Sunday, May 10, 2009

professors and liberal ideology, part 3

Part 3, I can't believe it. I've hit the motherload, the vein of response. If there is one thing I'v learned from my time writing my irregular column, it is that people are generally unwilling to write a letter to the editor. Two more in today's Tribune-Star on my April 26 column. I reproduce them below:

This first one doesn't address the April 26 column directly, but I'm not sure what else would have prompted it:

Force-fed the liberal agenda

Throughout my school career I have found instance after instance where the liberal agenda was forced upon me. To begin with, middle and high school teachers had a way of leaving out important facts in history to assist with the liberal agenda. They would make the conservatives out to be bad guys and the liberals out to be the heroes. As a young student, I didn’t know the truth and therefore almost fell for their lies.

I have always had an interest in history so I took it upon myself, in my spare time, to learn true history. I have learned several interesting facts that were never shared in school. I have also realized that not only is the liberal agenda forced upon students but an un-American view is also forced upon us. In schools, students are taught that American soldiers forced themselves on other countries and that we, as Americans, were tyrants. There is no excuse for teachers shoving this agenda upon young impressionable students.

College was even worse. I began my college career as a political science major but after being treated as poorly as I was as a conservative I changed my major to business and marketing. My first class in the political science field was a blatant example of the liberal agenda being forced upon students. The professor seemed great at the beginning and encouraged students to share their opinions on matters with the class. Little did I know at the time that as far as he was concerned the only important viewpoint was that of the liberals.

I offered my opinion a few times after studying topics and having prepared notes for a well-thought-out debate. I was told that I did not know what I was talking about and called “stupid” for taking this view. I was beyond livid, but being the person I am it only made me more stubborn and insistent on getting my points across. It got to the point where my grade was negatively impacted and I was receiving C’s for the same work others received A’s for.

I soon after transferred to another college and ran into the same problem in another political science course. At this point I was majoring in marketing, however due to my love of history and politics I decided to take the course. Once again, the professor focused on making Americans out to be bullies. When he wasn’t trying to get the students to believe Americans were the bad guy, he was trying to make conservatives out to be the bad guy.

I realize that liberals are trying to excuse themselves and their acts by claiming that it’s the “norm”, however this should not be the case.

Students should not have to pay to be called “stupid” nor should they have to put up with having the liberal agenda forced down their throats. As a young conservative student I realize that I am in the minority, however, I will not put up with being attacked by the liberal professors. It’s high time that either both viewpoints are given equal time or neither one is shared.

— Jessica Robinson


A second letter:

Thinking critically primary objective

This letter serves to inform you of my opinion in response to the April 26 essay by Thomas Steiger in the Tribune-Star regarding the issue of whether or not liberal perspectives are taught by college professors.

Throughout my college career there were many instances of my personal experience in which college professors have willingly acknowledged their own political views to the class. In some classes this was the source of much critical evaluation and constructive debates that were pertinent to the class’s development and understanding of the issue at hand. However, in other classes such opinion has also led to much heated debates that contributed very little, if not negatively, to the productivity of the class during those sessions.

A professor’s willingness to put their opinion out there for class discussion in itself does not merit the claim that the professor is trying to influence the class to have a “liberal” or “conservative” perspective. However, the professor’s willingness to defend this perspective and demonstrate why his or her opinion is the most valued/best opinion to others does express an overt willingness to influence others’ opinions regarding this subject matter.

Second, I think that sometimes there is confusion between teaching people to think liberally and just teaching people to think, and this contributes greatly to an overabundance of the opinion that college professors teach liberal idealism.

Many professors seem to play devil’s advocate for both sides of an issue for the intent of trying to get students to understand why people hold opinions on both the liberal perspective and the conservative one in an effort to demonstrate the critical thinking that is necessary for someone to form a well-founded, educated opinion.

Last time I checked, the concept of thought was in itself neither affiliated with conservative or liberal perspective but was the source of determining such ideals.

— Jolene Beck, senior student

Indiana State University

Terre Haute

Ms. Beck is not one of my students and I don't recall her ever taking one either.


Profs should steer clear of politics

Concerning Thomas Steiger’s April 26 essay titled “Are college professors teaching liberal ideology?”:

I believe that some college professors have began to teach liberal ideology in the classroom. This is a significant change of teaching for me, because when I was in high school, the teachers steered away from politically sensitive questions.

If a student asked a question that they felt crossed the line, then they would just say that is not what is being covered in the class material today. Now, in college, the teachers are not afraid to base their opinions on everything. This was especially the case here recently, due to the presidential election and economic downturn.

In all my classes at college, the opening topic was one of the presidential candidate’s views, policies and background. Many teachers were quick to bash one political party in order to create popularity for another, for whom which they were in favor most of the time.

I do believe that teachers and professionals are progressing toward using more of their own opinions and views while teaching and informing others on topic matter. From my own personal experience, this can be somewhat contrary to what your own personal beliefs are. This can often cause conflict and disagreement in the classroom.

I do believe that teachers should focus more on specific classsroom topics and material, and should steer away from political issues and debates. I do not believe that this approach is the most used by them, but it should be. It is up to each individual to develop their own opinions and perspectives on political topics, and the teachers should allow this process to take place.

— Trent A. Land


I don't recall any previous columns ever receiving 4 letters to the editor in response. Yay!!!!!

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