lfI were to accept this information as valid what might be cthicaUy Principle 5

Lfi were to accept this information as valid what

This preview shows page 5 - 6 out of 8 pages.

lfI were to accept this information as valid, what might be cthicaUy Principle 5: Recognize how your sociat po5trtonalty lnforms your rcac- tions to your instructor and those whose work you study in thc.oursc.'thcrc are two.hallenges in the critical socialjoslicc.lissrrnn rchlcll ro rhe conccpr ol' positionality (our social group membcrships dDd hor! lhcso mcnrbcrships shape our perspectiver. fte first istheperceptn,r thrl lhc conlcnr ol theclass is subjcc, tive, value based, and political, while lhe.oDrcrrl ol nranNlreaDr courses is ob je.tive, value-neutral, and unpartisan. lhis perccption emerges in pari because instructors of these courses are more likely to name their positionality and en courage students to do the same. Unfortunately, because acknowiedging onet posirionalityis a rare occurreDce in mainstream classes, doing so reinforces students' perceptions of mrinstream classes as orie.tire and critical social justice classes as subjectiw. Of course all knowledge is taught from a particular perspective, but the power of dominant knowledge is that it is presented as neutral and universal- We name our position ality in order to challenge the claim that any knowledge is neurral. Yet many stu, dents use that to reinforce the belief that only orrcourses are Dot n€utral. fte se.ond, interconnected challenge is rhe dlnamic between rhe instructor ind the students. B€cause faculty who teach critical socialjustice coumes often be- long to marginalized groups. and because theyDame these groups, they ar€ otien perceived as having a personal agenda. In other words, .hey are viewed as ifth€y only teach thes€ coorses because they are "minoritiesl' fterefore, studenrs often ieel more comfortable to explicitly disagree with the curriculum and pedagogy in these classes. Indeed, this is another layer that makes our exampl€ of rhe as lronomy student somewhat unimaginable. lhe instrucror in our scenario is most likely a Whiie male, as is the vast marority ofhigher educatid faculty (Chroxr.ls of Higher Education.2o09). White males hold more social authority and are seen is more obiective. Tlus students are less lik€ly to argue with them (Rudman & Kiliansky, 2000). As students move forward in their courses, it is important for them to con \ider the interplay between their social position and the social position oftheir instructor If the instructor represents perspectives from key marginalized groups (womefl, people ofColor, peoplewith disabilities, gayor lesbian people), students .ould welcome theopportunity to hear perspectives seldom represented in main nrcam education. If the course framework is new, students could supporr lhe (o(rse for the opportunity it o$ers, rather tban uDdermine it because the conccprs ,rc lLreigtr or €hallenging. Ultinrately. one or two courscs in our acadenic career are nol eDough lo ''l)rlinwasli' us or deny us thc abilily lo think freely.
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  • Spring '17
  • TomMcCollow

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