Teacher Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why did Ashton-Warner believe that standardized reading texts were damaging to children?

Ashton-Warner advocated organic teaching, in which children were allowed to first express themselves in their own unique ways. A child's first vocabulary is necessarily tied to his own cultural background and standardized texts cannot reflect everyone's cultural background. Being forced to make an early connection to the wider culture is not natural.

2. How did Russian peasant students react to Leo Tolstoy's experimental school?

Even many years later, Tolstoy's former students had fond memories of his school. The days passed quickly and the students, given the freedom to explore their own subjects at their own pace, thrived. The school day ended up being long because the students were there on their own free will and discovered that they loved to learn.

3. How did early exposure to white cultural norms adversely affect the Maori?

Ashton-Warner argued that Maori children were expected to make the transition to the dominant white culture at too early an age. The result was that the children were denied their opportunity to grow in their own culture before making the transition. As a result, she said, many Maori adults lacked the stability afforded by culture and were neurotic.

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