The Public Discourse Program at UNC-Chapel Hill: Expanding Students’ Minds

Since the rise of social media, many students have gotten used to discussing difficult topics within the protection of their own echo chambers. Students are often not expected to defend their points of view or engage with others of differing opinions. While universities frequently support such closed-mindedness with “safe spaces” and the barring of certain … Continue reading “The Public Discourse Program at UNC-Chapel Hill: Expanding Students’ Minds”


Three Ways to Teach Students How—Not What—to Think

How do we teach students how to think rather than what to think? If the latest election cycle showed us anything, it’s that parents care deeply about what their children are taught in schools. Unfortunately, too many students are being indoctrinated into worldviews that don’t match their families’ values. There is no place where this … Continue reading “Three Ways to Teach Students How—Not What—to Think”


We Need to Teach About the Socialist Alternative…and Its Failure

Karl Marx is a common fixture on college course syllabi. From English to sociology to philosophy, the German socialist’s writings are explained, analyzed, and dissected. I find myself, a teacher of modern social theory, often explaining the nuances of Marxist concepts like “commodity fetishism” and “species being” to students. But there is one thing you … Continue reading “We Need to Teach About the Socialist Alternative…and Its Failure”


Motte-and-Bailey: The Academic Threat from ‘Lived Experience’

A few years ago, my friend Sheila recounted an incident of alleged racism she experienced at a café in California. While waiting in line to order a coffee, a barista took the order of an older white woman first. The barista didn’t refuse service to Sheila and was polite when she finally took her order. … Continue reading “Motte-and-Bailey: The Academic Threat from ‘Lived Experience’”


Teaching Students Civil Dialogue in a Culture Hostile to Free Speech

It can be disheartening to witness how college culture has become inhospitable to viewpoints that fall outside of the ideological mainstream. For example, a March 2020 report by three professors at UNC-Chapel Hill revealed that UNC students across the political spectrum, but particularly conservative students, sometimes engage in self-censorship for fear of what others may … Continue reading “Teaching Students Civil Dialogue in a Culture Hostile to Free Speech”


Restoring a Great Intellectual Tradition to America’s Campuses

Americans used to relish good debates. The debates between Senator Stephen Douglas and his challenger Abraham Lincoln in 1858 were transcribed and widely read. Even though Lincoln lost the election, the quality of his arguments impressed so many people that he became the Republican Party’s nominee for president just two years later. College campuses are … Continue reading “Restoring a Great Intellectual Tradition to America’s Campuses”