No major subject area has escaped the blight of political interference, according to the report published by Civitas.
"The traditional subject areas have been hijacked to promote fashionable causes such as gender awareness, the environment and anti-racism, while teachers are expected to help to achieve the Government's social goals instead of imparting a body of academic knowledge to their students," it says....
Civitas casts doubt on the value of much of what children are now "taught". History has become so divorced from facts and chronology that pupils might learn the new "skills and perspectives" through a work of fiction, such as Lord of the Rings, it says.
Teenagers studying for GCSEs are being asked to write about the September 11 atrocities using Arab media reports and speeches from Osama bin Laden as sources without balancing material from America, it reveals.
In English, the drive for gender and race equality has led an exam board to produce a list of modern poems from around the world without a single poet from England or Wales being represented.
The new 21st-century science curriculum introduced last September substitutes debates on abortion, genetic engineering and the use of nuclear power for lab work and scientific inquiry, it says.
Designed to make science more popular, the results of a study show it has had the opposite effect, with pupils less interested in the subject and less keen to pursue it in the sixth form than they were under the previous, more fact-based lessons.
Future scientists will be even more likely to come from independent schools because the new GCSE courses will leave state pupils ill-quipped for further study, it says.
Be sure to read the entire article.
In this country, the same fashionable people who swoon at the mere mention of including "intelligent design" into the curriculum and beat their breasts at the idea of the Christian fundamentalists elected to school boards, are completely sanguine about their own particular brand of political brainwashing that is so pervasively integrated into the same curriculum that must be protected at all costs from the corrupting influence of the evil theocrats.
By their obvious contempt for the very idea of including a religious perspective in science, you might conclude that they are champions of pure science and that they want to protect the curriuclum from being corrupted with non-scientific, religious dogma.
You would be completely wrong.
They simply want to ensure that their particular beliefs and its quasi-religious holy dogma are enshrined in the curriculum, to the exclusion of all others.
Just as in the British schools, science is now filled with environmentalism's trendy anti-human, anti-capitalist, anti-American bias. I'm simply thrilled that my daughter has been able to see Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" multiple times in different classes--obviously to ensure that she appreciates how important a work it is. She comes home and tells me about mock trials in Civics class where George Bush has been impeached; about how only two students (out of 22) in her History class thought the war on terror was a "good idea" (yes, they took a nice democratic vote to prove that it wasn't). She tells me all about the serious discussion groups in other classes that try to raise student's consciousness about gay, lesbian and transexual issues and so on and so forth.
Indeed, no major subject area has escaped the blight of political interference. I shudder when I read the word problems she brings home from her math classes.
Here is a summary of the objectives of the math curriculum from a school in Massachussets, which:
...defined the new number-one priority for teaching mathematics, as documented in the curriculum benchmarks, "Respect for Human Differences - students will live out the system wide core of 'Respect for Human Differences' by demonstrating anti-racist/anti-bias behaviors." It continues, "Students will: Consistently analyze their experiences and the curriculum for bias and discrimination; Take effective anti-bias action when bias or discrimination is identified; Work with people of different backgrounds and tell how the experience affected them; Demonstrate how their membership in different groups has advantages and disadvantages that affect how they see the world and the way they are perceived by others..."
Have you looked at what your children's teaches say in the brochures they send home in the kids' backpacks? It is sure to be some variant of the above multicultural, politically correct nonsense that is sucking the substance right out of every subject area and replacing it with leftist dogma.
The health of our educational system--from K-12 through college-- is absolutely essential to the long-term welfare and competitiveness of the United States. American education used to be the strongest on the globe, and to the extent that remains true, it is because the hard sciences in this country (e.g., math, engineering, computers etc.) have been largely resistant to the political taint that runs rampant in the humanities. The latter subject areas, which include literature, philosophy, and history, have become unabashedly ideological over the last two decades; and the "social justice" advocates of today's collectivists have taken over our K-12 education system and are determinedly undermining American values with their politically correct, multicultural and anti-capitalist curriculum.
I have written about this before (see here and here, for example; but it is worth repeating again.
Make no mistake about it, what many teachers today are doing is indoctrinating their students minds into an unquestioning obedience to the collective. This they cannot do unless they also can manage to corrupt even the hard sciences with their dogma.
There can be no area where a child is allowed to think freely and without the proper political perspective. That is far too dangerous for the underly ideology they are promulgating. I wrote:
While our popular culture refrains sensitively from prtraying Islamofascists as villians in movies out of political correctness (yet another aspect of socialism's quest for "social justice"); it does not hesitate to make businessmen evil and malignant oppressors of the innocent. Individualism, the pursuit of profit, and private property is always bad and everyone must bow to the will of the collective. Islam (the name even means "submit"), even in all its terrorist varieties, does very well by this perverted moral standard.
One very harmful result of this sorry educational situation is that there are few people--even among those who stalwartly defend the free market, who understand and appreciate the essential morality of capitalism. Certainly our children, taught by ideological purists like the ones above who are leftover from the 20th century debacle of socialist/communist tyranny--never even have a chance to rationally consider any ideas not approved by their aggressively collectivist teachers, so intent at quashing those aspects of human nature they don't like.
This is child abuse, pure and simple. It is indoctrination. It is the willful manipulation of young minds which cannot never be allowed to develop even the capability of thinking for themselves. And these perverts call it "social justice."
In fact there is nothing that is "just" about it. It represents the worse kind of oppression with the goal of enslaving the human mind. And enslavement is exactly what is required to establish their socialist utopia, since it refuses to acknowledge the reality of human nature.
Socialist ideologues like those teachers know that in a free market of ideas, their pathetic system-- which has only brought human misery, slavery and death to those who have embraced--cannot function in a real world. Thus they must "stack the deck" and take absolute control over the thinking of the utopia's future citizens.
On some level they even understand that the very foundation of capitalism is human freedom in its most classical, liberal tradition. And that frightens them to death.
Capitalism's incredible production of wealth is the economic side-effect that occurs when political freedom is present. It has been argued, and I agree, that both economic and political freedom are absolute prerequisites for moral behavior.
Children propagandized by dogmatic tyrants like the ones above have had not only their capacity to think for themselves abrogated; they have had their capacity to make moral choices taken from them.
The moral case for capitalism is not taught in our schools, nor is it argued much in our culture. In fact it has been more or less universally accepted by the intellectual elites that systems such as communism and socialism are "morally superior" to capitalism (hence more "socially just")--even though in practice such systems have led to the death and enslavement of millions, and to those unlucky enough not to die from them, they have led to the most horrible shrinking and wasting of the human soul.
The truth is that neither socialism nor communism nor any kind of religious fundamentalism is compatible with morality at all.
If one's actions are coerced by the state or religion, or both; if human activity is indoctrinated, legislated, regulated and ordained down to the last minute detail--particularly to the degree we see in other countries of the world (e.g., Cuba, China, most Middle Eastern countries, North Korea, and now in Venezuela--then how can it possibly be argued that one's actions are moral? Human behavior under such systems is not voluntarily chosen, but actively coerced.
Morality, though, must always be a matter of choice, not mandate.
One cannot hold a person responsible for actions that are coerced or forced from him. Morality can only exist when freedom of action exists; and thus moral actions in any field of human endeavor require freedom.
Conduct may only be thought of as moral or immoral when it is freely chosen by the individual. It is only then that the moral significance of the action can be assessed. It is only when we are free to act that we can exercise moral judgement.
Taking the mind of a child and feeding it exclusively on your ideological pablum is not only the most cruel and abusive of behaviors; it also ensures that such a mind becomes cognitively stunted and morally impaired (much like the minds of the teachers who so proudly perform such oppressive acts).
In the end, all totalitarian/collectivist idealogues have to deliberately and callously use and brainwash children. Whether it is Fidel and his communist indoctrination in Cuban schools or the mirror image of the Palestinian's using a Mickey Mouse look-alike to make little children comfortable with the idea of murdering Jews. Each has their own idea of "social justice", and they insure that their children's minds are never able to break out of the ideological box within which they have confined their respective societies.
Collectivists--either from the right or the left--could care less about the harm they do to the souls of the children who are used or brainwashed in such a manner. For them the individual, whether a child or adult, has no meaning except insofar as they can advance the ideology. A child's total worth is only equivalent to their willingness to be fodder for the good the "cause."
Hence, the swooning leftists, so overcome by the idea that Christian religion might creep into the K-12 curriculum, are correct to suppose that dogmatic indoctrination would ultimately compromise the ability of children to think critically and to make moral choices. But take a look around and note the actual source of the pervasive dogmatic indoctrination in our schools.
It is certainly not from the rather desperate objections to Darwinian evolution that originate from a Christian right, whose beliefs have been systematically excluded and ostracized from education and whose influence is being carefully purged from the larger culture itself; it is almost exclusively from the politically correct and multicultural dogma of the political left.
UPDATE: The left's indoctrination of children today is really no different from what is going on in the madrassas of the Arab world. I remembered this post from Siggy's archives:
...imagine a school that gave each student a glass of alcohol every day. Each day, beginning at tender nursery school age, the child was encouraged to drink the beverage that would come to poison his mind. Suppose that beverage was from the well aged bottle of anti Semitism.
Suppose also that once that child downed that alcoholic beverage, the teacher refilled that glass with more alcohol. This time, the flavor is religious bigotry directed at non Jews.
Suppose once that glass of alcohol was consumed by young dutiful children, the glass was immediately refilled with the beverage from the bottle of anti western and anti democratic values.
After decades, these children, now adults, go home every day, turn on the television and read the newspapers- and they are fed more alcohol. They get more when their kids come home from school, and share the same familiar poisoned ‘fire water.’ They poison they are fed gets the God’s seal of approval when fed to them from the pulpit- or so they desperately need to believe.
Of course, to keep a drunk or a junkie hooked, it takes an ever increasing amount of poison to induce the same stupor that blinds the drunk or the junkie to his own surroundings and dysfunction. The supply of poison never ends.
After years of such ‘education,’ it would be reasonable to expect that there would be a lot of alcoholics in the Arab world, poisoned by the hate and ideologies of dysfunctional and corrupt leaders. Like alcoholics and substance abusers, they will tell you they ‘have it under control‘ and that they ‘can quit anytime they want.‘
In the case of the left, the "alcohol" is postmodernism, a toxic intellectual addiction which undermines reality and truth and short-circuits the critical cognitive skills that children will need to survive and meet the challenges of life.
That is the net result of their progressive indoctrination.