The papers have been full of pieces lately featuring statements by UNC professors about how “mean-spirited” and “hostile” the Pope Center is for daring to say that some of the courses and policies at UNC and its sibling campuses are a) academically feeble and/or b) a waste of taxpayer money.
Well, one of the policies at UNC that I hold in very low regard is the notion of “service learning,” which entails getting academic credit for doing things to benefit the needy and then “reflecting” on the experience. Professor Robert Lawson of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio offers up the following assessment:
A bunch of folks on my campus are trying to force through a “service learning” requirement into our general education program. I just filled out a survey for them. Here’s what I said:
I’m opposed to this ideological indoctrination in the guise of academics. Service learning, everywhere I’ve seen it defined and practiced (and I have seen it in practice up close), is about glorifying the poor and downtrodden and blaming he rich. The anti-business, pro-government slant of such programs is shameful. “We must ‘serve’ humanity because evil rich people and businesses are out to screw us,” is the message. Aside from being total nonsense, such normative views have no place in a required general education program.
Posted by Robert Lawson
This comes, BTW, from a fine blog hosted by a former North Carolinian, Professor Frank Stephenson of Berry College in GA ? www.divisionoflabour.com. Try it! You’ll like it!