I want to draw a line from quiz-type testing that offers people an opportunity to profile themselves and the problems inherent in reducing knowledge work to a list of skills. And I also want to draw attention to the risks to which we expose our students and staff, if we use these “profiles” to predict, limit, or otherwise determine what might be possible for them in the future.
Lanclos suggests that we need to go beyond the inherent judgments of contained within metaphors and deficit models, and instead start with context:
We need to start with people’s practices, and recognize their practice as as effective for them in certain contexts.
And then ask them questions. Ask them what they want to do. Don’t give them categories, labels are barriers. Who they are isn’t what they can do.
Please, let’s not profile people.
When you are asking your students and staff questions, perhaps it should not be in a survey. When you are trying to figure out how to help people, why not assume that the resources you provide should be seen as available to all, not just the ones with “identifiable need?”
The reason deficit models persist is not a pedagogical one, it’s a political one.
She closes with the remark:
When we ask students questions, it shouldn’t be in a survey.
This reminds me of coaching the fluidity of the conversation. This also touches on my concern with emotional intelligences as a conversational tool.
There is also a recording of this presentation: