Teaching Philosophy

Volume 30, Issue 2, June 2007

Teaching in the New Climate of Conservatism

Jeanine Weekes Schroer
Pages 185-200

Fighting Imperviousness With Vulnerability
Teaching in a Climate of Conservatism

This essay explores challenges that arise for professors who teach critical theory in our current climate of conservatism. Specifically, it is argued that the conservative commitments to non-revolutionary change and reverence for tradition are corrupted in our current political and intellectual climate. This corruption, called “ideological imperviousness,” undermines the institutional structures put in place to produce a functional educational environment that protects the interests of both professors and students. The result is an environment that imposes an unjust vulnerability on professors and risks depriving students of the opportunity to acquire the critical skills necessary to combat their own vulnerabilities.