Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

12/12/2004

College Zen

Filed under: Education,Society — Dangerous Dan @ 9:32 pm

From an AP interview with Lindsay Lohan:

AP: Do you want to go to school?

Lohan: People go to college to find who they are as a person and find what they want to do in life, and I kind of already know that so it would be like I'd be taking a step back or something.

Ummm… what about that whole education thing? Broadening your horizons? A slight chance at becoming smarter? Alas, there likely too many young people out there like Lohan who see college as nothing more than some kind of spiritual rite of passage where one finds oneself. Certainly there is that aspect, but it is supposed to be as a result of well-rounded education, which is also good for its own sake. Unfortunately, that tends to be a little ignored.

My overall experience with the academy is that some in the teaching business see the four years as a time when youthful students are not only supposed to be exposed to differing opinions, which is fine, but as a time when they need to be exposed to and need to adopt the "correct" opinions. The students are supposed to go from ignorant, usually right-leaning, dolts, and evolve into enlightened open-minded liberals (they see 'open-minded' and 'liberal' as being synonymous, of course). Now I don't want to overstate this case. By far, most of the folks I've been associated with don't see it as their goal to indoctrinate and don't attempt to do so. I don't want to unfairly impugn some fine professors I've had in the past across disciplines. Even though, they sometimes still have a slight disdain for the conservative students.

The problem is that many of the students are conservative and they may hold certain positions for uniformed reasons. That's not to say that informed reasons do not exist. On the flip side, liberal students are often seen as being more enlightened. This is in spite of the fact that their reasons for holding liberal positions may be no better informed than the conservatives'. The only difference is that they agree with one and not the other. Epistemologically speaking, the liberal student is no better off. Their ideas need to be challenged and confronted just as much as those of the conservative student. In this sense, the liberal student is as much in need of broadening their horizons as their conservative counterpart.

Also, this will be the only time this blog uses Lindsay Lohan as a jumping off point for a post.

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