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arrow of god essay Arrow of dissertations, God (1964) by Chinua Achebe, a political and cultural novel, is set in Nigeria in the early twentieth century when colonization by argumentative intro paragraph, British government officials and Christian missionaries was well underway. In this novel two cultures confront their differences. Achebe portrays the disrupting effect an externally imposed power system (the British) has on an internally imposed power system (African tradition and customs). Conflicts within the Igbo society coupled with repercussions from external invasion result in disaster for the Igbo society which disintegrates from within and reorients itself to dissertations psychology, Christianity. This reorientation will lead not only to the assimilation of Western values and beliefs, but also to the eventual loss of the Igbo cultural identity. Arrow of God , Achebe's third novel, is an intricate and complex narrative. Ezeulu, the main character, is the chief priest of Ulu, a god created by the people almost a century before when the six villages of essay paragraph, Umuaro united to withstand the Abam slave raiders.
As chief priest, Ezeulu is responsible for safeguarding the traditions and rituals of the people. For example, Ezeulu watches each month for the new moon. Dissertations? He eats a sacred yam and beats the ogene to mark the are essays underlined, beginning of each new month. Only the dissertations in school, chief priest can name the day for the feast of the Pumpkin Leaves or for the New Yam Feast, which ushers in essay on distance learning, the yam harvest. Ezeulu considers himself merely a watchman (3) for Ulu. His power was no more than the power of a child over a goat that was said to be his (3). Achebe is interested in investigating this power and how a priest determines the gods' decrees (Interview with Lewis Nkosi 21). Structurally, Arrow of God begins en medias res with a flashback to explain a disagreement between Ezeulu and Nwaka five years before. Nwaka is a prosperous man and a supporter of Ezidemili, the chief priest of the god, Idemili.
The initial conflict between the two men is over a land dispute between Umuaro and the nearby village of Okperi. Nwaka leads a group of dissertations in school, villagers who want to go to war against Okperi. Ezeulu opposes them. Business Continuity Plan? All six villages of Umuaro side with Nwaka and override Ezeulu. Akukalia, an emissary from Umuaro, is sent to Okperi to announce the war. Dissertations Psychology? Feeling as if he was not properly received, Akukalia, in a fit of anger, breaks one of the villager's personal gods which prompts the people of Okperi to kill the i have conclusion, messenger from Umuaro igniting open conflict. The war ends abruptly when the British get involved.
Captain T.K.Winterbottom, the District Officer, stops the war and breaks all the guns in Okperi and Umuaro. Ezeulu later testifies on Government Hill that the people of Umuaro had no claim to Okperi land, thus impressing Captain Winterbottom with his lack of in school, bias. Ezeulu, on his part, was also impressed with Captain Winterbottom. All of this, told in argumentative essay paragraph, flashback, foreshadows the future conflict between Ezeulu and his people, which will fracture the community. Dissertations Psychology? Ezeulu has four sons-Edogo, Obika, Oduche, and Nwafo.
Ezeulu sends Oduche to study Christianity with the white missionaries led by Mr. Goodcountry. Ezeulu initial motive is so that Oduche might learn the wisdom of the white men (42). Later, he realizes that if the white men take over the country, as it seems obvious they will, it would be prudent to have one of his own sons in the inside circle. I have sent you to be my eyes there (189) he says.
Ezeulu's old friend, Akuebue discourages Ezeulu's decision to essay learning education, send Oduche to the white men. When you spoke against in school, the war with Okperi you were not alone . . Are Essays Underlined? .But if you send your son to dissertations in school psychology, join strangers in desecrating the land you will be alone (134). Nevertheless, Ezeulu sends his son. Business With? Oduche is instructed by Mr. Goodcountry to kill the sacred python. Oduche places a python in a footlocker, but the snake is discovered and in school, is released unharmed. Even though everyone in law case studies, Umuaro knows that Oduche is responsible for this desecration of a sacred symbol, Ezeulu does not punish his son.
The incident further fuels the divide between Ezeulu and his enemies. Shortly after this, Ezeulu is summoned to Okperi to Government Hill for a meeting with Winterbottom who wants to in school, make Ezeulu a puppet chief. The British attempted to business continuity test, instigate a policy advanced by Lord Lugard, governor-General of Nigeria from 1912-19. The idea of indirect rule allows the colonizers to rule the dissertations, colonized people through appointed native chiefs (Maja-Pearce 18). Before Ezeulu leaves for Okperi, Ezeulu's enemy, Nwaka draws attention to Ezeulu's friendship with the white men who are taking the Igbo land.
Ezeulu angers Winterbottom by delaying his departure for Okperi. When Ezeulu arrives on Government Hill he is imprisoned. Winterbottom has become ill and is in argumentative essay, the hospital. Assistant District Officer Tony Clarke makes the offer to Ezeulu that the British would like to make him a ruler. Ezeulu declines to be a white man's chief (175). Ezeulu angers the British administration, which detains him for dissertations psychology, two more months. During his imprisonment, Ezeulu cannot eat the sacred yams or announce the new moons. Intro? Angry with his people for letting the British detain him, Ezeulu refuses to eat the yams. When he is released he stubbornly moves the New Yam Festival forward two months.
By refusing to in school psychology, announce the feast, the yams cannot be harvested and they rot in the fields causing avfamine. You all know our custom, Ezeulu says, I only call a new festival when there is only one yam left from the last. Business Law Case? Today I have three yams and so I know that the in school psychology, time has not come (207). Underlined? Aware that he is punishing and hurting his people, Ezeulu likens himself to in school, the arrow in the bow of Ulu. The people become divided between their loyalty to Ulu and i have essay, their loyalty to the survival of the community. Dissertations In School? They begin to question the chief priest and ask that the custom be altered. Are Essays Underlined? While the people argue and starve, Ezeulu's son Obika dies suddenly while performing as Ogbazulobodo, the dissertations in school, night spirit, in a ritual for a funeral. The people take Obika's death as a sign that Ulu had either chastised or abandoned his priest and that no man however great was greater than his people; that no one ever won judgment against i have a dream, his clan (230).
Ezeulu is a tragic hero who imperiled his community to make a point. Dissertations Psychology? Because Ulu failed them, the speech, people of Umuaro turned to Christianity, harvesting the yams and taking a sacrificial offering to dissertations psychology, Mr. University Phd Dissertations? Goodcountry who received them with open arms. Of the ending John Updike says that the events of the conclusion proved unexpected and, as I think about them, beautifully resonant, tragic and theological. That Ezeulu, whom we had seen stand up so invincibly to both Nwaka and in school psychology, Clarke, should be so suddenly vanquished by his own god Ulu and by something harsh and vengeful within himself, and his defeat in a page or two be the fulcrum of a Christian lever upon his people, is an ending few Western novelists would have contrived (Letter from John Updike 56). Intro Paragraph? Achebe's achievement, then, in this novel, is to portray his obvious love and respect for the Igbo people balanced with an honest representation of their lives, conflicts, and culture. In School? Examining the influence traditional canonical texts had on Achebe leads to are essays, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1902) (http://www.heartofdarkness.html). When studying the venerated Conradian text, Achebe realized that the African characters are stereotypes and that Conrad is giving the typical colonial view of the natives.
In contrast to Conrad's half-naked, silent, spear rattling savages, Achebe creates complex and dissertations in school, complicated human beings existing within an equally complex and complicated society. On Distance Learning? As if pointedly playing with Conrad, Achebe presents his European characters, Winterbottom, Clark, and Wright as one dimensional stereotypes. So successful is he that one critic misses the apparent irony and takes Achebe to task saying, Once again the white characters are not much more than parodies, though perfectly fair ones . . . some day Chinua Achebe must give us a white man whom he takes as seriously as he does his Ibos, rather than a series of dei ex machina (Moore 52) . Dissertations In School? Another traditional text that influenced Achebe is speech essay conclusion, Joyce Cary's Mister Johnson . This novel, also set in dissertations, Nigeria, struck Achebe as a most superficial picture of-not only of the country-but even of the Nigerian characters, and so I thought if this was famous, then perhaps someone ought to try and look at this from the inside (Pieterse and Duerden 4). Conducting a dialogue with Achebe's other novels shows that all of plan, Achebe's texts look at psychology, Nigeria from the inside. Arrow of i have a dream speech essay conclusion, God is the third of four novels Achebe wrote between 1955-1965, which are about Nigeria from the beginning of British colonization in dissertations in school, the 1890's through the i have a dream speech conclusion, military coup in the 1960's. Achebe's first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958) (http://www.thingsfallapart.html) is set in pre-colonial Nigeria and addresses the first encounters of the in school psychology, Igbo people with the essay on distance, British invaders.
The main character, Okonkwo, like the main character Ezeulu in Arrow of God , is destroyed by setting himself apart from his people. Dissertations In School? The two main characters, however, have totally different reactions to colonization. No Longer at Ease (1960) (http://nolongeratease.html) is set in both the Nigerian capital of Lagos and in Umuofia, a Nigerian village. The main character is an educated Nigerian man who attempts to negotiate a past and present Nigerian society in the 1950's-a time of great political change. A Man of the People (1966) (http://www.manofthepeople.html) investigates the impact of politics on essay native culture. The action is set in contemporary Nigeria after achieving independence from British rule. Anthills of the Savannah (1987) (http://www.anthillsofthesavannah.html) raises questions about power and military rule in Nigeria after independence from Britain.
Comparing Achebe's Arrow of God to Rigoberta Menchu's I, Rigoberta Menchu (http://www.irigobertamenchu.html),one of the dissertations in school, best known Latin American post colonial texts, there are similarities and business law case studies, differences. One obvious difference is genre. Arrow of God is a novel, while Menchu's text is a testimonio. While both texts deal with a colonized situation, Achebe's novel does not idealize the indigenous African people as Menchu's text idealizes the Guatemalans. Achebe's characters have both good and bad traits, which are equally exposed and explored in the novel. In School Psychology? Achebe's point is business continuity test plan, that the Igbo people were in dissertations, some way susceptible to assimilation by Western culture because they could not reconcile the argumentative essay intro paragraph, internal discord within their own culture. Perhaps the same dissension within led to the subjugation of in school psychology, Menchu's Mayan culture by the Spanish, but it is not a theme she explores as readily as Achebe. Menchu admits that the Indians are separated by ethnic barriers, linguistic barriers, that there's no dialogue between us (143), and that the government uses these divisions within the culture to exploit the people (143), but she does not draw any conclusions from the implications. Instead, she places the blame on the government, saying this is what the White Man did; it's the fault of the White Man (69). Menchu, of course, is not an artist in are essays underlined, the sense Achebe means, nor was she writing a novel. However, by her failure to be more balanced, or, at least slightly detached, Menchu opens the door for dissertations psychology, detractors who feel her testimony at times borders on propaganda.
It is well for the reader of Menchu to keep in mind that Menchu is on a crusade and that her anger is i have a dream speech, a sort of righteous anger that fuels the emotion of her story, but may not give a completely balanced view of reality. This conflict between 'two brothers' is one Menchu does not elaborate on. When the in school, villagers capture the government soldier she says that for are essays, the pregnant girls raped by the soldiers, the baby was like a monster, something unbearable (148), implying that the bloodlines could not mix, yet she later says the soldier was also an Indian, not from a different race at dissertations in school psychology, all. Business Studies? Why brother is fighting against brother, why Igbo betrays Igbo is a cultural psychological question, one Menchu sidesteps but Achebe tackles head on. Another interesting textual dialogue is to dissertations psychology, compare Achebe's text with other counter narratives.
Arrow of education, God , like the in school psychology, Latin American text of are essays underlined, Miquel Angel Asturias' Men of Maize (1949) (http://www.menofmaize.html), is a counter narrative. Both Achebe and Asturias investigate the colonization of indigenous peoples by Europeans. Dissertations? Both texts present counter narratives and counter histories to the official European narrative. Neither Achebe nor Asturias demonizes the colonizers; instead, both authors show the duke phd dissertations, faults within the indigenous culture they represent. Chinua Achebe, novelist, short story writer and essayist, is considered one of Africa's most important novelists. He is so important that many scholars believe him to be the originator of modern African literature (Gikandi 2), even though there were many impressive African writers who preceded Achebe such as Amos Tutuola, Thomas Mofolo, Sol Plaatje, and Peter Abrahams.
Achebe, christened Albert Chinualumogu, was born at Ogidi in Eastern Nigeria November 16,1930 to Isaiah Okafor and Janet Achebe. His father was a catechist for the Church Missionary Society and his mother was also a convert to Christianity. Dissertations? His father was in charge of the village school run by the Church Missionary Society. Growing up Achebe felt the impact of business law case with, living between two cultures-the traditional Igbo culture of Ogidi and the European Christian culture his parents both embraced. He says, On one arm of the cross we sang hymns and psychology, read the are essays underlined, bible night and dissertations psychology, day. On the other my father's brother and his family, blinded by heathenism, offered food to intro, idols. That was how it was supposed to dissertations psychology, be anyhow ( Morning Yet on Creation Day 68). After being educated in the village school, Achebe went to Government College in Umuahia in Eastern Nigeria during the years, 1944-1948. I Have A Dream Speech Conclusion? He originally intended to study medicine, but changed his major to the arts.
By the time he graduated in 1953 from University College at Ibadan, a British style university, he had been taught that European values and culture were superior to in school, his native Igbo culture. I Have Speech Conclusion? Achebe took issue with this point of view. He felt that canonical literary books did not accurately or adequately represent Africans as anything other than stereotypes. He began to think about writing a new African literature in which African culture and people were realistically represented. In 1954 Achebe became Talks Producer for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service and studied in London with the BBC in 1956.
In 1958 he published Things Fall Apart which is about the effect of British colonization on the Igbo culture. During 1960-1961 he went to dissertations, East Africa on a Rockefeller Fellowship. In 1961 Achebe married Christie Chinwe Okoli and became Director of External Broadcasting for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service. In 1963 Achebe traveled to the United States, Brazil and Britain. In 1964 he published Arrow of God. After the military coup in Nigeria in argumentative essay intro paragraph, 1966, Achebe returned to Eastern Nigeria and became a spokesman for Biafra. In School? In later years Achebe became Visiting Professor of Literature at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He has continued to publish books, short stories, children's books and essays.
His latest book, Anthills of the business with answers, Savannah was published in 1989. Achebe received the Nigerian National Merit Award for intellectual achievement. Achebe is committed to dissertations, helping create a national African culture through African literature. The worst thing that can happen to any people is the loss of their dignity and self-respect. Are Essays? The writer's duty is to help them regain it by showing them in human terms what happened to them, what they lost. There is a saying in Ibo that a man who can't tell where the rain began to beat him cannot know where he dried his body. The writer can tell the people where the in school, rain began to beat them (The Role of the Writer in a New Nation 158) In his novels, and as an African writer, Achebe shows his people where and how they lost their identity.
He can also assist them in reclaiming it. I'm an Igbo writer, he says, because this is my basic culture; Nigerian, African and a writer . . . no, black first, then a writer. Business With Answers? Each of these identities does call for a certain commitment on my part. I must see what it is to be black-and this means being sufficiently intelligent to know how the world is in school, moving and how the black people fare in business law case, the world. This is what it means to be black. Or an African-the same: what does Africa mean to dissertations in school, the world? When you see an African what does it mean to business law case with answers, a white man? (Appiah et.al.) Achebe's goal, then, as a writer is to instruct. He says, I would be quite satisfied if my novels (especially the ones I set in the past) did no more than teach my readers that their past-with all its imperfections-was not one long night of savagery from which the first Europeans acting on God's behalf delivered them (The Novelist as Teacher 45). Achebe's novels not only teach Africans, they also enlarge the knowledge and understanding of non-Africans about the Igbo culture, as well as about universal truths of human nature. There are three main ethnic groups in Nigeria-the Hausa-Fulani, the Yoruba, and the Igbo.
The Igbos, or Ibos, of southeastern Nigeria are one of 250 tribes. These many diverse tribes each have their own dialects, culture, and dissertations psychology, political systems. Each village has its own marketplace, gods, and duke phd dissertations, shrines. The Ibos have one supreme god, Chukwu. Each Ibo, male and female, is dissertations in school psychology, given a chi at birth-a personal god who controls that person's fate (Innes 2) British colonization between 1900-1910 formed the many tribes into the one nation of Nigeria. The British set up a system of direct rule.
In 1918 direct rule was replaced with indirect rule as the District Commissioners appointed native chiefs as puppet rulers within each village. This system remained in effect until 1960. For more information on the Igbo's see: J.C. Anene, Southern Nigeria in Transition (1966); Richard Henderson, The King in Every Man (1971); Igbo Traditional Life, Culture and Literature, edited by M.J.C. Echeruo and E.N. Obiechina (1971); E.N. Obiechina, Culture, Tradition and Society in the West African Novel (1975). The following sites give a brief summary of the history of Nigeria: (http://www.motherlandnigeria.com/history.html) and (http://188.8.131.52/post/nigeria/nigeriahistov.html) This site is are essays underlined, maintained by Boomie Olunbunmi. Contents are extensive and include: Geography, Patriotic information, People, Languages, Names and Origins, Marriage, Food and Drink, Recipes, Healthcare, Education, Holidays, Festivals, Attire, Transportation, Sports, The Arts, Music, Pictures, Brief History, Government, Historical Government, Democracy Watch, Legal system, Economics, Agriculture, Telephone, Travel information, Tourist Attractions, Famous Nigerians, Notable Women of in school, Nigeria, Other links, Nigerian organizations, Kidzone, Humor, Stories, Proverbs, Games.
This site has a discussion of Pre-colonialism, colonialism and Post-colonialism and a Nigerian History Overview. There is also information on women's history with a detailed look at i have a dream essay, the role of Nigerian women in pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial Nigeria. Psychology? This site has Biographies, Chat Rooms, Classified, Codes of Honor, Culture, Education, Embassies, Ethnic Groups, Folk Tales, Government, Literature, Message Center, Music, Nigerian News, Personals, Polls, Quizzes, Recipes, Religions, Nigerian Nation Store. This site provides information about teaching African Literature. Continuity Test Plan? Also, under Selection of dissertations, Resources on the World Wide Web one can find background information and current affairs on Africa. Proverb links include: Arrow of God can be taught in many ways.
Some teachers prefer to confront the primary text and allow it to continuity test, explicate its own background information; some prefer to goround students with background reading and supplemental texts before reading the primary text. This section will examine both techniques, as well as the strategy of in school psychology, approaching the are essays, book as a counternarrative. In teaching any cultural text the teacher is confronted at dissertations in school, the outset with the reality that the student will need background information. Without understanding the culture represented in the text, a reader may fail to comprehend or appreciate its significance. Assigning reports on a dream speech essay conclusion Nigeria, the Ibos, Achebe, British colonization in Africa from dissertations in school, a pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial perspective, examining the business continuity test plan, role of the dissertations in school psychology, family and i have a dream, women in dissertations psychology, Ibo society or how the British invasion upset the natural checks and balances within the Ibo culture would be one way to help students beginlearning more about the time period and the conflicting cultures Achebe portrays. However, since the text itself is a place of cultural interaction some instructors might opt to forego background information and immerse the a dream essay, students directly in the text. If so, it would be helpful to raise questions at the beginning that the student can keep in dissertations in school, mind as he reads. Such questions might be Who is the arrow of God? Could Ezeulu disobey Ulu? Did you sympathize with Ezeulu or the starving people?
Why did Ezeulu not eat the sacred yams? What will be the result of Umuaro's conversion to Christianity? After the students have read the text in business law case studies with, depth analysis can be assigned examining narrative techniques, rhetorical techniques, historical/cultural contrasts and comparisions, character analysis, theme, point of view, the interrelationship between literature and politics. The students could analyze Ezeulu's character and compare it with his sons' characters; compare and contrast the protagonist, Ezeulu, and the antagonist, Nwaka; identify other protagonist/antagonist conflicts in in school psychology, the text; identify the central conflict. Another focus might be to examine Achebe's use of language.
One could study African folktales, songs, and proverbs. Achebe uses proverbs as a way to communicate the African oral tradition within the frame of the western novel. In Things Fall Apart , Achebe writes, Among the Ibo the art of conversations is regarded very highly and proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten (7). An examination of how proverbs work in the novel would be a way to discuss theme, clarify character, and explain the culture. Achebe says, when I use these forms in my novels, they both serve a utilitarian purpose, which is to duke university, reenact the life of the in school psychology, people that I am describing, and also delight through elegance and aptness of imagery. Argumentative? This is what proverbs are supposed to do (Lindfors 67). For a detailed analysis of dissertations in school, Achebe's use of on distance education, proverbs see Austin Shelton's 'The Palm-Oil' of Language: Provrebs in Chinua Achebe's Novels. Modern Language Quarterly 30(1969): 103.
Another suggestion is to explore the text as a counternarrative. To do this it would be beneficial for the instructor to become acquainted with Achebe's article The Novelist as Teacher. In this essay Achebe explains his purpose in his novels. He wants to portray Africans as real human beings in order to correct their misrepresentation in canonical literary texts. Having the students read Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness , then read Achebe's essay An Image of Africa: Racism in in school, Conrad's Heart of Darkness would be an ideal way to compare and contrast Arrow of God with a canonical literary text and confront the stereotypes Achebe points out. Other novels about British colonization would work as well, for example, Rudyard Kipling's Kim, E.M. Forrester's Passage to business law case studies with, India , George Orwell's Burmese Days , or Olive Schreiner's Story of an African Farm . Examining how Arrow of God works as a counternarrative is an excellent segway to studying Point of View. One could even broaden the scope to include Latin American counternarratives such as Asturias' Men of Maize or Castellanos' Nine Guardians. Psychology? To find the latest articles and books on are essays Achebe consult the MLA International Bibliography, the Journal of Commonwealth Literature , and Callaloo . For biographical sources, interviews, Igbo studies, background studies on anthropology, history, politics, religion, critical commentary sources, and information on audio visual aids see Bernth Lindors' Approaches to Teaching Achebe's Things Fall Apart.
New York: The Modern Language Association of dissertations, America, 1991. Achebe, Chinua. A Man of the People. London: Heinemann, 1966. ___. An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Hopes and Impediments Selected Essays . New York: Doubleday, 1988. 1-13. ___.
Anthills of the argumentative intro, Savannah . London: Heinemann, 1987. ___. The Novelist as Teacher. Dissertations? Hopes and plan, Impediments Selected Essays . New York:Doubleday, 1988. 40-46. ___. Interview with Lewis Nkosi. Africa Report . July 1964. ___.
Letter from John Updike. The Writer and his Community. Hopes and Impediments Selected Essays. New York: Doubleday, 1988. Psychology? 47-61. ___. Morning Yet on on distance Creation Day: Essays. London: Heinemann, 1975. ___.
No Longer at psychology, Ease . London: Heinemann, 1960. ___. The Role of the Writer in the New Nation. Nigeria Magazine. Essay On Distance Learning Education? 81 (June1964): 158-79. Psychology? Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann, 1958. ___. Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann, 1958. Appiah, Anthony, Ryle, John and Jones, D.A.N.
Interview with Chinua Achebe: Times Literary Supplement , February 26, 1982. On Distance? Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. Ed. Ross C. Murfin. Dissertations In School Psychology? Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's P, 1989. Egejuru, Phanuel Akubueze, ed. Towards African Literary Independence: A Dialogue With Contemporary African Writers.
Westport: Greenwood, 1980. Test? Gikandi, Simon. Reading Chinua Achebe . London: James Currey, 1991. Innes, C.L. Chinua Achebe . Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990. Lindfors,Bernth, ed. Psychology? Approaches to Teaching Achebe's Things Fall Apart . New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1991. ___. Conversations with Chinua Achebe. Jackson: Un. of essay, Mississippi P, 1997.
Maja-Pearce, Adewale. A Mask Dancing Nigerian Novelists of the Eighties . London:Hans Zell Pub., 1992. Menchu, Rigoberta. I, Rigoberta Menchu An Indian Woman in Guatemala. New York:Verso, 1984. Moore, Gerald. Achebe's New Novel. Transition . 4 (May/June 1964): 52. Pieterse, Cosmo and Duerden, Dennis, eds.
African Writers Talking: A Collection of Radio Interviews. London: Heinemann, 1972.
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negtive homework Copyright 2002 by Elizabeth Yeow. Included here with permission of the author. #9;Every fall excitement fills the air as students arrive at school with new backpacks and school supplies, eager to meet their new teacher. Always a new beginning, the start of school allows every student to have a fresh beginning and make this year the dissertations psychology, best year ever.
Yet within weeks of the start of school, teachers begin to see a certain pattern emerging: the on distance, same students repeatedly neglect to turn in homework. In School Psychology? The teacher will then remind, reprimand, take away recess, and threaten to argumentative essay, call home and talk to their mom and dissertations, dad. Occasionally, this will work and the student will miraculously appear with homework in hand, most of the time there are just excuses. More often, the teacher becomes more frustrated and disheartened, the student#146;s grades drop and he or she will feel like a failure. The repetition of are essays, this scenario caused me to really consider the value and effect of psychology, homework. Every year, and this year is no exception, I have at i have essay, least one student, usually two, who never bring their completed homework back on dissertations psychology time. I was puzzled by these students#146; attitudes towards homework. I wanted to university phd dissertations, understand more about their perceptions of homework and to find out what kind of support they were receiving at home.
Perhaps, these students do not understand the homework or maybe their parents are unable to help them. Maybe the instructions were unclear or the homework is too difficult for them. In School Psychology? I wanted to understand more about essay on distance learning education their parents#146; views about school and homework. Dissertations In School Psychology? I also wanted to know more about other issues that may be going on at home. What are some things that I could do to help them bring their homework back? As I began this study, I had several assumptions. I saw homework is an important part of their schoolwork and is a reinforcement of business law case with, what is in school, learned at essay education, school.
This extra practice is helpful to students and when students do not do their homework it affects how they do in school. Also, lack of finished homework may be an indication of their attitude towards school or learning. I teach at Clara Barton Elementary School (pseudonym), a public elementary school in dissertations the suburbs of a metropolitan area, about 15 miles outside of Washington, DC. At the duke university phd dissertations, beginning of psychology, this school year Clara Barton Elementary School switched from a traditional school calendar to a year round calendar. Are Essays? On the year round calendar school is in in school session for duke phd dissertations nine weeks and then there is a two or three week intersession break. During the intersession remediation and enrichment classes are offered to students. The cost of attending intersession is five dollars. The community around Clara Barton Elementary School is comprised of single family homes, townhouses, and multifamily dwellings. The majority of the students that attend Clara Barton Elementary School live in the townhouse community directly behind the school.
The townhouse community accepts Section 8 housing certificates. Many of the townhouses house more than one family. There is a high transience rate at Clara Barton Elementary School of about 40 percent. In School? Seventy-five percent of the school is composed of a dream essay conclusion, ethnic- and language-minority students. More than 22 countries and many different languages are represented at Clara Barton Elementary School. Many of the in school psychology, students that attend Clara Barton Elementary School are from low-income families. Clara Barton Elementary School receives funding from Title I and many of the students receive free or reduced lunches. The school is organized primarily into self-contained classrooms. Argumentative? The school does not have a formal homework policy, but in the staff handbook there is a recommended amount of time students should spend on psychology homework based on grade level. Third grade students should have between 30-60 minutes of homework per evening.
The school slogan is Clara Barton Reads and students are encouraged to read 20 minutes at business test, home every night as part of their homework. This is my fourth year teaching and I have taught third grade at Clara Barton Elementary for all four years. I am an Asian female. The students in in school psychology my class are all in the third grade. Studies With Answers? The class is composed of 18 students, 8 boys and 10 girls. Sixteen out of the in school, 18 are ESOL students. Eight of the students speak Spanish at home, 5 speak Vietnamese, and 1 speaks another language. I Have A Dream Essay Conclusion? Homework in my classroom is assigned Monday through Thursday evenings and usually includes spelling, reading, and in school, math. When students arrive at school in the morning they take out on distance education, their homework and stack it on a table at the back of the room. While they are putting their backpacks, books, and dissertations, jackets away I check in their homework.
Any student who does not bring in completed homework has to finish their homework during free activity time. Selecting a Focus Group. As I looked over argumentative essay my homework grade sheet I noticed that I had three students, all boys, who repeatedly did not bring in their homework. Two of the boys, Jose and Juan (pseudonyms), are Hispanic and one, Aaron (pseudonym), is African-American. Originally I decided to look at all three students, but then Juan moved mid-year. So, I had two students to focus on, but the more I collected data and reflected I realized that I really was focusing more on psychology Jose. Due to duke university, time constraints and psychology, the inability to speech conclusion, contact Aaron#146;s mother I decided to dissertations in school psychology, focus this study about Jose. #9;Jose is a third grade, ESOL student. His primary language is Spanish; however he is very fluent in English. Jose has helped translate a few words for law case studies with me before. He is the oldest child in his family and has one younger sibling who is not old enough yet for dissertations in school psychology school.
He lives with his mother, father, grandmother, and law case studies answers, younger sister. Dissertations In School Psychology? His father and mother both work full-time. His father often has to work night shifts and duke university phd dissertations, sometimes does not get to see Jose much because of his work schedule. Dissertations In School Psychology? Jose has attended Clara Barton Elementary School since kindergarten and lives in the townhouse community behind the school. Jose loves to draw during his free moments and test, will frequently take out a notebook and draw action figures. Jose takes Tae Kwon Doe classes in the evenings and frequently talks about how he enjoys these classes. Dissertations? He is well-liked at school and has many friends, both boys and girls, in are essays underlined his class.
He is psychology, reading on grade level, but his writing and argumentative essay intro paragraph, math are below grade level. Frequently Jose needs short extensions on in-class assignments. As I considered my puzzlement over students#146; attitudes towards homework I realized there may be many different things contributing to dissertations psychology, this puzzling situation. My own beliefs and values may be contributing to this puzzling situation. Perhaps my expectations for completed homework are too high or I am giving too much homework. My expectation that students should have and do homework may be influenced by my experience with homework as a child. #9;In the last thirty years the controversy over the value of essay on distance, homework has come up again and again. Depending on in school psychology the decade there are either demands for more homework or cries for less homework.
Proponents for homework believe that it can help students retain more, improve study skills, and essay on distance learning, teach students that learning can take place anywhere. In addition, homework can promote independence and responsibility and it can help parents connect with what their children are learning in school. Opponents of homework believe that homework can hinder children from participating in other beneficial activities, such as sports or scouts. In addition, parental involvement with homework can confuse students if their parents use techniques that are different than their teachers. Homework can also accentuate the disparity between students from low-income homes and in school psychology, students from middle-class homes.
Students from low-income homes may have more difficulty completing an continuity test plan assignment (Cooper, 2001). It is also possible that there is a cultural mismatch between what is emphasized at home and what is emphasized at psychology, school. Duke Phd Dissertations? My belief that homework is important and should be given Monday through Thursday nights is also emphasized by the administration at my school. Perhaps Jose#146;s parents do not value schoolwork and homework as much as it is in school, emphasized in school. They may feel that homework is repetitious and unnecessary for duke their child.
Maybe they feel they can provide more authentic learning after school for their children by dissertations in school psychology, providing them with cultural, athletic, or other experiences. Parents may feel that these other activities will benefit their child more and may therefore not stress homework. It is studies answers, also possible that parents may not value school and this feeling is conveyed to students. Outside influences may also affect Jose. Perhaps he has seen older friends or relatives who do not do their homework. He may view these older ones as cool or maybe he has seen kids on television or in movies that do not do their homework. In School Psychology? Another outside influence might be the economic situation of the family.
The family may be struggling to make ends meet and there may be difficulties at home that are a higher priority to students than homework. #9;These cultural influences are important for me to look at because they could change the way I administer homework or the amount of homework that I give. After considering all of the possible cultural influences, I decided to narrow them down to the two that I believe to be the most significant. The two cultural influences that I thought might be the most applicable to my puzzlement are teacher beliefs (CIP 3.1) and a cultural mismatch between home and school (CIP 3.3.2). My beliefs as the teacher affect my giving of homework, my expectation that it be done, and how much I actually assign to students.
I believe that one of the strongest influences on young children is their family and their home. Since young children are still very much under the direct charge of their parents, if they bring in continuity their homework or not is especially dependent on their parents. Their parents have control over dissertations whether or not they are given time after school to complete homework. The school culture emphasizes an importance on business law case studies with homework and this may not coincide with parental beliefs or practices. This discord will ultimately affect how a child is perceived by his/her teacher and how successful he/she is dissertations in school psychology, academically. In order to determine what cultural influences were contributing to my puzzlement I needed to gather information about my beliefs. A Dream? I chose to look at these by journaling, a technique recommended in dissertations in school psychology the Cultural Inquiry Process (Jacob, 1999).
In my journaling I needed to consider why this situation was puzzling to a dream speech essay, me and why I think this situation is happening. My beliefs, background, and previous experience influence how I look at psychology, this puzzling situation and how I approach this situation. If I can identify my beliefs and values then I can see how they might be contributing to business studies answers, the puzzling situation. After reflecting and journaling about my homework beliefs I had the opportunity to discuss the topic of my research with my colleagues at dissertations, school. Through this discussion I realized that I should ask them what their beliefs were about homework and find out how much homework the other third grade teachers were giving (CIP 4.1). #9;Information also needed to be gathered about a mismatch between the a dream speech conclusion, student#146;s home culture and in school, the school curriculum (CIP 4.3.2). Business Continuity? The school or the school district might have a homework policy that I am unaware of.
If there is a homework policy then there is not a strong emphasis on it and it does not seem to influence teachers and how often or how much homework they give. Weisenthal, Cooper, Greenblatt Marcus, (1997) found that schools with a strong emphasis on homework influenced how often teachers gave homework. I realized it was important to look at the school culture and then to look at the home culture and see if there was a mismatch. In order to find out more information about Jose#146;s home culture I considered visiting his home but I had difficulty contacting his parents. Psychology? I sent many notes home, called home and tried to leave messages. Eventually I was able to speak to duke university, Jose#146;s father. I also interviewed students using a modified version of dissertations in school, The Student Survey of are essays underlined, Homework Practices (Grajria, M. Salend, S. J., 1995) to try to determine what the home environment and culture was like as well as to find out dissertations, what their attitude was toward homework. I looked at Jose#146;s school history and contacted Jose#146;s second grade teacher to see what Jose had been like as a second grader. #9;I grew up in university an environment where receiving and doing homework was part of dissertations in school, a daily routine. Teachers gave me homework, my parents expected that I would have it done, and if I did not do it I felt horrible.
My parents always made sure that my homework was done when I was in elementary school. By the are essays underlined, time I reached middle school and high school I had acquired the dissertations in school psychology, habit of doing homework independently. I have always believed that homework helps students learn and argumentative essay paragraph, reinforces concepts. The question I have to ask myself in this puzzlement is Do I know for sure that homework benefits students? In order to answer this question I decided to look at some research that has been done on the benefits or detriments of homework. The correlation between completing homework and academic achievement has been the subject of much research.
Depending on dissertations psychology which side of the homework argument one is on, research can have both positive and speech, negative effects on students. According to Cooper (2001) some positive academic effects of homework include retention and dissertations psychology, understanding of material, improved study skills, improved attitudes toward school. Some nonacademic effects of homework include promoting independent and duke phd dissertations, responsibility in students and involving parents in what is psychology, going on in the learning education, classroom. Homework also has some negative effects, such as boredom, denying students leisure time and the benefits of wholesome learning from scouts or sports. Homework can lead to cheating and can emphasize the disparity between the homes of low-income and dissertations, middle class students. Students from low-income homes may have to argumentative, work after school or may not have a quiet place to study at home. When looking at 50 studies done on homework and student achievement, Cooper (2001) found that homework had little or no effect on dissertations student achievement at the elementary level. #9;After reading some research on the effects of business continuity, homework on academic achievement I had to in school psychology, seriously consider how my beliefs fit into this. I realized that giving homework benefited me as the teacher.
These benefits matched the are essays underlined, benefits teachers expressed having in the Homework Attitude and dissertations in school psychology, Behaviour Inventory for Teachers (Weisenthal et al., 1997). Are Essays? Homework improved my ability to cover the curriculum and dissertations, acted as a kind of bridge between the last lesson and the next one. Although homework benefited me, as the duke, teacher, I found myself reconsidering why I was handing out homework to students. According to Kralovec and Buell (2001), elementary school students show no significant academic gain from doing homework. So, if homework was not helping students academically then how worthwhile was giving homework? #9; I found out that the other two third grade teachers, both males, at my school were not giving as much homework as I was. One teacher usually gave only spelling and reading as homework. Every once in a while he would give math homework. The other third grade teacher usually gave math and dissertations psychology, reading as homework and rarely gave spelling homework.
I, on the other hand, gave math, spelling, and reading as homework. Why weren#146;t the argumentative intro, other teachers giving as much homework as I was? According to Weisenthal et al. (1997) some teachers may go easy on themselves so they have less homework to collect and to grade. I decided to go back and interview the other third grade teachers to find out what their beliefs about dissertations psychology homework were. One of the teachers did not believe that giving homework was a big deal unless a child did not understand the homework. Intro? He believed that homework should be given for students to build responsibility and for character building. In his experience the ones that don#146;t bring their homework back are usually the dissertations in school, ones that don#146;t understand the are essays, concepts. He also felt that at the elementary level if students pay attention in class then they will achieve and homework will not necessarily help them achieve. The other third grade teacher believed that homework should be a reinforcement of what is taught in psychology school and he felt that it made a difference in their achievement at school. He said that he could tell the next day by student performance if a student did or did not do their homework.
He also believed that homework helped students learn to be responsible and build a good work ethic. After discussing homework policies and their beliefs about homework with my colleagues I went to the principal and asked her if we had a school wide homework policy. She referred me to the staff handbook. Continuity? Although there is not a school wide homework policy, there were some generally accepted principles that should govern teachers when assigning homework. Some of the principles include, flexibility and differences in the assignments to individual students, homework should be reasonable in view of the dissertations psychology, pupil#146;s situation including health, housing conditions, outside work or responsibility, leisure-time activity and conflicting demands of paragraph, home and dissertations in school, school.
On the daily announcements students are encouraged to read for essay on distance 20 minutes every night as homework. Any homework given out in addition to this is up to the individual teacher. I also looked through Homework Helper: A Guide for Teachers which was published by the school district. This guide was handed out at a staff meeting at in school psychology, the beginning of the school year and teachers were encouraged to use it as a guide. Since that time homework has not been discussed with the staff. According to are essays, the guide the purpose of dissertations, homework is to practice skills, reinforce academic concepts, extend learning, promote good study skills, apply new skills and concepts, involve parents, and develop positive attitudes toward school and learning. The guide does not discuss the underlined, amount of dissertations in school psychology, homework to university phd dissertations, be given. Any homework, aside from the daily reading, is up to the individual teacher.
#9;In order to gather more information about in school psychology Jose#146;s home culture I tried to contact Jose#146;s parents through notes and phone calls home. After repeated attempts to essay learning, contact Jose#146;s parents, his father appeared one afternoon at my classroom door. It appeared that he had finally received one of the many messages I left for him. I was very excited to meet with him, but wondered how the meeting would go as we did not have a translator. After a few minutes I thought it would be appropriate because it seemed that he had enough of a grasp of the English language for us to be able to communicate without a translator. Our meeting was short (we really did need a translator). Dissertations? I asked him a few questions about his job and Jose#146;s behavior and work habits at home.
He seemed very responsive and concerned. Apparently Jose had been telling him since the beginning of the year that he did not have any homework. He had believed Jose and did not try to contact me to confirm it. He and his wife both worked long hours and many times he had to work the night shift. Essay? Often when Jose comes home his mother is at in school, work and argumentative essay paragraph, his father is in school psychology, either at work or sleeping. Business Law Case Studies? His grandmother, who speaks only dissertations Spanish, is there to watch him. Test Plan? Jose#146;s father said that he or his wife always asked Jose if he had finished his homework. He did mention that one afternoon when he told Jose his friend had to go home he saw Jose give his friend a piece of paper that looked like homework.
His father didn#146;t ask about it and dissertations psychology, forgot about it until his meeting with me. Business Continuity? The weekly notes that I had been sending home did not reach Jose#146;s parents either. Jose#146;s father suggested that he could sign Jose#146;s homework every evening and maybe this would help Jose do his homework and bring it to school. The day after meeting with Jose#146;s father, Jose did not have his homework. Dissertations? He did bring his homework the next day signed by his father, but since then he hasn#146;t had anything signed by either parent. #9;I realized through this brief interaction with Jose#146;s father that he and his wife both cared about phd dissertations their son and his success in school. Dissertations? However, I realized that they also had other things, such as tae kwon do lessons, that they wanted their son to learn. Gonz á lez (1995) points out how important it is for teachers to know their students#146; culture and to phd dissertations, not have a prepackaged awareness of cultural diversity. They were providing nonacademic experiences for their son that they felt were important for dissertations in school psychology his development as a person. In addition, I realized that Jose#146;s father wanted his son to do his homework, but was very limited due to his work schedule to encourage and help Jose. On Distance Learning? I#146;m not sure why Jose#146;s mother did not return phone calls or come to school with Jose.
I have only dissertations in school seen Jose#146;s father with him when attending school events. Although Jose#146;s father indicated that they asked Jose about i have a dream his homework they did not seem to do anything to encourage or require that Jose do his homework. Since they may not have been encouraging him to do his homework Jose may have been getting the message that homework was not valuable to his parents. #9;I contacted Jose#146;s second grade teacher to discuss his homework habits in second grade. I found out that he rarely brought in finished homework and Jose#146;s second grade teacher frequently tried to contact his parents to discuss work habits. She noticed that when his father had to work the night shift Jose came to school quite disheveled and without any homework. When Jose#146;s father switched to working during the day Jose seemed more attentive in school and sometimes was able to bring in finished homework. Jose#146;s achievement in dissertations in school psychology school, including homework completion, seemed to be directly affected by essay on distance learning, his father#146;s work schedule. Tapia (1998) indicated that the most important factor influencing poor students#146; academic performance is dissertations psychology, family stability. University Phd Dissertations? Jose#146;s feeling of psychology, family stability seemed to be affected by seeing his father regularly during the afternoon and are essays, evening.
#9;To find out my class#146; attitude and homework habits I passed out the Homework Survey to my whole class and read it to them as they circled responses. I emphasized that this was not for a grade and they should answer exactly how they felt and not be worried about being wrong. Some sample questions from the survey are as follows: - I get easily distracted when I am doing my homework. - I feel unsure about which homework assignment to do first. - I feel teachers are unfair and give too much homework.
- Activities such as sports and dissertations in school, music are more important to me than doing my homework. - Someone checks my homework for essay paragraph me when I am done. - Someone at home asks me if I have finished my homework. I handed out the surveys and then read through each item and explained any of the questions that students did not understand. As I looked over the surveys I realized that my students were limited in their ability to dissertations, self-report because of their young age and university phd dissertations, their self-reports may not be identical to their actual practices at home.
For example, Aaron reported that he always turned in dissertations his homework when he actually rarely turned in his homework. Nine students, half of the class indicated that they need someone to remind them to do their homework. I Have Speech? Half the class indicated that they sometimes need help with their homework. It was interesting to note that Jose indicated that he does not like to do homework, many times feels he needs help with his homework, and he thinks homework is important only some of the time. Jose also indicated that he received daily reminders at home to do his homework, but despite these reminders he did not always do his homework. Interventions and Monitoring.
#9;One intervention I tried was to change homework assignments so there wasn#146;t as much of a mismatch between Jose#146;s culture and the school curriculum (CIP 5.3.2). Maybe Jose did not see the relevance of the homework that was given and needed homework that was more meaningful. Kravolec and Buell (2001) found homework could be very disruptive of in school, family life. Duke Phd Dissertations? It can interfere with what parents want to teach their children and punish children in poverty from being poor. Parents may have cultural and religious beliefs or life skills that they feel are important for in school psychology their children to learn, but homework may interfere with the limited time they have with their children to a dream speech essay, share those beliefs or skills. Since Jose frequently talked about psychology Tae Kwon Do lessons and other things that he did during the week with his parents, I realized that it was important to duke, them for their son to be trained in some kind of dissertations psychology, sport. Business Test? They might also feel that as a growing boy Jose needed some physical activity after school. In School Psychology? Although Jose indicated that his parents asked him about essay on distance education his homework they did not ask to see his homework. They believed him when he said he did not have homework or that he had finished his homework. Dissertations Psychology? It is paragraph, possible that they did not have the time or energy to look at his homework.
They both worked long hours and it is possible that they had many daily survival demands that are more important than Jose#146;s elementary school homework. Since outside influences can not always be controlled or changed, I realized that interventions had to be made at the school or classroom level to help students (CIP 5.4.1). It seemed that Jose was not getting the support that he needed from home because his parents#146; time is occupied with work and other basic survival issues, so one intervention was to in school, give less challenging homework. Education? Although all the homework I give students should be able to do independently, he had indicated on his Homework Survey that he needed help a lot. So, I modified his homework and noticed that he started turning in part of his homework.
His parents#146; limited English may affect Jose, so I tried to give more homework that was self-explanatory and made sure that he understood all the directions before he left school. Another intervention I tried was to allow Jose to begin his homework at school. I let him start his homework at school. I noticed that the next day sometimes the only part he would have to turn in was the part he had started in school. Jose seemed to in school, have difficulty getting his homework from school to home and then back to business test plan, school. Dissertations In School? So, I gave Jose a checklist with a Velcro check that he could move when he had completed a task.
The checklist was to help him write his homework down, collect the materials he needed for home, put them in his backpack. His father was given a matching one to keep at home. Before leaving to go home everyday he had to make sure to duke university phd dissertations, check in with me so I could check his backpack. After receiving the in school psychology, checklist I watched Jose everyday and noticed that he wasn#146;t following it. Argumentative Paragraph? I reminded him and encouraged him to dissertations, use it, but he still didn#146;t use it. On a daily basis I continue to check Jose#146;s backpack and a dream speech, give verbal reminders to use his homework checklist. He lost the Velcro check for his end-of-the-day checklist on his desk, so I gave him a new one, but he still hasn#146;t used it.
He has gotten used to checking with me before leaving. For about two weeks I reminded him that he needed to see me before he walked out the door. Now he remembers on his own that he has to show me his homework inside his backpack. Dissertations In School? He comes up to me with his backpack open and his homework at the top so I can see it. I send informal weekly progress reports home to his parents so that they know how he is doing in school and whether or not he has been turning in his homework. Summary and Implications. After all the interventions and on distance learning, monitoring I can say that Jose turns in his homework about half the time. In School? For the argumentative essay intro, first half of the year he rarely turned in any homework assignments and psychology, the ones he turned in were usually unfinished.
He seems to have more of an understanding that for me doing homework is just as important as doing work in school. I also have a better understanding of his home situation and that although his parents want him to i have speech essay, do well in school they also have other things that they feel are important for in school Jose to learn. The communication between home and argumentative essay, school is definitely better. In addition I feel that I am more aware that the situation at dissertations in school, home greatly affects students#146; ability to work on homework and bring it back to school. This inquiry and research on the benefits and negative effects of homework on students like Jose has really caused me to rethink why I give homework and the amount of homework I give. I realized that my beliefs and values about essay on distance education homework really contributed to my puzzlement. I have really been considering and debating within myself the issue of homework.
I feel like I have been forcing my culture and background on students and making them relive how I went through school. Do I give homework for character building or do I really believe that it will help students#146; academic achievement? Checking homework usually takes fifteen minutes in the morning. Maybe this time would be better spent giving minilessons at the beginning of the day or building community in the classroom. Although the psychology, school and school district set policies for homework, they do not stress that homework must be given every night. Essay Intro Paragraph? As a result of this research, I want to in school psychology, make sure that I give meaningful homework. I have also decided to give more differentiated homework. Students like Jose seemed to be overwhelmed with the test, amount of homework that I give so I will try adjusting assignments to fit the individual student as necessary. Cooper, H. (2001). Homework for all #151; in moderation.
Educational Leadership , 34-38. Gajria, M. Salend, S. J. (1995). Homework practices of dissertations, students with and without learning disabilities: A comparison. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 28 (5), 291-296. Gonz á lez, N. E. (1995). The funds of knowledge for underlined teaching project.
Practicing Anthropology, 17 (3), 3-6. Kralovec, E. Buell, J. Dissertations? (2001). End homework now. Educational Leadership , 39-42. Tapia, J. Test? (1998). The schooling of Puerto Ricans: Philadelphia#146;s most impoverished community.
Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 29 (3), 297-323.
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Educational and Psychological Studies Theses and Dissertations
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