Have you ever been sitting through one of your professor’s long, arduous lectures when they said something that just didn’t seem right? Maybe they spoke positively of the Soviet Union’s five-year plans carried out under the guidance of Joseph Stalin? Maybe they mentioned that the Cuban Revolution, led by Fidel Castro, was liberating for the Cuban people?
Whatever it was, college students need to speak up and question their professors in these instances.
This presentation of information from one person’s point of view is a rapidly spreading and accepted practice among our nation’s higher education institutions. It’s especially prevalent throughout history departments. History professors are free to teach history however they deem fit, whether from all points of view or only their own. In most cases, it’s the latter, and I have experienced this firsthand on numerous occasions.
In my time as a college student, I have had numerous history professors. Some of them have been excellent, depicting topics in a comprehensive and informative way. However, more than a few have also outlined their lessons to align with their personal ideology, thereby omitting indispensable details and facts. Although some students may be aware of what is occurring, countless others are oblivious to the incorrect information they’re being taught. These nescient students then leave that class with a mind full of incorrect or incomplete knowledge of the topic, which they wholeheartedly believe and spread to others.
But the students can’t really be blamed. Why should they question the “expert,” that is, the professor. Many students trust the professor to teach them the relevant and essential information, but what can we do to help these students?
For those of us who are aware of the professor’s distorted and biased representation of information, we can politely probe them. Do not call them out or criticize them, but ask if they could please elaborate. Generally, if the professor is unable to expand upon their claim, it shows that they are not as well-versed as previously thought. Alternatively, question them on whether the topic could be viewed differently from another perspective. If they are then able to approach the topic from multiple standpoints, it shows that they are open to presenting opposing stances that are contrary to their own. This is ideal.
However, if the professor can not— or will not— recognize contrasting views on the subject matter, it shows that they are not a completely dependable source of information.
Respectfully questioning professors when you know that they aren’t telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, can save your fellow peers from being unequivocally convinced of erroneous and deficient information. It enables your unwitting collegiate counterparts to form their own opinions when there are several stances on a single issue or topic, rather than just assuming the position of the professor.
College is a place meant to foster the freedom of thought. Let’s keep it that way.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.