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David Moshman
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David Moshman is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he studies and teaches cognitive and adolescent development. He is the book review editor of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology and has served as president of ACLU Nebraska and of the Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska. He is the author of Liberty and learning: Academic freedom for teachers and students (2009), Adolescent rationality and development (3rd edition, 2011), The daughters of the Plaza de Mayo (political science fiction, 2006), and Epistemic cognition and development: The psychology of justification and truth (2015).

Entries by David Moshman

Free Speech at Duke

(6) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 10:12 AM

Once again, a professor is widely condemned for racist speech. Once again, the university has properly declined to take any official action against the faculty member. But once again, the university officially joins in condemning the speech, and once again I have doubts about the need for and wisdom of...

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Free Speech at Boston University

(7) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 2:29 PM

This could have been "Salaita 2: A Censorship Sequel." Once again, a new college faculty member whose appointment has not yet officially begun has been denounced for offensive speech. Once again, the speech consists entirely of tweets. Once again many alumni and donors are in an uproar. Once again, the...

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'My ISIS Is the Police': Race and Guns in Nebraska

(2) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 11:14 AM

State senator Ernie Chambers was first elected to Nebraska's unicameral legislature in 1970. Representing a largely African American neighborhood of Omaha in a largely white legislature, he often says what others don't want to hear. He serves on the Judiciary Committee.

This spring he upset many with comments...

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Bibi and I Discuss the One-State Solution

(4) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 10:40 AM

My recent post, "Israel Palestine: A Constitutional Democracy" rejected the two-state solution to the problem of Israel and Palestine. This was a busy time for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was schmoozing with U.S. Republicans while campaigning to consolidate his position as prime minister of Israel. Nevertheless,...

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Israel Palestine: A Constitutional Democracy

(1) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 12:09 PM

The only possible solution to the problem of Israel and Palestine, it is generally assumed, is to recognize the two peoples and divide the land between them. The only question, it appears, is where to draw the line and what happens to people who end up on the wrong side.

...
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Stanley Fish on Academic Freedom

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 4:33 PM

Interested in academic freedom? If so, you should read Stanley Fish's new book, Versions of Academic Freedom: From Professionalism to Revolution. I hasten to add that you should disagree with much of it, and you probably will. But Fish is often right, in my view, and always interesting, even when...

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Civility and Free Speech in Education

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 11:51 AM

Charlie Hebdo could be published in the United States. But what if it were distributed in schools or assigned for students to read?

Is uncivil speech protected by the First Amendment? This is a question not so easily answered. The short answer is this: In general, yes; but in education,...

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English Teachers Adopt Statement on Academic Freedom

(1) Comments | Posted December 21, 2014 | 8:38 PM

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has adopted a new position statement on academic freedom. The statement consists of two introductory paragraphs and five principles.

I can't object to any of the principles, which were adapted from those proposed in my book Liberty and Learning. But...

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Civility, Free Speech, and Israel

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2014 | 9:51 PM

A recent letter provides university officials with excellent advice on free speech in connection with issues of Israel and Palestine. The bottom line is this: Political speech, regardless of its civility, is protected by the First Amendment.

The letter, sent November 4 to over 140 universities, was signed...

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Free Speech: A Happy Ending

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 5:34 PM

Intellectual freedom controversies don't always have happy endings. A happy ending for some may be an unhappy ending for others.

But here's a case with a happy ending for everyone.

In 2013, the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA), which coordinates athletic and other competitions among Nebraska high schools, adopted a...

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Academic Freedom at the University of Illinois

(1) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 10:15 AM

In October 2013 the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) offered Professor Steven Salaita a faculty position in its American Indian Studies program. Following usual procedures, the offer was made by the UIUC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on the basis of an academic evaluation by the program faculty...

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Colleges: Drop Your Speech Codes

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 5:19 PM

This summer, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) initiated four new First Amendment lawsuits against college censors. Additional lawsuits will follow, it announced, until unconstitutional speech codes, which are common across the nation, have been eliminated.

How should college officials respond? Here's some free advice: Join...

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Education for Rwanda: After the Genocide

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 1:07 PM

In my previous post, I began a two-part review of an excellent new book by Elisabeth King entitled From Classrooms to Conflict in Rwanda. That post addressed the role of education in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

King concludes that education contributed substantially to the social processes of categorization...

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Education for Rwanda

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 5:40 PM

What is education for?

Education is for learning, of course. But is it also for anything else?

Some advocate education for thinking, education for rationality or education for development. Some support education for liberty or education for democracy Some propose education for life or education for change.

No one advocates...

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20 Years Ago, Genocide in Rwanda

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 10:47 AM

On April 6, 1994, the president of Rwanda was killed when his plane was shot down as it prepared to land in Kigali, the capital of this tiny central African country of 8 million people. Over the next hundred days some 200,000 Rwandans killed over 500,000 others, typically by slashing...

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Academic Boycotts and Counterboycotts

(2) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 4:41 PM

Higher education has been roiled over the past few months by boycotts of colleges, conferences, viewpoints, and academic organizations, followed in some cases by counterboycotts of the boycotters. Most of these academic boycotts, but not all, have involved Israel.

Many individuals and organizations have strongly opposed academic boycotts of...

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Zero Tolerance for Intolerance

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 12:19 PM

Chris Rock may not be welcome at the University of Nebraska−Lincoln.

Not that he's planning to come. But what he has to say would not be welcomed by the Chancellor and student government leaders, who don't like his kind of unwelcoming language.

On November 13, 2013, the UNL student senate...

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Christian Football in Nebraska

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 4:18 PM

Ron Brown, assistant coach of the University of Nebraska−Lincoln football team, acknowledged at UNL's Big Red Breakfast this month that he reads scripture to his players daily. An article in the November 2 Lincoln Journal Star summarizes and quotes from his response to a question about how he...

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Eichmann in Jerusalem: 50 Years Later

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 12:11 PM

Fifty years ago, controversy raged over philosopher Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Her analysis remains shocking today.

Subsequent research, however, has supported and extended her central thesis. Arendt was not just right about Eichmann's banality. She was right about what we now call...

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Students: Exercise Your Intellectual Freedom

(2) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 5:27 PM

With a new academic year beginning, here is some advice for students. These suggestions were written with college students in mind, but they apply to any student old enough to read them.

Come to school to think. Of course you should come to school to learn. But you should think...

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