By Esther Kingston-Mann
This number of essays written by means of non-traditional school on non-traditional scholars records a posh and hard technique of pedagogical transformation.
Read or Download Achieving Against The Odds (The New Academy) PDF
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Additional resources for Achieving Against The Odds (The New Academy)
I ﬂoated a couple of broad questions. ” No response. “Did it surprise you? ” Still no takers, so I became more directive. “What do you think it suggests about how homoerotic love is seen in this culture? ” The silence in the room began to buzz loudly. “Have you ever heard the term berdache? That’s a word Europeans used for a type of person they were surprised to ﬁnd in most Native American groups—people we might call gay or lesbian or transgendered. ’ They are considered to be special, gifted; traditionally, they played special roles in group rituals or decisions.
If students who oppose homosexuality know they will not be able to explain their viewpoint in a way that the teacher will respect, they have little psychological choice but to remove themselves from the reﬂective processes of the classroom. Indeed, it could well become a matter of faith or principle to do so, because they will feel that their teachers are belittling what is most sacred to them. And, in the case of their teachers who are knee-jerk secularists, they will be right. That is by no means my situation, but I too must take care to welcome the voices of these students, regardless of whether their views are initially presented in a way that seems ill founded.
In practice, as the histories of science and ideas teach, what goes as knowledge is always a tangled nest of facts and values, observation and judgment, assumption and inquiry. And sexuality, as I have argued, is as tangled and obscure a nest as any. My task, then, is to help students explicate their views in this richer, less reductive way—more horizontally than vertically, as it were. What is it you question about sexuality, I might ask, and what do you assume? If you ask what causes homosexuality, do you also ask what causes heterosexuality, and why or why not?