Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shor, Empowering Education

Shor, Empowering Education

Shor argues that the method of just teaching children facts and asking them to memorize things, like the three R’s, is not an effective method of educating. Instead children should be encouraged to think for themselves and to question everything-empowering education. In this way, children will be able to achieve their full potential.
I want to use this post and article just to reflect on some of my own thoughts that are sort of lingering in my head. But first some connections.
First off I saw Johnson right away on the first page.
“‘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?...”
Johnson wants us to talk about things and put them out in the open so that we understand them. Shor argues here that teachers should start by connecting with the children to earn their trust so we can give them an empowering education because you have to have to be on a certain level with the children to use empowering pedagogy. I think this is a perfect idea, I’ve been through years of school and I don’t think a teacher has actually ever sat down and done this even though it seems obvious that they should.

Second I saw Delpit, but then again where does she not come up? Anyways…
"Education is more than facts and skills. It is a socializing experience that helps make the people who make society."
I related this to Delpit’s discussion on rules and codes of power to develop the people of the future. School clearly is not just for learning grammar and math equations, you learn how to socialize and live in society, and depending on where you go to school, you learn that way of socializing. This is sort of an oxymoron too because how many times did you hear teachers say “you are here to learn not to socialize” just sort of a quick I think.

In my foundations of education class at Stonehill we had to take a quiz on the first day of class to see what our classroom management style is and then according to that is how our group tables were set up. I thought it was kind of interesting to see where I fell, so feel free to take the quiz and see where your management falls!

So since this is the last talking point I just want to express my  opinion on all the articles in general and the discussion I want to have in class not just dealing with Shor but in regards to all the authors we have read…
How is it that we read all these articles that just make so much perfect sense to us, things like incorporating two dads into math word problems, or using explicit instruction, or making sure we analyze media so that girls know they don’t have to be flawless, or making sure we talk about things openly so we understand them…BUT YET it doesn’t seem to be working to change everyone. I know that it’s hard to break the glass and all but these studies have been out for years I mean Shor was written in 1992 and still although empowering education sounds fabulous and perfect, how come every school hasn’t implemented it yet. It’s kind of discouraging to say that education in a whole is sort of doomed to be perfect or even come close. I just don’t get it and it sort of bothers me in a way but I guess you just have to take it and try to make your classroom aware of all of these, although that’s nearly impossible.  


  1. Great connections! I didn't see Johnson right away but now that you pointed it out, it's in my face :)

  2. I used the same quote but I connected it to Oakes instead. Also I love the Delpit moment (of course lol) I also took your quiz. it was rather interesting. I got authoritative.

  3. I liked your connections! I also liked what you wrote at the end of your blog it is very frusturating.

  4. i took the quiz and it was a tie between democratic and authoritative. i agree with that lol nice link :)

  5. I liked the second quote that you used. I was surprised as I read the article. I always understood that education wasn't always just about learning, but it never been stated by anyone in my life.

  6. All of your posts have such great connections to our other texts... great blog. :)