Thursday, April 21, 2011

An update on how college indoctrinate students

I found Robert Weissberg's article on Capturing the College Textbook market fascinating.  He starts with:

At least superficially, the Right’s counterattack on the Left-dominated academy seems a roaring success. We now have dozens of conservative-leaning think tanks whose experts daily churn out policy analyses, together with innumerable Internet sites telling our side of the political story. Add traditional media outlets galore, particularly Fox Cable News, our own conventions — even affinity European and Caribbean cruises where we can eat, drink, and be re-energized.

Unfortunately, this otherwise vigorous counterattack lacks a critical element: the college textbook. Here our ideological enemies totally, absolutely, and positively dominate, and this power undoubtedly trumps our entire arsenal. In the war over culture, the college textbook is the ultimate weapon, but one all too easily ignored.

As an academic lifer and college-textbook author, let me describe the terrain. Virtually all college students regardless of major will take required courses in the social sciences and humanities. With scant exception, these courses will be built around a survey-type textbook. Thus, every semester, thousands of undergraduate learn American government, sociology, anthropology, or history from these books and the accompanying lectures that often regurgitate textbook material. Exams guarantee attentiveness to these textbooks, no matter how cockeyed.

He goes to to share a good example of the kind of bias that exists in text books.

Hat tip: Instapundit

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