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Monday, April 22, 2013

Empowering education_Shor_Connections

Reading this article by Shor made me think about three other readings that to me at first almost had no relevance but the more I thought about it I made some connections. 

1. Shor talks about teacher and student relationships in the classrooms and how this will enhance and better the learning experience for the students. I would have to agree on this and it also reminded me of some theories that we talked about in my educational psychology course and learning experiences. Student teacher relationships made me think about SAFE SPACES, but when referring to safe spaces I am not just talking about LGBTQ youth, I am also talking about women, minorities and the nonelite, as Shor would put it. In order for us to empower education we first have to ensure the equality as best as possible across the chart. Making sure that we are covering things as best as possible from both sides and for everyone. Shor asks, when telling the stories about Columbus, are we presenting this information just from the European point of view or are we allowing our students to experience the Arawak's story of what happened to them. Also as many of us know 50 plus years ago, education was used to empower men and whites those who were among the elite, but now we have to make sure that what we are teaching is also empowering our women and ensuring a safety zone for them to feel like they are able and allowed to learn aside the men.

2. Another reading that I thought of when reading this was DELPIT, and Delpit talks about teaching other people's children and the silenced dialogue. Shor stated that, "Empowerment does not mean students can do whatever they like in the classroom. Neither can the teacher do whatever she or he likes. The learning process is negotiated..." Delpit talks about how teachers should communicate with students and being direct. Shor seems to agree with this, in order to get a response from students, as teachers we have to be direct and explicit about not only the rules and codes but about their stand and power of their education. If a student is afraid to challenge what a teacher is saying, how are they to form their own individual knowledge in the school never mind in the outside world. We have to be able to encourage our students to have a voice but with out being disrespectful though at the same time knowing that if something does not make sense or is not understood as questions or even if there is way that they may think is better never be afraid to voice it.

3. Finally I thought about CHRISTENSEN AND MYTHS and the underlying secrets that are in the educational systems. Shor states that "education is a socializing activity organized, funded, and regulated by authorities who set a curriculum.... On the other hand education, is a social experience for tens of millions of students who come to class with their own dreams and agendas." Being that said, we have to ensure that whatever underlying myths their are within media and even with in our own educational system does not tear down the children and to push them to be their own individuals, and that this is only the beginning and fundamental foundation, this is not where their education stops but only where it starts. We have to challenge them past stereotypical views from sexism to racism and just appearance in general.

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