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Edu 573 Case Study Research Paper
Edu 573, Case Study, Research, Paper
Anna Ramirez is a seventh-grader who lives with her family of six siblings and their parents in a modest house about a mile from the middle school she attends. She looks up to her two older brothers, one who is a strong athlete in high school and the other who plays the trumpet in the band.
Her older sister, who dropped out of school two years ago at age 16, now has a two-year-old child. Anna helps take care of him on weekends and sometimes on school nights. She also helps with her two younger sisters, aged seven and nine, and answers their questions about their schoolwork.
Anna is very patient with her nephew and her younger sisters and creative in finding ways to keep them busy. She plays and even roughhouses with them, letting them ride her like a horse or put her on a leash as a pet dog. She likes to draw and often has all of the children coloring or painting around the kitchen table.
The walls in her part of a shared bedroom are decorated with sketches she has made of her favorite singers. Her brother has nicknamed her “Leonardo” because she is always drawing something. Anna also enjoys helping her mother and aunts prepare elaborate meals for special family dinners.
While they chop and mince the fresh vegetables and herbs, they banter back and forth and tease each other. It is a very happy kitchen, and Anna feels safe and secure in its hub. Unfortunately, a very different Anna enters Mrs. Dodge’s math classroom. Anna picks up her folder with a frown and goes to her assigned seat in the back of the room.
Instead of doing the daily warm-up problem on the board, Anna draws in her notebook. When it is time to discuss the answer, she stares at her desk. Mrs. Dodge calls on one of several eager students who raise their hands and sends him to the board to show his work.
When he is finished, she tells him he has done a good job. Meanwhile Anna has copied down the problem and its answer from the board. When Mrs. Dodge asks if there are any questions, Anna says nothing, although she does not understand the problem.
Next Mrs. Dodge has Juan, a straight-A student, read the chapter section introducing the concept of percent and how it relates to fractions and decimals. She stops him occasionally to ask questions.
“If you were converting ½ to a percentage, what would it be?”
Miguel is one of several in the front of the class who raises his hand, and Mrs. Dodge calls on him. “Fifty percent,” he responds.
“That’s very good, Miguel. You see, it is just like money, just like the change from a dollar. Fifty cents is ½ of a dollar, just as 50 percent also stands for ½.”
Mrs. Dodge notices that Anna is drawing on the back of her notebook and walks over to her. Mrs. Dodge picks it up and smiles sarcastically. “Oh, I thought you were graphing our work, but it seems that you are only drawing again.”
The rest of the class laughs, and Anna turns red. “Anna, what is 50 percent of 200?” Mrs. Dodge asks.
Anna looks down for a second or two and is about to reply when Mrs. Dodge turns to Edgar, who is waving his hand. He gives the correct answer.
The last part of the period is labeled “Cooperative Learning” in large, bold letters on the board. Mrs. Dodge allows the students to join small, self-selected groups to work on the homework assignment. Cooperative learning is not often used by Mrs. Dodge and even goes against her grain, because she sees it as cheating.
However, many of the in-service presentations stress cooperative learning, and Mrs. Dodge knows she will not get a good evaluation if she doesn’t show it in her lesson plans.
The good math students sit together in a group, although they really work separately. However, they always manage to finish before the bell rings. In many of the groups there is interaction, but it is mainly about things other than math.
Anna works with a few others she has known since early elementary school, but they seldom are able to help one another. She finishes only a few problems, and even then she is not sure if they are correct.
The bell rings and Anna leaves the room. There is new vigor in her step and confidence in her stride. The next class is art.