Why are teachers liberal?



Answers:
Not all teachers are liberals. Many are liberal, however, because they are working in an area that is for helping others. Many liberals feel that they are helping others with their liberal views.

I myself am a very conservative teacher. I feel that people should be taught to take care of themselves rather than allowing others to always care for them.
I don't think that I can say that all teachers are liberal. I am a teacher, and I am, but there have been a lot of conservative teachers at the schools that I have been at.

Perhaps you view teachers as liberal because they often won't take a stand on things in class (unethical). So they present all sides of a controversial topic- could it be this exploration of options that has led you to think this?

I think it is so positive for our young people to get to make their own choices and thought base once they have all of the information!
From my own experience as a public school teacher of 30 years, most teachers, and yes, I do mean MOST are very conservative in their views. But they are also are very intelligent and realize that all sides, all points of view, must be seen on different issues. Thus you may THINK they are liberal, because they have open minds; but it does not necessarily mean they are.
Not all teachers are liberal, but I believe that most are.

A few possible reasons:

To pursue a career in teaching requires at least some degree of idealism. Although liberals aren't the only idealists by any stretch of the imagination, conservative idealism generally tends toward a desire to maintain the status quo or to revive values that conservatives might see as having been eroded. Liberal idealism, on the other hand, might be better described as revolutionary: a desire to change the status quo. The opportunity to educate a new generation of young minds therefore might be particularly appealing to idealists of a liberal inclination.

Schools of education--which credential most teachers at the primary and secondary levels--tend to be very liberal institutions. You could trace this back to the influence of John Dewey in the early 20th century. Not only do such institutions tend to attract liberals, but one could also argue that they tend to make their students more liberal than they otherwise might have been.

Institutions of higher learning--colleges and universities--tend to have faculty and administrative personnel who are far more liberal than the general population. Students who go on to pursue graduate degrees in order to teach in college, therefore, are likely to be somewhat more liberal in the first place than typical students, or perhaps become more liberal during the course of earning their doctorates.

The previous explanation requires another--why are faculty and administrative personnel in colleges liberal? I've heard many explanations, but the one I favor has to do with late-'60s radicalism and sentiments against the Viet Nam war. College students during the late '60s were very politically active, generally in favor of leftist causes. Perhaps because they came to associate the university environment with the rush of achieving political influence, more of them than might otherwise have been expected decided to pursue careers in academia. Similarly, many students pursued college and post-graduate degrees in order to receive draft deferments--MAs, MEs, EDs and PhDs most often suit one for a later career in teaching.

One explanation that many liberal teachers prefer (and I'm not making this up--I'm working on a PhD right now and I hear it all the time) is that liberals tend to be smarter and more open-minded than conservatives, and that they therefore are more likely to pursue intellectually challenging careers in academia, which encourage people to question received wisdom. Personally, I think this explanation is nonsense. Liberals in academia are among some of the most closed-minded people I have ever had the misfortune of having to associate with, and they they gladly encourage people to believe in a received orthodoxy--as long as it's an orthodoxy that agrees with their own political commitments.

Another ridiculous explanation tends to be favored by some conservatives: liberals can't cope with the "real world" and therefore are much more likely to pursue a life in the ivory towers of academia than in careers that require more realistic sensibilities. Again, pure nonsense.

Keep in mind that many people will disagree with one or more of these explanations, and that may other reasonable explanations might exist.

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