Gunco Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
DADDY WARBUCKS
Joined
·
19,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A Chill in the Classroom
Liberal professors routinely harass conservative students.

Friday, December 3, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST

Most Journal readers over a certain age can remember going all the way through college without politics intruding in the classroom. Until the Vietnam War, for instance, few students knew their professors' views, and even then most politicking took place on parts of the campus where participation was voluntary. That is no longer true--and, as a new survey commissioned by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) documents, it is making many students uneasy.

The ACTA survey was conducted this fall by the Center for Survey Research & Analysis at the University of Connecticut, among students at 50 top U.S. universities and colleges. It sought to ascertain the perceived levels of classroom politicization and of intellectual intolerance among faculty members. The results were striking.

Academic Freedom

Some student responses at Yale:

* "My professor mocked conservatives constantly."

* "Professors in Biology were extremely anti-religion and mocked it openly. Pro left-wing jokes/anti-Bush jokes abound."

* "I feel intimidated."

* "My Spanish teacher only presented readings against Bush's trade policy in Latin America. . . . Also actively silenced people who disagreed with her."

* "Professors often have a slant in the readings they choose. As long as you're aware of it, you can prepare against it."

For instance, nearly half said that their professors "frequently comment on politics in class even though it has nothing to do with the course" or use the classroom to present their personal political views. In answers to other questions, the majority acknowledged that liberal views predominate. Most troubling, however, were the responses to the survey item "On my campus, there are courses in which students feel they have to agree with the professor's political or social views in order to get a good grade"--29% agreed.

ACTA's president, Anne Neal, is alarmed. "One case of political intolerance is too many," she says. "But the fact that half the students are reporting [some] abuses is simply unacceptable. If these were reports of sexual harassment in the classroom, they would get people's attention."

A recent informal survey at Yale, where students answered questions about academic freedom posed by the Yale Free Press, the conservative/libertarian student paper, also deserves attention. Although the entire first run of its November issue containing the study was stolen on campus, it can be downloaded at www.yale.edu/yfp. To sum up: While some Yalies said that politics either didn't arise in class or caused no problem because they shared the professor's views, others recounted unpleasant experiences. One example:

"My teacher came into class the day after the election proclaiming, 'That's it. This is the death of America.' The rest of the class was eager to agree, and twenty minutes of Bush-bashing ensued. At one point, one student asked our teacher whether she should be so vocal, lest any students be conservatives. She then asked us whether any of us were Republicans. Naturally, no one volunteered that information, whereupon our teacher turned to the inquisitive student and said, 'See? No one in here would be stupid enough to vote for Bush.' "

Some students undoubtedly find such banter fun. But for others it can be chilling. And just as teachers' freedom of speech must be protected, so must students' freedom to learn, if it is threatened. After all, as ACTA's Anne Neal points out, "The inability to benefit from a robust and free exchange of ideas--intellectual harassment if you will--goes to the very heart of the academic enterprise."
 

·
Friend of MCMXI
Joined
·
8,717 Posts
If the shoe was on the other foot, Ohhhhhhhhhhh Man look out.
 

·
DADDY WARBUCKS
Joined
·
19,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They certainly had the opposite effect on my kids than was intended.

The profs lost credibility and I suspect don't even know it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
College and university education has always been, and should remain, highly politicized. And generally is in opposition to the status quo. And I'm not talking about just the United States.

Works both ways: Colleges and universities were hotbeds of anticommunism in communist Poland, hotbeds of anti-fascism in Peronist Argenina, etc., etc., etc.

At the same time, it can be disheartening. I'm pretty fluent in commie-speak, and found in one class that I could ace any essay exam by simply framing the question in terms of Marxist dialectical materialism.
 

·
Gunco Goddess
Joined
·
773 Posts
Thanks, Dad. The apple didn't fall far from the tree, but damn it sure did take it's time dropping...I am sure that there will be more kids in that class going home and talking about the real issues now instead of just regurgitating the stuff spewing from our prof. That will be enough for me, just to know they were paying attention a little makes me feel better. There are enough non-traditional students on my campus so that the profs don't seem to be as threatening. We don't mind hearing their opinions but I'm also sure that no professor would be dumb enough to try to grade according to political belief because us old people would have their job.
 

·
Friend of MCMXI
Joined
·
8,717 Posts
Cephus said:
My little girl makes me proud and she outspoken like her Mother. LOL
ASEAY is the calm one of Cephus's daughters. The other one, well, let's just say the rest of the family has knicknamed her Cephus Jr.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top