Sunday, April 25, 2010

Talking Point 10

The article ‘Education is Politics’ by Ira Shor basically talks about how society should provide its children with a democratic education. Since the discussion included how society is a set up, it reminded me of Delpit's article on the 'Rules and Codes of Power'. This article was very long, but it was easy to understand. Here are some quotes that I thought were the key points made in this article:

1.) “Social and economic values, hence, are already embedded in the design of the institutions we work in, in the ‘formal corpus of school knowledge’ we preserve in our modes of teaching, and in our principles, standards, and forms of evaluation.” (13)
- This basically states that social and economic values are already in the teaching curriculum. This does not leave much room for change. Students just end up taking in what society has provided them through education, so that they can fit in with the rest of their community.

2.) “To socialize students, education tries to teach them the shape of knowledge and current society, the meaning of past events, the possibilities for the future, and their place in the world they live.” (14)
- Schools today only teach their students about the society of which they live and how to survive it – not to be creative and form their own knowledge. I agree with this quote - in school we are taught that education is a basic and important piece of succeeding in the future. We learn history to see how society has transformed and become better as the people and their governments join together. But what the students are not shown is that the government/political leaders are the ones that actually rule the nation, not us; although we could have the power if we join together. Really we are ‘A People And A Nation’ – as my political science textbook states.

3.) “Traditional schools thus prepare students to fit into an education and a society not run for them or by them but rather set up for and run by elites.” (20)
- Society is set up and run by people of a high class/ government. They set up the school system to bring up people that will contribute to their society and make it better. In the schools, the students are only given certain tasks (tasks that help them stay on society’s specially made track) – they memorize and do what they are told, while not questioning why they are doing what they’re doing or why is it necessary. It does not let us fully exercise all of our thoughts (some of our critical thinking is taken away). Schools teach kids that they live in a democratic society – where they hold rights and freedom - but it only is to a certain extent (schools are an example of that extent – being that they are pushed by their teachers, principles, and parents to follow the rules and do what the teacher says).

Education is politics, as Ira Shor states in his article. We should have schools that build on our creativeness and knowledge, not take it away. I've always questioned why school was a requirement and my answer was that it gave people the knowledge they needed to succeed in the world. We are brought up by our parents and society all telling us that school is the only way which we could actually live a very successful life style – when in actuality all we need are skills. We could be born with these skills, but we are not given the chance to see if we have them.

The things that I do actually teach myself are the things that actually stay in my mind forever. This leads me to believe that teaching yourself is the best form of education. If we are always taught what to do and how to do it, we are just being brainwashed into becoming something we weren’t born to be. We may only learn things for the time that we need it – for instance, we study to get a good grade on a test, then after the test we tend to forget what we had learned. School should be used as an aid, something that provides help when needed – we should not depend on our schools to teach us everything we know, it should only be used to expand our knowledge and creativeness.

This video gives a historical and modern look at schools and talks about a Democratic Education… relates to Ira’s article perfectly.

This website is all about a documentary called “Our Education. Their Politics” by Indoctrinate U (you can actually watch the whole documentary on Youtube)…