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Verdant

Hi Surfer,

I wonder why the teaching establishment is so liberal. Perhaps it is because teachers do not face the day pressure and grind of producing value added products. For this reason, teachers aren't paid well in our society. And what an attractive environment for liberals...an environment in which real life doesn't get in the way of idealism.

Verdant

Hi Surfer,

Sowell has an intresting explanation...he was published in Real Clear this morning,,,http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/03/classroom_brainwashing.html

Circe

College, especially university, does NOT equal job training. That is not the mission. So, you could consider your argument accordingly to make it stronger.

College is a place for people to come into contact with opinions, ideas, and subjects that are new and, yes, even controversial. This is the grown up world. These things exist. This does not mean that students should sit, dumbly agreeing with or taking others’ opinions as their own. Ah, ha. Learning, listening, synthesizing, and then making critical judgment on issues. Yes, this is what college students do.

There is such a thing as academic freedom, and you need to look into what that means to better educate yourself in this area. Professors, like anyone else, are entitled to their political, religious, or societal opinions, and they can even discuss them in class. This does not detract from students rights, and it could even be relevant to the class work. Now, if the professor name calls, demeans, or punishes a student for the student’s beliefs or because a student disagrees with the professor, then there is conflict with rights of students. Should professors try to convert people? No, that’s not the course objective. Should professors get people thinking about issues relevant to class subjects? Yes, even if all students do not agree. Should professors discuss politics in a math course? Here’s where the line gets drawn. Professors should devote class time to meeting the course objectives. Most do, and some don’t.

Professors, for the most part, do teach subjects, and the idea that they are ALL liberal or all brainwashers is a sweeping generalization. The same would be true to argue that, based on a couple incidences, all professors are conservative Christians trying to convert students. You need to better qualify your claims. There are many individuals out there, professing, and some do make comments that are offensive or that proselytize (and they can be liberals or conservatives or those mostly unheard of libertarians, like the South Park people). And, actually, there are students, again of all varieties, who like to take political, religious, etc, grandstands in class, too. Again, these can be relevant to class and they could be something good to hear so that we all have better ideas about how others are thinking and making decisions.

Perhaps, rather than going on a firing spree or subjecting professors to McCarthy-era keep your beliefs to yourself mentality, what students, administrators, and professors could work on is better communication and more open forums. In the university culture, especially with first and second year students who are very much dualistic and then very much multiplistic (check out Perry’s Model of Cognitive Development), it is hard for them to realize that there is give and take. That the answers from authority are not always correct. Or, that the answers from a “liberal” are, automatically, not correct. Professors can also be very proud people who don’t always listen to a student’s view point. EVERYONE needs to do some work here.


Verdant

Hi Circe,

I generally agree with your comments. However, I believe that a significant majority of teachers are liberals. When it comes to musicians, Country and Western musicians (from red states) are conservatives, rock musicians (from blue states) are liberals. Hollywood is located in a blue state and it is generally liberal. Yet, I sense that most teachers, no matter where they are located are predominately liberal. I speculate that it is because teachers do not have to compete in the real world to sell products, and can therefore have such idealistic beliefs consequence free. Do you have another explanation?

Solid Surfer

Circe,

I fully agree with you on those points; the problem, I think, is that unfortunately many professors do not.

I think professors should teach in a balanced matter and not tilt their instruction to either side of the political spectrum; I'd be just as upset to see classroom indoctrination from the far right as I am to see it from the far left.

Thing is, the far right doesn't really do it - it's only the far left that does. That, I believe, is why Horowitz's book focused so much on the far left, as they are the primary perpetrators.

Students definitely need to get exposed to new ideas and opinions while in college, but they also must be made aware when professors present political opinions as if they were facts.

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