Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Education is Politics

We were assigned to read Education is Politics by: Ira Shor

[ I underlined a couple parts that stuck out to me ]

"Basically I think that these quotes really show how Shor thinks that students should be in charge or their own learning with a little bit of help from their teachers. If teachers would just ask the right questions, then students would get to thinking about subject matter and they would start to learn from their thoughts and ideas. Teachers should not give their students subject matter to memorize, they need to think about it so they will be interested in it. I personally think that these are really good teaching strategies and ideas. Do you think that the problem-posing approach is a good one? It seems like it would work well to me."

Mariah did a really good job on this blog post and the "conclusion" part of her's really summed everything up that I wanted to incorporate into mine.
When she talked about spelling words and not making children memorize them, it made me think of my little brother. He is in 5th grade and my mom, my boyfriend, and I were all looking at his spelling words the other day and literally I had seen 2 out of 20 before in my life and forget the bonus words, they looked like a different language to me. My brother has started to give up on spelling all together and just accepting the fact that he is going to fail his spelling test, it makes me so sad. But this is showing, that my little brother knows that he isn't going to learn anything cramming for a spelling test and then not remembering how to spell those words in a week - so whats the point? This curriculum definitely needs to be modified 
Students learn so much better when they are being challenged. When the teachers are asking questions, they need to ask the right  question, questions that will make the students THINK. Or else they will just regurgitate information back and learn NOTHING.

Another issue Mariah talked about the ratio of student/teacher dialogue... "Future teachers need to make sure that their students are fully engaged and fully involved in the classroom. It can't just be a one way street." This is so true - in Dr. Bogad's class we are all always engaged in conversation and feel like our opinion matters. But when students are always being told to be quiet and that it "isn't time for talking", it discourages them from opening their mouth in the classroom. It doesn't seem right that the teachers are there for the children yet, they're taking up most of the class time lecturing to their students.

Teachers need to give their students the opportunity to speak and feel like they are a part of something in the classroom. In school, they are supposed to have the chance to be themselves but if the teachers arent giving them that chance to open up, it will be hard for them. Like Mariah said, future teachers need to involve their students and assist them to be engaged and learn to their full potential...

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