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ERIC Number: EJ791375
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1086-4822
Teach Me, but Don't Disagree with Me
Fisler, Jodi; Foubert, John D.
About Campus, v11 n5 p2-8 Nov-Dec 2006
In the Web site of Students for Academic Freedom (SAF), an organization committed to fighting political indoctrination in higher education, a complaint center allows students to report instances of ideological bias. With SAF chapters at more than 180 campuses nationwide and legislation about students' academic freedom under discussion in several states and in the U.S. Congress, it is clear that educators face a growing challenge from this community of discontent. Some students object to a perceived politically liberal slant of their institution. Others complain about individual professors interjecting what the students consider irrelevant political commentary into their classes, presenting only one perspective on a controversial issue, or penalizing students for expressing conservative viewpoints. The complaints reported on the SAF Web site suggest that there may be some cases of political grandstanding in college classrooms or of other behavior that may violate the generally accepted standards of academic freedom and professional ethics established by the American Association of University Professors. Although many educators believe that concerns about political bias are overblown, most would probably agree that dealing with the issue within higher education circles is preferable to having it play out in the political process of state and national legislatures. In this article, the authors offer suggestions as to how educators should deal with an issue that they may not even recognize as a real problem: (1) Engaging in self-reflection; (2) Striving for transparency; (3) Allocating resources; and (4) Promoting courage and civility. Perhaps a good place for institutions to start applying these suggestions is in their interactions with proponents of the Academic Bill of Rights. (Contains 7 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A