Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Utah Bill Would Require Teachers to Be Politically 'Neutral' In Class

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Without commenting on the wider issue of increasing thoughtcrime legislation in the U.S., I would observe that the meaning of 'neutral' is very much in the eye of the beholder. To me, 'neutral' means I have no stance on which pronouns you wish to use to refer to yourself. Others depict 'neutral' as endorsing a more restrictive stance on pronouns. To me, 'neutral' means not endorsing political principles such as 'democracy' or 'capitalism', while to others 'neutral' means endorsing only certain political principles. To me, 'neutral' entails not prejudging academic enquiry such as 'critical race theory', while to others, 'neutral' means explicitly prohibiting such discussions. To me, 'neutral' means discussing any and all religions, while to others, 'neutral' means not discussing any religions, except perhaps one. That's why I reject the idea that teachers should be neutral, and lean in to the idea of their professionalism and fair judgement.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 30, 2024 02:55 a.m.

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