Monday, November 30, 2009

Empowering Education by Ira Shor

"You must arouse children’s curiosity and make them think about school. For example, it's very important to begin the school year with a discussion of why we go to school? Why does the government force us to go to school? This would set a questioning tone and show the children that you trust them and that they are intelligent enough, at their own level, to investigate and come up with answers.” (Page, 11)

I picked this quote because it is a very strong, it does not have a lot of content but the quality of it is what caught my eye. That as teachers we must leave no doubt in our student’s minds, of why they need education and why is it important to have an education in this society. That as future educators we must learn how important it is to teach kids the in an attractive way, that pulls them in and makes them want to learn more. We are naturally curious about things that catch are eyes and minds, we want to learn more about the things that appeal to us. We are also born learners, but as teachers we do not realize that everybody learns differently. We must first understand the students and see what their needs are in order to teach them what we think is important. The encouragement that the students will have after they see that the can relate to all these things will further there learning. The student’s intellect and emotions towards school changes because they make meaning and can act on what they have learned.

For example: This class has empowered all of us to learn. The material was not picked by us the students. Professor Bogad picked all of our readings accordingly to the success those other students have had when relating to the material. We have all learning something this semester, we may not agree with all of it but we have learned because the material caught our attention and we easily related to it because we have all been threw similar situations.

“Competition encourages people to survey other people’s differences for potential weak spots... We learn to ascribe winner or loser status based on certain perceived overt characteristics…” (Page, 24)

This quote stood out to me because it talks about method that many teachers take as an affective learning but do not realize the end result can affect the students in the long run. I have realized that many boys in general like to compete because they like the excitement that it brings when the teacher says that they have won. I agree when it says that competition in a class only leads to isolations and alienation among the students. All it does is encourage the same old “Winners “, while the “Losers” are kept out and not really encouraged or helped learn what others have already mastered. The competitive pedagogy does not give a class an egalitarian outlook because certain students end up with positive feelings and others have negative feeling towards learning therefore enabling them not to learn.

“Self-Centered Pedagogy” (Page, 15)

I picked this quote because the Values for Empowerment section caught my attention the most. I believe that the critical pedagogy is really helpful to the students because all of the focus goes towards them. It gives students enough room so they can do they want to do in order to learn, but does not give them the alternative for them to do whatever they want. The teacher does not just do what she wants either they come to an overall conclusion of what they are going to learn. Teachers are supposed to investigate everyday themes, social issues, and academic knowledge to incorporate into their classroom. The students are basically the one teaching them with how they can relate to the material. This provides the students with the tools to better themselves and strengthen their intellect. This is all with the intention to create and egalitarian and just society. This will deploy and education that will be the beginning of a social change.

For Example: We are basically living proof that this critical pedagogy works because we have taught ourselves, and are class discussions have helped all understand the material that we have encountered. The dialogue and we problem-posing has made us active agents of are learning experience this semester.


  1. The first quote that you chose to write about I wrote about as well. I really liked how you used our class as an example of empowerment. It really does make sense. We HAVE all learned a lot, regardless of whether we agreed with the articles or not. The best part too, was that if we did disagree, we were given the chance to speak up and say why! Professor Bogad respects our opinions, and I plan to be the same way with my future students.

  2. I agree!! I love being able to openly form my own opinions about what I am being taught. It makes things more interesting for me as a student because then I have some kind of caring/feeling for the topic. That's how I want my students to feel when I have my own classroom.

  3. You have a lot of good points here! I had some trouble understanding the article but your blog basically helped clarified it for me. :)

  4. I almost used your first quote. I thought it was extremely interesting as seems like an awesome way to really engage kids and make them think. I also agree with your conclusion, Dr. Bogad definitely make a conscious decision when assigning blogs because it does force us to participate and be active learners.

  5. i agree with everyone here ... i did not use the first quote but it really is something i would use in the future. I don't think i ever had a teacher actual;y do that

  6. I also agree with everyone hereee. I have learned so much in our class because of the way the class is taught. I never paid attention in high school classes because nothing ever caught my attention..but in this class it sure does!

  7. Your blogs are really excellent, Miguel. SO engaged and thoughtful. I appreciate the depth of thought that you put into them!