Academic Freedom

Topics: University, Academia, Tenure Pages: 5 (1519 words) Published: January 26, 2011
Academic freedom in Kenya

Freedom is a basic to education in modern democracies. Freedom in education can be categorized in the various aspects such as; Freedom of the child, academic freedom and freedom to read. Mc’Garry and Ward, (1966) puts it: A free society and a free world imply a free educational system and a freedom within the framework of maximum control. In such a closed society they maintained, freedom in education may consist of ability to say or do in consequential things. The legal idea of academic freedom originated in Germany in 1850. The Prussian Constitution declared that “science and its teaching shall be free.” In Germany, academic freedom is known as the right of faculty to teach on any subject, that was freedom of scientific research, and the right of students to attend any lectures, and the absence of class roll calls writes standler (2000). Academic freedom spread to America in the early 20th Century (Post, 2000). Most American universities at that time were proprietary; professors were understood to be the employees of whoever owned the university, whether that was a private or state. Then the professors began to conceive of themselves not as mere employees, but as professional scholars who were answerable to the professional judgment of their peers, they began to create the idea of academic freedom. Still, academic freedom has limits. In the United States, for example, according to the widely recognized "1940 Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure", teachers should be careful to avoid controversial matter that is unrelated to the subject. When they speak or write in public, they are free to express their opinions without fear from institutional censorship or discipline, but they should show restraint and clearly indicate that they are not speaking for their institution. Academic tenure protects academic freedom by ensuring that teachers can be fired only for causes such as gross professional incompetence or behavior that evokes condemnation from the academic community itself. Proponents of academic freedom believe that the freedom of inquiry by students and faculty members is essential to the mission of the academy. They argue that academic communities are repeatedly targeted for repression due to their ability to shape and control the flow of information. When scholars attempt to teach or communicate ideas or facts that are inconvenient to external political groups or to authorities, they may find themselves targeted for public vilification, job loss, imprisonment, or even death. For example, in North Africa, a professor of public health discovered that his country's infant mortality rate was higher than government figures indicated. He lost his job and was imprisoned.

Academic freedom refers to the amount of independent judgment allowed teachers and students as both seek knowledge about the world. Maclever as sited by Harris and Liba (1960) holds that academic freedom refers to the freedom of the scholar with the university to pursue knowledge. Dewey and Lovejoy cited by Haris and Liba (1960) also related academic freedom to university teaching. In the modern society and modern aspects of teaching and learning, academic freedom can no longer be considered a university concern but it cuts across all aspects of the academia.

Right is what a person is entitled to. Or what is legally due to a citizen account of being a member of a state, (International Declaration or Human Rights) established in 1948, as a common standard of achievement for all people and all nations. This document recognizes the basic human rights and freedom, justice and peace in the world having experienced the two world wars.

The commission for Higher Education (CHE) University Act was established in 1985, July and inaugurated on 16th October 1985. It plans programs and finances public universities. It also coordinates admission process, accreditation of university coordination or post secondary training institution...
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