In "Empowering Education: Education Is Politics," Ira Shor believes when there is change in power relations in the classroom through problem-posing and mutual dialogue between teachers and students, students become more engaged in their learning. This is what he calls an empowering education, which he defines as a "student-centered program for multicultural democracy in school and society that approaches individual growth as an active, cooperative, and social process, because the self and society create each other" (15).
“Education is a social experience for tens of millions of students who come to class with their own dreams and agendas. Sometimes cooperating with and sometimes resisting the intention of the school and the teacher” (13).
A traditional classroom is portrayed as a teacher standing in front of the classroom, leading the classroom with students sitting in row. However, I believe the best learning happens when there is open discussion in the classroom and there is mutual dialogue between teacher and students. Shor goes on to say, "Education is more than facts and skills. It is a socializing experience that helps make the people who make society" (15). An empowering classroom offers students to share their own ideas and their own experiences which then allows each child to learn from each other. Students need to know that their opinions matter and each one's voice is powerful.
"If the students' task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted" (12).
"Most kids like the sound of their home language better...We talk about why it might be necessary to learn Standard English...Asking my students to memorize the rules without asking who makes the rules, who enforces the rules, who benefits from the rules, who loses from the rules...legitimates a social system that devalues my students' knowledge and language" (53).