Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Warning: Education Might Offend the Uneducated

A University of Idalo film professor is having his students sign a “statement of understanding” acknowledging the potentially offensive or repugnant content they’ll be viewing in class. Apparently, this is something new. Usually professors who are worried that people will be offended by course material put a note in the syllabus to that effect. This guy is the first to have the kids sign an agreement saying that they might be offended, and so they might want to take something else.

My opinion: So what! I know that people will complain that students should be challenged in University, and that this is giving in to the consumer mentality of education, and that life can sometimes be offensive. But, honestly, I don't see a problem here. He shows A Clockwork Orange, and, apparently, some students complain about that. So, he makes sure it's clear beforehand. Sure he's previously said this in a syllabus; but plenty of students don't read the syllabus. And since plenty of profs do warn about these things in their syllabi, I'm not sure that he's doing anything that unique.

Now, it could still be said that University pedagogy should be about challenging the perceptions of students and not placating them by refusing to challenge those perceptions. And actually a few people are quoted along those lines in the article. But, you know what? Maintaining the traditional role of the University, or determining it's new role (something they seem to do every two years now) should be the role of the administration, and I'm guessing, based on my experience with administrations, that the ones at U of O don't have that opinion of education at all. Therefore, they're likely not going to take up for the guy if Bratty McCrybaby calls for her lawyer after seeing a bare tit in a movie in class. I just don't think the guy should be the one to take a bullet for the standards of education.


The Pagan Temple said...

I can see where the leader of a gang of rapists serenading their victim with "Singing In The Rain" might be considered offensive by some. Hey, I managed to sit all the way through Moulin Rouge without croaking. Talk about offensive. If you can sit through that, you can take anything.

Rufus said...

What offended me about Moulin Rouge was the editing! I got the idea from the documentaries about the movie that it was visually gorgeous, but hell if you can tell from the movie itself! They couldn't hold a shot for a full second. I actually felt ill during the dance sequences.

The Pagan Temple said...

Visually it was strikingly beautiful, that's the only reason I decided to see it to begin with. Unfortunately, that was the one and only good thing about it.

If those people in Gitmo really do have vital information, never mind making them listen to Christina Acquiliera. Just make them sit through one showing of "Moulin Rouge", if they know anything at all, they will spill it.