My view of educations's role in society leans toward schools helping "to teach students to think and express themselves independently. (Hopson, M.)" Schools must have a delicate balance of both "marketplace of ideas" and "value inculcation." Students need to be able to express their ideas and viewpoints in the safe environment of the school. But, school leaders must have the ability to censure that expression if it is biased or harmful. I grew up in the 60's and graduated from high school in the early 70's. I understand both viewpoints. My generation was the one that pushed every envelope. We were the ones fighting for free speech, especially on issues like Viet Nam, women's rights, the rights of people of color, and religious freedom. There were times when people of my generation went to jail for that freedom; they gave up their physical freedom for the right to express the fundamental freedom found in the "Bill of Rights." I feel that our students should enjoy the right to express their opinions. I think that schools should be the marketplace of ideas. This generation is faced with issues like gay rights, whether marijuana should be legalized, same-sex marriage, etc. Again, I feel that our students need a safe place to define their viewpoints on these issues. Value inculcation, expressing values that the general public is most comfortable with, gives students the balance they need to formulate their position or viewpoints on these issues and others that they must address in their lifetimes. We can help students explore all sides of an issue.
As a school leader I would encourage the healthy discourse needed to help our students develop into productive, informed, adults. If they are not exposed to anything, they will not know anything. I try to challenge students with news stories that allows them to write their comments and thoughts on various issues. I want them to know that there is life outside of our small town. I also want them to know what are hot issues. We also are a Channel One campus. I allow students to view and write comments about issues discussed on Channel One. The election in California was of great interest to them, especially Prop 19! The balance allows them to formulate how they feel about the issue. We also looked at the Supreme Courts' decision to ban the sale of violent games to minors. I received many comments, some were very thought-provoking, about both issues.
Hopson, M. (n.d.). School Liability [Video file]. Retrieved from https://lamar.epiclms.net/.
In : school law
Tags: "value inculcation" "marketplace of ideas"