Saturday, April 11, 2015

"Literacy with an Attitude" by Patrick J. Finn

     For this post, I chose to write a reflection of "Literacy with an Attitude" by Patrick Finn through comparing my own service learning environment to the ideas and beliefs of the Jean Anyon study expressed by Finn. I got the inspiration to do my blog about this based on Allee Krause's blog when I was posting comments on people's most recent blogs. I admired her take on the reading, so I decided to set up my newest post similarly to her's (great job on your bog Allee!).
     Jean Anyon's study expressed how differences in the socioeconomic status of its students resulted in differences in the classroom, causing children to become labelled as executive elite, affluent professional, middle class, and working class based on their social and economic stability. In my service learning assignment, I am currently working in a school that can most likely be categorized as working class. Much like Allee's service learning though, the description of a working class classroom that Anyon produced didn't really match my classroom's environment. I thought this was understandable, as not every school under a certain socioeconomic category are all the same.

"In the working class schools, the dominant theme was resistance" (Page 12)
This does not seem to fit the theme of my service learning school at all; practically all of the students are pretty open to learning and appreciate being taught by such caring and interactive teachers. Resistance doesn't seem to the theme of any school I've been to in my life honestly.

 "Knowledge in the affluent professional school was viewed as being open to discovery" 
(Page 16)
Although I don't necessarily agree that this quality is solely found in affluent professional schools, I do believe it has the possibility to be applied to and found in all types of school environments. In my service learning school, this particular aspect is much more apparent in its students compared to the previous quality of resistance. Whenever I've helped a student one-on-one, they seem extremely eager to learn from what I can help them with and they are constantly interested in their classwork because of how new everything is to them.

"Control involved constant negotiation" (Page 17)
Again, while this aspect was used in Finn's reading to describe qualities found primarily in affluent professional schools, I found this quite prominent in my own service learning "working class" school. The teacher I am assisting is constantly having her students engage in the learning process and always presents questions to them asking for their own ideas or inputs. I really admire this choice in how she teaches because it makes the students feel like their thoughts and opinions are truly being taken into account, resulting in a better learning environment.

Question to Share:
     Even though I know Allee and I didn't find many matching qualities between Anyon's typical "working class" school and our own student learning experiences, did anyone else find their service learning classrooms did not match up with their supposed socioeconomic label? I personally felt this reading had a particular connection to Rodriguez's "Aria" based on the fact that both readings dealt with stereotypes in educational society. While Finn's reading focuses more on the socioeconomic stereotypes in schools, how they effect the students' learning, and ultimately how far they can go in life, Rodriguez's reading focuses on racial stereotyping and conforming to society in order to improve oneself, resulting in going further in life.

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