March 10, 2006

So that's why Bennish is like that!

Looks like embattled educator Jay Bennish is keeping his job -- breaking news. Which, as I opined, is as it should be. However, we now have some insight into perhaps why Bennish does what he does in class:

"I fear he may have got some of that left-wing orientation from me," she said with a laugh. "You know how professors are." Raines is a professor in the College of Education at Bennish's alma mater, Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Yeah, "ha ha" Prof. Raines. What's really funny is that you apparently don't see the inherent problem in your statement.

"I think Jay was one of our top candidates," Raines said. "We were very clear that Jay would go out and do something, and probably be a shaker and a mover. My guess was that he would probably be a political activist."

Your guess was correct, it seems!

She added, "I had a feeling that Jay would be famous - or infamous."

What a "great" teaching candidate -- one that a professor had a feeling could become "infamous." Nice.

Speaking of many students who passed through her department at NAU, Raines said, "They care about social justice issues. They care about making the world a better place. So, I'm not exactly surprised that this is happening to Jay."

Didn't you, as an education professor Ms. Raines, ever teach students like Bennish that providing a balanced approach to issues in social studies classes was imperative? Obviously not.

"I just think it's a shame that the conservative right-wingers can try to dictate curriculum," Raines said. "I think it's a shame that he could be suspended for trying to do what he does well, up there."

Oh! As opposed to liberal left-wingers! That wouldn't be "a shame," would it Ms. Raines? And what exactly do you mean what Bennish "does well"? Proselytize about radical causes before a captive audience? 'Cause that's what he was doing, after all. Gad, these educationists are so predictable.

A second NAU professor who also remembers Bennish's time there is Judy Giesberg. Giesberg, now a history professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, further described Bennish as a young man who was "very bright and very engaged, and saw teaching as an opportunity to make a difference, to do something meaningful."

That's so nice. But "making a difference" and doing "something meaningful" is actually imparting knowledge on students, not indoctrinating them for heaven's sake. Try reversing this situation: What if Bennish was invoking religion in his classroom soliloquies? The superiority of Western culture? I'd be willing to bet good money that Ms. Raines and Giesberg would be quite miffed about a teacher "teaching" those things.

Raines said one legacy of Bennish's NAU experience is that he and his fellow students were taught to be "change agents" and to "push the envelope" a bit.

"Change agents." And there you have it, people.

"I think teachers need to know what they stand for, and I think he knows what he stands for," Raines said. "And yes, I think we have an obligation not to press our own agendas in classrooms. "But, let's face it. You can't hang up who you are at the door."

That may be, Ms. Raines, but one has to at least try to "hang up who you are." Bennish sure didn't even attempt it. And why do you contradict yourself? First you say your students were taught to be "change agents," and then you claim "I think we have an obligaion not to press our own agendas in classrooms"? YEESH.

And educationists wonder why colleges of education get so little respect??

Posted by Hube at March 10, 2006 06:05 PM | TrackBack

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What do Jay Bennish and Michael Jackson have in common?

Child abuse.

Posted by: pete at March 11, 2006 11:27 AM