Upon reading the introduction, I was interested to finish the entire reading. Not because it was assigned but because really I got excited and interested. As Rogoff says, (1990) ‘a child’s meaning construction involves a relation between the individual and the social and cultural environments in which each is inherently involved in the others definition. None exists separately.’(p.89). Which means, a person’s classroom practice and participation is related to the kind of environment that he has outside school.
In my view, I would agree to what Rogoff has said, basing on my personal experience in the two types of school that I have attended. When I was in grade school, I have attended in both Private Catholic School and in an Elementary School in a small village.
When I was in that private school, I lived in an exclusive subdivision with the cable TV as my best friend. If I’m not in school, I’ll be just at home watching the MTV Channel, Discovery Channel, HBO, and Cartoon Network. My friends visit rarely and if they do, we just play computer games or watch English movies.
When I was forcibly transferred to a public school, I lived in a small village with no cable, no internet, no English movies and no computers or computer games. So when I am not in school, I’m with my friends and my cousins who only play birus, luksong-tinik and skipping rope.
When I was in a private school, I notice that I participate less in any classroom or school activities. I only talk when called. When I was in a public school meanwhile, I love engaging in group activities whether it’s classroom or school.
Well we can say that there are a lot of factors. And I think, undeniably, having been welcomed by peers and doing group activities outside school also developed my interpersonal skill. So it is a lot easier for me to participate in school activities.
Who’s better at reading? I’d say that it’s definitely not because of gender that a person is good in reading. And I did not see reading as an activity for girls. I grew up in a family wherein I have never seen my mom read but my dad does. He reads the newspaper and legal books every morning. I have a brother but he abhors reading. He’d rather go out and play with his friends. We have a lot of books at home but I’d rather be in front of the television. If I am good in reading, that’s because I am good in listening, watching and most of all mimicking. I mimic those characters that I see on TV (good thing that I only watch English shows back then).
I know a person who is very BAD with reading. He reads in a fragmented manner and ends up not understanding what he had read. He does not have books but owns a number of e-books. He said his dad reads self-help books but he never got interested in reading. He’d rather go out in the streets and play with friends. He also loves watching English movies which somehow explains why his English is phenomenal when he talks (sometimes he sounds like a native speaker) and how much his English sucks when he reads.
In conclusion, the kind of environment that you have at home would manifest in your actions in school. A person’s society and culture at home greatly affects his or her performance in school. A person can be very good at school not because the school is great but because his home is or it can also be the other way around.