Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Party of Ignorance

A United States senator says that there is no need for college professors, students can just watch documentaries. He specifically proposes watching the Ken Burns documentary instead of paying some egghead to teach Civil War history.

By the way, this clown has a college degree.

Burns is a Republican, He is not from the South, but I presume he must know that many of his colleagues and their constituents actually wouldn't like that proposal because they think the Civil War was actually the War of Northern Aggression and it was all about state's rights and the preservation of heritage and tradition. How do universities deal with these differences in point of view?

Unless they are Liberty or Bob Jones university, we expose people to basic facts, often in the form of a textbook; and to various interpretations and viewpoints on those facts through diverse reading assignments. We then encourage them to discuss and debate the issues, along the way teaching critical thinking skills and the technique and etiquette of adversarial dialogue. Then we ask them to express their own ideas and conclusions through written essays, which we evaluate and critique.

In other words, we don't just stuff them full of single viewpoints on complex issues. We develop the capacity to learn and think for oneself. A capacity sadly lacking in Ron Johnson.

1 comment:

Don Quixote said...

I know "it's been said many times, many ways" lately, order to be a Republican in 2016 in the United States of America, you have to be full of shit, in denial, and willfully or otherwise ignorant. Climate change don't exist...poor people want to be poor...cops aren't the problem...racism doesn't exist...etc., etc., etc....

Sad. So sad.