How Higher Ed Fails Students, Especially Leftist Ones

George Leef

This week's Pope Center Clarion Call is an abridgement of the talk Duke professor Michael Munger gave for the Center on Milton Friedman Day (July 31). In it, he argues that our higher ed system badly shortchanges liberal students because professors tend to merely encourage their existing beliefs, not to challenge them and put them on the path of "collision with error," as John Stuart Mill put it. Conversely, conservative students at least sometimes get the benefit of criticism, thus compelling them to learn how to sharpen their arguments. Professor Munger says that the "education" leftist students get in many classes is akin to teaching a young person that all he needs to know about playing chess is that you open with pawn to king four.

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