Blogging and Students:

Reader Ben Wickert asks:

As a law professor, have the beliefs you express on your blog been challenged by students, whether in class or out? How do you express yourself without causing too much controversy? Or, perhaps, is that not even a concern of yours?

The answer to the first question is "no." It's too bad, since I think students should talk more to their professors, and argue with them (politely) when they disagree. This is s best done outside class, unless for some reason the blog post is squarely on-topic to the current class discussion. But if a student came up to me and said he disagreed with something I've blogged, and wanted to discuss it, I'd be delighted. As to expressing myself, I'm happy to cause controversy, if I think I'm right. I am especially careful with particular posts that I think will be controversial, to make sure that I'm indeed correct -- I don't want those sorts of controversies in which I end up looking like a fool. But creating the kinds of controversies in which I say something accurate yet controversial is, I think, part of my mission as an academic. And it's fun.

By the way, if any teacher-bloggers (whether in higher education or in K-12 education) have any interesting stories about students reading your blog posts and reacting to them, please post them in the comments.