Lives on the Boundary: Mike Rose

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Alissa Ringeisen First-Year Writing Fairbanks 8 October 2012 Lives on the Boundary: Mike Rose In Lives on the Boundary, Mike Rose is observing a teacher, Dr. Gunner, in the English A course at UCLA. Many other professors and students call this course the “Bonehead” course because it is the lowest English course offered at UCLA. This course was designed for the slow, or remedial learners, the ones that were considered “marginal”. Dr. Gunner, however, saw potential for these students. She challenged her students to show their intelligence. She believed that they were victims of circumstance. Mike Rose found this inspiring. He goes on to say, “ If you get closer to their failure, you'll find knowledge that the assignment didn't tap, ineffective rules and strategies that have a logic of their own; you'll find clues, as well, to the complex ties between literacy an culture, to the tremendous difficulties our children face as they attempt to find their places in the American educational system.” When reading over this, I find that it is true, that if teachers took the time to find out why a student is failing, instead of just deeming them hopeless or incoherent, that they may find out that these students have much more potential than they originally thought. Not all students learn the same way, therefore, teachers need to try different ways to to teach the material. Students also must learn to try different rules and strategies because the ones they are using may not be effective in solving their problems. Also, these children may have more problems working through these assignments because of their culture, the familiar cognitive landscapes, as Rose described it, have changed. The strategies and rules these kids have used before, simply won't work when applied to the new assignments that they are given. Could we also say that these new assignments are ineffective
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