Sunday, April 21, 2013

Education Is Politics: Reflection

Empowering Education
Ira Shor
Education Is Politics

“A curriculum designed to empower students must be transformative in nature and help students to develop the knowledge, skills, and values needed to become social critics who can make reflective decisions and implement their decisions in effective personal, social, political, and economic action.”

I think this quote pretty much sums up the purpose of this chapter. Shor is arguing for a more democratic and social pedagogy in the classroom and curriculum. Rather than feeding children information for retention, we should be forming their intelligence. 

I completely agree with Shor when she says that people are born learners and are naturally curious. From personal experience, I can show this. I have a baby cousin, who will be turning two this Friday. From the moment she was born, she was constantly being taught something. As she gets older, she gets even more curious. I think this is because she now has a basis of information to work off of; A foundation of letters, names, numbers that allow her to recognize more and ask more specific questions. When she does ask questions that is our opportunity to teach her something, but also allow her to think and grow on her own.
Recently, I had given her a bag of Goldfish crackers and she was pulling them all out of the bag but not eating them, so I asked her why she wasn’t eating the crackers.  She looked at me and said, “fish friends, no food, Neecole!” I was really amazed by her response, and had told her that she could eat these fishies because they were good for her and she had to have asked me “why?” about fifteen times in a row, and all I could do was laugh, I was just so amazed at her connection w/ the bag of goldfish to the one of her favorite movies, Finding Nemo and her consistent questioning as to why she could eat these.
I reminisce about this particular experience because Shor says we should allow this type of questioning because it becomes a learning opportunity. At that moment, Abigail became a critical thinker, as young as she is. Sadly, I had no good answer to her question because how could I tell her that these fish are okay to eat and others aren’t so….we started playing with the fishies and singing “just keep swimming, just keep swimming!” I might have failed at this particular learning experience but it was really funny.


For this final post, I decided to share a little bit about personal experience and connect it to the article rather than analyzing it. Just by reading this and brining my own experience into it, I have learned just as much as I do analyzing it word for word. This just goes to show that Kliewer, in his article, Citizenship in Schools…made his point that people learn in different ways. Through all of the essays we’ve read, I have not only broadened my knowledge to becoming an effective educator but I’m also learning how to expand my knowledge and work on my own learning strategies.  

1 comment:

  1. Hey Nicole great blog!! I liked that you brought attention to the fact that Shor says we are born leaders because that was a big part of her text. I agree with you and Shor that we are all curious and asking questions actually improve someone's learning experience.