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[Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: Things Fall Apart listed as "trigger warning"



This is a really great model Peter.  Kudos!

Michael
________________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Peter Smagorinsky [smago@uga.edu]
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2014 3:37 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: Things Fall Apart listed as "trigger warning"

I can't say I have definitive answers. Because part of my job has often concerned teaching people how to teach English (literature, grammar, composition) in secondary schools, I tend not to have to get into things like evolution, though the science ed profs might have a different answer. On the other hand, I do advocate for LGBTQ students, even among a largely Southern Baptist set of students (where not only LGBTQ but postmodernism is verboten--too relativisitic. See http://rebekah1.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/the-devastating-effect-of-a-postmodern-church-part-1/ So far, no lawsuits or grievances in 24 years at Oklahoma and Georgia.

Presently my teaching includes no assigned readings, and students run the classes, so whatever comes up, comes up from them. In my service-learning course (mostly sophomores), all reading is self-selected and discussed in book clubs and club-led whole-class discussions. They take on some tough ideas and material, but on their own terms, and what they discuss is pretty impressive. See http://smago.coe.uga.edu/SL/SLSyllabus.htm

The other class is the operation of our grad-student-led scholarly journal, the Journal of Language and Literacy Education, where all reading is submitted manuscripts and all writing is manuscript reviews. The students also plan a conference, which tends to have an activist orientation to social justice issues--entirely their choice. http://jolle.coe.uga.edu/

One reason I run the service-learning class in this fashion is to allow them to raise and discuss the tough issues, rather than have me "lead" their thinking in professorial manner. They are far less resistant when they pick the topics and books and engage with them outside my imposition. Students always exceed my expectations when they are invested with authority with the issues, and they inevitably use that authority with respect and responsibility.

Well, sorry if this comes across as braggadocio. I'm in the lobby of the plush Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Philadelphia, waiting for my room to become available for AERA. Wish you were here. p

Peter Smagorinsky
Distinguished Research Professor of English Education
Department of Language and Literacy Education
The University of Georgia
315 Aderhold Hall
Athens, GA 30602

Advisor, Journal of Language and Literacy Education
Follow JoLLE on twitter @Jolle_uga



-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Glassman, Michael
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2014 3:18 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: Things Fall Apart listed as "trigger warning"

Hi Peter,

You may not run into this with your subject matter but what do you do when belief systems feel threatened by the topics you actually teach.  For instance should a professor teach evolution?  And should that professor be willing to say that Intelligent Design is not really a scientific theory?  There are many I think who would consider that an implicit critique of their beliefs (actually I have had that experience).  One of issues I have run into in class is many students have only minimal contact with Darwin or Freud or some of the other really interesting, important thinkers because fear of offending belief systems.  But there are real dangers to that as well.

Michael
________________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Peter Smagorinsky [smago@uga.edu]
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2014 3:09 PM
To: lchcmike@gmail.com; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; communication@ucsd.edu
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: Things Fall Apart listed as "trigger warning"

Interesting, such rules have been in place in public schools forever, so I'm not as shocked as those who haven't been schoolteachers might be (14 years as a high school English teacher). I also teach in a Red State (conservative, for non-Americans) where I have to be sensitive about certain things, especially offending Christians by making implicit or explicit critiques of their beliefs--something I do conscientiously, given my respect for their belief systems. It can get tricky when religion becomes discriminatory, but I've managed to stay out of trouble, mostly.

Peter Smagorinsky
Distinguished Research Professor of English Education Department of Language and Literacy Education The University of Georgia
315 Aderhold Hall
Athens, GA 30602

Advisor, Journal of Language and Literacy Education Follow JoLLE on twitter @Jolle_uga


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2014 12:41 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; communication@ucsd.edu
Subject: [Xmca-l] Fwd: Things Fall Apart listed as "trigger warning"

Subject: Things Fall Apart listed as "trigger warning"

I hope the story below does not upset you, so if you are concerned, I hereby excuse you from reading it. On the other hand, if you teach at an institution of higher learning, you might brave the text.

take care
mike


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-trigger-warnings-20140331,0,6700908.story#ixzz2xkhRnkSo

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