First, I wanted to comment on your citation of Kara Walker’s installation “Subtlety.” I had never heard of it before and was completely blown away when I followed the link to the Brooklyn Street Art website. Thank you for that and for your critique; it’s smart, edgy and no doubt challenges everyone who casts their gaze upon her image.
Second, I found myself drawn to the second to last and last paragraphs of your post. I like the Maxwell quote and like even better your take on it. I agree: educators should be as guides and facilitators, asking the probing questions that help students take that next mental leap.
This is an interesting debate you’re bringing up. I wonder if it’s one that’s been raging since the dawn of higher education (and the ability to rack up astronomical student loan debt)? Anyway, there are bound to be more skeptics now that the College Admissions Scandal (I wish I could hyperlink in the comments, but I can’t so, here’s a brief about it from USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2019/03/18/college-admissions-scam-what-did-students-know-what-should-happen/3164580002/) has come to light and we see that the ultra-rich and privileged are operating within a system where the rules just don’t apply to them.
I personally still believe in Higher Ed and the point that tenacious students will get out of it what they put into it and will both personally reap the benefits after graduation AND be in a position to contribute to society. Higher Ed isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. So maybe that’s where the 47% are coming from.
Thanks for reading. There were so many biases I thought of while writing this post. I ended up writing about a few relevant ones. You are right bias is there irrespective of culture, location, history, color, race, creed, gender or language. I wonder if we can get away with them anytime.
Nice post, Khaled. I really liked that you talked about Saudi Arabia’s education system. Women education in India was also really poor 30-40 years back. But many government policies like free compulsory education between 6-14 age has made a huge difference. Women literacy is still 20% lower than men but there has been good growth. But, again this all happened because of public dialogue and recognition of this problem in general. And it took some time and still needs more time and effort.
I agree that as educators we have a responsibility to also be advocates. I don’t buy the argument “I was hired for ____ department to teach XYZ so I’m only teaching that.” As educators, we are in a position of power and influence, and its important for us to help students see and unpack the “negative associations and superficial judgement” we carry with regard to race and other biases (when confronted with them). Hatred and discrimination can not be tolerated; we have to help students see those biases so they can grow from them (and out of them).
I am interested to hear more about how you got “Better Together” up and running at Arizona State University and some of the lessons learned from that experience. Thank you for this insightful post.
Wow. This just makes me shake my head in disappointment. How can someone be so biased? I am pretty sure that this person is still presenting such stuff in conferences and spreading wrong theories and ideas. And importantly, as you mentioned he has this bias just because of a deserving woman got a position instead of him. Interestingly, he knows that he is biased but still does not care.
Thank you for the comment, Sara! I like how you phrased this, “I too want my students to know I am sensitive to their needs and am prepared to meet them where they are so I can provide the best experience possible for each and every individual.” You couldn’t have said it any better. I think the students would appreciate the effort, even in cases where it is insufficient.
I really appreciate your post on several levels. First, because you are spot on with your take on what inclusive pedagogy should be. Second, because you are laying out some difficult truths about the inequities of education in your country while also proposing how inclusive pedagogy can be leveraged for social justice in this contexts. Challenging the status quo is never easy, and in this case, you’re acknowledging the backlash from such a move could possibly be protested and/or violent takes a lot of guts to write “out loud.” I appreciate your willingness to entertain the theoretical impact of a desegregated and inclusive classroom and I am hopeful that you will take what you have learned and will apply it in your future teaching, no matter where on earth you find yourself as a professor.
Thanks for the comment, Shannon! I like how you put this, “special accommodations for someone with a disability are often helpful to many other students in a classroom as well.” I couldn’t agree more.
Great post-Riya. It was fun reading your personal experiences involving biases. I am starting to realize this as well. We are unknowingly biased a lot of times. I wonder if we can work on this as you said. I have also experienced my biased behavior when it comes to assignment corrections.