According to a new report released by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, schools are not working hard enough to promote a true exchange of ideas.
The report, entitled "Engaging Diverse Viewpoints: What Is the Campus Climate for Perspective-Taking?" surveyed approximately 24,000 students and 9,000 employees at 23 campuses nationwide, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Inside Higher Ed adds that those questioned were split into four distinct groups: students, faculty, academic administrators and student affair professionals.
Inside Higher Ed has more on the report's results:
The surveyed groups -- students, faculty, academic administrators and student affairs professionals -- reported a need for more institutional focus on taking other people's perspectives seriously. There was also a general consensus that for the most part, individuals do not strive to encourage, and sometimes do not even consider, listening to diverse perspectives. (The groups were generally more forgiving to themselves than to each other, however.)
According to the Chronicle, 35.6 percent of students strongly agreed that it was safe to hold unpopular viewpoints on campus, and 45 percent somewhat agreed with that statement. But the report also found that nearly 60 percent of students believed their institution was not emphasizing the importance of differing perspectives.
The report found that community service and increased contact with faculty outside of the classroom were successful ways of encouraging students to share differing experiences.
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