Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Empowering Education: Critical Teaching for Social Change" by Ira Shor

For this week, I decided that I was going to base my post around Julienne's blog on her reflection and connections to the piece as an extended commentary!

Julienne, as always, I thought you did an amazing job on your blog post. You always go so in depth with your posts, which shows how dedicated you are to this course. Additionally, you did very well adding in your personal thoughts and connections, which definitely helped to make your blog all the more interesting. Great work! :)

     At the beginning of her post, Julienne made some personal connections, noting how excited she was when she noticed how some of the previous authors we have studied (such as Finn and Christensen) were referenced in the reading.
     Julienne then proceeded with the rest of the blog by listing quotes from Shor's reading and then writing her reactions to them, similarly to that of a blog whose topic was quotes rather than reflection, but none-the-less, still powerful. The very first quote she listed was actually by Jean Piaget, whom she had been recently studying in her psychology class and had posted a hyperlink connected to Piaget's theory on cognitive theory. The quote stated, "If the aim of intellectual memory training is to form the intelligence rather than to stock the memory, and to produce intellectual explorers rather than mere erudition, then traditional education is manifestly guilty of grave deficiency." (Page 12)
Julienne reflected on this by stating, "The students are also forced to learn information that is not interesting to them. I always feel bad because anybody can just tell based on their body language that these fifth graders would rather be somewhere else. As future educators, we need to avoid forcing our students to shove information that they can care less about in their heads. Instead, we need to keep our lessons interesting so that our students maintain their enthusiasm in learning." and I couldn't agree more with her opinion. If students are having difficulty absorbing and enjoying the information that is being given to them, perhaps it is a better option to adapt our own means to educating the students rather than just staying with a certain method what we know and confusing the kids.

     Everyone learns and must be told what to in various ways, as explained in the readings of Delpit and even being connected to Julienne's blog when she states, "Even though some of us may deny this, but we all do not like it when things change because we like to be in control and be familiar with things in our everyday lives. If the orthodoxies changed, then the culture of power would no longer exist. Whatever happened to change being a good thing?" The culture of power is always in effect, whether we agree with it or not, but in terms of being part of a classroom, it can either be a phenomenal or terrible thing, all depending on the teacher. If the instructor chooses to use the culture of power for the good of their students rather than just themselves, they can tailor the lessons they are teaching to their students individually, creating new and engaging ways to help get the lessons and ideas across rather than just simply throwing materials at the kids. In this way, the teachers are providing students with the opportunities to directly impact their future for the better. Change must be enforced since no one is exactly the same from our backgrounds, to the ways we look, and even to our academic and education levels.

     Overall, I very much enjoyed Julienne's blog post. All of the quotes she used and her reflections on them were extremely informative, so much so that upon reading her post I was even able to better understand Shor's reading having gotten insight into what others thought. She kept me engaged the entire time while I was reading and her personal thoughts made the post seem more engaged rather than simply writing a reflection of what Shor was saying. All in all, amazing job on your final FNED 346 post Julienne! You're going to do great out there in the world of education!

(Video of Ira Shor giving input to his son's education, which similarly reflects his opinions that education should be a personalized, "homey" experience for students to feel comfortable and learn their best>)


  1. Hi Lauren. I loved hearing your opinion about my blog. I'm glad you liked it! :)

  2. Great job on this post! I thought your connections and your thoughts were really interesting. The video you posted and the pictures also helped get the point of the reading across.

  3. I really like the videos and pictures you added to your post. Your points were very interesting as well!

  4. Thought you picked a great video and your whole connection to Julienne's blog post showed that you really payed attention and wanted to put a lot of effort into your post as well. I also think it was so nice that you showed your support at the end, you are going to be a great teacher too!