November 21, 2007
On identity politics in the classroom. From Education’s End, by Anthony Kronman.
The more a classroom resembles a gathering of delegates speaking on behalf of the groups they represent, the less congenial a place it becomes in which to explore questions of a personally meaningful kind, including, above all, the questions of what ultimately matters in life and why. In such a classroom, students encounter each other not as individuals but as spokespersons instead. They accept or reject their teachers as role models more on account of the group to which they belong and less because of their individual qualities of character and intellect. And the works they study are regarded more as statements of group membership than as creations of men and women with viewpoints uniquely their own.
Related: On Humanising the Humanities. And.