American University trains faculty not to judge quality of writing when grading.
It’s the world of the woke, where inversions abound.
Earlier this year, American University invited an outside professor [Dr Asao Inoue] to teach its faculty how to pursue “antiracist ends” through writing assessments… The training has now moved in-house, according to a faculty workshop taking place Thursday morning. Neisha-Anne Green of the Academic Support and Access Centre and Marnie Twigg of the Writing Studies Programme will lead the session, titled “How to Incorporate Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Your Classroom.”
Participants will be shown how to “revise course materials so they don’t accidentally promote or reinforce racist practices,” though the particulars are somehow both emphatic and opaque. We are, for instance, told that, “single standards” for language “kill our students,” which sounds just a tad breathless. There will, it seems, be lots of “redesigning assessment ecologies,” and quite a few “dimension-based rubrics,” which, via an as yet unspecified process, will upend “white racial habits of language,” resulting in some kind of righteous emancipation. In short, grading a student’s ability to convey their thoughts in writing - and to formulate thoughts by writing – is a manifestation of “white language supremacy,” an apparently murderous phenomenon, and therefore to be abandoned in the name of “inclusive excellence.”
Asao Inoue of the University of Washington-Tacoma is known for advocating that students should be graded based on the “labour” they put into their work, not the “quality” of the finished product.
According to Dr Inoue, teachers should “calculate course grades by labour completed and dispense almost completely with judgements of quality when producing course grades.” And so “critical information literacy” – a term deployed with an air of satisfaction – actually entails not being critical, or indeed literate. Dr Inoue, who denounces grammar as “racist” and “an unjust language structure,” has been mentioned here before, when boasting that a simple 495-word press release for his own “racial justice” Writing Centre took “over a year” to write. As if this reflected some profundity of thought, and not a more prosaic explanation.
As noted previously,
Apparently, the way for minority students to flourish as writers is for them to dismiss any criticism of their prose, and any attempt to improve it, as a racially motivated “microaggression” and an “oppressive practice,” and thus proof of “an inherently racist society.” You see, students with brown skin needn’t be articulate, verbally self-possessed, or precise in their thoughts. And that ungrammatical job application, the one enlivened with incomprehensible sentences and lots of inventive spelling, will do just fine. And by the time the real-world consequences of this “social justice” posturing become difficult to avoid, Dr Inoue will have been paid - and be merrily exploiting the next batch of suckers.
Thank goodness these enlightened people are here to help.
Dr Inoue’s unfortunate students, whose shortcomings and vanities have been indulged, may leave university sounding uneducated and unable to write in an adult manner, yet with an entitled and resentful attitude, and with a ready-made excuse for why any subsequent failure or rejection couldn’t possibly be their fault. Because repelling employers with grammatical incompetence and a chippy disposition can always be rationalised as damning proof of the evils of “whiteness” and the “racist society” that their lecturer banged on about. And the more obvious explanation – that they were taken for a ride by a practised hustler - would endanger that perilously inflated self-esteem.
Readers will note that, once again, so-called educators, self-styled champions of “social justice,” seem to function more as narcissistic saboteurs. In that, if you were shockingly spiteful and wanted to undermine the practical life chances of minority students, and leave them resentful, unskilled and racially fixated - and heavily in debt - it’s hard to see what you’d do differently.
Heavens, a button. I wonder what it does.