Defining Culture, Identity, and the Struggling Reader

While reading this module’s article, “Reading Adolescents’ Reading Abilities: Looking Back to See Ahead” written by Donna Alvermann, It has become clear that someone is looking out for all the discriminated-against readers who maybe just aren’t quite on the level that they “should” be on, and the way she puts it is remarkable. We’ve declared identities of reading as well as a cultural congecture that every year you get older, you should also increase your ability to read, both fluently and in speed. However, what we don’t realize is that these standards we have imprinted on our educational culture deteriorates the morals and abilities of a large portion of our society: those who don’t live up to the standard that is quite unreasonable for every single person to conform to. With reading tests required every year of schooling, we force kids to be nervous and to even strongly dislike reading because we have implemented stressful standards for students who feel that if they don’t meet these standards for whatever reason, they are not apart of the intellectual culture or identity of America, and this is extremely concerning when the teaching aspect is brought into it. In many schools and situations I have been accustomed to hear stories about as well as see, teachers use these standards to favorite those who are strong readers and meet the standards of reading, while those are left to envy those who are prioritized Teachers don’t prepare or prioritize those who need help, but in a ridiculously significant amount of cases, teachers neglect and stereotype those who are at a different level of education, often becoming a reputation that follows the student their entire life. What Alvermann suggests we try is to not look upon the negative characteristics of a student’s reading ability, but instead reflect upon the positive abilities they have, and what the next step for that individual is in order to grow as a reader. Often, the way a child learns in elementary school shapes the reputation and the identity teachers will see them and treat them as for their educational life, and this must stop. Rather than exploiting their “inability” to meet standard levels, we should praise them for where they are and help them to grow on an individual basis as well as remembering that each student does truly want to grow as long as the teacher is willing to let them.

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