Adam MacLeod, a law professor at Jones School of Law at Faulkner University, has made it his mission to counteract the ideas that his "indoctrinated" millennial students are receiving from their undergraduate institutions.
“Their minds are held hostage in a prison fashioned by elite culture and their undergraduate professors,” MacLeod wrote on Minding the Campus, a website on higher education.
Freeing his students from the prisons of their minds requires following some simple rules in MacLeod’s Foundations of Law course.
First, MacLeod says, they must skip all terms ending in “ism” and their variations ending in “ist” — including classism, sexism, materialism, cisgenderism, etc. He believes that students are too quick to label assertions they find objectionable with an “ism,” leading them to dismiss it rather than examine critically.
MacLeod quipped that, “the only ‘ism’ I ever want to come out of your mouth is a syllogism” (an accepted pattern of deductive reasoning).
Second, if one wishes to use the terms “fair,” “diversity,” or “equality,” one must first define what one means by those terms. MacLeod told students they would lose the privilege of speaking in class until they demonstrated that they understood three things about the view they were criticizing.
The third, and most entertaining, class rule is that students must “cluck like a chicken or make some other suitable animal sound" should they begin a statement with the words, "I feel."
MacLeod laid out these rules in a speech to students at the beginning of the semester, which he said was well-received. To date, only two students have had to cluck like chickens.
Kate Hardiman is pursuing a Masters in Education from Notre Dame and teaches English and Religion at a high school in Chicago.