Heterodox Academy - Keeping Campus Balanced and Intellectually Honest

October 17, 2018

What are today’s University students learning on campus, and how is it preparing them to lead our country in the future?

 

In addition to the variety of academic disciplines that are being instructed, the social mores and cultural norms which are instilled on campus will form the basis of societal interaction going forward.  A growing body of educators warn that there is a danger present in the modern University environment which threatens the healthy functioning of our democracy.

 

With the polarization that has come to characterize social and political discourse throughout the country, the college campus, which has traditionally been a forum for the free flow of ideas and civil debate, has become more politically charged and less respectful of opposing perspectives.

 

“The question,” according to the founders of Heterodox Academy,  “is whether colleges and universities welcome and celebrate viewpoint diversity.”  The problem, they assert is  that “many American universities are typified by an ideological monoculture” which does not avail their students of the full range of perspectives which are necessary for a truly objective determination of truth.  Furthermore, in many cases, students are learning to be less intellectually humble and to drown out opposing voices rather than consider them.

 

Heterodox Academy is a politically diverse group of more than 1,800 professors and graduate students who have come together to improve the quality of research and education in universities by increasing viewpoint diversity, mutual understanding, and constructive disagreement.

 

In addition to advocacy and research, HxA provides several useful tools to cultivate a more objective and empathic campus environment.  One is the OpenMind platform which is a free, psychology-based educational platform designed to help students to cultivate intellectual humility, empathy, and trust, while equipping them with the essential skills to discuss the most sensitive and difficult topics. The platform is interactive, highly engaging, and can be assigned to students in a particular classroom, or used campus-wide. 

 

Another resource is the HxA Guide to Campuses which rates America’s top 200 universities according to the degree of viewpoint diversity one can expect to find on campus.

 

Visit Heterodox Academy to learn more about the issues that challenge our Universities today, and to find resources to address these challenges and to stem the polarization that students face in college and beyond.

 

 

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