Archive for December, 2011

Porn on mobiles in UAE classrooms: Teachers

Posted on: December 4th, 2011 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Here we go again. I worked in a “laptop” university. Unlike some other professors, I refused to allow laptop use in class unless specifically required for an in-class assignment. I also kept students engaged so that they did not get bored, and felt disobeying me was better than “brain” death.

In the UAE, enforcing such “rules” runs you afoul of Emirati parents. They side with their sons and daughters. The UAE is 40 years old, and many parents are unaware of 2011 educational methods (significantly different from their own classroom experiences).

Without self-discipline students will fail. Without freedom to teach effectively, professors are denied the opportunity to use their skills to ensure “non-failure.” Parents who demand teacher obedience to their children’s wishes, force school/college systems to fire the most committed teachers/professors.

The teacher/professors who stay accept student failure: they keep their jobs, make their money, lie about marks, lower expectations, and build unreasonable expectations about what it means to be good students and an honest, ethical and moral adults. The “elephant” in the room, (cultural influences, the impact of a rentier reality, and colonial thinking) is again ignored. “Don’t mess with a good thing. If the nation wants to promote incompetence and sycophantic obedience, so be it, teachers will take the money and go back home to retire in opulence.”

The reality is of course, that just because you ignore the facts does not mean go away.

P.S. I am one of the fired teachers, not because the students complained but because I expected truth, honesty, ethics, and a passion for effectiveness and student success. Standing up for that, scares the heck out those (teachers, administration, and some government officials) who “don’t want anyone to mess with a good thing.”