Monday, June 2, 2014

June 1, 2014

I really enjoyed reading chapters four and five in our textbook "Educational Psychology." These chapters were on "Learning Differences and Learning Needs, and Language Development, Language Diversity and Immigrant Education."

Chapter four dealt with learning disabilities, handicaps and intelligences. This was very interesting to me as I plan to be a special education teacher. What I found to be very interesting was how the gifted and talented children were identified and how challenging they may be to teach.

In my school district, our gifted and talented children are identified by test scores. These children are then able to participate in many before or after school national programs. It is wonderful that they are recognized for their abilities. According to the author, gifted children do better in groups with other higher level thinkers. We challenge these students academically, but we cannot forget the support that they need as well. I learned from this text that we don't want to apply too much pressure on these children.

In Chapter five the author speaks about language development and language diversity. In my classroom, I have many Latino children. When many of these children come to school for the first time they don't speak any English. As Educators how can we expect them to do well and understand English when they do not have the command of their own language?

I learned a lot from this chapter, especially how cultural differences affect bilingual students. The text tells us that "some cultures believe that asking a teacher questions may be rude." Also, if the child looks down could be perceived as not paying attention but in this child's culture, eye contact is considered disrespectful. We have to be cognizant of the each and every child's background culture.

This year a child entered who only spoke Bengali and there was no translator but she attended ESL classes, two periods a day. She would cry in the beginning of the year and I found a Bengali language app for my smartphone. This would help her with the lunch menu and some small tasks. She smiled and thought that was great! Small things like this can help our students to be successful. She is very smart and struggles with our language, but all in all is doing great.

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