Teacher Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In what year did Leo Tolstoy begin his peasant school?

2. What word did Ashton-Warner say few boys did not know how to spell?

3. What did the students do with their cards after they were handed out?

4. How did Ashton-Warner describe the vocabulary in most set early readers?

5. What teacher did Ashton-Warner describe as being on the "high mountain" at the beginning of "Workbook"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Ashton-Warner describe children's minds as volcanoes and how did that affect her teaching?

2. Why did Ashton-Warner throw out words that students did not recognize the second time?

3. How can a teacher tell when a book is valuable to her students, according to Ashton-Warner?

4. How did the students perform when they did expressive dancing versus when they learned specific moves?

5. What was the connection Ashton-Warner drew between the infant room and war and peace?

6. Why did Ashton-Warner describe the language of published first readers as "dead"?

7. By what process was spelling taught in Ashton-Warner's classroom?

8. What was Ashton-Warner's reaction to the sometimes violent imagery used in the children's stories?

9. Why were "key words" so essential to learning to read?

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

Essay Topics

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?

(see the answer keys)

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