Abstract 1- Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2009

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2009


Ideological Dissonance: A Comparison of the Views of Eight Conservative Students with the Recruitment Documents from a Southeastern College of Education

Robert Dahlgren
State University of New York at Fredonia

Stephen Masyada
University of Florida


The experiences of conservative students in universities have garnered increased attention in recent years. This paper presents the results of recent research on the campus of a large Southeastern university. Situated in a small Southeastern college town, the university in question is home to a College of Education that attempts to maintain the spirit and tradition of progressive education. However, the College also serves a population that includes many conservative communities and individuals. This research is the result of a focus group interview with eight self-defined conservative students at the College of Education and an analysis of official recruitment and orientation documents. The investigation’s findings support the need to clarify the recruitment procedures and curriculum of the institution in order to assist conservative students entering a progressive institution, while at the same time, challenging all students, including those with conservative views, to take part in a rigorous intellectual environment.

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About the Author(s)…

Robert Dahlgren is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education at the State University of New York at Fredonia with research interests in academic freedom and teaching controversy. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in August 2008. Prior to entering doctoral work, Robert taught social studies in Massachusetts and Florida.

Stephen Masyada is a doctoral student in Social Studies Education at the University of Florida with research interests in the history of American education. He also teaches history at Williston High School in Williston, Florida.

Primary Contact Information: College of Education, SUNY Fredonia, E242 Thompson, College of Education, Fredonia NY 14063; Phone: (716) 673-4654; Email: Robert.Dahlgren@fredonia.edu.