Faculty Publications

Title

The Hidden Elephant Is Oppression: Shaming, Mobbing, and Institutional Betrayals within the Academy—Finding Strength in Collaborative Self-Study

Document Type

Article

Keywords

academic bullying, academic mobbing, collaborative self-study, non-hegemonic professors, shaming, student evaluations of teaching

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Studying Teacher Education

Volume

16

Issue

1

First Page

26

Last Page

47

Abstract

In this collaborative self-study, we examined our experiences of oppression and exclusion as tenure-track assistant professors possessing intersecting outsider statuses. We found that oppression is the elephant in the academy. We used self-study methodology, along with narrative inquiry, and textual and discursive analysis, to analyze our respective formal and informal student course evaluations, personal narratives and poems, and ongoing collective conversations. We found and analyzed not only the impact of these experiences on our physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental health, but also how they have impacted our work. Through our support system triad, we became vulnerable, critically aware, and mutually empathic–all necessary components to building resilience to shame. We found some concerning commonalities problematizing the sanctity of the institution of the university: (a) students use course evaluations to punish professors because of unsafe content or critical pedagogical content and/or non-hegemonic identity markers; (b) similar mobbing tactics occur in private and public institutions in order to punish successful non-hegemonic/critical professors, although the behavior is more flagrant in private institutions, and (c) institutions provide lip service to diversity without creating internal mechanisms to sustain it. In essence, the institution carries on with status quo business as usual. We end with a discussion and conclusion about moving forward that allowed us to voice our discontents for a call to action against hegemony inside the academy and teacher education. We all have more work to do.

Department

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Original Publication Date

1-2-2020

DOI of published version

10.1080/17425964.2020.1727430

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

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