Skip to main content

RP--The firing of Dr. Howell: Its not what he said, its how he said it.

Was it right to fire Dr. Howell, or did the University pull the trigger to early?

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.
Dr. Howell

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.

Comments

Megan said…
Teaching Catholicism from a scientific and objective perspective? The former makes no sense and latter is precisely what Dr. Howell did. He taught the tenets of the Catholic religion.

I took his class in Fall 2007. He told my class that he was a former Presbyterian minister who converted to Catholicism in 1996. I think this is fair so students can understand his background.

He also told us that we were not required to believe the tenets of the church; that he wouldn't grade us according to our beliefs. He also encouraged friendly debate in the classroom -- if someone disagreed with the church's stance on a topic, they were welcome to voice this.

How more objective can you get? The class wasn't "A Scrutiny of Catholicism". It was merely "Introduction to Catholicism". He did just that.
Ameriqueer said…
I highly suggest you read the full article over at the217.com--which I cannot post in full here--before you judge my conclusions. Judging my conclusions based only on the blurb here is like writing a movie critique after seeing the preview.

Popular posts from this blog

Chris Geidner: In Iowa, judges are ousted.

Via Chris Geidner's Poliglot blog at Metro Weekly:

"

In Iowa, which declared Iowa's marriage ban unconstitutional under the state's constitution in 2009, the National Organization for Marriage got one of its first electoral victories this year. The judicial retention elections appear to have resulted in the replacement of all three justices up for a vote this year.

Here, as of 3:35 a.m. and with 1767 out of 1774 precincts reporting, are the Iowa Secretary of State's election results:

Supreme Court Justice David L. Baker
Yes 443437 45.75%
No 525865 54.25%

Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Streit
Yes 442459 45.6%
No 527921 54.4%

Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus
Yes 437118 44.99%
No 534486 55.01%

The court was unanimous in its 2009 ruling that Iowa's constitution required marriage equality."

HEY #p2!--CALLING ALL PROGRESSIVE ALLIES!

-HEY #p2! (Progressives).

We can't do this alone.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have been fighting for over half a Century to have basic Civil Rights. We have so much to do, and we are such a small group. Without an army of Progressive allies, we can't win. Our rights as American citizens are constantly being compromised, despite life-time service to our nation as good, contributing citizens. We can't wait any longer. We need our Progressive allies to step up and go to bat for us TODAY.

We must demand Progressives have got to make LGBT rights a top priority in 2010, or we will keep being put on the back-burner.

There will ALWAYS be something more important than LGBT equality affecting America--issues like Health Care Reform and the Economy effect LGBT people too! However, when we are discriminated against under the law every single day, we can't give our all to fixing these problems. We are long overdue to be counted as equal citizens. That&#…

WHAT. THE. HELL? NEW HAMPSHIRE??? (and a prop 8 update)

Okay, first let me just say CALIFORNIA can breathe easy for a few more days as San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsome convinced the Supreme Court to hold of on releasing their decision on Prop 8 a few more days until the 30th anniversary of the White Night Riots is passed.  We're probably going to see it Tuesday, the following Thursday or THAT following Monday.  
NOW:  WHAT THE HELL, NEW HAMPSHIRE HOUSE?!?!?!?!???!?!?!?!????!
The NEW HAMPSHIRE House, which on May 6 APPROVED Marriage Equality by a vote of 178-167, has now stalled the REWRITTEN BY GOVERNOR JOHN LYNCH bill 188-186--That's right, folks, two votes.  25 members did not vote at all, and opponents of the bill failed to kill it in a 173-202 vote, but this STILL means we're waiting on NEW HAMPSHIRE to GET ITS SHIT TOGETHER!  The House passed a resolution to continue negotiating with the Senate by a vote of 207-168.  If that same number votes for the 're-re-renegotiated' bill in the next two weeks it will pass, but …