Skip to comments.English: The Language of White "Oppressors"-professor: Ebonics superior to tongue of White Devils
Posted on 08/04/2005 5:06:34 AM PDT by SJackson
A Brooklyn College professor says Ebonics is superior to the tongue of White Devils
--Assistant Professor of Adolescence Education at Brooklyn College
--Teaches that rap music is an effective tool for teaching English literacy to schoolchildren, and that proper English is language of white "oppressors"
--Required students to view Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911
Priya Parmar is an Assistant Professor of Adolescence Education at Brooklyn College's School of Education in New York, where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses to aspiring teachers.
Of special interest to Parmar, whose doctoral dissertation is titled "KRS-One Going Against the Grain: A Critical Study of Rap Music as a Postmodern Text," is rap music. No mere enthusiast of the genre, Parmar holds that it is an unappreciated tool for imparting English literacy to young children: A 2003 Brooklyn College faculty newsletter reports that Parmar's scholarly writing "focuses on using hip-hop culture as a tool to increase literacy skills" in elementary and secondary schools.
Those critics who question whether rap music, with its on reliance grammar-averse Ebonics slang, is an effective medium for teaching literacy are dismissed by Parmar as craven apologists for bourgeois hegemony. "Rap music causes moral panic in many because of its 'threat' to existing values and ideologies held by the dominant middle class," asserts Parmar. On the strength of no evidence whatsoever, Parmar also claims that "research has shown that Ebonics is a legitimate systematic language." Nor does Parmar doubt that the explicit lyrics and violent subject matter of rap make perfectly appropriate learning aids for young children:
"From my experience in the classroomsand that of my students who are practitioners in the fieldwe've learned that kidseven as young as third gradeare very sophisticated about the homophobic, violent and sexual messages from some mainstream rap artists. If you give students an opportunity to deconstruct the lyrics and then compare them with those of more political and social-consciousness raising artists, such as [rap groups] The Roots and Dead Perez . . . youth are capable of distinguishing between reality and false perceptions and stereotypes perpetuated in commercialized rap."
Rap, Parmar teaches, is more than a means of teaching literacy. It is also a vehicle for social engineering. In addition to teaching children grammar and sentence structure, Parmar maintains, the "critical examination and deconstruction of rap lyrics becomes a method to get students to critically examine such issues as race, class, culture, and identity." Parmar calls this mode of instruction an "an empowering, liberating pedagogy." She notes with approval that one of her former students used rap to "explore economic social and political issues" in a middle school.
Parmar's controversial course at Brooklyn College, "Language Literacy in Secondary Education," typifies the professor's preference for politicized pedagogy. Required of all students who intend to become secondary-school teachers, the course is designed to teach students to draft lesson plans that teach literacy. Parmar's syllabus informs students that the principal focus of these lesson plans must be "social justice."
Another theme animating Parmar's course is her aversion to the proper usage of English. To insist on grammatical English, Parmar believes, is to exhibit an intolerable form of cultural chauvinisma point reinforced by the a preface to the requirements for her course, which adduces the following quotation from the South African writer, Jamul Ndebele: "The need to maintain control over English by its native speakers has given birth to a policy of manipulative open-mindedness in which it is held that English belongs to all who use it provided that it is used correctly. This is the art of giving away the bride while insisting that she still belongs to you." Students are expected to share Parmar's antipathy toward grammatical rule-based English, as she does not countenance dissent: In December of 2005, for instance, several disaffected Brooklyn College students wrote letters to the dean of the School of Education taking issue with Parmar's hostility toward students who dared voice their support for the correct usage of English.
Nor was this the only confrontation between Parmar and her students. Evan Goldwyn, a Brooklyn College student who took Parmar's course, caused a campus storm when he wrote a lengthy critique of the course detailing his objections to Parmar's teaching methods. Topping Goldwyn's list of grievances were Parmar's pronounced bias against English and her alleged bigotry against white students. "She repeatedly referred to English as a language of oppressors and in particular denounced white people as the oppressors," Goldwyn wrote. "When offended students raised their hands to challenge Professor Parmar's assertion, they were ignored. Those students that disagreed with her were altogether denied the opportunity to speak."
Students also charged that Parmar's insistence on bringing politics into the classroom went beyond issues relating to English literacy. For instance, one week before the 2004 presidential election, Parmar turned over her course to a classroom screening of Michael Moore's polemical anti-President Bush documentary, Fahrenheit 911. Students were allegedly required to attend the screening, even if they had already seen the film. "Most troubling of all," Goldwyn wrote, "she has insinuated that people who disagree with her views on issues such as Ebonics or Fahrenheit 911 should not become teachers."
Parmar, according to Goldwyn, has also retaliated against students who disagreed with her political opinions by lowering their grades. After challenging Parmar about her teaching methods, Goldwyn and another student found themselves accused of plagiarism after the semester had ended. The accusations were reportedly based on the final assignment for Parmar's course, which asked students to devise a special lesson plan for "linguistically and culturally diverse students." Following an informal investigation, conducted, at Parmar's instigation, by the dean of the education school, Goldwyn received a D-minus for the course.
It's clearly a creole, and that class of language always originates among the dispossessed.
This story be true.
Bump for later when I need a long, hearty laugh!
Uh... a newer approach to getting "Esperanto" another go? lol.
Fo shizzle ma pizzle.
Look what you get to learn at Brooklyn College....I thought this was from hip hop mag.
Re Priya Parmar:
"The ho be illin'.
Word up, yo.
I've been reading some works by the Puritans of the 1600's. Our contemporary English can't hold a candle to the sheer music of their speech.
Ebonics is a plague on the ears. It's foul and offensive to any of the Romantic languages and should be shunned by society, not embraced.
What utter rubbish.
It annoys me is that his colleagues will remain completely, even reverentially silent. And those who know better, in the university system, like Toni Morrison at Princeton or wherever the hell her Nobel tattooed ass is these days, will remain conspicuously hushed.
I have no problem with the argument that his ideas are preposterous, and beneath addressing but nonsense like this takes on a life of its own.
This teacher's indoctrination of children will have the same effect as that of a madrassa. Uncontrollable, unjustified hatred. This is not freedom of speech. Ebonics is a poor bastardization of English and should not be accepted.
That's going 100 MPH backwards.
Word up indeed.
I spend a great deal of time with the colonists: their language, ideas and monuments (Sunday I will attend a service at Pulpit Rock), and you are wholly right.
Have you read 'Mourt's Relation?'
Someday if I have my wish, in the not too distant future, you can read my pieces 'Sabbath Day' and 'Monody on a Broken Column,' both of which are about them.
I am not going to say that English is a perfect language. The spelling is not standardized and the grammar is tricky. I remember one time my six-year-old daughter asked me if there was a spelling of any word that was not a "special case".
But it is the common language of the people, and is therefore important. One can postulate all sorts of alternate languages that are more streamlined and standardized, but unless they are shared and in common use, they are just linguistic curiosities.
The fact of the matter is that Ebonics, such as it is, is the language of the underclass. There is no more certain way to ensure that a person remains in this underclass than to teach them to communicate in Ebonics. My Grandparents tried to keep my Father's generation down on the Kansas farm by teaching them only German and punishing them for speaking even a word of English. My Father did not speak English until he ran away and joined the Army.
I thank my lucky stars he escaped. I mean, I like gardening, but everything in moderation!
What up doggy!
Coming soon to your local high school! Isn't wonderful that teachers are highly-qualified experts?
Bizzook-mark, and pizzle my ingle. Got my chrome upside yo' white sox hat!
(This is too easy)
He's a she, and apparently not too given to thinking things through: racists everywhere should get behind the Eubonics movement with the motto, "A ghetto in every mouth."
Don't confuse him with facts.
I am guessing no... which makes his whole argument, pathetic at best!
If parents would rather their children speak ebonics or some other psuedo-language, then more power to them (or their teachers). They had better not complain when their ebonics speaking kids have a hard time breaking into the professional world.
I'm ill - don't make me laugh like that
Pardon me, if I'm being somewhat niggardly in stating my opinion...
for later read
A quick Google disclosed that SHE has obtained the lofty position of "Assistant Professor (Substitute)".
"The need to maintain control over English by its native speakers has given birth to a policy of manipulative open-mindedness in which it is held that English belongs to all who use it provided that it is used correctly. This is the art of giving away the bride while insisting that she still belongs to you."
So this racist incompetant communist has no problem discarding proper English, but she is against plagerism? After all, isn't being anti-plagerism the same as giving away the bride (writing) and then insisting she still belongs to you?
It's outrageous that this piece of diversity is employed anywhere let alone at a university. On second thought a university is probably the only place that would employ this POS.
Double-barrelled Mega-PING! to both lists! If you want on, FReepmail me!
>>Have you read 'Mourt's Relation?'<<
Not yet, no. I just started "Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners" by Bunyan, and can't wait to begin exploring it.
>>you can read my pieces 'Sabbath Day' and 'Monody on a Broken Column,' both of which are about them.<<
Please keep me posted!
Oh brother. Another one! I knew another girl who even lighter than me and spewed the most vicious crap and I asked her if her parents raised that way. Sheesh.
She has nothing to worry about. Most Americans can't speak the 'english' english anyway, even white people.
Someone, quick, call her a "Black demon" and see how she responds.
Seriously, her mind is mush and it's horrible that this person has been licensed to say anything to anyone in an educational setting. Completely monstrous.
Is that a picture of this professor?
Am I the only one who noticed that when this woman wants to make her point, she uses proper English?
What dis be?
Ebonics is all fine and dandy as slang, but as a superior language? L0L
By Gawd! Im fixin ta vote for good ol Texan Drawl!
Dang ol ebonics cant hold a shine plain ol redneck ;)
Yo peeps, git used ta it. As our country kowtows mo' an' mo' ta minorities we's will need ta learn ta speak they "language" ta be able ta communicate wiff dem. sho 'nuff!
The name is very indian which leads me to believe she must be of some Indian heritage, probably Guyanese. I knew of one very bright student like that who used to say the same thing, oppressor this and that. It's terrible.
With a name like Priya Parmar, it would seem she's more likely Bengali than any sort of American "minority." Must have picked up this "white devils" hooey in whatever College of Education she attended, and found it sold well at the graduate level.
Discriminating on the Basis of Political Disposition
The Brooklyn College School of Education is now screening students based on "their commitment to social justice" (via Laws and Sausages):
Brooklyn College's School of Education has begun to base evaluations of aspiring teachers in part on their commitment to social justice, raising fears that the college is screening students for their political views.
The School of Education at the CUNY campus initiated last fall a new method of judging teacher candidates based on their "dispositions," a vogue in teacher training across the country that focuses on evaluating teachers' values, apart from their classroom performance.
Critics of the assessment policy warned that aspiring teachers are being judged on how closely their political views are aligned with their instructor's. Ultimately, they said, teacher candidates could be ousted from the School of Education if they are found to have the wrong dispositions.
Critics such as Mr. Johnson say the dangers of the assessment policy became immediately apparent in the fall semester when several students filed complaints against an instructor who they said discriminated against them because of their political beliefs and "denounced white people as the oppressors."
Classroom clashes between the assistant professor, Priya Parmar, and one outspoken student led a sympathetic colleague of the instructor to conduct an informal investigation of the dispositions of the student, who the colleague said exhibited "aggressive and bullying behavior toward his professor." That student and another one were subsequently accused by the dean of the education school of plagiarism and were given lower grades as a result.
Brooklyn College, established in 1930, is a four-year school within the City University of New York. The college enrolls more than 15,000 students, and the School of Education has about 3,200, including 1,000 undergraduates.
To drive home the notion that education schools ought to evaluate teacher candidates on such parameters as attitude toward social justice, the council issued a revision of its accrediting policies in 2002 in a Board of Examiners Update. It encouraged schools to tailor their assessments of dispositions to the schools' guiding principles, which are known in the field as "conceptual frameworks." The council's policies say that if an education school "has described its vision for teacher preparation as 'Teachers as agents of change' and has indicated that a commitment to social justice is one disposition it expects of teachers who can become agents of change, then it is expected that unit assessments include some measure of a candidate's commitment to social justice."
Brooklyn College's School of Education, which is the only academic unit at the college with the status of school, is among dozens of education schools across the country that incorporate the notion of "social justice" in their guiding principles. At Brooklyn, "social justice" is one of the four main principles in its conceptual framework. The school's conceptual framework states that it develops in its students "a deeper understanding of the quest for social justice." In its explanation of that mission, the school states: "We educate teacher candidates and other school personnel about issues of social injustice such as institutionalized racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism."
Critics of the dispositions standard contend that the idea of "social justice," a term frequently employed in left-wing circles, is open to politicization.
"It's political correctness that has insinuated into the criteria for accreditation of teacher education institutions," a noted education theorist in New York, Diane Ravitch, said. "Once that becomes the criteria for institutions as a whole, it gives free rein to those who want to impose it in their classrooms," she said. Ms. Ravitch is the author of "The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn."
A case in point, as Mr. Johnson of Brooklyn College has pointed out, is the way in which the term was incorporated into Ms. Parmar's course, called Language Literacy in Secondary Education, which students said is required of all Brooklyn College education candidates who aspire to become secondary-school teachers. In the fall semester, Ms. Parmar was the only instructor who taught the course, according to students.
The course, which instructs students on how to develop lesson plans that teach literacy, is built around themes of "social justice," according to the syllabus, which was obtained by The New York Sun. One such theme is the idea that standard English is the language of oppressors while Ebonics, a term educators use to denote a dialect used by African-Americans, is the language of the oppressed.
A preface to the listed course requirements includes a quotation from a South African scholar, Njabulo Ndebele: "The need to maintain control over English by its native speakers has given birth to a policy of manipulative open-mindedness in which it is held that English belongs to all who use it provided that it is used correctly. This is the art of giving away the bride while insisting that she still belongs to you."
Among the complaints cited by students in letters they delivered in December to the dean of the School of Education, Deborah Shanley, is Ms. Parmar's alleged disapporval of students who defended the ability to speak grammatically correct English.
Speaking of Ms. Parmar, one student, Evan Goldwyn, wrote: "She repeatedly referred to English as a language of oppressors and in particular denounced white people as the oppressors. When offended students raised their hands to challenge Professor Parmar's assertion, they were ignored. Those students that disagreed with her were altogether denied the opportunity to speak."
Students also complained that Ms. Parmar dedicated a class period to the screening of an anti-Bush documentary by Michael Moore, "Fahrenheit 9/11," a week before last November's presidential election, and required students to attend the class even if they had already seen the film. Students said Ms. Parmar described "Fahrenheit 9/11" as an important film to see before they voted in the election.
"Most troubling of all," Mr. Goldwyn wrote, "she has insinuated that people who disagree with her views on issues such as Ebonics or Fahrenheit 911 should not become teachers."
Students who filed complaints with the dean said they have received no response from the college administration. Instead, they said, the administration and Ms. Parmar have retaliated against them, accusing Mr. Goldwyn and another student of plagiarism in January after the semester ended.
Ms. Parmar referred a reporter's inquiries to a spokeswoman for Brooklyn College. Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc., a New York City public relations firm representing the CUNY school, later responded. The firm's Colleen Roche told the Sun that Ms. Shanley, dean of the education school, spoke with students about their complaints December 21.
Though students said Ms. Parmar did not inform them about the new dispositions assessment policy, an e-mail obtained by the Sun from one of Ms. Parmar's colleagues, Barbara Winslow, suggests that the aspiring teachers were in the process of being evaluated by the new standard.
Writing to three history professors, including Mr. Johnson, who had Mr. Goldwyn as their student, Ms. Winslow said the School of Education had "serious concerns about his disruptive behavior in the SOE classroom as well as aggressive and bullying behavior toward his professor outside the class."
She wrote: "The School of Ed is trying to be more systematic in looking at what educators call 'dispositions,' that is behaviors necessary for being a successful teacher in the public schools. Being able to do excellent academic work, does not always translate into being a thoughtful, self-reflective and effective teacher for youngsters."
In his reply to Ms. Winslow, Mr. Johnson wrote: "I'm very, very surprised to hear this. I have Evan in class again this term, and he is once again one of my best students - an active participant in class, unfailing courteous to the other students - basically, a real asset to the class in every way."
Another professor who received the e-mail, who asked not to be identified by name, said he told Ms. Winslow he had no complaints with Mr. Goldwyn.
The third professor did not respond to a reporter's inquiry.
Ms. Winslow, an assistant professor who also teaches at Brooklyn's Women's Studies Program, did not return calls seeking comment on her e-mail.
In his letter of complaint, Mr. Goldwyn defended his objections to Ms. Parmar's conduct in the classroom, writing, "While Ms. Parmar has an obligation to express her own views in the classroom, she is not entitled to penalize those students who disagree with her - especially on issues, such as those we have covered in this course, that are highly controversial."
Another student who submitted a letter to the dean called Ms. Parmar "an exceptional teacher" but said she alienated some students in the class. That student, Simon Tong, wrote: "Although I do believe in some of the teaching methods she has introduced, this does not change the fact that it has come at a cost. She felt it was necessary to expose this 'white power' but at the cost of offending those who were listening."
Speaking to the Sun, Mr. Tong defended Mr. Goldwyn's classroom behavior.
"Evan is not a bully," the student said. "He is able to voice his opinion. He is very vocal about his opinions."
The plagiarism accusations against Mr. Goldwyn and the other student involved their final assignment for Ms. Parmar's course, which required them to develop a "critical literacy" lesson plan intended for "linguistically and culturally diverse students."
Mr. Goldwyn, according to those familiar with the academic charges against him, was accused of failing to attribute a question he used in his lesson plan that was paraphrased from a Web site.
The other undergraduate, Christina Harned, a senior who expects to graduate in December, was charged with plagiarism for submitting a definition of Jim Crow laws in her lesson plan that she acknowledged she copied from the online Encarta encyclopedia. She said she was not aware before handing in the assignment that using the definition constituted plagiarism. "It wasn't a term paper," she said. "It was a lesson plan."
Brooklyn College insists that the charges of plagiarism had nothing to do with the students' complaints about Ms. Parmar.
"The claim that the allegations of plagiarism were retaliatory is baseless," Ms. Roche said.
In January, the two students met with Brooklyn College's dean of undergraduate studies, Ellen Belton, and were instructed to redo the assignments. Both students' final grades for the course were lowered by at least one letter grade, according to the students. Ms. Harned, who says she has a cumulative B-minus grade-point average, received a C-minus for the course, and she said Mr. Goldwyn ended up with a D-minus. He could not be reached for confirmation.
Four students, Ms. Harned said, dropped out of Ms. Parmar's course during the semester. One of the students was a former mechanic from Bay Ridge, Scott Madden, who said he wanted to become a teacher because "I like explaining things."
Mr. Madden, 35, said that after he disputed a grade he received from her, Ms. Parmar encouraged him to withdraw from the course. He said he changed his plans to take the course in the summer after finding out that Ms. Parmar was again teaching both sections of the required course.
"Basically, she's a socialist, she's racist against white people," Mr. Madden said. "If you want to pass that class you better keep your mouth shut."
In an interview with the Sun, Ms. Harned said she dropped out of the School of Education and switched her major to political science because of her experience in Ms. Parmar's course.
"I'm blacklisted," she said. "How am I supposed to move forward in a department I'm not comfortable in?"
That is the point of the new format, critics of the dispositions standard said.
"In its most pernicious form, then, dispositions theory is a tool for education schools to ensure that the next generation of public school students is educated solely by those teachers who have accepted the kind of extremist beliefs articulated by Professor Parmar," Mr. Johnson wrote.
The national accreditation council conducted the School of Education's accreditation review during the past academic year. The school reported to the council that it "has adopted an assessment of dispositions rubric as a result of a Fall 2004 pilot of the instrument."
"This assessment has been implemented across the unit's programs in Spring 2005," the report said.
Ms. Roche, of Linden Alschuler, said last week that the "assessment of dispositions rubric" remained in draft form and could not be released to the press.
The report to the council stated that teacher candidates will "self-evaluate and faculty will evaluate the candidates on 8 dispositions at mid-semester and at the end of the semester." Those who perform poorly in the assessment are given "counseling."
"Candidates who do not meet academic standards and candidates who do not demonstrate acceptable performance after such counseling will be counseled out of programs," the report stated.
An assistant dean at the School of Education, Peter Taubman, said there is "no punitive effect" on students for a low mark on dispositions.
Other education schools contacted by the Sun that have adopted the dispositions criterion have used it during their application processes.
A faculty member at the Master in Teaching Program at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., Michael Vavrus, said its admissions process asks applicants how they would decrease inequities in education. "A wrong answer might be someone with clearly a racial bias," he said. Students who don't provide sufficient answers would receive "conditional admission at best," he said.
Officials of the national accreditation council said it provides a guide for teacher education schools but relies on the individual schools to develop their own specific definitions of dispositions. The president of the council, Arthur Wise, told the Sun that dispositions "deals with the softer side of teaching."
"It recognizes the fact that a person may have content knowledge, may well understand pedagogy and may be able to use it effectively on command," Mr. Wise said. "But the question is: How does the individual relate to children both individually and collectively?"
Advocates of the dispositions criterion say it is rooted in the psychological tests developed early in the last century by an American psychologist, Edward Thorndike, and compare it to personality tests that corporations often give to job candidates. Dispositions became more widely accepted in the last 20 years as educators sought to find ways to tackle teacher shortages and high teacher dropout rates, particularly in urban areas.
In recent years, advocates of multicultural education have seized on the concept of dispositions as a way to influence teachers' attitudes toward diversity and social justice. In a May 2004 essay in the Journal of Teacher Education, a professor at Western Michigan University's College of Education, Arthur Garmon, wrote that dispositions, such as "openness, self-awareness/self-reflectiveness, and commitment to social justice," may be "important predictors of how likely preservice teachers are to develop greater multicultural awareness and sensitivity during their preparation program."
A professor emerita at California State University Monterey Bay, Christine Sleeter, suggested in a March 2001 essay in the Journal of Teacher Education titled "Preparing Teachers for Culturally Diverse Schools: Research and the Overwhelming Presence of Whiteness" that education schools could "alter the mix of who becomes teachers" by recruiting and selecting "only those who bring experiences, knowledge, and dispositions that will enable them to teach well in culturally diverse urban schools."
Officials of the accreditation council said their policy on dispositions was heavily influenced by a consortium of state education agencies in 34 states, the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium. In 1992, the body drafted a report containing model standards for licensing new teachers that included the idea of dispositions. The chairwoman of the drafting committee, Linda Darling-Hammond, is a leading advocate of multicultural education and the author of the book "Learning To Teach for Social Justice."
For critics of using dispositions as a tool of evaluating teacher candidates, the connection between multicultural educators and the accreditation council has a strong influence over the way the notion of social justice is defined.
In an e-mail to the Sun, a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute in Virginia, Robert Holland, said: "The tight link between the accreditors and the multiculturalists indicates that social justice is being defined by those who despise the very ideal of an American common culture - considering it irredeemably racist, sexist, homophobic, etc."
The Brooklyn College School of Education was awarded its accreditation.
Max Jacobs 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Something to Offend Everyone
"Why, in America, they haven't spoken it for years."--Prof. Henry Higgins
She's a froback from the 60's, homes.
You'd be surprised. Maybe she had parents who grew up under the British colonial system and experienced the stratification that it brings along with it. I don't get it though. My mom grew up under the same system, yet I have one aunt who got into this stuff when she came to America (and attended the very same BROOKLYN COLLEGE).
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