Reese’s Pieces » Blog Archive » The firing of Dr. Howell: Its not what he said, its how he said it.:
"Instruction is a fine art. When I was teaching, it was a delicate ballet between covering everything and meeting the students intellectually where they were, and where they needed me to be. There is always a problem when your beliefs and feelings are in conflict with the material. This one is a lot less of a problem when you’re a middle school literature teacher working with a non-controversial curriculum. There is an entirely different can of worms when one is a college professor–especially a professor in Religion at a public institution.
I am fascinated with the study of religion, and really love the work, but I don’t envy the Religion professors at the University of Illinois. No one goes into the study of Religion unless they have pretty strong feelings for some sort of creed. Whether you’re atheist, pantheist, Deist, Catholic or Muslim, I am sure that Religion professors often have a difficult time balancing their strong feelings about their beliefs and presenting material in a detached, objective scientific way.
All subjects at a public university must be taught this way, however. This isn’t a seminary, this is an institute of thought. This is a laboratory of the world..."
Read my take on a story that's bound to absorb us over the next week.