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EDSE 610: WEEKLY READER RESPONSE & CLASS DISCUSSION REFLECTIONS

EDSE 610: WEEKLY READER RESPONSE & CLASS DISCUSSION REFLECTIONS

Instructions: Please respond to the following questions. Point form responses are acceptable.
1.    Which readings did you complete for this class (writing author or title is enough)?
The readings completed include “Empty Chair, Empty Boat” by Claudia Eppert, “Gracious Pedagogy” by Patricia MacComarck, “Summerhill” by A.S Neill, “Teaching Themes of Character” by Dr. Nel Noddings and “Feeling Power: Emotions and Education” by Megan Boler.
2.    What are a few key things you learned from the readings (in terms of new knowledge, new concepts, new words, and new ideas with regard to each of the readings you engaged)?
In Empty Chair, Empty Boat” by Claudia Eppert, I have learnt that building anger based on assumptions is enough to let one act upon his anger. Chuang Tzu views individuals as empty boats where when faced with adversities, individuals should seek refuge in their inner emptiness as a way to arrive to their interdependence.
In “Gracious Pedagogy” I have learnt that a person can make demands as a way to teach grace and also learn how to make no demands and instead seek to create liberty by turning away from a situation with grace. In “Summerhill” by A.S Neill, a lot is to be learnt from the structure of the Summerhill School. The students are free to wear anything they want and no one picks after them. From this article, I learn that freedom in schools works. The school administration believes that every child is realistic and wise and he can learn as far as he is capable without adult supervision or suggestion. In   “Teaching Themes of Character”, I have learnt that it is important to create a school curriculum based on themes of care.  There is a lot that can be gained humanly and academically by including the themes of care in the curriculum. In “Feeling Power: Emotions and Education” by Megan Boler, I have learnt that emotions are sources of political and social resistance and they can be used in fighting injustice.
3.    How, in your view, are the different readings connected? Do they connect with anything else you’ve read? What was the central idea in each of the readings?
In my view the different reading are connected because they all share a central theme of concern over the well -being of other people. All the readings point out to how the human thought is responsible for the behavior we exhibit as individuals and how our behavior affects those around us.
4.    What one, two, or three assumptions or prior ways of thinking/feeling/being were challenged by the readings and/or what questions came up for you as a result of reading and reflection? How, if at all, do they complicate your own life experience? And/or bring new understanding to your own past and present experiences of teaching/learning/curriculum in school, college, or university?
One of the assumptions that was challenged in the readings is that individuals while still young are innately realistic and wise. Children are capable of developing even without adult conception or suggestion. Another assumption is that aspects such as care and emotions play important roles in our lives. These two assumptions assist in bringing new understanding in teaching experience because they help in building strong relationships.
5.    Which of the readings did you respond to most, and why? Was there a passage in that article/chapter that particularly resonated? Why?
The reading that I responded to most is the article on themes of caring. The chapter that particularly resonated with me is the article” Caring: At the Heart of an Educator’s Role” by Kristen Fink. This article shows how caring has an important role in education by incorporating it in the education of young children.

6. Did you note any assumptions/gaps/oversight in a particular reading? How, if at all, does one reading challenge or invite different questions of another reading?
In the reading on Summerhill, I noticed that there was oversight when it comes to giving too much freedom to the children. Despite focusing on freedom and letting children do what they want, one wonders how children in this school are supposed to learn important aspects in life. If there are no class examinations, how then are students gauged on their learning abilities? This reading invites the aspects of the reading on themes on caring especially in the education sector. In this reading focus is on promoting care as an effort instead of just academic achievement.
7.    How do the readings relate to and perhaps complicate or bring new understanding to your field of study (eg. English education or Math education)? Or curriculum studies more generally?
These readings manage to bring a new understanding to my field of study which is English education. These readings were able to showcase that as educators, we should focus on innate feelings and concerns of students and not just focus on performance. Children are realistic and focusing on what they want and not what the curriculum expects of them will go a long way in incorporating emotions and caring in the curriculum.
8.    With reference to the readings and also your responses to the above questions, what might you like to discuss, explore, debate in our upcoming class?
In our upcoming class, I would like to explore more on the impact of emotions in education. Putting into perspective the feelings of pupils should be discussed to see the impact.
9.  What has class discussion made you think about?
This class discussion has made me seriously consider the importance of caring about the feelings and emotions of students in class. It has also made me think about the adequacy of the school curriculum and whether it cares for the needs of all students.