Free Speech Rights of College and University Faculty Term Paper

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Free Speech Rights of College and University Faculty

This is a paper that outlines Free Speech Rights issues at academic institutions and argues why it is important to preserve it. It has 16 sources.

The freedom of speech is something that has to be preserved no matter what the medium of communication may be, and this is because members of society may be greatly disadvantaged if exceptions are made.

As compared to the past, education today is very different. The nature of educating students today itself has seen changes largely because of the awareness that media has brought around. In contrast to students today, dealing with students of yesteryears was much easier because teachers could control them effectively.

Today, it seems that control over students is at risk, especially with the process of distance learning becoming more and more popular. Through this means of learning it has been seen that teachers have far less impact on the consciousness of students, and this is because of the fact that they are nowhere near them.

Computers have had an immense impact on education today, and it is expected to do a lot more for education in the future. However, there are many questions that have been raised because of the ethical issues involved. It is assumed that with the passage of time distance learning for higher educations students will increase and this will directly result in students becoming less ethically conscious and teachers becoming irresponsible for their actions towards students (Fisch, 1996).

There are great concerns for the use of cyberspace because of the fact that people think that more than educational exchange of information, there will be more misuse of cyber space. This refers to the exchanging of pornographic material, etc. However, as one has seen in the recent court battles that such narrow-minded approaches cannot hold distance learning back (Simpson, 1999).

With the facility of the Internet at their homes, many students have taken it into their stride to do more research and study harder so that they can be better at the fields they are studying in. Because of this self-motivation on the part of students there may be several changes seen in education in the coming years. Few areas that might be affected with the advancement of educational technology include the role of a teacher, the type of students and a society that relies on the newer techniques of teaching. However, there may be certain disadvantages seen if all education were to be made online. This is because students who are not self-motivated enough would be left behind. Since self-motivation is a general human capability, it is worth emphasizing that there should be consideration for those who are not self-motivated. In addition to individuals who are not self-motivated there is a need to consider those individuals who have disabilities. This is something that is made mandatory under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Education is a noble profession, and so no matter what kind of child a teacher encounters in the classroom, his or her role is to educate the child, regardless of deficiencies in the child's learning capacity. But since the center of discussion here is concerning distance learning it is important also to consider educating those individuals who are less capable than normal people. The ethical approach considered here is one that questions whether or not such students would get the same attention that other students get, or would s/he be ignored. Presently, with a binding anti-discriminatory law being enforced (No Child Left Behind Act, 2001) this is what is demanded of teachers whether they like it or not.

Schools today are compelled by the legal law and natural law too to accommodate those who may have deficiencies, so that they are included in regular environments, whether they are in a classroom or engaged in distance learning.

Besides these areas there are other things that also come into play. These are things like the law that define boundaries around the exchange of information. These laws are mainly a result of concerns over the ethics of information exchange. Undoubtedly, these laws aim at maintaining a stable society but the fact remains that in an effort to do so authorities might go beyond what freedom the constitution is supposed to guarantee. However, it is the responsibility of educators today to make sure that they fulfill their roles as teachers (Fisch, 1996).

Analysis:

Most people are content with the way that they lead their lives, and this is because they may have molded themselves into certain patterns that they have grown to be comfortable with. A change in the way that they live would mean that they have to readjust themselves according to what the system requires.

The experience that each individual has is the reason why individuals believe that the peaceful world they live in is a result of the practiced ideals. This is the kind of ideology maintained by the sate through the curriculum in order to ensure that the society remains stable. However, the world does not remain the same, and changes in technology also require adjustment in social institutions. These changes may be required because there are higher demands for job posts today, which have been triggered by the need for more highly qualified people. This is because the nature of jobs has changed; they have become more complex, which in turn requires higher level of understanding. Hence, the state is required to play its part in leading institutional change. They have been able to adjust society to the demands of the jobs by integrating technological education in the curriculum.

With the passage of time and technological development it appears that there is a gap building up between teachers and students. This is because of the fact that at higher education level the number of students attending regular school is diminishing.

With the concept of online teaching becoming more and more popular, there are a growing number of people turning to this form of education (Yap, 2002). This is especially the case with higher education. Teachers for this level of online education may not have the problem of handling badly behaved students. They are free of handling all the unnecessary day-to-day issues in regular schools too. The only thing that they really have to focus on is the matter they are supposed to teach. These teachers are at the greatest advantage because of the fact that they are employed on a consolidated amount and can deliver their lectures online without being hassled. (Innovating in Education 2003).

When teaching online a teacher will get a wide variety of students from all walks of life. They may even have students from Juvenile Hall. With the passage of time, it might even become compulsory for inmates of Juvenile Hall to take these online studies and educate themselves. In this way, they will be able to engage themselves in some useful kind of work once they are through with their sentences.

A problem that teachers may be faced with this type of teaching facility on the students' part is that there might be a language barrier for those who are from non-English speaking countries. This kind of barrier will of course be yet another reason for non-English speaking countries to emphasize on the importance of this International language, and encourage their respective populations in this way. There might also be an encouragement for a country to produce more English teachers too. However, communicating with these kinds of students within distance learning is a problem that is difficult to overcome. It must be realized that there is a need for teachers to act nobly as they are supposed to and either clarify the minimum chances of good results that these kinds of students have or abort teaching such students. This is because of the fact that teaching such students would be unethical if a teacher knows that the student is not going to pass. Aside from this there are practices of teachers that are difficult to carry out in distance learning (Fisch, 1996).

The socialization of students cannot take place effectively in any way. This is the reason why distance learning cannot fulfill the needs of students of lower levels. Elder age groups might be considered more suitable for this form of education. This is because by the time they reach this stage they are motivated enough to improve their grades and study harder. The problem that is faced by these students is that they will not get the same attention that other students get when they attend regular school or college. This is because cyber schooling segregates students and does not have any concept of student/student or student/teacher interaction. This interaction is something vital that is seen in colleges commonly and is a very good way for students to discuss things at length even after the class is over. This is what makes college life interesting and encourages students to be outgoing and enjoy social life too.…

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