Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Empowering Education" Connections

While I was reading "Empowering Education" by Ira Shor, I found myself thinking back to a few weeks ago when we were discussing Patrick Finn and Jeannie Oaks. I found a lot of similarities between the three articles and the ideas that they were all trying to push into the front of our my minds when we think about teaching in a democratic society.

Finn Connections:
A lot of the time while reading "Empowering Education" I found myself thinking about Finn a lot. I think it was mostly because I could see a lot of issues were similar between the two. Finn discusses a lot about working class schools focusing on following directions and learning how to follow directions in society. I feel as though Shor is trying to point out a lot of similar characteristics of schools following that trend. Shor discusses the importance of students participating in their classrooms and schools. Many teachers learn that they should lecture and be the ones that make decisions. However, Shor argues that that is not exactly the case. Finn's model of the working class, middle class, affluent professional, and executive elite schools, the higher up in class you go, the better the school is seen. And in the affluent professional and executive elite schools, students are usually taught to be more creative and are given more choice in their schools. What Shor is arguing that those schools produce more productive members of society because they are given the opportunity to learn more about being individuals rather than to become parts of the institution.  
Oakes Connections:
Oakes and Finn are very similar in many aspects which may allude to the fact that Shor also relates to both of them. Oakes discusses a lot of the importance of comfortable classroom environments that enrich not only the students but the teachers as well. By encouraging participation from the students, both Oakes and and Shor are encouraging changes to the classroom based on what the students believe to be enriching. A student in a classroom where teachers simply lecture from books does not create the environment a student wants to learn in. In fact, Shor claims that those classrooms encourage students to not go to class when they feel as though they can simply read the book and work with friends to get the same type of instruction. However, this also feeds into what Oakes wants from a classroom, one where students participate and build their own learning environments.



  1. Hi Taylor, I really enjoyed reading your response. Great connections :)

  2. Hi Taylor, you did a great job on your post this week. I like the way you connect the three readings together.

  3. I loved your connections. You made some great points and I really liked your picture at the end

  4. Hi taylor I used your blog as the center of mine! Great job doing the connections! I couldn't' agree more!