Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shor - Education is Politics

I really have to admit this article was a pain to read. Sometimes I could not even see the words clearly on the pdf file. I am also kind of tired of all these complex global issues. I do not know if anyone else feels that way, but I feel that the issues we often discuss are so immense and any solutions are so impossible to implement anytime soon in an effective way that it almost makes my head hurt. I think I just think about it to much.

"Education is more than facts and skills. It is a socializing experience that help' make the people who make society".
This quote is basically the main point of this article. The author of this article certainly believes that socialization is even a more important of a goal in schooling than the knowledge that is being transferred from the teacher unto the students. That seems kind of foreign to me personally, since my life revolves around my circle of friends and family that does not even uphold the values taught in the larger society and and I cant really relate to the larger context in any life-practical manner. Maybe its because I am an immigrant. But I suppose he is right. Schools are there to create future active members of a larger society. I just hope it will not become a place where kids go to get indoctrinated. School values and familial values often clash, especially for people who may not be "in the culture of power". And I just have the tendency to think that producing all these perfect active members of a common society might mean that one common ideology will be pushed on kids.
Here is an independent film I found on Youtube that deals with some current ideologies that are popular on campuses all over America. There are ten parts, but I only watched the first one..I think it says many interesting things...

"To many people, the very idea of regaining any real control over social institutions and personal development is abstract and 'nonsensical.' In general ... many people do see societies economic, social, and educational institutions as basically self-directed, with little necessity for them to communicate and argue over the ends and means of these same institutions" (1979. 163)."
I guess this quote is about me. Not the "personal development part" (I think personal development has nothing to do with all of the other aspects that the author touched upon in this quote). But it totally doesn't bother me. I think the same is true for most other people, even though they do not like to admit it. Voting turn-outs are very low and most people do not concern themselves with political matters. I am not saying its good or bad. It very well might be a bad thing for the country and for American society. I am just saying that its true in my life, and most people do not have the time or the inclination to get involved in anything outside of their family, friends, or maybe a church group.

"Large numbers of students are refusing to perform at high levels. demoralizing the teachers who work with them. At time", performance strikes become organized resistance to authority, with leadership and articulate demands. But most often the students' refusal 10 perform appears as low motivation. low test scores and achievement, and it "discipline problem,"
Reading this quote kind of makes me wonder, what distinguishes these students from the ones that do achieve? Many people from working or middle class schools and families do achieve a whole lot, and I know many people like that personally. Obviously, many smart and high achieving people come out of these "failed institutions". Do schools work better for people with certain kinds of personalities? I do not have the answer to that... I am just wondering.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on all the global issues, I can't analyze them all every time I create a lesson for my classroom either...or I better start now! It's overwhelming. I know all this factors in every time we are engaging with a student, we are always teaching them how to interact with others - they learning by what they see. They are with us 6 hrs a day - I can do my part - who are they with the rest of the day...what are they doing to make them responsible in my classroom?