1. What is the issue/problem in this case study? Identify and briefly explain.
The issue that is focused on during this particular case study is the teacher has a class that is made up of mostly Hispanic cultured students learning in English that are being referred to as lower education leveled students. He refers to their culture of the Mayans, pointing out the fact that they are from an area that English is not their first language. Each student is very much part of a cultural minority of all different aspects. You have the students that are rude and have this aspect of being affiliated with a gang. You see this through the character of the two young men who come into class late. They disrespect the teacher by dropping the sheet of paper onto the floor and slapping his face when he spoke to him. You get this idea of a gang because when they are speaking to him after class, there are other people around in glasses just watching them interact. You have a shy, soft-spoken smart girl in the back of the classroom segregated from the other students. You also see that they lack an education because they are portrayed as a high school leveled student that is learning simple subjects of addition and subtraction and basic multiplication. We see that he is facing a challenge in their level of education that they should be and where they are.
2. In what ways did Mr. Escalante develop a caring classroom community? Explain how his approach was effective or ineffective in your opinion?
Mr. Escalante developed this community in the classroom by relating what he was teaching to the students to something relevant in their life. For instance, when he is teaching math, one of the students who is a part of the gang counts to three and flicks him off. Instead of getting onto him for make crude gestures in the classroom, he automatically replies by teaching the student a math lesson. He shows him that he can use his hands too, showing him the nines multiplication trick. He then tells the students people may make assumptions about them because of who they are and the connotation of their types of people. Instead of letting these people do this, he says that math can become this “equalizer” in society. The students in his classroom then connect the idea that they can become equal in society by having a higher education. In addition, this also allows the students to assume that Mr. Escalante cares for them. Rather than letting them be seen the way society would assume, they can stand in with the rest of society, rather than be outcast. He also pushed them to be better and to try harder, setting the standards high. Rather than giving up on the student for not knowing (-2+2)=0, he continued to ask him and help him come to the conclusion of the answer. This is effective in the classroom because teachers should show they care for the students, rather than being robots and just presenting them with information. They need to feel that they have a purpose and are welcomed in the classroom, which then in result will make you have a greater community amongst your students.
3. In what ways did Mr. Escalante enhance students’ motivation to learn? Explain how his approach was effective or ineffective in your opinion?
Mr. Escalante enhanced the students’ motivation to learn because he spoke to them in a way that made them want to be more successful in the future and to do better than their parents are those before them. For instance, he has the young man in the classroom that acts tough and does not think he needs to listen to what he is teaching them. He calls him “Mr. Tough Guy” by identifying him to his attitude. In this scene, he points out that those who are tough “Fry chicken for a living”. He is speaking to them about the reality of what they will be doing if they do not move forward in their education. Without learning, they will be stuck like their parents frying chicken rather than being successful. This was very much effective