Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Academic Dementia

Roger Simon has an excellent post on hardening of the arteries in Academia:

What we are dealing with at Brooklyn - and so many other colleges and universities today - is an ideological hardening of the arteries so rigid it threatens the ability to think. This naturally creates a "trickle down" into our high schools and junior highs, only made worse by the National Association for Teacher Accreditation. Here's history professor K. C. Johnson on how this works:

The program at my own institution, Brooklyn College, exemplifies how application of NCATE's new approach can easily be used to screen out potential public school teachers who hold undesirable political beliefs. Brooklyn's education faculty, which assumes as fact that "an education centered on social justice prepares the highest quality of future teachers," recently launched a pilot initiative to assess all education students on whether they are "knowledgeable about, sensitive to and responsive to issues of diversity and social justice as these influence curriculum and pedagogy, school culture, relationships with colleagues and members of the school community, and candidates' analysis of student work and behavior."

At the undergraduate level, these high-sounding principles have been translated into practice through a required class called "Language and Literacy Development in Secondary Education." According to numerous students, the course's instructor demanded that they recognize "white English" as the "oppressors' language." Without explanation, the class spent its session before Election Day screening Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. When several students complained to the professor about the course's politicized content, they were informed that their previous education had left them "brainwashed" on matters relating to race and social justice.

Please read it all. What is going on in our universities and colleges is a real travesty that will have implications for generations if something is not done now.

Hiding behind the concept of "academic freedom", the purveyors of thought oppression have gained control of education in this country. The first step in dealing with this situation is to reconsider the notion of tenure as Victor Davis Hanson suggests and put an end to the lack of real-world consequences for the academic endeavors. Once upon a time, tenure may have encouraged new ideas and stimulated vigorous, and even unconventional debate, but now the tenured professoriate all march in intellectual lock-step and make sure that noone with a different opinion ever gets into their elite club or rocks their club boat.

Next, the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of those overly-prized qualities of "diversity" and "multiculturalism" must be thoroughly and painstakingly exposed for what they are: the politically correct posturings of incompetent social engineers who wish to impose their own mediocrity on all aspects of society. They champion a new kind of oppression (the oppression of the competent) under the benign guise of "political correctness". If your ideas merely hurt their feelings, you can be sent to their gulags.

It is time to begin the painful task of treating this "hardening of the arteries"; this academic dementia; that has robbed the intellect from our once-flourishing scholarly institutions. What was once a brilliant flame that lit up all corners in the mind, has become a barely flickering candlelight casting dark shadows with only intermittant illumination. Like end-stage Alzheimer's, soon they will no longer be able to even understand or respond to the real world.

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