Do you have fond memories of putting nametags on your tots’ clothing for summer camp? Now some people are trying to subvert that for their own political and social agendas.
University of Washington lecturer Justin Lerner and Simmons College professor Dr. Anjali Fulambarker published an article in a recent issue of the Journal of Teaching in Social Work that offers guidance to this end. Their controversial piece is titled “Beyond Diversity and Inclusion: Creating a Social Justice Agenda in the Classroom.”
This social justice agenda is achievable, say the authors, if students are required to wear nametags displaying their preferred gender pronoun, as an article in Campus Reform also noted. The nametags would sanitize the classroom of any “microaggressions” and help students “avoid being mislabeled” from day one.
There were even more suggestions for shielding students from any realities that may hurt their delicate feelings. The educators further cautioned other teachers against allowing the use of such apparently microaggressive words as “Americans” and “guys” — which apparently sully the classroom atmosphere, Campus Reform also reported.
Iowa State University lecturer Jayme Wilken is familiar with the consequences of using the phrase “you guys” in the classroom — but it wasn’t her students who took issue with it.
Wilken teaches in the Intensive English and Orientation program; her classroom is filled with international students. In a teacher’s evaluation, she was marked down for using the purportedly sexist phrase “you guys.”
She defended her use of it: “I explained to [the evaluator] that in linguistics, we uphold regional dialects and this is a feature of the Midwest dialect … I didn’t back down … Neither did he.”
Iowa State’s mission, in part, is to ensure its graduates are “prepared to be global citizens who are culturally informed.” That “cultural information,” apparently, does not include instruction on the common use in some parts of our country of “you guys,” which is the rough equivalent of the use of “y’all” in the South. It refers to a group of people — of any gender.
Instructors Lerner and Fulambarker would likely disagree with Wilken’s take on this. Then again, conservatives and liberals disagree on quite a number of issues.
Overwhelmingly liberal gatekeepers need special training to effectively indoctrinate any rogue conservatives.
Lerner and Fulmabarker presented a program in October at the Council on Social Work Education’s 63rd Annual Program Meeting in Dallas, Texas, that highlights this divide. The panel discussion, for which attendees received continuing education credits, was titled “‘Social Workers Can’t be Republicans’: Engaging with Conservative Students in the Classroom.”
So welcome to today’s higher education — where liberal gatekeepers need special training to more effectively indoctrinate any rogue conservatives who manage to infiltrate their ranks.
Michele Blood is a freelance writer based in Flemington, New Jersey.