Academic Freedom and Mathematics

There are professors who believe academic freedom is the freedom to teach what they want. It isn’t, because the prerequisite system would be in chaos if that were the case. Others believe it is the freedom to teach in the manner they wish. It isn’t that either. Colleges are more frequently mandating common exams and online homework systems.

According to Wikipedia, “Academic freedom is the belief . . . that scholars should have freedom to teach or communicate ideas or facts . . . without being targeted for repression, job loss, or imprisonment.” Since I can’t imagine a teacher facing any form of reprisals for teaching controversial mathematics, academic freedom should be irrelevant in a math course.

Of course maybe someone would object to teaching the Axiom of Choice, but I doubt it.


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