For this assignment, you will find and browse a website about learning to read, in order to think more deeply about how we have discussions about reading, and how that might influence how we feel about ourselves as academics, and what we think about academic culture.
Find and Analyze a Website
- Google “Learn to Read,” and browse a few websites or articles that discuss how to learn to read.
- Look beyond the immediately obvious content (e.g the “how to”) and think about assumptions the sites might be making. Perhaps ignore the words, and look only at the image. Or ignore some of the words, and look for interesting keywords. Examples:
- Do they assume that “mom” is doing the at-home reading instruction? (From the images or who the article is addressed to).
- Do they assume that learning to read is hard or easy? (From keywords being used).
- Who are they marketing to, or who is their advice for? (Look at keywords, images, or read between the lines).
- What kind of assumptions might they be making about things like race, class and gender? (Look at everything you’ve noted so far, and some analysis).
- Summarize Your Findings. Once you look beyond the obvious, and make some notes, you should prepare a 2-3 sentence (maximum) summary that includes the main focus of the website, as well as some assumptions the website might be making.
- Please also provide a link to the website, in case we want to check it out!
Connect to Social and Historical Forces
Once you have the website you have chosen in front of you and you’ve summarized it and linked to it, think about the video you watched on “Social Inequality and Education,” as well as the social and historical forces you have been thinking about. Pick one of these forces and, using the ideas you thought over when you were looking at the website, answer the following questions:
- What is one assumption that the website it making?
- Do you believe that there are social or historical forces that the website is either addressing or ignoring? Name one and explain how the website is dealing with this social or historical force.
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