At least the higher education professoriate denies that it favors using the classroom as a political bully pulpit. By contrast, the K-12 public school establishment has adopted a quasi-official pedagogy that encourages the classroom teacher to shape students’ beliefs on controversial issues like race, gender, sexual preference, and American foreign policy.
The documentation on this is so extensive that Jay Bennish might have a pretty good Nurenberg defense: “my union and my professional teacher association made me do it.”
For example, the National Education Association, the larger of the two national teacher unions, supports “the movement toward self-determination by American Indians/Alaska natives” and believes these designated victim groups should control their own education. It believes that all schools should designate separate months to celebrate Black History, Hispanic Heritage, Native American Indian Heritage, Asian/Pacific Heritage, Women’s History, Lesbian and Gay History. This nearly takes up the entire school calendar, leaving scant time for American history – or Geography, the subject that Mr. Bennish was supposed to be teaching when he went off on Bush and Bush’s Amerikkka.
After 9/11, the NEA posted guidelines on how teachers should discuss with their students the terrorist attack on our homeland. It was filled with multicultural psychobabble and stressed the need for children to be tolerant and to respect all cultures – while hardly saying a word about the fact that the country was at war with a vicious enemy out to destroy our tolerant society. The document came so close to apologizing for the 9/11 attack that a public outcry ensued, and the union was forced to remove the teacher guidelines from its website.
NEA-affiliated teacher organizations, such as the National Council of the Social Studies and the National Council of Teachers of English, carry on the political struggle by training teachers to focus inordinate attention in the classroom on issues of “diversity.” The NCSS believes that academic history – which some of its leaders have disparaged as "pastology" – is elitist and irrelevant. The organization has successfully lobbied state education departments to require little or no history. Instead, it has filled the schools with a hodgepodge of "global studies," "cultural studies," and "peace studies" that present all cultures and civilizations as equal in value.
If NCSS had its way, American education’s entire system would reflect a race- and gender-centered pedagogy. The organization's official policy paper, "Curriculum Guidelines for Multicultural Education," is one of the scariest documents in American education today, going far beyond the demand that social studies curricula reflect the grievances of a rainbow coalition of ethnic and racial groups. In the tone of a commissar's lecture at a political reeducation camp, the NCSS exhorts teachers, administrators, and other school employees to think and act multiculturally during every moment of the school day, lest they become accomplices of American culture's invisible but omnipresent racism. Teachers are instructed to scrutinize every aspect of the school environment – from classroom teaching styles and the pictures on the walls to the foods served in the lunchroom and the songs sung in the school assemblies – to be sure they reflect "multicultural literacy."
At the heart of the NCSS paper lies a fundamentally racist assumption: "[T]he instructional strategies and learning styles most often favored in the nation's schools," the guidelines declare, "are inconsistent with the cognitive styles, cultural orientations, and cultural characteristics of some groups of students of color." These students flourish under "cooperative teaching techniques" rather than the "competitive learning activities" that work for white kids.
We are left with this Orwellian conclusion by the Social Studies group: "Schools should recognize that they cannot treat all students alike or they run the risk of denying equal educational opportunity to all persons."
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Kozol made him do it
Sol Stern discusses how a quasi-official pedagogy permeating pre-collegiate education promotes political indoctrination: