After reading the first couple of chapters to Finn's "Literacy with an Attitude", I wanted to read more. I intend this week to continue reading and I am going to share what I have learned at my School Improvement Meeting this week. I loved when Finn said " If we understand the mechanisms that have led us to the "status quo", we can change them and bring us to a different place." After each reading I feel like the main questions and themes are the same or at least the basis for our problems are the same. He also brought to light how some felt giving empowering education/literacy to thje working class or poor would be dangerous. I took it as dangerous to the RICH and that they didn't want the status quo to change. The subject matter he discusses in his book is so relevent to me as a teacher and definitely eye opening. I started to question if what he was saying was true even though so much research was done by him and others such as Anyon. I thought to myself, do schools as a whole teach a certain way based on students class or is it that just some teachers think and teach the way Finn discussed. I once again began to go back to the idea that "those in the power of culture" do not realize the problems effecting so many and is that why I didn't realize this was still going on today. I guess it just saddens me a bit to think that such an injustice exists. "In Literacy with an Attitude" it talked about IQ's and how students in the working class school had average to above average IQ's. Why would a teacher expect less or give less because of a student's social class/culture etc.? The potential is there and it needs to be fostered.
It makes me reflect upon my own practice and how I teach. I began evaluating how I teach and respond to my students. Do I have lower expectations of my students because their families are considered to be "working class" or because I teach in an Urban Ring disrict? Do I unconsciously teach differently because of their class or background ? The answer is "I am not sure". I would like to say I teach to the child's individuals needs and potential but "schools" were categorized not teachers in the articles, so as a school or district where do I fall? It seems that so many people research and want to push for change and though we have come a long way there are still SOOO many issues to resolve and injustices to rectify. Will the HAVES ever really understand enough or care enough about the HAVE-NOTS to help change the status quo? Parents and educators have got a big mountain to climb.