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Academic Freedom

  • By: Stephen Petrina
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

The modern concept of curriculum predates by about two centuries the principle of intellectual freedom to teach, or lehrfreiheit, derived from Humboldt's model (ca. 1810) for the new German universities, but this principle was not defined and defended within the U.S. university system until the early 20th century. Today, academic freedom seems more contentious than ever with conference titles such as Free Inquiry at Risk: Universities in Dangerous Times. The following questions are now common: Is academic freedom a constitutional and legal right? Who has academic freedom? Is the classroom a closed or open forum? To what degree is curriculum severed from instruction in academic freedom protections? These derive from one question: Who or what has authority over curriculum? Following a brief historical analysis of ...

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