Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Are you in Trackton, Roadville, or Maintown?

I am sitting here reading the Heath article and I cant help but feel that it is way to generalized. My parents never told me bedtime stories. I think many children learn to talk like Trackton kids do, "by first repeating, catching chunks of sounds, intonation contours, and practicing these without specific reinforcement or evaluation," (Heath, p. 89). Maybe for me it is because my family is overall a Maintown family but without bedtime stories but I dont think I ever had trouble with my language skills (be it reading or writing) so I suppose I do not see what the big deal is with bedtime stories. I'd be interested to see where everyone else thinks there childhood fits most closely with (Trackton, Roadville, or Maintown) and if this has had any effects (that you know of) in your reading and writing ability?


Hali Resney said...

I on the other hand did have bedtime stories read to me as a child, along with bedtime songs. So I guess I would say Roadville is more of how I was brought up. I do think reading books, not necessarily at bedtime, but anytime of the day, is essential for kids learning how to read and write. Being a nanny, I have experienced real literacy practices with the kids I watch. For example, my two year old loves having books read to her, and when she looks at them herself, she tells the story pretty well on her own. She has memorized parts of her books from having them read to her over and over, so a lot of it is pure memorization, but I also think she is learning to retain information, and is beginning to associate words she hears with words in the books. I think this is similar to how i started to read/write, and therefore feel books are an important part to the learning process. However, like I said before, I don't think you have to read them at bedtime just to make this process happen. As long as a child is being exposed to them, that is what matters. I thought the reading on Trackton vs. Roadville was too narrow, and that every child must fit into one of the towns literacy practices. i don't think the real world works like their definitions, especially Trackton's. I couldn't believe they were having children at age 2 still sleeping with their parents! That is ridiculous! Even babies from the very beginning shouldn't be sleeping with their parents in the same bed. I feel the reading brought up a good point of showing how culture and our upbringing impacts our literacy learning, but didn't agree with some of their ideas/methods.

Matt said...

I honestly find the Maintown data to be severely flwaed. These families all had mothers, who were all current or past teachers. Clearly, these families would have a better indication of how to succeed in school. What I got from this article is that every culture has its own literacy methods, but the schools have adopted only one of those methods to judge everyone.

BSwitzer said...

I agree Matt especially with the divorce on a constant rise. I think it is 1 in 3 which is a crazy number.

I on the other hand had children books but when I grew out of them I was forced to reading books from school that were assigned and the newspaper or magazines at home. I don't remember having a room with tons of literacy options.

I think I turned out alright. Most times I was stuck making meaning out of things by myself, and then asking questions. I dont remember bedtime stories but I would have to say I was more of a Roadville member.

Shannon said...

I agree with what Matt said as well.. I don't think that they were trying to say that you needed to have bedtime stories read to you in order to be successful in school.

I think the point is that each family and/or culture has different child rearing and literacy practices, and these practices affect the child in how easy school comes to them. Which brings us to the point that schools are, for the most part, designed after the practices of white, middle class people.

As for me, I DID have bedtime stories read to me, and as it was in the article, it was an integral part of my literacy learning... and I DID have a relatively easy time in school.