Skip to comments.Education As The Road To Serfdom
Posted on 04/07/2012 11:51:36 AM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice
The Latin root of educate is to "lead out from," as Moses led the Jews out from Egypt. The original concept was that children are living in ignorance, and we would naturally want to lead them from that world into a better world. A world where they know more and have more options.
Freedom is central to this original concept. As you become educated --that is, as you learn more--you move from less freedom to more freedom. When George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and the other founders talked about public education, they were clearly thinking of schools that would liberate children.
So, education leads us away from ignorance, and into a promised land of greater knowledge and more freedom. Isnt that a fair statement of how its supposed to work?
Generally speaking, I suspect most people want education to work precisely like this and fondly hope that it does.
In fact, all too often it doesnt. Surprisingly, perversely, public education in the USA does not venerate knowledge, and is not sufficiently concerned with creating freedom. This is our great national tragedy.
Around a century ago, a curious thing happened. The field of education ended up betraying its original intentions. This is a tangled story best summarized by noting that two storm fronts swept across the American landscape.
(Excerpt) Read more at kayleighmcenany.com ...
Simultaneously, our progressives--socialists in everything but name-- wanted docile, cooperative citizens who would follow instructions and not cause trouble. These progressives moved massively into the field of education, with the intent of using the public schools to create children who would grow up to be socialists. Control and manipulation were constant preoccupations. Freedom was hardly part of this picture.
Across the landscape, wherever you might look, the new fields of Sociology, Psychology and Education were allies in a war for control of the rambunctious American population. John Dewey, the father of American education, merely voiced what all these new elites believed: Americans were too individualistic and self-determined. This had to be stopped. John Dewey and his friends were eager to accept the job. Individuality was for these people a dirty word.
As several decades passed, our industrialists became more threatened by what was going on in Europe and Russia than what was going on here politically. Furthermore, jobs increasingly needed smart workers. So this part of the story tended to soften.
However, all the machinations on the socialist side hardened into dogma. I think its fair to say that by 1950 the field of education was more a cult than anything else. Nobody questioned the premises embraced at Columbias Teachers College. The endless plotting and scheming in the name of control was all part of a days work. In a double whammy, many of these so-called educators were doubtless motivated by wanting to help Russia win the Cold War.
When you look at the minimalist academic curricula proposed by the professors circa 1950, youre struck by how these people had turned completely away from knowledge. They said they wanted to teach children how to get a job, fill out forms, dress for success, ride the subway, decorate a house, and learn to drive. Some leading educators even spoke up against the importance of universal literacy. Reading wasnt such a big deal, after all. The people pushing this dumbing-down had a clear sense of purpose: they wanted to make little socialists. You cant say this too often. The classroom was a laboratory for making little socialists. Everything else was secondary. Knowledge and freedom were secondary.
Over the last century, education as higher consciousness lost a duel with education as a new kind of consciousness. Schools today are full of theories and methods designed to lower consciousness. At least, thats my cynical conclusion.
For me, the most startling thing about the public schools is that people persist in hoping, praying, assuming that the Education Establishment actually means well, despite a track record which shows it doesnt mean well. The word conspiracy is unpleasant for many people; and yet I dont see how you can discuss John Dewey and his successors without understanding that every time they talked to each other, they were conspiring to control what children learned and what they became.
Once you factor in all of this, you cant be surprised that we have 50,000,000 functional illiterates, that many college kids dont know what 5 times 8 is, or that I just received a press release declaring: The Council on Foreign Relations task force sounds the alarm that Americas education crisis is fast becoming a national security threat. Embarrassingly, American students are far worse off than other developed countries, despite the U.S. outspending all developed nations on K-12 education.
To save ourselves, we have to give up education as social engineering (that is, a tool for control), and return to a respect for knowledge and a love of freedom. Unfortunately, Im afraid our Education Establishment will fight such proposals with all their strength.
Rick Santorun said that the next election is about freedom. Ronald Reagan knew that every election is about freedom. He promised for that reason to abolish the Department of Education. Many of the Republican candidates have promised to do this. But the thing keeps getting bigger and bigger. Common Core Curriculum is, Im afraid just another gimmick for enlarging federal power and fattening the Department of Education. Worse still, well have to listen to pious speeches from these architects of dumb that they really do care deeply about knowledge and freedom.
Bruce Deitrick Price is an author, artist, and outspoken education reformer. (Tom White of VaRight.com called him one of the nations leading authorities on improving education.) Bruce founded Improve-Education.org in 2005. For further discussion of bogus theories and methods, see 56: Top 10 Worst Ideas in Education. (http://www.improve-education.org/id83.html)
Bruce Deitrick Price also writes about himself in the third person, which would tend to indicate
that Bruce Deitrick Price has some kind of megalomania or serious personality disorder.
>>Bruce Deitrick Price also writes about himself in the third person, which would tend to indicate
that Bruce Deitrick Price has some kind of megalomania or serious personality disorder. <<
Describing the author in the third person in the “about” box is pretty normal for print and online.
You seem to be really grumpy these days, even for you.
Could this column be made any longer? What is that old saying, about brevity? This is why readers scan now days to avoid the verbose.
Thanks for that. I copied what is on Real Reagan Conservative. That final bit is the editor’s construction as much as mine.
>>hanks for that. I copied what is on Real Reagan Conservative. That final bit is the editors construction as much as mine<<
Fair is fair :)
Only for folks who masturbate to pictures of themselves.
>>Only for folks who masturbate to pictures of themselves.<<
You need to get out more. Read newspapers, magazines (physical and online) and the like... Functional illiteracy isn’t pretty. Misinformed opinionated illiteracy even more so...
Look for the shortened version on MTV.
Some of us enjoy an essay - no matter how long.
One of my favorites:
The Path to National Suicide by Lawrence Auster (1990)
An essay on multi-culturalism and immigration.
How can we account for this remarkable silence? The answer, as I will try to show, is that when the Immigration Reform Act of 1965 was being considered in Congress, the demographic impact of the bill was misunderstood and downplayed by its sponsors. As a result, the subject of population change was never seriously examined. The lawmakers stated intention was that the Act should not radically transform Americas ethnic character; indeed, it was taken for granted by liberals such as Robert Kennedy that it was in the nations interest to avoid such a change. But the dramatic ethnic transformation that has actually occurred as a result of the 1965 Act has insensibly led to acceptance of that transformation in the form of a new, multicultural vision of American society. Dominating the media and the schools, ritualistically echoed by every politician, enforced in every public institution, this orthodoxy now forbids public criticism of the new path the country has taken. We are a nation of immigrants, we tell ourselves and the subject is closed. The consequences of this code of silence are bizarre. One can listen to statesmen and philosophers agonize over the multitudinous causes of our decline, and not hear a single word about the massive immigration from the Third World and the resulting social divisions. Opponents of population growth, whose crusade began in the 1960s out of a concern about the growth rate among resident Americans and its effects on the environment and the quality of life, now studiously ignore the question of immigration, which accounts for fully half of our population growth.
This curious inhibition stems, of course, from a paralyzing fear of the charge of racism. The very manner in which the issue is framedas a matter of equal rights and the blessings of diversity on one side, versus racism on the othertends to cut off all rational discourse on the subject. One can only wonder what would happen if the proponents of open immigration allowed the issue to be discussed, not as a moralistic dichotomy, but in terms of its real consequences. Instead of saying: We believe in the equal and unlimited right of all people to immigrate to the U.S. and enrich our land with their diversity, what if they said: We believe in an immigration policy which must result in a staggering increase in our population, a revolution in our culture and way of life, and the gradual submergence of our current population by Hispanic and Caribbean and Asian peoples. Such frankness would open up an honest debate between those who favor a radical change in Americas ethnic and cultural identity and those who think this nation should preserve its way of life and its predominant, European-American character. That is the actual choiceas distinct from the theoretical choice between equality and racismthat our nation faces. But the tyranny of silence has prevented the American people from freely making that choice.
It's long - very prescient and informative. You won't find it on MTV, though.
I’m sure you’re right. Your post was very, very good. I must have had too much caffeine for the original post. Sorry, there. Very tacky of me, actually.