Response to the Danny Dorling article by Alison Blunt, Martin Evans and others

In November, Danny Dorling published a piece in Emotion, Space and Society entitled ‘Kindness: A new kind of rigour for British Geographers‘ (open access), which was picked up by The Times Higher Education – “Geography seen as ‘soft option’ by ‘posh’ students, warns Dorling. Now Alison Blunt, Martin Evans and many heads of Geography departments reply – “Geography degrees are preparing disadvantaged students for relevant careers.


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2 Responses to Response to the Danny Dorling article by Alison Blunt, Martin Evans and others

  1. The reply does not deal with Dorling’s assertion that there is a lack of kindness in the teaching of geography. That would have to be concretised in annual staff appraisals in British Geography departments [somehow listing and encouraging supportive activity], and conversely, incentives to be an ‘academic asshole’ would have to be reduced [ie ignoring others to focus excessively on personal research outputs, to the detriment of service and teaching].

    • stuartelden says:

      Thanks Simon. I was just posting the links – not commenting on the pros or cons of the positions.

      I’m not in a Geography dept, but my University’s annual review process requires us to say something under this category: ‘Inclusion and respect: Consider where and how you have personally contributed to the creation of an environment of inclusion and respect working with colleagues within and beyond your department; and where you can adopt inclusive practices within your research and/or teaching practice, or impact and engagement activities.’ It’s there for merit pay too, and I understand this is one of the categories for probation and promotion as well – alongside ‘Research and Scholarship’, ‘Teaching and Learning’, ‘Impact, outreach and engagement’ and ‘Collegiality, leadership and management’.

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