iOS app Android app

David Moshman
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

Stanley Fish on Academic Freedom

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 5:33 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...

Read Post

Civility and Free Speech in Education

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 12:51 PM

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,...

Read Post

English Teachers Adopt Statement on Academic Freedom

(1) Comments | Posted December 21, 2014 | 9:38 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...

Read Post

Civility, Free Speech, and Israel

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2014 | 10:51 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...

Read Post

Free Speech: A Happy Ending

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 6:34 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...

Read Post

Academic Freedom at the University of Illinois

(1) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 11:15 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...

Read Post

Colleges: Drop Your Speech Codes

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 6:19 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...

Read Post

Education for Rwanda: After the Genocide

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 2:07 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...

Read Post

Education for Rwanda

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 6:40 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...

Read Post

20 Years Ago, Genocide in Rwanda

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 11:47 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...

Read Post

Academic Boycotts and Counterboycotts

(2) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 5:41 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...

Read Post

Zero Tolerance for Intolerance

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 1:19 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...

Read Post

Christian Football in Nebraska

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 5:18 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...

Read Post

Eichmann in Jerusalem: 50 Years Later

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 1:11 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...

Read Post

Students: Exercise Your Intellectual Freedom

(2) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 6:27 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...

Read Post

Student Rights: A Philosophical Framework

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 5:09 PM

Student rights are usually addressed as a matter of law. In Understanding Student Rights in Schools (Teachers College Press, 2013), philosopher Bryan Warnick addresses student rights as an ethical issue. His concern is what elementary and secondary schools should do with regard to students' freedom of expression, religious liberty, and...

Read Post

Affirmative Action for Republicans

(4) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 1:30 PM

The big affirmative action news for June was the Supreme Court decision in Fisher v. Texas, which turned out less than momentous when the Court sent the case back for further proceedings. It remains unclear just how far affirmative action can go in the case of African Americans and other...

Read Post

Sexual Harassment and Academic Freedom

(6) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 3:14 PM

The University of Montana has received a 31-page letter from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education. It's not a love letter. And it's not just for them.

The letter puts higher education on notice that mere speech can be sexual harassment if any listener is offended by...

Read Post

Young Africans Speaking Up

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 6:39 PM

Estelline says her participation in performances of her local culture club "helps the audience, especially those who became orphans because this shows that they are not alone."

She adds, "while laughing they forget their past. And maybe they forget what things they were planning to do, bad things to do...

Read Post

Ernie Chambers: Not Pledging Allegiance

(2) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 2:46 PM

Nebraska's Defender of the Downtrodden is back.

That's not quite an official title but it's a widely recognized one. State Senator Ernie Chambers has been defending downtrodden Nebraskans against racism, sexism, homophobia, the death penalty, and government establishment of religion since he was elected to the legislature in 1970.

Read Post