Stanley Fish may be telling academics to keep their opinions to themselves, but Gregory S. Prince Jr. thinks it is time for colleges to stop trying to make their classrooms neutral. Prince, the former president of Hampshire College, argues for professors to take all kinds of positions -- as a tool for challenging their students.
SEATTLE -- Defining "classroom incivility" may begin with which side of the lectern you sit (or stand) on. Professors commonly complain about students texting or e-mailing away on their laptops or phones or, worse, catching up on their zzzz's. To hear David Horowitz and others tell it, however, students are on the receiving end of more than their share of bullying or dismissive behavior, particularly if they disagree with the (usually liberal) views of their professors.
Many experts say that the United States can only truly see gains in the percentages of adults who have a college degree if colleges and universities get better at teaching students who arrived on campus unprepared for college-level work. But many professors find themselves frustrated by teaching such students -- and many of the students drop out. Kathleen F. Gabriel's new book is designed to help such faculty members and, ultimately, their students.