ERIC Number: ED134484
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: 0
Developing a Position on Academic Freedom and Censorship.
Nelson, Jack L.; Hering, William S.
The intent of this paper is to assist social studies teachers in a thoughtful consideration of differing views on academic freedom. Practical information serves as background for forming a set of principles to guide decisions about teaching that involves controversial methods or content. Case studies illustrate several ways in which academic freedom can become an issue in elementary and secondary schools. Historical background demonstrates that the European university tradition has provided much of the basis for academic freedom in American universities, but has had little effect on freedom in elementary and secondary schools. Various definitions of academic freedom are categorized as upholding (1) no grounds for distinguishing academic from general freedom, (2) structurally limited freedom, or (3) professionally limited freedom. Legal restrictions, formal regulations, and self-censorship are shown to be possible sources of infringement upon academic freedom. A set of seven factors that should be considered by teachers in determining a personal set of academic freedom principles are suggested: community attitudes, school and system attitudes, legal rights, professional obligations, historical precedents, responsibilities to students, and personal philosophies and ethical convictions. Several questions about the meaning and application of academic freedom in elementary and secondary schools conclude the document. (Author/ND)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Censorship, Civil Rights, Educational Environment, Educational History, Elementary Secondary Education, Freedom of Speech, Legislation, Moral Criticism, Moral Issues, Moral Values, Self Control, Teacher Responsibility, Teacher Role, Teachers, Values
Publications, Social Science Education Consortium, 855 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado 80302 (order SSEC no. 192, $1.35 paper cover)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Social Science Education Consortium, Inc., Boulder, CO.; ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Boulder, CO.