Editor’s note: This is part of LFR’s special focusing on the difference between education and indoctrination. Without further adieu, here’s Ramblin’ Rose’s first in the series:
Schools’ Imprint on Society
Under the guise of “education,” students are facing “indoctrination.” What is the difference? Education opens the mind to ideas and knowledge of the world and encourages learners to evaluate the information and form their own opinions based upon facts and logic. Indoctrination discourages thought, and through repeated exposure to someone else’s view, learners are guided to accept another’s belief as truth without even thinking.
Before we consider current trends in the field of education, let’s take a look at history. (Yes, leftists are attempting to rewrite history to fit their own agendas…why is that possible? In a bit…)
Homeschooling is not a new concept. The first colonists in this nation taught their own children at home. In the 17th century before the American Revolution as the communities grew larger, the Puritans established schools to teach the essential basic academic skills and to reinforce their core moral values. Almost always, the textbook was the Bible.
After becoming a free and independent country, Thomas Jefferson was a strong advocate for public education because he believed that “no other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness.” To him, it was the means to guarantee that the individual would understand duties and rights in the new nation. He also feared that without education for all, the result would be to “leave the people in ignorance.” He even suggested that the system be funded with tax dollars.
While Jefferson held that resources would come from the taxpayers, the supervision of each school would be directed by the parents. That is still the belief of many citizens, but unfortunately not the reality. Our continued freedom depends upon quality education of the “next generation.”
The title of the “father of public education” in our country, sadly, goes to Horace Mann, who established the first state board of education in Massachusetts and advanced a school system based on the Prussian school system of the early 19th century. Instead of a curriculum based upon Biblical teachings and the moral standards of God’s Word, educational reform moved to obey the dictates of the state, mandatory attendance, taxpayer funding, and a state curriculum taught by teachers who had training from the state and certification from the state. Mann convinced the Massachusetts legislature in 1852 to adopt this model that became the archetype for public schools across the land.
That might be the point at which education moved to indoctrination for many learners. The government, not parents, directed the curriculum, and the curriculum became the program for the teachers to “follow” in classroom instruction. While some have tried to teach facts and solid information from history and research, others have used the classroom as the platform from which to advance a political agenda that they embrace.
In the 1960’s God was driven from the classroom; many parents, as flower children themselves, sought to “feel good” and abandoned their moral compass; welfare benefits became more abundant and easily accessible for more citizens (and even non-citizens). Mothers could abort babies; fathers abandoned families and their responsibilities. Everything was “free.”
The children suffered -— neglect, abuse, abandonment. Naturally, the school became the “family figure” for many. Parents became passive and relinquished “education” to others. Some parents viewed the schools and teachers as the “experts” to be followed and not challenged; others were relieved that they were not responsible for “those bothersome kids” any longer.
One of the more recent bandwagons was the program known as Common Core that was developed without input from classroom teachers. With Common Core (CC), students do not learn to think because an acquired skill outweighs the content knowledge, the process counts more than the product, and relative standards carry more value than absolute ones. Some celebrated it as the salvation from the incessant testing of No Child Left Behind. Many teachers cheered because the textbooks came complete with the transcript of the lesson plan for each day of the year—no one could violate and deviate the lesson or the schedule.
Some claim that CC was defeated with the passage of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December, 2015.
No, it was just transferred to the states, where the governors assigned it to the commissioner/director of education in each state. It is alive and well in the schools. So is testing—multiple times per year in all grade levels. What is tested? Dogma…students must respond to fit the curriculum that has been set by politicians and not parents.
While many contend that the new curriculum teaches students how to learn and rewards the process, the reality is that countless learners are completely frustrated; there is no right answer. They are unable to evaluate their progress; their parents don’t know the material and can’t help. The learners give up in frustration. They become willing sponges for whatever the teachers say. They have not learned metacognition—they have learned submission.
Auguste Meyrat, an English teacher in the Dallas area and contributor to The Federalist, summarized the impact of CC on modern society in an essay published in October last year:
“In such a system, thinking is only the articulation of opinion; it has no bearing on truth. This means that people don’t really need to think critically and understand why they believe what they do. They just need to have the right viewpoint and force others to conform like they’ve been forced to conform. They engage in arguments where the loudest voice wins because no one’s points are better than another. They pressure instead of persuade.”
Some parents have sought an alternative for their children with charter schools, private schools, open-enrollment options, and homeschooling. Yes, that is an avenue, but there is a potentially large boulder in the road for higher education. The authors and proponents of CC are also the authors and evaluators on the college entrance exams where regurgitation of dogma earns points (without attention to argumentation, clarity of expression, spelling or grammar). So what do the parents tell their young people who want to attend institutions beyond high school: “Do your best, stay true to your values and fail” or “Lie so that you may go to college”?
Auguste Meyrat continues, writing:
“This, in turn, leads to tribalism—groups of people united in feeling and opinion, but not in reason and truth. The lack of thought makes all these groups vulnerable to mass media and prevents any organized resistance to an encroaching state or lawless ideologue in power. Indoctrination is complete when perception (i.e., whatever is on the screen, whatever an “expert” says, whatever is popular) really does become reality for most people because they’re too stupid or apathetic to respond rationally.”
Tribalism? Yes, think Antifa, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and any other number of movements advocated by the media and acted out by young people. Yet this month, students are being encouraged to leave classes in droves to “save the planet” because apparently adults have not embraced the rhetoric from the environmentalists as readily as the sponges in the classrooms around the globe.
That does reflect the news media and the topics addressed via social media, digital media and print media. All coverage pits one group against another, one belief against another. There is no discussion, no exchange of ideas logically debated. Rather, one group is right and their ideas MUST be embraced. Others are all labeled in derogatory terms for whatever ideas they have and values they hold.
In science, it was a “new ice age,” “global warming,” “climate change,” “green new deal” and any other terms that seek to alter life and living out of fear. The NOAA has not documented any evidence of warming since 2005, but that is not the indoctrination being promoted by the radicals. Of course, there is still Darwinian ideas taught as truth. Creationists are driven from education if they do not espouse evolution or the big bang theory.
In literature, it means removing the classics for any number of reasons and the substitution of popular media selected by the “progressives.” Often reading and analysis is sacrificed to the viewing of a film or a video clip.
In reading, it means inviting drag queens (performers from adult clubs) to read to children during library time. In an elementary class in Virginia, kindergarteners learn about transgender rights as the teacher reads them a book.
In biology, it means that anyone of any age may select his/her/its own identity. It is a mandatory program in Oak Park, California. Even after the Trump administration reversed the Obama-era of open bathrooms and locker rooms, schools enforce the “open door” policy.
In religion, it means that each may choose their own deity. There is no morality…free love, abortion (even after birth), legalization of any and all drugs, legalized suicide and assisted-suicide—even for youth, as noted in the Netherlands. How many students, besides those in Virginia and Tennessee, have been forced to bow, pray and write a conversion prayer to Allah?
In sex education, it means the implementation of a K-12 curriculum recommended by Planned Parenthood. In Minnesota, it was passed by the liberal majority in the House and stopped in the Senate but it is promised to be addressed again next session. Parents have described the program as “pornographic” and certainly not appropriate for the ages or the topics. Additionally, four states (California, New Jersey, and Colorado, and Illinois) require the inclusion of LGBT(Q) history. I propose that those courses start with their history dating from Sodom and Gomorrah (circa 2070 B.C.)
In economics, it means students do not understand why the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan are wealthy and stable because they embraced capitalism and constitutional governments while Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela, Central America, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia suffer under socialism and communism.
In history, it means that not only Hitler was a monster but also Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Che Guevara and the Castros killed millions of their own citizens in the name of communism. In CC, the new textbooks indicate that the Pilgrims came to America with families to kill the Indians and to teach their children how to do it. In CC, one paragraph explains the atrocities of World War II—the bombing of Japan by the USA.
In politics, it means sanctuary cities, counties, states, churches. Illegals “deserve” rights that are designated for citizens according to our laws and the Constitution. How many teachers cried in their classes when Trump won? Were there any consequences when teachers have promoted violence, even death to our President?
In school discipline, it means the implementation of “restorative justice,” as embraced by local school districts and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
There are certainly other fields that I have not mentioned…but this indicates how indoctrination and socialist/atheist agendas have established a giant hold (strangle hold) on education.
Parents must become aware of what their children are facing/learning in school, support good teachers and challenge those indoctrinate and abandon core values of this nation. Parents must become active learners with their children. Parents must challenge politicians who do not embrace the Constitution and/or who refuse to honor their own Oath of Office.
Meyrat seems more optimistic than I. I hope that he is right:
“At some point, indoctrination will always collapse on itself and leave mediocrity in it[s] wake. Teaching, by contrast, is what will sustain our culture and bring out its virtues. It fosters the presence of active thought––not uniform thought––and it is what will ultimately mend and civilize our sorely divided country.” [emphasis added]