I. Classroom Learning Environment
Princeton University places a strong emphasis on its teaching mission. The classroom provides a distinctive space where knowledge is transmitted, ideas are debated, and argument flows freely in an atmosphere characterized by trust, openness, mutual respect, and a willingness to have one’s beliefs and arguments, whatever they may be, vigorously challenged.
Princeton faculty members have broad authority to determine the content and the structure of their courses. With this authority comes the responsibility to have considered reasons for the pedagogical choices they make. Faculty members should be willing to explain the reasons for their choice of methods and approaches. It is perfectly legitimate for students to ask faculty members about their pedagogical choices.
Consistent with the University’s strong commitment to freedom of thought and expression, the critical examination of competing points of view should be encouraged. No point of view, including that of the instructor, should be treated as immune from challenge or criticism. Classroom discussion among students and the instructor should also strive to foster a respectful atmosphere conducive to learning in which no one is humiliated, intimidated, or excluded. Under no circumstances should any student or instructor be subjected to threats, intimidation, assaults, name-calling, or personal vilification.