A University of Minnesota task force that proposes one-on-one remedial work with school of education students who fail to adopt mandated political views has attracted a lot of negative attention to that school. All sorts of people have pointed out that this profoundly anti-democratic initiative violates freedom of conscience.

Here’s the Minnesota damage control guy:

“It’s not at all what they’re suggesting — that it’s some sort of litmus test — it’s just making sure that teachers are prepared to deal with the different situations that they might have for each and every student — which has been a challenge in the past,” he said. “Teachers obviously come from one perspective, so if they’ve got 15 other people of different backgrounds in their classrooms it’s a completely different situation.”

No, actually teachers don’t come from one perspective. No one – except, it seems, the ideologues on the task force – comes at life from one perspective. Americans especially, for obvious historical and social reasons, tend in fact to be remarkably culturally flexible. It’s sickening and insulting that anyone in a position of responsibility would take what’s best in us, what’s made this country a success — our high levels of assimilation and tolerance, our ability to imagine our way into foreign worlds — and gut it on behalf of a witless reeducation program.

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3 Responses to “University of Minnesota Spokesman Makes Things Worse”

  1. david foster Says:

    "15 other people of different backgrounds"…academic administrators, like government bureaucrats, tend to assume that a person’s identity is defined by characteristics such as race, gender, and class. In reality, the difference (for teaching purposes) between an extreme extrovert or an extreme introvert may be greater than the difference between two people of different races or genders or economic backgrounds. And that’s just one example: there are dozens of variables affecting how an individual thinks and perceives. The obsessive focus on race/class/gender is probably partly a matter of fashion, partly a matter of left-wing politics, and partly a matter of "physics envy", in which easily-measurable factors are given a disproportionate weight.

  2. RJO Says:

    > the difference … between an extreme extrovert [like UD] or an extreme introvert [like RJO] …

    Some years ago I had an extended close encounter with a Residence Life department. I still have flashbacks in the middle of the night. These folks were hard-core card-carrying School-of-Education Progressive Developmental Educators. They taught people how to teach people about Diversity.

    And from my extended close encounter, it was clear that they were the most homogeneous group of people I’ve ever interacted with. They through they were Diverse, because some of them were black and some of them were white; in fact, they were so uniform in their attitudes and beliefs that they were virtually a cult (and they routinely employed the kind of group-bonding pressures that cults employ).

  3. david foster Says:

    At a management class I attended many years ago, one of the speakers was a psych professor (from GW, IIRC)…His advice was to avoid the temptation to hire people psychologically similar to yourself, because then you will all see the same things and fail to see the same things, and will happily all walk off the cliff together…

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