A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

OTIT: CUNY-Brooklyn

I haven't posted much about bias in higher education, but it was only a matter of time for a doozy to come to light. Political Correctness reaches new lows at Brooklyn College, where prospective teachers are now evaluated on their "dispositions," in particular, their disposition toward "social justice."

Social justice sounds great in theory, except that in practice, it seems to consist of having a very liberal world view, and a very contemptuous opinion of capitalism and America. To sweeping a generalization? Maybe. Then again, maybe not. Interestingly, towards the bottom of the article about "dispositions" is the following tidbit:
Advocates of the dispositions criterion say it is rooted in the psychological tests developed early in the last century by an American psychologist, Edward Thorndike, and compare it to personality tests that corporations often give to job candidates.
Thorndike was a psychologist and educator who, by the end of his career in the 1930s, strongly believed in meritocracy. Something which seems in direct contrast to a lot of the touchy-feely goodness that modern pedagogy, including "dispostions" embraces. He also wound up supporting eugenics. An article in the October 1 1998 American Psychologist (p. 1145) notes also that Thorndike, " believed in lots of little measurements, not big theories." Which, of course, explains why his work is being used as the basis for a big theory.

UPDATE: Check out Ann Althouse's interesting interaction with some faculty at Marymount College. It is fascinating that the faculty memeber from Marymount just doens't get that lightly and easily referring to Marx and Lenin as "good" could be considered inappropriate or offensive to anyone. Read through the comments, too, if you have time. Quite interesting.


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