November 13, 2016
Literacy With An Attitude
by Patrick J. Finn
This article by Patrick J. Finn describes that there are two different kinds of literacy education. One is the functional - which is received by working class students, and the empowering - which is received by the wealthy students. This shows that there is a big difference between different classes of people and how to bridge that gap together. This article also discusses who is to blame for this gap? As Kozol also said who are to blame? Are the rich responsible for intentionally placing them and keeping them in this unempowered place or is it not a person or group doing so intentionally, but rather the systems we are all involved in? A perfect example of a Delpit moment was on pg 4 when Finn said, "I had work assignments on the board when the students entered the classroom, and so there wasn't a moment when they didn't have anything to do. I didn't say to an errant student, "What are you doing?" I said, "Stop that and get to work." No discussion. No openings for an argument." (Finn 4) Delpit says you need to say what it is you want to get done. Finn also says, "people who have the power to make changes are comfortable with he way things are." That's a connection to Delpit's culture of power where she says, "Those with power are frequently least aware of - or least willing to acknowledge - its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence." (Delpit) Both Finn and Delpit believe that control in the classroom needs to happen or there will be no order. By Finn telling the class exactly what is expected of them, shows them the "rules and codes of power." Finn also mentions in the middle school, "Teachers made every effort to control students' movement. They often kept children after the dismissal bell to finish their work or to punish them for misbehavior." (Finn 11) Teachers don't feel like students are capable of making their own choices so they directed them even if in a negative way. These are the rules and codes of power they would need in their life. The number of direct orders given in the classroom is low, but the students were constantly being told what to do because the teachers believed they had enough skills to accomplish their tasks. The problem that Finn is trying to point out is that there should be a universal curriculum throughout all school systems no matter what school it is. Schools should be responsible for providing every student with the skills they will need to succeed. Their education should not be limited because it is believed they will only get so far.
short imovie on Literacy with an Attitude:
What is Literacy?