Prof: Students learn 'progressive values' from faculty

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.

“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.

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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.

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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