Halting dogmatism to foster intellectual discussion: Opinion


In a recent editorial for Inside Higher Ed, Steven Mintz discusses how dogmatism can halt intellectual discussions within the classroom. Drawing on the example of a professor whose classroom discussion was shut down Mintz writes that instructors should expect students to bring the discourses they have picked up outside of the classroom into the learning space. While students may challenge the instructor with their pre-existing discourses, Mintz asserts that the instructor is ultimately responsible for managing classroom dynamics. The author recommends addressing issues with students one-on-one or in small groups and maintaining authority by setting firm classroom rules and preventing “witch-hunting.” Mintz also advises instructors to encourage students to speak from their vantage points, recognize that humanities classrooms are a place to challenge viewpoints and receive frank feedback, foster independent thinking, and forge a community rather than expelling dissenters.

Inside Higher Ed (Acct. Req.)