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Material Structures of Authority in the Schools - Assignment Example

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The paper “Material Structures of Authority in the Schools” discusses the institutional role of education and society. One structural imperative identified is that children have to be socialized into the norms and values of society, otherwise society could not reproduce itself…
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Material Structures of Authority in the Schools
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Download file to see previous pages The question of "teacher positioning" (BBC, 2007) has been asked by Mia de la Cruz of the Philippines in a forum and had been answered by teachers from at least 20 counties. They included those from Australia, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Hungary, Italy, India, Iraq, and Mexico. These teachers also coming from Taiwan, Germany, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, the Russian Federation, Portugal and UK invariably said that teacher positioning in the classrooms, whether sitting or standing at the front, all depends on the context, the country or culture one is working or teaching in. One would like to wander around the classroom and get physically closer to her students while she teaches. Another would go for whichever position brings one to eye-level with the children and create intimacy. One would try to sit as close to pupils as she can because that makes her learners and her more comfortable. Ultimately, it depended on the type of teaching atmosphere existing in the classroom, they said. As this is addressing the issue of making a bond or psychological connection with one's students, one has to appear comfortable and natural to the students.
Classroom management. Also in the classroom, Michelle Dion (2007) said there are strategies that faculty use to ensure that students are taught. To be able to establish authority, teachers use grading, they show preparedness, and during the first day of class, they outline their expectations to the students. Grading is used throughout the term by the teachers as a means of ensuring student achievement; they also do some small talk and show empathy to nurture their learners. While they layout policies that establish authority, they also convey their concern for the students. This goes on for the whole teaching period.
Delivering content. There is a charge, however, that some teachers insist on ignoring the popular culture around them and are not integrating these elements into the learning of the children ("Popular," 2007). Accordingly, popular culture is a force in education that not only creates better retention for students in the classroom. In some progressive schools, educational institutions efficiently use media.
Use of Popular Television Programs. In writing for the Journal of Popular Film & Television, Erika Engstrom (1995) wrote that music and popular culture can enhance learning. Students are said to respond to visual learning more often due to the heavy integration of television into society ("Popular," 2007). Since everybody seems to be watching television especially the young, the abundance of television programs may not make it difficult to access for teaching purposes. However, there are those who assert that television is not good for the young.
Referring to Movies. Teacher integration of movies that are popular among students makes it easier for them to relate concepts being taught to these movies. Maurstad (2001) is said to find teaching Cartesian philosophy easier when referring to movies like The Matrix which most of the students have seen.
Playing Music: rap and rock. Thomas Fain (2004) said that bringing in popular music to the classroom will make the students learn better. The likes of Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Lauryn Hill, Matchbox 20, and Third Eye Blind into the classroom will undoubtedly result in a high level of interest for the students, he said. This is because certain songs are relevant to students' lives. This form of music may be a means to connect and be more successful with teaching students, according to Fain (2004).
Reading Literature. The experience of teacher Parland (2001) in teaching literature while referring to popular songs and poetry is exemplary. Sting, he said, drew upon Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 ('My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun') for his song, "Sister Moon" in his LP, 'Nothing Like the Sun.' Therefore, studying Shakespeare could take this wise tack.
Learning from Video games. Good video games, according to James Paul Gee (2005) nurture higher-order thinking skills. Playing well-designed videogames in class according to him may teach the learner by making the experience of learning as motivating, stimulating, collaborative, and rewarding. According to Gee (2005), principles of learning that are well supported by current research should be incorporated in these games. Two examples of such games are Rise of Nations and Age of Mythology.
Conclusion
Using popular culture as a device in the teaching-learning process may not be an easy task. However, research shows that student learning can be facilitated better in this manner. Popular culture not only teaches valuable information but also applies and analyzes the information of the time. Popular culture as a device gives students a better sense of the world around them and their role in it. This can be done by incorporating in the lessons what these young people normally read, hear, listen to, and view. The television shows that they often see, video games that they play, music that they listen to, and movies that they view and are familiar with, for example, can make the subject matter more interesting and understandable. This way, students can be honed to be inquisitive towards understanding the world and their role in it.
Educational systems must continue to develop a learning approach that will allow students to experience the world as it is. Then they can be taught to ask questions and relate their existence to it. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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