Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Talking point 10

Ira Shor - Empowering education

This article seemed very long and dry to me when I read it, but when we discussed it in class it really made it more interesting for me. As a parent, I realize the huge influence teachers have in our children's lives. During the week, my children spend more time awake with their teachers than they do with me! It is extremely important that teacher's realize the impact they have on children's lives, beyond teaching them reading and math. I think complacency is the enemy here, and teacher's have to be extremely aware and vigilant about falling into the lecture and worksheet routine with their students because it would be very easy to because that is what we were brought up on and it is easy and familiar. I really liked Dr. Bogad's analogy about the river, because that described exactly how I was thinking about this issue.

"The teacher is the person who mediates the relationship between outside authorities, formal knowledge, and individual students in the classroom"
This quote helps to show the huge power and responsibility a teacher has with students. We must always keep in mind the impact of things we say and do, or choose NOT to say and do with our students.

"People begin life as motivated learners, not as passive beings"
This quote stood out to be because I am continously surprised at the love for learning I experience in my son's first grade classroom. Yet, as you observe older and older students, you can see that eagerness turn into apathy in many students. Something is happening to dismantle this natural love of learning, and it is very destructive.

"In traditional classrooms, negative emotions are provoked in students by teacher-centered politics"
This quote supports the last quote I chose, and goes a step furthur - it puts the blame of the negative feelings towards education onto the teacher. While I agree that that is where the blame should lie, I don't believe that it is lack of caring or dedication on part of the teacher. We are just stuck in a cycle of what we learned wnd what is familiar, and it is going to take a lot of insight and vigilance to make any kind of change

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