Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Pedagogical inspirations
I am currently reviewing a book for one of our field's journals. The book is a wonderfully written piece about rhetorical listening. I am in love with it on so many levels. One particularly insightful chapter involves listening pedagogically. The author writes that teachers should articulate their own classroom assumptions before any course begins. She argues that such reflection is particularly important when teaching highly resistance-prone topics such as race and gender. And while reflection won't necessarily help forecast the outcomes of the class, they will make you more appreciative of any gains made in a classroom designed to make students more aware of privilege and status.

Her chapter made me acutely aware of my own lack of reflection about sensitive classroom topics. I often find myself frustrated with the lack of progress in the classroom--frustrated with students who struggle to grasp complicated notions of whiteness and male privilege. It is easier to come back to my office and complain rather than relish [and reflect upon] the educational opportunities the classroom provides to meā€”also a student. The author wrote something that is still ringing in my ears...."These goals may not be realized within a fifteen week course. Sometimes they are realized a few years later."

More info about the book forthcoming.

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