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Can We Possibly Argue That Ignorance To Good Practice Because It Has Been Socialized?
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Ms. Gallopolli, the teacher whom we interviewed together, had decided to abandon the sea shells altogether and instead use illustrations from her literature book. She was happy with the results as she showed us examples of the student writing. Vera and I looked through several pieces in vain for figurative language. I finally asked Ms. Gallopolli to show me the figurative language in one of the compositions. She promptly pointed to a sentence that read, "She looks like she's angry." She said, "There, that's a simile." I did not know how to respond. I had to think. Finally, I said, "Well, it uses the word like, but it doesn't compare two unlike things Vibram FiveFinger Discount in some way. It just attributes a characteristic to the woman in the picture." I remember being too embarrassed to say more.
According to theorists, any learning process is a social one. Thus, learning this error is the result of socialization. Can we possibly argue that this bit of ignorance amounts to good practice because it has been socialized? I fervently hope not.
Another example: My first year of teaching, I was hired to teach junior high along with several other young people. I knew one young woman vaguely because she had graduated from the same college as I. She had been hired as a Latin teacher. I recall that in the days before school opened in the fall of 1956,1 was terrified that I might not be able to control my seventh- and ninth-grade students, let alone teach them anything. I had forgotten that, for a couple of years before I went to college, I had been a junior assistant scout master at a scout troop located in the same school where I had been hired to teach. I had taken as many as 70 rambunctious scouts on daylong hikes in the winter without losing any to weather, traffic, fighting, falls from cliffs, or anything else. I had learned from Scoutmaster Robert Holloway how to do that, how to involve the boys in games and projects to keep them interested and at least relatively happy and pretty much under control. The first day I met my seventh graders, they had me in their thrall. I liked them immensely. I knew there would be no Vibram Five Fingers discipline problems. I found that I had no trouble with ninth graders either. I also found that learning to teach these students something in a thoughtful way would take time, although I did not predict it would take a lifetime.
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