9/15/2007

Indoctrination

I have occasionally made the assertion that holders of left-wing ideology have gained control of many of our institutions, not the least of which are many colleges and universities. At least some commenters have disagreed with this assertion, but it is not one about which I will back down. (In fact, some may recall that I have personal experience with this issue.)

Thus, I found this piece very interesting. This is a sort of 'pet project' for Leo, and he has devoted a great deal of time founding a website dealing with the issue, Minding the Campus.

What NASW and NCATE (NCATE denies it) are doing is not only insidious, it is unscrupulous. Requiring graduates to sign on to political viewpoints will not advance the 'science' of what these two professions do.

Look, I agree that left-wing ideology has every right to be included in the smorgasbord of ideas offered to college students. But when we remove the debate (which is, in fact, occurring), it's beyond a political issue: We're dumbing down the students.

Update: As this piece shows, this is not a stale issue.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

GeeGuy, you really should read more of your source sites before you use them to "prove your point". I went out to "Minding the Campus" and the second story on the site was actually about a LIBERAL that got fired for his political views...

Anyway, this is a great introduction to my comment -

When I was going to school, I saw both Liberal and Conservative professors. I can't honestly say that the school administration of any school I attended was either Liberal or Conservative (in fact, in the 80's and 90's, it wasn't a good idea to be either openly). About the only exception was the Tech school where I got my Solaris and Microsoft Certification. The Administration there was VERY Conservative - in fact, the CEO was a State Republican Politician.

All that said, there was an understanding when I was going to school that to pass any class with the best grades, you had to scope out what the Professor was looking for. It didn't matter if it was some pet theory, some political leaning or whether purple was a good color for a notebook. You got the best grade by conforming to what the professor wanted. The smart students realised this early and took it for what it was - a way to get through college. I don't for a second buy "indoctrination" for any student worth his degree.

I don't see today as being any different in that respect. What I do see is that today's world is far more polarized than than even a decade ago and because of it, school administrations are far more likely to act on a professor being "in your face" partisan - one way or the other.

You of all people should realise that your view on this subject is probably skewed BECAUSE of your legal history in dealing with the situation. I would not be surprised to find just as many Liberal professors having problems are there are Conservative Instructors.

Moorcat

TMM said...

Arguing political bias at our higher institutions is one of those debates that could last to eternity, mostly because of its anecdotal nature. Therefore I will not rise above it and add my own anecdote to the pile.

I have faced many professors whose political persuasions were crystal clear (even, actually more often, when the course had nothing to do with politics). Yes, I even pimped out my opinion because, as Moorcat points out, we knew what he wanted, and I'd rather just get it over with than draw attention to my still developing logical mind.

What strikes me here is the ludicrous nature of this type of 'education'. Ideas are made to be challenged, but there is a fine line between challenging an idea to evoke thoughtfulness and challenging students to defend a single ideology. That's not challenging or even provoking; it's intellectual laziness that somehow passes as deep thought.

Anonymous said...

A number of studies in recent years have found a significant disparity between the number of Democrats and Republicans on the faculties of major colleges (as measured by those who are registered to vote). One such study found that Democrats outnumbered Republicans 18 to 1 at Brown University, 26 to 1 at Cornell University, and 18 to 1 in the University of California system, with 9 Democrats for each Republican at UC Berkeley, the system's flagship school.

These numbers in themselves don't mean students will get indoctrinated, but they do increase the odds that a sort of ideological groupthink will set in, and there will be less inclination on the part of the faculty to provide the sort of balanced perspective you would expect from academicians.

Just go to a left-wing web site like Left in the West or a right-wing one like Hardliner and see if you are going to get a measured, balanced perspective on things. Where like minds congregate, you tend to get more heat than dispassionate observation.

Anonymous said...

A person being registered a party means nothing. In fact, many states don't require registration.

I would venture a guess that if you took a poll of the instructors at UMWestern, you would find the same kind of statistics in reverse - far more Republicans than Democrats. I would also venture a guess that if you polled any school in a predominantly Republican area that you would find predominately Republican instructors. The fact that USC instructors were predominately Democrat shouldn't surprise anyone given that the predominate party in that area is Democrat.

I simply don't buy into the argument that schools are "indoctrinating" thier students one way or the other (unless it is to think for themselves - and I am not even sure that is the case anymore...). The "young Republicans" are alive and well on many campuses just like the "young Democrats".

P.S. For the record, the last time I had to register a party, I was a registered Republican. Doesn't mean a lot. In the last election, I voted primarily Democrat because the Republican choices SUCKED large wind...

Moorcat

Anonymous said...

RE: I simply don't buy into the argument that schools are "indoctrinating" thier students one way or the other

You of all people should realize that your view on this subject is probably skewed BECAUSE of your being indocrtinated by a 130 hours of Sociology.

You speak the language of leftwing politics well and seemed to be well educated in employing sophistry to make your points.

That said, the issue of liberals taking over the educational system is of concern and validated by the increasing hostility toward Judeo-Christian principles upon which this nation was founded.

Now in a spirit of bipartisanship, I don't know of any Social/Psych branch of secular religion requried to have or pay to construct a building OFF campus to preach its' work, teachings, philosophy.

Power to the People

No Indoctrination.org

Anonymous said...

"Judeo-Christian principles"? That's a laffer. What might those be and what do they have to do with democracy? Oh, I see. Maybe it's kinda like the fundamentalists who are currently running amok all OVER Latin America preaching a doctrine of blind obedience to dicatatorial regimes 'cause the only thing that matters is what happens in the next life anyway! Judeo/christian. What a joke. Best way I know of to kill religious belief is to flaunt it!

LK

WolfPack said...

Moorecat- Claiming that the educational system is not dominated by the left is as dumb as claiming talk radio is not dominated by the right. Are you really that stupid or do you believe the rest of us are that stupid? The only classes where it matters are those revolving around social policy. How could it matter you had a right leaning instructor in a programming class? It is not as easy as you say for a student to morph to the professor’s politics in order to get the grade. A student like myself who lightly attended liberal arts classes and relied on the text is blindsided when test day comes and the lessons of the text no longer apply. My anecdotal story involves taking Environmental Economics before I even new I had political ideas. The only thing important to the professor was that corporations are crazy evil and not driven by the rules of economics. A lefty in a technology class has a lot less to worry about than a righty in a sociology class. Funny how you believe that the educators free speech is suppose to be defended from administrative review but the students are suppose to go along to get along.

Anonymous said...

Question: How does the secular left avoid talking about the role of faith and religion in American history?

Answer: They avoid talking about American history.

From George Washington
First Inaugural Address
In the City of New York
Thursday, April 30, 1789

...it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.

Anonymous said...

I'd venture to guess that, at UM Western, most of the faculty these days are Democrats. Once upon a time they might have been GOPers, but not these days.

As for whether teachers indoctrinate, I'd guess some do, some don't. Clearly, we know some do, and some don't.

Ward Churchill is a clear example of one that did. And there were hundreds of his fellow profs at U Colorado who signed petitions demanding that he be kept on there, where he could keep doing his damage.

We also have the Group of 88, those crackpots on the Duke faculty who essentially declared before any facts were in that the lacrosse players were guilty of racism, rape, classism and every other imaginable crime. If you read any of their writings, it will quickly become clear that these people consider it their mission to indoctrinate their students in order to break down the racist, classist, and ever other -ist thoughts that were ever instilled in their brains while they were growing up. How these people ever got tenure at what is supposed to be one of the country's top universities is mind-boggling, but it does underscore the idea that ideologues such as this are ubiquitious and relentless.

If there's really anyone out there who doesn't believe there are college profs who try to indoctrinate their students -- and I find it hard to believe that anyone really believes that -- they should read KC Johnson's blog on the Duke lacrosse case at durhaminwonderland.blogspot.com or his new book on the case. It will quickly disabuse you of this silly notion. (And KC's a liberal college prof himself, who doesn't like to see the profession abused)

GeeGuy said...

I would also recommend "The Diversity Hoax" and "The Shadow University."

Anonymous said...

To the person that ventured a guess that the majority of professors at Western were Democrat is probably wrong - at least according to the two professors I know. I have no way to back it up, though, because Western has some pretty strict policies about politics and "indoctrination".

As far as the rest of this discussion, it has devolved pretty quickly into two areas that I simply will not go - Religion and Politics, and anger fueled spewing. Believe what you want. I simply do not accept that "the Liberals" control our Education system and are brainwashing our students to be liberals. My experiences says otherwise and until someone can provide tangible proof (as in not anecdotal), I won't buy it.

Moorcat

Anonymous said...

Great Observation!

Question: How does the secular left avoid talking about the role of faith and religion in American history?

Answer: They avoid talking about American history.

Anonymous said...

Here's another recent example of the stifling effect it can have when your university faculty is too dominated by far-left liberals.

http://weblog.signonsandiego.com/weblogs/afb/archives/014615.html

Anonymous said...

Ta-da The hypocrisy IS self-evident.

Nice post.

Anonymous said...

The self evident link

sorry 'bout that...