Literacy with an Attitude
By: Patrick Finn
I loved the way this article was set up. Patrick Finn writes about how children from different classes receive and use their education. He says that if the working-class "get empowering education you get literacy with a attitude....The fear was that literacy would make the rabble aware of the injustice they suffered, and they would attempt to overthrow the ruling class violently and take its place" (xi). The working-class deserve the same education as everyone else. They are working hard to make a living and pay their bills. It is not entirely their fault that their children got stuck in a school where teachers just have them copy their notes and not really teach them anything. They cannot afford to move to another town where the teachers come from the middle-class and actually teach and give the students possibilities and learn the way they want to.
There are definitely some exceptions in schools where the teachers are actually teaching and want the best from their students, such as how Finn taught at the Carol Jason Banks Upper Grade Center in Chicago. Finn knew he had to keep his students engaged and it showed how well he did that. The assistant principal would purposely slow down near Finn's classroom to show visitors how well he could control his class and help the students get the education they deserved.
This was really eye-opening because I did not expect the differences to be that dramatic between working-class, middle-class, affluent professional, and executive elite schools. It is all based on what your parents or family makes. It is all based on careers and income. I do not think that is right. Your family's past should not determine what type of school category you have to go to. I believe that there should not be a working-class school category because all students should be receiving the same education from teachers willing to teach it no matter what the circumstances. Schooling should be the same for everyone.
Points to share:
My high school was in the middle-class school category...but I would say it is headed towards the affluent professional school category. It has bits and pieces from each category. Students should be willing to learn what they can before getting a job because it will help them in life. Each student should want to succeed and do and be the best they can.
There were definitely a lot of connections to previous readings we had, such as Kozol (who Finn mentioned in his first chapter), Kristof (Finn mentions "land of opportunity" at the end of chapter 2), Delpit (rules and codes of power), and McIntosh (white privilege).