ERIC Number: ED350936
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Telling the Truth. A Report on the State of the Humanities in Higher Education.
Cheney, Lynne V.
This report examines the problem of the pervasiveness of politics in today's higher education, particularly in the humanities, and argues the need for college and university campuses to return to seeking the truth and telling it rather than straying into the position that the aim of education is for students to become politically transformed. Too often, it is argued, classrooms are being used to advance a political agenda, and for students to resist such efforts in teaching often means to risk ostracism both by their classmates and their professors. The report stresses that seeking higher standards of human endeavor is no longer as important as politically correct thinking. Academic freedom is being transformed to the point where the expression of controversial views (i.e., views differing from those being inculcated by the instructor) now comes with a high social cost; on campus and off, truth is seen as nothing more than different perspectives being advanced by different people to promote their own interests. It is feared that the time is quickly coming where students who are presented with tendentious interpretations of historical events or persons may not know enough to object. The report highlights some of the efforts that have been and are being taken in defense of free speech and academic freedom on college campuses and concludes with a discussion of the role of trustees and administrators in exerting influence to reverse the trend toward infusing doctrinaire politics into teaching. (GLR)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Educational Environment, Freedom of Speech, Higher Education, Humanities, Intellectual Development, Intellectual Freedom, Political Influences, Politics of Education, Role of Education, Social Change, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Student Relationship
National Endowment for the Humanities, NEH Public Information Office, Rm. 406, Washington, DC 20506 (free).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.