Monday, April 8, 2013

Literacy with an Attitude

         For the text “Literacy with an Attitude” I wanted to focus on two quotes that I believe summarize the main point that Finn is trying to convey.

“If teachers who are transforming intellectuals are successful, the real-school model is established because the students want what the teacher has and teachers are prepared to teach it. The bastardized progressivism that separates students on the basis of scholastic achievement tests (which correlate highly with socioeconomic status) and "attitude" (which also correlates highly with socioeconomic status) and differentiates the curriculum and method of teaching (as we saw in Anyon and elsewhere) gives way to education for liberation across the board. Phony democracy and easy work in working-class schools give way to real democracy and hard work.”

Finn makes a good point straight off with this quotation. It is critical to create an environment in schools similar to the “real-school model”, which is when the students desire what the teacher has and the teachers are ready to teach it. What is it that Finn means when he says “it”? The “it” is knowledge. These students understand how valuable possession knowledge is. They recognize that knowledge can be traded for good grades, better educational opportunities after high school, and better jobs when they enter the real world. He also comments on how ineffective our current educational separation policies are inhibiting progress and ultimately is flawed. The techniques currently employed are too intertwined with the student’s socioeconomic status and, in a way, predetermines the future of the student and limits possible opportunities. Finn goes on to say:

“When this happens, progressive, collaborative methods begin to emerge because traditional, directive methods are inherently domesticating, not liberating. “Do it my way or it's wrong," is not liberating. "What we're trying to do here is get some notes for Friday's test," is not liberating. Progressive, collaborative methods can be liberating, but for many children they are not possible without simultaneous conscientization and dialogue.”

With this I believe Finn is trying to say that as educators we must be open to ideas in regards to education that go against the norm. We have to be open to the idea of progress through scientific observation. The text provided clearly displays the findings of Anyon. It showed that the students from the higher echelons of society are educated in an entirely new and new age manner. It is liberated, and by this Finn means that due to the freedom and unique relationships/interactions between the students and teachers, the students actually want to learn and obtain the knowledge that teachers want to share.

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