In April 1999, the massacre a Columbine HS shocked an uncomprehending nation by its cold brutality. It was the seventh school shoting in less than two years. This time, more than ever, the public's need to make sense of such tragedies was palpable. How could this happen?
Asking "Why now?" and "Why here?" puts us onto the track of what is missing in the American way of socializing children that was present in the recent past. To find the answers, we need to attend to the views of the progressive-education theorists who adovocated abandoning the traditional mission of indoctrinating children in the "old morality." They succeeded in persuading the American educational establisment to adopt instead the romantic moral pedagogy of Rousseau.
Teachers and parents who embraced this view badly underestimated the potential barbarism of children who are not given a directive moral education. That the romantic approach to moral education is harmful is becoming increasingly obvious to the public, but it will take some time for the educational establishment to change. One week after the Colorado shootings, Secretary of Education Richard Riley talked to a group of students at a high school in Annapolis, Maryland. After the secretary rounded up the usual causes and reasons for the atrocity, a student asked him about one he had mot mentioned: "Why haven't students been offered ethics classes?" Secretary Rily seemed taken aback by the question.
Had K-12 teachers in the Littleton schools seen it as their routine duty to civilize the students in their care, they would never have overlooked the bizarre, antisocial behavior of Klebold and Harris. When the boys appeared in school with T-shirts with the words "Serial Killer" emblazoned on them, their teachers would have sent them home. Nor would the boys have been allowed to wear swastikas or produce grotesquely violent videos. By tolerating these modes of "self-expression" the adults at the High School implicitly sent the message to the students that there's not much wrong with the serial or mass murder of innocent people.
And, no doubt, praised for their creativity.
Thanks for posting the rest of the article.
Ethics class? I wonder if ethics class shouldn't be preceded by ethics taught at home. It's my understanding that in another such shooting, the boy (was it the one in Seattle area?) was left alone for hours on end with his computer and video equipment. He was called creative and left to do as he pleased so as not to stifle his creativity. Since when is any discipline translated as stifling creativity? But the article hits the nail on the head:
. To find the answers, we need to attend to the views of the progressive-education theorists who adovocated abandoning the traditional mission of indoctrinating children in the "old morality." They succeeded in persuading the American educational establisment to adopt instead the romantic moral pedagogy of Rousseau.
It seems to be on/off. Either no supervision or molding the next metrosexual generation of males.
Isn't indoctrination children in the old morality just a twisted way of saying teaching right from wrong? I love when they call the old method 'indoctrination', but their method, which is more intense indoctrination, is merely the 'correct' way and not indoctrination at all.