Campus Life

Bias in the College Classroom

Are you familiar with PostSecret.com?  It’s a cool blog where people from all over the world come to post their innermost secrets.  “A gallery of postcard-sized images posted anonymously to unveil a secret. Shared confessions in art form.”

It’s an extremely popular site and its high posting level has given birth to four books by PostSecret founder, Frank Warren.  An intriguing concept.


I’ve gotten into the habit of visiting PostSecret every Sunday, the day that new submissions go up.  This morning I found a secret that really hit home:

I'm a college professor and I give better grades to my students who support same-sex marriage!!!

I wrote about bias in the classroom from the late ‘60s in Seven Things I Didn’t Like About College, where the #1 thing I didn’t like was:

1. Elitist, leftist professors.  Anti-war sentiment was strong in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, stronger than it is today, in my opinion.  The tinge of anti-Americanism was there, too, but perhaps not as strong as it is now.  This affected me directly due to my military service.  When I would try to advocate a pro-America, pro-military point of view, some of my professors (and even TAs) would brand me as a redneck, jingoist killer of innocent women and children or some variation thereof.  Although I can’t prove it, I honestly believe that their attitudes negatively affected my grades in some courses.  The situation is far worse today, unfortunately.

I may have to write to Professor Mike Adams and ask him if he would admit to any anti-liberal bias in his classrooms, since he’s one of the few openly conservative teachers on campus these days.  If he has posted that secret on Warren’s site (if, indeed, he is biased), then I missed inferring it was him.

John Lennon wrote a song “Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey."  I wonder how many other college professors are keeping their political, ideological, and other biases—on either side of the political spectrum—hidden.  My guess is that the number is much higher than we imagine.

Anyone out there ever experienced bias in the classroom?  Feel free to comment.

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