2 MUST WATCH Videos from PragerU on Free Speech and College Campuses

In light of the recent headlines from the University of Missouri and Yale University that have brought Freedom of Speech to the center of the news cycle, we wanted to share two PragerU videos on the topic that are a MUST WATCH. We highly recommend that all teachers share these videos with their students and join the free PragerU Educator Network.

Does Free Speech Offend You?

Should offensive speech be banned? Where should we, as a society, draw the line where permitted speech is on one side, and forbidden speech is on the other? Should we even have that line? And should free speech be limited by things like trigger warnings and punishments for microaggressions? Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, answers these questions and more.

The Least Free Place in America

Question: Which American institution–one that prides itself on being open, democratic, and diverse–punishes its members severely for offering unpopular opinions, while it offers them a very narrow, limited worldview? Answer: Universities. Once the vanguard of open debate and free speech, colleges have become a place where alternative thinking goes to die. Students who speak out on behalf of traditional American ideals, unfortunately, are often silenced by college administrators. Learn how the college campus, a place that should be an intellectual melting pot, has turned into anything but, violating the rights of those who have alternate opinions.

PragerU releases a new 5-minute video every week presented by the best thinkers in the world.  The videos give millions of people the ability to understand the fundamental values that shaped America and also gives them the intellectual ammunition they need to defend those values.  In the words of Margaret Thatcher, “First you win the argument, then you win the vote” and PragerU videos will help you win the argument.

Join PragerU today, and get access to all of our free videos.

Check out the newest video from PragerU on the Student Loan Debt, presented by Charlie Kirk – Game of Loans.  

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PragerU – Bringing the Truth Back to the Classroom, Through 5-Minute Videos

Join a free network of teachers and professors that show PragerU videos to their students and use the curriculum as a teaching supplement in the classroom with PragerU Educator’s Program.

Students no longer learn that America is a land of opportunity, a defender of freedom around the world, and a source of pride. Instead, they are taught that America is a land of inequality, racism and imperialism that can only be redeemed through the adoption of leftist ideals.  As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Never before in America has Reagan’s warning felt so real.

PragerU believes that every student deserves the opportunity to learn about the founding principles that have made the United States the freest, most prosperous, and most generous society in human history. Through the PragerU Educators Program, PragerU can help you make a difference in your students’ lives, and help ensure that this generation of American students passes on the mantle of freedom to next generation, and doesn’t allow it to go extinct.

Through short, educational videos PragerU helps ensure that young Americans hear both sides of the argument and that they understand key, basic concepts in history, economics, foreign affairs and philosophy. The experts who appear in PragerU videos are some of the finest thinkers in the world. PragerU distills their ideas into engaging, accessible five-minute videos so that they’ll be digested by millions of Americans, including you and your students.

As a PragerU Partnering Educator, you will…

  • Join a community of professors and teachers who share your values
  • Gain free access to our video courses, lessons plans and other valuable resources that we specifically design for educators
  • Be invited to an annual PragerU Educators Conference – bringing together all of our educators to share experiences, ideas, get a sneak peak at upcoming videos and best of all, meet some of the experts who appear in our videos!

Our goal is to reach every teacher and professor who shares our values. We are building the largest community of conservative educators in America, so please join us today!

For more information on PragerU, please contact Craig Strazzeri, Director of Operations at [email protected]

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old book (640x238)There is a poem by Vachel Lindsay, called the Leaden-Eyed, which goes as follows:

Let not young souls be smothered out before
They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.
It is the world’s one crime its babes grow dull,
Its poor are oxlike, limp and leaden-eyed.
Not that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly;
Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap;

Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve;
Not that they die, but that they die like sheep.

Many interpretations of this poem are possible, but one stands out for me: that if the young are not shown the possibility and even the probability of their lives’ fulfillment, they are, as another famous American, Henry David Thoreau, put it, doomed to live lives of quiet desperation.

What is the source of the inspiration the young so deeply need? Of course, it is in education. But what about education is it that inspires? Most of all, it is literature.

People learn through narrative. Notwithstanding the assault on literature launched by the proponents of Common Core, the study of great literary works, of narrative fiction and nonfiction, drama and poetry, are not just a part of, but central to, the education essential to the development of children’s minds.

The most efficient and effective vehicle for teaching the lessons of life, of the spirit and of philosophic reality, are variously described as the parable, the anecdote, the fable, the myth and the legend. Imbued with the reality that underlies the story—often a morality tale—the fable, for example, contains elements of the real world to drive the core lesson home, while couching that moral in the cloak of fiction.

In this way, the novel is the most sophisticated extrapolation of the fairy tale—or rather, it can be. Of course, the verismo “slice of life” tale, replete with negative elements that do not resolve by story’s end, that do not hold out hope of change against the vagaries of bad elements, under the guise of “realism,” are equally effective examples of what not to do, how not to live and what not to wish for. The lessons in them are negative.

In his short, telling book, Toward a Moral Fiction, the writer and well-known literary methodologist, John Gardner, insisted that good literature must always have as its core a moral perspective in which good and evil are juxtaposed against each other so that they are clearly distinguished, because the purpose of fiction is to help clarify for readers what is good in life and what is bad, what makes life worth living and what to avoid like the plague. When this element is not present, as in a technical manual, or when it is perverted so that the bad replaces the good, for example, in literature that celebrates drug addiction, perverse sex and repulsive behavior, the example that is learned is at best uninspiring or at worse inspires the wrong values. It does not present an example to live by.

Does this mean a piece of literature cannot be tragic, or that it cannot contain negative elements that describe reality?

Of course not. In good literature right and wrong are clearly identified. Right is good and wrong is bad. No rational person would think that what Iago does is good. It may question what motivates Othello, and draw parallels between his act and Iago’s intentions. But that is the purpose of great literature, that very question which inspires one to find truth. Inspiration, in fact, is the great gift of great literature.

Most often, in good literature, right triumphs over wrong, good beats bad and what ought to be is shown in clear distinction against what ought not to be. Any curriculum that poses wrong over right or that blurs the difference, under the guise of “realism,” is defective and ought not to be taught to children in schools.

There is no other way to put it. If we deny our children the wonders of poetry, short stories and novels that extol the great virtues and heroic exploits of figures of history and fiction, where will that inspiration come from? Will it, can it, come from reading technical manuals? Is there anything to learn from studying the procedures for operating a wireless router that has anything to do with building character, as compared to reading “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow?

Reading technical manuals, as prescribed by Common Core, gives our children no nourishment of the spirit; while books like “Dreaming in Cuban” and “Persepolis” teach no clear lesson that places good behavior above bad. When we replace Shakespeare, Dickens and Poe with such reading, we do not feed our children good literature, but defective pap that may poison their minds.

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