Education Essay Example: Students Reading for Comprehension

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Vanderbilt University
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An Analysis of Civil Rights: African-America racial discrimination in the USA and recent White Nationalists of a Historian and Historical Educator


NAACP: We Won't Tolerate Discrimination.'

Text 1 talks about a young 29-year-old man of colored race being blocked by his new neighbors from settling in a new house he had bought on North Main Street, Scranton. The NACCP came to his aid by filing a civil rights lawsuit against the transgressors. NACCP notes that the police did not take any steps to charge the transgressors instead choose to tell the 29-year-old man to leave the area for normalcy to return. This man was still facing discrimination in 1985 at a time when enhanced civil rights had been gained in the US after the prolonged Civil War.

The Civil War allowed for reflection on the possible sources of conflict between the reigning the government and business elites and the common ordinary citizens before the event of the historic Civil War. The attitude that certain people deserved to be treated as slaves was still persistent in society, even as a majority of citizens developed increased opposition against it. When the general population decided to express their anger against the discriminative slavery practice violently, the authorities could do little to suppress the popular will. The mass violence that followed made the civilians to gain increased freedoms and rights that were previously stifled or muzzled by the ruling regime and the business elites that supported them.

The Civil War demonstrated that slaveholders were hell-bent on frustrating the rights of slaves such as their freedom of movement and association. They did not allow their slaves to interact with the rest of the population freely. Through a conniving political system, the slaveholders managed to subjugate and even sell slaves among themselves, like some capital commodity used as a factor of production. They were denied the slaveholders appropriated the rights to property, as the wealth they created.

In the Civil War, one learns that the government controlled by the slaveholders expected the masses to be good citizens by accepting the system of slave work as normal. Their obedience in previous years worked to the advantage of the slaveholders, but on the detriment of the slaves. The less wealthy common population eventually decided to forcefully claim their rights and allow everyone to live a civil life by pushing for the abolition of slave trade. The civil rights for Americans were enhanced after the Civil War that culminated in the signing of the Civil Rights Act. The civil conflict became a test of whether the then Revolution aimed at restoring racial and civil equality - would be fruitful in getting back America to the route of justice that was surviving during its creation. The speech uplifted the living to carry on struggle of the conflict. The civil conflict attempts sought after to abolishing slavery in the early times.

Reading as a teacher

The text is relatively easy to comprehend, as it uses less complicated words that can be easily understood by the students in their extensive reading activity. The students would find it relatively easier to understand the content of the prose and to place it in the right historical context, based on their past knowledge of racial discrimination and the advent of the Civil War in US history. Notably, the text is presented in a multimodal approach, with some sections shown as prose readings while others are portrayed as quoted speeches. This creates an opportunity for the students to learn in study groups as they take up turns in reading the section that requires turn taking.

How to support students reading for comprehension

The teaching session will give me real opportunity to teach diverse students with different abilities and weaknesses. I have to be able to understand the learning needs of each student in the class that I teach to be able to take an active approach to support their learning needs and improve their learning ability. I have encountered seven particular students with unique learning needs in my class. They face increased difficulty in reading comprehensions on his own and drawing meaning out of them. For this reason, I would pair them up with other average and competent students in my history class to enable them benefit from the relative competence of the other students. As peers, the students may have increased freedom to ask for help amongst themselves without fear of exposing their ignorance (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008). This text contains a conversation in the form of a prose and quoted speech that may easily be understood by student groups when they read. The text also includes a visual impression of a meeting by the NACCP group. These elements add to the student readers' perception of credibility and originality.

(b) How to support students reading like a member of the discourse community

I would take a first step in guiding the students on the importance of sourcing, corroboration, and contextualization in historical readings. This would give them the opportunity to internalize and conceptualize any ancient text that they come across. They would also know that every factual assertion must be attributed to the particular author who contributed to its publishing by making citations and references. Reading like a member of the discourse community requires that the students understand the importance of attributing every information source to its author. It also requires one to possess the ability to connect new history information they read with the cumulative historical knowledge they possess in relation to a particular subject or topic.

How to support students learning as a critical inquirer

Critical inquiry requires one to possess prior knowledge of a subject area before embarking on the reading exercise (Darvin, 2007). Students need to be in a position of reading the text while asking themselves pertinent questions such as why an event occurred, when it occurred, what preceded or influenced the event, who was involved in a historical event and where did they do it. Such questions allow the students to have a full contextual understanding of the ancient text they are reading while paying emphasis to the significant relationship between the historical events (Borasi, Siegel, Fonzi & Smith, 1998). For instance, a student reader with a mindset of critical inquiry would want to know the reasons behind the blatant violent of the civil rights for the young that sought to move to his new home. I would encourage them to read while pausing at intervals to ask the Why? When? Who? What? And Where? Questions for every historical explanation they know. A student reader gets to understand the critical points in the text if they go beyond the narration presented to get the reasons that supported or influenced every historical element discussed in the text.


White lives matter! White Supremacists with torches march on college campus by Joe Heim, the Washington Post.

Text 2 reports a demonstration laced with a message of racial discrimination. The text talks about a protest by white supremacists expressing their dissatisfaction against the Jews and whites. They were chanting "white lives matter" and were holding torches during their procession to mark their protest within campus grounds at the University of Virginia. Interestingly, the text also notes that the demonstrators consisting of men in their early twenties and thirties were met with another group of counter-protesters within the university premises. The events in this text underscore the underlying racial tensions between the white nationalists and the Jews.

Text 2 is important because it refers to a matter involving civic engagement. Civic engagement includes the created mechanisms for citizens to participate in political processes actively. It is often a condition set up within a political system, where the civil society gains increased protection, empowerment, and accountability. People have raised and equal information access. Civic engagement conditions allow for freedom of expression. However, in this case, the white nationalists are expressing themselves on a matter that appears to be stoking the racial tensions between the whites and the Jews in the US.

The text gives a hint on the importance of carrying out civic engagement. Two different campus groups have been allowed to conduct parallel demonstrations on the same issue within their school, underscoring the plurality of their ideas. Civic engagement enhances people's respect for the political and civil rights of others. The general population also gets a chance to influence government policy, participate in politics, and check the government against excesses. Civic engagement is critical because it allows for the proliferation of free, independent media that is not subject to political influence, allows the free formation of political parties, mitigates chances of violent conflict with the creation of channel such as public for a that enable people to engage in peaceful debate.

A citizen is that person who contributes to society's course, respects the legitimate authority, and obeys established laws in a country. Citizens should demonstrate patriotism and love for their country. They also uphold a civic duty of responsibility in their interaction with others. Besides, citizens need to show respect for other peoples rights. In this case, the students protesting are feeling that the political rights of white nationalists are being undermined by Jews and other people of colored races.

Reading as a teacher

The text covers a topic on racial discrimination that can be easily grasped by the students through the traditional lectures and teacher recitations. However, the teacher would have to draw a connection between the traditional demonstration modeled on racial differences, and the long-standing history of racial discrimination in the US, including the historic Civil War that lasted for several years. I have seven students who are particularly weak in reading, understanding, and internalizing historical concepts presented in a text.

I have since learned to be thoughtful and sensitive when instructing them to support their poor comprehension and their overall learning abilities (Nokes, Dole & Hacker, 2007). They often fail to follow instructions on reading comprehensions like a majority of the other students. In the course of teaching, I tend to hypothesize the possibility of these seven students suffering from some learning difficulty owing to their reduced cognitive ability. My strategy to support their learning would be to pair them up in groups with other performing students during the reading sessions and to follow-up on their performance to assess whether they gained new knowledge from the reading exercise.

(a)How to support students reading for comprehension

The language used in text 2 is relatively straightforward for history students at High School level. The text uses common words that can be easily comprehended by High School students. The primary challenge in understanding this text is that it heavily references sources from other articles (Wade, Buxton & Kelly, 1999). The text also presents visual features of white nationalists demonstrating against increasing influence by the Jews. It can be used to provide further elaboration on the racial circumstances that informed the demonstration discussed in the prose.

How to support students reading like a member of the discourse community

The students need to be taught the historical background of the four countries before discussing their ties as portrayed in the ancient excavations of the various earthenware. Four of these seven student...

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