Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Empowering Education" by Ira Shor

This piece by Ira Shor really stood out to me for a couple reasons. The first reason being that he thinks its very important for students to ask questions and socialize in school. "You must arose children's curiosity and make them think about school"(page 11). When the students are asking questions, it shows they are paying attention and that they are curious about the topic. At my old school only some of my teachers encouraged asking questions ad talking, while other teacher did not want to be bothered with our questions. They preferred us to just copy down the information and study for the quiz. This was difficult. I agree with Shor here, having a discussion and questions can be very beneficial, the students will become engaged and learning will happen.
Shor also states, "People are naturally curious. They are born learners. Education can either develop or stifle their inclination to ask why and to learn" (page 12). I agree with this because I have seen it happen in my own schooling. When teachers don't want to hear your questions or they make you feel dumb for asking a question, that can do damage to someone self esteem and desire to learn. Teachers should be welcoming for all questions and be happy their students are engaged. 

I found it really strange how Ira Shor kept saying how important socializing in a school setting is. My previous schools had never encouraged our talking. There were acceptable times to talk in class but most of the time teachers wanted us to sit in silence and do our work. Doing this we would remember the lesson on our own. "Education is more than facts and skills. It is a socializing experience that help make the people who make society" (page15). I completely agree with this. Memorizing the information you learn in school isn't everything. Obliviously remembering the information taught to you in class is a good thing, but you have to be able to communicate it to others. Teachers should encourage social skills in the class room as well, this will make the learning environment comfortable for the students. This can relate to Delpit's culture of power; if the students know how to interact with one another and they know how to act in society, they won't have a big problem trying to fit in. 


  1. I think that your reflection was really good! I agree with you about teachers demanding silence and independent work rather than focusing on socialization skills with students. There is more to school than just memorizing facts. Good job!

  2. This is really interesting! I wrote one of my journals on what to look for in a classroom, and one of the points was a chatty, conversing classroom! A class where discussions, curiosity and group work is a class where students will be more engaged and excited to learn!