During the last three years as a Bergen Community College student I cannot recall having taken a class with a horrible professor. Bergen has fantastic educators! That being said I have encountered many liberal ones. Some of which have used the classroom forum as a venue to fire off their political opinions.
Often times it does not come by way of a class discussion where students can partake in an intellectual debate. Rather, it’s done in the middle of a professor’s lecture usually as a joke. An unnecessary political comment hurled out from no where.
When I first started at Bergen I witnessed in my Introduction to Business class a professor cleverly promoting Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. With indirect comments throughout the semester he more or less was telling the class who he thinks they should vote for. Is that not a form of indoctrination?
In one political science class the professor blatantly told us we could not use Fox News as a project source. I did not appreciate this kind of censorship. If the United States Congress is not allowed to abridge our freedom of speech or of the press, why is a professor allowed to do so?
I have occasionally been taken back when someone with a liberal outlook projects their bias from the class podium. For instance, a guest speaker in one class, the head of a non-profit health organization, went off topic during a healthcare conversation to ridicule Sarah Palin. Because Palin had zero relevance to the topic at hand it made the speaker look childish.
This semester I’m taking Environmental Biology. With discussions on global warming and carbon footprints I knew Republican bashing was inevitable. In the very first class it took my professor only one hour and five minuets to make a tasteless comment with the word Republican in it.
This is not what teachers are paid to do and more importantly not what the students pay to hear. Teachers should focus on teaching, not political punditry.
Incidentally, it’s important to note that I have never been in a classroom, not once, where I have encountered a professor, potentially of Republican persuasion, take cheap shots at the Democrat Party. That’s not to say it doesn’t take place. If it does it happens more infrequently.
The Washington Post printed a “Letters to the Editor” piece in November 2005 that focused on a study conducted by the University of Connecticut’s Center for Survey Research and Analysis. It stated that “49 percent of the students at the top 50 colleges and universities said professors ‘frequently’ injected political comments into their courses, even if they had nothing to do with the subject”.
The letter went on to mention that “only 10 percent of those surveyed were majoring in political science or government, where you would properly expect discussion of electoral politics and current events”.
Set aside the unethical aspect of this topic for a moment. It’s worth noting that most polls since 2003 show liberalism in decline as a political ideology held by Americans. This raises the question is America a left to center country or a right to center country.
A poll conducted in June of 2010 by Gallup and USA Today showed that only 20% of Americans view themselves as liberal or very liberal, while 35% of Americans view themselves as moderate, and 42% as conservative.
The above figures confirm clearly that the larger percentage of Americans do not view themselves as liberal. I think it’s a reasonable request for that fact to be respected in the classroom.