23 Mar 2021 Time to Let Students Think for Themselves
Woe the free-thinking college student.
“It is a mistake to blindly believe that a college degree is a sign of superior intelligence,” writes Davis Soderberg, a research associate with the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project. “Often it’s just proof that yet another poor soul has been captured by the liberal mousetrap.”
In a commentary published by Issues & Insights, Davis recounts that he “envisioned open debate, learning and the sharing of ideas” when he got to college. In reality, he found “a woke-indoctrination machine with a pre-determined agenda by which students were meant to be hypnotized.”
As a means of helping right the wrongs that are now so prevalent on American campuses, and that affect countless young people, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) has proposed the “Freedom to Learn” (F2L) reform plan.
Freedom to Learn calls on Congress to strengthen protections for students, to develop a detailed intellectual freedom charter, and to reform civics education – necessary steps if we are to cure the woke takeover of higher education.
Davis explains that there are three main consequences of the current climate of intolerance found in higher education:
- “One strain of thought is amplified, …making campus debate even more lopsided”
- “Shaming of disapproved opinions increases divisiveness”
- “[F]ear of being verbally shamed” causes students to “withdraw from dialogue” that results in “open discussion, intellectual freedom, and learning [being] crippled”
“I have unfortunately seen this firsthand,” Davis notes sadly, adding:
One of the biggest problems I have seen on campuses is a lack of understanding of American history and the values that have held our country together for nearly 250 years. Students no longer believe that the government’s sole purpose is to protect the rights of citizens, but rather, to be the holy gift-bearer to the people. Students’ increased love for big government and centralized social programs in part springs from a lack of knowledge and admiration for our principles, rooted in distrust of government.
The F2L proposal would amend the federal “Higher Education Act” to bring “a small but important step toward much-needed reforms of our higher education system”:
The federal government controls a massive portion of educational revenue and therefore university curriculums; it must be held accountable in order to enhance intellectual freedom and learning for students of all perspectives and ideologies.
To read all of Davis’s commentary – “An Escape Route from the Liberal Campus Mousetrap” – click here.
Issues and Insights was created by the former editorial page staff of Investor’s Business Daily. It describes itself as “unapologetically free market and for limited government.”