Valley College is a melting pot!
When misperceptions about the capabilities of older students take the form of microaggressions, they affect older students in the same way that they do members of racial minorities, eroding self-esteem.
“Daily we are witness to, or even unwitting participants in, cruel imagery, jokes, language, and attitudes directed at older people,” contends Dr. Robert Butler, president the International Longevity Center-USA and the person who coined the term “ageism” 35 years ago.
We've all seen "in good humor" over-the-hill bday cards.
Harassment can include, for example, offensive remarks about a person's disability. Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren't considered very serious...
these slights, though not considered "legal" harassment add to a persons overall feelings of helplessness, frustration, unhappiness, and health.
Verbal slights and assumptions about gender are a common occurrence on college campuses.
Increased inclusion at many colleges doesn’t automatically solve everything for LGBT students.
According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), 20% of college students fear for their physical safety due to their gender identity or their perceived sexual orientation.
The most common form of harassment towards LGBT college students is derogatory remarks. However, verbal threats, graffiti and the pressure to keep quiet about sexual orientation and/or gender identity are also common.
Even for therapists who have received
extensive multicultural training , racism often is
manifested unconsciously in the counseling process
Although colleges and universities are considered "progressive" outright racism has been replaced with the microaggression.
But what about student/tutor or student/teacher relationships?
Try to avoid the following phrases:
“It is obvious/clear/trivial that . . .”
You’re stupid if you can’t see it right away.
Explain the meaning of
these phrases in mathematical/scientific
culture. Or say instead: “It is
straightforward, with some work, to
show that . . .”
Using the word “just,” as in “The rest is
You’re not cut out for math if you can’t do
(Beware especially how this
message gets conveyed in Lagrange
multiplier problems, where the
nastiest part of the solution is the
Remove the word “just”
and explain the difference between
calculation and insight.
Asking “Are there any ques-
tions?” and then quickly moving on.
Questions are not normal or expected.
Show that questions are
welcomed. “It’s normal to have ques-
tions, and I’d love to hear yours. And
others in our class will thank you
for asking a question they’re also
thinking.” Pause to give students
time to think of a question.
“Give the idea of the proof in plain
"Explain in your answer in plain English"
You can’t succeed
in math if your English skills aren’t
“Give the idea of the proof
in your own words.”
Discussing a proof based on a simple
insight: “You either get it, or you
You either understand math or you don’t, and if
you don’t, you’ll never get it.
“Once you see the main
insight, the rest of the proof will
make sense and fall into place.”
“There’s a trick for doing this.”
There’s a secret list of things that only insiders
“There’s a technique for
Using sarcastic language to be funny.
For example, I once joked, “Hello!
Is anyone out there?” when no one
answered a question I posed to a
sleepy 8 a.m. class. Only later did I
realize some students felt belittled.
You’re an idiot.
Avoid sarcasm, or repeat-
edly remind students that your
humor has a sarcastic edge.
Using only male pronouns/European
names in examples.
Only European men can be mathematicians.
Vary your use of pronouns,
names, and cultural examples to
reflect the diversity we hope to see
in mathematics/science. These can provide
positive associations that break
By carefully discussing our topics and avoiding microaggression with our students we can help them to ultimately be more successful and happy individuals.
And now... John T.!
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Public - 9/2/16, 1:48 PM