Tabula rasa?

Reader comment on: History and Conformity

Submitted by Michael E. Marotta (United States), Jan 24, 2012 14:43

Several studies highlight different facts and findings. Among them are:

  • How Politically Diverse Are the Social Sciences and Humanities? Survey Evidence from Six Fields by Daniel B. Klein and Charlotta Stern
  • Indoctrination U.? Faculty Ideology and Changes in Student Political Orientation by Mack D. Mariani, Xavier University; and Gordon J. Hewitt, Hamilton College
  • Is the Academy a Liberal Hegemony? The Political Orientations and Educational Values of Professors by JOHN F. ZIPP and RUDY FENWICK

At Washtenaw Community College, in the mathematics hallway, we had this for decoration: "The plural of anecdote is not data." So, it is with caution that I offer this story. In a graduate economics class on International Enterprises, the professor was openly a Marxist and only three of us students were Americans. Each week, he assigned two papers, with our choice of which to write. One week, he assigned the consequences of development by extractive industries. His lectures and supporting material stressed the parasitical nature of these businesses. As a libertarian, I had to agree: these MNCs buy local governments and the people suffer. The Gabon is the paradigm: all the money from oil goes to the Bongo Family; and the only paved road is the five miles from the palace to the airport. I wrote on another topic. When he returned the papers, the professor expressed his dismay that so many wrote about the hospitals and schools built by the MNCs in developing countries.

It is wrong to assume that students come to class empty-headed and that lectures change their opinions. Learning does happen on rare occasions. ... or so we like to believe...

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Title By Date
⇒ Tabula rasa? [269 words]Michael E. MarottaJan 24, 2012 14:43
Mr Stoll... [7 words]Fast EddieJan 23, 2012 12:08

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