Synchronizing Difference


Dennis P. Earle


The rise in admission of students from a wider range of backgrounds dovetails with a decades-long evolution in the dominant ethos operating in the academic realm, whereby the value of a critical perspective is emphasized, divergent views are sought, and a bright light is shined on the ambiguities and contradictions that come with whatever supposed truths we might wish to find in a very complex world. Pluralistic multiculturalism is easily and readily defended, while fields of study from physics to philosophy attest to the reality of complexity and paradox; but nurturing and leveraging difference is more challenging, especially given that many of these diverse students nevertheless expect of us black-and-white, definitive knowledge, in addition to the practically valuable, marketable skills we are duty-bound to impart to them. They know, and we who teach must admit, that we have the responsibility to teach solid truths with all of the conviction of our calling


Film and Video