Sunday, December 5, 2010

Shor "Empowering Education" : Quotes

When I read this article by Ira Shor I thought many of the points brought up were good and I agreed with them 100 percent. I think that students should learn by participatory learning because they are bound to retain more information if they are participating and not just being talked at by a teacher. Just like in our class we all share stories and opinions during the class and Dr. Bogad does not just talk at us the whole timem and most of us all have agreed that we retain the most information from this class than any of our other classes. I found a few quotes in the reading that back up what Ira Shor has to say.

"Participation is the most important place to begin because student involvment is low in traditional classrooms and because action is essential to gain knowledge and develope intelligence"

This quote shows Shors main idea about participatory classrooms because he is saying that in order for students to gain the most knowledge they need to be involved in the classroom. I agree with this because most of the time if a student is not engaged in the discussion during the class they are not listening and if they are not listening then they are not learning anything. Also, Shor is saying that action is a big part of how students learn in a classroom. If a student never participates or raises their hand they probably will learn less than someone who is more active in the class and puts their opinion in more than others.

"Knowledge is derived from action...To know is therefore to assimulate reality into structures of transformation and these are the structures that intelligence constructs as a direct extension of our actions"

Piaget backs up Shor's idea by saying this. He is saying that the best way to learn is to be active in the classroom and relate what you are learning back to personal experience. I think this works really well because many times in this class people have used stories about themselves and I have remembered them better than I have remembered anything in any of my other classes.

Dewey says that "participation is an educational and political means for students to gain knowledge and to develope as citizens. Only by active learning could students develop scientific method and democratic habits rather than becoming passive pupils waiting to be told what things mean and what to do."

Dewey says that learning in a participatory way helps students to identify themselves as citizens. He says that in order to learn in a good way you have to be active rather than passive because when you are active you are doing what you need to learn rather than being told what you need to learn. He believed that learning and the government were related and if you learned in a participatory manner then you would develop as a citizen and learn democratic habits in a better way. I think that Dewey is right about participatory learning and that it helps students to learn in better ways rather than just being talked at for a whole class. 

During class I hope to talk more about ways that participartory learning is beneficial to students and how we can help incorporate it into the more traditional classrooms today.


  1. Great quotes! I agree, participatory learning is much more beneficial for students than simply memorizing information. I'm interested in ways to better incorporate this into classrooms as well.

  2. Your blog is really excellent Kathryn. Thoughtful and thorough every time :)