Sunday, March 30, 2014

Literacy With An Attitude- Connections

I probably should have looked over this 35 page reading before I decided to read it at 10 o'clock at night... Literacy with an Attitude: Educating Working-Class Children in Their Own Self-Interest by Finn wasn't really easy for me to get into and fully understand. What I was able to grab out of this reading was that Finn was explaining how education in schools is affected by the social class of the students who attend. It is also affected by the type of neighborhood the school is in. Working class people need to learn powerful literacy just as higher class people do. This automatically made me think of the reading by Bob Herbert: "Separate and Unequal" The reading by Lisa Delpit: "Other People's Children" also cam across my mind in this reading.

For last weeks blog post we read about Brown v. Board of Education and one of the readings was Bob Herbert's article. Bob Herbert argues that if a school is in a neighborhood with high concentrations of poverty than the students at one of those schools are not getting as good of an  education as a student in a more affluent area. He gives the example that teachers with the best education tend to avoid schools in areas of poverty because "it is very difficult to get consistently good results in schools characterized by high concentrations of poverty."  I think that Finn would agree completely. In the Preface of this reading Finn states: "The status quo is the status quo because people who have the power to make changes are comfortable with the way things are. It takes energy to make changes, and the energy must come from the people who will benefit from the change. But the working class does not get powerful literacy, and powerful literacy is necessary for the struggle. How can the cycle be broken?"  I think that Herbert would also wonder how that cycle could be broken. In these readings both authors discuss the issues within schools of a lower social class and the type of education they are currently getting compared to the type of education they should be getting. I think Herbert and Finn are saying that society believes that the higher the social class, the better the education has to be because the higher the social class the more professional a person will be. 

The ideas of Lisa Delpit also ran through my head as I read this article. Lisa Delpit argues in her reading that  a teacher must state the rules and codes of power of a classroom explicitly in order for every child to understand and become a successful student. In the article Literacy with an Attitude Finn discusses the methods of power he used as a teacher. On page 4 Finn states, "I didn't say to an errant student, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'Stop that and get to work.' No discussions. No openings for an argument." He clearly stated the rules and codes of power of his own classroom so that the student would know exactly what it means. I think that Lisa Delpit would applaud him for this, because this is how she believes every teacher should be towards their students. 

Also found this website! Information on the book, the author, and some of his other books! 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Danielle, I thought your connections were well thought out and very strong. I liked the way you used the status quo quote from the article, I liked that quote too. I thought you connected to the main parts of the article and that's all that really counts. Great job!!