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ERIC Number: ED498966
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Political Bias in Undergraduate Education. Carnegie Perspectives
Ehrlich, Tom; Colby, Anne
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
The authors propose an alternative course for faculty and campus leaders to navigate through the politicized Academic Bill of Rights debate. Liberal education and the values of the academy are about the need to seek and consider alternative conceptions, stances, and views and to consider them respectfully. If a campus is to commit itself to open inquiry and the exploration of a diversity of views, it should affirm the many ways in which controversy occurs. However, in most settings, including universities, people with strong opinions talk primarily to those who agree with them, with the result that neither students nor faculty are accustomed to communicating across ideological divisions. A legislative approach to ensuring open inquiry, say the authors, fails because it casts the issue in negative terms, inherently calling for less, not more, debate, becoming destructive to the goal of civil discourse across ideological boundaries. The essay promotes the joining together of administration, faculty, and students from different political perspectives join together to develop strategies for the pursuit of open inquiry, contributing to a climate of openness, respect, and cooperation. It has become commonplace to complain about America's polarized political landscape. If the next generation of citizens is to set a different tone, they must experience in college an alternative to the politics of vitriol. [For original article from which this Perspective is excerpted, see EJ682576.]
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 51 Vista Lane, Stanford, CA 94305. Tel: 650-566-5102; Fax: 650-326-0278; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Menlo Park, CA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A