|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What color crayon did Ashton-Warner use for the key vocabulary?
2. How long were Ashton-Warner's seven-year-old students able to write?
3. How long were most of the "stories" written by the students at the beginning of school?
4. What figure signified divinity in the Chaldean writing system?
5. What composer was NOT mentioned among the list Ashton-Warner used in her classroom?
Short Essay Questions
1. How did the Maori early readers provide a bridge to eventual reading of European material?
2. What did Ashton-Warner mean when she wrote that "we don't waste enough in school?"
3. How did the children's writings differ from the standard readers offered in most schools?
4. What is wrong with the cadence in many published first readers?
5. Why did Ashton-Warner say that the discussions of the children's stories were the "most significant" feature of the class?
6. By what process was spelling taught in Ashton-Warner's classroom?
7. Why did Ashton-Warner find the European and American early readers two-dimensional?
8. How did early exposure to white cultural norms adversely affect the Maori?
9. Why did Ashton-Warner believe that standardized reading texts were damaging to children?
10. What was the connection Ashton-Warner drew between the infant room and war and peace?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Ashton-Warner wrote in detail about the importance of "first words" for beginning readers and how the traditional reading books used among young children did not use those words. Write an essay exploring how the use of a child's first words can enhance the learning process. Do children from different cultures develop different first words? Does learning to read from another culture's books necessarily lead to stunted development? If individual children are given their own unique texts, at what point can a teacher introduce standardized books to the entire classroom?
Essay Topic 2
At one point in the book, Ashton-Warner admitted that at least one of her white students would have performed better had he been given access to the "white" readers she hated so much. Did her efforts on behalf of her Maori students come at a cost for her white students? Is it possible to help one previously disadvantaged group while also ensuring that the "advantaged" group does not fall behind? Should teachers base their teaching on reaching specific groups or should all the students, regardless of background, be expected to conform to the standard used in that classroom? Is it possible--or desirable--to differentiate instruction in a diverse classroom?
Essay Topic 3
The great Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, developed and operated a school for peasant children that Ashton-Warner expressed admiration for. The school day was long and students were given significant freedom to choose what subjects to study and when. Is this school model possible on a larger scale or is it something that can only be done on a small scale, under unique circumstances? What are the benefits of allowing students to go at their own pace and explore the subjects most dear to them? What happens to standardized curricula and school-wide tests in such a situation?
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