Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
29 views
29 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
45 views
45 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
45 views
45 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
80 views
80 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
15 views
15 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018
163 Views

Lecturers can’t brainwash students, recent study suggests

Illustration: Chris Harrison

Illustration: Chris Harrison

A new study has criticized the conventional wisdom that lecturers influence the political views of their students. The research from the U.S, to be published in the spring, has claimed that their evidence shows that the development of the student’s politics “tend to run counter to claims of academic indoctrination.” The political views of the lecturers are often unrecognized, and do not “instigate political change in students.”However, the report included ammunition for those that denounce universities as hotbeds of radicalism. The study, conducted by husband and wife April Kelly-Woessner and Matthew Woessner, argued that students’ tend to “move to the left” whilst going through university but to explain this they point to the “liberalizing effect” of higher education, and claim that courses such as women’s studies, sociology and political science especially seem to cause individual students to shift leftwards.

Kelly-Woessner, who is a registered Democrat, designed the research ‘neutrally’ with her Republican husband, Matthew Woessner. They sent questionnaires to political science lecturers across America, asking them to describe and rate their political stances. The Woessner’s also asked the students of the participating academics to describe their own politics at the beginning and end of a school term.

‘The development of a student’s politics tend to run counter to claims of academic indoctrination’

This issue is much bigger in the United States than in the UK. In the UK the debate about academic neutrality isn’t one often taken up but in the US accusations of classroom ‘political brainwashing’ are common in the media and on campuses. Indeed, both the ferocity and prevalence of the debate might surprise British observers. In the States conservative pundits delight in accusing the ‘cultural and academic elite’ of partisanship, with liberal voices taking equal pleasure in claiming that students become more liberal during college simply because they’re becoming more intelligent. So pressing is the issue of academic neutrality been in the States that in 2007 the American Association of University Professors rewrote their Statement of principles to include guidelines for achieving political “fairness and balance.” The study claims to aid this search for academic neutrality as it praises “find minded” education, implicitly stating that a politically neutral academia is essential for the “creation of knowledge.”

Is it desirable, or even possible, for teachers to remain politically neutral? One member of the Sussex faculty, who wished to stress that he was not a permanent member of staff, claims that the answer is a round no to both questions. The staff member said, “considered provocation is more effective than a dry presentation of contending ideas”, and furthermore that “the notion that there could be a neutral perspective as opposed to a distinctively political one is ideological.” When asked whether they had expected a left wing political agenda to be impressed on them at Sussex, a first year student said “to be honest, I though there’d be more of that; I like arguing, playing the devil’s advocate. I suppose lecturers aren’t allowed to seem too opinionated.”

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
29 views
29 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
45 views
45 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
45 views
45 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
80 views
80 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
15 views
15 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
29 views
Arts
29 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
40 views
Film & Theatre
40 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Anonymous - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
45 views
Sports
45 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
45 views
Arts
45 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
80 views
Arts
80 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1139 views1
Campus News
1139 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
15 views
News
15 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

The University of Sussex Students' Union (USSU) has apologised after 'sexist' beermats were found in 'Dig in' Boxes in Freshers' Welcome Bags. The beermats were provided by…

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018
News
82 views1
News
82 views1

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy Lecturer at Sussex, was accused of making transphobic comments in July 2018. This followed various interviews and blog posts by Stock. Stock told…

Welcome 2018 Freshers!
Campus News
84 views
Campus News
84 views

Welcome 2018 Freshers!

Billie-Jean Johnson - September 15, 2018

Ah, Freshers. You’ve no idea the amazing year you have ahead of you! As you read this now, you’ve probably met your flatmates and maybe even met…

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity
Opinion
79 views
Opinion
79 views

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy lecturer at Sussex University, met with controversy after criticising the government’s reform of the Gender Recognition Act (2004). The amendment would ‘de-medicalise’ the…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
395 views
Arts
395 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
396 views
Arts
396 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
373 views
Arts
373 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
433 views
Arts
433 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
449 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
390 views
Arts
390 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
366 views
Arts
366 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
556 views
Campus News
556 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
314 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
919 views
Arts
919 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
375 views
Arts
375 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…