Evaluating Difference: Paradigmatic Shift Lag
by Robin L. Hughes - May 19, 2009
While the tenure process is a part of the normal tradition of the academy, it may sometimes be wrought with evaluation criteria that need to undergo considerable change to reflect not only a changing demography, but also diversity of thought—and scholarly approaches. In this piece, I explore how some elements of the tenure process might be compared, on a smaller scale, to how the nation evaluates political figures—in this case President Barack Obama. This piece not only asks the reader to become more reflective and more thoughtful about academic, societal and political discourse , but it also begs that we become more engaged in conversations that may be centered about diverse discourse and paradigms as well as discussions centered on race. This reflective commentary describes a theoretical and conceptual construct, “paradigmatic shift lag” and asks that we begin to consider shifting paradigms as a way to engage in diverse and difficult discourse.
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