Empowering Classroom by Collaborative Interactions

My lecture, Linda and I :)
Interactions between teachers and students in classrooms have huge roles in the success of the learning-teaching engagement. These interactions can be in the environment of social-power relations or promotion of students’ academic achievement (Roorda, Koomen, Spilt, & Oort, 2011, p. 493). Even though there is a challenge for some teachers to build power relations to engage critically with students as individuals and collectives in effective education, there is a solution. In my own experience, my teachers at university gave me opportunities to ask and to collaborate in the classroom. Then I implemented this chance. I always communicated with and questioned my teachers’ and friends’ explanations if their understanding of the material was not comprehensive.
From those experiences, I know that this approach will bring coercive to collaborative relations. Coercive relations involves the exercise of power by a dominant individual to the disadvantage of a subordinated individual. Collaborative relations suggest the sense of the term ‘power’ that becomes to ‘empowered’ to achieve more. When an individual becomes more empowered, there is more creation of sharing to the classroom that meets the needs of diverse learners (Beaty-O’Ferrall, Green, & Hanna, 2010, p. 4). The term empowerment can be defined as the collaborative creation of power where students in these empowering classroom contexts know that their voices will be heard and respected. (Cummins, 2009, p. 263).   
The concept of collaborative relations meets with the concept of the sociology of pedagogic voice. This concept supports that pedagogies construct the students’ voice and bring democratic reform. The voices diminish social class, sexualities, gender, and ethnicity/race and create equality in learning (Arnot & Reay, 2007, p. 313). In this context, students become subjects, an agent of knowledge, producing idea from a certain experience and standpoint in the classroom.
Overall, the way I participated in the class by giving an argument is empowering the classroom which is appropriate with the theories. Therefore, the classroom is the right place to build power relations between students and teachers.

Arnot, M., & Reay, D. (2007). A sociology of pedagogic voice: Power, inequality and pupil consultation. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 28(3), 311-325.
Beaty-O’Ferrall, M. E., Green, A., & Hanna, F. (2010). Classroom management strategies for difficult students: Promoting change through relationships. Middle School Journal, 41(4), 4-11.
Cummins, J. (2009). Pedagogies of choice: Challenging coercive relations of power in classrooms and communities. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 12(3), 261-271.

Roorda, D. L., Koomen, H. M., Spilt, J. L., & Oort, F. J. (2011). The influence of affective teacher–student relationships on students’ school engagement and achievement: A meta-analytic approach. Review of Educational Research, 81(4), 493-529.


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