How do schools indoctrinate?

Schools will follow a particular strategy to indoctrinate children with CRT. The best exposition of that strategy was penned by Mike Young whose explanation we have summarised below.

School Indoctrination Theory” (SIT) uses education to spread the CRT political ideology and worldview.

The goal is not to prepare them for life in the world, but to use education as a “site of political struggle” and a “vehicle for radical social change”.

The teaching theory is called “Critical Pedagogy”, which arose through the radicals of the 1960s in academia and became the ‘Academic Left’. Their intellectual foundation was ‘Western Marxism’ or ‘neo-Marxism’.

Brazilian Marxist, Paulo Freire, developed the SIT concept: education is inherently political and that education must be used as part of a programme of radical social change.

Freire claimed that the teacher’s goal is for students to become ‘critically aware’ of the political situation so they can create the revolutionary change the Marxists want.

This is indoctrination, not education.

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Henry Giroux, a disciple of Freire, who adapted this theory for America argues that teachers aren’t and shouldn’t be politically neutral and that politics is central to teaching.

For Giroux ‘Critical Pedagogy’ was a project committed to socialism through radical reform and education is the tool - “free” people from having to live in a western, capitalist, democracy.

The teacher must use the classroom to teach revolutionary politics so students can grow up to create a socialist society.

The SIT goal in education is not writing, reading and arithmetic; rather it is teaching the politics and ideology of the radical left.

Postmodernism holds that knowledge, truth, objectivity and reason are merely the effects of a form of “social power”.

Giroux says:

  1. Knowledge, truth, objectivity and reason are not absolute and universal; and
  1. The Enlightenment liberal vision of truth, reason, knowledge, and objectivity is prominent only because liberals have exercised social power to make those ideas prominent, and they are false.

Postmodernism and neo-Marxism are essentially “wokeness”.

An example of how this works follows. The teacher must “look past” the official curriculum in order to “trouble” dominant narratives.

This means using the official lesson plan to teach the teacher’s  political ideology and worldview. The teacher doesn’t refuse to teach the curriculum; it’s just that she is going to ‘teach past’ the curriculum by adding her opinion and her world view.

The process involves teaching the curriculum and then looking at what is left “unsaid”. “Left unsaid” is, apparently, hard to uncover because societal or cultural presuppositions are so deeply embedded within our thinking that we don’t recognise that which is left out of the curriculum.

Looking at the subject of “life without technology”, for example, is about becomes what the teacher thinks are attitudes about wealth and resources:

  1. What is assumed about accessibility to resources and technology?
  1. What is assumed about what students’ families should have if they need to imagine ‘doing without’?

The lesson becomes about socio-economic class, rather than what life would be like without technology.

Why the theory goes wrong

It is immoral and illiberal for people to use the school system to force a certain set of values on children behind their parents’ backs.

There is no justification for using schools as a soapbox for a particular ideology. The liberal way is that schools are places where we teach the children how to engage with each other on liberal terms with respect and civility. Liberalism admits of a wide swathe of values and seeks to equip children with the tools required to think clearly about the world.

For teachers to decide to embed themselves in the school system and use it as a platform to indoctrinate children is unacceptable.

In order to learn well we need to be able to focus and concentrate on the thing we are trying to learn. We must be able to pay attention. If our attention is divided we are liable to miss out on valuable information.

The modern world is a difficult one, and it requires that our children learn the skills necessary to get by in a world that is driven by technology. In a time when information is the “coin of the realm”, numeracy and literacy are incredibly important to flourish.

Taking a curriculum designed to discuss technology and redirecting it towards their own political ideology, they are teaching their politics at the expense of preparing the child for the wider world.

Weaving Social Justice through the curriculum compromises it. The resources in the classroom are not infinite and neither is a child’s attention span. In making space for Critical Social Justice, something else must be lost.

Conclusion

The author is not against justice, fairness, or equality of opportunity. SIT teachers are sometimes well-meaning. The problem is that the ideas are flawed. And for that reason Critical Pedagogy or SIT must be kept out of the school system.

The author, Mike Young, is a Canadian thinker, writer and essayist. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/wokal_distance.

The full essay can be found at https://counterweightsupport.com/2021/04/03/educating-for-politics-how-critical-social-justice-politicizes-the-classroom-and-indoctrinates-students/

Permission to use the article was kindly given by Counterweight.com

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