What do students learn at American universities these days?
The National Association of Scholars (NAS) California division has produced a report titled “A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California.”
Its important finding is that the majority of teachers at the University of California, being biased to the left, indoctrinate rather than teach; and what they indoctrinate is pro-collectivist anti-American leftism.
We have reason to believe – judging by experience, and information gathered over many years – that this deplorable state of affairs is true of most of the universities of the Western world.
Larry Elder writes about the report at Townhall:
California taxpayers spend $2.8 billion to educate the more than 230,000 students at the 10 campuses that comprise the UC [University of California] system. But the report says the UC system does not help students learn how to think, but rather teaches them what to think.
And what they “learn” is that they are victims – whether of racism, sexism, classism or discrimination because of sexual orientation. Liberal profs, says the report, turn the UC campuses into “a sanctuary for a narrow ideological segment of the spectrum of social and political ideas.”
Nationwide, left-wing professors vastly outnumber conservative professors in the humanities. It isn’t even close.
The report cites several studies, including political scientist Stanley Rothman’s 1999 study: “Whether the question was posed in terms of liberals versus conservatives or Democrats versus Republicans, the margins favored the former by nearly 5-to-1 in each case, and in some departments the results were overwhelming. For example, in English departments the margin was 88-to-3, and in politics 81-to-2.”
A different 2007 study, says the report, found the 5-to-1 margin between liberal versus conservative professors had become 8-to-1. Almost 20 percent of professors in social sciences and 25 percent of sociology professors self-identifies as “Marxist.”
And things are getting worse. Younger professors tend to be even more liberal than older ones. Among UC Berkeley’s associate and assistant professors, according to one study, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by 49-to-1 in all departments – including sciences. When Berkeley associates and assistants replace the older professors as they retire, the extreme 8-to-1 tilt in favor of liberal profession could reach 50-to-1.
The 87-page report looked at course descriptions, books assigned, faculty’s political party registration and self-identification of ideology, and student feedback.
Students are immersed in an education that emphasizes the wrongs done to minorities, women, gays and other groups. Gender, ethnic, religious and sexual orientation grievances are highlighted as representative of an imperial, racist, exploitative capitalist superpower that continues to engage in widespread racism, sexism, homophobia and worldwide domination.
“We wuz wronged” takes center stage over a basic understanding of economics, of the concept of federalism, and of the values that turned a struggling bunch of colonies into a political and economic superpower. Indeed, the very mission statements of many departments on UC campuses stress their commitment to activism for enacting social change, or to bring about social or racial or fill-in-the-blank justice.
Take the UC Berkeley history course that majors in that field must take, “The United States from Settlement to the Civil War.” Its course description states its goals: “to understand how democratic political institutions emerged in the United States in this period in the context of an economy that depended on slave labor and violent land acquisition.”
A conservative professor — if there were any — might offer an alternative version of American history: The British colonies defied the mightiest world power by demanding and then fighting for political and religious freedom. They conceived a radical document, the United States Constitution, born out of armed revolution, where for the first time in human history, the new, imperfect country said: “The people rule. Through our Constitution, which we have amended to ensure equal rights of blacks and women, we grant our government limited, non-intrusive powers. The rest is left to the people and to the states.”
Why does this matter?
After all, students expect professors to give opinions. Surely students aren’t potted plants, and can a) read about other points of view and b) freely disagree with professors without fear of classroom ridicule or lower exam grades.
But the report says many students complain that alternative viewpoints are discouraged, scorned or dismissed, sometimes derisively. Students’ complaints to administrators are ignored.
And this is from PJ Media by Zombie:
A devastating new report issued by the National Association of Scholars … documented with exquisite and irrefutable detail the extreme liberal bias at the University of California. However, the main problem with the NAS report … is that it’s too overwhelming and too technical to deliver the kind of emotional impact needed to sway public opinion. To drive home the point in a more personal way, the NAS report needed an introductory companion anecdote of a professor frankly confessing the rationale behind what is essentially the “theory of indoctrination.” … Professor Brown stepped into that role, unwitting though he may have been.
Let it be noted that Professor H. Douglas Brown is no wild-eyed extremist; in fact, he’s rather bland and respectable and not the most thrilling of speakers, as you will soon hear. But that’s what made his presentation so disturbing: radical and self-admittedly “subversive” attitudes that affect the future of society are discussed with matter-of-fact nonchalance. The main drawback of Professor Brown’s verbal style (at least from my point of view) is that he often resorts to the academics’ tried-and-true escape hatch, which is to rephrase statements as questions, so as to have plausible deniability if later confronted. Thus, for example, instead of just flatly saying something like “We should indoctrinate students with leftist ideologies,” he asks “Should we indoctrinate students with leftist ideologies?” and only after five minutes of talking in circles eventually concludes “Yes.”
Read the rest of this illuminating article here.