Part One may be found here.
Modern study in much of the Liberal Arts and Humanities rewards students for a certain type of answer. I hear conservatives shouting in the background "Liberal answer! It rewards a liberal answer!" That may be one common effect, but I think the liberalism comes late in the process. Before it rewards any political leanings, it rewards a leaning to abstraction, even at the expense of accuracy.
I don't think this occurs of necessity in the humanities, but the temptation is always there. The student is rewarded for making connections between ideas, e.g. s similarity of values of the Renaissance and the Reformation, or of seeing behind the traditional facts to deeper forces. Students are trained to look for economic issues behind cultural conflicts, or cultural issues behind economic conflicts. The author's upbringing or sexual preferences are fair game for understanding both fiction and nonfiction writing. Issues of social class or personal pathology are believed to drive issues of politics.
These skills of seeing behind and making associations between superficially unrelated ideas are much prized in the liberal arts, as well they should be. They are also prized in the sciences, but with one major, and crucial difference: in science (and a few disciplines in the humanities), these skills are regarded as tools for finding useful answers. In the humanities, they are regarded as ends in themselves. The sciences start with the simpler information and seek to learn if more complex interrelations are valid. The Sociology major is taught to leap immediately to the complex and try his wings at seeing what others may have missed.
Looking for truth is not the same thing as actually finding it.
I write this as a long-past Theatre & Speech major (at William and Mary, we preferred the pompous spelling) who nearly switched to Medieval Lit at the end. Since then I have read much of history, psychology, and culture, somewhat less of philosophy, economics, and anthropology. The little I have encountered indirected from sociology or women's studies suggest that the phenomenon is even pronounced there. I am fairly confident in my assertion that in these disciplines as currently constituted, there are few natural checks on great-sounding theories that have little basis in fact. Getting it right is a secondary, or even tertiary issue for many. It is considered much more enlightened to note the phallic nature of weapons in literature and write endlessly on their psychosexual meaning than it is to note that a sword is a pretty effective weapon, and those tribes which adopted breast-inspired weapons seem to have been eliminated from the gene pool. Rather rapidly, I would guess.
The humanities student is rewarded for statements that are plausible, well-constructed, observant, interesting, adventurous, and creative. Seeing things in a new light, and making due obeisance to prevailing values of the academy, showing that you have read the proper authorities and are familiar with their concepts goes a long way to being considered a Smart Person - which is the reward you're looking for. None of these things is bad. They are simply not in their proportionate place. They are tools to learning, they are not learning itself.
In translation, there is a bottom line: does this result in improved communication and understanding? In technology there is a bottom line: does the thing do what it's supposed to. Economics has a more avoidable bottom line, but ultimately someone can always push the question: did more people eat, or have jobs, or buy microwaves? In history, the bottom line which reasonable people think should be there has in fact vanished in some circles. Does this give us a clearer understanding of what actually happened is no longer the point, as "what actually happened" is regarded as an invalid concept, so dependent on the class, politics, and power of the speaker as to be of little interest. Of more interest are the values of the speaker, and how he imposes his interpretation on society.
Decide for yourselves. What political views will this reward system for a certain class of young adults do to their politics?