January 15th

Another metric bites the dust

So, you don't have to be an idiot like Trump to want to destroy the very meaning of the word "meaning".


A little while ago, I decided I couldn't describe myself as anything on the "liberal-conservative" spectrum anymore. Just, didn't apply to me.
(I dunno, can I call myself a "progressive"? Should I? Because 'the words "liberal" and "conservative" have no meaning whatever except to the people using them'?)

Now that the word "feminism" appears to have been somewhat redefined, I can no longer risk using the term "feminist" for myself, the way I had been for the last couple of decades.

Oh, I haven't changed. As far as I'm concerned, males and females and whatever the hell I don't entirely understand or have experienced in between, are all still completely valid human beings. But no, it's not me that's changed.

No, I haven't taken the red pill... although, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't take The Red Pill.
(... awards? Critical response? Wow. Screening cancellations? "No one has the right to have their film shown"!?)

The kind of people who want to crucify James Damore for daring to say that male- and female-stereotypes might have differences (how about we find a way to work with that), then write things like this: "Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis"
(<http://nsuworks.nova.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2467&context=tqr> [local copy, because licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial licence] by Laura Parson of the University of North Dakota.)

There's her question: "Are STEM Syllabi Gendered?".

However, as this is a "Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis", using Feminist literary criticism, which "seeks to analyze and describe the ways in which literature portrays the narrative of male domination by exploring the economic, social, political, and psychological forces embedded within literature", how do you think this is going to fly?
(answers including "straight into the ground at Mach 2" will not be automatically dismissed)

Do you even need a spoiler alert? I was going to say "You have to see this to believe it"... but I've seen it, gone through it and I still don't entirely believe it.

From Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis
And now, reality...
For poststructural feminists, emphasis is placed on language and discourse ... for STEM courses?
construction of faculty and administrative roles in ways that are more consistent with men’s lives, and the maintenance of evaluation processes that disproportionately value the disciplines and activities that men dominate ... weren't feminists saying that women were completely capable of doing the activities and roles that men do? No, wait, that's what James Damore was saying!
Informed by an understanding of institutions as gendered ... which was your starting assumption, rather than your conclusion?
syllabi also indicate stance through the use of imperatives (Come to class on time), which are often strengthened by a negative (Don’t expect to get an A without doing the assigned readings) ... I... would be curious to see the syllabus for the Teaching and Learning department at the University of North Dakota-OH WAIT
<https://education.und.edu/teaching-and-learning/programs-degrees.cfm>
how is power reflected in the syllabus through the use of pronouns
[...]
(e.g., We will develop an understanding of... instead of You will develop an understanding of...), Baecker (1998) hypothesized that the instructor was hiding the power relationship between the faculty member and the students by implying that they were equals
... or, that the development of knowledge was a collaborative effort...?

So, instead of the imperative "You will", you got a "We will" and you still found a way to whine about that?

Hey, hold on: <https://education.und.edu/teaching-and-learning/middle-level-education/courses.cfm>:
T&L 339 Technology for Teachers - 2 credits
Prerequisite: Admission to Teaching and Learning Department. Students will demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts and operations that not only support classroom curriculum but provide an avenue for continuing professional development. Students will learn to apply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies. The class will help students understand the social, ethical, legal and human issues that surround the use of technology in PK-12 schools.
Through a poststructuralist lens, it is possible to make a comparison between a modernist view of knowledge as based on notions of absolute truth and a single reality, which is masculine, and the social construction of knowledge, where knowledge is unstable and informed by context ... if you think knowledge is unstable, why are you doing a STEM course? Why are you studying anything!?
classroom environment that is not welcoming, inclusive or supportive for women (Vogt et al., 2007). Examples of STEM classroom practices that contribute to a chilly climate are weed - out courses, courses that grade on a curve, a competitive environment, reliance on lecture as a teaching method, an individualistic culture, and comprehensive exams ... but... but... this is what James Damore was saying in his memo about differentiating males and females and nu-feminists were trying to hang him for that!
My analysis suggests that the STEM syllabi explored had many of the same linguistic features and content categories previously identified in the literature, that the discourses identified in the syllabi reinforce traditional STEM academic roles "My analysis of this STEM material, informed by principles biasing for interpreting everything this way and compared to other STEM material, discovered this!"

"And, it doesn't MATTER that knowledge is unstable and informed by context, I suggest my analysis is absolute truth and reality!"
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. "I couldn't find any actual instances of gender discrimination, so I tried again by interpreting anything saying that you're here to learn actual knowledge is gender discrimination, QED."
Syllabi promote the positivist view of knowledge by suggesting that there are correct conclusions that can be drawn with the right tools: "A critical thinker considers all available evidence with an open mind and uses appropriate techniques to analyze that evidence and reach a conclusion (Lower level geology)". "The main goal is to attain knowledge and comprehension of major concepts and techniques of organic chemistry (Upper level chemistry)" What the fuck are you doing in a science/technology/engineering/math course if you think there aren't usable, consistent conclusions to be drawn using appropriate tools?
the STEM syllabi explored in this study demonstrated a view of knowledge that was to be acquired by the student, which promotes a view of knowledge as unchanging Only if you have no idea of how science was and is actually developed!
For example, “draw accurate conclusions from scientific data presented in different formats” ( Lower level math ). 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. Only if you have no idea of how sc- oh what's the point
Many syllabi attempt to create an active learning environment, but those attempts conflict with commonly accepted discourses of STEM higher education and even the STEM teaching community. "Many of the documents I could have analysed demonstrate my hypothesis is false, so obviously they are wrong."
The syllabi explored in this study promoted a view of the classroom as academically difficult, with high standards that were not flexible. For example, “please be reminded that all writing you do in this course will be expected to meet a certain standard of competency and quality” ( Lower level geology ). The language used promotes the idea that the high standards of the course were inflexible and difficult, and exceptions would not be made if students could not meet expectations. ... because... we're going to say "this person can do the job" when they actually can't...?
Instead of only listing prerequisite courses, these syllabi included prerequisite knowledge and skills, creating an even more intimidating view of the course. ... so, if you covered the material in a different course, or a different year, or different place of study... tough luck working it out, because we want to be "less intimidating" for you?
That language implied that not only would students be held to difficult high standards, but also that there was also a base of knowledge that was required to be successful in the course. 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. ...!?

Just so we're clear, here's the University of North Dakota's Teaching And Learning department Summer Reading Camp page, "designed to promote the literacy development of struggling readers and writers. In addition the program serves as a clinical practicum for undergraduates majoring in elementary education and graduates enrolled in the Elementary Education and Reading Master's programs."
... because, there's plenty of time in a semester to teach the pre-requisite knowledge from the previous semester, right?

Oh, and for the Doctoral Degrees like Laura Parson was going for?
"The program outlined below gives you an idea of the minimum requirements which constitute work toward the degree. A specific course of study should be developed by you, your advisor, and committee following the Phase 1 review. A minimum of 96 post-baccalaureate credit hours are needed to complete the Ed.D. degree and 90 post-baccalaureate credit hours are needed for the Ph.D.."
[list of Required Program Courses follow]
Additionally, a chilly climate is reinforced with a focus on the individual instead of the group and is a characteristic of a masculine learning environment
Hands up anybody who's done a degree and wasn't assigned some kind of group work. Because everybody I know would like to envy the fuck out of you.
there is little discussion about how the group can support and contribute to learning. Not only is group work not encouraged, in some cases, the language is hostile to it So, the comment up above.

Plus: Laura Parson, how many people wrote this paper with your name on it?
the competitive, difficult chilly climate was reinforced in the syllabi through the use of unfriendly and tough language, “Do not ask me to figure out your grade standing. I’ll be glad to show you how to do it yourself, but the homepage includes that explanation already” So, you are Clinical Assistant Professor, Program Director with the University of Louisville, this paper earned you a PhD in 2016, you got your Master's in 2012 and your Bachelor's (in Science!? ohwait Political Science) in 2006.

Have you, at any stage perchance, bought a fucking dictionary? Because you do not appear to know what "unfriendly" means.
This discourse analysis of STEM syllabi develops a deeper understanding of the STEM syllabus NO IT REALLY DOESN'T
Limitations: The largest limitation of this study was the small sample size and limited location. As opposed to, say, your inability to engage with reality?
Additionally, the gender of the instructor was not identified in the analysis. That represents an additional line of inquiry that may differentiate the findings from this study. Of course not. How badly would that have destroyed your credibility to identify female lecturers in STEM?

Nowaitsorry how did you put it: "that may differentiate the findings from this study".

... and they actually gave you a PhD out of this? Because this paper of yours was published 18 January 2016 and according to the University of North Dakota's University Newsletter, your Ph.D. defence was on the 28th of April 2016...

I think every aspiring researcher I know is gonna kinda of hate you.
providing opportunities to learn prerequisite knowledge instead of statements that imply that the course will be impossible without that knowledge How do you think STEM students get allowed into a class if they haven't done the pre-requisite subjects?
Changes to the syllabi are contingent upon the institutional environment, and true transformation requires institutional changes. SMASH THE PATRIARCHY! SMASH THE SCHOOLS! SMASH THE UNIVERSITIES!

PUNY SHE-HULK STEP ASIDE!

SJW-HULK SMASH!


local copy, Laura Parson: Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis, (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License)