10 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. I try to make my literacy work a sustained argument against inequality and injustice. I want my students to be able to “talk back” when they encounter anything that glorifies one race, one culture, one social class, one gender, one language over another: texts, museums, commercials, classes, rules that hide or disguise domination.

      What a high and motivating standard to hold for educators.

    2. Bill and I didn’t have any Filipinos in the classroom, but we had students whose families had struggled to find meaningful work, who experienced economic exploitation, who fought with others for better lives.

      Is this reaching cultural proficiency? Students practicing empathy and connecting cross-culturally, and really breaking down the barriers that divide culture into cookie cutter categories?

    3. Then I overcorrected. Instead of an all-white lineup, I taught almost all African American literature, which was an improvement, but still problematic. When one student in class tallied up all of the races in class and suggested I teach by the percentages present, I realized I had once again erred. As an Asian American, she wanted to be included. And then there was the graduate who returned and chided me for not preparing her with any “traditional” literature.

      This one paragraph rings so true to my own personal experience in my field. As a social studies teacher in a super diverse community, I am striving for perfect cultural proficiency.

  2. Jan 2019
    1. When the school introduces and trains each child of society into membership within such a little community, saturating him with the spirit of service, and providing him with the instruments of effective self-direction, we shall have the deepest and best guarantee of a larger society which is worthy, lovely, and harmonious.

      How different would this American society be if these words of John Dewey were realized? Would there be less violence, less prejudice, less poverty, less drug dependency?

    2. the division into “cultured” people and “workers,” the separation of theory and practice. Hardly one per cent. of the entire school population ever attains to what we call higher education; only five per cent. to the grade of our high school;

      It is this construct in our society that contributes to systematic poverty. We need to change our mindset and focus. We need to provide an equitable education for all.

    3. But the school has been so set apart, so isolated from the ordinary conditions and motives of life,

      And still today this is perpetuated.

    4. We must conceive of them in their social significance, as types of the processes by which society keeps itself going, as agencies for bringing home to the child some of the primal necessities of community life, and as ways in which these needs have been met by the growing insight and ingenuity of man; in short, as instrumentalities through which the school itself shall be made a genuine form of active community life, instead of a place set apart in which to learn lessons.

      What a relatable paragraph to our world today! This speaks to the pointlessness of high stakes testing. With all of the energy and funding poured into the process of standardized testing, we have little to no energy left to teach students the value of their social community and skills they can use to be lifelong learners.

    5. In all this there was continual training of observation, of ingenuity, constructive imagination, of logical thought, and of the sense of reality acquired through first-hand contact with actualities.

      Dewey paints a picture of what we call “simpler times,” when the household was its own producer and consumer, every member serving a purpose and coming together like the gears in a machine. This particular statement, seen in isolation, sounds like the best kind of education one can have. When one is in charge of their learning, their inquiry is organic and holds personal value.

    6. Whenever we have in mind the discussion of a new movement in education, it is especially necessary to take the broader, or social view. Otherwise, changes in the school institution and tradition will be looked at as the arbitrary inventions of particular teachers;

      This is an important question we need to ask ourselves as educators and policy makers: Are we taking the social view? Do our decisions help the greater good? Will our decisions help create social justice? Or are they an arbitrary fix for the good of “data”?

    7. All that society has accomplished for itself is put, through the agency of the school, at the disposal of its future members.

      This is a statement I feel strongly towards. I see schools as an opportunity to end systematic poverty, as a place to provide students with a chance to change the world and better themselves. But in today’s world, over 100 years after Dewey wrote these words, we see a self-proclaimed democratic society that still segregates its schools by not allocating funding where it is needed most.