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Critical Reading Reflection - Essay Example

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CRITICAL READING REFLECTION OF THE BOOK LIVES ON THE BOUNDARY Introduction This essay will discuss the issues dealt with in the book Lives on the Boundary by Mike Rose and will include some direct references to Mike Rose’s story, and the stories of his students…
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Critical Reading Reflection

Download file to see previous pages... The author starts by stating that “this is a hopeful book about those who fail.” (Rose, M., 2005 p. xi) and provides an account of the education system in America, so the book can be said to be a book about the hope the author holds for people who may be struggling with the American educational system. He goes on to stipulate that the low level of literacy skills in remedial students is not as a result of lack of intelligence but is rather due to insufficient economic and social conditions to support these students, as well as a history of poor education. The author believes that educators should have more confidence in the literacy abilities of such students and that there must be greater equality as regards educational opportunities in America. This book details the story of how the author learned to read, write and think critically, and how he came to start teaching others to also be able to read, write and think in a critical way. This book can be divided into two sections. The first section discusses the author’s journey as a student, and as a teacher. In this first section Rose learns to read, analyze and write, while engaging critically with text, and making use of language in a correct manner. In the second section, Rose learned how to teach to others these things he had learned as a student. The main connection between these sections is the connection that was made by the author himself about his own experiences. In the book, one can also feel the effect that the author’s teachers had on him. The teachers (Mr.Jonhson, Mr.Macfarland and Dr.Carothers) all affected the author’s experience and influenced his perspective about the issue of teaching. In the book, the author illustrates some examples of the perceived cultural and language barriers that students have to deal with from day to day, and discusses his experiences with students, including high school graduates with reading or writing difficulties. Due to the reading and writing difficulties faced by these students, they are usually branded as remedial students and therefore placed in special classes, regardless of the real causes of their inability to read and write at the predetermined level. These students may go through their school years, and even later into their adult lives bearing this stigma. In the first chapter, rose outlines the main issues about the American educational system, and his prognoses on these issues relegate the reasoning behind his opinions as stated in the book. The history and the policies that led to the ‘back to basics movement’ are also discussed, and it seems that educators and administrators in America believed that American students are a largely illiterate and insufficient group. Although the author does not directly challenge the necessity of examining the social and economic conditions in the educational system, he argues against “framing our indictments in terms of decline, a harsh, laced-with-doom assault, as insisting that our current educational standards do not meet or exceed the supposed perfection of past standards we lose the historical and social realities of American education” (Rose, M., 2005 p. 7). The author also argues against labelling some students as remedial students or punishing those that do not measure up to a false reality of success and advocates a better understanding of the cultural and social conditions that students face. Rose explains that the American society as a whole clings to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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