Prof: Students learn 'progressive values' from faculty

Toni Airaksinen

  • A professor surveyed students for a recent academic journal article in hopes of learning how they "develop socially progressive values," which he believes are of "unprecedented importance" for college students.
  • The survey revealed that students who spend more time with professors during office hours are significantly more likely to be socially progressive.
  • A psychology professor recently argued that the development of “socially progressive values” is of “unprecedented importance” to students in college.

    In an academic article published Tuesday, University of Saint Katherine professor Christos Korgan asserts that socially progressive views on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage are extremely important for students to develop while in college.

    "Socially progressive students tended to submit assignments slightly later" than conservatives.   

    “Very little empirical work has delved into how students develop socially progressive values, despite their unprecedented importance to young people during their years in higher education,” Korgan writes.

    [RELATED: Prof urges colleagues to promote ‘progressive politics’ in class]

    To remedy the lack of research on student progressivism, Korgan and his team of researchers sought to understand what factors lead students to become progressive.

    Using survey data from more than 12,000 college students, Korgan found that students who talk to their professors during office hours are significantly more likely to be socially progressive, as are those who spend a significant amount of time talking to friends on campus.

    “The result that interactions with faculty were associated with students’ social progressivism…might be explained by the nuanced ways which faculty members engage students in and out of formal academic spaces,” Korgan explains.

    [RELATED: Prof: Colleges must train ‘social justice warriors’ to fight Trump]

    The survey also found that “socially progressive students tended to submit assignments slightly later” than their conservative peers, but did not attempt to explain why.

    Noting that his research was “produced during a time of undeniable national tumult on the degradation of our collective social fabric,” Korgan concludes his paper by praising students’ “consistent passion for socially progressive ideals” and their fight against the “existing order” of “divisiveness, controversy, and antipathy.”

    Campus Reform reached out to Christos Korgan for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen is a New Jersey-based Campus Reform contributor, and previously served as a Senior Campus Correspondent. Her reporting focuses on campus First Amendment, Title IX, Equal Opportunity, and due process issues, and her stories have been profiled by numerous outlets including Fox News, The New York Post, PBS News, and The Washington Examiner.
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