Teachers - Subjectivity in the ClassroomHow could a teacher's subjectivity impact how and what they teach? What should a teacher do if his/her subjectivity differs from a students or from the...

Teachers - Subjectivity in the Classroom

How could a teacher's subjectivity impact how and what they teach? What should a teacher do if his/her subjectivity differs from a students or from the school's curriculum? How could a teacher mediate his/her own subjectivity with their role as a teacher?


I'm studying to be a teacher (elementary) but do not have any classroom time, so I'm unsure how one should correctly handle something like this. I also don't foresee my subjectivity really impacting the curricul in an elementary level. But I'm hoping those who have experience in the classroom may be able to give me a little guidance. 

Thanks in advance.

Expert Answers
rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In response to Post 5, I had a standing rule with students that I wouldn't discuss my positions on either religion or politics. But it wasn't because of parents, school boards or administrators. It was because I had a bully pulpit, some kids (astonishingly) looked at me as someone whose opinion mattered, and I didn't want to make kids who held different beliefs to feel uncomfortable. I would break that rule sometimes with seniors, but as a general rule, I was very careful about such things. But more generally, teaching is inherently a subjective pursuit, as it involves dealing with dozens of kids who have different needs and learning styles.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not an elementary teacher, but I think I can help.  You get to pick all sorts of things, regardless of how strict your school's curriculum is.  If you teach 1st grade and you're going to read the kids a book, you get to pick the book.  Your subjectivity will enter into your choice of book because different books send different messages to the kids.  You just need to be sure in cases like that that you are making choices that are age appropriate and are not going to be in conflict with what the school is trying to teach.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Everything you do in your life is filtered through your subjectivity, but as mentioned above, that can be a good thing. What is most important here is that you recognize the issue in the first place! You are responsible for teaching the required curriculum of your school whether you personally like the units, materials or titles. But you bring to those less favorite units that perspective, and that may help you shape that unit in a way that better meets a wide of variety of students. Sometimes it makes you work harder.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think you have to aware that there is always subjectivity in teaching, and it is not necessarily a bad thing.  There are things you can do if you are aware of it.  For example, to avoid subjectivity in grading you can use a rubric if it is not an objective test.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Two subjects that immediately come to mind are religion and politics. You should try and avoid making your feelings known to your students about these topics, since it could be construed in a negative light by students, parents and administrators.