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Ed Webb

Seventy-One Stories About Being Trans in School - 0 views

  • (a) some of the biggest challenges trans students face are infrastructural, both bricks-and-mortar structures (the housing of trans students; bathroom facilities), and digital architecture (course information software, transcripts, diplomas and email databases all routinely misidentify students);(b) an overwhelming majority of students and graduates described the experience of being misgendered and/or deadnamed by their professors as an extremely common experience.
  • I do think there’s real value in hearing stories of what it feels like to be misgendered or deadnamed
  • Anti-trans academics who claim that their rights are being infringed are heard far more frequently in the mainstream media than are the students who are apparently doing the infringing.
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  • academic freedom is a value of deep institutional importance to the independence of the University from entrenched power. Free speech demands no such institutional defense, and is rightly deprioritized when in conflict with other interests such as equity of access to education, or the health and wellbeing of students
  • To listen to trans students and graduates is to be sure that, whatever the British gender critical academics argue, the training of the professoriate on this issue is woefully inadequate
  • Many trans and non-binary students reported challenges finding built environments where they could feel safe at college. “They keep housing me with men,” wrote one trans woman; another trans woman reported that, despite being roomed with “transphobic students,” her administrators “weren’t, in general, willing to cut me a whole lot of slack because I hadn’t legally changed my gender marker.” A trans man reported being “placed on an all-girls floor even though I stated clearly on my housing form that I’m a trans guy.” Another student described the non-accommodation of trans students as an official policy: “my school matches roommate based on assigned sex, and refuses to accommodate trans students.”
  • Many students wrote with great enthusiasm about LGBTQ support centers on campus, which provide trans students with community and guidance. One writes that “younger uni empoyees and employees who were queer or allies were actually pretty great”; another says “the campus LGBT centers at two of the institutions where I experienced […] discrimination were amazing”; another writes that “the gender equality center is really working to help students and we have queer profs and Pride programming.” Another describes the vibe at the LGBTQ center as “quite tumblr but very supportive.” Students reported valuing the opportunity to invite speakers and guests themselves, though some report a wish that more resources for such programming were available.
  • A number of students wrote to express their dismay at the poverty of counselling resources for trans students
  • A large majority of respondents – close to all - explicitly reported experiences with “deadnaming” and “misgendering” by their academic advisors – their professors and mentors. Some of these instances were “deliberate,” “malicious,” “continued,” or “transphobic,” while others were merely “ignorant” or “accidental.” One respondent reported having been taught by two kinds of teacher: “profs who never asked for pronouns and always misgendered me, and profs who asked for pronouns but would still misgender me every time and apologize every time under the guise of ‘trying their best’.”
  • Sometimes being misgendered at a key moment in one’s school career throws students into emotional disarray at an inopportune moment.
  • colleges and universities are failing to establish adequate infrastructure for trans and non-binary students (especially in respect of digital architecture, which perhaps receives less attention than bricks-and-mortar)
  • staff and faculty, far from being the mindwiped drones of the gender critical academics’ fantasy, are mostly pretty incompetent at addressing and discussing trans students
  • I have a responsibility as a teacher to ensure minimum standards of care and equitable access to education for all my trans students, but also that I have a responsibility to push back against those institutional disincentives
Brian C. Smith

Portfolios & Additional Material | MIT Admissions - 13 views

  •  
    College admissions is changing.
Ed Webb

What's Wrong With the American University System - Culture - The Atlantic - 6 views

  • it's awfully difficult to say, "Here's knowledge we don't need!" It sounds like book burning, doesn't it? What we'd say is that on the scale of priorities, we find undergraduate teaching to be more important than all the research being done.
  • Those people were teachers, in the true sense of the word. They were just as knowledgeable about their fields as anyone, but they had playful, imaginative minds. They could go on TV—Carl Sagan could talk about science, John Kenneth Galbraith could talk about economics. They weren't dumbing down their subjects. In fact, they were actually using their brains. The more you rely on lingo—"regressive discourses," "performativity"—the less you have to really think. You can just throw terms around and say, "Look, Ma, I'm a theorist!"
  • We believe the current criteria for admissions—particularly the SAT—are just so out of whack. It's like No Child Left Behind. It really is. It's one of the biggest crimes that's ever been perpetrated. I mean, you took the SAT! It's multiple choice, a minute and quarter per question. What does it really test? It tests how good you are at taking tests! At a big university like Berkeley, where there are going to be 30,000 applications, here's what they do. On top of each folder, without even reading through it, they write your SAT score. That's the first winnowing. So the 1600s get looked at first, and then down from there.
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  • One of the things that I find scariest at the moment is that so many bright people have no conception at all of life for any people but those in the upper middle class and above. They live a sheltered suburban life, go to college with other sheltered suburban kids, and assume that everyone's life has been like theirs. Some years ago a relative of mine graduated from Cambridge. I asked what his classmates would be doing after graduation and he said "management consulting." These were very bright people with zero experience in the business world who had spent the last three years barely able to manage their binge drinking, let alone manage any business. I'd trust the high school grad who rose through the ranks way more than these bright young things.
  • www.highereducationquestionmark.com
Ed Webb

Admission Officials' Tweets Fall on Deaf Ears - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher ... - 3 views

  • Evidence has shown that teenagers rely on college visits and Web sites to learn about colleges, rather than social-media outlets. When it comes to Twitter, students are barely on the site at all, let alone for college research purposes.
  • Rebecca Whitehead, assistant director of campus visits and engagements at Winthrop University, maintains the admissions office’s Twitter account, which currently has 373 followers. She says she uses it largely to connect with other higher-education professionals, to find out about upcoming events or research.
Felix Gryffeth

In Tough Times, the Humanities Must Justify Their Worth - NYTimes.com - 0 views

  • The study of the humanities evolved during the 20th century “to focus almost entirely on personal intellectual development,” said Richard M. Freeland, the Massachusetts commissioner of higher education. “But what we haven’t paid a lot of attention to is how students can put those abilities effectively to use in the world. We’ve created a disjunction between the liberal arts and sciences and our role as citizens and professionals.”Mr. Freeland is part of what he calls a revolutionary movement to close the “chasm in higher education between the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs.” The Association of American Colleges and Universities recently issued a report arguing the humanities should abandon the “old Ivory Tower view of liberal education” and instead emphasize its practical and economic value.
  • Derek Bok, a former president of Harvard and the author of several books on higher education, argues, “The humanities has a lot to contribute to the preparation of students for their vocational lives.” He said he was referring not only to writing and analytical skills but also to the type of ethical issues raised by new technology like stem-cell research. But he added: “There’s a lot more to a liberal education than improving the economy. I think that is one of the worst mistakes that policy makers often make — not being able to see beyond that.” Anthony T. Kronman, a professor of law at Yale and the author of “Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life,” goes further. Summing up the benefits of exploring what’s called “a life worth living” in a consumable sound bite is not easy, Mr. Kronman said. But “the need for my older view of the humanities is, if anything, more urgent today,” he added, referring to the widespread indictment of greed, irresponsibility and fraud that led to the financial meltdown. In his view this is the time to re-examine “what we care about and what we value,” a problem the humanities “are extremely well-equipped to address.”
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