The following article was originally posted by a classmate at the University of Regina . This article emphasizes power that students can have in a classroom and how teachers can harness that power to increase student motivation and involvement in their own education.  The author challenges traditional forms of authority in education and supports a child-centred approach to learning.

Authorizing Students’ Perspectives Article
Cook-Sather, A. (2002). Authorizing students’ perspectives: Toward trust, dialogue, and change in education. Educational researcher, 31(4), 3-14.


The next article provides additional insight into power and authority within education.  It was posted by another classmate at the University of Regina.  This article focuses on the culture of power within societies and the influence this has on education systems.  The following provides a glimpse into ideas that explored in the article.

1) Power at the classroom level

2) Certain codes and rules for participating in the culture of power

3) These rules are a reflection of those who have the power

4) If minorities conform, then acquiring power is easier

5) Those with power are least aware of their position and those with the least power are most aware of the culture of power.

In classrooms, this is important for teachers to understand because many teachers reflect the values of their dominant society and therefore bring “common sense” notions of the dominant society into the class.  This can serve to further oppress those who are marginalized and do not conform to values of the majority.

The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s Children

Delpit, L. (1988). The silenced dialogue: Power and pedagogy in educating other people’s children. Harvard educational review, 58(3), 280-299.


The following is my original article that I posted about power and authority in the classroom.  It involves parts of the reflective processes involved for teachers.  I think this article serves as a good followup to the one above.  The article is about a teacher writing her reflective process on power struggles that she encountered while both being a student and teacher in an education class at college.  Although her types of power struggles are very different from what an elementary school teacher would encounter, I still believe there is value in the reflective process involved.  It is through this reflective process that we can begin to understand our position within the spectrum of power in our culture.  Are we part of the dominant society and do our world views and values reflect the dominant thoughts in our society? Understanding our own position and privilege can help us breakdown inequalities and inequities that we see within our classrooms.  This is an ongoing process that involves reflection and a humility where we are willing to learn from our students.

Developing Strategies for Negotiating Authority


One last example of Power and Authority:

Power and authority are elements that exist in all schools and education systems in various forms.  This article gives insight into a larger context of power that can impact the learning of students in various socio-economic communities. The article involves descriptions of two girls who are the same age with different learning experiences which are impacted by their neighbourhoods.




One thought on “Literature

  1. I agree with you and the article that you chose about Power and Authority, that we must always reflect on our teaching practices. We must hold ourselves accountable when it come to how we present ourselves within the classroom and to our students. Always keeping in mind the power relationships we are creating vs the power relationships we want to be creating.

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