Sunday, November 9, 2014

Literacy with an Attitude--Finn

Patrick Finn has written one of the more interesting reads as of late. He describes how the socio-economic status of children in schools often lead to segregation, and the multiple reasons of why they are supposedly segregated.
Finn describes his own personal teaching experiences, and how he had to start from "the bottom" to prove himself to his fellow teachers. He described how the school he was at was segregated based on "reading level", with students being spread among 15 classes, 8-1 through 8-15; 8-1 being the highest and 8-15 being the lowest. He talked about how the lower classes tended to have fewer students, allowing for more concentrated and individualized attention. However, he also mentioned how some of these classes often were used as punishment, where higher reading level students would be sent in for behavioral issues. This is wrong for a number of reasons. One being that the students currently in the class would be made to feel that they are also in the class based on behavior, when it is actually based on their reading level. It also showed the level of respect in a way that other teachers had for these classes, and for the teachers themselves. However, a crucial element Finn discussed was his teaching method. Often time, Finn would use clear and direct orders to the students, as this was the message he was trying to convey. If someone did something negative, instead of saying "what are you doing?" you would say "stop and get back to work". The more direct viewpoint allows the students to have direct authority and learn to take orders and make them better listeners. While I agree with being more direct, I disagree with the way he goes about it. After hearing Dr. Chris Emdin speak at promising practices, these children should not be shut down while trying to produce their ideas. If they are misbehaving, that is another story, but if they are trying to express themselves and give ideas in a different way, there should be no reason for them to be told to stop or be quiet.
Finn is certainly a direct speaker throughout the text, telling explicit ways to address students and how to engage in classrooms.


  1. Your post really helped me this week, it sounds like you had a great understanding of the text and that was really helpful!

  2. good content and connection to Dr Emdin but i do wish there were more visuals