Sunday, November 13, 2011

Talking Points #8 Literacy With an Attitude by Patrick Finn


In the article, Finn describes the two kinds of education. One is powerful literacy that builds power and authority and the second is functional literacy that develops productivity. The working class does not get that powerful literacy since Finn described; the ones who have access to it are the rich. We can see a cycle that repeats constantly as access to both types of literacy are still limited to one class. It's hard for change since the working class does not have the literacy that provides power and those with power are too comfortable with the way things are to make changes. This reminded me of "Amazing Grace" by Johnathan Kozol. There was a similar cycle that he mentioned where the people were doing what they can to live a better life but without the people with power striving to also make the change, they got stuck with the poor living conditions in their area.

I believe that students should be able to question authority in school and that teachers should encourage and emphasize that action. Finn also supports this when he gave the many examples of the working class school's classrooms. Work consisted of procedural styles. Teachers rarely gave explanations on things that were taught in class. There were not many connections to real life experiences and little in depth discussions on a particular subject. By questioning their teachers, students can understand why they are learning and why it is important. Linda Christensen had the same thoughts. She knew that teachers needed to provide the tools for students to interpret the media. It's the same as giving the tools to students to obtain powerful literacy in Finn's argument.

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