Indoctrinating our youth

It may be overstating the obvious to say that the failure of our American education system is the root cause of our societal problems: excessive government, ignorance about the economic value of capitalism, poor academic skills, and environmental zealotry—to mention a few. Certainly, scholarly conservatives have made that case for decades.

It is also likely that forces contributing to the dissolution of the traditional family may be a major contributing influence. Still, because the amount of time our children are forced to be exposed to powerful and influential people in public schools, administrators and teachers share a large responsibility for the products they help create—what’s been inculcated to students after their experiences with these people.

What students “learn” comes, at least partly, from what teachers have learned—a vicious cycle if the process is subverted by people who have motives other than passing on classic knowledge of English literature, proper writing, mathematics, natural sciences, history, languages, civics, geography and economics. When those subjects do not fill all the instructional time, the voids are filled with social indoctrination generated by activists. A recent news story here in North Carolina makes my point.

Laura Moore, a correspondent for the Wilmington StarNews offers a “celebration” story about a University of North Carolina-Wilmington graduate student who recently spoke at a 2015 Appalachian State University Energy Summit. Her topic was “Instilling Sustainability in Our Youth.”

A suspicion I had that this was a political propaganda program rather than an academic conference was the “keynote speaker,” New York State environmental activist, Robert F. Kennedy. Actually, the first clue was the title of Megan Foster’s talk. Why does she believe she must instill “sustainability” in our young people? The word implies that we are now living unsustainably, yet there is no evidence of that.

The StarNews correspondent began her story with the sentence: “Teaching children to respect and preserve the earth seems as logical as teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.” Of course, this is “logical” to Ms. Moore, likely a product of a journalism school where leftists prevail as they do in teachers’ colleges. But is it appropriate, desirable and correct?

Trust me; whenever you hear or see words and phrases such as appeared in this story: “sustainability…respect and preserve the earth…reverence…spiritual interconnectedness…embracing and valuing nature…globalization…solutionary (not a word in the dictionary) ideals”; and a new one to me “humane education” these people have gone aloft from education to the realm of a Marxist religion. They are often subtle and seem to be simply harmless, naïve idealists. But students are easily recruited as “useful idiots” to the reactionaries who plan to transform our traditional society into their visionary structure of a Utopian, but unreal, place.

Ms. Foster “credits her interest in teaching sustainability” to Elizabeth Crawford who introduced her to the Institute of Humane Education (IHE). Many people believe that our American education has degenerated to poor quality, but I’ve not heard that it is inhumane. The IHE website (Link below) indicates political activism and indoctrination agenda, not passing on knowledge.

Foster says she began to see students as “empathetic people.”  That led her to believe she could gradually, with persistence, implant “global issues in them at an early age.” Foster said, “children learn these concepts” by teachers “incorporating them into lessons.” Of course they do. And Dr. Crawford is responsible for that misguided idea.

Crawford happens to be on the “educational task force” for the IHE. The Institute fosters “a love of nature with a focus on reverence and responsibility.” What task do they plan to force?

She says IHE goals “fit in with the goals of the state of North Carolina to create globally competent teachers who appropriately infuse global issues into their classrooms.”   I wonder if our State legislators know about that. I doubt these are goals most of them think worthy of usurping valuable teaching time at our State universities.

This story confirms what I have suspected for a long time: Our higher education institutions are infested with people who promote political propaganda by infusing their ideologies into the minds of student teachers, who unwittingly pass them on.

That’s my view. Readers can check out the websites listed below and judge for themselves:

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20150809/ARTICLES/150809987/0/search

www.sustain.appstate.edu/energy-summit

www.humaneeducation.org

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About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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