Subjectivity revealed through the piece of non-fiction
The piece of non-fiction chosen for analysis is the article The secrets of Haiti’s living dead (1986) by Gino Del Guercio whose specialization is botanies. The article is aimed at explaining the concept of zombies and reasons why people who act like zombies look so realistic. In this respect, the opinion of the writer revealed in the piece of non-fiction supports the idea about the irrelevant evidence presented by people who claim to be zombies.
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In other words, the author introduces the problem, finds solution to this problem, and explains why such things are possible or not possible in the real life. The opinion of the author is also supported by his identity of a botanist; so, the readers believe the ideas introduced in the article because his evidence are strong and grounded while his specialization serves as another evidence on the objectivity of research conducted on the issue of living dead.
Influence of subjectivity on perspective
The influence of the opinions, beliefs, and perspectives on the topic is clear in case of the problem discussed by Gino Del Guercio in his article The secrets of Haiti’s living dead (1986). As the author is the botanist, he tries to find scientific explanation of the problem and rejects all possible explanations that cannot be supported with the help of a research conducted on the issue. So, the author reports about investigations conducted by different researchers of the same area and tries to persuade the readers in this way that the process of ‘zombification’ cannot be explained only using analysis of the poison while many cultural components should be assessed as well.
Subjectivity and Teaching
Aspect of subjectivity that influences the teaching methods
The main aspect of my subjectivity can be the approach used with 1-3 grade students because I can try to explain some notions unknown to children in this age. In this respect, I might fail to communicate the message through clear explanation of the topic and of requirements. For instance, I may influence the children’s point of view through implementation of inappropriate methods. For instance, it is possible that a teacher can use the same perspective with different subjects and problems; the same idea can be found in the report presented by Franklin et al. (2007), “…professors of logic may insist that students accept the logical validity of the syllogism…” (Finkin et al., 2007, p. 54). In this respect, I can teach students some issues that are irrelevant to their study level or may impact their opinion in the wrong way.
Ways in which subjectivity of a teacher can impact students
The subjectivity of a teacher can influence students in a great number of ways. One of the most spread ways of influencing students’ ideas concerns propagating of ideas instead of giving information for discussion and asking about different opinions students might have on the issue. This idea finds support in the article by O’Connor (2007) who claims that students should be able to analyze information on their own while “…professors have been accused in recent years of indoctrinating rather than educating…” (2 para). So, it is possible that I may present my opinion instead of teaching students to collect information and make their own conclusions on the topic.
Subjectivity and curriculum
If my subjectivity differs from the one required in the curriculum, I would try to avoid sharing my views with students because this can end up in the way similar to the report presented by Fish (2006). This report introduces the claims of a professor who said that he has “…shared with students his strong conviction that the destruction of the World Trade Center was an inside job perpetrated by the American government” (Fish, 2006, 2 para). In this respect, I should not tell students about my convictions and beliefs while it seems that sharing information is more appropriate to meet the requirements set in the curriculum. Though students of 1-3 grades do not study political science and similar issues, they should not be influenced by my opinion about the evolution of species or other matters.
Mediating subjectivity and the role of a teacher
I believe that mediating the role and responsibilities of the teacher with my subjectivity is of great importance, especially for students of 1-3 grades because they seem to be very perceptive to the information received and can treat the data provided by the teacher as rules and important components. In this way, I should make everything possible to provide students with objective information on the issue, valid links to reputable sources, and libraries where materials of outstanding authors are available. It is inadmissible to make students share my opinion with me. If I want to make students aware of some facts or problems that took place in the past or are relevant to the present, I should make them interested in the issue and assign them to find answers to some questions.
Guercio, G. D. (1986). The secrets of Haiti’s living dead. Harvard Magazine, 31–37.
Finkin, M. W., Post, R. C., Nelson, C., Benjamin E., and Combest, E. (2007). Report – freedom in the classroom. American Association of University Professors, Web.
Fish, S. (2006). Conspiracy theories 101. The New York Times, 4 (13). Web.
O’Connor, E. (2007). AAUP to critics: What, us biased? Minding the Campus: Reforming Our Universities. Web.