January 31, 2003

Lions and tigers and bias, oh my!…

Yesterday I linked to a U-Wire column about bias in the college classroom. Here is a link to Noindoctrination.org–the site mentioned in the article. Students may post anonymous complaints about professors and their biases.

Just as there are structural biases in journalism, there are structural biases in academia. I have not listed these on this site because this topic is not the focus of this blog or of The Rhetorica Network. I’m writing about it now simply because I found the U-Wire item interesting and important.

To make a long posting short, I spent about two hours reading the complaints. Some seemed legitimate and made me angry with the professors in question. Many of complaints, however, seemed to me to be from students who just didn’t want their precious little world views challenged. See what you think, and let me know.

UPDATE (3:58 p.m.): More bias! A biology professor refuses to give recommendations to med/bio students who do not agree with, or believe in, the theory of evolution.

No Responses

  1. Is that bias? Suppose you refused to give recommendations to students who insisted all through your course no matter what you tried to teach that their favorite party didn’t use rhetorical techniques at any time but always stated the truth as plainly as possible, while rhetoric was a tool used by the other party solely to fool and mislead people. Would that be bias on your part?

    A doctor has to understand evolution (among other reasons) to be able to understand how disease causing bacteria develop resistance to an antibiotic that does not cure the disease quickly enough. This knowledge directly effects choice of an antibiotic and dosages and timing.

  2. By starting this update with “More bias!” it seems I gave you the impression that I agree with the student. I agree with the professor. I was shooting for irony…I missed 🙂

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