I’m watching discussion of the #myprofessor hashtag take off this week—sharing in the dismay and hoping these claims by students are wildly exaggerated. Even if they are, the phenomenon is a reminder of what results from the disconnect between students and teachers.
Alexander Boulton didn’t see it coming. He’d had several friendly and informal conversations with a particular student, who seemed interested and engaged. But he found out through an e-mail from the student’s parent that, despite his attempts to balance differing viewpoints, his student may have viewed him, all along, as an overbearing, indoctrinating liberal.
His reply, published this month in Perspectives on History, covers what it means to teach history, what it means to think historically, what’s up for debate, and how to simultaneously respect and challenge students’ worldviews. We suspect many teachers will be able to relate to Boulton’s situation, and we’d be glad to hear how they handle these unexpected communications from parents and students.