You don’t have to be a big conspiracy theorist or a paranoiac to see a connection, or a common thread, among trends being pushed by the Progressivist Movement at this stage of American history. And by Progressivist Movement, we do not mean a strictly coordinated conspiracy. Marxism, Fascism are not conspiracies, they are movements. Evil in their implementation and their ultimate result, to be sure, but based upon ideologies always created under a “theme” of some Utopian or Utilitarian ideal. It’s only in the aftermath of the implementation of these ideologies, or adoption of these “movements” by governing or ruling factions, when the human tolls in subjugation,misery and death begin mounting up, that people start crying “Oh, my God! How could this happen?”
Two recent articles dealing with trends in education serve to highlight what those of the Progressive inclination have in mind for the commoners…or We the People. And in ‘those of the Progressive inclination’ we include seemingly innocent, normal Republicans, Democrats, Independents as well as the usual suspect Socialists. The first is an expose on what the purveyors of ‘higher education’ are pushing to replace the traditional learning of History, especially American History.
The practical implications include a “reframing of American history” in college and in K-12 education.
Such reframing includes preparing “globally competent citizens,” the aim of Common Core. The as-yet voluntary “College, Career, and Civic Life (c3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards” replace knowledge about American history with activism and follow those set for college in the Department of Education’s 2012 report, “A Crucible Moment” (roundly criticized by the National Association of Scholars in a special issue of Academic Questions). Replacing factual questions of traditional “national historical narratives” are loaded questions, as high school, and even younger, students are asked to evaluate primary and secondary sources, think “critically” and “deeply,” and “grasp the relevance of widening the lens of social analysis.”
In the second article, Professor Grabar continues her expose of what is going on in higher education circles, which might be characterized as the willful destruction of traditional learning and lore, with a description of how literature and the traditional English curriculums in the University setting are under assault:
So what the University of Arizona is doing is only the logical conclusion in this move away from literature: they are eliminating the English department. They don’t say this, but by moving English from the Humanities Department to the College of Social Behavior, they are relegating literature to the purely utilitarian. They see the word as simply a means for persuading and transmitting information. Such moves in higher education parallel the focus under the Common Core K-12 program on “informational texts,” which, as it turns out, often are slightly disguised ideological texts.
Today, we have a digital miasma of information with college graduates trained to discernment only to the point of being able to distinguish politically unacceptable ideas from those that are. Anything that does not go along with the current political pieties is considered “far-right,” “extremist,” or “reactionary.” These are terms used by professors and in assigned reading material.
Note that Professor Grabar, commenting primarily on the college- level aspects of the assault on traditional liberal arts education, makes a point to note the parallels in elementary and secondary education, with the outrageous “Common Core” curricula and standards being foisted upon public schools across the nation. Is it coincidental that the push in both spheres is to sideline traditional learning and lore in favor of “issues” education, and on “informational text” in reading and writing, rather than aesthetics or creativity? We think not.
What is the singular thing that red states and blue states, Democrats and Republicans always seem to agree on? What is the one bipartisan theme, almost exclusive to any other, even national defense? Isn’t it that “we” should prepare the youth of today for the “jobs of the future”? That “we” must equip people with the tools, technology and skill sets to “succeed in a global economy”? And that “we” need to create a ‘workforce’ for the 21st century? Question: Who is “we” and when did these “we’s” decide it was within their purview to create ‘workforces’? Is that the “American Dream” that everybody, well traditional Americans anyway, used to hold dear? Again, we think not.
Those who have fallen under the spell of New Age Education, which has increasingly morphed into New Age Indoctrination the last few decades, would recoil at the suggestion that their intent is to dehumanize, de-sensitize the learners of today. But the whole bent of educational systems today seems to be toward creating worker bees, whether it’s ‘office’ worker bees, ‘factory’ worker bees or, heh heh, ‘government’ worker bees. Is it the function of the federal government, or a state government, to provide ‘worker bees’ for Microsoft, or Caterpillar, or the National Security Agency? It wasn’t that way during the Industrial Revolution, or all the way up through the 1960’s at least. And has everyone forgotten that the United States during that time became a superpower with the greatest, most vibrant economy the world had ever known. Not to mention a standard of living unparalleled in human history. Not to mention saved the world from global despotism, more than once. No need to focus on “informational text” then. All they had to do was teach students how to read and let them find whatever information they needed, for their benefit or for the greater good, or that would at least allow them to be happy and content. Sigh. Those were the days. What was that silly old outmoded concept people used to speak highly of? Oh, yes ……self-determination. How passe’ is that these days?
The purpose of government being involved in education, at any level, was to promote good citizenship, to assist mothers and fathers in seeing that their children were literate, inquisitive and motivated to achieve their dreams, to satisfy their own wants and needs and not those of the……here it comes…..Ruling Class.
Sure, a poll can be taken on any given day with the result that a majority of Americans think their children should be equipped for a “global economy” or to “take advantage of opportunities in the digital age” or to be a part of a ’21st century workforce”, or any of the other platitudes we continually are barraged with. And as we noted above, there is no shortage of seemingly independent, sincere ‘educators’ telling us about the need for supplying a ‘workforce’ to……somebody. Just today there was an op-ed in the local paper going on about how only one in three residents of working age in our state has a college degree. Well, excuse us for thinking that’s actually not all that bad a percentage, but the real irritant in the fellow’s piece was that he had to drag out the ‘global economy’ and ‘skilled worker’ buzzwords.
There are several good reasons to compare Indiana with these states. Just as with NCAA sports, it’s where the real competition is. When it comes to jobs and skilled workers, these states represent our greatest rivals. And right now, the score isn’t even close.
You would find that the current administration in the State of Indiana, supposedly a sanctuary for ‘traditional values’, wholeheartedly endorses and parrots what this fellow says, the notion that our priority must be to create worker bees. But by golly, they’ll be “skilled” worker bees! How noble is that!???
One of the baffling things about the whole affair is the apparent willingness of the education profession, especially the ‘liberal’ wing of it, which is of course a supermajority, to be so keen on the implementation of the “utilitarian” mode of education at all levels. Whither the emphatic espousal of the passion and beauty of the arts and the inherent worth of classical education? Did they all get lobotomized or something? Of course, many of these are the same ones who fail to see the parallels and intertwining features of Marxism and Fascism. Perhaps they need some …….history lessons.
Here’s a history lesson: The love affair that the Left has in this country with the exploitation of the slavery issue is an enduring thing,this now a full 150 years after the 13th Amendment became part of the sacred Constitution of the United States. So much so that they now insist that little primary school children write essays on it and biographies of famous Negro anti-slavery crusaders, little children who don’t even know what the word “slavery” entails, much less it’s historical context. Why then do they not recall from their own history lessons that the principle of freedom, both in not being bound and in the freedom to choose one’s vocation or to follow one’s own calling, are fundamental to this thing called ‘America’?
And for those on the ‘right’, is it only the enterprise of large corporations, of global conglomerates, that is to be “free”. What happened to the concept of the “free” market, meaning that “market forces” would dictate the supply and demand for goods and services in this country, including labor? If there is a demand for computer programmers in 2014, does that mean that Pre-K children in 2014 have to forego their nursery rhymes and be force-fed “informational text” and asked to describe “problems”? Good grief, we put men on the moon and conquered disease without shepherding our youth into indoctrination and psychological conditioning centers. This is certainly not your fathers’ conservatism, that’s for sure.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<George Washington Carver>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
One of the consequences of the slavery of olden days was that the slaves not only didn’t have their freedom, but they didn’t have their identity. Thus they took English names, a lot of time adopting names of American statesmen like Washington, Jefferson and, well, you get the picture. Sad, yes. But they were no longer African, and while not yet quite fully American, even after Emancipation, at least they had names. At least they were allowed to develop personalities. At least they were allowed to read literature in their separate-but-equal schools.
The coming slavery in the United States of America, a nation which was built on the concept of freedom in all spheres of life, a rallying cry which the sons and daughters and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of slaves in this country adopted and clung to until they finally achieved it’s true meaning, will eliminate even the necessity for the worker bees of tomorrow to have names. For that is a human thing, along with the concept of aspiration. In the USA of the future, if it’s still called that, there will be no need for names, except for perhaps the Ruling Class, if that is their pleasure. Everyone else will be assigned a number…….and a task.
Wake up, America.
Crossposted at Grumpy Opinions