The Corner


College Education versus Curiosity

American colleges used to boast about how they open up minds and expand intellectual horizons. To a large extent, they did, at least for students who were so inclined.

Over the last several decades, however, aggressive leftist ideology has taken over many schools. More and more courses are about instilling a particular point of view rather than teaching a body of knowledge. Students know that they can land in trouble just for challenging a professor or merely asking the wrong question. Research into many topics is now taboo.

Law professor Frank Buckley has just published a new book entitled Curiosity and Its Twelve Rules for Life and, in today’s Martin Center commentary, he looks at the bad impact higher education is now having on curiosity.

Buckley writes, “There’s a single way of looking at things today, and we’re teaching America’s young that it’s dangerous to go anywhere else. That’s a crime against humanity, because we live in a world of wonders that offers opportunities for enjoyment and delight, and all we have to do is reach out and grab them.

“We need to create, to struggle and not to yield, to be curious about the world and what we owe other people. Every leap of knowledge was created by a person who was curious. If we won’t see much of this from today’s students, you can thank our educational system.”

Absolutely right. A politicized education system strives for conformity and that’s the enemy of curiosity.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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