Russell Jacoby, a professor of history at UCLA, opines in the LA Times on why controversy should not always be taught in the university, and chimes in with an ID example. One interesting comment by Dr. Jacoby is that ID "is now mandated to be taught in five states and proposed in 20 others." Truth is, ID is not mandated to be taught in any one of the United States.
According to Jacoby, the jargon of choice and diversity actually corrodes academic freedom, which once referred to the freedom of college instructors to teach what they considered salient, subject to the review of their peers, not outside authorities. Today, it increasingly means the freedom of students to hear what they, or their parents want.
Using material from the Boston College Honors web site:
What is a Liberal Education?
The British playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, with more wit perhaps than truth, that a school is much like a prison, indeed worse since in a prison at least the inmates aren't forced to read books written by the warden and the guards. Well, you may have felt this way once or twice during the years you've spent in school, but a good education should have precisely the opposite effect. It should "free" a person, Aristotle thought, from the bondage of unexamined opinions, prejudices, and ignorance.
The American university in the late 20th century has become a supermarket of bewildering choices, reflecting the breakdown of agreement in our culture about what is worth knowing. In contrast, we in the Honors Program believe that there is no better foundation for an education than a solid grasp of the history of the debate--from Homer and the Hebrew Bible to our own century--about the perennial topics that have preoccupied men and women: the origin and destiny of our lives, human nature, the just society, the constitution of the physical world, how we understand our history.
But learning the wisdom of the past is not enough. An education for a constantly changing world has to be a training in a special way of thinking: one that leads you to see connections across disciplines, to notice what the tradition has valued and what it has neglected, to challenge your own conclusions and commitments, and to prize what can be learned from people different from you. But even this style of thinking will remain incomplete, unless you use it to develop a vision of a worthwhile life for you and your neighbors and to imagine plausible ways of achieving it.
This is the real goal of a liberal education.
"Teach the Controversy" makes a lot of sense after this kind of introduction to what college is suppose to be about.
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