Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sexism in alive and well among Leftist women

Two feminist geographers are encouraging their colleagues to be more mindful about citing the research of white males because doing so contributes to “the reproduction of white heteromasculinity of geographical thought and scholarship.”

Writing in “Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography,” Carrie Mott and Daniel Cockayne argue that considering an author’s gender, race or sexuality prior to citation can be an effective “feminist and anti-racist technology of resistance that demonstrates engagement with those authors and voices we want to carry forward.”

The authors point out that whether an academic’s research is cited by his peers has significant implications for promotion, tenure and influence. Therefore, to cite only white men “does a disservice to researchers and writers who are othered by white heteromasculinism.”

The authors define “white heteromasculinism” as “an intersectional system of oppression describing on-going processes that bolster the status of those who are white, male, able-bodied, economically privileged, heterosexual, and cisgendered.”

Academics should practice “conscientious engagement” when citing research, the feminists assert, “as a way to self-consciously draw attention to those whose work is being reproduced.”

The article, titled “Citation matters: mobilizing the politics of citation toward a practice of ‘conscientious engagement,’” was first reported by Campus Reform.

Ms. Mott told Campus Reform that “white men tend to be cited in much higher numbers than people from other backgrounds.”

“When it is predominantly white, heteronormative males who are cited, this means that the views and knowledge that are represented do not reflect the experience of people from other backgrounds,” she said. “When scholars continue to cite only white men on a given topic, they ignore the broader diversity of voices and researchers that are also doing important work on a that topic.”


UK: Inspectorate warns about impact of new junior school exams

Schools facing tougher GCSE exams, taken for the first time this summer by about 700,000 pupils, are threatening children’s chances of getting a “broad and balanced education”, the chief inspector of schools warns today.

Amanda Spielman said she was concerned that schools were drilling pupils too narrowly for GCSEs and were already extending courses from two years to three years to try to ensure good results.

Spielman said this meant subjects such as art, music, sport, humanities and drama were being squeezed as children were forced to decide which subjects to study or drop aged just 13.

In one school she visited she was horrified — and said parents would be “surprised” — to see a class of 11-year-olds taken through GCSE mark schemes instead of being taught geography.

“The real substance of education is getting lost in our schools,” she told The Sunday Times. In her first significant report at Ofsted she has ordered inspectors to review what is being taught in lessons.

Experts have long warned that the UK has some of the most tested and stressed children in the developed world, yet ministers have pushed through exam reforms in an effort to raise standards.

This summer 16-year-olds in England have been guinea pigs for the tougher maths and English GCSEs, which will be graded on a 9-1 scale, replacing the previous A* to G grading system. Far fewer children are expected to score the top grade of nine than achieved an A* in the past, and more than half are not expected to reach new national benchmarks.

Already, according to one poll last week, 10% fewer pupils in half the maths departments surveyed have signed up for A-level maths next year after sitting the new GCSE. Schools are also being encouraged to enter most pupils for more academic subjects and are being measured on the results.

In the face of the exam pressures, schools were finding it “hard to make sure they put children’s interests first and think children, children, children”, said Spielman, who worked in the City before helping establish the chain of Ark academy schools.

She praised a handful of head teachers who had started drawing up lists of 100 great books children should read, poems to learn by heart and pieces of music they should listen to as a counterpoint to narrow exam study.

“I think it’s a great idea. It is a really encouraging sign that schools are thinking about the whole experience that all their children should have at school, and what the children should come away with,” she said.

The “teaching to the test” mentality had spread even to primary schools, she added, where eight and nine-year-olds face two or three years of mock papers to prepare them for national tests they would not take until the age of 11.

Children drilled for exams might get “cracking grades” but that did not mean they were properly prepared for university or the workplace, she said, and it could even damage their life chances. “That is not something any of us should be happy with.”


Conservatives in the Australian State of Queensland promise  to BAN Muslim schoolgirls from wearing hijabs and burqas in the classroom

Muslim schoolgirls will not be allowed to wear hijabs or burqas inside the classroom if the state opposition come to power at the next Queensland election.

The Liberal National Party voted to ban 'Muslim modesty garments' at all Queensland state schools for girls aged younger than 10, at its annual convention on Sunday.

But despite their strong stance against religious headwear, the LNP voted against a motion to call on the federal government to ban immigration from countries where sharia law is practiced.

A day after deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce spoke to the convention, the LNP's leader Tim Nicholls fronted a full house in Brisbane to deliver a keynote address.

During his speech, Mr Nicholls ruled out any formal coalition with One Nation, before the LNP base voted on the issues of Muslim headwear, sharia law and immigration.

The urgency motion to ban headscarves for young girls was passed, but a similar call to ban headscarves across the whole of Queensland was defeated.

Also voted down was the resolution to ban immigrants from sharia law countries.

Despite those in favour calling it 'culturally incompatible' with Australian values, LNP members arguing against said immigrants should be judged on a case-by-case basis.

It comes after the LNP announced a strategy to tackle terrorism should they govern including allowing police to hold terror suspects such as Mohammed Elomar (pictured) for 28 days

Under a Mr Nicholls-led government Queensland would also become the first state in the country to have a counter-terrorism minister.

Bail and parole laws will also be strengthened in an effort to safeguard against those with known terror links re-offending.

'We can't take for granted the freedoms we all enjoy,' Mr Nicholls said on Saturday. 'International terrorist groups have proven adept at using their extremist ideology to motivate 'lone wolves' or small groups to use violence in their home countries.'


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