Friday, May 8, 2009

professors and liberal ideology, part 2

As I expected, I spent quite a bit of time responding to angry conservatives about my Trib-Star column of 4/26/09. I'm still not finished responding, but the last two weeks of class have to take precedence.

Yesterday, this letter to the editor appeared in the Trib-Star:

Most profs don’t teach any ideology

This is in response to Thomas Steiger’s essay titled “Are College Professors Teaching Liberal Ideology?” (Sunday, April 26, Page D2).

Before really thinking about the question, the answer yes immediately popped into my head. Teachers have always been known to be more on the liberal side, therefore teaching liberal ideas. But after reading the article, the author’s points made sense.

Growing up in a state that is typically more liberal than others, my high school teachers (especially) seemed to be more liberal. Not always just in their teaching, but in the way they voiced their opinions. Comments would be made about President Bush and how bad things were and how the Republican Party just wasn’t doing things correctly. Because of this, it was to my thinking that all teachers are like this.

When I came to college, I thought for sure things would be the same. Of course, there are those professors who openly state their liberal opinions. But I was surprised to see how many more conservative professors there are. I do believe a lot of that is because of the state we are in. Indiana is known to be a typically conservative state, so the professors are going to typically follow in that respect.

With all of that being said, I do not feel that professors are teaching liberal ideology as a whole. There are some out there who are very strong liberal-minded. There are some out there who are very strong conservative-minded. For the rest of them, they do a pretty good job of keeping their political views to themselves and focus on the task at hand – teaching students the material that needs to be taught.

— Abby Butler, student

Indiana State University

And she is not one of my students.

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