Friday, March 1, 2013

College and ideology (by anon)

Entering in to college on my own as an 18 year old was such a liberating experience. Coming from a religious background, the diversity I encountered here was astonishing. It was almost empowering. I was being exposed to things I was never exposed to. I was being taught HOW to think, and not WHAT to think. This was the first time I had ever experienced this. I grew to love college, and the institution of education, mostly for all of the autonomy of thought that these new concepts and ideas gave me. But things changed Nearing the end of my undergraduate career, I am no longer being taught HOW to think, and I no longer feel I have the autonomy of thought that I once had. I am being taught WHAT to think. I am being told what RIGHT is, and what WRONG is. I am being told which beliefs are valid and which are not, based on personal opinion and not reason. I am no longer rewarded for having an alternative opinion or a sound critical thought, but I am punished (either through public ridicule by a professor in class or diminished grades). I am beginning to draw comparisons in my mind of my past religious experiences, and am becoming discouraged to continue on with education.

My question is this- Why? Why is there so much ideology spewing from professor’s mouths? Have they forgotten what it was like to have meaningful discourse in which two people may disagree, or am I just getting the wrong professors? Was the general education program designed to lure us in, and then the ideology hits once we choose a major? When I came to college, I began to understand the dangers of ideology and baseless beliefs. But what I am slowly realizing is our institution of education is just as bad in terms of ideology. The authority of this institution is too strong and falls short in terms of objectivity. It is as if the institution, as a whole or in part, can no longer be questioned or criticized. It just is, and there is nothing I can do.

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