Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Teacher Personality Profiling

I am stunned to learn by first-hand experience that the local school districts in and around Cincinnati require teachers applying for a job to take a personality test!
This is a copy of an email I just received.

We would like to invite you to participate in the next phase of our application process for Sycamore Community Schools.
Please go to the following website and complete the online assessment:

The district code for Sycamore Community Schools is 21214545

Thank you,
Carla Clark
Sycamore Community Schools
The test took about 15 minutes to complete. It asked repeatedly questions that asked the teacher to rate statements about themself, such as "Teaching is the most important profession above all others," etc. It asked this question so many times that it gives me the impression that they only want teachers who actually think that teaching is the most important profession.
I have a real problem with this notion. Teaching is valuable, it's a necessary part of our society, but how can we say that *one profession is THE most important one of all? That's a really narrow-minded, I can-only-see-as-far-as-the-end-of-my-own-nose way to think. I am actually made ill by the thought that these school districts want Politbureau-minded teachers.
Teachers in my mind are valuable and important, because teachers are charged with the enormous task of teaching young minds how to think critically. Critical thinking skills are what (used to ) separate the West and the "first world" from the Third World.
I spent 2 years in Qatar, where the old, third-world way of teaching still operates. It's scary. Students are only taught by rote-memorization, and the entire region is stimied because there are entire cultures where the masses of people cannot think critically, they can only memorize and regurgitate and follow, not create and lead. They are historically ruled by Kings/Emirs, and lack Democracy.
What is happening to America when we are actually profiling teachers to be apparachiks of the State? It's one of the first steps towards Fascism, and that scares me to no end.
I also highly question the constitutionality of profiling a potential employee like this.
What are we coming to?


ThatDeborahGirl said...

You have got to read Barbara Erenreich's "Nickel & Dimed". She talks about how personality tests are more to school the potential employee on what type of thinking and behavior will be accepted on the job rather than give the employer insight.

She also talks about how most "job coaches" use these same tests mostly as time fillers to justify their time. Personality testing is big business.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Dang! I guess I'm in the wrong field!