"You must arouse a child's curiosity and make them think about school. For example, it's very important to begin the school year with a discussion of why we go to school. Why does the government force us to go to school? This would set a questioning tone and show the children that you trust them and that they are intelligent enough, at their own level, to investigate and come up with answers" (Meier 1990 7)
I chose to start my discussion of the Ira Shor, "Education is Politics" reading with this quote, because not only it helps define critical thinking, it also helps to put it practicality into perspective in a class room. In fact, you could even go as far as to say that it forces us to think critically of critical thinking.
"Participatory classes respect and rescue the curiosity of students. As Dewey argued, participation in school and society is crucial to learning and in democracy."
I really take that quote to be very significant in coming to terms with the importance of active learning. In a standard lecture if the professor asks a question, people are hesitant to answer for many reasons. Wether they fear the criticism of their professor, or they laughs of their classmates it is acceptable not to answer. In participatory classes the silence is not acceptable. In a class like FNED 364 we are all active participants. Elyssa said it very well, "In this FNED 346 class alone just being able to have an open discussion about the material has allowed me and my classmates to have a more personal and better understanding of the material." These discussions do not allow students to sleep in the back row, not that we have rows, or to stare off at a wall blankly. We need to be following along and thinking of our own perspectives because it is the socially acceptable thing to do to be involved in the dialogs. This reminds me of the last article we read, showing the differences between dialog and anti-dialog. We as students are entitled to our opinions, but in order for us to be successful we must consider the possibility of a better solution existing. This forces us to really think about the issue at hand, because ideally we can take the best point out of each student and combine them to create the new better solution.