Ira Shor argues that the key to an effective education is within communication, which involves listening, speaking and motivation. The foundation of communication is with the teachers. At the beginning, Ira Shor is asking us to think about our definition of education, including its strengths, weaknesses, benefits and areas that need improvement. Within these questions, I could see similar ideologies from Delpit, Kozol and other authors from the articles we read. Shor revolves her article around the ways that education effects students and the important aspects that need to be emphasized by the teacher in order to improve learning. For example, she says that “socialization”is fundamental because it is how children learn to communicate, and in turn develop their ideas into language. Here is the answer to one of her questions: “Can education develop students as critical thinkers, skilled workers and active citizens?” Well, an education can do this if the students are encouraged to speak and learn to communicate.
Now, I am asking this: “How are students going to learn to communicate?” In essence, Shor believes in a curriculum “that encourages student questioning…Empowering Education is a key to effective education because it initiates “social change.” (2). At first, I was unsure of how to define “empowering” but after reading on I realized that it meant bonding the diverse population of students. This section reminded me of the private vs. pubic identity Rodriguez spoke about in his article, in which he stated that people must choose one. However, Shor would disagree since she supports integrating cultures and working together as one: “…relate personal growth to public life” (2). I interpreted “personal growth” as the private identity, such as speaking Spanish at home, and the “public life” as the unity of diverse students at school and in the community. The picture above mentions "application/integration of knowledge" and "engaged citizenship." I believe this also has a cultural reference where students share their backgrounds to relate or add to what they are learning.
In essence, Shor’s article embodies one meaning, which is to encourage methods and plans teachers need to implement in order to create a complete, purposeful education for the variety of students, both developmentally and culturally. Teachers must strive to encourage students to be motivated. Teachers must learn how to properly respond to the students’ different strengths and weaknesses. She states that students learn at different levels, particularly emotionally, which affects their response to the teachers’ commands. Therefore, if the teacher creates a well-communicated environment where the students feel comfortable to speak, then the teachers will be more apt to observe the students’ abilities and therefore will be able to address their needs appropriately. Shor even says “I begin teaching from the students’ situation and from their understanding of the subject matter” (9).In essence, Shor relays how to have effective learning in a diverse setting, where students from many cultures are taught in the same environment. If the teachers use Shor’s point of view, their students will learn and participate in a purposeful education. Now that we have read a concluding article that sums up all we have learned about the instilling actual learning, what techniques will we apply to students? Are we practicing any now during our service learning? Are the ideas effective...any examples?