What is a “good” student?

This week after reading and thinking about what it means to be a “good” student, I have realized that it is far from possible in many circumstances. The article describes being a “good” student as conforming to how the school and society wants the individual to act and learn. Students who cannot fit these criteria will often find themselves in trouble and unable to learn how and what the teacher is requiring of them. Students who are privileged by this definition are those who are able to learn in a traditional classroom. They can sit in their desks for long periods of time while remaining quite, and they can learn in way the teachers are presenting the information. Students who are considered “good” students are also able to take in the information the teacher is telling them, memorize it, and then regurgitate it for the tests and assignment they are given. These students are also those who do not question what they are being taught, they just take the information, compete given tasks, and move from one grade to the next.

With these commonsense ideas it is hard to see how oppression affects our society and our schools. The article talks about how students have knowledges and beliefs when they come into the classroom that helps shape their interest, how they learn best, and the place in there learning they are currently at. This information, however is often just assumed and the teacher does not often consider or discuss it. With the methods of teaching today, we are not teaching the students to think critically about the knowledge they are gaining or what they are reading. We as educators are also not connecting with the majority of our learners because we are not catering to those who may have different needs and learning styles within the classroom.

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