Have you ever had a professor or teacher express his or her personal opinion on a controversial political, religious, or moral issue in class? Was it proper for them to do so?
Some hold that professors and teachers should be free to express their opinions, that it is disingenuous for them to teach “balance” when they believe a particular viewpoint is more convincing, and that doing so deprives students of important information about the topic. Others believe that because of the authoritative role professors play in the classroom, such revelation of personal opinion can intimidate disagreeing students, stifle the exchange of ideas among students, and undermine a central educational aim of helping students develop the skills necessary to intelligently reach their own conclusions on controversial topics.
When do a professor's in-class comments on political, religious, and social issues cross a line into improper advocacy?
LIST OF SUGGESTED MATERIALS TO BE READ BEFORE CLASS:
Most of these are short and intended to give the reader an introduction to the problem.
Do: Ask students to think about and discuss the following questions:
* For additional ideas on assignments and lesson plan you might develop with this material, visit our suggestions for incorporating lessons ethics into your course page.