Harvard Now Values ‘Kindness’ Not Learning

chanel

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“As we begin at Harvard, we commit to upholding the values of the College and to making the entryway and Yard a place where all can thrive and where the exercise of kindness holds a place on par with intellectual attainment.”

Kindness isn’t a public or intellectual virtue, but a personal one. It is a form of love. Kindness seeks, above all, to avoid hurt. Criticism -- even objective, impersonal, well- intended, constructive criticism -- isn’t kind. Criticism hurts people’s feelings, and it hurts most when the recipient realizes it’s accurate. Treating “kindness” as the way to civil discourse doesn’t show students how to argue with accuracy and respect. It teaches them instead to neither give criticism nor tolerate it.

And that brings us to the second half of the pledge equation: intellectual attainment. Not inquiry or excellence, but “attainment.” What a strange, and revealing, choice of words.
Harvard Now Values

Oh brother...
 

bill5

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This is a freshmen pledge. ie it means zero and hardly equates to "Harvard Now Values Kindness Not Learning."
 

Iridescence

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“As we begin at Harvard, we commit to upholding the values of the College and to making the entryway and Yard a place where all can thrive and where the exercise of kindness holds a place on par with intellectual attainment.”

Kindness isn’t a public or intellectual virtue, but a personal one. It is a form of love. Kindness seeks, above all, to avoid hurt. Criticism -- even objective, impersonal, well- intended, constructive criticism -- isn’t kind. Criticism hurts people’s feelings, and it hurts most when the recipient realizes it’s accurate. Treating “kindness” as the way to civil discourse doesn’t show students how to argue with accuracy and respect. It teaches them instead to neither give criticism nor tolerate it.

And that brings us to the second half of the pledge equation: intellectual attainment. Not inquiry or excellence, but “attainment.” What a strange, and revealing, choice of words.
Harvard Now Values

Oh brother...
*Now* ? :confused: Surely, most Ivy League schools always have been known for their levels of understanding depth which could not be adequately achieved without the *price* of kindness. :confused: Regardless an old or new way, it is always commendable.
 

Sunshine

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From the article:

“At Commencement, the Dean of Harvard College announces to the President, Fellows, and Overseers that ‘each degree candidate stands ready to advance knowledge, to promote understanding, and to serve society.’ That message serves as a kind of moral compass for the education Harvard College imparts. In the classroom, in extracurricular endeavors, and in the Yard and Houses, students are expected to act with integrity, respect, and industry, and to sustain a community characterized by inclusiveness and civility.
As a former college professor, I concur 100% with this 'pledge'. Incivility in the classroom is an ever increasing problem, not just at Harvard. Many schools are having to enact policies which deal with uncivil and aggressive behaviors on the part of students. Below is an article which attempts to explain classroom incivility. I think it misses the mark at bit as to the 'whys' and I won't even get into the reason I believe there are so many students who are willing to disrupt classroom teaching and/or stalk and threaten their professors. But I believe this is a first step at Harvard to place the responsibility for inappropriate behaviors where they belong....on the students. I have a master's from Vanderbilt. You sign the honor code. You violate the honor code. Your ass is out. I believe this may be the same type of pledge which will eventually give the school an edge in controlling disruptive student behaviors.

Why incivility occurs



The causes of classroom incivility include the "consumer mentality of students," administrative and faculty fears of losing student enrollments, the legislative reach into classrooms, anti-intellectualism and attacks on academics by the media gurus, irrational student expectations of success in college, inaccurate assessment of students' knowledge base, "helicopter" parents, more students with psychological problems, and a host of other starting points. All combine to make classroom incivility a significant and difficult fact of life for college teachers and students.

Many faculty feel incidents of student incivility are increasing. Many theories have been advanced for this perceived 'trend'. Some cite the anonymity of large classes and large universities, which may lead to students not viewing their professors and classmates as “real people.” Others cite the different expectations of so-called millennial students. Millenials have more of a tendency to see themselves as consumers of education; at the same time, many feel under enormous pressure to succeed. This may make them more demanding than previous generations of students. And millennial students really do multi-task, so they probably see reading email during class as an efficient use of time.

Nevertheless, it is reasonable for you to expect students to behave in a civil manner towards you as well as towards their classmates. You will have to decide which behaviors you can tolerate or adapt to, and which are unacceptable in your class. Constant disruptions prevent others from receiving an education, interfere with your ability to carry out your instructional responsibilities, and create a negative work environment for you.
Classroom Incivility -- Welcome!

The above is a long article, but a good read. The internet has numerous articles about incivility in the classroom. Check it out!
 
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Truthmatters

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chanel

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Originally they wanted all the freshmen to sign the pledge and put it on display, but they nixed that idea. I guess they considered it "unkind" to the dissenters.

PC BS at its finest. Legislating "niceness"? Who could oppose that?

Wait til we see the slew of lawsuits over free speech vs anti-bullying laws on campus. A lawyer's wet dream.
 

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Originally they wanted all the freshmen to sign the pledge and put it on display, but they nixed that idea. I guess they considered it "unkind" to the dissenters.

PC BS at its finest. Legislating "niceness"? Who could oppose that?

Wait til we see the slew of lawsuits over free speech vs anti-bullying laws on campus. A lawyer's wet dream.
If you were a professor having to deal with incivility in the classroom and possibly being stalked and threatened, you would change your tune.
 

random3434

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Originally they wanted all the freshmen to sign the pledge and put it on display, but they nixed that idea. I guess they considered it "unkind" to the dissenters.

PC BS at its finest. Legislating "niceness"? Who could oppose that?

Wait til we see the slew of lawsuits over free speech vs anti-bullying laws on campus. A lawyer's wet dream.
If you were a professor having to deal with incivility in the classroom and possibly being stalked and threatened, you would change your tune.
And what a sad statement of the human character all of this means, that 'we' have to have COLLEGE AGE kids sign pledges of honor, character and behavior.


Is this more a statement on the kids today, or their parents? If my dad or mom heard I was being 'disrespectful' to a professor, there would be HELL to pay.

So, is this a statement on how kids are being raised today, or just the laissez-faire attitudes of today's youth?
 
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chanel

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Originally they wanted all the freshmen to sign the pledge and put it on display, but they nixed that idea. I guess they considered it "unkind" to the dissenters.

PC BS at its finest. Legislating "niceness"? Who could oppose that?

Wait til we see the slew of lawsuits over free speech vs anti-bullying laws on campus. A lawyer's wet dream.
If you were a professor having to deal with incivility in the classroom and possibly being stalked and threatened, you would change your tune.
Not according to the article. They said there was no "deficit" in kindness there.

I teach HS sunshine. I am well aware of the "incivility". Hence, opinions of any kind are not welcome in a public school classroom. But college? My goodness. Professors should welcome dissent - even if it's deemed "unkind".
 

AquaAthena

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Originally they wanted all the freshmen to sign the pledge and put it on display, but they nixed that idea. I guess they considered it "unkind" to the dissenters.

PC BS at its finest. Legislating "niceness"? Who could oppose that?

Wait til we see the slew of lawsuits over free speech vs anti-bullying laws on campus. A lawyer's wet dream.
If you were a professor having to deal with incivility in the classroom and possibly being stalked and threatened, you would change your tune.
And what a sad statement of the human character all of this means, that 'we' have to have COLLEGE AGE kids sign pledges of honor, character and behavior.


Is this more a statement on the kids today, or their parents? If my dad or mom heard I was being 'disrespectful' to a professor, there would be HELL to pay.

So, is this a statement on how kids are being raised today, or just the laissez-faire attitudes of today's youth?
Character is the key word here. Kids who do not have it, are often from parents who do not have, or exemplify it.
 

Sunshine

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Originally they wanted all the freshmen to sign the pledge and put it on display, but they nixed that idea. I guess they considered it "unkind" to the dissenters.

PC BS at its finest. Legislating "niceness"? Who could oppose that?

Wait til we see the slew of lawsuits over free speech vs anti-bullying laws on campus. A lawyer's wet dream.
If you were a professor having to deal with incivility in the classroom and possibly being stalked and threatened, you would change your tune.
And what a sad statement of the human character all of this means, that 'we' have to have COLLEGE AGE kids sign pledges of honor, character and behavior.


Is this more a statement on the kids today, or their parents? If my dad or mom heard I was being 'disrespectful' to a professor, there would be HELL to pay.

So, is this a statement on how kids are being raised today, or just the laissez-faire attitudes of today's youth?
Well, the Vanderbilt honor code has been around forever. It's not a new thing. Even when I worked there during new employee orientation, we were expected to sign it.

It sounds as if you and I may have grown up with the same kind of parents. But not everyone has that foundation. Which, IMO, is very sad. Not all college students are middle/upper middle class. Many are from the ghetto and are there on grants. Sadly they bring their ghetto behaviors with them - threatening, violence, etc. You would not believe some of the behaviors I have seen. Thankfully, I was never stalked, but there was one prof I worked with who had a predominately male population and someone was stalking her about every semester.

And if you look about it on the internet, this is a widespread problem in colleges today. I mean think about it! I taught in a nursing school. Do you want a nurse who couldn't even be civil in the classroom? Professional conduct is SO difficult to teach to people who don't want to learn it and who think there is nothing wrong with their aggressive behaviors. I had my own experiences with this type of behavior, not all of it was aggressive. Most was just rule violations and smart ass stuff. I had one group that behaved so badly in clinical at the hospital AFTER the expectations had been laid out for them that I gave them all an 'unsatisfactory' on the first day. The next weeks were hell. The administration told me to take it back and I refused. My friends and colleages worked at that hospital and a friend was the CEO there. I wasn't about to take it back and give them free reign to be jackasses the rest of the semster. I told the administration if they wanted to reverse it to go ahead, but I would walk out and not come back when they did. They didn't.

I guess all is not lost, though. When I had a joint replacement in 2010, the surgical nurse was a former student of mine and when I was at Vandy in August, I ran into another student. She was never assigned to me, but she came to visit and brought me some things I needed as the admission had been unexpected and I didn't have anything with me.
 
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rdean

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They still value learning. But they are sad Republicans have learned to become heartless.
 

Truthmatters

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So quiting telling kids that our government is shit and the only good guys are the top CEOs who make all the money.
 

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