Monday, November 3, 2008

Liberal groupthink

Update on my prof's book Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities.
If there has been a conspiracy among liberal faculty members to influence students, “they’ve done a pretty bad job,” said A. Lee Fritschler, a professor of public policy at George Mason University...
tee hee hee...I wish they were doing a poor job, but these studies also show that students do shift to the left during college. If we can't blame the purposeful influence of the professors, who can we blame?

The real issue, said [Daniel Klein of GMU], who calls himself a libertarian, is that social democratic ideas dominate universities — ideas that play down the importance of the individual and promote government intervention.

Such “academic groupthink” means that the works of such thinkers are not offered enough, he argues. “A major tragedy is that they’re not getting exposed to the good stuff,” he said, citing the works of John Stuart Mill, Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.
And believe it or not, but the NYTimes article gets even better! It mentions the American Council Of Trustees and Alumni (who advocate for more vigorous and fair curriculum).

I'm still incredulous that profs don't directly influence students more - I obvi need to read the book - especially when their very book and topic selections are probably what influence students the most!

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