Thursday, December 12, 2013

Free Write “Empowering Education: Critical Teaching for Social Change” Ira Shor

Free Write
“Empowering Education: Critical Teaching for Social Change”
Ira Shor
            After reading the Shor article all I wanted to do is give it to each and every teacher, principle, and teacher I have ever had. I feel like a large number of teachers do not realize that the current school system isn't politically neutral and it disconnects student’s development as critical thinkers about their world. I find the concept of asking your students to question their education experience and believe that we do not live in a fixed world that is fine the way it is. One of the goals in education I believe should be to educate students that they are capable and should never believe that the way the world currently is, is the way it has to be. I think it is important for students to understand that they play a huge role in changing the world we live in.
               I found it extremely interesting when reading about a teacher provide syllabus. Personally I had never thought about the impact a course syllabus could have on a student. Seeing a syllabus as a prolonged encounter with structured knowledge and social authority makes me look at them completely differently. If you think about it is a list of to-do’s and grades you should get. It is kind of like being an employee of a big business in a sense. You are given a list of things to do and if you don’t do them correctly or up to par you will be reprimanded for it, either through loss of pay or not getting a promotion. Though students have a choice as to what extent of the syllabus they take part in and are able to form those aspects chosen. A student does this by applying themselves to some assignments, quizzes and tests, but not all of them listed on the syllabus. The grading of the students school work typically reflects which assignment’s, quizzes, or tests the individual applied themselves to in comparison to the school work the student didn't apply themselves to. I feel like it makes a lot of sense for students who reject the idea of a prolonged encounter with structured knowledge and social authority by not responding to knowledge, processes, or roles set out for class. Rejection can result in the student reacting by, dropping out, withdrawing into passivity or silence in the classroom, self-educating, and in some cases even sabotaging the curriculum by misbehaving.
               I personally agree with parts of the idea of education being a social experience. I think it is important to educate students on our current society, the meanings of past events, and that there is always a possibility for the future and their place in the world they live in. Most importantly when it comes to educating these topics it is important for the teacher to present the knowledge as critical inquiry into power and knowledge as they relate to students experiences. I think connecting a student’s personal experiences to current, past, and futuristic events can help the student understand what is being taught and discussed, as well as, to realize that they can make a difference in this world and that things don’t always have to be the way they currently are.

I just wanted to end this post by quoting one of my favorite quotes out of this text;

“Education is more than learning skills; it is a socializing experience that helps make the people who make up our society.” (Page. 16)

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