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Lives on the Boundary by Mike Rose
The achievements of Rose with his students were successful and exceptional because most of his students were in the circumstances he was once in the discredits most of the educational fallacies and stereotypes that are applied on remedial students and literacy. He also shows how one can succeed in life despite of the background as it is seen when he becomes a teacher and later a director at UCLA
The main theme in this book is to show how life can be hard for the remedial students who he argues that they do not fail as a result of intelligence and poor skills but due to limited opportunity and little understanding. He tells this through his own life experience to show how both social and economic forces play a big role in influencing performance and perception of the unprepared students. He does not agree with the methods used to teach literacy skills to the unprepared students and advocates for a more involving and rigorous curriculum. It takes the best teacher to help his students come out of academic poverty.
This book starts with the early life of rose in Los Angeles where they lived in poverty and his struggles to a quality education because of the negative attitude he got as a result of being brought up in an immigrant family. He thought that he can only make it up to high school level until he met some remarkable teachers in high school who inspired and encouraged him to join a college. He therefore ends up graduating from Loyola University and receives an English graduate fellowship at UCLA but he is not satisfied with the English graduate studies and thus leaves to go and teach Basic English in Los Angeles. He fails to get satisfied with the English because in his own enculturation at Loyola University, he says, "I was encountering a new language" (Rose, 1990, p54) and also believes that the professors gave him "a directory of key names and notions" (ibid, 49). His teaching eventually takes him back to UCLA as a director in the tutoring center. It also shows how he deals challenges from the unprepared college students as well as the institutional bureaucracy.
Although Mike Rose was destined for high school education only, a caring, young and new English teacher broke that by inspiring him to achieve more as it is shown in the book on page 165. The educational bureaucracy can be very discouraging to poor students because they are presumed to be non- teachable due to their life circumstances and poverty. Teachers should place themselves in the shoes of their pressured students and thus assist them in achieving more what they think they are capable of because if the teacher is not caring enough, most of them will end dropping out of school leading to lose of human resources. Teachers leave the under prepared students to struggle on their own but Rose dismisses this by saying "so many platitudes about motivation and self-reliance and individualism" (ibid, p47)
The book goes further to show how remedial students who feel being threatened and daunted by academic needs or an inner city under achieving student can be transformed to a high achieving university student; they just need a caring teacher to bridge the gap. A good teacher should develop ties with his students especially those who seem to be academically poor because these ties will ensure that the learners get the appropriate help; this is evidenced when he says there should be "healing possibilities of the teacher-student relationship" (ibid, p123). Teachers should be interested in doing away with any teaching methods that discourages students in their academics, thus teachers need to re-evaluate their teaching methodologies if they want to succeed in their jobs which is academically enriching their students.
Rose understands the needs of each of his students and develops a plan to help each one of them to overcome his or her difficulties thus giving each student a chance to make it academically. Under prepared students thus respond positively when given instructions and this shows that a teachers personal touch can go a long way in defining the life of a learner.
There are very many barriers in the public school system of the U.S. As shown by the life of Rose. He tells us his experiences as well as those of his students from the elementary school to the lives of the Vietnam War veterans. He has shown that there are very many problems with the curriculum and the school system as a whole which brands some as failures even before they are a chance to show their capabilities. The book gives an insight in what learners have to go through in school in their everyday lives, what public schools are like and also the nature of the educational system. It shows that it is more difficult to go past some school if the teachers are not willing to help.
Rose's career revolves around applying his intellectual and social skill as well as culling so as to empower the minds of the under prepared students who are less privileged in terms of academics thus helping them in their transition to college. He seems to be aware of disenfranchisement psychology as well as the obsolete English curriculum which is applied in most of the schools. He believes in education whereby language, community and thinking strategies have to be at the center of it but this is done on the contrary as he says that they use "dry dismembering of language" (ibid, p110).Reflective Practice in the learning Process
Reflective practice involves the reflections made on certain requirements that are necessary for a given project during its planning stage. This is followed, by research reflecting on the needs and impacts of that particular project or business. Action should follow the research to see the project implemented proceeding to reflecting on the expected output (Ingleby, Joyce & Powell, 2010). Observation and evaluation reflecting on refinements and methods respectively should be then carried with the ultimate reflection on the general project. Following these reflective frameworks, teachers organize the way in which they design, plan, deliver contents, and assess the teaching/learning outcome. It is important to engage all the essential elements of teaching for a more proactive approach in learning. This emphasizes delivering contents based on one's experience; experimental learning. A teacher through reflective practice, should know the type of learners, what they are interested in knowing, how to assist them and to coordinate with other professionals.
The role of the Learner in the Lifelong Learning Process
As a learner in the lifelong learning sector, the teachers to consume the information and knowledge provide the main objective. Sufficient efforts to benefit as much as one can from the whole process are necessary (Ingleby, Joyce & Powell, 2010). Coordination and establishment of cordial and a working relationship with other learners in the learning environment is imperative from the onset. Through good relationship with teachers, as a learner one should take the challenge of being timely in the undertaking and submission of the assigned projects. As a learner, I expect good instructions from my teacher and work to fulfill my expectations and interest in the active learning. The knowledge and skills that I have already acquired should be instrumental for me to identify and evaluate the new knowledge for purposes of achieving satisfactory learning framework and values able to support and assist me in my professional life. Possessing good language abilities, ICT, numeracy and literacy would be helpful to stay relevant to learning activities of different natures and to aid in acquiring that new knowledge or skill.
It is necessary that as a learner I conform to the learning principles that entail active participation through experiential learning, group discussion or even in computer-based classrooms, with a view to form a quality part of a learned system. It is therefore imperative that I understand the subject of my endeavors as a learner and to vigilantly respond to the changing nature of the education system, flexible enough to incorporate the system ideals of the education process. The lifelong learning process is an essential outfit that would inform my relevance as a learner and my expected output as far as the process is concerned.
Discussion and Conclusion
The book is a good read especially to the teachers who have the determination to help all their students in making it in life. It should also be recommended for students and parents because it shows what happens in the school as well as what we have with our school systems. The teachers should be encouraged to change their English teaching curriculum so as to give each and every student a chance. Being a victim of poverty, Rose addresses the issue of unprepared students who are desperate in lives and are not ready to go any further academically. Under prepared students should not be thought of as dander heads since…[continue]
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