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Academic freedom in the classroom - Essay Example

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“Academic freedom is the freedom of academics to study anything they like; the freedom, that is, to subject anybody of material, however unpromising it might seem, to academic interrogation and analysis” (Fish, 2006). Academic freedom is a controversial subject in the…
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Academic freedom in the classroom
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Academic freedom in the classroom

They believe that the instructor’s profession has nothing to do with the social or political issues happening around them and they must strictly adhere to the academic syllabuses. On the other hand, some others believe that the learning of a student would not be perfect if he fail to learn from the surroundings. Students are living in the society and the basic aim of the education is to make the students capable of living a healthy social life and to make them good citizens. For that purpose it is necessary for them to learn about the present things happening around them as well. This paper discusses these two different views briefly.
KEVIN BARRETT, a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who has a one-semester contract to teach a course titled “Islam: Religion and Culture,” acknowledged on a radio talk show that he has shared with students his strong conviction that the destruction of the World Trade Center was an inside job perpetrated by the American government (Fish, 2006). It is evident that Mr. Barrett has expressed only his opinion about the trade centre destruction. It is a fact that sometimes such premature opinion by a professor would mislead the students. On the other hand, in order to analyze different dimensions of an issue and also to develop critical thinking, such opinions might be helpful. It should be remembered that the topic academic freedom has nothing to do with the content.
‘Critics charge that the professoriate is abusing the academic freedom in four ways: (1) “indoctrinate” rather than educate; (2) fail to present conflicting views on contentious subjects, thereby depriving students of educationally essential “diversity” or “balance”; (3) intolerant to students’ religious, political, or socioeconomic views, thereby creating a hostile atmosphere in the classroom; and (4) interject material, irrelevant to the subject of instruction’ (Report "Freedom in the classroom, 2007) It is a fact ... Read More
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