Editorial: Professors should adapt curriculum to the Trump era

March 2, 2017

In response to Donald Trump’s election, many professors at Hopkins have altered their course curricula to address the president’s rhetoric and policies. Some, like Wayne Biddle’s Writing Seminars course “Nonfiction in the Post-Factual Era,” were created this semester specifically to confront the aftermath of Trump’s win.

Instructors who taught courses, like Elements of Macroeconomics and Parties and Elections in America, last semester didn’t hesitate to adapt. The Editorial Board commends professors that have created new classes or changed their curricula to reflect the changing times of the Trump era.

Students have been looking for structured environments in which to discuss the future of politics and the media, and classrooms are perfect spaces in which to do so. Students will not only be able to participate in rigorous academic debate, but also benefit from their classmates’ diverse perspectives, all under the guidance of some of the world’s brightest academics.

Trump’s presidency will last at least four years, and it is crucial that Hopkins students graduate with the tools necessary to face this new political environment.

By encouraging students to analyze the present, professors are ensuring that their students receive not only a knowledge-based education, but also a practical one. After all, what is the point of exploring the social sciences and the humanities if students can’t apply what they learned after graduation?

Our University’s motto, Veritas vos liberabit, means “the truth will set you free.” As a world-class research institution, it is especially important that we embody that motto. People come to Hopkins seeking knowledge, and it is the empirical reality in America right now that the truth and facts are becoming harder and harder to find.

Fake news is not new to America nor to the world, but the phenomenon is especially relevant now that Trump is president. It is essential that Hopkins students learn how to stay informed, and it is equally as important that they are given a forum in which to discuss them.

The Editorial Board thinks professors who have tailored their classes in response to Trump’s victory are offering students exactly what they need after this election. We also want to commend departments and department chairs for giving professors a certain amount of leeway in structuring their classes this semester.

In the age of alternative facts and fake news, it is increasingly important that the University offers forums for honest discussions about Trump’s rhetoric and policies.

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