Ethnographical Case Study

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Family, School, and Environment: How Do They Affect the Student? For this ethnographical project, I observed in a Pre-K classroom at a public, urban elementary school in Birmingham Alabama. I observed in this classroom for a total of twenty-five hours during the months of November and December. During my time, I participated in regular classroom activities, attended lunch and physical education class with the students, and interviewed both the lead teacher and the teaching assistant. The purpose of this ethnographic case study was to observe the effects of the surrounding neighborhood, the physical environment of both the classroom and the school as a whole, and the students’ socioeconomic status on student behavior and ability/desire to learn. …show more content…
The walls are brightly colored and covered in student work and motivational, kid-friendly posters. There are multiple “centers” in the classroom designed to help the children learn through play. Some of these “centers” included a play kitchen, building blocks, and a reading nook. The students spend a majority of their day in these various centers, learning basic interpersonal and motor skills through group play and cooperation. There is also a large carpeted area where the children sit for story time and “large group,” where they review the weather, answer questions relative to the season or what is happening in their daily lives, and various alphabet letters. When the children complete “independent” work (I say this loosely as the children still communicate with one another but are given individual projects or worksheets to complete), they are seated at rectangular tables with six individual chairs. This set-up works incredibly well for this classroom as it allows the students to learn how to communicate and work well with others while still learning building block skills. The main goal of the classroom is to help the children transition from home or daycare life to a structured school environment while having fun in the process, and the classroom was a direct reflection of that …show more content…
There are nine male students and seven female students who attend regularly. During my observation, I did not see anything out of the ordinary in regards to separation of gender. All students interacted comfortably with one another and did not treat each other differently whether male or female. Of course, there were times when female students simply gravitated toward each other and vice versa with the male students, such as lunch time, where they are allowed to sit with whomever they like, but I never observed a student being treated differently because of their gender. When it came to race, I never observed the children interacting with students of any other race. Although one student was mixed ethnicity (Hispanic and African American), she looked just like her other peers, and was never treated differently because of her race. Since the students were all African American and did not interact with children of other races while I was there, I cannot speak on how race may have affected their

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