Doris Porto Agentive Processes in Critical-Formal Education GOAL OF PAPER: To review concepts of agency and social practice, to discuss their application to formal education, to suggest the utility of Boal’s work in Theater of the Oppressed for liberatory teaching in formal settings, and to pose questions for consideration related to the challenge. This panel concerns itself with the concept […]

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Agency Reconsidered

The papers this week, again like previous weeks, touched upon bridging theory to practice in the classroom. Referring to Ares’s (2008) paper, tackled the question of what does student-centered learning look like in the classroom, not just in theory. Ares’s explanation of the networking classrooms that seeks to draw on students’ knowledges and expertise. Through collaborating with their peers, students […]

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Trusting Students

What does it mean to trust your students? Specifically though, what does it mean to do so when co-creating an experience in the classroom that draws on collective knowledge production? This week I find myself thinking (in ways similar to what Dora mentioned in Math)  about how we can create physics classrooms that center student agency.   McQuillan’s (2005) ethnographic […]

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Empowerment for whom, when, and how?

The five readings for this week all seek to empirically  — whatever that really means, as the academic lingo goes — study student empowerment and agency. Esmonde writes a large scale meta-analysis on mathematics learning in K-12 classrooms; Rainio describes and analyses the agency of two seven year old girls within the constructed pedagogical activity of play in school; McQuillian […]

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I am not done with AGENCY!!!

Kumpulainen et al., (2014) draw heavily on Emirbayer & Mische’s (1999) conception of agency—-stating that: ‘To become an agent, one must be treated as if one can do something of one’s own volition’. I find this statement to be meaningful because it speaks to the idea of ‘co-authoring’ and how taking children’s experiences seriously will have positive effects on how […]

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Implicit Learning through Student Play and Empowerment

Through these readings I’ve grappled with an idea of how learning and agency can be implicit through play and empowerment. In the current school landscape, educators are evaluated by visible evidence of student learning, such as work displayed on the bulletin board, or learning objectives/aims written on the board…etc. Yet, there is little attention to how the students are thinking. […]

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Equity through making mathematics education culturally and socially relevant to students

This week’s readings were of the most importance to me as a math instructor seeking meaning and relevance in a math curriculum that does not acknowledge the reality of my students. Gell posits that technology is not just a tool used to solve some of our basic necessities. According to Gell “[t]echnology is…[the various networks]…of social relationships which make it […]

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Imagination: leap to the struggle

Not only does freedom become possible in play (Vygotsky: Stetsenko 228), given status quo’s persistent grip, it makes sense that an imaginative leap that could decouple (decontextualize) cultural symbols and contingencies could effectively create the gaps and interstices where agency’s freedom struggle plays out. I’m thinking of adult play, here, the central medium agency needs to elude immediate environmental control […]

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