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View Diary: Stop fucking with my teaching! (29 comments)

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  •  And even those students (4.00)
    ...who seem most attached to their own ignorance can learn.  I've been shocked and pleased by the progress of some of the most hard-core religious right students I have had--no, they're not going to become raging atheists, but then...who cares?  Every student can be more open-minded.  Every one can grow.

    And of course, that's why we do it anyway, isn't it?  When all the outside crap goes away, it's awfully enjoyable to be a part of that process.

    "Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath

    by rocketito on Fri May 20, 2005 at 04:58:58 PM PDT

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    •  Indeed (none)
      Watching people open their eyes to other ways of seeing the world and helping them notice particular things with this new sight is a special gift.  

      Knowing that we have that ability and power makes clear how responsibly we have to use it.  That's what pisses me off so much about this...the assumption that we don't know, think about, worry about, and take seriously the responsibilities that come with these jobs.  The project their own ethics onto us, and I resent that like hell.

      I am a revolting homosexual!

      "If you don't like me, I'm going to make you hate me."*****Margaret Cho

      by MAJeff on Fri May 20, 2005 at 05:02:10 PM PDT

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    •  Doubt (none)
      "Every student can be more open-minded.  Every one can grow."

      I imagine the counter-argument from the religious right would be that "open-minded" and "growth" are merely euphemisms for leading young people into doubt and error.  

      We here promote skepticism and doubt as positive Socratic tools for learning, but to the other side skepticism and doubt are symptoms of declining spiritual health.

      That's what we need to address.

      •  Any suggestions for how? (none)
        Because I think you're right.

        "Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath

        by rocketito on Fri May 20, 2005 at 07:52:18 PM PDT

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        •  I honestly don't know, but ... (none)
          It's awfully hard, maybe impossible.  If you use reason to demonstrate an inconsistency in their ideological framework, they feel fully justified in ignoring it, changing the subject, or passing it off as a mystery.

          Maybe the best way to approach them and get them thinking is to say "Let's put aside this political talk and see how we can help the poor or the hungry or the outcast, the people Jesus minsitered to."  Once they see that a liberal do-gooder can actually do good, andf that politics can be about caring for the whole community, their hearts might thaw a bit.

        •  How I try and the excuse I have (none)
          Since I'm in English, I feel like I can sneak a little bit of this past people because I'm "just" talking about literature. But I feel like even pretty close-minded kids have gotten the idea by college that lit is supposed to mean "more than one thing" -- haven't had anyone who tries to do Biblical exegesis on Virginia Woolf, for instance. So I think the abilities that you guys are talking about -- like critical thinking, thinking about how your environment effects your interpretation of the world, possible interpretations and the investments people have in them -- are a little bit easier to talk about when it's not something so personal as innate beliefs. But then I don't have to ask them to apply the skills to their own life, I just naively hope that something sinks in...

          reduce polarization -- hug a republican

          by golightly21 on Sat May 21, 2005 at 07:06:36 PM PDT

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