Sunday, April 10, 2011

Literacy with an Attitude


In "Literacy with an Attitude" Patrick Finn points out many differences in the way lower class and upper class students are taught, in an effort to point out the inqualities. To show that upper class students have the upper hand when it comes to getting a good public education. The differences in the public education system between lower and upper class students helps to perpetuate and widen the gap between the income of lower and upper class citizens.

"Teachers who see themselves as allies of their working-class students can help their students see that literacy and school knowledge could be a potent weapons in their struggle for a better deal by connecting school knowledge with the reality of working-class students' lives."

In this qoute Finn is saying that a teacher that truely tries to help a working class student will teach in a way that will empower that student. They will teach in a way that can help that student make there life better, by getting out of working class. A teacher that wants to help a working class student will teach them the reality of working-class lives, by showing them what it's like to work in a working class postition in an effort to get the student to want to do better for themselves by trying harder in school, to get better grades, thus leading to a better job that pays more money.

"There were about four hundred eighth graders who were sorted by reading scores from the highest to the lowest and divided into fifteen classes, 8-1s being the highest, 8-15s being the lowest."

In this quote Finn is reffering to a school he taught at in Chicago where the classes were divideed by reading scores. The best readers were put into bigger classrooms and the slower readers were put into small classrooms with less kids. The theory was that the slower readers in the smaller classrooms would get more one on one time with the teachers. But it ended up that the troublesome students from the higher classes would get put in the lower level small classrooms, to distract the slower readers. This shows how the education the students werre getting is off balance. The better readers up front get the best care. This helps to widen the gap in society between the upper class and lower class.

"In the working-class schools, knowledge was presented as fragmented facts isolated from wider bodies of meaning and from the lives and experiences of the students. Work was following steps in a procedure. There was little decision making or choice. Teachers rarely explained why work was being assigned or how it was connected to other assignments."

In this quote Finn points out many differences in the way the lower class students are taught. He suggests that in lower class schools they don't connect the material that the students learn to the "real world" so most students remain uninterested in the material that is presented to them. In other parts of the article Finn points out that students in upper class school gte the material applied to everyday life so that the students understand why they are learning the material, and they are more interested. This puts the upperclass students even more ahead of the lower class students and it makes the difference between the two classes greater.
The lower class students get information taught to them in fragments so that they never can connect the information to other assignments they do and the points that they learn stand alone in the minds and they can't see the big picture.

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