Last week, I told you about Dorian Banman, a student at the University of Alberta that believes a required class in the Education program is discriminatory. You can watch that report here.
I dug into some of the course content to see what other students said about Education 211, or Aboriginal Educational Context Engagement.
Banman and others believe the class includes lecture material that is discriminatory against white people in particular and reflects some of the more radical ideas associated with the Idle No More movement.
In addition to being discriminatory, Banman also thinks it violates the university's Discrimination and Harassment Safe Disclosure and Human Rights policies.
He’s not alone. Students complained about the course content on a Facebook page called UAlberta Confessions which has hundreds of comments about Education 211, mostly negative.
Other issues people brought up were use of unverified course material, like when instructors spent an entire lecture on a satirical news article that claimed Sarah Palin, former Republican Governor of Alaska, said Thanksgiving was for real Americans, not Indians. Of course, it turned out to be false.
Some of the material also appeared to be biased. Students felt they were asked to ignore the bias of the course and just go along with the narrative to get the grades to pass.
Dorian went through the appropriate channels with his complaints but was largely ignored. Email responses from Dr. Diane Oberg, professor and interim chair of the Department of Education Policy Studies, flat out denied the student’s claims.
I did reach out to university officials and professors, but didn’t receive a response.
For now, there’s no action being taken by the university, but a petition with over 70,000 signatures is circulating and you can add your voice by clicking HERE.
If I hear back from the university, I’ll update you on Dorian’s controversial fight against this social justice course.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Christian Fierro)