02 June 2008

Breeding Sameness in Academia

When you cultivate, seed, and nurture group think, why would you be surprised when group think is the harvestable crop?
First of all, the fact that everyone agrees and everyone has a doctorate leads to the occasionally explicit idea that all intelligent people think the same thing — that no one could disagree with, say, Obama-ism, without being an idiot. This attitude is continually expressed, for example, in attacks on presidents Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, not for their political positions but for their grades and IQs.

That the American professoriate is near-unanimous for Barack Obama is a problem on many levels but certainly pedagogically. Ideological uniformity does a disservice to students and makes a mockery of the pious commitment of these professors simply to convey knowledge. Also, the claims of the professoriate to intellectual independence and academic freedom, supposedly nurtured by tenure, are thrown into question by the unanimity.
(Sound) What was that? Oh, just tuition going up faster than the rate of inflation. Again.

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