Academic Respect

Academic respect is something that I feel should be integrated into all levels of academia and educational institutions. Feel comfortable in a classroom environment is a key component within successful discussion, and if a student or teacher encounters disrespect it is probable that they will refrain from engaging in conversation after they experience it.

It is arguable that maintaining academic respect can be difficult in all scenarios considering persons possess differing opinions. However, it is certainly possible to express an opinion without insulting or attacking a person who fails to agree with your opinion, and it is furthermore possible to come to an understanding that personal opinion does not necessarily indicate factual evidence or reasoning.

I have encountered disrespect from students on two separate occasions within one of my university courses. The course itself addresses controversial subject matter, meaning differences in opinions are inevitable. However, my professor has made it very clear that good discussion fails to involve disrespect towards students and their ideas, and also fails to tolerate intentional or directed disrespect.

Personally, I was not overly bothered with my encounters of disrespect from other students, but I would argue a lot of individuals would be. When I experienced disrespect in the classroom, I expressed my disapproval of such behaviour and the students apologized to me after class. However, some students may feel personally attacked by another student in their disrespect depending on the severity of their behaviour or language, and as a result may obstain from engaging in discussion at a later date. This is  unfortunate and wrong, which is why I believe respect for others in the classroom is so important.

Perhaps instead of attacking someone for an opinion you do not agree with, you could question their opinion in a manner that is both respectful and academic. By refraining from singling out the individual in front of a class simply because you do not share their stance in regards to something, you avoid halting discussion or potentially hindering their willingness to engage in discussion again.

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