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Dispositions assessment for new candidates approved (includes consultation with UMN general council) [sic]

This excerpt from a University of Minnesota school of education task force draft says it all.

The professor who wrote it doesn’t know how to spell counsel. The same professor looks forward to subjecting applicants to the school to an assessment of their cultural competence – cultural competence here being what the task force tells applicants it is.

Applicants who don’t want their social views investigated and approved by admissions officers might save themselves money and anxiety as to the correctness of their views by not applying.

Applicants who read the criteria by which they will be considered culturally competent, and who alter themselves to conform to the school’s standards of cultural competence should feel encouraged to apply. This group should understand, however, that even if admissions officers find their degree of competence acceptable at this time, applicants will continue to be scrutinized closely on the matter throughout their years at the school.

The reason the task force thinks it might want to check in with the general council is that someone in the group has an inkling that political litmus tests might be considered unconstitutional.

But constitutional questions are the least of it. Who but an idiot would apply to this school?

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31 Responses to “Designed with Sheep in Mind.”

  1. Sherman Dorn Says:

    C’mon, Margaret: you’re assuming that just because a teacher ed program says it’s going to assess something means it actually does so. Where colleges have gotten in trouble with this sort of thing is not because they follow through on such assessments (something that I doubt happens seriously in most places, however odious it would be if there were an ideological litmus test for public institutions) but because they apply the spirit of such in an idiosyncratic case where an individual students offends an employee of the college (sometimes a faculty, but could be an advisor or someone else).

    (Disclosure: my college does not have any such litmus test, and the dispositions that NCATE requires of accredited institutions are pretty mundane in the college’s documents, related to ordinary professional behaviors. Whatever faults we have, participating in this particular fad is not a collegewide thing I’m aware of.)

  2. Sherman Dorn Says:

    One additional note: the FIRE blog entry you cite distorts the document it claims as a main source. Despite the claim by FIRE otherwise, there is nothing in the document that says that UMN Twin Cities is going to try to assess "cultural competence" as part of admissions. The only concrete mention of potential "predictive" factors are GPA and prior work in schools, and the gist of the discussion within the document is about admitting students who intend to give a damn about whether their own students learn.

    Sometimes FIRE is spot-on with their criticisms of teacher ed, but in this case the case is not backed up by the document they’ve cited.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    “dispositions as a criteria (should be criterion) for admission” – page 30

    “disposition assessment” as a criterion for admission is repeatedly cited.

    Citing GPA, etc., is odd. That’s aptitude. If you’re interested in aptitude, call it aptitude. The word disposition has a whole other meaning. If you don’t want people assuming your choice of the word disposition has to do with arbitrary measures of personal attitudes which are none of the institution’s business, then go back to aptitude. Or if you like disposition, use the phrase intellectual disposition.

    Background on the use of the word disposition in this context here.

  4. Bill Gleason Says:

    Hi Sherm,

    We’re a little sensitive about this stuff at the University of Minnesota. At least I am. This administration contains many of the same folks who tried to do away with tenure. This is one of the contributing factors to our present disarray.

    Even mentioning the General Counsel is sort of a joke. This is the guy who has done nothing about a pair of double dippers who were stripped of tenure at GA Tech and now are on our faculty. He says/writes things like:

    "We will try to piece this together in regard to whether something serious has indeed happened here in regard to so-called double-dipping." Mark Rotenerg, U of M General Counsel

    Maybe Sherm is right about weary negligence – I certainly hope so.

  5. Matthew Williams Says:

    Before we get too frothy in the mouth over bashing a school of education trying to think about reform…you should probably go straight to the source:

    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cehd/teri/

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Yes, I’ve been reading that, Matthew. Thank you for providing the link.

  7. Bill Gleason Says:

    Matthew-

    Bashing? I am all for reform in teacher education. In fact I regularly have people in my lab doing teaching projects who are involved in a combined Master’s program in teaching with an actual undergraduate science or math degree. These people have been stars and will make a difference.

    But to put it simply, this assessment of disposition business is very concerning. I don’t consider bringing it up an attempt to bash legitimate efforts at reform, so I don’t understand the point of your reference above.

    Bill

  8. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Here’s another useful link: A letter in which FIRE cites some of the legal history of freedom of conscience in this country.

    http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/11321.html

  9. Brad Says:

    Have you ever tried reading Lucky Jim as if it’s not satire, but real?

  10. Bill Gleason Says:

    Lucky Jim…

    You mean that’s fiction?

  11. Sara Hurley Says:

    Are you seriously saying that cultural competence should be a non-issue for educators? Minnesota has one of the widest achievement gaps in the country, and this is the school responsible for educating a large portion of the state’s workforce. If we send out a bunch of educators who have no sense of the fact that their experiences are not global, but specific to a variety of aspects of their backgrounds, then we are failing those graduates and future generations of their students.

    Hey, but you found a misspelling and focused on that for about a third of your blog post. In general, I find that the vitriol with which people grab onto grammar/spelling mistakes is correlated to the quality of the argument they’re making.

    Your argument represents a fear of the mythological left-wing university, without any attempt at comprehending why cultural competence would be a desired outcome of a program that sends graduates off into classrooms whose class/race/cultures vary dramatically from their own backgrounds. There are a lot of white teachers in predominantly non-white schools in this city and if you believe these teachers don’t need to reflect on what that means for their practice, you are fooling yourself. If you don’t think that we need to, as a university, figure out how to build a workforce that more equally represents the diversity in our state’s regions, then I would encourage you to think about why you don’t consider that an issue.

    There are serious disparities in this country. Disparities that won’t go away with inaction. I understand that not everyone cares about disparities in our education system and in American society as a whole, but I think that’s more of a tragedy than anything else.

    And just to give you a misspelling to mock: general council. Go nuts!

  12. Shane Street Says:

    Hey Sara…nice snark, welcome to the community!

    What an excellent way to entice our best and brightest to the field of education: we’ll have them evaluated for their "disposition". You know, like dogs. That will sure beat evaluating them after their Ed school days to see if they, say, know anything about what they’re supposed to teach.

  13. Sara Hurley Says:

    Shane, do you think people entering the sciences aren’t assessed for dispositions? Though I’m from a humanities background, I work with faculty in the sciences now, and I can tell you there is a type of personality and perspective that is favored. It’s really easy for people to target the humanities and some areas of social sciences because we actually talk about where we come from and how that impacts our work – it doesn’t mean that your field isn’t engaging in social reproduction.

    I’d take our hashing our things out in public over your stratified society any day.

  14. Bill Gleason Says:

    Sara,

    I’ve been trying to avoid getting further involved in this, but your last post leaves me no choice. The type of personality that is favored in the sciences is hard-working and with knowledge of the discipline. As far as social reproduction – I find this characterization repugnant. I know scientists across the political spectrum. People on the left, right, and center object to the proposed disposition analysis in the College of Education and Human Development at Minnesota.

    I note that you are a self-self characterized PhD candidate in education. Might this be at the University of Minnesota and may this somewhat color the opinions you have expressed?

    Before you, and others like you, characterize the arguments of your opponents as racist or fearful of a mythological left-wing university, you should strip your own arguments of logical fallacy.

    Bill Gleason, science faculty member, U of Minnesota

  15. Sara Hurley Says:

    I am a student in the department, and that certainly influences my perspective as I understand what the goals of the work they’re doing are and how they’re going about it.

    As for the "hard-working" personality, I personally find that every field has hard-working people in it. The thing that many financially successful professionals like to tell themselves is that their particular brand of hard work is responsible for their financial and professional success. It is a myth. It doesn’t mean people don’t work hard or utilize their intelligence, but the simple fact of it is that a married man with a stay at home wife and two kids has more time on his hands than a single woman with two kids.

    This isn’t some vague hypothetical, this is actually what happens. I’ve been in meetings on more occasions than I can count where male faculty (none from the College of Ed, by the way) talk about their wives having dinner ready when they get home. That’s over an hour every day that those men don’t have to dedicate to meal planning or cooking. Statistically, women – even those working at full-time jobs – expend more of their time on household chores than their male partners. Do you think this doesn’t affect things?

    Academia is one of the fields that is structured for people who have partners who do a great deal of work to support the amount of time faculty need to invest in order to be tenure-track. This allows people with certain kinds of relationship to succeed more easily, not because they’re harder workers, but because the structure of their life fits more easily with the expectations.

    This isn’t about political affiliation, it’s about the parts of our lives that we take for granted and that allow us to create a vision of ourselves that is not necessarily wholly accurate. And that’s the problem with Kersten’s article, and the defensiveness people have when forced to challenge the assumption that all that is needed is gumption and hard work to achieve the American Dream. People get defensive when asked to look at their privilege – no matter what shape it takes. And people are similarly defensive when someone says that the fact that, for instance, the sciences have a real problem with retaining female junior faculty long enough for them to become senior faculty (something that people at the AHC do talk about). Is this a work ethic issue (or "choice," as many would like to say)? Or is the environment structured in such a way that it drives women out?

    Sadly, it’s really hard to think about this without getting defensive. I don’t mind assessing the ways in which I am privileged and how those things have contributed to my successes – and also how those experiences affect what I expect of others and myself – so I just don’t understand why it riles others so badly.

  16. Sara Hurley Says:

    And, yes, I’m so annoyed that I didn’t notice the third to the last sentence of the second to last paragraph is an unfinished fragment. That’s mockable and negates all of my argument, correct?

  17. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Sara: You’re right that in my post I made too much of that misspelled word.

    Nothing you’ve written is mockable or negligible. I’m thinking about what you’ve said. I appreciate the comments you’ve made. More when I’ve had some more time to think.

    UD

  18. Karl Magnacca Says:

    "This excerpt from a University of Minnesota school of education task force draft says it all."

    No, it doesn’t say anything, because it says nothing about what the disposition is that they’d be looking at. And even the Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task Group report – which, although uncited, appears to be the real bogeyman here – looks to me like the typical earnest, do-gooder diversity blather that comes out of university humanities departments. Apparently some people seem terrified that teachers might have to be learn about multiculturalism. The horror!

    And Bill, I’m a bit surprised about your disposition criteria. I’m a biologist, and I would say the no. 1 characteristic for science students is curiosity about the world and a willingness to ask questions. It’s a lot more innate and harder to develop than knowledge about the discipline, and someone who lacks that will never make a good scientist.

    As a corollary to that, I’m curious as to where you found scientists on the right of the political spectrum. Of the several dozen I know of, I can think of one, maybe two who would be conservative. Of course, it’s not a big surprise – conservatism as practiced in the modern US tends to celebrate ignorance and greed, and denigrate evidence-based scientific knowledge, all of which make it unlikely they would go into academia, least of all science.

  19. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Okay. The problem that proponents of admissions assessment in terms of dispositions, and then courses of study and other forms of training in terms of cultural competence, want to address seems to be the following:

    Education cannot be a means of social and economic advancement for underprivileged people if the people teaching the underprivileged are insufficiently aware of the specific nature of their students’ lack of privilege. How can schools of education best educate future teachers on the specificities of underprivilege?

    Central to the answer offered by many schools of education is something like the following:

    Students in schools of education must be made aware of their own privilege. They must undergo interviews and exercises which will reveal to the students their insufficient awareness of the ways in which privileges with which they were born have enabled their personal and professional successes… Successes that these students perhaps have considered primarily self-generated.

    I am not disputing the importance of a sensitive and rich understanding of how various forms of deprivation make it much more difficult for various populations to be successful. I am taking issue with the particular method some schools of education who embrace disposition and cultural competence mandates take up to achieve this understanding.

    This model assumes a significant enough degree of privilege in all people admitted to schools of education to warrant an intimate, revealing, ongoing procedure in which you publicly grapple with your political unconscious. Since many students admitted to schools of education will be from not particularly privileged backgrounds, and since some will be from decidedly not privileged backgrounds (I’m going to assume, Sara, that you don’t believe all white people, by virtue of their skin, are privileged), this seems to me a sledgehammer of an approach, more likely to alienate and offend people than to enlighten them as to their insufficiently understood social attitudes.

    More problematically, the model is a very particular, well-elaborated program of dispositional and cultural reform. It deploys a certain theory about the complex connections among social justice, personal interaction, and the transmission of knowledge with which reasonable people can disagree. Reasonable people can also take issue with the belief that you can enlighten and change people by challenging them to reveal their personal feelings about things in public settings. This belief rests on a prior belief in a group psychology / confessional model of personal change which, again, is controversial in terms of its conception and its results.

    I think there are better — more seemly, probably more effective — ways to encourage greater degrees of awareness among students in schools of education about the classroom effects of economic and cultural disparities in this country. These ways would involve, broadly speaking, having the students spend much less time thinking about themselves, and much more time thinking about the world of their future students. A course which involved a close reading and discussion of books like A Theory of Justice by John Rawls and The End of Equality by Mickey Kaus, for instance, would probably be much more effective than disposition workshops. (I’m aware that some schools of ed offer such courses.)

    A rigorous education in theories of justice, the history of discrimination in America, and the particularities (Jonathan Kozol, etc.) of schooling and inequality, coupled with plenty of apprenticeships in classrooms throughout one’s years in ed school, seems to me one good way of educating future teachers in the politics of the classroom.

  20. Bill Gleason Says:

    Karl-

    >As a corollary to that, I’m curious as to where you found >scientists on the right of the political spectrum.

    Many of the chemists, some physicists, and a lot of engineers are conservatives. I could name names at the U of M, but that is pointless. Many of them are people I admire greatly, although left-wing would be my approximate label. Political diversity is to be encouraged at universities.

    >And Bill, I’m a bit surprised about your disposition criteria. >I’m a biologist, and I would say the no. 1 characteristic for >science students is curiosity about the world and a willingness >to ask questions.

    I agree with what you say. I think the problem is the semantics/use of the word disposition. It appears that the correct disposition would be decided upon by the folks referenced in the original post. I think hard-working can be assessed objectively apart from disposition. Knowledge of a discipline can also be assessed much more objectively than disposition.

    I think there is a distinction to be made between disposition and qualifications. Margaret Soltan has already made this point far better than I can.

    Thanks for your good comments, Karl.

    Bill

  21. Shane Street Says:

    Karl, the reason you don’t know many conservative academic scientists is your pool is not very big and/or the fact that we don’t wear our political affiliations on our sleeves, because we don’t have to. We are not schools of Ed picked and groomed for our (political) dispositions. It simply does not matter the political thinking when it comes to the truths of physical reality with which we daily grapple.

    Your "conservatism as practiced in the modern US tends to celebrate ignorance and greed, and denigrate evidence-based scientific knowledge, all of which make it unlikely they would go into academia, least of all science" simply demonstrates the narrow-mindedness of your approach to the problem. Alert Sara: mythmaking in progress!

  22. Shane Street Says:

    But Sara had a serious question: do you think people entering the sciences aren’t assessed for dispositions?

    Given what I can glean about what is meant by "disposition" in the school of Ed context, I can answer by direct experience. I am the director of graduate recruiting for my department (chemistry) and of course I have been the mentor to PhD students. We do not select them on the basis of "disposition." We make offers of admission based on demonstrated knowledge of the field. Come and look at them: varied personal backgrounds, coming from around the country and indeed around the world. I can tell you about their GREs and GPAs, what their previous mentors and professors think of their abilities, and even a bit about what they themselves want to accomplish in chemistry. What I can’t tell you is how they voted in the last election, or what gods they do or don’t pray to, or their preferred sexual practices. Those things aren’t any of my business and don’t matter to the work we do together.

    But it is not as if we are in a cultural vacuum. We recognize the historic under-representation of certain groups. We are happy to go out of our way to reach out and find qualified applicants with as wide a net as possible. It is a pity that your School is not truly interested in doing the same, by their own admission and design.

  23. Karl Magnacca Says:

    It sounds like we have differing definitions of "disposition", and since it’s not spelled out in the school policy, there’s no clarification there either. I would say that being a hard worker, what the students want to accomplish, and their previously-recorded abilities are part of one’s disposition that would be taken into account. Political, religious, and sexual preferences don’t fall under "disposition" the way I use it, and I agree they’re not relevant.

    And it’s true that my pool is largely limited to biologists and geologists, and from Bill’s post it sounds like chemists are more likely to be conservative. Still, there’s no need for "mythmaking", I think my point is still valid: 60% of self-identified Republicans, including 3 of the 2008 Presidential candidates, think that evolution is untrue and the earth is less than 10,000 years old (data at http://www.gallup.com/poll/108226/Republicans-Democrats-Differ-Creationism.aspx; sadly, it’s still 40% for everyone else, but creationist activism comes almost exclusively from the right). Global warming denialism is likewise largely a conservative political phenomenon. In case you think other physical sciences are exempt, the Texas Board of Education (which has a creationist majority) recently proposed teaching "alternative theories" to not only evolution but also the redshift data on the age of the universe.

    In any case, this is something of a tangent. Back on the original topic, IMO Margaret had it right in her comment at 7:37PM – the real problem is not so much with the underlying sentiment as with people who think that cultural sensitivity is helped by these idiotic "diversity training seminars" rather than real-world experience with people.

  24. Geo Hanson Says:

    Let’s also be clear what the document is: while poorly named a "final report," it really is just a working paper for a small part of the redesign effort. It’s provocateurs being provocative; the tempestuous given free rein in the teapot. We can assume a certain amount of dialectical materialist thinking (or Book of Five Rings, if you prefer). Pick a radical point so that in the synthesis (or when you lose the battle), you maximize achievement of your goals.

    Or perhaps think of it as a blog entry, which on later reflection you think might have been a bit too off-the-cuff. That happens.

    I commend you on your admission. We all know that "ooh, you misspelled that word" is the first step to trolldom. Welcome back to humanity. I also have to commend the U of MN group — they edited out the ridiculous "disguise" language in that document, but they left a footnote acknowledging their stupidity.

    This is not policy being made, it’s opinions being bullshitted.

    BTW, Bill, should I refer to you as a "self-characterized science faculty member"?

  25. Bill Gleason Says:

    Geo-

    Sure, feel free to call me a self-characterized science faculty member. Or, you could say self-described.

    Sara and I see each other on twitter and she has a blog wherein she describes herself as a Ph.D. candidate in education. Perhaps I should have said self-described.

    Bill

  26. Matthew Williams Says:

    I have to start by commending Margaret here. One thing you almost never ever see is someone publicly admitting that they had gone back to something and given it more thought, and thus were able to present a more nuanced statement that starts to look a little like "conversation" and a little less like "attack!" The reason I think this is so incredibly important is that there is a chilling-effect that occurs when we present issues for discussion in such a manner. There is fear and anxiety in saying anything when you know the other side is just waiting for you to make a mistake that you may be ridiculed for (such as a spelling error). It probably doesn’t help when someone remarks that only an "idiot" would apply to that school. Unfortunately, you see far too many "blogs" that exist merely to be seen and will attempt, through various methods, to shut down and close out all attempts at discussion. In this little flare up itself, I cannot count how many times I have seen people’s positions questioned (logical fallacy), statements taken out of context (logical fallacy), thinly veiled threats made against people (not a logical fallacy, but not real cool either), and so on and so forth (you get the point).

    I feel a sense of fear and pain in this "discussion." Much of what is being said exists in a realm beyond rationality. Ad hominem attacks are made by the same people who attack others for "logical fallacies." I won’t even state what I do in this venue because I’ve seen others openly questioned for it (this is what I mean by the "chilling effect" that the tone of this "discussion" has taken). Put shortly, I wish more people could be like you Margaret, and take responsibility for going back to the issue itself and trying to think more about it. If we all did this, I think this moment could help us talk about some things that desperately need to be talked about without trying to scare other people out of the room.

    Being around the University of Minnesota, I am happy to report that there has been renewed vigor in the discussions we’ve been having about what teacher education means and how can we best do this. In the circles I travel in, these questions are ones we live with and are far from resolved. This afternoon I spent a solid 2 and a half hours in a coffee shop talking with friends about this. Like you, Margaret, I worry about what it means to "publicly" disclose certain things within the context of the classroom. Much of my own research and scholarship has focused on how various discourses permeate the classroom through and through, making some activities very difficult for some. Being a male (self-characterized, of course), I remember very vividly knowing not to discuss sports within academia because the English teachers I had at my alma mater saw them as un-intellectual and petty. Unfortunately for me, I grew up loving baseball and it was the cornerstone of how I fit into the world. I made my friends through baseball! I bonded with my father through playing catch! To suddenly realize that to write about baseball in a class would mark me as an outsider forced me to shut out a big part of myself. My point being, these are real and valid concerns that will have to be discussed. And they will be.

    I know, Margaret, that your mission in this blog is to mostly report on various things happening in higher education and to do it with a good deal of snark so we can laugh at some of the tough issues we face. I realize that continuing in this discussion is probably not high on your list of priorities.

    But I also think that readers of your blog, some posting in this threat itself, DO have a vested interest in these issues. One of the more important questions I’ve been thinking about in watching this "discussion" unfold is that there is a real and unmistakable fear over discussions of race, racism, privilege, and so forth. What are we really afraid of? What is the "or else…" that we’ve been hearing? Why do these discussions almost immediately leave the realm of rationality? Something incredibly important is at stake here and I think we are just barely beginning to be able to articulate what it is. This cuts deeper than a skirmish over teaching methods and theories of justice (I’m more of a Iris Marion Young person than a Rawls person, personally). As I’ve been saying with my friends, I see this "TERI" issue as a discursive space. We use TERI as a means to talk about other things we are afraid of. Maybe it is a fear that colleges will become unwelcoming places. Maybe it is a fear that if we grant knowledge is contingent upon sociocultural factors, that we cannot attribute our own success purely to our own personal intellectual ingenuity. If that is the case, we have to come face to face with privilege and that maybe we got a little leg up here and there. These are scary ideas, and open up a complex web of emotion and experiences that are often very painful to confront. Before we shout, we should all probably remember how to listen. After all, wasn’t that one of the first things we learned in kindergarten?

  27. University Diaries » An excerpt from a thoughtful review by … Says:

    […] problem of disposition and cultural competency mandates in American schools of education. (See this earlier post, and the many comments it attracted, for details.) Cary does not believe in the existence of […]

  28. Bill Gleason Says:

    Although many people may be tired of this…

    For those interested, a summary of the dialogue that Matthew and I have had on Twitter might be enlightening.

    http://bit.ly/72KZD5

    (TERI on Twitter)

    Bill Gleason, University of Minnesota

  29. Matthew Williams Says:

    Bill,

    This will be the one and only time I’ll respond directly to you.

    A better way to look at an unedited version of the "twitter dialogue" can be found on twitter itself:

    http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23TERI

    As you’ll note in the "twitter dialogue," it isn’t actually a dialogue at all. After watching Bill bully, intimidate, and in general attack the person and not "the issue" time and time again, I decided it simply wasn’t worth it to even attempt to "discuss" this with him. This has been true even when we have been on the same side of the issue. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself:

    http://www.mndaily.com/2009/11/03/questionable-ethics-textbook-case

    It is these sorts of "straight to the personal attack" methods that have always left me feeling uneasy. Bill usually ends up apologizing, but not before he has slung enough mud so that everyone feels a little less human.

    In the "twitter dialogue" that Bill is referring to, I feel as though I have continually tried to talk about the issue itself. Bill, unfortunately, has taken this as an opportunity to attempt to bully and intimidate anyone who doesn’t agree with him by attacking them personally. You’ll note one very disconcerting "tweet" from Bill in which he says, of me, "& you actually teach here?"

    What, I ask, does this have anything to do with TERI itself? This is a pure ad hominem attack on me personally. I believe the intent behind such a comment is to say "If you were a real university member such as myself, you’d agree with me."

    Further, now we see that Bill has posted the whole thing on his own blog. I believe the message being sent here is "you are being watched. You better be careful what you say (if you don’t agree with me)." Sometimes I get the sense that when it comes to things Bill discusses online, he is all to quick to assume that every comment out there on an issue is directed at him personally, whether or not it is…and he responds in kind.

    Two things. One, I am mostly sad concerning this. Do you really think, given your tactics and bullying, that people will actually want to engage in a dialogue with you, Bill? I have already decided it simply is not worth it. You’re like the child on the playground who, not knowing how else to make friends, throws rocks at others instead of talking to them. Two, I have been and continue to be interested in how people talk about this issue and am trying to understand why people like Bill are so quick to jump to bullying and intimidation. Perhaps Bill simply has a very low level of social aptitude (we see this sort of social awkwardness ALL the time in academia, right?). But I want to give Bill the benefit of the doubt here and assume he’s a fully functioning adult and that these "red in the face" flights of anger and aggression signal a deeper fear of talking about issues in a more calm, rational, and generous way.

    Regardless, I realized when you deleted me from twitter after I started commenting on the issue (not you Bill, the issue) that there was something not worth engaging in with you personally. I will go back to trying to talk about the issue itself as well as how I am trying to understand the implications of the issue and how we are responding to it. You may continue to try to bully and intimidate me, to try to nudge me into a direct battle. As I have been before, I will simply continue to ignore this and instead focus my efforts on others who are willing to engage this issue productively and not destructively.

  30. Bill Gleason Says:

    Calm down, Matthew.

    I’m perfectly happy to have people look at your remarks on twitter and make up their own minds…

    No special pleading.

  31. Bill Gleason Says:

    ps.

    Sorry, for those reading in sequence that link to the twitter exchange is:

    http://bit.ly/72KZD5

    It makes more sense to read from the bottom starting at:

    matthewcw How strange it is that the academic "left" sounds more like right wing talk radio when it comes to defending their own privilege #TERI #UMN

    The second item from the bottom links to Margaret’s original post: "Can racist teachers be effective teachers in 2009? Apparently so:"

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