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Academic Teachers and Political Activists
American ^ | October 17, 2020 | John Ellis

Posted on 10/17/2020 8:45:30 AM PDT by Kaslin

Public concern about higher education is clearly widespread. The causes are many: ugly treatment of visiting speakers, a stifling political uniformity resulting in ideological extremism and hatred, and fringe radical ideas seeping out of the campuses into the wider world. Less publicly visible are numerous recent studies that tell us how little most recent graduates have benefited from higher education. They record astonishing deficiencies in reasoning, writing, reading, basic knowledge, and civics.

But with all this, the public is still uncertain. Most see the symptoms but don’t quite know what to make of them, and so continue to send their children to college. Because they don’t have a firm grasp of the extent or nature of the rot, they pay up and hope for the best.

How then can the public reach the clearer understanding of what is going on that they need to make sensible decisions? They can start by grasping the enormous difference between two kinds of people.

The first is the academic teacher. His job is to get students to think independently and analytically. Analytical thinking means looking at all sides of an issue so that students get the habit of examining both the strengths and weaknesses of an idea, always comparing them with those of competing ideas. Analytical thinking must be flexible thinking, always ready to respond to new evidence. It can’t be static: it’s always on the move. To power this constant movement, a motive force is needed: intellectual curiosity. That’s what academic teachers must instill in their students. It’s the force that will keep them exploring with open minds. That’s how genuine academic teachers operate.

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: academia; academicbias; activists; education; faculty; indoctrination; professors; profs; teachers; teaching; theleft

1 posted on 10/17/2020 8:45:30 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I divide faculty into Activists, Sctives, and Inactives. Inactives are those few (5-10%) that intentionally try to be fair and not indoctrinate their students. Actives are those who unwittingly indoctrinate their students. They think they are being neutral when they “go with the flow”, which is the tone set in their departments by the Activists (10-15%), who are Leftists who are intentionally trying to indoctrinate their students. The leftist Activist profs have an influence that is far bigger than their numbers because most Active profs are already liberals and they don’t want to be hassled by the Activist profs so they “go along to get along.” And the students end up being indoctrinated by 90-95% of the profs.

2 posted on 10/17/2020 12:09:59 PM PDT by DeweyCA
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