Saturday, October 1, 2016

Soft Curves And Hard Edges

     I gravitated toward the physical sciences early in life. Perhaps the biggest of my reasons, if it’s valid to say that I gave the matter conscious thought as a lad, was that in physics and chemistry all the questions have verifiable answers. Though we must grant that human limitations guarantee that the answers will remain open to subsequent modification as our powers of observation increase, nevertheless by continued observation, inductive inference, prediction, and well-designed experiment we can steadily enlarge our confidence in our knowledge about the physical world. Personalities, opinions, and emotions are utterly irrelevant.

     That doesn’t sit well with some people:

     College science classes are hostile to women and minorities because they use the scientific method, which assumes people can find reliable truths about the natural world through careful and sustained experimentation, concludes a recent dissertation by a doctoral candidate at the University of North Dakota.

     Laura Parson, a student in the university’s education department, reviewed eight science class syllabi at a “Midwest public university” and said she discovered in them a hidden hostility to women and minorities:

     Initial exploration of the STEM syllabi in this study did not reveal overt references to gender, such as through the use of gendered pronouns. However, upon deeper review, language used in the syllabi reflects institutionalized STEM teaching practices and views about knowledge that are inherently discriminatory to women and minorities by promoting a view of knowledge as static and unchanging, a view of teaching that promotes the idea of a passive student, and by promoting a chilly climate that marginalizes women.

     Miss Parson wants to be quite clear about the impact on poor, helpless, feelings-oriented women:

     Instead of promoting the idea that knowledge is constructed by the student and dynamic, subject to change as it would in a more feminist view of knowledge, the syllabi reinforce the larger male-dominant view of knowledge as one that students acquire and use make the correct decision. [Sic throughout.]

     The shorthand term for what Miss Parson advocates here is social construction of reality. No doubt you’ve encountered it in other venues, though the idea that it should influence the physical sciences is fairly new. But wait: there’s more! Parson also condemns the notion of prerequisite knowledge. The masculine notion that some knowledge must build upon prior, more fundamental knowledge is unfair too! She condemns the following statement about a geology course:

     Good algebra and trig skills are essential if you expect to be successful in this course. In addition, you are expected to have sufficiently mastered the material in Calculus I to be able to use it when needed. We will not have time in this class to devote to prerequisite materials (Lower level math). writing that:

     While it is not unrealistic to include prerequisites in a syllabus, the language used to discuss the prerequisites indicated that students who had not learned or did not remember that knowledge would be unsuccessful because there was not support within the course or from the instructor. The language used in this corpus of syllabi created an impression of extremely difficult courses, which contributes to the chilly climate in STEM courses, and would be prohibitive for those not confident in those areas, such as women and minorities. [Emphasis added by FWP.]

     So your geology professor must be prepared to instruct in algebra! Hey, what about multiplication and division? Some “women and minorities” have a hard time with those too, you know! And aren’t the answers all a matter of how we feel about them, anyway?

     I forget who said it, but some wag said, twenty years ago, “One wonders whether feminist airplanes will stay aloft for feminist engineers.” But then, if it’s all about “feelings,” maybe the plane shouldn’t stay aloft, especially if the passengers are all those nasty, right-answer-centric white men. The fewer of those we have around, the more time and latitude we’ll have for choosing the politically correct outfits in which to spout politically correct feelings at our highly impressionable female and minority students. (What makes you think we’d be willing to educate boys? So we could have airplanes that would stay aloft, so they’d be safe for women and minorities to travel on? That’s all right, they’d only increase global warming anyway.)

     Of course, we must emphasize that the above “doctoral dissertation” comes from a woman doctoral candidate in education, beyond all question a thoroughly bogus, totally undisciplined “discipline” that promotes fads over the instruction of the young. Education majors routinely test in the bottom quintile – that’s right, the lowest 20% – of college graduates. It suggests that were an education degree not available to them, they might never earn a degree of any sort. Moreover, assessments of working “educators’” knowledge, including their knowledge in the subjects they “teach,” frequently reveals it to be deficient, inadequate even for grammar or high school instruction.

     The bell curve has long tails. Surely there are some highly intelligent “educators” in the world, capable of confronting and accepting the objective nature of reality and usable knowledge about it. However, after so many years of PC infiltration and feminist indoctrination the percentage can’t be large. (Yes, yes, our beloved Linda Fox is one such.) And when we combine an education degree with feminist convictions, the odds lengthen to the point that there’s no point in searching for one.

     Such are the creatures that claim the authority to instruct your children. Be aware. Act accordingly.


Malatrope said...

The coming Dark Age will be much darker than the last one. It seems we are doing our best not only to keep the next generation from learning any knowledge, but to make them believe that knowledge itself doesn't exist – and anyone who can demonstrate that there is will be killed.

I haven't appreciated, until the last decade, just how incredibly stupid and vicious the human animal truly is. We are worse than jackals. In light of that, it makes our actual achievements to date even more impressive.

It's time to start building deep, defensible archives.

Seneca III said...

Subjectively, all observations are objective. Or, to put it in the vernacular "This subjective biological organism is, objectively, as thick as two short planks and should be institutionalised before it escapes into the community at large and becomes a politician."

I think that over half a century ago I should have switched to gender studies from what is now known as STEM as I'm subjectively certain that objectively it would have given me...Ahh!, sod it, I simply can't keep up with the cretinous drivel these intellectually challenged drones keep spouting in order to qualify for a lifelong career flipping hamburgers - depending upon how they interpret Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, of course.

Jim Dials said...

Immutable. A fearsome word to the Social Justice Warrior. Regardless, real truths are just that. Men and women are different. No amount of Political Correctness, Social Engineering or government edicts will change that. Like the Atheist who stands before God, they are lost trying to explain away the obvious, and cannot bear the thought that they really do not have any say in the matter. What sad creatures.

Anonymous said...

Yes Miss Parson, science classes are hard. One must think critically constantly. One must have a basis of previous knowledge to have even the opportunity to succeed.

I wonder what Ms. Parson thinks about the FACT that MOTHER Nature made these rules. Is Mother Nature now misogynistic?

LindaF said...

Thank you for the kind words. A quick mention: I've migrated back to Blogger

Right As Usual

The problem is, teachers are of many kinds:
- Elementary teachers - primarily Language Arts specialists
- Middle school teachers - MAY have some specialized knowledge about Math or Science - often NOT
- High school teachers - NOT education majors. Can generally only teach in their area of specialty (Although in rural and Southern schools, may have only limited knowledge of their teaching field. Not uncommon to have Chemistry teachers who really are Biology teachers, or some other Science specialty)

That's aside from the Band teacher, the Art teacher, the foreign language teacher.