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Liberal Academia And Pleasanton

Original post made by Professor, Castlewood, on Jun 6, 2009

Our Schools Are GREAT, partly because of:


Academics, intellectuals and the highly educated overall constitute an important part of the Democratic voter base. Academia in particular tends to be progressive. In a 2005 survey, nearly 72% of full-time faculty members identified as liberal, while 15% identified as conservative. The social sciences and humanities were the most liberal disciplines while business was the most conservative. Male professors at more advanced stages of their careers as well as those at elite institutions tend be the most liberal.[15] Another survey by UCLA conducted in 2001/02, found 47.6% of professors identifying as liberal, 34.3% as moderate, and 18% as conservative.[18] Percentages of professors who identified as liberal ranged from 49% in business to over 80% in political science and the humanities.[15] Social scientists, such as Brett O'Bannon of DePauw University, have claimed that the "liberal" opinions of professors seem to have little, if any, effect on the political orientation of students.[19][20] Whether or not that is true, some conservatives and Republicans complain they are offended and even threatened by the liberal atmosphere of college campuses. As of July 2008 the Students for Academic Freedom arm of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative organization, posted a list of 440 student complaints, most of which pertain to perceived liberal bias of college professors (Abuse Center).

The liberal inclination of American professors is attributed by some to the liberal outlook of the highly educated.[19]

Those with Postgraduate education, have become increasingly Democratic beginning in the 1992,[21] 1996,[21] 2000,[8] 2004,[9] and 2008[22] elections. Intellectualism, the tendency to constantly reexamine issues, or in the words of Edwards Shields, the "penetration beyond the screen of immediate concrete experience," has also been named as an explanation why academia is strongly democratic and liberal.

From Wikipedia

Comments (30)

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Posted by Jason
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 6, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Interesting, to say the least. I just looked at the Wikipedia page, as I thought this was some sort of joke.

I would have thought otherwise, but it does ring true.


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Posted by DTS
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Thank you.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 6, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

This is about University-level professors. University professors do not need credentialing in order to teach. They are usually in their positions based upon the merit of their intellect, not because they hold some credential or because they are good at teaching (can get some pretty bad teachers at University level too!)


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Posted by Sara
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 6, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Thank you for that post.


This is what got my attention when I read the post...

"Intellectualism, the tendency to constantly reexamine issues, or in the words of Edwards Shields, the "penetration beyond the screen of immediate concrete experience," has also been named as an explanation why academia is strongly democratic and liberal."

Very well said, whatever the application related to!

This does apply to local teachers, I HOPE!


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Posted by Not surprising
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2009 at 9:44 pm

This post does not surprise me. To be honest, those dependant upon government funding are typically removed from innovation. Rarely, even in medicine does innovation start at center for academic training. In fact, typically, innovation is only studied and systematically reviewed, but rare is the occassion that even research studies fund outcomes that don't favor more research.

Research needs grants, universities are funded by tax dollars, etc, etc. On any broad university campus, those in a business/engineering field of study tend to favor conservative principles, while those who will require some kind of governmental subsidy will favor more liberal government principles. The cycle contributes to itself when more and more graduates from univerisities are drawn toward government "careers" vs. innovation.

The classroom is always a couple of years behind industry.


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Posted by resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Oh Wikipedia, what cant you do

except prove a reliable source


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Here is a link that's not exactly on point to the original post but does support Not surprising from a K-12 perspective.

"That our schools need to change should not be surprising. Just walk into your local school and enter a classroom. Odds are high that it won't look too different from a classroom from a generation or two ago.

"Sure, there might be some computers in the back of the room and perhaps an interactive white board instead of a chalkboard, but chances are high that students will still be sitting at desks lined up in neat rows with a teacher at the front delivering the same lesson on the same day to all the students. This might be acceptable if society and the skills many people need to succeed in today's economy hadn't changed either, but they have.

"While U.S. schools stand still, the rest of the world is moving forward, and this has a price tag -- not just for individual children, but also for the nation."

Web Link


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Here's some fuel for you guys here:

From: dienekes.blogspot.com/2008/09/political-orientation-and-iq.html

"In states with high political involvement, there was a linear and positive relationship between state-IQ and the proportion of Democrats in the state legislature."

"some conservative leanings were related to higher cognitive ability. In Study 2, this finding was quite robust, but was confined to states with comparatively low political involvement."

From: dienekes.blogspot.com/2008/09/political-orientation-and-physiological.html

"In a group of 46 adult participants with strong political beliefs, individuals with measurably lower physical sensitivities to sudden noises and threatening visual images were more likely to support foreign aid, liberal immigration policies, pacifism, and gun control, whereas individuals displaying measurably higher physiological reactions to those same stimuli were more likely to favor defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism, and the Iraq War."


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

It is interesting that in the first link above, in those areas with relatively low political involvement, all the intellectuals were conservative. It seems slightly Machiavellian, no?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 6, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

(In the above post I shouldn't have written "all intellectuals", but "most".)


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Posted by Maybe not
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 6, 2009 at 11:59 pm

"EDUCATION IS TOO IMPORTANT TO BE LEFT SOLELY TO THE EDUCATORS".-Francis Keppel


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Posted by Amused
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 7, 2009 at 8:19 am

Of course most educated/intellectual people are liberal. I'm just amused to find that Kathleen R. and Stacey object to this evidence and pull up...facts? No, some blog. Can't you just hear the "Oh no! We mustn't allow anything that might slow our tirade against Pleasanton teachers!"?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 7, 2009 at 9:19 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Huh?

I pulled up evidence that objects to the idea that most intellectuals are liberal? Where?!

Tirade against Pleasanton teachers? Oh right, anyone who objected in the slightest to Measure G for whatever reason is a "hater" and a "child abuser" and a "teacher basher"... *rolls eyes*


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Posted by DTS
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2009 at 9:25 am

It's not that anyone who objects to Measure G is a "hater." I believe Amused was referring to the numerous examples of actual attacks against Pleasanton teachers that have been found in these blogs, outside of the argument over Measure G.


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Posted by Not surprising
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2009 at 9:46 am

It is interesting that those that enter a debate to take away rights and liberties of one group are held up as social models (teachers), while those interested in preserving personal liberties are maligned as victimizers of said social models.

No one was picked on more in these blogs than the G opponents, including by teachers. If a few opponents to G used less than glowing remarks to characterize the proponents, it was in the minority. In other words, if you open your mouth, you give your opponent ammunition. If teachers didn't like it, they should have stayed out of the argument. If you can handle the debate and not run to your corner crying foul when a name is used to describe your debate tactics or presumption of personal motives, then stay in the fight of ideas. Just because you call someone a name on either side does not make you the winner because you notice it first.


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Posted by Fear
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2009 at 9:47 am

FEAR! California used to be the BEST place to live and had one of the best job markets.

This is NOT the case anymore and that's a shame. Jobs shipped overseas, housing values down the tube, mass layoffs, a negative budget and all hell is breaking loose.

Retirement savings have tanked and people are in a a LOT of FEAR!

We're becomming more and more dived as a people. A lot like the Middle East in fact. The citizens of many small and large towns are pitted against one another, by religious and political views. We have our own little class wars going on right here in Pleasanton.

People, we need to come together and not be divided. Our children count on us and watch how we resolve conflict. They watch how we work things out in tough times.

Trust me, if we were all driven from our homes to camps, like in Pakistan, or had many family members tortured or killed in war, we would not be focused on these petty class and political wars.

If we had a mass earthquake or other disaster, I would hope we would come together, not based upon who voted for what, or our beliefs, but on human compassion and community of character.


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Posted by Byron
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 7, 2009 at 9:52 am

Fear..

Very well said my friend. We have so much to be greatful for in perspective. I am not sure how many people here are aware that the glass is way more than 1/2 FULL. We tend to forget about what's going on in the rest of the world, and focus on protecting our very high standard of living, which 99.999% of the world, could never even imagine.


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Posted by dianne
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 7, 2009 at 9:57 am

I dont't care about the rest of the world, I care about me and my family. If I choose to live in a community that has a class size ration of 20:1, then that's my business. If I choose to live in a 7000 square foot home and drive my massive SUV, that's my business.
I worked hard for what I have, and my family deserves to live the way we do. We deserve the best! It's survival of the fittest, so good luck!


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 7, 2009 at 10:07 am

Dede...you live in public housing so shut up! As for the SUV, you bought it used. You kids look like grasshoppers so they may not make it this world....hahahahahahaha...


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2009 at 10:13 am

Julie is a registered user.

Byron, you got that right!

Lots of people work hard and still could never imagine owning a home, let alone a 7000 square foot home. I'm not saying that you don't deserve to live the way you do, but who is to say others do or don't deserve it? And not everyone has worked hard for their riches.

You should care about the rest of the world because what goes on there may impact you having enough gas to drive that massive SUV, or there being enough ozone for your grandchildren, etc.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 7, 2009 at 10:28 am

Amused, I posted something from a Harvard professor (is this a liberal university/professor(?)--I didn't make any supposition) that spoke about lack of innovation in the classroom, which I would hardly blame teachers for and did not post as fact, just that person's opinion.

I don't even think the author is speaking about teachers. It's about curriculum and leadership, the education system, and what we do moving forward for our children and nation. I posted it because it was an interesting opinion. Try to look past WHO is posting and just look at the entire article for what is suggests. No more.

I learn a lot from others who suggest certain books and articles; it's how we learn to express differing viewpoints, understand what brought others to their conclusions, find we have common interests, and have a productive dialog.


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Posted by Liz
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Kathleen,

I found your post about innovation interesting. Having been educated to 11th grade in American schools and finishing high school and univeristy in Canada, my experience is that American students are much more innovative. It is interesting that even with math and science test scores below the rest of the world's, it was Americans who developed the majority of the technology used in today's society. I credit the teacher's ability to teach our students to 'think for themselves' rather than spit back facts. The fact that different viewpoints can be experessed in our classrooms and country speaks volumes. I might not always agree with everyone on these blogs, but respect their right to a different opinion, and try to understand where they are coming from.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Liz, I know/knew some truly amazing teachers and have enjoyed listening to my children talk about the ones who challenged their critical thinking, and not always to end agreeing with the teacher. We have done the same with our children as parents, and while we didn't always agree with their choices, seeing them as contributing adults now is all that matters. As you can imagine, many of our gatherings with family and friends are spirited. I think of where I started in my thinking and where I am so far (it's a never ending process, no?) and wonder where it is the path will lead. Being open to all points of view is an education well worth the time.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 7, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Kathleen,

Good find on that article by Clayton Christensen. He's right on target as usual. His papers on the fall of the steel industry in the US were required reading for product marketing managers at some companies in Silicon Valley. I like this quote:

"Just a fraction of 1 percent of the $600 billion in K-12 spending from all levels currently goes toward R&D."

I think it would be a good thing to see size-able fraction of the stimulus money go to an "Education Advanced Research Projects Agency."

Also,

"... to level the playing field and allow students from all walks of life -- from small, rural communities to budget-strapped urban schools -- to access the rich variety that is now available only to children in wealthy suburban districts."

Many possibilities spring to mind here. I like the idea of building out bandwidth, as he points out.


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Posted by Emotional
a resident of Civic Square
on Jun 7, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Two joint studies released Friday from psychologists at Cornell, Harvard and Yale universities determined that conservatives are more fastidious about the creepier, smellier side of life — reflective of a hard-wired instinct for safety and self-preservation.

"It raises questions about the role of disgust — an emotion that likely evolved in humans to keep them safe from potentially hazardous or disease-carrying environments — in contemporary judgments of morality and purity," said study leader David Pizarro, an assistant professor of psychology at Cornell who led the study.

"People have pointed out for a long time that a lot of our moral values seem driven by emotion, and, in particular, disgust appears to be one of those emotions that seems to be recruited for moral judgments."


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Posted by I like evidence
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Emotion- very interesting study. I'd like to look it up.

Why are people so surprised about the higher education = liberal thing. I realized this as soon as I got to college. There has been a lot of evidence about this for quite some time and there are very valid literature if anyone is interested. Just look at California, the counties that tend to have a lower educated- lower income population are definitely the most conservative. It's indisputable.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2009 at 8:15 am

From an article by Tamim Ansary: What does all this mean?
"To me, the two parties seem in flux. I'm saying, don't be too sure you know who the Democrats or Republicans are and what they stand for. These things change. And in the next decade or so, they surely will change, in ways that will make today's notions about Democrats and Republicans seem as quaint as Federalists and Whigs."

Web Link about Democrats and Republicans seem as quaint as Federalists and Whigs."


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 8, 2009 at 8:40 am

Trying that link again:

Web Link


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Posted by war
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2009 at 9:41 am

I Googled the author of the study and read the report. Interesting for sure!

"Two joint studies released Friday from psychologists at Cornell, Harvard and Yale universities determined that conservatives are more fastidious about the creepier, smellier side of life — reflective of a hard-wired instinct for safety and self-preservation."

I appears that "conservative christians" are most supportive of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. This really baffles me, christians in support of killing.

Bush used scare tactics and lies to mislead the American public and we are still at war, based upon FEAR! I often hear families and war hero's saying that we are fighting so that we can have or freedom here in America. B.S. Iraq and Afghanistan had NOTHING to do with the twin towers. Pakistan radicals did, and a very small number of any countries people are radical extemists. We have many extremist fractions here in America, many being white males. There is eveidense that these extremists here are way more of an immediate threat, than the groups in the middle east.

However this study gives insight into why the conservatives tend to blindly back the war, as well as all the MASSIVE military spending, but NOT our schools, and not paying any extra taxes to fund the schools in an emergency.

I just do not get the thinking behind being so against taxes and social programs, but being in support of MASSIVE military spending and a mass murder invasion and occupation.

"fastidious about the creepier, smellier side of life" So, in effect, the conservatives may believe that if we create "creepy and smelly" dead bodies in the middle east, that we could be spared that creepy and smellyness, here in America?? Food for thought.


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Posted by Jason
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

Interesting post War.. I was trying to figure out why there is so much hostility on these forums, caused in part by the NO vote on Measure G. I was pondering how all these educated and intelligent people of Pleasanton could be so abrasive towards one another.

I occured to me that, humans are aggresive and combatant by nature.
WAR has been a part of our existance sinse the beggining of time.
Religious and political view points have been the very backbone of most bloodshed.


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