Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fish, Stanley. "Politics and the Classroom: One More Try." THINK AGAIN: NEW YORK TIMES BLOG June 8, 2008.

Readers who responded to my column lampooning the University of Colorado’s plan to raise $9 million for a chair in conservative thought aggressively reopened a question I took up in several columns written in 2006. The question, provoked by the fact that according to a survey only 2 or 3 percent of the C.U. faculty identifies as Republican, is, what is the relationship between the political affiliations of a faculty member and his or her classroom performance? And the answer I gave, and would still give, is none, necessarily. I would never deny that there are some college and university teachers who mistake the classroom lectern for a political platform and thereby substitute indoctrination for instruction. But, I argue, this need not happen — it is not an inevitable consequence either of our fallible natures or of certain subject matters — and when it does happen, it should be labeled as wrong and regarded as a reason for discipline by the school’s administration. The objections raised to this argument in 2006 have all surfaced again, and although I have replied to them often, I obviously have not vanquished them; and since the issue is an important one, I’m going to give it another try, as Milton might say, “yet once more.” Read the rest here:

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