Re: language: a plea for tolerance!

Eric Crump (wleric@SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU)
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 12:05:59 -0500

tom said:
>>>>I should also add that I will be teaching students who will not receive
>>>>grades, who are free to walk out of my class and take another, who can
>>>>develop pretty much any kind of individual or group project they wish,

steve said:
>>>Hmmm... me thinks that the student who writes about Derrida might be

I see where you're going with this, but I think you WAY underestimate the
difference made by the structure of authority natural to Tom's class.
Student motivation to please teachers at the expense of their own interests
is to some great extent *created* by the evaluative power teachers have
over students. Remove or at least dissipate that authority and you remove
or dissipate that effect. I think students in Tom's class might well feel
free to write about Derrida, Tom's opinions about theory's aspirations to
gibberish notwithstanding. Your point applies well, but mainly to
traditional teacher-as-primary-authority classes.

--Eric Crump

Eric Crump, University of Missouri-Columbia Learning Center &
"The best students always are flunking. Every good teacher knows that."
--Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance