This week, we heard from Barbara Madeloni. She was such an interesting person and so dedicated and revolutionary in her theories about teaching. I especially appreciated her focus on Paulo Freire, because I think he is such an important figure in education that is unfortunately often missed because he is dismissed as radical.
I think she (in some sense) had similar ideals of what we have heard before when it came to the data/ high stakes testing driven education style that is currently being imposed on teachers. Like many, she opposed it. However, she went even further and encouraged her students to refuse to participate in the Pearson testing. Even though many of our previous speakers have expressed their opposition to current teacher evaluations and want to work to change that, Madeloni actively is taking steps to directly challenge the system. And of course, as we can see from their reactions, it does not make them happy. I love that she actively challenges these corporations and encourages her students to do the same. This is encouraging to me as someone who does want to become an educator. I am often discouraged because teaching seems to have so many negatives to it in terms of being evaluated and having bad curriculums that you are forced to follow. However, people like Madeloni and Sean Arce from last week really give me hope that there are people actively challenging these establishments.
What was also really interesting about this lecture was her discussion about what the meaning of education was and what it could be. I was super interested in the fact that she mentioned that education and learning could be different from our current day understanding where we learn data, try to absorb it and that is that (which Paulo Freire calls a “banking” form of education). She offered, “What if learning was actually just getting together and talking about shit?” And someone who wants to go in the education profession in the future, that definitely gave me a lot to think about.