Free Markets, Free People

Education or indoctrination?

A former student of a course that sounded innocuous enough by its title turned out not to be as you’ll see when you read his lengthy expose.

In there are the usual blathering about “academic freedom” (the last resort, I think, of many a marginal teacher), etc.

Is it a question of academic freedom when instructors/teachers/professors clearly intend to do something other than impart knowledge which allows a student to make his or her own mind up? In the name of "academic freedom" are students and institutions to be held hostage to absurd distortions of its meaning?

Clearly, when you read through this, you’ll find yourself having difficulty categorizing what is presented as anything other than indoctrination – assuming you know what indoctrination means and can separate it from what academia is supposed to do to “educate”.

But apparently, the university takes the easy way out even with the evidence recorded and videoed.

It’s a long article, but worth the read.  And frankly I could spend a day talking about many of the aspects of this argument, but, since mine is rushed today, I’ll leave it to you to do the heavy lifting in the comment section.


Twitter: @McQandO


24 Responses to Education or indoctrination?

  • Academia, the armed services, folks in the patrol cars, on the bench, fire and EMT, doctors and nurses, and scientists of all brands should not “be” in politics.
    I cannot say, for example, or imagine anything more goofy than “the politicization of cancer and its treatment.” But, that is what I got with the climaters. Sheesh.
    I understand how the kid feels. I saw his stuff elsewhere. I endured Labov and Derrida and it looks like I got off lucky compared to that kid.
    Smart kid to see bad politics when he sees it.

    • At least he didn’t try to get his last 3 credits by taking a “women’s studies” course, or some other course that dare not be spoken.

  • The Breitbart site has been covering this ‘class’ for a while – and the professors mentioned are in push back mode claiming the deceptive editing practices (the stock defense of the hand in the cookie jar left).  This article nails them in a couple entertaining ways, right down to their sudden concern for protection of their intellectual property.
    Nice take down.  Question is, will the state of Missouri let it slide or do these two have to ascend to Ward Churchill level (and look how long THAT took) to be discredited.  My bet is enough of the higher level faculty thinks these two vanguards of the proletariat are okay and they’ll keep providing smoke screen for this till it blows over.
    Be hilarious to see how they’d react to students taking over their ‘means of production’ in the faculty office buildings.
    What a bugger, nasty little kids lifting up all these socialist rocks they’ve been slithering around under all these years and making their views available to the public at large.

    • I’m sure that these two “professors” count on the fact that the state of Missouri has “bigger fish to fry” than the idiot babbling of a couple of commie professors.  Going after the content as aberrant is useless .. the better tack is to show that they didn’t follow the prescribed curriculum, as this doesn’t involve academic freedom, but goes to show a deviation of established policy.

  • Every ecosystem has parasites. The smart parasites know not to bleed the host to death. The dumb ones just keep on sucking.

    One way of looking at our current problem is that we have too many dumb parasites.

    • B:
      I’m sure you remember the original Conan movie with Aanald. Remember the jade “Set” snake cult medallion — a viper devouring its tail, why that is nothing less than perpetual life! Right? Right!
      That is one ecosystem I do not want to see evolve because as Darwin dictates, parasites must evolve or die but parasites do not necessarily die from gluttony or overpopulation. … Predator-evasion is the one, sure sign of survival. Predator deaths signal the survival of a species.
      I was just listening to Dr. Vartan Greorian and his views on eduction on PBS’s Open Mind series. I found myself appalled at myself. I found myself in complete agreement, the university system must be maintained, sustained and must be made responsible for the failure for K-12. And, that means, you “By God, close that bad, bad, elementary or secondary school down and get fired.” Taking responsibility, by gum.
      “Do notice, “they ain’t no firins” at the university level or end of tenure-tracked professors because of failed schools. Heck, he even comes out and says sinecures at one point but dismisses the premise as balderdash … research based … I guess … .
      This guy is my imaginary “Set” swallowing itself and … is perfect in every way. No discussion of crime on campus, no discussion of misused funds that flood the sports programs that turn universities into window dressing or “pitiful” poor special interest groups like womens’ groups who are deserving. The list goes on. … I wonder, is there a Men’s Interest group or foundation on the planet? Just musing …
      Billy, I’m pretty polite about killing cockroaches — a paper towel, a swipe and the wall remains unmarked and, yeah, you gotta get used to the slight crunchy feeling the way the big bugs feel when you make a fist but it is better than my wife who has no mercy for the bug or hapless paint on my wall. Shoes, hands, books, just whatever is handy …
      Still, I gotta say, with regard to education … “whatever is handy” would probably work.

      • Yeah, I’ve been looking at that area a lot since I sent my oldest off to college last fall. I was appalled by what I saw in the vast majority of colleges.

        I sort of knew what to look for after the Duke lacrosse debacle showed just how invested the current administrations are in collectivist PC. Sure, we all knew the humanities parasites in various “Studies” departments were worse than useless, but I had the unconscious assumption that the administrations were at least somewhat connected to the real world. The Duke scandal tested that assumption, and showed that even at well-regarded schools, the administration is almost as far down the collectivist road as the humanities faculty.

        At college after college, I saw them brag about things that mortified me. They approach higher education as a way to suck in as many freshman bodies as they can set up with student loans, and don’t give a flip whether they actually educate them. They dangle weight rooms and dorms that are more like luxury apartments than what I saw when I went to college in the seventies.

        I was proud that my son chose a school that didn’t buy into any of that. I took him back to campus in January, and saw a dorm that was worse than the one I lived in – cramped, concrete-block walls, no amenities. That’s what college students should deal with, to understand that they need to *earn* the right to move beyond it. His academic program takes 50-60 hours a week of his time – more during end of term crunch. His high school buddy is crusing at a state school (the same one I went to in fact) at about half that much time.

        The education bubble is yet another sign of the societal changes to come. As various folks keep pointing out, what can’t go on forever, won’t.

  • Another thought I had on this course, based on a discussion heard in one of the videos presented with a nasty little socialist sitting IN the class rather than teaching it.
    The kid, who wrote this article was NOT supposed to be in this class.  The kids who are in there know what they are getting ahead of time, and are looking for further pointers, it’s obvious if you watch some of the class discussions.
    This kid being there at all was a huge mistake.  Think of it like me taking my one astrophysics intro undergrad (and if you thought THAT was a mistake, consider I tried it at MIT, bwaaaaahahahahahahahahahah, sorry, it’s still funny after all this time and taught me about my place in the universe in a totally non astrophysical way…)

  • I have observed even such subjects as engineering being turned into some Collectivist indoctrination program.
    I would not have predicted that, but it is certainly true.  There is nothing that they will not subvert, as Orwell presaged.

    • The hallmark of the left is that EVERY arena, even the most innocuous seeming, gets politicized.  The one saving grace to that is it leads to them self-selecting into true-believer enclaves (echo chambers) while the rest of us roll our eyes and go on about our business.

      Don’t let liberals hide anymore.  Video them and post it, screen cap their embarassing tweets and blogs, and wave it in their faces forever.  Sunlight disinfects these human germs

  • How could he contain himself in class? I don’t think i could actually complete any of those assignments.

  • Devil’s advocate:

    You are a grammar school student again.  You come into class for your first day of American History and Civics with your teacher, Mr. DocJim505.  The front cover of the textbook has a collage of photos of the US Flag, the Capitol Building, the Constitution, Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Obama.  On the walls of the classroom are copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as well as portraits of all the US presidents.  An American flag stands in one corner of the classroom.  As the year rolls on, we discuss such topics as the history of “democracy” starting in Ancient Greece and moving through Europe to America.  We discuss the era of colonization, the causes of the War for Independence, and the origins of our federal system and the Constitution.  By the end of the year, we’ve discussed the western migration, industrialization, slavery, the Civil War, the Great Depression and the New Deal, the two world wars, and the Cold War.

    Given that there was little or no discussion of African kingdoms, ancient Chinese governmental systems, the virtues and benefits of marxist government, or the socialist model of modern western Europe, did Mr. DocJim505 just educate you, or indoctrinate you?

    • If he was teaching American History & Civics, I’d say he’s spot on. Why would he talk about “African kingdoms” and the rest? What, they don’t teach world history any more?

      The point is that if you present facts and events in such a way that you empower the student to reach conclusions on his or her own, you’re educating them. When you present biased material to support a particular premise and don’t allow (or denigrate) other opinion or facts that may argue (forcefully) against the premise you’ve chosen to present, you’re indoctrinating people.

      • I agree with you, but, to a lib, failing to teach about alternate political systems IS “indoctrination”, and probably racist, eurocentric, imperialist, and capitalist as well.

        • We had a “revolution” against a “monarchy” because they were “exploiting” us.
          That’s pretty radical.

        • F*** ’em. Childen have a hard time understanding simple things like sex, much less political systems. Even many adults canot seem to comprehend such things. He**, there are a lot of adults who can’t even read.

    • I call it education. Time is a limited resource, and priorities must be set. I claim it is more important for grammar school children to be taught about their own country and history first. The history of African kingdoms, etc.,  is not particularly relevant to life in the US, even for African-Americans (Yeah, I said it).

      Speaking of priorities, to my mind reading, writing, and arithmetic are more essential in grammar school than history, etc. There is also the little matter of the ability of young children to comprehend or asimilate complex ideas such as Marxism vs. Capitalism, etc. First you learn the basics, then you can learn the complex stuff. There is no substitute for rote memorization in education (Yeah, I said that too).

      • I suggest that, to a large extent, education IS indoctrination because the selection of what is taught and how it is taught is the result of a bias and a desire to inculcate certain beliefs and patterns of thought into the student.  For example, we teach small children how to tell time, in effect “indoctrinating” them with the modern / industrialist / western European belief that time is discreet, linear, and “not to be wasted”.  IIRC, McQ posted a few weeks ago about the drooling liberal idiots in the Seattle school system who define this as implicitly racist because not every culture sees time in this fashion.

        You mention the three “R’s”.  I agree that they are vital for children and teaching them should be the top priority in grammar schools.  But WHAT ought the children to read?  Our ancestors frequently taught from the Bible not only because this was the most common book in most households / communities, but also because the United States was an overtly Christian country and people desired to “indoctrinate” children in Protestant beliefs (cf. Protestant Work Ethic).  In our time, some of us complain because children are given Heather Has Two Mommies or some such in what appears to be a pretty naked effort to indoctrinate them into accepting homosexuality as normal and even “good”.

        HarunWe had a “revolution” against a “monarchy” because they were “exploiting” us.

        This is certainly one view of the causes of the War for Independence (and the one to which I subscribe), but there is another that holds that rich Americans trumped up complaints against the Crown because THEY wanted to be in control of America and had to eliminate British control in order to make themselves the masters.  As I recall, Charles and Mary Beard (among others) posit the self-aggrandizing schemes of American elites as the REAL genesis of the Constitution.  I imagine that the Beards and their adherents would say that you (and me, for that matter) were indoctrinated into believing that the Crown was bad, the Founding Fathers good, and the Constitution a document about liberty and rights instead of property and money.

        • I never got that the crown was ‘bad’, I got the crown was misguided.  The good-guy/bad-guy thing never seemed to be in place during the education I got (In Massachusetts) for the British.  I got a distant sense that the British were just our confused brothers who misunderstood their own natural rights, but were otherwise okay.  It was a family disagreement, hence the absolute outrage over the employ of Hessian mercenaries.

        • “I suggest that, to a large extent, education IS indoctrination”

          Sure, to some extent, although I wouldn’t go so far as to say teaching mathematics is indoctrinating students with a western bias. In any case, if education is indoctrination I would just as soon have the students indoctrinated with a bias towards thinking we are the good guys. If all viewpoints are good, then why do these fools attack western ideas? Why, racism and prejudice, of course.

          ” But WHAT ought the children to read”

          Aye, there’s the rub. Who decides? I think parents should be asigned homework-they should have to read the textbooks.

          • timactual   [I]f education is indoctrination I would just as soon have the students indoctrinated with a bias towards thinking we are the good guys.

            I absolutely agree.  I don’t suggest a dishonest “hyper-patriotism” that holds that America has NEVER made a mistake or done anything wrong, but some of the crap that’s been coming along in the past few decades (the loathesome People’s History of the United States leaps to mind) that portrays our country as one teensy step up from nazi Germany is not only ridiculous and insulting, but outright bad: what sort of country can we have if many people are TAUGHT to despise it?

            lookerI never got that the crown was ‘bad’, I got the crown was misguided.  The good-guy/bad-guy thing never seemed to be in place during the education I got (In Massachusetts) for the British.

            I agree: as villains, the redcoats certainly don’t rise to the level of SS goons (one of many things that disgusted me with the vile movie “The Patriot”).  I wonder, though, how much of our view of them is influenced by the fact that their descendents have been (and remain, IMO) our closest allies?  Has the reputation of the redcoat been whitewashed in the past century?  On those lines, I must say that I felt very conflicted when I watched the episode of “John Adams” that dealt with the Boston Massacre: “Why do I feel sympathy for the REDCOATS???”

        • For many years education was done by teachers hired by the parents, directly.  Is it indoctrination to have your children educated in their own culture?
          It’s certainly indoctrination when unbeknownst to you your children are being told how much you suck as parents, and suck as a culture and a country.