Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Profs: Here to Educate, Not to Inculcate Values

With all the abstracted debate about biases among University professors that has been going on lately, occasionally we tend to overlook that fact that while most professors are liberal, they are not stupid or here only to inculcate politically correct values.

Case in point from a history class this morning. During a discussion of "the civilizing mission" in 19th century southeast Asia, a student asked a clearly liberal professor if he thought similar motives were driving American policy in Iraq. Instead of answering in a way that reflected bias, my professor responded by telling the student he didn't want to answer it and impose his views on the class, and that we would come back to the question during a later discussion of American imperialism.

In my view, this was the perfect response to a question that, while interesting, may have done little besides politicize the debate. It goes to show you that just because a professor subscribes to a political view, he or she won't necessarily involve that view in the classroom. Instances of bias should be looked at on a personal level, and this tarring and feathering of the academic left is getting old.

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