Paradox is often the most profound well of truth and maybe the most important. Two conflicting or contradicting principles can clash so that they explode into deeper realms of meaning. As a senior in the English program, I have learned a great deal from many of my professors, but I mournfully reflect on an education that lacked powerful, meaningful discovery.
To me, an education is coming to and progressively finding knowledge. This is impossible to achieve with an agenda flowing from professors. The majority of my English professors, if not all of them, have presented only the “progressive” or “liberal” environment of learning – progressive or liberal meaning political philosophies.
Teaching from and presenting literature that mostly supports these philosophies provides a very one-sided environment of learning. Many of the books used in this environment of learning are especially critical of the American way of life and in some cases attack the fundamental principles our country was founded on: liberty and self-reliance.
No doubt there are elements of truth to be found in those environments, but the lack of opposite views – honestly presented – has left me and other students wanting.
Presenting the aforementioned view is fine, but alternative philosophies should be given an equal time on stage. Having a complete and correct presentation of books that teach conservative principles, for example, and also books that demonstrate America’s goodness would be one way to create a more genuine learning atmosphere. Certainly other philosophies should also be taught, and done with integrity so intellectually honest debate can occur in the classroom.
It is preposterous and beyond arrogant for the English department to believe “liberal” and “progressive” ideas provide the only paradigm by which truth can be discovered. I sincerely hope for future English majors that the paradigm shifts back to “reality” (a term no English professor believes exists), and English professors begin to create an environment where educating (or truth finding) can exist.
– Chris Brown