In discussing conflicts between students and instructors over course
materials we also need to look at the evolving role of the university and
its relationship to students. At
this university many students are interested solely in getting a degree to
help their earning capability - which I'm sure surprises no one. The
result is at times a student who is put out at the idea of core
requirements let alone material that may challenge his/her views.
In this sense the university is serving two functions which become clearer
all the time - one as an institution of higher learning, the other as a
glorified trade school. We can see some other evidence of this trend in
the talk of a "fast track" degree, which would enable a student to finish
in three years without wasting any time on courses outside their interest.
This is not necessarily to disparage today's student; getting a good,
cheap degree is an economic imperative to students who know that a BA or
BS has become what a high school diploma was a few decades ago.
So into the pot of intolerence and prejudice you can also toss money
matters, which unfortunately become more important each year. In a society
that does not value education for its own sake it is diffcult to argue for
what many consider a watse of time.