March 06th, 2013
Development of theory is not politically neutral. Whom does the theory serve and why--that is the fundamental question. As educators, we should be considering and implementing ways (philosophy/actions) in which we can make our classroom equitable. Our students come to us with wide gaps in resources and expectations--this has an adverse impact on student thinking and performance. Therefore, how can we not be complacent and extend development and thinking of all our students?
One way to begin is by not looking at students as meeting a demographic criterion--Yes, NCLB led the way in dividing our classrooms into pockets of categories--we have perhaps stopped viewing students as individuals and more as how they can 'harm' the school's overall rating. With this thinking, we are no longer educating the child, but are rather moving the child to an acceptable column.
Students are not commodities--even if they 'slam' us in all the columns, they deserve a chance and an education.
3/9/2013 03:06:48 am
Priya, I have seen first-hand, the bias towards test scores as the most important factor in evaluating school effectiveness. It is very easy for school administrators to look at numbers to make recommendations, but far more difficult to make eduational desicions based on individula students. Each student comes to me with far more exclusive than shared characteristics, yet the school system sees, as you have pointed out, the students as a whole group or demographic determined by race or identified as recieving special education services. The insensitivity of this was illustrated to me in a qualitative inquiry class. The example of a "last chance" class made up of students projected to fall below a graduation requirement was used. There are plenty of quantitative statistics following these students, but as anyone investigated what it feels like to be in a class like that? Imagine the educational past of a student who ends up in that situation, and the pressure to pass a class with such monumental consequences.
3/9/2013 04:21:34 am
Exactly, Drew! As a teacher in a classroom wanting to provide individual education, the pressures of teaching to the demographics is too great--students are not viewed for what they are capable of, but more for how they can bring ratings down (for the most part) or up. Yes, no wonder then, we have such a high rate of dropouts--this is definitely not equitable education!
Leave a Reply.
Art Education 7701
This blog is our midterm!