In a new post at the Speak Up University Blog, writer Travis C. Barham explores the effort of some leftist academics who would rather indoctrinate their students than teach them.
Exposing Avenues of Campus Indoctrination
Years ago, Abigail Thernstrom described universities as “islands of repression in a sea of freedom.” More recently, several columnists have highlighted how the effort to indoctrinate students pervades virtually every aspect of campus life.
Last month, George Will’s Washington Post column outlined how campus speech codes actually train students to support censorship. In so doing, universities stifle the robust debate and exchange of ideas they claim to support. And because these speech codes affect every aspect of student life—from the classroom to the dorm room—they are a particularly pernicious method for suppressing unpopular ideas.
Just today, Thomas Sowell’s column, The Role of ‘Educators,’ highlights how this indoctrination occurs in the classroom. After all, far too many professors see themselves as “agent[s] of change” who are “strategically placed, with an opportunity to condition students to want a different kind of society.” Of course, some openly admit this. For example, Richard Rorty—a long-time philosophy professor—explained that he “like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities . . . try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.”
He even warned parents that he and his colleagues “are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable.” As Sowell notes, having discarded the job of teaching people how to think, these professors seek to undermine the values that made America great.