— Neil Postman American writer and academic 1931 - 2003
Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969)
Kontext: You cannot avoid making judgements but you can become more conscious of the way in which you make them. This is critically important because once we judge someone or something we tend to stop thinking about them or it. Which means, among other things, that we behave in response to our judgements rather than to that to which is being judged. People and things are processes. Judgements convert them into fixed states. This is one reason that judgements are often self-fulfilling. If a boy, for example, is judged as being "dumb" and a "nonreader" early in his school career, that judgement sets into motion a series of teacher behaviors that cause the judgement to become self-fulfilling. What we need to do then, if we are seriously interested in helping students to become good learners, is to suspend or delay judgements about them. One manifestation of this is the ungraded elementary school. But you can practice suspending judgement yourself tomorrow. It doesn't require any major changes in anything in the school except your own behavior.