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Sat Aug 18, 2018, 08:22 PM

TeachersI have wrestled with this question a lot, and like the author have come to the same

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-teachers-political-views_us_5b71914ae4b0bdd0620b306f

Instead of ‘appearing neutral’ (a species of mild dishonesty, after all), let’s admit our biases openly.

nstead of “appearing neutral” (a species of mild dishonesty, after all), let’s admit our biases openly. Let’s express them, explain why we have come to hold them, clarify what is troubling to us about them, and then articulate our best version of our opponents’ arguments — all in the spirit of encouraging our students to examine their own beliefs, scrutinize their own biases, and thereby move to higher levels of understanding.

This is something I hope all teachers, regardless of political affiliation, can agree on.

David Cutler teaches history, journalism and government at Brimmer and May, an independent PK-12 school in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Follow him on Twitter at @SpinEdu.



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Response to demtenjeep (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2018, 08:38 PM

1. I don't recommend you wrestle teachers.

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Response to demtenjeep (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2018, 08:55 PM

2. If your history classroom is split between pro- and anti-Trump kids...

...I honestly don't see how there can be any productive discussion. The adults can't find a way. How can the kids?

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Response to demtenjeep (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2018, 09:19 PM

3. "openly admitting your biases" will get you canned rather quickly in Traitor don country

don't see how that helps.

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Response to demtenjeep (Original post)

Sat Aug 18, 2018, 09:55 PM

4. I taught middle school science for 21 years and my main objective was to teach them

critical thinking skills because I knew if they could use these skills, they would arrive at the right conclusions.
That is the best I could hope for and I believed it worked more often than not.

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 19, 2018, 12:48 PM

5. That is the way I have been in the past, but in the day of daily disgusting things dotard has done

I can not side step when students ask if that is right or not

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Response to demtenjeep (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2018, 12:56 PM

6. I was in middle school in the 70's, and no teachers ever discussed McCarthism or the Vietnam war.

Beacuse of parent hystrionics, teachers are usually gagged from getting into any politics short of maybe 10th grade. Even then, some people just think: It's not worth it. Leave it alone, or strictly limit it to available main-stream background information. Leave current events totally out of it.

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 19, 2018, 01:11 PM

7. In 1962, I had a first-hand example of the horror that was McCarthyism.

Someone in my little town sent an anonymous letter to the school board, accusing one of my favorite teachers of being a Communist. The teacher taught Spanish and French in school, and I was in his French classes for several years. I never once heard him utter a single word about politics, philosophy, or anything other than to attempt to teach hormone-crazed teenagers conjugation of verbs.

Despite the letter being anonymous, my teacher was in real danger of losing his job. A special meeting of the school board was held to decide his fate. It was the very first time I ever spoke publicly in front of such a body. I went there, and was the only current student to speak. I had written my comments beforehand, and delivered them emphatically, recounting the students' point of view of this excellent and extraordinarily patient teacher. I also spoke about anonymous accusations and questioned why the accuser did not speak for himself at this meeting. I asked the public who attended why the accuser was not there in the room to restate his accusation.

I was 16 years old. Several other townspeople also vouched for him, and my objection to anonymity was repeated by a number of people. A few were there, too, spouting the John Birch Society line. In the end, the teacher kept his job. I hope I was helpful in that. He thanked me for my appearance, later on.

No, politics were not much raised in my school, but they intruded on the school at times.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 19, 2018, 02:11 PM

8. You are a hero! Additionally, you set a prescedent: Who knows how many more accusations might have

been levelled, and lives interrupted, had you not stood your ground publicly. Bravo. You. Are a true american. WOW!!!

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 20, 2018, 08:25 AM

10. I believe the correct term is "smartass."

I was often called that by adults for my outspoken attitude about things like that.

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Response to demtenjeep (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2018, 02:15 PM

9. Except those working government jobs are supposed to do them in an apolitical fashion

 

That’s one of the fundamentals of how our nation operates.

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Response to demtenjeep (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2018, 09:49 AM

11. Definitely not a good idea

 

It can make things difficult for students who do not share the political views of the teacher.

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