Education Decline




SET is "serious unrecognized infringement on academic freedom."

"Some argue that SEF are a threat to academic freedom.  Not only do SET influence instructors' grading policies, teaching style, and course difficulty, but they may also restrict what a professor says in class. Professors may feel inhibited from discussing controversial ideas or challenging students' beliefs, for fear that some students will express their disagreement through the course evaluation form. More than one author has described SET as "opinion polls," with the suggestion that SET require professors to think like politicians, seeking to avoid giving offense and putting style before substance."

"Alan Dershowitz reports that some of his students have 'used the power of their evaluations in an attempt to exact their political revenge for my politically incorrect teaching.' One student, who complained to Dershowitz about his (Dershowitz') teaching about rape from a civil liberties perspective, informed Dershowitz that he should expect to be 'savaged' on the student evaluations at the end of the term. Several students subsequently complained on their teaching evaluations about the content of his lectures on the subject of rape, saying that they were offensive, that he should not be allowed to teach at Harvard, and so on. "

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