In an attempt to assist students registering for the 2012 spring semester, the San Diego State College Republicans organization released a “Teach or Preach” list.
The list categorizes 72 SDSU professors who either strictly teach his or her subject or preach personal opinions and political biases in the classroom.
Lx Fangonilo, president of the SDSU chapter of the College Republicans, said the club would like to make students more aware of certain teachers before they decide to take the professor’s class.
“When teachers are preaching political biases in the classroom, we are not getting the education we paid for,” Fangonilo said.
Active members of the College Republicans, SDSU alumni and current SDSU students were involved in the creation of the list. According to Fangonilo, SDSU is the first school in the nation to put together this kind of list and the College Republicans club plans to continue to make a new list each semester.
Dr. Dipak Gupta, listed “preacher” and professor in the Department of Political Science, said in some cases, there is no way to avoid adding one’s own opinions. Overall, he is not bothered by the list and opens the opportunity for students who disagree with him to do so publicly in class.
“I teach an undergraduate course called ‘Political Violence.’ While talking about social conflict, it is often not possible to suppress your own ideological orientation. Although in this case, the difference between a liberal and a conservative position is not always very obvious,” Gupta said. “In any case, having a clear social perspective is not an offense, either for a student or for an instructor.”
In comparison, Dr. Kurt Lindemann was listed as a “teacher” on the list, yet feels strongly about teachers describing their personal beliefs and life experiences in the classroom.
“It’s what makes classroom experience such an invigorating and valuable component in the learning process,” Lindemann said. “I don’t think we can expect teachers or students to leave those beliefs and experiences outside the classroom door. I think teaching students to approach subjects, topics, events etc. with a healthy skepticism that considers different points of view is part of the critical thinking process.”
As far as publicizing the list, Lindemann accepts the College Republicans’ right to do so. Although he, as well as other faculty members, continue to question how scientifically sound the list really is.