Sunday, April 10, 2011

Patrick J. Finn: Literacy with an Attitude


This reading that I read by Patrick J. Flinn definitely connected to Deplit. In Delpit's readings she talks a lot about teachers using a direct style of teaching. In Finn's reading there was a quote where he said that he uses a direct style of teaching so that the children do not get distracted and so they do not have any chances at all to nothing or any chances as at all to misbehave. Finn said that his method for eliminating these problems is that he put the problems on the board ahead of time and instead of asking, " 'What are you doing?' I said, 'Stop that and get to work.' No discussion.  No openings for an argument." This example would refer to a "Delpit Moment".

In my own experiences in my service learning classroom I have noticed these moments a lot. I notice the differences in between the two teachers in the classroom. I noticed that the assistant teacher is just like Finn and Delpit in that she is a very direct individual with the students. For an example, the assistant teacher would most likely say "Sit down in your seat and do your math work." This example coincides with Finn's example of what he would most likely say to a student. On the other hand, the main teacher in the classroom is the complete opposite. I have noticed that she is often unprepared and leaves a lot of time in class for the students to do nothing while she figures out what the lesson she is teaching is. The students during this time often get a little rowdy and then she gets frustrated and mad and starts to yell. This cartoon reminds me of what sometimes happens in the classroom when the teacher is unprepared.

 Another thing that I noticed with her is that she is not direct like her assistant. There was one instance in class where one of the students drew on the wall with a crayon. The main teacher asked her, "Do we write on the walls? Would you like it if I drew on your things?" The student did not respond in a positive way. She had now idea that she had done something bad and she was scared of the teacher because the teacher was yelling at her. The teacher could have been more direct with the little girl by saying something like, "It makes me sad that you wrote on the wall. Please do not write on the wall again."

I think that Finn and Delpit would both agree that the way that the main teacher teaches is not the right way. I think that they would agree that she needs to be more direct. On the other hand some people may disagree with direct teaching. Here is a website that lists the pros and cons of direct teaching.

Some things that I would like to discuss in class is what teaching style do you think is the "right" way? Also, which teaching style do you think has the best effect on students and which do you choose to use as a teacher in the future? Or maybe even a mix of both?


  1. I know this isnt detailed about your blog but I just wanted to thank you for putting a picture in the middle of yours! I have read about 6 blogs so far and am getting bored because there seems to be very little pictures or videos.

  2. In the classrooms i think there are a lot of delpit moments going on. I know in my classroom i see myself asking the students to sit down opposed to just saying sit down like the teachers say. I know that i should just say sit down and have starting doing this more often but i am just not used to phrasing things in that way.

  3. I dont think that their is a "right way" to teach, but there are deffiently things that you should not do in your classroom.