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ERIC Number: ED358450
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Authority as a Process: Issues of Gender in the Classroom.
Kasik, Dot Radius
Traditionally, it has been off-limits to talk about failures attributable to the ideology of democratic, student-centered classrooms. However, these classrooms fail for a particular kind of student--the male student who defines himself with a quasi-religious, extremely religious or political stance and who demonstrates strident rejection of racial, religious, political, and gender considerations different from his own. The typical instructor's stance in a democratic classroom is one of vulnerability because of two subject positions: a purposefully dislocated distribution of the teacher's authority and a general willingness to validate the student's opinion. A student who is insecure about his own educational or social position may actually be disoriented by this dislocation of authority. For male students who find acceptance of female instructors difficult, dislocation of the teacher's authority is particularly problematic. The instructor's willingness to validate student opinion over and above her own can often leave her bankrupt when it comes to self-confidence, and hamper her from seeing beyond the student's position. Jonathan, a student who attested that he did not want to deal with "bleeding heart liberals" successfully polarized and disrupted one such composition class with a female instructor. While the democratic, student-centered classroom makes both instructor and student more aware of their vulnerabilities, and while it does not enable all students to succeed, it is still the most productive way to teach composition. (Contains 36 references.) (SAM)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A