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Chronicles Of A Writer In USA: First Rising Action

DAY 1:

Thursday, 7 April, 2016

Yup, seems like I would be stuck in Newark for a while, as you have probably read in my previous post about my first solo trip to USA, Chronicles Of A Writer In USA: Exposition. After I got off the turbulent plane and collected my luggage, I had to find the Amtrak train to get to Connecticut. Supposedly, it was prepaid by the GAPP school, but for some reason, the train info and number was not written, and I did not have an identification card (specifically a credit card) to be able to check my name on the system and print my ticket, so I had problems printing my train ticket…

I went around trying to find the a place to verify my train reservation, and then around again to find the proper platform. All this while dragging a big luggage bag, carrying a backpack, and holding a cross bag and my papers at hand. After several trials, one of the personnel told me to just wait for the train as usual and maybe the conductor will have my ticket number on her list. So I dragged my heavy luggage down almost 30 stairs to reach the platform. I cannot believe how they do not have a slope for people with luggage! Anyway, I kept waiting and waiting then I had doubts if the train will ever come. So I dragged all of my belongings up and down the stairs AGAIN to make sure I was on the right platform. This was my first time to smell the USA air. The weather was a bit chilly, but not too cold.

Image result for amtrak platform newark airport
Here comes the train. Place: Amtrak station, Newark Airport.

When I went down again, I saw an Arab veiled woman with her husband and children. She looked maybe Syrian or Iraqi. For some unknown reasons, we both smiled at each other without saying a word, then she hopped on her train and left. I don’t know if it was because of my veil or my Arab-looking self, but I felt this bond of solidarity that made this long, long day a bit easier.

The train finally came and I hopped on. I told the woman conductor the whole story. She tried looking for my name but in vain. She apologetically told me that I’d have to get off at the next stop, since we cannot document the payment of my ticket. I began to be a bit worried because it was getting dark, I was exhausted from the long trip, and I didn’t know what the hell I’ll be doing in New York Station.

I got off the train with all my luggage and I was incredibly overwhelmed. Masses of people running around in every corner to get to their trains. Wide diversity of individuals: those wearing casual, those wearing formal, those wearing Hindi, young people, old people, middle-aged people, those with luggage, those without, simply every kind of person you can imagine. I felt that I was the only person who did not know where to go. And the station was huge. I was stupefied for some moments.

I struggled until I found the Amtrak desk. I tried asking the clerk for my ticket number again but no luck, so I had to buy a new one. It was almost 6 pm then. My train was to depart at 6:45 pm so I had some time to spare. I walked around the station to get a sense of where I was. Again, I am in complete awe by the tremendous diversity of people there. I kept wondering about what people thought when they saw me, a solo veiled Arab young lady. Were they afraid? Were they curious? Who knows?

I bought myself an iced macchiato from Dunkin’ Donuts to calm myself down a bit. I got my drink and stood in front of this huge black screen where platform numbers and train destinations appear. Apparently, the platform number only presents itself just 10 minutes before the train departures. So people are just gawking at the screen until the number is shown, then they rush to the gate as quickly as they can. I decided to do the same.

Image result for new york train station amtrak
You just cannot take your eyes off the big black screen, or your train will leave.

I FINALLY got on the train heading to Connecticut. The trip was to take approximately two hours. The train was very neat and clean. Chairs was spacious and comfortable.  Everything was organized. I really wished we had such amazing public transportation. It would save so much effort, money, and petrol. The times I used public transportation in Egypt are almost close to null, which is unfortunate indeed.

Anyway, the tranquil train ride gave me a chance to relax a bit. A great advantage was finding free WiFi almost everywhere I go. I was able to research anything I wanted at the blink of an eye and call and text my mother to assure her that I am doing okay. The minute you get on the Amtrak and open your browser to connect to the internet, you will find a detailed schedule of the train’s route, with the exact time at which you will arrive at each station. Fascinating!

The iced macchiato wasn’t the best thing I tasted but it was okay. Taken by: Shaza Walid.
America, you have your unique ways of impressing me. Taken by: Shaza Walid.

I finally arrived at Connecticut at 8:15 pm after almost 24 hours of travelling. I was dying to to change my clothes, take a shower, and lie on a bed. Simple demands, eh? I had read there would be a hotel shuttle bus with specific timings, so I waited for 15 minutes before realizing that I had to order it beforehand. It was getting late, streets were getting emptier, and I was getting a bit worried, so I took a cab to the hotel. The driver seemed quite nice but I was on the edge of my seat. I tried to memorize the licence number just in case. I also paid great attention to my surroundings and the roads we took. I’m not gonna lie to you, I was a bit paranoid riding a taxi in a foreign country alone at night. But I finally made it to the hotel, Clarion Hotel & Suites Hamden-New Haven (notice how many ‘finally’ I said so far, I was dying to reach the hotel after such a long day).

The hotel’s main entrance was under renovations so I had to enter from the back door. I was so looking forward to checking in and throwing myself at the bed. But another bump on the road was waiting for me. I had booked my hotel through with no prepayment. I put my dad’s credit card as a prerequisite in case I do not pay at the property at the designated date I chose. This is pretty much the dialogue that took place between us:

Hotel Clerk: Could you please give me the credit card you entered on our system?

Shaza: I’m sorry, I do not have it with me. 

HC: Do you have your credit card?

Shaza: Sorry, I only have cash. 

HC: Sorry, the hotel’s new policies state that we only accept credit cards and never cash. I cannot check you in. 

Her words were like sharp poles thrown in my face. What was I to do now? It was 10 pm already. I did not know any other place to go. There was absolutely no one to call. Even if I tried going to another hotel, they’d still want a credit card. Since it was almost 4 am in Egyp, mom’s worried because she wants me to call her from my hotel room to make sure I arrived safely. Oh my God, this was so unexpected and uncalled for…

I had to think fast. I flipped through my printed reservation to see if there was any hotel policy I missed about only accepting credit cards. Then I read my savior line, “Cash deposit or credit cards accepted.” When I showed it to the hotel clerk, she told me they changed the policies. I told her it was not my problem and that I should have been informed beforehand. She kept apologizing and telling me that there was nothing she could do. I thankfully stood my ground and told her that I came all the way from abroad, that I’m on my own, and that I’m here to attend the journalism conference nearby. A really nice lady sitting behind me offered to pay my hotel room using her credit card and then I pay her n cash. But the hotel clerk refused saying that it was not possible because the card’s info would be different from the one I put on the system. After several negotiations back and forth, and calling the hotel manager twice (I talked to him on the first time and explained my situation), she finally agreed to make an exception, as supervised by the manager, and accept my cash this time only. I breathed a sigh of utmost relief as I paid her the money and received my room keys. This utterly exhausting day is finally coming to an end.

HALLELUJAH! A BED AT LAST. Taken by: Shaza Walid.

Being in a physically stable place (given that I’ve ridden two planes, two trains, and a taxi in one day) made me quite happy. The room was great for a short stay. All the essentials were available in the bathroom. The bed was comfy. The room was warm enough. No proper kettle, a bummer. Other than that, it was just right for a person staying for three nights. The room did not have a balcony, but rather a huge glass window overlooking the hallway. Given that I’m travelling solo, I had to be careful. I closed the curtains really well so no one could see through the window. I locked the door well. I took a shower and FINALLY changed my clothes to PJ’s after 24 hours of travelling.

I needed to rest as soundly as possible. Tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow the first day of the Region 1 Mark of Excellence Awards and journalism conference at Southern Connecticut State University. It is supposed to run for two days, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th. I leave on Sunday 10th. Crazy, right? But I hope it will be worth it insha’Allah. I need a good night’s sleep now. Can’t wait for tomorrow and after!!

Wanna know what went down during that conference and whether it was worth this hubbub? Look out for my next post to find out.

-All images are hyperlinked to their original sources unless otherwise stated.

A Note To Self.

To the shy twelve-year old with glasses,

It doesn’t seem like such a bright time in your life now, does it? You are not as outspoken and outgoing as the other girls are and you often hate yourself for it. You think way more than you speak. You are among the few who wear glasses in class and it is not exactly good publicity. You are among the few with unruly curls and a boring ponytail all the time. You are not as slim as the others are. You never complain about family visits and always find warmth in them, unlike your peers who prefer the company of their friends. You are different and it many times you just wished to be a “typical” adolescent.

But trust me, it only gets better since then. You still may not speak much, compared to your peers, but the words and articles you write speak loud and clear. You may not be as outgoing but with the right people whom you trust; you let your inner self roam without restrictions. You wear your unique curls with pride until you decided to cover them with the veil. I know it has crossed your mind a lot. You lost the extra weight. You still cherish family time with all your heart but now have several circles of close friends to double the good times. You are not “typical” (because what is typical anyway?) You are yourself. And that, my dear, is unique enough.

Ten years ahead, your life will turn upside down. Ten years ahead, you will be a completely different person. You will be proud of yourself. You will enjoy having your thoughts and opinions appreciated. You will travel places. You will check some items off your bucket list. You will be more healthy. You will be more appreciative and you will be more…you know…out there.

I know I may not have yet exceeded your expectations on many of the things you wish I did/have. But remember I accomplished other feats you never even dreamed about. But hey, no need to worry; I still have immense energy and will to continue exploring new paths, to kick myself out of my comfort zone, to speak louder, to love more, and to polish my character shinier.

I hope you are proud of what I have become. And hopefully, in 10 more years, I can receive such a heartwarming letter from my older self as well.

Happy birthday!

With love,

Your 22-year old self.


The Core Capstone: A Reflection.

“Shaza, I finally found us an interesting Core Capstone course to take together next semester.”

“Really? What’s it called?”

“CORE 4198: Education and Reform in Egypt.”

“Wow, that sounds really interesting. But what do you think the curricula would be like for this course?”

“Maybe we can email the professors. There are actually two instructors giving the course. I will email them and let you know”

That was a conversation between me and my dear friend Noha Fikry before the beginning of the semester when we were trying to find an interesting core capstone course to take and that also had a suitable timing.

Screenshot - 12_19_2015 , 11_44_28 PM

*After a couple more days*

“Shaza, I have forwarded you the instructors’ reply and the syllabus for the course. They seem nice and the course sounds original indeed.”

“Then CORE 4198 it is!”

So this is how I came across this course and decided to take it. Personally, I have always been interested in the issue of education because I have always thought that for any nation to prosper and develop, it needs education before economics, before politics, before anything else.

Especially in a relatively underdeveloped country like Egypt, where we have many problems regarding many aspects of our welfare, education becomes a necessity in bringing up the caliber, mindset, and attitudes of the people who take the important decisions. Most importantly, when the people themselves are well-educated, they will know their duties and rights and will be better aware of their active role in society.

Anyway, back to the course. In terms of variety of the topics in the syllabus, I found them to be quite diversified. I found myself exploring ideas and topics that I probably had never thought about before. The variety of topics made me think about all the different aspects one has to put when attempting to introduce any change within the field of education.

In terms of the workload of the course, I found it to be very suitable to the number of credits. Some readings may be a bit long, but most of them are usually very interesting so I did not quite have a problem with that. The assignments were varied and urged to critically think about the concepts discussed in class. The speech assignment was really fun and novel to do. You can view my speech right here.

I found the blog posts to be especially beneficial because it allowed me the chance to express my ideas about a certain topic in a fun and creative way, instead of writing a regular reflection paper, for instance.

As for the dynamics of the class, I felt comfortable and more encouraged to participate in class for two main reasons. First, the configuration of the classroom allowed for enhanced group interactions, in addition to a more friendly setting (despite the fact that we had to walk the entire campus to reach the classroom :D). Second, the way the professors conducted the class left us room to freely express our views without being judged in any way. They did not try to direct us into a certain mode of thinking but rather offer us different ways to challenge our minds.

As for the guest speakers, I found them to be extremely enriching because it was good for me to get exposed to experts from the field of education and people who have firsthand experience. More on my thoughts of the guest speakers in my previous blog post, “Education In Egypt: The Different Approaches.

As for the grading, the professors were extremely fair. They appreciated my input and effort, in addition to the quality of course, and graded me accordingly. Their comments on the assignments were quite clear and they offered constructive feedback that I always cared to put in consideration when doing my next assignments. Thankfully, they were also flexible with deadlines and would agree to change the deadline when they saw that a majority had a problem with it, which is something that not a lot of professors care to do. Moreover, the fact that we designed our own grading rubric for the final project was actually very suitable because this way, we had a chance to think about what we are capable of implementing and stating it in the rubric so the professors could know what to expect and for us to know the frame within which we were working.

On the other hand, what I found problematic with the layout of the course is the limited time frame we had for the final project. We only had two weeks to work on it, which was already the extremely hectic time of finals and exams. Thus, it was stressing because I really wanted to put more effort and thought into it, but time was not in my hands. I think we ought to have started brainstorming for ideas, deciding on the groups, and starting to work on the final project before the series of guest speakers started. This way, we would have about a month to work on it, which would have been very convenient. We would also be encouraged to think about ideas while listening to the guest speakers, augmenting the value of the lectures further.

This was basically us while working on the final project. 

Overall, I found this course to be indeed beneficial, eye-opening, and engaging. It allowed me to think critically about education in general and my own education in particular. I really believe it should be offered more frequently at AUC in order to expose students to the dynamics of education in Egypt, what makes it efficient or not, and most importantly, to let them know that there are many ways in which one can introduce reform in education.

_All images are hyperlinked to their original sources.

Education in Egypt: The Different Approaches.

And what is a better way to know more about the dynamics of education in Egypt than to listen to firsthand stories from people already on the scene? This is exactly what we were doing in the past month in class. Personally, it was indeed interesting to listen and meet with people from various backgrounds who each have their different visions on educational reforms. I was intrigued by each of their stories and every one of them gave me a new angle from which to consider the issue of education altogether.

Because I did not take extensive notes during the talks, my feedback may not be as inclusive. However, I will do my best to offer comments as useful as possible.

USAID, its umbrella under which Yossif has participated in many projects through its funds.

1.Yasser Youssif: I was interested in this talk because I wanted to know more about how he transitioned from the sphere of the public schools to the more private, or USAID funded one. He offered some interesting insights on the dynamics of public schools and what his experience was like.

2.Riham El Digwi: Her story was one of the most intriguing because until I heard about her experience in class, I had trouble imagining that change within the realm of public schools was even possible. Yet, with her perseverance, dedication, and intelligence, she managed to work the system and introduce significant change without overpowering or flipping over the system. She indeed faced many hardships and could have easily been discouraged by the bureaucratic and outdated educational system. Nevertheless, she never lost hope and continued to work for what she believed, despite all the obstacles she faced. Her story gave me hope that if one worked hard enough, one could certainly reach what he/she aspires to. I also learned that one does not have to have a big and unrealistic dream about change and then be upset that it did not happen, but rather to try to implement change on a small scale that would hopefully have a rippling effect later on.

3.Jim Wynn: Unfortunately, I was not present during this lecture.

Intel, where Fahmy & Abdelaal work.

4.Hossam Fahmy & Mahmoud Abdelaal: Their topic, namely technology in education, is one that is very relevant today. There has been this ongoing debate about the inclusion of technology in education and how beneficial it can be. Some claim that it could takes away of the teacher-student interaction and some say it augments the learning experience. The projects Fahmy & Abdelaal presented us with were indeed innovative and in my opinion, could leave a positive impact on the education scene in Egypt. Nevertheless, personally, I would be careful when it comes to technology in education because I believe it should not substitute the entire interaction between students and teachers not should the education entirely electronically based.

Aziz works as an Education Manager at INJAZ.

5.Mariam Aziz: Her energy and positivity in talking about what she loved to and what she was passionate about really moved me. The idea behind Injaz is creative and I am glad such an NGO exists in Egypt. The “Adopting A School” program especially intrigued me because it manages to involve the sometimes seemingly detached world of corporate with the community. Know more about INJAZ here.

6.Tarek Shawki & Hossam Badrawi: Hearing about how the policy making process goes from two experts who have been in the field for a long time was definitely beneficial. I got the feeling that they were indeed keen on introducing change. I really hope that the plans they discussed with us get implemented and we can see their positive impact on society.

Helal is the founder of educate me. 

7. Yasmine Helal: As with Aziz, I was wholly inspired by Helal’s enthusiasm, positive energy, and dedication. The fact the she kept persisting until she saw her idea come to life, kept on developing it, pursuing it despite the obstacles, is truly admirable. Moreover, the fact that she had the courage to give up work in her initial field and focus entirely on the NGO and developing is something that not everyone would do. The idea of the NGO is very innovative and I’m glad to see that it is actually making an impact. Know more about educate me.

From policy makers to teachers and from NGO founders to experts, getting exposed to such a wide array of successful individuals from the education scene in Egypt was an enriching experience. Each had his/her own unique perspective on how to improve education and they pursued it differently. It does not really matter who is right or who is doing what’s suitable for the educational field in Egypt; what matters is that they all share the same passion and innate will to introduce change. And that is exactly what we need more of.

_ All images are hyperlinked to their original sources.

Choose The Correct Answer: Yes or No to Standardized Testing.

Exam…the four lettered word that could send shivers down any student’s spine. Along our almost 16 years of school and university education (sorry medical and engineering students, you guys are still staying more), we can vouch that exams are probably the most stressful part of our academic lives. When we have an exam coming up, we have to do a lot of preparation, a lot of studying, and a whole lot of worrying. We sit in a classroom where our thinking process has to be timed to the duration of the exam. Then after that, our responses are assessed according to the teacher’s rubric_which varies from one teacher to another_and we are given a letter grade as an indication of how well we did on that exam. We have grown so accustomed to the idea of exams that we no longer think about its effectiveness anymore. Do they really serve their purpose?

How most students feel during exams.
How most students feel during exams.

During the past years, there has been an ongoing debate about the effectiveness of standardized testing as a tool to assess students’ performance. Some people argue that such tests do not cater to the students’ different backgrounds, modes of thinking, and capabilities. People are diverse and each excel in a different area, so how can we expect that a single test that is usually rigidly constructed and measuring only a limited area of knowledge and skills, be representative of a whole body of students?


Yeah this could all sound convincing and all, but what could be the alternative, you might ask. How can we then measure the students’ performance, how can we compare them to each other, how can we compare a certain school to another, and even how can we compare a country to a country?

Some have suggested the “portfolio-based assessment”, discussed in this article. It is basically about the teacher gathering the students’ work along the course of a specific subject then assessing his/her progress and how they learned from the subject through student reflections. Later on, random sampling can be used to compare a school or a country’s results to another. It is essentially about choosing random portfolio samples and assessing the progress. This approach is a good idea actually because it measures the students’ performance over a long period of time rather than over one single test.

That sounds nice.
That sounds nice.

Another method is the PBAT, also known as performance-based assessment tests, which include, “an analytic essay, a social studies research paper, a science experiment, and an applied mathematics problem.” This method has not yet been tested a lot, but it definitely appears promising due to its incorporation of several aspects of assessment rather than just one, which gives educators a chance to evaluate students more broadly.

Okay so now that we have explored a couple of alternatives for standardized tests, are they still that bad? Don’t they have any pros? In fact, they have plenty. Such tests give the opportunity to parents to see how their children are doing. They are mostly objective because the answers are graded upon a specific rubric usually without any attributes of the students. They make it easier to compare results with other students, schools, and countries. Read more about the pros and cons of standardized testing here.

Standardized testing are good at a lot of times, but I could not find a positive comic so here!
Standardized testing are good at a lot of times, but I could not find a positive comic so here!

So apparently reaching a conclusive answer to what constitutes the best way to assess the educational quality of a country cannot be determined through one post, not even numerous research papers. This vital matter requires lots of examination, research, and analysis. I believe it would also differ among the different countries because each has varied educational facilities and diversified cultures. Nevertheless, the most important thing we should keep in mind is the process of students’ learning itself. We should not overwhelm ourselves with how we assess the learning before we make sure students are actually learning something worthwhile. Then the impact of that will be reflected in society.

Happy learning!


-All images are hyperlinked to their original sources.

Attempting to Apply The Vygotsky Experiment…

To reiterate my experiment discussed in my previous blog post, Experimenting With Vygotsky, I had mentioned that I wanted to test an aspect of Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, namely whether the presence of an encouraging teacher affects the performance of children within the classroom.

As much as I was really eager to try out this experiment to test my hypothesis and see if it works, but with all sincerest honesty, time was not a factor in my favor during the past two weeks. First of all, I had realized earlier that I will not be able to have access to enough children to do my experiment. Thus, I have decided to tweak the experiment a bit and make my subjects adults, as in people my age since they will be more accessible. However, every time I try to schedule some time with a group of my friends to do the experiment, either some of them apologize because something they have to do comes up or I am the one who has trouble with the timing. And since the past two weeks were crammed with midterms and project submissions, it was indeed difficult to find a timing that fits all of us.

Basically me when things were not working out.
Basically me when things were not working out.

I then had to find a way to make it work anyhow. I figured I might do the experiment with my eighteen-year old brother and thirteen-year old sister. “But Shaza, this could not possibly be a valid experiment! There is an age and gender difference, and hey…these are even two groups,” the scientist in me shrieks. Nevertheless, this is the only option I was left with at that moment. So let’s see how it went.

I called on Mostafa and Rana and talked to them briefly about what the experiment entails. I gave Mostafa the hard task with the detailed instructions and left him to solve it (picture 1). On the other hand, I gave Rana the relatively easier task and tried to help her with it by offering guidance and encouragement whenever she was going on the right track (picture 2).

Picture 1: Mostafa's task.
Picture 1: Mostafa’s task.
Picture 2: Rana's task.
Picture 2: Rana’s task.

The results were as follows:

  • Mostafa was able to do the task on his own only using the instructions I gave him and without any help. However, he told me that it was no fun for him because he was doing it on his own. He said he preferred to have someone to encourage him along the way. Moreover, he added that even though the intrinsic motivation he felt from solving a hard problem was enough a motivator for him; however, one still needs the extrinsic motivation along with it as well because both are essentially important for achievement. (You can be sure that my brother did not use such sophisticated terminology, but that what the essence of what he said).
  • As for Rana, she enjoyed working on the task much more than Mostafa did. She said that it was partially because the task was relatively easy and because she had someone to work with. She also added that working with someone made it seem like a game and not a boring task to do.

Hence, from this extremely humble experiment (if I can call it so), I can conclude that my hypothesis was not correct. It appears that there is more to learning that just finishing tasks or being assessed. It is about the unique interaction between the student and the teacher. It is about the teacher being a guide and a mentor as well, if possible, and not about being a person who just applies the laws and makes sure the students have finished their tasks and that is all.

Once again, I wholly apologize for the mishaps on this experiment. I had really wanted it to be much better and more refined. Maybe it was a problem of time management, or simply I had too much on my plate over the past few weeks. I can promise that this will not happen again over the semester. Thank you for understanding.

-All images are hyperlinked to their sources.

Experimenting With Vygotsky.

One of the main pillars of learning, in my humble opinion, is critical thinking. Because we all know that solely relying on memorization of a rigid curriculum does not yield any productive results *cough*Egyptian educational system*cough* Students need to learn how to think not what to think. They need to actually experience the information and not just find ways to retain it until they pour it in an exam then forget all about.

That is what critical thinking does to the mind.
That is what critical thinking does to the mind.

When I first heard about this week’s assignment, which is to design an experiment as Piaget, Vygotsky, or Kohlberg, the first thing that came to mind was, “But I am no scientist!”. However, when I began to think about it, I realized that it is indeed the best way for us to know about these gentlemen’s theories and visualize how they could have planned their experiments back in the day.

Thus, I have chosen Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, which says that culture is an important facet to understanding learning and that children learn through interactions with their peers and their elders. This theory interests me the most because I have always been interested in children’s development and learning. Moreover, I believe that if children are quite flexible learners when they are young, and thus, we should provide them with the most attention so they can grow up to be effective and critical thinkers in the future. Consequently, I have decided to test an aspect of Vygotsky’s theory, namely assisted learning, which means that children learn best when they have the right environment and are provided with encouragement, clues to make the process easier for them.

The experiment I thought of would be as follows.

Hypothesis: If children are provided with thorough guidelines to solve a tough problem without encouragement, they will still be able to perform the task.

Sample: 7 to 9 years old

Gender: boys/girls *I am still not sure if it will be only boys or only girls; it will depend on which will be more accessible to me. Nevertheless, I would not want to have a mixed group because the dynamics of the group will be a bit different and some members might be shy from the other sex, so this is why I think the sample should include either females or males only.

Number of sample: 3 to 4 children maximum.

Method design: I will divide the children into two equal groups. For group A, I will give them a challenging task to do, yet I will provide them with thorough steps and guidelines on how to achieve it on paper. This group will have no teacher to explain the task to them. They will just be asked to solve the task, given the instructions, and that is it. The teacher will not encourage them or guide them in any way. For group B, they will receive an easier task, but with much less detailed instructions. However, a teacher would be present with this group to give them subtle hints and acknowledge and encourage them whenever they do a step correctly.

Possible limitations/weaknesses: I still have not actually about how to find this number of children within the coming two weeks. Moreover, I am a bit concerned that because I am altering more than one variable in the experiment, namely the kind of task and the presence of the teacher or not, will influence the validity of my experiment.

I believe this experiment will help me test an integral part of Vgotsky’s theory because I will get to observe whether the role of the teacher as one who enhances and progresses children’s learning is important to their learning or not. Because if children can achieve good learning without the inclusive role of the teacher, then we would have to consider a lot of what we know about the learning paradigm.

I hope this experiment helps me find out. Fingers crossed!

-All images are hyperlinked to their original sources.