Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recovering Rightful Respect and Displacing Wrongful Respect

This is a paragraph from a brief document and presentation that I found necessary to make to one of the classes I taught about a decade ago. If it was needful then, it probably has greater need now.

Students routinely make the mistake of thinking that their opinions should be respected and not challenged. Respect should not be shown to opinions. Respect should be shown to people while we challenge their opinions and ideas. Strangely, while many students insist upon the mistaken notion that their opinions should be respected by professors, not challenged and critiqued, many students do not show proper respect toward their professors. I respect students, and I speak respectfully to them. If I am required to respect students' opinions and not challenge their opinions and ideas, then I cannot teach anything as truthful and right. When what I teach runs cross-grain to students' opinions, this is when learning should begin to take place for a student rather than to take offense. But, how can any of us learn anything, if we cherish our opinions as unassailable and take offense whenever our opinions are challenged?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reissuing this. All of us find this a problem.