Neutrality of Teachers

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by Cari, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Cari

    Cari Member

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    Should a teacher approach politics with an even point of view i.e. neither favouring the left or right but explain both views equally with the pros and cons of each as to guide his/her pupils in both.The same could question could equally be asked of religion.
    I’m a father of three girls and an atheist but I never push my views on religion on them.

    Please don’t change this into the old right versus left discussion, god knows we have enough of them every day, this thread is solely about the neutrality of teachers in teaching their pupils.
     
  2. Socratica

    Socratica Newly Registered

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    Pros of having a professor with a political bias: You'll be exposed to an idea that you've never heard of before.

    Cons of having a professor with a political bias: One-sided arguments; fallacious argument; etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
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  3. Sirius Black

    Sirius Black Well-Known Member

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    It is difficult for any individual to be totally unbiased so sometimes that bias sneaks through, but teachers should try to avoid conscious political and religious bias in their classroom, I think most teachers try to do this. Sometimes the bias of parents color their dealings with educators. Should the same rule apply to the relationship between parent and teacher?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  4. RodB

    RodB Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I think it is fine for a teacher to explain different ideologies. But a teacher's primary role is to teach reality and factual information. Every subject in school, with the exception of some philosophy, can be taught without ever getting into ideology, though sometimes it helps in the factual explanation.
     
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  5. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    My best teachers taught me how to think, not what to think.
     
  6. Pants

    Pants Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. It is their role to present the facts, not share their own views or influence students one way or the other. They need to understand that they are in a very influential position - and that should never be abused.
     
  7. Pants

    Pants Well-Known Member

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    An atheist friend of mine shared her views with her son. But she also told him that she was raised in a Christian family and went to Church. So he has the choice to adopt her current views, but if he wants to discuss them with people who are Christian, he will need to learn a lot about religion in order to have a productive discussion.
     
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  8. FAW

    FAW Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I see no reason whatsoever why there should be a "rule" that dictates basic communication between adults. The suggestion strikes me as absurd.
     
  9. Sirius Black

    Sirius Black Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I didn't express myself clearly. I feel it is wrong for a parent to openly take a teacher to task for not teaching to the parent's bias.
     
  10. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    My most biased teachers were some of my most challenging. It was great, on both sides. I never had one that penalized me for disagreeing. Hell, my most biased teachers were also the ones who welcomed the most debate.
     
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  11. FAW

    FAW Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Fair enough, although I am sure that by far the most common complaint is a Conservative parent complaining of a liberal bias being taught, as opposed to complaining that they are not skewing Conservative. I am not aware of anyone that expects a public school to skew toward Conservatism. That notion is nothing short of preposterous in today's world.

    To answer your question in light of your further explanation of what you meant..... No, I do NOT believe that special "rules" should exist that govern what a parent asks a teacher in regard to their child. The suggestion strikes me as absurd.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  12. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Don't see where politics even has to be mentioned in a math, English or shop class.

    I can understand in a revisionist history class pointing out that Nazis were liberals not left wing as the revisionist claim.
     
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  13. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I think they should be neutral, I do not think government run school should be pushing political views or religious views on children
     
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  14. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    they were far right fanatical Christian groups, but let's not get to far off topic
     
  15. Quantum Nerd

    Quantum Nerd Well-Known Member

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    I agree with that. However, sometimes, it is difficult to teach a subject without being accused of bias.

    Let's look at the example of evolution in science class. Even if the teacher sticks to the scientific evidence for the theory of evolution, there will be those claiming that she/he is unfair because they don't present the "opposing" view of creationism, even though there is 0 scientific evidence for it.

    I struggle with it in my own class when it comes to the properties of CO2, which is used in textbooks as an example for vibrational modes that are either infrared active or inactive. Now, typically these textbooks also mention that the IR-active absorption bands of CO2 make it a greenhouse gas, which is scientifically correct. Do I have to present the "opposing" view that heat trapping through greenhouse gases is a hoax perpetrated by socialists to make the subject unbiased?
     
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  16. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Right wing/left wing is a European thing.

    The right wing supports a monarchy or an aristocratic society.

    The left wing want to chop off the heads of monarchies and loot the state's treasury and hand it out to the peasants.


    [​IMG]
    Left wingers weapon of choice.

    Like the Taliban, ISIS and other Islamist jihadist the left wing celebrates chopping off people's heads.

    [​IMG]

    Decapitated heads of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette,
     
  17. Sirius Black

    Sirius Black Well-Known Member

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    No one asked for "special rules" I have seen parents on both sides of the political spectrum come after teachers because of their own bias.Examples:
    Tried to get a teacher fired for teaching a book that had the "n" word in it (Huck Finn)
    Wanted Harry Potter books removed from reading lists because they taught "witchcraft" and were anti-Christian
    Wanted a female health teacher disciplined for telling female students that contraceptives exist.

    Sometimes conservative parents are the worst parents when it comes to complaining about text books and what they include or don't include.

    I think parents have every right to have significant input to what their child receives for instruction. I do not feel that a parent should decide that for other people's children.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
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  18. Isalexi888

    Isalexi888 Member

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    I developed a curriculum in prejudice awareness and it is very hard not to impose my own biases. I tell my students that I will play devils advocate so they do not know my views. In my evaluations I have had people say I am too conservative and some people say I am too liberal so obviously I did a good job
     
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  19. FAW

    FAW Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    When you asked " Should the same rule apply to the relationship between parent and teacher?", and then you further explained your position that you dont think a parent should ask a teacher to teach to that parent's bias, it sure seems like that was asking for a special "rule" governing a conversation between an adult teacher and an adult parent.


    While I can understand why you may not like it when a parent asks you such a question, as the parent of children that you teach, they most certainly have a right to ask whatever they want. It comes with the territory. I have had bosses ask me lots of things that I do not like, it also comes with the territory. Teachers are not an exception. We all face things at work that we may find unpleasant.
     
  20. Isalexi888

    Isalexi888 Member

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    I also thought sex ed in middle school and one mother took her child out of the class because I refused to say homosexuality is a sin
     
  21. Just_a_Citizen

    Just_a_Citizen Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Neutral.

    As has been said already, explaining ideologies is one thing. Attempting to "recruit", or sway the mind, is quite another, and should be left to the individual.

    Like abortion, or cannabis, or owning a firearm.
     
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  22. StarFox

    StarFox Well-Known Member

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    I hate to say it but I think those days are over
     
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  23. Sirius Black

    Sirius Black Well-Known Member

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    I am not talking about a discussion between a parent and a teacher about their own child. I am talking about parents who try to impose their beliefs on others children by dictating curriculum. As a parent you most certainly should be able to decide that your child will not read Harry Potter, most schools have procedures for dealing with such situations. You should not be able to decide that other children can not read Harry Potter.
     
  24. FAW

    FAW Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    They still have a right to say/ask whatever they want. As a professional, you should be capable of dissuading their unrealistic desires or at minimum leading them in the right direction to whom to direct such a request. Curriculum decisions are obviously way above a teachers pay grade. No "rule" is required governing what a parent can ask. If they are bringing such a topic up with a teacher they obviously arent that informed because that would clearly be better directed at the school board/superintendent etc. I fail to see why this bothers you so much. It should be a slam dunk. Sounds like much ado about nothing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  25. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree. It should be more that way than ever though. With the amount of knowledge available at our fingertips, there really isn’t any need to teach anything but how to think critically. Well, beyond the three R’s anyway. In the past, textbooks and teacher knowledge were more critical as knowledge was not as accessible by other means.

    Perhaps teachers should emphasize developing a thirst for knowledge. It seems the more knowledge is easily accessible the less people want to absorb it. This is certainly an interesting subject.
     

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