Vera's Case Study

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The anecdotes in my third response to readings use real life scenarios to illustrate the messages that resonate with me. As I complete this weekly assignment, the material reminds me of a child in my case study on Michael Smith. Her name is Vera, a second grade student of Asian descent, who commented on Michael’s physical attractiveness—calling him “cute.” However, her transition to kindergarten at St. Madeline was not smooth. Instead, Vera, her parents, and the school personnel felt perplexed and ill equipped to handle the language barrier of no one speaking English in her family. Nevertheless, with standards in place, she progresses scholastically, using the summer school system and after school program as an avenue to equal the playing ground…show more content…
In my opinion, it seems like her mother is making irrational decisions regarding her social, emotional, and cognitive well-being. Yet, after reading Chen’s text, there are three valuable lessons I learned. First, I support the following notion, “the amount of time that children spend in play may be related to socialization beliefs about the role of play in development” (Chen, 2011, p. 95). Apparently, Vera’s family wants to prepare her to participate in a social role that cultivates her family system, rather than a social role that seems to benefit her solely. Hypothetically, running through a sprinkler system at camp does not seem as satisfying as sitting next to her parents at the cash register in her family…show more content…
In contrast, that playful attitude becomes an unoccupied play pattern on the playground—with her sitting by herself along the wall. When I brought her case to her teacher, Mrs. Henrietta said, “Well, she was close to Stephanie.” That made perfect sense. Stephanie was Vera’s dear friend who transferred to another school, showing that Vera’s culture may place more emphasis on “dyadic friendships,” (Chen, 2011, p. 97)—the smallest social group possible—as a comfort zone for establishing peer interaction, as compared to group involvement. Likewise, through the security from that dyadic relationship, Vera did not demonstrate “shyness,” which Western cultures view as “incompetent and immature” (Chen, 2011, p. 96). Instead, traditional Chinese culture recognizes shyness as “an indication of mastery and accomplishment” (Chen, 2011, p. 96). The second lesson I learned is, “in most psychological analyses, parents are seen as offering a protective barrier between children and the ‘outside world’: filtering, buffering, shielding” (Goodnow, 2011, p. 82). In spite of my outlook, Vera’s mother is fulfilling her parental role to protect her child. Part of that protection stems from knowing “how various systems work,” also known as cultural capital (2011, p. 82). Therefore, Vera’s mother understands the school’s
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