Tag Archives: Students

Voices in Education: Multicultural Pedagogy & Tutoring ESL Students

As our class delves into the topic of writing and multicultural/multilingualism this week, we are guiding through the profound insights found in Chapter 3, Embracing Change in Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by Bell Hooks and Tutoring ESL Students: Issues & Options by Muriel Harris and Tony Silva. These readings offer unique perspectives on education, urging us to reconsider traditional approaches and embrace the changes in the education system over the years. 

In Chapter 3, Embracing Change in Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, Hooks challenges the lack of practical discussions on teaching in culturally diverse classrooms. This observation resonates with the education system, highlighting the need for a more inclusive and diverse pedagogical approach. The emphasis on multiculturalism as recognition, acceptance, and preservation of diverse cultures underscores the importance of moving beyond a singular perspective. Hooks urges educators to courageously embrace the reality that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching, encouraging a shift towards valuing multiple perspectives.

I agree with Bell Hooks statement when she mentions:

The idea of Hooks’s pedagogy is the importance of voice. Hooks is critical of Paulo Freire’s traditional “banking concept of education,” in which students are passive and silent learners. She argues that all students should have a voice in the classroom to share their own experiences, ideas, and beliefs. Equally important to Hooks is that students learn to listen to one another. When students hear and understand voices besides their own, it allows them to recognize and acknowledge that the classroom is a community.

Looking back at my undergraduate years, I remember how I was required to take a multicultural education course myself. Not that I didn’t know this before, but it was in this class that I understood and became aware of the importance of including every student’s perspectives, cultural backgrounds, and individual experiences. This course served as a pivotal moment of enlightenment, revealing the significance of fostering an inclusive and diverse learning environment. It not only broadened my understanding of diverse cultures but also emphasized the need for educators to go beyond the differences of every student.

I enjoyed reading Bell Hooks perspective on Chapter 3, Embracing Change in Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom as she challenges educators to reassess their pedagogical approaches, advocating for a transformative education that values diversity, embraces multiple perspectives, and fosters a sense of community and shared goals. Her insights prompt us to reflect on how we can contribute to creating more inclusive and empowering learning environments.

Moving onto our next assigned article for this week, Tutoring ESL Students: Issues & Options by Muriel Harris and Tony Silva, the authors delve into the complexities faced by tutors working with ESL students. The central theme revolves around the challenges in determining whether a student’s difficulties lie in language proficiency or writing skills. The authors emphasize on the intricate negotiation process between tutors and students when establishing the tutoring agenda. Harris and Silva make an impactful statement when they mention the possible issues ESL Students and tutors can come across:

A critical question by Harris and Silva revolves around the tutor’s ability to determine whether a student requires assistance primarily with language proficiency or the writing process. Tutors face the challenge of navigating this intricate relationship to identify the specific causes of a student’s writing difficulties. This can be a pivotal point for tutors, urging them to cultivate a solid understanding of language nuances and be discerning when language challenges might mask the student’s genuine writing capabilities. Harris and Silva stress the tutor’s multifaceted role, emphasizing the importance of a nuanced assessment that connects language proficiency and writing skills. The authors highlight the dynamic nature of this assessment, urging tutors to adapt their approaches to cater to each student’s unique needs.

The article Tutoring ESL Students: Issues & Options by Muriel Harris and Tony Silva serves as a valuable resource for tutors, offering insights into the complexities of working with ESL students. They provide guidance on navigating the delicate balance between language proficiency and writing skills, emphasizing the importance of tailored tutoring approaches that address the unique needs of each student in this diverse and dynamic educational world.

Breaking the Cycle: Paulo Freire’s Approach to Empowering Education

This week we focused on chapter two: the “banking” concept in education in Paulo Freire’s book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, based on lived experiences of oppression and how he translated such a reality into a pedagogy that would emancipate the oppressed into becoming more aware of themselves as persons within a particular historical context and be empowered to become agents of social change.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed presents a sharp critique of the conventional banking model/system of education, where teachers deposit knowledge and information into a students mind and later withdraw it during exams. In this model, students are not given a chance to participate in the learning process, nor are they provided with opportunities to express their ideas about the subject matter or relevant issues. Freire’s book challenges these teaching approaches where educators assume they possess all the knowledge while students are presumed to know nothing, resulting in being taught and disciplined accordingly.

After reflecting on Chapter 2 of this book, all I could feel was frustration and fear. I felt frustrated due to the recognition that traditional education systems, represented by the “banking model,” perpetuate historical inaccuracies and myths. For example, in particular, the glorification of Christopher Columbus as a hero, despite his involvement in violence and the enslavement of indigenous people can be deeply unsettling. This frustration stems from a sense of disillusionment and anger at the realization that I was taught these inaccuracies, which might have shaped my understanding of the world.

I also fear that younger generations be subjected to misleading narratives and inaccuracies. My fear reflects a broader worry about the consequences of a flawed educational system that perpetuates harmful stereotypes and glosses over crucial historical truths. Misconceptions like Christopher Columbus could continue to shape the worldview of future generations, potentially perpetuating injustice and bias.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed is relevant and timely towards establishing new paradigms in education and the educational system that would seek to incorporate creative, liberating, and life-affirming approaches to learning processes. This means incorporating various academic curricula relevant to historical issues that affect the lives of the people as well as the socioeconomic and political systems and structures where these issues operate. Teachers should be more caring with the information they teach their students and encourage dialogical education, a two-way exchange of ideas between teachers and students, enabling learners to question, challenge, and co-create knowledge. As well as teachers should not view students as passive learners. Instead, they should be treated as active participants in the whole learning process with a rich deposit of knowledge and perspectives in terms of their lived experiences.