Empowering Education- Ira Shor
I will admit it right off the bat, this was the hardest reading for me so far. It wasn't just the length or small hard to read text. I found this reading to be very word, without it needing to be, with many examples that did not differ much from each other. Also, as a math teacher I am alway looking out for great ideas to bring back into my classroom but it always seems that articles, or PD sessions or example lessons always tie into English or social studies history classes.
I want to empower education, I completely agree with Shor's list of empowering pedagogy: "Partcipation, Affective, Problem-posing, Situated, Multicultural, Dialogic, Desocializing, Deomacratic, Researching, Interdisciplinary and Activist." So I began to think how I could empower through participation and problem posing. Problem-posing empowering really keys into the problem solving side of math and the new Common Core Math Practices. But I couldn't see how I could start my school year off asking a bunch of middle school students: What do you want to learn in math? My fear would be that they would say NOTHING. In this day and age I feel that we do not need some of the same math skills that we have needed in the past, because there is so much access to technology. But then I began to think of more high school math topics and how we could really get students involved in money and money management. So many students go off to college and have to get loans, with out really knowing what they are getting their selves into, or get a credit card for the first time. So why don't we teach students about these type of problems. It is hard being a teacher sometimes and students ask you "what do I need to know this for?" Sometimes I don't have an answer, here is an article about 5 Math Lessons You Don't Really Need (but are still taught).
While I continued to research this topic of Problem-posing math issues I came across a neat website has "Real-world lessons from Mathalicious help middle and high school teachers address the Common Core Standards while challenging their students to think critically about the world." It has lessons about increasing the horse power of an engine, how the urban population has change over time and how we will all fit on this planet. I would love to be able to have my students pose questions that they have and see if we can find ways to mathematically solve them.