Sensitivity Versus Education | National Review

Sensitivity Versus Education | National Review

Over the last 20 years or so, the feelings of students (well, of some students anyway) have become paramount in our educational institutions. Teachers and professors have to walk on eggshells to avoid giving anyone reason to claim to be offended.

In today’s Martin Center article, Assumption College professor Geoffrey Vaughan discusses that problem.

In many courses, students are taught that power relationships determine everything and that it’s imperative to sympathize with the downtrodden groups. “The power play in the woke world,” Vaughan writes, “is what I call sympathy by proxy.’ You don’t have to be aggrieved yourself. You just have to imagine that someone else might be. Like the psychological disorder Munchausen by proxy, in which someone pretends that a person under her care is suffering a terrible disease, the perpetrator is lauded for heroism, becomes the center of attention, and controls the fate of the poor unfortunates.”

In our brave new educational world, the more aggrieved you claim to be, the more power you have. Educators have to be wary of offending any student who is cloaked in that power. And that makes teaching very difficult, since teaching implies that students don’t know things.

Vaughan concludes, “Sensitivity by proxy is insulting to the people supposedly protected and harmful to education. Your feelings get hurt when you learn, and so will those of other people.”

Lots of Americans are paying lots of money for this thin gruel of education.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.