Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Literacy with an Attitude

When reading this article I was constantly thinking back to my service learning and comparing it to my own education. The school I do interventions in is definitely a working class school and I have seen the teachers treat their students in the same way Finn describes. A quote that really stuck out to me was at the beginning when Finn is talking about working-class children resisting school and acting out: “the result is the “pretend-school model.” Teachers ask little of students in return for enough cooperation to maintain the appearance of conducting school.” It really saddened me that I have seen this happen in both of the classrooms I work in. The kids resist learning and the teachers just want to make it through the day with some sort of work done. This is kind of a chicken and egg situation, however. Are the students so disinterested in learning that the teachers become exhausted and fed up or are the teachers disinterested in truly teaching and the students pick up on that? I also thought of this when Finn was talking about the children of lower classes simply being “handled”: “This was based on the observation that schools have learned how to educate the children of the gentry and how to "handle" children of the working class-those who had been handled in school themselves.”

It was startling to read how each class is educated to stay in their class, and after reading this it seems so obvious yet I didn’t see it before. Why are we only teaching the upper class children how to be successful and be authority figures? What is it that makes the education so different amongst classes? I considered that most of the time teachers just starting out are places in lower class neighborhoods and perhaps the fact that these schools have less experienced teachers could be the reason why they aren’t getting higher quality education. I would like to investigate this topic more. Every class should be given an equal opportunity to learn so each person can reach their full potential. With this structure we are discouraging the ambitions of lower class children and giving a sense of entitlement to upper class children

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I agree, it was obvious but overlooked.