Module 4: Reflection on Gee’s Situation Language and Learing: A Critique of Traditional Schooling

I thought this poster was interesting on the heels of reading and summarizing G.P. Gee’s Situated Language and Learning” A Critique of Traditional Schooling.

After reading Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional Schooling chapters 4-6,  I have several thoughts.  Gee takes an interesting perspective and relates reading to video gaming.  While he makes several solid points relevant to vocabulary, exposure and achieving “good reader” status, I don’t think his approach is the only way for readers to become solid and confident.  Gee believes the process of learning to video game is applicable to learning to read.  His main point is that students must do in order to understand and learn, not just learn skills in isolation with little to no connection to the larger picture.  I agree with Gee’s beliefs that learning is best via a “cultural process” not necessarily an “instructed process”.  Gee compares the video game experience with learning in that learners must acquire knowledge at a relatively quick speed to maintain interest and for the material to be engaging enough that keeps people coming back to play more.  This is similar to reading in that if students are frustrated and can’t make contextual meaning to their learning, they are likely to avoid it.  Also, students who are interested in the content will want to read more often.

I found Gee’s discussion about the careful balance between teacher guidance and student response to be spot on.  I think a teacher needs to be sensitive and in tune with his/her students in order to guide them in the direction that is most relevant to them.  Differentiation of approach is crucial in helping students in their learning journey.

Overall, Gee’s model of video-gaming and language and learning seems quite revolutionary.  He makes several valid points, but I don’t think our country is quite ready for the broad shift that he proposes.  I think integration of many of his suggestions could help many learners.

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