Week 14: Shen and Talbot

Please answer both of the following questions:

Design an essay question for a paper on the Shen article. If you were the teacher, what kind of question would you think it important for your students to answer?

Imagine that you are the head of a school board or the chancellor of a university system. How¬†can you adapt some of the City of Providence’s approaches to address some of the systemic inequities we have been discussing in class?

Any thoughts on the Adichie TED talk on feminism are welcome, too!

13 comments
  1. Examine Shen’s article and analyze whether he should have separated his “two selves” or learned to incorporate his Chinese self more.

    It would be interesting to see teachers being recorded while they are teaching to see if they are actually covering the material in the course description and doing what was described in the syllabus.

    1. That is a solid essay question, Ilona. Can you elaborate on how recording teachers would address a systemic inequity?

  2. Does being brought up in a different culture with different values allow you to see things differently, therefore allowing you to have more ideas (since you can view things from two different perspectives)?

    I think I may have missed the discussion on the systemic inequities, but I think Ilona’s idea is very interesting. I think by recording teachers in a classroom, it will allow you to see, as Ilona said, if the material is being covered. It can also allow you to see whether or not each students in the classroom is getting the same amount of time and attention from the teacher.

  3. A possible essay question could be: how can a different culture (Chinese) contributes to your learning. And the difference between the two.

    A way could be sending inspectors to different schools and observe the environment and the students’ performance without anyone noticing, other than the head of the school. Or request the teachers to submit weekly reports on the classes.

  4. I am completley onboard with Ilona’s comments. I feel that analyzing the “two selves” concept would allow students to be able to draw more detailed and elaborate opinions.

    I also agree that recording teachers would be a valuable tool. It would allow departments to determine the quality of their teachers more effectively and provide students with a better environment over time.

  5. An essay question for the Shen article would be: “Do you agree that identity and knowing who you are as an individual are keys to learning? Explain why and give examples relating to Shen.
    Another question would be : What are ways in which a classroom embraces all cultures? Feel free to input your own ideas on how we can construct learning environments.
    It would be important for students to explore how Shen has learned in two different ways in terms of culture. Every culture has different values. Shen has to accept new words, but this does not mean his identity has to change. His identity was shifting and expanding, but not changing entirely.

    I think that the teachers could have one-on-one meetings with their students from time to time to explore progress and address any questions they might have. It would be beneficial to have this extra interaction with each student , so no student ever feels neglected. It would be similar to a parent-teacher conference, but instead it would be student-teacher. It would be more adapted to college students. There can also be a day to explore all majors, so students can be influenced and expand their knowledge.

  6. A possible question that I would assign to students would be: Does being part of a different cultural background affect an individuals learning? I.E different grades from Student a VS Student b.

    This could be measured by teaching something completely unbiased towards both cultures and have students from culture A and culture B both take tests and compare the results.

  7. Essay Question: After reading Shen’s article describe an instance in your life where you were in a situation that called for a “New Self”. How does it relate to the “New Self” Shen was discussing?

    An i deba that can help teachers improve a students education is to encourage questions. Not only answer the question but to broaden the question and scope of answers, to relate it to different topics. Basically to be interactive with students and talk with them not just to them.

    I also really enjoyed the Adichie speech, i especially liked how she is a “happy feminist” and how she said that she described feminism as a way MEN and women acknowledge the wrong of gender inequalities

  8. If I were a teacher, an essay question I would design for my students based on Fan Shen’s essay is: Think of a time where you had to surrender your writing or values and retrain the way you wrote or thought for classroom success. How did this make you feel? Did you end up creating a new identity for yourself, or did your feel that you were discovering yourself more?

    I think one way to tackle to systemic inequities is for teachers to prepare a “diverse” curriculum that directly engages students with their teachers and the material being taught to them. What I mean by diverse can vary from identity, cultural or ethnic backgrounds, as well experience. Usually when a teacher can relate to or even understand what or where a student comes from, it encourages them to succeed.

  9. After reading Shen’s article an essay question can refer to how culture affects knowledge after examining two different point of views? Therefore, demonstrating the difference of the techniques used among different cultures.

    If I were the head of the school board, I will want to have every teacher evaluated to see whether or not they are teaching students the appropriate level. This will show if they are providing enough information and help to have every student at grade level. Therefore, no student will be left behind.

  10. Do you agree with the concept of individualism? Does the use of a collective tone embody inferiority?

    Adichie’s stance on feminism is quite interesting. I agree with her that young girls are often trained exhibit some type of weakness or submission from the opposite sex. However, I do believe that men should be the head. I not saying that women are not effective leaders, but men are in my belief are more capable of handling onerous task.

  11. A possible essay question could be: Do you feel learning English (whether it be learning how to speak it or write in comprehensible sentences) requires you to create a new perception of yourself whether its your native language or not?

    I think teachers should take students out of the classroom and take them out into a different environment because sometimes many students get intimidated by being in a classroom. Also having weekly small group talks between the teacher and a small group of students should be helpful too. You therefore get a chance to know your student on an intimate level since they might feel more comfortable sharing things between a smaller group in comparison to a big classroom.

  12. If were a teacher, i would ask the student to write an essay this; How can one incorporate different languages in their essay compositions to support their ideas?

    I also agree with Ilona’s ideas about teacher recordings. Yes, it will help to make sure the material is being covered, but it will also allow administrators, which in this case is yourself, to better evaluate the teachers in making sure they are teaching fairly as well as, like Jacqueline said, to make sure the students are getting equal attention. While it is the students’ jobs to participate in class consistently, their is often some sort of bias in the classroom. The chancellors and administrators cannot be in the class evaluating the students at all times so recordings can be useful in proving unfair treatment, how ever rare those events may be.

    I really enjoyed Adichie’s talk about feminism. My niece watched the talk with me and she commented on how she also agreed with how many problems against boys are ignored, such as seeing emasculation as a weakness and even seeing /weakness/ as a weakness. Many people often associate feminism with only increasing the rights of females in society and exclude men from the ideas of feminism. The point of feminism is equal rights and treatment of both genders, not just focusing on one and ignoring the other. We raise our girls to become the ‘perfect women’, but we don’t realize that we’re also raising our boys to be the ‘perfect men’.

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