There comes a time when one wastes their valuable time fighting a never ending fight. This sounds awful coming from a staunchly entrenched educator, but I've succumbed to the chloroform that Academic Freedom Acts are a good thing. Why? Not because they are good for our country or planet, no way! I like them because if scientifically illiterate America, from politicians to pundits to Joe Six Pack, is so sure that this is a good idea, then we're already screwed. Let's face it, American K-12 science education has been circling the drain for two decades, so maybe it would be more fun to just play along and watch from a lawn chair with a full cooler. Humor me here.
My plan is to extend Academic Freedom to all realms of the classroom, not just keeping such a wonderful idea trapped in the disciplines of biological science and targeted toward evolution. Academic freedom should have no bounds and should permeate all of scholarly thinking. Academic Freedom in Astronomy will teach children that the earth is in the center of the universe and that we've never been to the moon. Heck, it's just cheese anyway. We can use the concepts of Academic Freedom to enforce new “Geological Freedom” and talk about 6000 year old earth. Many would love to hear that! When we apply academic freedom to history we can show the evidence that Ronald Reagan was a zombie (there is pretty good evidence).
Academic freedom in English class will be great, because kids will nev-r b inkorreKT no matr how bad dey right. After all, if there are no rules for what is admissible, a creative and critical analysis of our current linguistic limits should be a welcome challenge. Children should be allowed to decide for themselves in the name of academic freedom!
Why use English at all? Maybe we can just challenge the whole concept of English communication with the freedom to teach in Spanish. Most people in our hemisphere speak Spanish, so maybe students should have the freedom to decide for themselves what language they like best. That should go over really well with those that lovvvve that academic freedom!
There is something satisfying about being in a fistfight and then beating someone senseless with their own arm. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em-- then beat 'em. Scientists are much more clever, much better communicators and have a habit of getting things done. Be careful of what you wish for when you ask for extra academic freedom. With infinite freedom comes no rules, and with no rules comes no framework to remind future generations of reality. With this we lose tradition, lose scope, lose our handle on physical nature and reality. Children will need a strong coupling to modern science and reason to compete in a new millennium of science and technology. It is indeed sad that absurdity by simple extrapolation is likely more effective than fighting the honest fight.