I do not know if my last posting was successfully published, so here is another try:
Mayher and Pradl propose a few critical points to the past, present and future of the education system. In the dialogue between John and Gordon, one notices that there is a ominous cloud of disapproval for the current practices used by teachers and school systems. John and Gordon touch heavily on the issue of technology and pop culture, as well as politics and society.
Being that I will be facilitating the discussion, along with Jillian, here are a few points to consider:
1) Is there a link between the democratic context in teaching and the social act of reading? On page 12, Gordon states, “. . . teachers must consider their own pedagogical stance within . . . political context . . . considering teaching literature in a democratic context and reading as a social act.” Does literature have a political undertone that needs to be discussed in the classroom or should it be an issue that the educators acknowledge, separate from the students?
2) The “Unitized States” that John speaks of proves the problem the education system has with monotony, traditionalism and curriculum that provides no relevance to the lives of the students. Rather than conforming to the practices used for the last 60 years, thus being more alike than individuals, the educators should take time to study their students. The linguistics, interests, extra curricular activities and experiences of students influence the attention the student(s) will give to an assignment. How can present and future teachers get their students engaged in literature and assignments? How necessary is the classic literary canon versus a more contemporary literary canon, with lesser known, but equally as credible authors?
3) How necessary is it for a school to be technologically savvy? Can a school that has the bare minimum resources achieve its goals and have the same, or higher, success rate as a developed, upper-class school?
I look forward to dissecting pedagogy, the negatives of teaching to the tests and the changes that need to be made in order to keep up with pop culture and technology.