A reader, who is a professor of education, writes in response to the ongoing discussion on this blog of the galvanic skin response monitors:
|I encourage educators to be reflective practitoners, so I know that, to be authentic, it involves regular, honest, deep-seated self-inventories, and I appreciate those efforts. However, it’s an ongoing process and sometimes we don’t go far enough.In this case, I think that conceding to certain matters, such as around privacy, as well as use of the word “hysterical” to describe alarm over the implications of using GSR devices with children, and now calling those who care about encroachments on physiological privacy “over-reacting” is just a euphemism that still over-reaches and suggests concern over children’s privacy rights is unwarranted.Alarms should be going off for those concerned about privacy, children and how this matter could play out for them. I see no compelling reason to study a personally intrusive assessment device on children which, if determined to be valid and reliable, children may have no option but to wear in classrooms.
This is not about science; we have many empirical methods of gathering information that could be used instead. This is not even about student engagement; research could be conducted with adult learners, such as college students, if studies on GSR bracelets were just about measuring engagement. This is about what will be brought into children’s classrooms, as corporate America seeks to obtain personally compromising information and compile national databases on people. That should be carefully scrutinized, not encouraged, especially in regard to children, because this is a slippery slope and there are other options.