Due to my poor time management, I was not able to present my discussion about the findings and how I may deal with the blog assignment in the future. Although we have got a lot of great discoveries in our discussion, I would like to share with you my ideas as an insider in the program, and hope that you can give me some feedback. Thanks!
The first and most obvious theme I see in the assignment is Power. Both in the written blog and in the interviews, all the stakeholders show how power relationship, to some degree, decide what they do and how they feel about the blog. As pointed out by many educators, including Freire, and discussed in our class, not literacy is neutral. Power is always embedded in literacy, and affect how people react to it. Usually, the party who has to power tailors the goal and the process of the literacy to match with their beliefs, while those who lack power receive the literacy as it is and try to work with it. Here, the knowledge of the powerful counts. They know what is right what is necessary, and they direct others to do what they believe will make their life better.
The power relationship in my study is very apparent, where the instructors are in the high level and the students are the dominated, whether they agree with the system or not. Some students are very direct about their subordination to the instructor when they say they "should" do it or they "have to" post because it is required by the instructor. But some others, such as student O, who says that he does like the rules created by the instructor, but still wants the instrutor to tell him what is the goal of learning and if he has reached it or not. Subconsciously, he still respect and agree with the power of the instructor. In term of the instructors, the apparent symptoms of their dominant power is that they decide the rules. They choose the assignment, design the goal and the guidelines of it, and grade students based on how well they follow the instruction. FI is a learner-centered program, so that the instructors are relatively cautious about they domination of the classroom. Although they have done a lot to empower the students, they still have the power over them because they are rule-setter and evaluators.
This makes me think to what degree a instructor should intervene in a learner's learning process. Surely we do not want the banking model of education, where students follows the rigid rules and becomes the results of mass production. However, we should not devaluate the guidance from instructors in one's learning experience. Instructors are usually those who have expertise in the area and can help students achieve their goals by sharing knowledge with them. It is crucial to keep the balance between the two parties. I think that one solution is to always incorporate students' voice in the decision-making process and promote commitment to the final decision. Since students may be ignorant in certain areas and may make bad choice, it is instructors job to bridge students with the new knowledge and present them the whole picture of different choices they have. Eventually, it should students' well-informed free choices.