Conservatives Distrust Higher Education

Graduation ceremony – Hendrick van der Burgh – Public Domain

There is a growing distrust of higher education among political conservatives. The linked Chronicle of Higher Education article discusses the phenomenon as it pertains particularly to American politics.

A majority of Republicans and right-leaning independents think higher education has a negative effect on the country, according to a new study released by the Pew Research Center on Monday. The same study has found a consistent increase in distrust of colleges and universities since 2010, when negative perceptions among Republicans was measured at 32 percent. That number now stands at 58 percent.

For years, higher education has been viewed favorably by liberals and less so by conservatives, Mr. Gross said, but political controversies in the past year have drawn attention and increased the negative perception. Protests and incidents of speakers being actively opposed or threatened by students are widely reported, he said, and are often one of the few ways in which the general population encounters college campuses.

A change in the demographics of both parties has also influenced the mistrust of colleges, he said. Whereas 50 years ago, the best predictor of conservative alignment was a high level of education, Mr. Hopkins said, “the popular base of the Republican party is less and less white-collar professionals and is more and more white working-class non-college-educated voters.”

It probably makes sense for conservatives to want their supporters to be less well educated. I wonder what they would consider the optimum level of education. Presumably they would want them to be able to read a little, and be able to do some simple arithmetic, but nothing too sophisticated. Check out the linked article for a deeper look.

via Most Republicans Think Colleges Are Bad for the Country. Why? – The Chronicle of Higher Education

rjb

About arjaybe

Jim has fought forest fires and controlled traffic in the air and on the sea. Now he writes stories.
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