(fwd from Michael Yates) working class students --> US 1st to abolish slavery?

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Tue Nov 18 09:43:49 MST 2003

For many teachers, the heart of the matter lies with the question: What does
it mean to be an American citizen?

The conservatives say a citizen focuses on the positive aspects of American
history and tends to minimize the negatives in light of the bigger picture.

Response Jim C:

I have heard exactly the same shit from the right-wingers at my College. My
answer? Well, then according to your logic, then being a good "German
citizen" would involve focusing on "the positive aspects of Germany history"
and ignoring Germany 1933-45?

At my college the suits, through their minions on various committees, came
up with six campus-wide abilities that we are supposed to incorporate into
all curricula: Effective Citizenship; Global Multicultural Awareness;
Communication; Information Technology Awareness; Critical Thinking; Lifelong
Learning. Of course none of these was given any operational definition or
yardsticks for measurement. They even went around the campus, the night
before an accreditation visit, putting ornate plaques with these campus-wide
abilities on the walls of all classrooms claiming there were being taught.
Although some faculty objected, I laughed because without any definitions, I
can use them effectively to do my shit in the classroom and then spit them
back in the faces of our illustrious administrators when I get called in for
offending some right-wing asshole in class who has complained.

Jim C.

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