Week 1 – Discussion 1
Caine is a 9-year-old boy whose afterschool and weekend project turned into an international imagination movement. As the Caine’s Arcade video explains, Caine built a gaming arcade almost entirely out of cardboard and opened it up for business in the storefront of his father’s auto parts store. This story provides an excellent example of how characteristics of Caine’s personal identity might affect how and what he learned from the specific experiences portrayed. The cultural values that nurtured Caine’s curiosity and inventiveness can be identified within his video story and the factors contributing to his “funds of knowledge” going into the project can be readily analyzed in the video. After viewing Caine’s amazing story, reflect on the different skills he learned and applied as he completed his “project,” and consider how his personal identity shaped, and was shaped by, his amazing experiences. To help you better understand the underlying influences affecting Caine’s learning experiences, read the following sections of the course text:
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 11
These chapters present information and examples associated with how poverty, diversity and family factors influence student achievement and behavior in school. You also need to read the article by Lopez (n.d.) regarding Funds of Knowledge.
Initial Post: View the Caine’s Arcade video and construct an initial response that addresses the following questions:
- What external factors influenced Caine’s ability to successfully create his arcade? (e.g., what role did his father play in encouraging his project?)
- What internal factors influenced Caine’s ability to successfully create his arcade? Consider his world view, values, and funds of knowledge as internal factors.
- How valuable do you think these skills are in the real world? How well do they align with one or more of the 21st-century skills identified on the Framework for 21st Century Learning web page?
Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts. In your responses, comment on any similarities or differences between your response and those of your peers. Though two replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you. This will further the conversation and provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic.
Week 1 – 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.
Written Communication Expectations
- Page Requirement (.25 points): Submit three to five pages, not including the title and reference pages.
- APA Formatting (.25 points): Format your paper according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Syntax and Mechanics (.25 points): Display meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar.
- Source Requirement (.25 points): Reference at least two scholarly sources in addition to the Wardle (2013) textbook to provide compelling evidence to support ideas. All sources on the references page need to be used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.
It is strongly recommended that you review this week’s Instructor Guidance for additional information about completing this assignment! Contact your instructor for clarifications about this or any assessment in the course before the due date using the “Ask Your Instructor” forum. Then, also using the Grading Rubric as a guide for your performance on this assignment, construct your assignment to meet each of the content and written communication expectations.