Sunday, November 27, 2011

Talking Points #10 Education Is Politics by Ira Shor


I have been reminded many times of the past teachers I have had while reading this article. Shor talks about the traditional style of teaching where students tend to be cynical because there is resistance that is caused by the teacher being the dominant power in the classroom. I have been through what Shor had described. When power only comes from one side, it creates an urge to resist and to only get by with work in school. This encourages students to feel that education is not important and therefore participation and engagement are often  not acted upon. In high school I was in a math class where the teacher was the only one who talked. She was very strict and joy did not exist in that class. I've always felt like I was silenced during every minute of lecture and fear was felt everyday. Students never asked questions because according to Shor the teacher could have done their part in creating an environment that encourages students to question authority. When there was a "fun" activity, it was very difficult to connect with classmates since it had become awkward without the initial connection to everyone including the teacher at the very beginning of the course. I did not recall learning anything in that class because all we did was read, remember formulas and applying the formulas to problems. If we had the ability to question what we learned, the content that was taught would've had a meaningful purpose and that is one of Shor's claims.

Sharing Ideas:

When Shor talked about questioning the status quo, it reminded me of the the article before this one by Kliewer. If we don't question it, it'll just go on a repeated cycle. It has come up in many articles and therefore I conclude that one of the key points of this course is somewhere along the idea of questioning authority. It seems like it would be hard to balance fun and seriousness in learning content material. I wonder what everyone else thinks about that.

1 comment:

  1. I like to interact with my classmates and teachers while I'm learning. I feel as if I learn better if I either enjoy the material or if I'm having fun while doing it. I think most kids are the same way, especially because kids don't like to be bored!