Saturday, October 9, 2010

Educational Triage

Battlefield nurses are trained to triage waiting patients for the doctors: operate immediately, wait awhile, gonna die.  Teachers, traditionally, triaged too: university, business/trades, labour.  Some teachers also unconsciously teach in such a way as to prove "I am better than you because I know and you don't." and they make it difficult for those others to achieve what they have achieved. 
   My aunt wanted to be a nurse.  She went to the Principal to plan her courses.  She asked about Latin, but he said she wouldn't need it.  At the end of Grade 13, when she applied to nursing schools, they turned her down because she didn't have Latin.  Back she went to ask the Principal, "Why did you tell me not to take Latin?"  His answer: "I thought you'd never make it.  I thought you'd go into the factory."  He had triaged on the basis of her working-class father, not on the basis of her intelligence and character.
   Be mindful of your biases and assumptions and how they filter your theories and methods.  Be mindful, too, that they will be revealed.

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