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The relationship between teachers and students - Noguera and Kozol

jrice's picture

There were two quotes that stood out to me in the readings and while not directly related represent opposite parts of a spectrum relating to how teachers interact with and view thier studnets. The first quote is from Noguera's introduction in City Kids, City Schools where he says "teachers who take time to know thier studnets are compelled to engage in an ongoing process of learning and inquiry, because the children they serve are not static or "knowable" in an anthropological sense. Educators who aknowlage thier inability to ever completely know thier students see teaching as an ongoing process of learning In so doing, they are able to see beyond the steotypes that frequently malign and limit thier ability to work with the children...As they seach to understand who thier students are as individuals and as social beings, they also find ways to make education meaningful to them." (Noguera, 143). This quote stood out to me because it adresses the very heart of education, how teachers and students relate to one another. Noguera is arguing that teachers who view thier studnets as complete and dynamic individuals are able to work with and educate thier students better. Noguera's message resonated with me and made me think about what schools teach children in addion to the academics that are being taught. Schools are one of the main way that children are socialized and where they are taught to "behave." Depending on the opportunities that are given to them and the way a students' teachers and peers interact with them school can be the place where youth are given the space to grow and express themselves or a place where they are degraded and taught not to dream. 

In contrast to what Noguera is calling for in the next reading Kozol desciribes a different appraoch by a teacher whose class he sat in on. "A well educated man, Mr.Endicott later spoke to me about the form of classroom management that he was using as an adaptation from a model of industrial efficiency" (Kozol, 157). This quote stood out to me because it seemed to be the exact opposite of Noguera's idea because the identity of the students did not matter, each student was just a bin wating to be filled. The reference to industiral effiecency also reminded me of a RSAnimate talk that Sir.Kennith Robinson gave titled Changing Education Paradigms (link: ) when he adresses the similarities between schools and factories and the issues that are created by building schools on the model of industrialization. It scares me that schools are built and run on a model of industiraliazation that eliminates the humanity of learning.