Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Students for Academic Freedom?

The article from BioMom reminds me of this organization pointed out to me by a colleague (who happens to be a big lefty, but that's beside the point.

Check out the complaint from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I am a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison taking a political science course entitled, "The Politics of Human Rights". From day one I decided to keep an open mind and give my professor, clearly far to the left, a chance to be fair. I received the syllabus and reading list and saw how we would soon have a series of lectures on US torture and Abu Ghraib. In addition, the class has periodically received emails from the professor telling us to read certain New York Times Op-Ed pieces all criticizing the Bush administration's record on human rights, policy toward Iran, and its stance on ignoring genocide. I am a very outspoken individual by nature and our class is designed to be partly lecture (40 min) and partly discussion (35 min) of a so-called "open and free" nature. . . . When he lectured on genocide, I asked him if he believed (in his expert, not personal opinion) that Saddam Hussein was genocidal. He asked offended by the question and refused to answer it. I asked him why, with his credentials, that he would answer such a decision, particularly in light of the mass graves seen by our fighting men/women in Iraq. He told me that my question was "off-topic" and "inappropriate" to the discussion.

I can just imagine the class discussion:

The professor wants to talk about the torture crimes that occurred at Abu Ghraib and a student says

"But what about Saddam Husain? You can't say that its not a good thing that we got rid of him!!"

The professor tries to politely steer the discussion back to, say, the topic and the student gets pissed and walks away thinking that the professor is a liberal freak-show who is not open to any other beliefs.


I'd like to see the student evaluation from THAT kid.

Bitch.Ph.D. rants about being evaluated by children in this post which brings up a million issues that I will hopefully get to in later posts. But one that relates to the Students For Academic Freedom is that we are getting evaluated by kids who on average a) do not understand what it means to be educated, b) do not understand pedagogy, c) are not practiced in organizing their thoughts and separating out issues and (again, on average) d) do not WANT to become more educated/change/grow etc.

In summary, those evaluating us are resisting the very project they are evaluating.

Talk about bias.

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