Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Service Learning Project

Here is the link to my, Rebekah's, Julia's, and Lauren's service learning project! ENJOY! :)


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Empowering Education

Talking Points #10- Quotes on Shor


While reading, "Empowering Children: Critical Teaching For Social Change" by Ira Shor, it made me think of a lot of things that we as future teachers to be aware of. It emphasizes on the aspects in which make a school setting the most beneficial place to learn.  For this week's talking point, I decided to pick out three quotes that stood out to me the most.



1. "You must arouse children's curiosity and make them think about school."

  • Quoted from Meier, Ira Shor sets up one of his major arguments in his article; the reason why children go to school in the first place.  Meier states that it's best if the teacher begins the school with a discussion as to why the students need to go to school.  According to Meier, this discussion is important because it creates trust between teacher and student which is critical of positive learning space. I immediately think of August's "Safe Spaces" and how building trust with students is a major factor in creating safe spaces.  Safe Spaces are necessary for every student to learn at their very best abilities while feeling like they belong.  Shor continues to expand from this quote by including Piaget's stance on socialization of schooling. Piaget believes that a "reciprocal relationship" between students and teachers is a must where there is a mutual respect from both parties. Piaget also talks about how children are thrown into a curriculum that is already dominated by adults and they are expected to perform at adult levels.  I thought that was interesting because I never looked at it like that before. To think that schooling is actually trying to conform children to participate in adult perfected tasks, really makes you look at it a different way.  As Shor stresses, this creates a pressure that is put on these children! 

Ira Shor


2."In school and society, the lack of meaningful participation alienates workers, teachers, and students. This alienation lowers their productivity in class and on the job. I think of this lowered productivity as a performance strike, an unorganized mass refusal to perform well, an unacknowledged strike."
  • This quote deals with the issue of "the performance strike". Participation is supposed to enhance a student's learning but with the higher lack of motivation these students are deciding to rebel against the figures of authority. Shor points out with the decrease of participation and the increase of teacher burnouts this, many students refuse to perform at high levels.  We can relate this to the "I Won't Learn From You" article in the way that you have to be conscious of the way you go about things when it comes to your students. Shor says that kids need to feel like they belong to a mutual authority in order to get rid of their "negative attitudes and emotions."  In Kohl's article, "I Won't Learn From You" we read about a young student who was thought to be performing at low rate when it in fact he was having an "I won't Learn From You Moment." This little boy obviously felt the lack of respect and authority because he was capable of performing the task, he just chose not to.  So his participation was suffering and he was definitely having a performance. I think it's absolutely necessary to implement participation in a classroom but we need to make sure that the children are comfortable with everyone else in the classroom, including the teacher.  
3. "The teacher plays a key role in the critical classroom. Student participation and positive emotions are influenced by the teacher's commitment to both."

  • I chose this as my final quote because as inspiring teachers, it's all about our role in empowering children to learn in our classrooms.  Shore points out that most teachers fail in this commitment because they were products of schools that highlighted passive and competitive styles of learning which is not the right way to go about teaching your students. "The heart of the problem is that teacher are taught to lecture and give orders." This just supports the argument that Shor is trying to make in a co-authoritative environment.  When a teacher is dependent on lecturing and giving orders, eventually the students will start to rebel, possible participating in a performance strike.  It's not an ideal method to teach and as inspiring teachers, we need to do more than just give orders and lecture, we need to engage and inspire our students to be the best learners they can be.
Point to Reflect:

What are some ways as futures teachers, can we insure that our students will get the best learning experience possible. We should definitely come up with a plan that would eliminate possible performance strikes and we should as a group should assess what it takes to be a teacher because it's obviously more than just lecturing and giving orders. From reading this article, I realized that it takes an absolute special and passionate person to become a teacher.