Sunday, November 28, 2010

Empowering Education by Ira Shor (quotes)

“Empowering education is a critical-democratic pedagogy for self and social change” – Shor pg. 15.

There were a few re-occurring points that really stood out for while reading Shor, having the students question and participate.

“People are naturally curious. They are born learners Education either develop or stifle their inclination to ask why and to learn.”

I certainly agree with everyone being naturally curious and that is an important factor for learning. It keeps the student interested and encourages them to ask questions.  If all the student does is memorize facts and spits them back on a test, how is that empowering? It isn’t. Curriculums should enforce more critical thinking which allows the students to participate more in class. Also critical thinking is a skill that students will use in the outside world, like learning tasks in a future job, asking questions to learn to proper way to perform the specific task.

“Education is more than facts and skills. It is a socializing experience that helps make the people who make society.”

Education is the foundation of a successful society.  It is the method we learn these facts and skills that while help us in the future. Students who are fully engaged in class, for example socializing among one another and being active during a lesson will benefit society in the future. Beneficial because it will lead towards a knowledgeable society and provides a stable environment for young learners.  Basically it will create a growing chain for intelligence. Students today will take their early education and apply as they move on in life.

Student involvement is low in traditional classrooms and because action is essential to gain knowledge and develop intelligence.”
What I experience in a poorly executed lecture class is an example a “traditional classroom”.  When I think of a traditional classroom I think of teachers that just talk at their students. In the lecture classes that I experienced, the professor would talk for the entire time and leave students out of the discussion. If the professor does decide to have room for questions they rarely give the appropriate response time for students to come up with their questions. As a result their students remain unengaged and confused. “Any questions? No? Let’s move on.”
I feel student involvement is the most important factor to keep students engaged and get the most out of learning.  This is especially important in an elementary setting because students get easily distracted. Keeping students engaged will increase productivity. For example calling on student who doesn’t raise their hand often is a good way to keep that student on track so that they don’t fall behind.

I found this article about how getting the attention of your students is difficult. It also shows steps on what you can do to keep your students engaged. How can students participate if they are not totally in to it right?

In class I would like to discuss more ways to challenge students so that they can participate in class.

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