In my limited experience, I have found that the personal self-evaluation exercise creates animosity and negative feelings on the part of some students, while also defusing them for (some) others. Mature students welcome the opportunity to reflect on their own performance relative to the standards for the class established by the syllabus.
In all, we have to deal with the students we have as opposed to the ones we desire.
My experience on these matters is a simple one: if you force someone to confront their sub-par performance, it creates difficulty at their then later justifying the common delusion that all students "deserve" an "A". I am a fool because I live and die based on principle: you earn a grade; it is not a given.
Ultimately, students will retaliate for being forced to confront their own behavior.
Do ask me how that one has worked out for me in a few months. Trust me. It is easier to give all of your students an "A" regardless of the quality of their work.
I have a question, one that is central to the great conversations and sharing of ideas which we have engaged in here on We Are Respectable Negroes.
What are your foundational beliefs about social justice and the struggle against racial injustice? What is your personal statement about your relationship to the Common Good and social justice more generally?
Please be honest. There are no right or wrong answers.
At Alternet, I offered up the following in response to the well-intentioned comment by a very kind supporter of my work who suggested that I view issues from a "black" perspective.
I responded with the following:
I appreciate your energy. But, I do have to offer a clarification. You wrote: "he will latch onto some "race" issue and explain it through a "black" perspective."
I work and think about the issue of social justice regarding race and other issues through a perspective informed by human rights and secular humanism. As others who I admire have said, all I ask is that the United States enforce the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and various other laws such as the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts.
The fight against white supremacy is a fight for human rights. As such it is not a "black" issue.I am a radical secular humanist. My personal ethics are not exclusive of the fact that I am a Black American. I proudly claim that identity. I also have many other identities as well.
What are you?