Perhaps not surprisingly, HxA takes a scholarly approach to changing hearts and minds. As HxA matures, it may want to extend this strategy to include sponsoring research into the best methods by which intellectual diversity can be extended. It is striking how little data exist and how little empirical work is done on this issue. Second, HxA could become a stronger voice for intellectual diversity and tolerance by attending national conferences and sponsoring panels across various fields, or by incentivizing others to do so.
These approaches rest on the typical academic assumption that data, reason, and logic move scholars to change their minds. As our data show, scholars, at least in the past, are responsive to disciplinary incentives. However, given the remarkably high levels of affective political polarization that currently grips parts of the academy, such assumptions may not be valid.
Affective polarization, as scholars call it, is a dressed-up term for political bigotry and even hatred—the emotional valence of which is more than sufficient to offset appeals to data and reason. While seemingly intractable, HxA could take affirmative steps to more directly challenge political bigotry on campuses.
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Political bigotry within the academy should be made as taboo as bigotry against any other group—especially when bigotry crosses the line into discrimination. As HxA continues its jaunt towards greater legitimacy within the academy, it will eventually have to confront the incentives that draw such a small proportion of the American population into the academy, convert many others into one political party, and, more importantly, repel legions of others.
Higher education relies on social legitimacy, yet data now show that legitimacy is beginning to bend. A growing number of citizens are doubting the value of a college education while many others view universities as a source of social instability. HxA can play an important role in deescalating the tribal impulses of the moral community of the professoriate by using reason and data — but also by carrying a big stick.
Read the full paper: Wright, John P. Nixon Find him on Twitter cjprofman. Colleges have a responsibility to create environments where curious students can explore and grow.
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Heterodox Academy has guided this effort by drawing attention to the need for increasing open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement in academia. Since our inception, we have successfully created numerous spaces on our campus for individuals to engage with diverse viewpoints in an open and constructive manner. College leadership has the ability to make a huge difference in shaping a campus climate. I urge all administrators to consider the ways they can play a similarly positive role on their respective campuses.
At the time, many campus community members were concerned about threats to academic freedom and free speech. It has also helped generate support for events and activities centered around viewpoint diversity and the promotion of civil discourse. Fortunately, there is a national organization ready to help. BridgeUSA has provided our club with indispensable guidance and resources. The annual Bridge Summit provides leadership training, networking opportunities, and fellowship with students from universities including UC Berkeley, Notre Dame, and Arizona State.
Free Intelligent Conversation FreeIC Trust and rapport are essential for creating environments where civil discourse can flourish. FreeIC helps foster both. It also provides an excellent developmental experience. Both events were highly attended and interactive. Data collected from audience members indicated an overwhelmingly positive response and a desire for more divergent speaking pairs—many audience members also expressed a desire for additional opportunities to engage one another.
There is no universal approach for creating a heterodox campus. Every college is unique and has its own set of challenges and opportunities. However, there are organizations and resources available to help YOU make progress on your campus. Most are available at no, or for a very reasonable, cost. There are many students at your college who need you to be that scholar.
Will you step up and do the work? We encourage readers to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — and to join in the conversation on those forums — to weigh in on this or other posts. According to ODDS, the survey had an 8. What topics are students reluctant to speak up about? WHAT potential consequences are they most concerned about?
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Students are concerned about their views being criticized as offensive by other students. This concern was higher, on all five controversial issues, than any of the other concerns assessed. A majority of students are concerned about their professor criticizing their POLITICAL views as being offensive during a class discussion higher than any other controversial issue.
WHO thinks that they are treated badly? Why do they think they are treated badly? Roughly one in five students describe their sexual orientation as being something other than Heterosexual. For more information, contact: Mark Urista, M. Episode Charlie Sykes, Conservative Media. Charlie currently hosts the daily Bulwark podcast, which features interviews with politicians, professors, and commentators. The end of the episode features audience questions and answers. Here is a transcript of the episode. The United States has seen great increases in how many of us take part in higher education.
What Others Are Saying About Allegheny « Admissions | Allegheny College - Meadville, PA
Illiteracy rates have plummeted. Yet levels of political and civic ignorance have remained astonishingly stable since the s when mass survey research really kicked off. We also see increasing governmental dysfunction. Increased political and cultural polarization. A general breakdown in civil society and civil discourse. Growing distrust in major social institutions — with particularly pronounced polarization around universities, expertise, and the media. We see declining trust in one another. People are increasingly reluctant to marry, date, or even befriend or live next to those who hold different socio-political views from themselves.
This correlation — between increased education, intelligence, or availability of information with increased social dysfunction — would have been virtually inconceivable to our Enlightenment-era forebearers. As I demonstrate in a new essay for Inside Higher Ed, abundant research in the cognitive and behavioral sciences suggests that people with high levels of intellectual acumen may actually be more prone to many cognitive distortions than most others — and education seems to exacerbate rather than ameliorate these tendencies.
Put another way, there is a big focus on identifying problems, criticizing, problematizing, deconstructing, highlighting differences, etc.
These are not skills that are prioritized in higher education today. To our detriment. In fact, it is absolutely essential for effective social change that we are able to understand what works, how it works, and why it works. Otherwise efforts can be wasted and interventions could end up doing more harm than good. We should understand those reasons before we commit to tearing things down. Moreover, we know that building consensus around some positive alternative is an essential ingredient for convincing people to support social change: people tend to be willing to tolerate the status quo, even one they really dislike, unless and until they have some other viable and desirable option to rally behind instead.
Put another way: one can criticize the prevailing order all day, everyday — and it will be largely in vain absent a workable countermodel to strive towards. Prioritize Civic Education and Engagement As things stand, Americans tend to possess very little knowledge about the political candidates or issues they are voting on — or even a rudimentary understanding of civic institutions and processes — regardless of their education.
For instance, most who graduate college cannot speak in meaningful detail about the different roles and responsibilities, powers and limitations, of the different branches of government, or the different levels of government federal, state, local. They have no idea, specifically, how a bill gets passed, how to get an initiative on the ballot, how to run for office, or how to build a grassroots movement around a cause — and leverage that movement into meaningful cultural or institutional changes.
Lack of awareness about what elected officials do, what their capabilities are, and how they exercise their influence leads to unrealistic expectations about what politicians can accomplish. On the one hand we see frustration, cynicism and despair when politicians are unable to deliver radical change.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
At the same time as they overestimate the effect of national representatives, we largely ignore state and local elections. Few know who their state representatives are, or even their governors, and have even less knowledge about local and municipal government. The irony of course is that in many respects, the state and local elections, ballot initiatives, etc.
Indeed, state and local governments can, and often do, act as bulwark against policies that are passed on the national level.
One stands a much better chance of being able to actually win office and affect change in their communities if they were to run in these races, or push for ballot initiatives, etc. The problem is that we get them all amped up on making a difference without providing them with the practical knowledge or skills to realize those aspirations. This is how you end up with expressive politics and virtue signaling campaigns on the one hand, and widespread cynicism about the state of society on the other — because virtually everyone thinks that change is absolutely necessary, but also completely untenable.
This is how you end up with the ideological fundamentalism that pervades so many educated people today.
The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, 2013
When you are trying to solve practical problems, with actual people, in the real world, there is no room for this kind of nonsense. You have to build coalitions with people who hold different values and interests from you — by emphasizing superordinate goals or identities.
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