Argumentative Research Proposal: Should
Personal Politics Be Kept Out of the Classroom?
Colleges and universities have long been a place for young adults to come to learn new things and explore possibilities they haven’t imagined before. Students often leave college with reformed or newfound beliefs about society and culture. Professors and instructors often throw out the phrase, “Open your minds.” Some potential lawmakers think teachers aren’t always opening students’ minds but are simply inundating them with their—the teachers’—personal opinions and influencing them (with bias and without objectivity) to leave behind the beliefs they picked up from their families during the first eighteen years of their lives and take on the mindset of the teachers’ own ideologies, something families argue they aren’t sending their kids to college for. There are students who feel the same way; they express that they’re not treated fairly unless they agree with their professors’ beliefs. Some professors, however, will argue that their personal opinions offer new perspectives for students to consider but don’t force the students to agree with them, and other professors will say that it is a violation of our freedom of speech if they’re told they can’t express their personal opinions on issues. This discussion has turned political, and though both sides of the political spectrum see a problem, political conservatives seem to be particularly distressed by colleges’ leanings toward and pushing of liberalism.
In fact, the classroom should not be a place for teachers to push their agendas, whether they are conservative or liberal, especially if they are extreme in either direction, and especially in classes that have very little to do with politics. Certainly, teachers with passionate beliefs may disagree because they feel like they need to get their beliefs out there, but, though many professors would grade fairly even if students didn’t agree with their beliefs, there is evidence that some do grade unfairly. Because of this, unless a class is political in nature, teachers should be held to a standard of objectivity and should not reveal and push their personal ideologies because the purpose of college is to allow students to shape their own beliefs based upon sound, objective information. As well, rigid beliefs hinder a teacher’s ability to grow and be truly open-minded, and, finally, a teacher pushing politics creates conflict among students and in student-teacher relationships.
There are some questions that need to be answered as this topic progresses: Are their any policies in place at colleges right now regarding this issue? What are some specific examples of problems that have evolved because of personal agendas? Would it be unfair to have Christian colleges held to the same objective standards? Should religion be a part of this topic along with politics? Does this, a policy against personal ideologies, infringe upon “freedom of speech”? How could a policy be enforced and monitored by universities? How could it, or could it, be done fairly? Are students allowed to express beliefs consistently if they disagree with teachers, and are there instances of unfair grading as the result of political conflicts between students and teachers? Does “political correctness” tie in here in any way?
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Posted on May 26, 2016Author TutorCategories Question, Questions