Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Update to "Empowering Education"

Talking Points

Empowered students making meaning and act from reflection, instead of memorizing fact and value, handed to them. This statement questions learning because what is the point of learning when we are told to memorize something? We are not learning anything so what are we gaining from this? It will not provoke any questions which is the stem of learning. We are born learners so we cannot help our curiosity are meant to ask questions, that is the nature of learning.

This statement above makes me think of tests and quizzes because when we are tested we are meant to memorize facts, dates and statements. We are not learning anything, how are we showing what we know by taking a test?

Empowering Education
Critical Teaching for Social Change
Ira Shor

In Empowering Education, Ira Shor states that child are called upon to receive from outside the already perfected products of adult knowledge and morality; the educational relationship consists of pressure on one side and receptiveness on the other. Shor means to say that when we attend school we are forced to learn certain concepts because we simply can learn things and because its there.

Shor continues by stating that "from such a point of view, even the most individual kinds of tasks performed by students partake less of genuine activity of spontaneous and individual research than of copying a external model. The students inmost mortality remains fundamentally directed toward obedience rather than autonomy." Ira Shor thinks that what children perform in school is memorizing and note taking based, cut and dry. Teaching the idea of "you have to learn this because i said so." Shor  attempts to show the beauty of teaching with more autonomy or independence. To teach in a more fun and creative way will cause children to be interested to learn. We are human so come into the world as learners and we are naturally curious from day one. Why should education be taught in a way that we just learn but not ask why. Asking "why" or "how" is how we learn. For example it can be seen everyday, such as when we ask someone "did the egg come before the chicken or did the chicken come before the egg?"Sometimes someone else's question plants an answer in your train of thought, even if you may be wrong you gain a new way of thinking.

A curriculum that avoids questioning schools and society cuts of the student's development as a critical thinker about the world they live in. Students will not understand why they are suppose to learn so what they learn will not be cherished. We learn things in life for a purpose not simply to learn it because if a student is given a task to memorize rules instead of analyzing a book will keep the students from importance of the learning process. From our learning experiences we gain the ability to criticaly think about everything, the things we learn in school and outside school walls. In my past i learned how to critically think about books, specifically reading between the lines. I learned that books explain life in some instances. For example, I read the book "To kill a Mockingbird" in high school where i gained the lesson of people, that we are not bad but we are not perfect. We all have traits we would like to change about ourselves. If we did not analyze the book with questions and discussions i never would have gained this knowledge. 

In my personal opinion i do not want to be taught a unit because i have to learn it. Rather i would like to learn about something because i am curious about the topic. If i was taught something simply to learn values and facts i would not feel knowledgeable because i would not have the opportunity to reflect upon what i learned. Numbers and facts only show a minuscule piece of knowledge. When i reflect or think about why i did that or how this happened i gain insight from the answers as well as the opinions of others.

Asking questions can lead to great outcomes such as making students think about their own thoughts, it can cause students to pay more attention and it can help students think in different perspectives. Sometimes we answer questions incorrectly however we learn from our answers and sometimes it allows us to think about something in a completely different light.