Name that essay from the internet...
March 14, 2017 11:54 AM   Subscribe

A few/several years ago, I read an essay on the interney by a female teacher (possibly from upstate New York? possibly grade school level, possibly university level?) about correctly identifying and valuing "caring" as an outcome of expertise in teaching rather than an innate personality trait....

The essay was about the divide between female teachers being seen as caring (an innate personality trait) and male teachers being seen as smart, experienced, skilled, etc. She described a conversation (once? ongoing? envisioned in preparation for an annual review?) with her supervisor who had given her purported praise for being caring. She argued that the supposed praise was actually harmful for her career, since what was being identified as a character trait (caring) was actually the outcome of her advanced knowledge and skill in creating welcoming classroom environments and course design to facilitate student learning, and that this expertise was then being ignored/not recognized, to the detriment of her career progress. She noted the sexism that this double standard around caring versus expertise comes from, and contributes to. Maybe it started with a provocative lede like "I don't care about my students..."?

This relates to emotional labor, of course, and a similar argument has also been applied elsewhere to parenting, nursing, the skills required in service work, etc. But this was a particularly clearly-argued essay in the education setting. I can't seem to find it again, unfortunately. Maybe it was in the Chronicle of Higher Ed? Maybe it was in a publication aimed at grade school teachers? Maybe it was in a more general forum or online edition of a better-known magazine? I'm almost certain that it was published, not just a blog post.

Ring a bell for anyone? Thanks!
posted by eviemath to Education (2 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sounds like it could be the education philosopher Nel Noddings, who has many publications on the "ethic of care" and was a professor in NY. But the title you're thinking of doesn't match with any of her pieces that I know of. I hope this helps, even if it's not her work you are looking for!
posted by quixotictic at 8:51 PM on March 14


This may sound silly, but did you look for links here? Because I feel that I remember this article, too, and I think I would have come to it from the Blue.
posted by praemunire at 8:33 AM on March 15


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