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Synthesize and Apply - Essay Example

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Synthesis and Application Table of Contents I. Synthesis 3 II. Application 5 Works Cited 7 I. Synthesis The papers all point to the different ways that identity can be conjured and applied in the real world, and how identity can be seen in the context of disciplinary literacy…
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Synthesis and Application Table of Contents I. Synthesis 3 II. Application 5 Works Cited 7 I. Synthesis The papers all point to the different ways that identity can be conjured and applied in the real world, and how identity can be seen in the context of disciplinary literacy. Aspects of identity include those that are linked to birth, to my personal attainments, from my personality traits and preferences, and from my Muslim faith. All these play a role in my own conception of who I am and how I am to situate myself in my current environment as a teacher, masters student, and Muslim living in America and coming from foreign shores. My reading preferences and experience likewise reflect on the kinds of mandatory and personally-preferred reading materials. Some are mandatory by virtue of my having to be proficient at my roles, as teacher, mother, and as a devout Muslim. Some of the readings spring from my personal preferences and personality inclinations, such as those that relate to taking care of my children and my family, as well as those that relate to my hobbies, including the design of clothing. There are also those reading materials that I both want to read, and that I have to read, by virtue of my being a Muslim teacher trying to make a positive contribution to American society, such as those that I have to go through as part of my masters training in my chosen teaching profession. I realize that my identity shapes my career choices, and that those in turn shape how and how well I am able to contribute to society and provide for the needs of my family. They form a feedback loop that reinforces my identity and my conception of family, which in turn shape the way I relate to society. Hopefully, the feedback loop is positive, and the results for both my family and personal life and my social and vocational life are all positive as well (Buehl). I synthesize Buehl in relation to my different levels of identity, and find that Buehl’s conceptions of lenses, for instance, fit in with the way my identity shapes what I read and how I read them, as well as how I apply them in my particular identity arenas. By identity arenas I mean those differing areas of my life where I assume my different identities. In the context of Buehl and disciplinary literacy, this implies that I read from the lens of my chosen vocation and formal training, as a teacher and as a masters student. Also, on another level, I read from the lens of a mother and a devout family person. Yet on another level I read from the lens of a Muslim making his way in American society and trying to fit in and be a positive force in my community. All these different lenses are aspects of the different roles that I play in my different life arenas. I realize that I bring all of those lenses with me when I read texts, interpret the readings, and apply them in my life. The varying aspects of my identity enrich rather than limit my perspective. Without my formal training and my aspirations for a masters degree, I would have fewer lenses with which to interpret what I read, and in turn I would have a more limited understanding of the texts and how they can enrich my life, the life of my family, and the life of the community that I serve. Taking a step back, Buehl also notes that disciplinary literacy is something that is not given as much attention in the arenas where I hope to serve in the future, namely the classrooms, and it is up to me, having insight into my own identities and how those can shape the way I view the texts and the world, to address the shortcomings of the classroom experience and make sure that I do my part to make my students better able to handle the challenges of being disciplinary literate. Buehl tells us that this is difficult to achieve for a number of reasons, and among the key reasons is that different students bring with them different conceptions of who they are, what they are capable of, and what they think are important in their lives. The challenge is to incorporate disciplinary literacy as an integral aspect of the identities of students, just like I did (Buehl). II. Application The exercises on identity and the different aspects or levels of identity, tied with the insights from Buehl, has many practical applications in class and in future classrooms that I hope to preside in as a teacher. The insights from Buehl regarding the lenses with which we read and interpret texts are really also about the kinds of biases and perspectives that we bring to the surface when we confront anything in life, and not just reading the academic and formal texts in the classroom. The challenge, as is evident in Buehl, is to try to bring to bear a balanced and inclusive perspective on the texts and on the things that confront us on a daily basis. This means being aware of who we are and what kinds of biases and perspectives we bring to the table. This means being able to understand one’s identities on different levels, and how those identities shape what we see and how we view and understand texts. This understanding in itself is useful and has many practical uses. This understanding fosters awareness, and therefore fosters a deeper understanding of the texts. Moreover, another application is in the area of disciplinary literacy. In a very basic sense, to be able to properly deal with a particular set of texts or academic artifacts, one must be disciplinary literate in the area being studied or read. In my case, this means being proficient in the skills necessary for me to be able to handle and successfully pass my masters course. This means taking the materials seriously, and making sure that I am abreast with the skills necessary at every step in the process. Disciplinary literacy is hard work, and requires that the foundations of the disciplines, my discipline, are well established, prior to going deeper into the field. In the classroom, such insight has many useful applications, chief among them that among students, the key to disciplinary literacy is setting up the proper foundations for students to be able to progress deeper and deeper into their chosen disciplines (Buehl). As a specific example, the materials and readings have something to say about how to reach Home Economics students who are challenged when it comes to reading skills. What do the learnings above have to say about teaching in this context? Buehl tells us that disciplinary literacy in essence needs sustained interest. On the other hand, insights into identities include that young people relate to things that they can own as part of an aspect of themselves, their family and their circle of friends and community. All these bring us to the point where Home Economics can be made more relevant by contextualizing discussions, for instance, in ways that academically-challenged students can relate to. This can mean making references to things that interest them, such as elements of popular culture, and then tying those to the subject matter being discussed in class. Discussions on trade books can also take this form, by tying the lessons from the books to the things that students can relate to, and to things that they consider part of who they are (Buehl). Works Cited Buehl, Doug. Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines. International Reading Association. 2011. Read More
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