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Too many courses at the University of Colorado indoctrinate students at their expense. The students should be educated instead.
The dictionary defines indoctrination an instruction in a principle or ideology to imbue with a specific partisan belief or point of view. Education is the process of imparting of general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment and preparing people intellectually for a mature life, according to the dictionary
Many of my classes have been indoctrinating, while too few have been educating. The goal of all teachers should be to provide students the logical tools to solve problems. Instead, many teachers merely attempt to replace one set of views with a new set.
A lot of conservative students voice their frustration for intolerance of their viewpoints. Many conservatives argue, and I agree with them, the war on terror needs to be fought. However many teachers make the same mistake as President Bush by linking the Iraq war with a wider war on terror. I can’t help but feel that conservatives suffer as a result of being labeled Bush apologists.
Despite my liberal views, I feel they make a compelling point about classroom censorship. They suffer the consequences of voicing their views when they receive a bad grade on a blue-book exam. Teachers state they are objective graders, but most people take at least some form of bias into any situation. The bias negatively affects the primary goal of a university to educate its students.
I made the mistake of challenging what a textbook says in my deviance class. The teaching assistant told me that the book is “the word.” She meant that my essays on the test would come from accepting the book as infallible. Some believe this makes the grading system more concrete, but I think it promotes a lazy mind because students merely have to understand a book instead of knowing both the logical strengths and weaknesses of a position. The author may have been right, but it is a good policy to think he could be wrong. A test should encourage students to point out the pros and cons of a position.
I am a purist when it comes to the First Amendment, which calls for no abridging of free expression in the marketplace of ideas. Consequently, I listen and weigh the merits of opinions aside from my own. I wish more people would agree with me. I believe liberalism is strongest in its protection of all expression, particularly those not popular in a community.
The syllabus for my deviance class is similar to that of many other classes. There is stipulation that reads in bold print, “While enthusiastic discussion and debate of these issues is wholeheartedly encouraged, insensitive or mean-spirited comments based on age, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, disability status, ideas or beliefs will not be tolerated.”
I am not arguing that comments of these nature should be encouraged, but they should not be prevented either. Policies such as this are intended well, but they do more harm than good. The determination over whether something is sensitive lays on the ears of a listener rather than the words of a speaker.
In practice, this policy means someone has a right to not be offended. I disagree. I think they have a right to criticize those who offend them, but do not possess the right to prevent perceived offensive language.
Indoctrination ties into this policy because any word that challenges existing thought could be seen as offensive. The result of this policy is that only one side is given fair consideration. It may be right, but we won’t know why it is. We’ll just assume that it is because a teacher tells us so.