Violation of academic freedom or professional misconduct?

I just came across a very interesting article (Jan. 4, 2016) about Michael Persinger, an experienced professor who begins his first-year psychology class by asking students to sign an agreement to his use of vulgar language.  Two months into the course, he was informed that he would no longer be teaching the class, as he had violated the college’s respectful workplace policy.

Known worldwide for his research on the human brain, Michael Persinger also won the TVO Best Lecturer Award in 2007.

Professor Michael Persinger

 

It’s a challenging situation – balancing professional conduct with personal teaching styles.  His motive was to help students learn, so that they are comfortable asking questions, partaking in discussions, and to help develop critical thinking skills.  But does this make it right?

The college is arguing for protecting the respectful workplace environment, and the teacher’s association is fighting back for freedom of teaching and discussion, regardless of how controversial.  It will be interesting to see who ‘wins’ this one…

Read the article here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/persinger-psychology-class-1.3389410

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