites did attempt to eradicate Native American cultures and assimilate them into white culture. Thus, the family might have taught the boy to maintain strong sense of identity as well the negative history of white Americans against natives. When the boy attracted attention from black girls, he might have interpreted it as their attempt to influence him to leave his cultural identity behind and blend in with the rest of the group. The family may have viewed diversity in negative terms because they believe that Hawaiians are at a disadvantage in terms of population and interaction with other races may take the young generation away from their strong sense of cultural identity. This is what they may have taught the boy, too who might have felt threatened in the school due to him being the only Hawaiian and in his mind, was only trying to preserve his unique identity by avoiding contact with other people.
- A European-American would view the boy’s behavior in a negative manner and as an active attempt at remaining isolated from other cultures. He may consider the Hawaiian boy to have come from uneducated and backward family who are still clinging to traditional lifestyle and not embracing modernism. A European-American may also assume that the boy’s family is anti-social even if the boy’s family may have enjoyed an active social life in their mostly-Hawaiian community. In addition, a European-American may view boy’s family as someone who hate other races even though the family’s concerns may have been shaped by the stories they heard from their elders as well as their lack of exposure to diversified communities.
- Rema came to U.S. as a 16 year old which means she got considerable education in her native country as well. It is possible that in Lebanon, the emphasis is also on the length of the answers a student write and brief answers are not the key to scoring well in tests. Thus, Rema tries to cover everything instead of just focusing on the main question to demonstrate that she has prepared well. It may also be that Rema believes it’s better to write more than what is being asked rather than less. Another reason may be that the questions probably asked for different things at Rema’s school in Lebanon and she has become used to old interpretation of the question. The fact that Rema scores well in multiple choice is because the question is quite clear in terms of answer but essay questions do not have any definite requirement in terms of an answer. Rema probably equates short answers with low scores due to her past experience which may be why she goes for long answers.
- Rema’s parents may say that Rema performs poor not due to lack of preparationbut language deficiency. She knows the answers but doesn’t always understand the questions, thus, tries to cover everything. They may also say that Lebanon has different test structures and Rema still has not become used to American test structure. They may also argue that since their own English is weak, they have not been able to help Rema.
- A European-American may assume that Rema doesn’t understand her lessons but instead memorize most of them which is why her analysis is confusing and she talks about everything. In addition, Rema is still used to system in Lebanon that may have emphasized memorization over understanding. It is also possible that Rema’s weak English is the problem or may be the English words are interpreted differently in Lebanon than they are in America.
4.1 I will talk to Jimmie and explain him that group assignments are divided between team members and he is not supposed to do everything by himself. I will also talk to the group and ask them to actively ask Jimmie for his opinions and ideas and communicate him his responsibilities. I will encourage the group to become friendlier with Jimmie and make him comfortable because he is not used to working in groups before. I realize that Jimmie has been home schooled and, thus, never had any school friends or worked with others. Thus, before he can work in teams, he has to become comfortable with people first.
4.2 Jimmie’s mother may think that Jimmie’s team members are lazy and may be picking on him because he comes from a different background. She may claim that as long as Jimmie does his assignment, it doesn’t matter how he does it. She may also argue that Jimmie’s teammates have personal grudge against Jimmie as they say Jimmie doesn’t do his fair share of work while Jimmie always has his work ready.
4.3 A European-American may consider Jimmie as anti-social or loner who doesn’t like to work with others. A European-American may assume that Jimmie has been bought in such a manner that he considers everyone his competitor in the class and wants to do better than them. One may even suspect Jimmie is depressed or has been bullied in the past which is why he avoids people and tries to do everything by himself. Another assumption could be that Jimmie lacks communication skills which is why he doesn’t speak much. It may also be that Jimmie doesn’t like conflicts that arise in group discussions and prefer harmony.