I’m so glad this reading was left for the final post. Though long, it really tied everything we have learned together. A lot of different authors came to mind; One in particular was Johnson. As we know Johnson argues that we must talk explicitly about issues of privilege, power and difference. Shor argues a very good point that right from the start is important for teachers to encourage their students to question why they go to school. This discussion allows the students to share their thoughts and express opinions on how they feel towards school. “ This would set a questioning tone, telling the children that you trust them and that they are intelligent” (1). Trust is key in a classroom and being able to discuss, as Johnson says, “the issues of power, privilege and difference,” there is already a strong bond formed in the class for a successful year ahead.
I was quickly reminded of that time in class when Dr. Bogad gave us all that question and answer “assignment” and we had to put everything away and answer a worksheet on the reading, when Shor stated “ If the students’ task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted” (2). We all simply took the paper and wrote down as many answers as we could find, assuming that we read the article, knew what it was about and went to it. None of us questioned why we were answering the questions, or thought the questions were irrelevant while finishing the assignment. Relating that back to Oakes and how tracking exists in schools and to Finn with Literacy with an Attitude, if students are not allowed to question and explore the learning process at various academic levels, then how will they ever be able to fully appreciate learning?