Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Move away from the nuisance 

Ashley Thorne writes about about a mandatory environmental course at Florida Gulf Coast University. It's worth a read -- this type of thing happens in many universities. Two things I learned:
She writes:
Students take field trips to places such as the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, and they must participate in ten hours of mandatory service projects. Upon completion of the Colloquium, students take an assessment to measure how well they learned �an ecological perspective� and �community awareness and involvement� for the university�s student learning outcomes (SLO) records.

FGCU thus teaches the highly contested idea of anthropogenic global warming; engages in voluntyranny; mandates student action on behalf of the �imperative for ecological sustainability�; and buys in to the self-justifying mediocrity of the outcomes movement. The University is forthright in its efforts to provide across-the-board sustainability education; students who choose to attend FGCU doubtless know what they�re signing up for.
Which to me is the point. The students there knew what they were getting into. I appreciate the effort of students who want to make this course optional rather than mandatory, but I would suggest instead simply getting away from a school that thinks that is 2/9 of its student learning objectives.

Before choosing your university, read something to help pick places where intellectual freedom is respected. ISI's College Guide or Thomas Sowell's Choosing a College (older, but still helpful.)