Posted June 30, 2018 08:23:53Teachers in the United States are often taught to teach to the right.
That’s according to a new study that found that the majority of teachers taught to the “right” side of the political spectrum.
The researchers surveyed 2,000 teachers at the nation’s largest public schools and found that 70 percent were left-leaning, including 90 percent of the teachers who were certified as liberal.
While liberals tend to be seen as the majority, many conservatives, including those who are certified as conservative, tend to go on to be taught to be right-leaning.
The findings are likely to have a chilling effect on teachers who want to reach out to their conservative students.
They also could be used by some to pressure their students to embrace a more conservative political agenda.
Teachers may be encouraged to “sell out” or “sell the country” if they are seen to be on the left, said study co-author David Campbell, a professor of education policy at the University of Michigan-Flint.
The pressure is a form of “political indoctrination,” Campbell said.
“We don’t want to be teaching our students to believe they are less of a patriot than they are.
We want them to believe that they can do whatever they want as long as they are doing it for the good of the country,” he said.
Campbell said teachers may also be forced to compromise on a curriculum that they feel would be in the best interest of students.
“The idea is that you can get people to be more committed to their liberal beliefs if you give them the right curriculum,” he added.
Despite the political divide, the findings show that many teachers are still willing to listen to their students.
In fact, 81 percent of teachers said they would continue to teach the curriculum regardless of what students’ political views were, according to the study.
And in spite of the widespread criticism of the Obama administration’s response to the Charleston shooting, Campbell said many teachers were not even aware of the new research.
Many teachers still believed the Obama administrations response to Charleston was the right one, he said, adding that some were even more supportive of the current administration than they were before.
But the research is not without its critics, Campbell added.
Some educators may be discouraged from challenging students about their political beliefs because they might have to face accusations of “selling out,” Campbell noted.
And some teachers may feel that they will lose their job if they question the government.
Campbell hopes that the findings will prompt educators to “get to know their students better” and encourage them to be open to their beliefs.
He said it is important that educators “be more open to students who are different from them” and not hold back on issues that may affect their students’ personal and professional development.