Monday, November 30, 2009

Talking Points 10: Education is Politics

1. "About the role of education in socializing students, Bettelheim said near the end of his life, 'If I were a primary-grade teacher, I would devote my time to problems of socialization. The most important thing children learn is not the three R's. It's socialization'."

Students receive an education not only to become knowledgeable, but also to learn socialization skills. Teachers must get the kids to think critically and question ideas. The student must learn to become confident in themselves. The road to success is being paved for them by being taught socialization by their teachers and in their shcool districts. They must learn to adapt to the social environment.

2. "Through day-to-day lessons, teaching links the students' development to the values, powers, and debates in society...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 in. In forming the students conception of self and world, teachers can present knowledge in several ways, as a celebration of the existing society, as a falsely neutral avoidance of problems rooted in the system, or as a critical inquiry into power and knowledge as they relate to student experience.

This quote shows how politics are incorporated into the classroom. A child must learn how to function properly within a society. They must learn the norms and the values, powers, and debates that go on within it. If the students are taught about the society they are a part of at a young age, they will be better prepared for their future. It is also up to the teacher to present these ideas in a suitable way so that the children understand it.

3. "To be democratic implies orienting subject matter to student culture-their interests, needs, speech, and perceptions-while creating a negotiable openness in class where the students' input jointly creates the learning process. To be critical in such a democratic curriculum means to examine all subjects and the learning process with systematic depth: to connect student individuality to larger historical and social issues; to encourage students to examine how their experience relates to academic knowledge, to power, and to inequality in society; and to approach received wisdom and the status quo with questions."

This quote is very powerful and stresses the importance of incorporating all students. Students must use their characteristics to connect themselves with social issues and understand them and prepare for them. Teachers should be willing to help students that have these needs to make them feel comfortable in the classroom. Also, this quote comes with a list of values including: partipatory, problem-posing, situated, multicultural, dialogic, desocializing, democratic, researching, interdisciplinary, and activist. These terms must be understood by educators to aid in encorporating them into the classroom. They make the classroom a more democratic and welcoming place.

I feel that this piece connected with many of the others we have read. It is relative to Delpit because it is explaining the need for teachers to teach children socizialization and the rules and codes of power. It also relates to Johnston because the reading encourages teachers to question their students and have the students think about issues to become more interactive with each other. Also, in the chapter following this, I noticed there was a quote by Linda Christensen and I also found a concept similar to Rodriguez's sacrificing private identity for public identity.

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