Editorial: Combing academics and political views

In a world where forming original opinions is valued, teachers are strongly discouraged from voicing their own political opinions during class.  The argument for this is that, if introduced to certain perspectives in the classroom from their instructors, students will take this information given and form their own set of beliefs based on it.

     However, though it is indeed important to decrease the amount of bias in education so that students are given a recount of events that is as accurate as possible, limiting the expression of the points of views of teachers is not the best way to do so.  Teachers hold a variety of opinions, so exposing students to different points of views is an effective way for students to develop their own complex opinions.

     The best way to make sure students are not overly politically influenced by their teachers is to give them opportunities to voice their opinions during class, possibly in the form of in-class debates.  If a student learns information and the teacher then voices his or her opinion on the matter, the student should, if time is allotted, have the oppurtunity to discuss with the teacher and the class if he or she disagrees. 

     Furthermore, if a teacher believes a curriculum is inherently biased, he or she should be allowed to voice their opinions in the classroom.  

     The AP United States History course is designed so that the entire country adopts it.  The College Board wants to ensure that the entire nation uses the same standards.

     As a result, the curriculum includes controversial sections in areas, such as the causes of the Civil War.   Though it cites primarily economic and social reasons and claims that slavery was not a major cause, all secessionist documents of the South cite slavery as the main reason to secede. 

     If a teacher did not point out the bias in the curriculum to cater toward the South, which would be voicing a political sentiment, a student would be under the false impression that slavery did not cause the Civil War at all.

     In addition, if teachers were able to outright state their opinions, they would not have to sneak them into their lessons, which often creates a less factual, more swayed lesson.  Instead, they could make an unbiased lesson, then state their opinions and reasoning behind these thoughts afterwards.  

     In another AP United States History class, students learned about Reagan’s economic policies and implementations  in the best possible light — only learning about how it benefited the economy.  The praise for Reagan was so high that the widening income gap was not mentioned in class.

     If teachers are able to voice their political opinions to their classes, the full set of facts will be expressed, and students will be able to form their own ideas with far more depth.