Monday, December 1, 2014

Empowering Education - Shor - Quotes

         "Empowering Education" by Ira Shor discusses different methods for learning, and teaching in the classroom.  It discusses how classrooms today are too focused on drilling information and memorization rather than thinking critically and making connections than will benefit students later on in problem solving and real life experience.
            "If the students' task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted" (12). 
          While I was in elementary, middle and even high school this was the way school was.  I got good grades in school because I had this system of memorization down.  Looking back I don't really remember the things that I read until I memorized, took a test, passed and then forgot about.  It wasn't until I took my First Year Seminar class, similar to our FNED class that we had to read and not memorize, but critically think about the articles assigned.  

          "The teacher plays a key role in the critical classroom. Student participation and positive emotion are influenced by the teacher's commitment to both. One limit to this commitment comes from the teacher's development in tradition. In schools where passive, competitive; and authoritarian method, dominated. As student teachers learned early and often that to be a teacher means talking a lot and being in charge." (26)
          This quote made me think of Delpit. She argues that there are rules and codes of power, and in the classroom the teacher is need to explicitly teach these rules and codes to students, especially because many of them may not learn them at home.  
         “Our role as teachers is to create a safe environment in which students can express opinions and, most importantly, generate their own language materials for learning and peer-teaching”
         Similar to safe spaces, Shor emphasizes the need to create a safe and comfortable work and learning environment for students.  If a student isn't comfortable in a class they won't be willing to share an opinion and think out loud.  In my service learning classroom, the teacher really believes in collaboration and working together.  I have noticed that "peer-teaching" really helps the students learn, and teach in a language they understand.  


  1. I loved this blog post! I loved how you said that you memorized things, passed the test and then forgot about it. I feel the same exact way I don't remember things for a long period of time and at some points I feel like I'm not learning anything. Great job!

  2. I really enjoyed your blog post this week! I definitely agree with the points you made here! good job!