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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Slowly and Shor-ly the last blog post

Empowering Education- Critical Teaching for Social Change
Ira Shor

April 16, 2016


After reading this article by Ira Shor, it hit me that many people that teach now a days, started years ago when curriculum wasn't a thing and when they were free to teach in their classroom with their own plan and rules. Teachers have to focus on what the town/school wants them to teach rather than what the children need to know and learn for their futures. Its so saddening that some children are in a classroom being forced to learn things they don't understand or don't need to know just because some school committee or teachers feels a different way about the context. It is the teachers job to yes teach children in classrooms about math, reading, writing, grammar, quadratics and much more but the most important thing they need to teach is social skills and how to socialize with children and adults. Ira describes the point of school as "In sum, the subject matter, the learning process, the classroom discourse, the cafeteria menu, the governance structure, and the environment of school teach students what kind of people to be and what kind of society to build as they learn math, history, biology, literature, nursing or accounting" (pg. 15). Is is extremely important for those in school to actually LEARN and not MEMORIZE. As mentioned in the article and many of my fellow classmates blogs, in half my classes not only in middle school or high school but college as well, we had to memorize many things in class just to pass a test that would soon be forgotten after the semester was over. So what was the point of that? A waste of time, money and a chance for us to learn something we may actually need in our future.

This article has made a really clear point and to me pointed out why we go to school, why we need to focus and want to learn and not just get by. It explained that school when we are young and growing up not only is there for math and reading but for socialization and self/social change. Ira Shors article can connect to Delpit because Delpit stressed how teachers and people that children look up to have to stress the rules and codes of power because some people don't know about them or learn about them in school or at home. It is important to know the rules of society and how to get by, how to fit in and live a normal life. The two connect because both articles/authors explain that students need to learn the "rules and codes of power" the same way that teachers have to teach that, as well as follow the "rules and codes of power" that the common core and school committee tell them to.

Not only does Shor connect to Delpit but it also connects to August because of Augusts' words; "Safe Spaces". Not in the same way of LGBTQ but because children in school need to know they are safe and that what they are learning is important for them and they need it. August talks about how children and young adults need to feel safe in order to be more successful in school, public and private like having a high self-confidence. Shor also touches base on how it is important for children who need help to feel safe somewhere and that they can be helped with whatever they need no matter what.

Comments/Questions/Points to share:
After reading this article and many of my friends blogs and views on common core and Shor's book it is clear that no one agrees with what is happening in classrooms today. The math problem shown above is what children in elementary school are learning today, my brother is tested on this math very often, especially on the "PARC" testing or whatever its called and I don't think its right. Even in my math 143 class last semester we were being taught how to teach subtraction and addition in 3 different ways? Why is that so? School is supposed to be somewhere to go to have fun, learn, socialize, make friends and grow up in. But apparently schools and towns don't feel that way anymore so they are changing and creating new "common core". Overall I really enjoyed Shor's book (well part of it anyway) because well I like everything to do with teaching and looking into why common core is so dumb.


  1. I completely agree with your point. I remember math 143 last semester when we were taught multiple ways to subtract...isn't subtracting just subtracting. It's ridiculous what students are tested on now. There are so many standardized tests that basically tell what they know or don't know compared to their peers. Great title! Made me laugh!

  2. You did a great job on this blog Nicole!! Your title was hilarious. And I agree with Ariana, Math 143 we were taught multiple days for different things (addition, subtraction). It was hard for all of us to get use to it because we were never taught that way! Nevermind the fact that kids nowadays are being taught the most drawn out way how to add. Adding is adding no matter which way they do it. I also agree that this article connected well with Delpit and August. You did a great job on this blog! (:

  3. First of all your blog post title was super funny and I really like how you related this reading to your experience in classrooms. I agree with how ridiculous testing is now and it makes me wonder what will be the point of even having teachers in the future if it's all computer and test ran. Good job :)

  4. Great post Nicole! I agree with you when you talk about how material shouldn't just be memorized. In my service learning, I work with all different kids each time when I'm in a fifth grade class and what I notice is that they are not being taught in detail and they are lost. With the math, it makes sense to memorize like your times tables and stuff like that but it's also important to know how to get that answer. Every single kid that I've worked with so far with be able to give you a quick answer if you ask something like 12*12. Ask them how they got that and to show you on paper, they're lost. Knowing how to solve no matter what numbers you're given will benefit a whole lot more then just memorizing a bunch of numbers.

  5. Great job Nicole, the blog title was funny! I agree with your points and I liked how you were able to relate back to your personal experiences. I definitely think students should learn instead of memorize but like Katherine said they should memorize times tables but they should also be able to know how they got the answer. T