Members of the Vermont institution’s history department voted unanimously in January to adopt the statement, which bans students from citing the open-source encyclopedia in essays and examinations.
Without entirely dismissing Wikipedia — “whereas Wikipedia is extraordinarily convenient and, for some general purposes, extremely useful…” — the decision paints it with a broad brush — “as educators, we are in the business of reducing the dissemination of misinformation.” (Though a site search reveals it’s frequently cited there.)
Chandler Koglmeier’s op-ed response in the student newspaper, however, was rather pointed:
[Professor Waters’ states that] “the articles can improve over time, but there’s always an [emphasis on] change rather than something finalized.” I wasn’t aware that knowledge was a static thing. […] I think you should talk to our nation’s medical schools. They seem to have advanced beyond the world of Hippocrates and the Greek doctors in the past few years and might be teaching something that is dangerous.
Intrigue, indeed. My question is how will Middlebury students be taught to evaluate their information sources after they leave college? Who will tell them what to trust then?