Term of Art: Academic Freedom

“academic freedom: The freedom of educators to teach and to conduct research without fear of political reprisal, as well as the freedom of students to learn without fear of indoctrination or intimidation. Academic freedom for scholars involves both rights and responsibilities. Professors who assert their rights and freedoms have a responsibility to base their conclusions on competent scholarship and to present them in a dignified manner. Although they may express their own opinions, they are duty-bound to set forth the contrasting opinions of other scholars and to introduce their students to the best published sources on the topics at issue. In other words, professors may express their own views, but they must do so in a spirit of impartial scholarly inquiry, without imposing them on their students. Correlatively, students have the right to study under the guidance of qualified and unbiased faculty and to express their views without fear of any form of retribution.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

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