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Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« on: March 18, 2019, 10:21:59 am »
A recently deceased thread included this interesting comment by the poster, SanderB:

"This thread is teaching me that I must simply shutdown any weird fascist kids in my classes, there's always 1 silly brexit, anti-immigration, anti-shengen kid with child-like simplistic solutions to incredibly complicated issues idiotically promoted feverishly by middle-aged sour and bitter Kekistani. These old geezers here spouting the same oblivious rhetoric is truly indicative of the downfall of Western civilisation, very much so reminiscent of the final days of the Roman Empire.

Their overall abilities are just too low for any effective problem solving."

This raises an interesting question regarding the role of teachers in dealing with political issues in the classroom. What is the role of the teacher? What limits or powers should they have? Does this differ when teaching in our own countries or teaching abroad?

Rather than having this devolve into left-right partisanship, let's instead consider what the framework of a functional system and what the guidelines would be. REMEMBER- When considering these guidelines, if you empower teachers to take (or be limited) action-wise, then that same standard will have to apply to all discussions and teachers of all persuasions. Using the above example, if you think its okay for a teacher to shut down a student who supports Brexit, then the standard you are employing is one of "Teacher thinks they can shut down a student for an opinion they disagree with" and thus would enable a different teacher to say, shut down a student who was opposed to Brexit. Alternatively, you can say that there should be no equal standard and instead advocate for teachers and schools to be openly partisan and seeking to ensure that students hold certain political opinions and excluding others.

To evaluate various concepts of this, in addition to the objectivity standard mentioned above, I would also say that the best proposals will be the ones that best articulate the opposition's opinion while advocating their own. In other words, if you can't put yourself into "their" shoes and do so in a credible manner, your opinion won't be highly regarded (hopefully). The goal here is a system that majorities on all sides could support.


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Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2019, 10:25:16 am »
My annual share this post

Remember when some wayg thought htis was a good idea????

Lesson About Consent, Dating, or Sexual Abuse?

http://www.waygook.org/index.php?topic=95753.20
The joys of fauxtherhood


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 10:40:18 am »
i let my students know what I think of trump, thing is, they already know that he's a fukcing idiot.


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 10:45:14 am »
It's a good question. Normally I'd suggest leaving politics out of the classroom but I have to teach EAP sometimes and it does come up. I'd say you should be pointing out the opposite argument to all sides of the political debate while making it clear when students have views that might get them into trouble in certain places. E.g. Saying things like 'I hate gay people'. If a random student of yours could say fairly surely whether you're on the right or left of politics, you've failed to be impartial enough IMO.


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 10:48:50 am »
My annual share this post

Remember when some wayg thought htis was a good idea????

Lesson About Consent, Dating, or Sexual Abuse?

http://www.waygook.org/index.php?topic=95753.20

Absolute classic.

On the thread topic, politics shouldn't be anywhere our classes.  I think it's quite sad how some teachers are so desperate to show their students how much they hate Trump or crowbar in their own political beliefs into a class to appear cool or hip.

An adult class is different.  If the students want to talk about politics then fair enough but I still think the teacher should keep out of it as much as possible and just be the facilitator of the discussion.


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Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 10:54:21 am »
Leave your opinion(s) out of the classroom, especially in an ESL class. IF pressed, give as neutral an opinion as you can, even if you don't really believe it.

In specific classes however, such as debate, philosophy political and social studies, you may have no choice but to present your opinion during arguments. In such cases, make it known opinions are merely thoughts that should be supported with credible, tangible and as objective sources as possible.

Contextual analysis of information, critical thinking and structured statements all matter. In these classes, it's not always about who's subjectively right or wrong...but rather who's more prepared and more informed on the topic. Make that known as well.


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Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 11:05:50 am »
i let my students know what I think of trump, thing is, they already know that he's a fukcing idiot.

Did you put down your Trump derangement syndrome on your job application?


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Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 11:11:12 am »
Leave your opinion(s) out of the classroom, especially in an ESL class. IF pressed, give as neutral an opinion as you can, even if you don't really believe it.

In specific classes however, such as debate, philosophy political and social studies, you may have no choice but to present your opinion during arguments. In such cases, make it known opinions are merely thoughts that should be supported with credible, tangible and as objective sources as possible.

Contextual analysis of information, critical thinking and structured statements all matter. In these classes, it's not always about who's subjectively right or wrong...but rather who's more prepared and more informed on the topic. Make that known as well.

I don't agree with you on many of your posts. But you are 100% correct here.

Being right is not your job. Facilitating conversation is. You may have to bite your tongue, but that includes right, left and bang in the middle views. What was mentioned in the OP is someone shutting down one side, you don't belong in education with that attitude.

Your own opinions should be kept well outside of the classroom and it's concerning to see so many teachers losing control of themselves and becoming classroom activists. If the current political situation has meant you can no longer do your job then you should take a break from teaching.



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Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 11:14:08 am »
I taught a discussion class at a language school in NZ and there was a group of Russian guys who wanted to bring up "the homosexual agenda" in class constantly. When I gave a 'live and let live' type answer they complained to the Russian marketing officer. They also narced on me to another Christian evangelical teacher and, I'm not making this up, tried to corner me during the break time and intimidate me with said teacher. I don't know what they wanted me to do or say, but from what i could gather by not coming down strongly against homosexuality I was now part of the agenda itself.

Anyway one of the Russians followed me on instagram so I looked at his pictures and he seems to have joined one of the those pretend motorcycle clubs, where they make up their own logo and wear leather vests but don't do much else. It's not a good look as me has that malnourished alien look that a portion of Russian men have, and the leather vest seems too big for him.
Kpip! - Martin 2018


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Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2019, 11:54:53 am »
Leave your opinion(s) out of the classroom, especially in an ESL class. IF pressed, give as neutral an opinion as you can, even if you don't really believe it.

In specific classes however, such as debate, philosophy political and social studies, you may have no choice but to present your opinion during arguments. In such cases, make it known opinions are merely thoughts that should be supported with credible, tangible and as objective sources as possible.

Contextual analysis of information, critical thinking and structured statements all matter. In these classes, it's not always about who's subjectively right or wrong...but rather who's more prepared and more informed on the topic. Make that known as well.

I don't agree with you on many of your posts. But you are 100% correct here.

Being right is not your job. Facilitating conversation is. You may have to bite your tongue, but that includes right, left and bang in the middle views. What was mentioned in the OP is someone shutting down one side, you don't belong in education with that attitude.

Your own opinions should be kept well outside of the classroom and it's concerning to see so many teachers losing control of themselves and becoming classroom activists. If the current political situation has meant you can no longer do your job then you should take a break from teaching.

Agreed.  In a debate class I never give my opinion. I always play Devil's advocate to try and get them thinking about other sides of the argument, or to get them actually thinking why they have the opinion they do.

I never shut them down.

My student's often have violent opinions against homosexuality (for instance) and just shutting them down and telling them they are wrong is just not the way to go. I always ask "..but why don't you agree with it?" often in the case I just mentioned they don't actually know why they are against it and they're stumped. It's much more effective than just shutting them down. We teach to make students think...not force our opinions onto them.


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2019, 01:09:16 pm »
This raises an interesting question regarding the role of teachers in dealing with political issues in the classroom. What is the role of the teacher?

Not promoting or protecting racial supremacist attitudes.
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.


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Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2019, 01:15:22 pm »
I totally agree with everybody else here in that political opinions have no place in the English classroom. Our job is to facilitate discussions, not push our opinions onto our students.

    But I also wonder where to draw the line. In this day and age, very important topics are becoming politicized, and sometimes it becomes really hard to talk about anything substantial without stepping on a political landmine. One can easily be accused of partisanship for teaching uncontroversial facts, these days.

   Does discussing the greenhouse effect and human impact on the global environment count as expressing political bias? How about the migration patterns of prehistoric human populations? WWII? Treatment of refugees? The cost-benefit of vaccines, ffs; etc etc.


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2019, 01:36:31 pm »
Not promoting or protecting racial supremacist attitudes.
I'd agree. Can you define that? What would constitute such an opinion. For some this would be explicit racist ideology and endorsement of it. For others, this might mean little more than "I'm in favor of reduced immigration" or "We should consider restructuring the Schengen Agreement." While those on the right might consider such expressions/concepts as "White Privilege" as racist ideology.

What is the objective criteria we would use? 


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2019, 02:29:19 pm »
Not promoting or protecting racial supremacist attitudes.
I'd agree. Can you define that? What would constitute such an opinion. For some this would be explicit racist ideology and endorsement of it. For others, this might mean little more than "I'm in favor of reduced immigration" or "We should consider restructuring the Schengen Agreement." While those on the right might consider such expressions/concepts as "White Privilege" as racist ideology.

What is the objective criteria we would use?


Good luck getting a proper answer to that.


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2019, 02:33:07 pm »
    But I also wonder where to draw the line. In this day and age, very important topics are becoming politicized, and sometimes it becomes really hard to talk about anything substantial without stepping on a political landmine. One can easily be accused of partisanship for teaching uncontroversial facts, these days.

   Does discussing the greenhouse effect and human impact on the global environment count as expressing political bias? How about the migration patterns of prehistoric human populations? WWII? Treatment of refugees? The cost-benefit of vaccines, ffs; etc etc.

this is the grey area and depends a lot on where and who you are teaching.  in most cases it's up to the teacher's better judgement to tread very carefully for a lot of subjects.  for example and off the top of my head, veganism is the 'single biggest way' to reduce our impact on the environment. is that an extreme view? or a sensible view?  it's backed up by facts and figures.  it's not really hurting anyone by mentioning it.  if students decide to become vegan or vegetarian, is that a bad thing?  not advocating this, just it's an example of a grey area, rather than the 'I'm sitting on the fence on this one' teachers.  it just depends. 

I taught at an academic high school a few years ago and we had a TED presentation contest.  one student did her presentation on 'animal cafes', and it was brilliant.  she had facts and figures and photos about how badly the animals are treated, especially the less popular or sick ones.  when you teach elementary students you should be showing a simple path for learning and a little less so in middle school. but when you teach high school, when needed, you can show a bit more of yourself opinion-wise, if needed, and within reason.  if my students ask me about Brexit, what do I tell them?  what they'll get is an opinion that doesn't hurt anyone and it's my point of view.  i don't hold some extreme views like some people on here, so I have no need to suppress the need to tell them what I'm thinking. 


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2019, 02:41:50 pm »
i don't hold some extreme views like some people on here, so I have no need to suppress the need to tell them what I'm thinking.

That's a good point. Some posters on this site are such rabid bigots that they couldn't tell you the time of day without expressing it in terms of their hatred for anyone who disagrees with them. These people probably shouldn't be teaching ABCs, never mind exposing impressionable young minds to their toxic world view.


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2019, 02:51:43 pm »
    But I also wonder where to draw the line. In this day and age, very important topics are becoming politicized, and sometimes it becomes really hard to talk about anything substantial without stepping on a political landmine. One can easily be accused of partisanship for teaching uncontroversial facts, these days.

   Does discussing the greenhouse effect and human impact on the global environment count as expressing political bias? How about the migration patterns of prehistoric human populations? WWII? Treatment of refugees? The cost-benefit of vaccines, ffs; etc etc.

this is the grey area and depends a lot on where and who you are teaching.  in most cases it's up to the teacher's better judgement to tread very carefully for a lot of subjects.  for example and off the top of my head, veganism is the 'single biggest way' to reduce our impact on the environment. is that an extreme view? or a sensible view?  it's backed up by facts and figures.  it's not really hurting anyone by mentioning it.  if students decide to become vegan or vegetarian, is that a bad thing?  not advocating this, just it's an example of a grey area, rather than the 'I'm sitting on the fence on this one' teachers.  it just depends. 

I taught at an academic high school a few years ago and we had a TED presentation contest.  one student did her presentation on 'animal cafes', and it was brilliant.  she had facts and figures and photos about how badly the animals are treated, especially the less popular or sick ones.  when you teach elementary students you should be showing a simple path for learning and a little less so in middle school. but when you teach high school, when needed, you can show a bit more of yourself opinion-wise, if needed, and within reason.  if my students ask me about Brexit, what do I tell them?  what they'll get is an opinion that doesn't hurt anyone and it's my point of view.  i don't hold some extreme views like some people on here, so I have no need to suppress the need to tell them what I'm thinking.

Thinking the leader of the Free world is a fukcing idiot isn't an extreme view?


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2019, 03:08:04 pm »
    But I also wonder where to draw the line. In this day and age, very important topics are becoming politicized, and sometimes it becomes really hard to talk about anything substantial without stepping on a political landmine. One can easily be accused of partisanship for teaching uncontroversial facts, these days.

   Does discussing the greenhouse effect and human impact on the global environment count as expressing political bias? How about the migration patterns of prehistoric human populations? WWII? Treatment of refugees? The cost-benefit of vaccines, ffs; etc etc.

this is the grey area and depends a lot on where and who you are teaching.  in most cases it's up to the teacher's better judgement to tread very carefully for a lot of subjects.  for example and off the top of my head, veganism is the 'single biggest way' to reduce our impact on the environment. is that an extreme view? or a sensible view?  it's backed up by facts and figures.  it's not really hurting anyone by mentioning it.  if students decide to become vegan or vegetarian, is that a bad thing?  not advocating this, just it's an example of a grey area, rather than the 'I'm sitting on the fence on this one' teachers.  it just depends. 

I taught at an academic high school a few years ago and we had a TED presentation contest.  one student did her presentation on 'animal cafes', and it was brilliant.  she had facts and figures and photos about how badly the animals are treated, especially the less popular or sick ones.  when you teach elementary students you should be showing a simple path for learning and a little less so in middle school. but when you teach high school, when needed, you can show a bit more of yourself opinion-wise, if needed, and within reason.  if my students ask me about Brexit, what do I tell them?  what they'll get is an opinion that doesn't hurt anyone and it's my point of view.  i don't hold some extreme views like some people on here, so I have no need to suppress the need to tell them what I'm thinking.

Thinking the leader of the Free world is a fukcing idiot isn't an extreme view?

no, I'm not sure how you can rationalise having a proven sexist, racist, homophobic, bigot who was a reality tv host as the 'leader of the Free world', as you put it.  his words and actions have global consequences, he just chooses to ignore that in his own horrible, devisive fashion.  apologies if I gave you the idea that I just spout this off to my students without them asking, which I don't.  there is plenty out there for my students to have formed their own opinions about him. 


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Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2019, 03:23:10 pm »
    But I also wonder where to draw the line. In this day and age, very important topics are becoming politicized, and sometimes it becomes really hard to talk about anything substantial without stepping on a political landmine. One can easily be accused of partisanship for teaching uncontroversial facts, these days.

   Does discussing the greenhouse effect and human impact on the global environment count as expressing political bias? How about the migration patterns of prehistoric human populations? WWII? Treatment of refugees? The cost-benefit of vaccines, ffs; etc etc.

this is the grey area and depends a lot on where and who you are teaching.  in most cases it's up to the teacher's better judgement to tread very carefully for a lot of subjects.  for example and off the top of my head, veganism is the 'single biggest way' to reduce our impact on the environment. is that an extreme view? or a sensible view?  it's backed up by facts and figures.  it's not really hurting anyone by mentioning it.  if students decide to become vegan or vegetarian, is that a bad thing?  not advocating this, just it's an example of a grey area, rather than the 'I'm sitting on the fence on this one' teachers.  it just depends. 

I taught at an academic high school a few years ago and we had a TED presentation contest.  one student did her presentation on 'animal cafes', and it was brilliant.  she had facts and figures and photos about how badly the animals are treated, especially the less popular or sick ones.  when you teach elementary students you should be showing a simple path for learning and a little less so in middle school. but when you teach high school, when needed, you can show a bit more of yourself opinion-wise, if needed, and within reason.  if my students ask me about Brexit, what do I tell them?  what they'll get is an opinion that doesn't hurt anyone and it's my point of view.  i don't hold some extreme views like some people on here, so I have no need to suppress the need to tell them what I'm thinking.

Thinking the leader of the Free world is a fukcing idiot isn't an extreme view?
Alas not.


Re: Educators Expressing Political Opinions- At home and abroad
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2019, 04:52:20 pm »
Not promoting or protecting racial supremacist attitudes.
I'd agree. Can you define that? What would constitute such an opinion. For some this would be explicit racist ideology and endorsement of it. For others, this might mean little more than "I'm in favor of reduced immigration" or "We should consider restructuring the Schengen Agreement." While those on the right might consider such expressions/concepts as "White Privilege" as racist ideology.

What is the objective criteria we would use?

You proudly admit to visiting white supremacist websites. You tell me.
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.