The Importance Of Validating Cultural Ethnicity

2023 words - 8 pages

My interest in reading began with colors and drawings were assigned to me in first grade. I wanted to read the story by age the age of four. My mind would be captivated for hours. In wanting to read the story behind the picture, I was developing cognitive skills by the age of four. The colors came off the page and were transformed into life-like characters that I wanted to get to know. I would practice drawing and writing my own tales of princesses, witches, and fairies. This practice continued until the age of thirteen. Although I always loved the fables, legends, and stories I read, I realized I had nothing in common with Cinderella, Snow White, nor any other fantasy typical characters in the books I had previously read. I seemed isolated and alienated from the reading texts available to me, so I stopped reading for the next ten years.There were no books available, I felt, that were relevant or significant to me. It wasn’t until my early thirties that I found books by authors such as Sandra Cisneros, Gary Soto, Kathleen Alcala, and Pat Mora, to name a few. I couldn’t stop reading the books from these authors. I found a connection with all of them. They have stories and characters similar to my own personal experiences growing up. I started reading again. Where had they been? What kind of a difference would it have made when I was thirteen? On a grander scale, what kind of a difference could it make now to many adolescents and teenagers in the Valley to read books by authors that they can identify with culturally? If an adolescent from the Rio Grande Valley can have his or her world validated in a book, their interest to continue reading will help the student acquire skills such as grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic reasoning. If this happens, this can help them pass a TAKS test. This should be a one major goal in implementing culturally related books in the classroom in the Rio Grande Valley. If an adolescent finds a connection in a book about his world, he or she will make a connection to other books that parallel or mirror similar ideas in his or her text. This will hopefully induce an escalating effect in include learning interests in other subjects, too.Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky, born in Western Russia in 1896, and considered to be on the founders of Social Constructivism, was a psychologist whose ideas on cognitive development, especially in the relationship of thought and language, relied on the fundamentals of culture relevance in the classroom. He ascertained four basic principles in his framework of how children acquire knowledge: 1.) Children construct their knowledge, 2.) development cannot be separated from its social content, 3.) learning can lead development, 4.) language plays a central role in mental development. (Ageyev 138) The parents play a pivotal role in a child’s learning process. Schema, which is the process of mental codification to organize how a child learns, and socialization, how a child learns by his or...

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