Mark Edmundson on A Teacher’s Place

“It is not the professor’s business to eradicate every form of what he takes to be retrograde and disgusting behavior. All student perspectives are welcome in class; whether they are racist, or homophobic, or whatever, they must be heard, considered, and responded to without panic. The classroom I am describing is a free space, one where people can speak their innermost thoughts and bring what is dark to light. They may expect to be challenged, but not to be shouted down, written off, or ostracized. Bitter, brutal thoughts can grow prolifically in the mind’s unlighted cellars. But when we bring them into the world and examine them dispassionately, they often lose their force.” — Mark Edmundson, Why Read?


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