(Finkin, Post, Nelson et al 2007) Freedom in the classroom

Finkin, Matthew W.; Post, Robert C.; Nelson, Cary; Benjamin, Ernst; Combest, Eric. Freedom in the classroom. Report of AAUP Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure. Washington, DC, USA: American Association of University Professors (AAUP); 2007 Jun. Available from: http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/comm/rep/A/class.htm. Accessed 2012 Mar 13. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/668yu1zbb.

The authors, a subcommittee of the AAUP’s Committee A, respond on behalf of the AAUP to recent criticisms of contemporary academic classroom instruction as deficient in “balance”, or in “respect” for the “diversity” of views held in the larger community on politically controversial topics. The subcommittee exposes these criticisms as based on an assumption antithetical to the principles of academic freedom, namely, that the distribution of viewpoints among the general public or the politically influential should determine what is academically relevant. “Balance” and “diversity” can only be legitimate criteria for classroom instruction if they are determined by the internal professional standards of the academic community, arising from its autonomous pursuit of intellectual inquiry.



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