In light of the renewed focus on public education, courtesy of the current public union mess, I thought it might be a good idea to take another look at how teachers are trained. Here is a post from December of 2009.
The People’s Republic of China generally makes no distinction between education and propaganda or indoctrination. All three share the common task of changing man. The agencies of education, indoctrination, and propaganda are legion—newspapers, posters, and propaganda leaflets, neighbourhood gatherings for the study of current events, as well as political rallies, parades, and many forms of “mass campaigns” under careful direction. It is evident that the schools constitute only a small part of the educational program.
When the Communists came to power in 1949, they took up three educational tasks of major importance: (1) teaching many illiterate people to read and write, (2) training the personnel needed to carry on the work of political organization, agricultural and industrial production, and economic reform, and (3) remolding the behaviour, emotions, attitudes, and outlook of the people.
Why start with this? Undoubtedly, many of you already know from simply reading the preceding section. As we observe the educational establishment in this country, we start to see some interesting parallels between education in communist countries, and what is happening here in the US.
Next, let’s take a look at this from FIRE.
All signs are that the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is planning to enforce a political litmus test for future teachers. The university’s College of Education and Human Development intends to mandate certain beliefs and values—”dispositions”—for future teachers. Yet that is not enough. It even intends to redesign its admissions process so that it screens out people with the wrong beliefs and values-those who it judges will not be able to be brought around to the correct beliefs and values of “cultural competence” even after remedial training.
Here are the key excerpts regarding how the group describes the “obligatory,” “indispensable” features of “cultural competence” on the level of “Self”:
Our future teachers will be able to discuss their own histories and current thinking drawing on notions of white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression.
Future teachers will understand that they are privileged & marginalized depending on context … It is about the development of cultural empathy, if you will. Teachers first have to discover their own privilege, oppression, or marginalization and also are able to describe their cultural identity.
Future teachers will recognize & demonstrate understanding of white privilege[.]
Future teachers will understand the importance of cultural identity and develop a positive sense of racial/cultural identity[.]
On the level of “Self & Others,” future teachers must take the Intercultural Development Inventory, “which measures five of the six major stages of the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity.” Their “Cultural Intelligence” also will be assessed. They must reveal a “pervasive stereotype” they personally held about an identity group, and presumably argue in their paper that this view has now been “challenged” on the basis of their experiences with that group. They also will be assessed regarding “the extent to which they find intrinsic satisfaction” in being in “culturally diverse situations.”
So, the prospective teacher MUST have certain attitudes and beliefs to gain an educational degree? Where is this coming from? To answer that, let’s go back to our original source.
Class and class struggle were related concepts that occupied a central place in the ideology, and a specific aim of education was to develop class consciousness so that all citizens, young and old, would become valiant fighters in the class struggle. School regulations stipulated that 10 percent of the curriculum should be set aside for ideological and political study, but, in practice, ideology and politics were taught and studied in many other subjects, such as language, arithmetic, and history. Ideology and politics permeated the entire curriculum and school life, completely dominating extracurricular activities.
Seeing the comparisons? Ideology is being pushed as curricula, and the teachers are being required to advocate it in order to either be admitted to an educational program, or to graduate!
Also, take note of the fact that students must reveal a “pervasive stereotype” that they had. This is also a communist indoctrination tool. Citizens, particularly in China, where I believe the technique originated, are “persuaded” to “confess” their “sins” (failing, at some point, to be a good communist). There is a great deal of pressure involved. This has the effect of weakening the individual, and appealing to the larger group for forgiveness. It successfully uses peer pressure and guilt to bring about a “conversion” to communism. Note also that the prospective teacher must then state how they enjoy the alternative (communist) views, and should extol its virtues. The Chinese have found this to be quite useful as an indoctrination technique.
Here is some more from FIRE.
Future teachers create & fight for social justice ...”
Finally, in the area of “Self & Society,”
Future teachers will understand that despite an ideal about what is considered common culture in the United States [“the American Dream”], that many groups are typically not included within this celebrated cultural identity and more often than not, many students with multi-generational histories in the United States are routinely perceived to be new immigrants or foreign. That such exclusion is frequently a result of dissimilarities in power and influence.
One of the sources for this critique is to be the concept of the “myth of meritocracy in the United States.”
This is significant. Cultural Marxism is a direct attack on western culture, which has, as one of its tenants, an individual’s ability to achieve. When individuals have the ability to succeed, or even the perception that they can achieve, many will seek to do so, and will achieve success. Those serve as an example to others, who then think, “If they can do it, I can do it too.” If this permeates a culture, the people will rely upon themselves to meet their needs, therefore lessening the need for, and the power of, government. Innovation, free enterprise, and success will follow, providing the most prosperity to the most people.
Conversely, in the socialist state, dependence and hopelessness are vital tools to keep people under government control. If the government provides for your every need, you are in de-facto slavery to said government. After all, if the government controls where you live, your medical care, your personal funds, your access to food, and your means of transportation, the settings on your thermostat, the media you can view, read, or listen to, or even work, do they not effectively control you? To achieve this level of hopelessness, it is then necessary to convince (indoctrinate) people that they cannot succeed…that dark forces (capitalism, racism, freedom, and so on) are preventing them from having a good life, and that the people’s only salvation can come from the state.
Through thinly veiled ideas of redistribution, like “social justice,” the government will promise these “hopeless” individuals a piece of someone else’s labor. Of course, all they ask for in return is the grantee’s freedom. Once successful, the victims will no longer try to succeed-it will not even be a thought that crosses their minds. Being taught that it is impossible anyway, they will gladly submit to government control of every aspect of their lives. In this scenario, government will have succeeded in psychologically neutering their subjects, creating a pliable mass of sheeple that will be dependent and mostly complaint.
For more on this idea, look at the definition of “learned helplessness.”
Learned helplessness, as a technical term in animal psychology and related human psychology, means a condition of a human being or an animal in which it has learned to behave helplessly, even when the opportunity is restored for it to help itself by avoiding an unpleasant or harmful circumstance to which it has been subjected.
It is useful to note the shift in emphasis in Marxism from class to culture. Marxism in the US follows the “Frankfort School” model of Cultural Marxism, which emphasizes cultural differences rather than class. For more information on Cultural Marxism, kindly look here.
Yet another aspect of this attack is that we are being separated by our differences rather than being united on our shared values. We are being pigeon holed into “hyphenated Americans”, rather than simply Americans. I’ve always seen this as a means to create discord, or fan the flames of old grievances. When the left does this, they move in to exploit the discord, enhancing their own power at our expense. Of course, separating us and creating conflicts distracts us all from our real enemy…Marxism (progressivism, liberalism socialism, fascism-it seems our left has taken on flavors of all of them).
So where do these teachers enter into the equation? Well, if the children have to be indoctrinated at ever-younger ages, there must be teachers trained to do just that. To make sure that all students are indoctrinated, the left must also insure that all teachers are indoctrinated. We have to keep in mind that socialism is not a system that cannot tolerate dissent very well. In fact, socialist states often collapse once the people are able to hear and express ideas openly. To prevent this from occurring, Marxists must attempt to achieve a monopoly on education. Think of this when the elites disparage home schooling. Consider it when they attack private schools and universities. Ponder it when they want “universal pre-school.”
This level of control over the educational system has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the education, as on those criteria, the public system loses at every turn. It is the control of the system for all that the left desires. Once under complete socialist control, the education will continue to be more about indoctrination than knowledge, and there will be no recourse or alternative.
Think of it this way; imagine that people are trapped under socialism. All they hear, see, read, and are told, extols the virtues of the state, yet they are in poverty, dealing with high levels of crime, corruption, scarcity, and substandard conditions. Everyone is, with the exception of the ruling class. If a person in that environment hears that there is a better way, one in which they might be able to gain more from their labor, or be able to speak and live freely…would they be interested? It sure seemed to work against the former Soviet Bloc. Had it not, they would not have had to build walls to keep their own people in!
This would also explain why the Soviet Union jammed Radio Free Europe, why the Chinese censor the Internet, why the Iranian regime was severely challenged by protestors using Twitter, why Hugo Chavez is shutting down any media outlet that disagrees with him, and why the Cubans even covered an electronic billboard that we put up on our embassy. They don’t want their people hearing alternative points of view, or that freedom is a better option than slavery. Ideas are infectious, and the socialist seeks to stop them from spreading. It’s also why education is concentrated in the hands of the socialist state. If the state can thoroughly indoctrinate everyone, starting from the earliest age possible, they can mold the thinking and behavior of a generation; making it less likely that people will have independent thoughts in the future.
Come to think of it, this might also explain why people in our own government are now proposing the complete control education, the airwaves, and the Internet.
Thankfully, FIRE, and other groups out there will fight against these schemes. We should support this resistance in any way we can. People must be free in their own thoughts and beliefs. By resisting the leftist takeover, we delay the drive to the socialist state. It is useful to remember that a truly free society can tolerate dissent and real diversity of thought…socialist societies cannot. We don’t have to “convert” anyone to maintain our freedom, but the left must indoctrinate EVERYONE, to achieve total power. For that reason, we can delay them (at least at this point), but if we’re able to get Conservatives into power, we can start dismantling the liberal power structure in DC. This will free the states and local communities to fight liberalism at home, which is where that fight begins… and where it can be won.