Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Maybe not such a good idea 

FIRE has decided to protest a section of a freshman comp class at Arizona State that is for Native Americans only.
A flyer addressed to �Native American Students� states that they �are invited to enroll in special Native American sections of ENG 101 and 102.� It also discusses some of the differences between the special sections and the �standard First Year Composition classes,� making it clear that the special sections offer a different educational experience.

�These sections don�t allow non-Native American students to be part of the unique learning experience they provide,� remarked Greg Lukianoff, FIRE�s director of legal and public advocacy. �If ASU believes that some Native Americans may benefit from a different kind of writing course, surely the same goes for students of other backgrounds.�
ASU previously had a Navajo history course that was similarly restricted. The history case was pretty clear -- there's no pedagogical reason for teaching the course differently between Native American and white students -- but is there one for freshman composition? If Native American students were to come out of schools that taught English differently, you might think of these special sections as being like an ESL course. (Can I say that?)