Truth without consequences: Why teachers ought to expose their ideas and thought processes, but never impose their thinking on students.

Truth without consequences:  Why teachers ought to expose their ideas and thought processes, but never impose their thinking on students.
Source of letter: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/02/15/us/kinzinger-family-letter.html

Stern:  What’s up?

Pal:  Adam Kipzinger’s taking the heat on his vote to impeach Trump, etc.  Read the letter above.  Poor guy; his family (at least some members are) is ganging up on him big time.

Stern:  Well, we gotta be open, gonna post this letter and share it with my students.

Pal:  Ok, but I think you should clarify that you have NO power over your students and would never impose your thinking on them.

Stern:  Whaddya mean?

Pal:  Add more detail to Monday’s blog; tell those who read your blog that not only would you never impose your viewpoints on any kid you teach, there truly are no consequences if students in your classes disagree with your thoughts or ideas.

Stern:  Yep, when it comes to climate change–I teach for free and don’t assign grades, so I really don’t have any power over students, not that I would actually try to assert authoritarian power or influence anyways. In fact, during our Thursday classes, we spend a great deal of time debating different perspectives on issues; students freely challenge data and opinions of all class participants, including the teacher and the teaching assistant.  Yet, students remain motivated to participate, even though they don’t receive a grade (a subject for another blog).

Pal: I really appreciate the depth of your confidence in young people who need to think deeply about these issues and make some kind of order in a world so disordered at times, as you pointed out Monday in your blog: http://www.chicagonow.com/academic-ink-lings/2021/02/on-presidents-day-a-teachable-moment-trumpers-may-huff-and-puff-but-will-they-blow-our-democracy-down/

Stern:  I do have a lot of confidence in youth, especially open thinkers not tainted by institutional or family influences or the assertion of bald power. Kinda like Adam Kipzinger, in my perspective.  

Pal:  What’s up for discussion in next Thursday’s class?

Stern:  Disinformation and scrubbing of governmental websites, like NOAA, and potentially the Kipzinger family letter.

Pal:  Hmm, truth and consequences?

 

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