Monday, November 10, 2008

STUDIES FIND STUDENTS AREN'T BRAIN WASHED BY PROFS' POLITICAL VIEWS

Patricia Cohen, NY Times - Three sets of researchers recently concluded that professors have virtually no impact on the political views and ideology of their students. If there has been a conspiracy among liberal faculty members to influence students, "they've done a pretty bad job," said A. Lee Fritschler, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and an author of the new book "Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities."

A study of nearly 7,000 students at 38 institutions published in the current PS: Political Science and Politics, the journal of the American Political Science Association, as well as a second study that has been accepted by the journal to run in April 2009, both reach similar conclusions. "There is no evidence that an instructor's views instigate political change among students," Matthew Woessner and April Kelly-Woessner, a husband-and-wife team of political scientists who have frequently conducted research on politics in higher education, write in that second study. Their work is often cited by people on both sides of the debate, not least because Mr. Woessner describes himself as politically conservative.

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