The title is a misnomer. Would our children truly be educated, we would ask? The state would really like to indoctrinate them to the current secular and antichristian worldview. Public schools have, by and large, become temples of atheism. The Christian Renewal issue dated August 15, 2020, carries a book excerpt by Gene E. Veith. The article is entitled, “The Death of Education.” It begins with the paragraph,
The consequences of the politicization of ordinary life and a constructivist view of reality are evident in what is happening with education. Postmodernism and its offshoots are not worldviews that promote learning. If there is no objective truth, what is there to teach? What is there to learn? Schools instead can indoctrinate. Schools can teach students to construct their own truths.
Veith warns that the modernist education theory
stressed teaching process rather than content, focusing on new ideas and minimizing the old ideas of the past…. Postmodernist educational theory of constructivism takes the next step: children are taught to create their own reading texts, histories, and math rules.
This has had disastrous results. Academic achievement has declined dramatically. Veith points out that recent test scores show that in the United States only 37% of fourth graders and 32% of eighth graders are proficient in reading. In math, only 40% of fourth graders and 33% of eighth graders are proficient. What must be noticed is that with more and more schooling, there is a decline in proficiency! There is an even greater decline in the university. “The postmodernist university is having difficulty promoting any kind of expertise.” A study of American higher education done by scholars from the University of Chicago and the University of Virginia found that scores in critical thinking actually decrease in many universities. On the average today, undergraduate students spend only 11.5 hours per week studying. Instead the college students spent 51% of their time socializing and only 7% of their time studying. Veith notes that part of the decline can be attributed to the lower priority of teaching in favor of research. There is also the negative impact of federal money. The campus culture, which favors partying (with its alcohol abuse and sexual debauchery) over intellectual achievements is also part of the decline. “An even bigger contributing factor is the postmodernist worldview that has come to govern many disciplines.”
There is the belief that much of history and other subjects that were taught in the past were governed, determined, and defined by power dynamics between groups of people, often dictated by sex, race, or sexual or gender identification. Things accepted in the past as based on reality are instead believed to have been created by powerful groups in order to maintain power over marginalized ones. Thus they rewrite history and read materials only by those who hold to their own secular worldview.
Much of what is presented in college teaching courses is really little more than the old “discovery learning.” The idea behind this theory of education is that the students have to work out the answers for themselves. There is no absolute truth, only prejudices and opinions. With this brand of radical skepticism that rejects objective truth, “these scholars are like snake-oil salespeople who diagnose our society as being riddled with a disease only they can cure.”
Is this what you would want your child taught? Would you want sinful and anti-God teachers encouraging their students to redefine what is right and proper according to their own depravity and sin?
From answersingenesis.org there is a blog post entitled, “Teachers Worry ‘Dangerous’ Parents Might Overhear Classroom Discussions.” It might be the best thing that has happened to state education. These teachers are concerned that parents might hear what they are forcing upon their students. Parents might hear them brainwashing their children. These teachers call Christian parents dangerous. With the global pandemic leading many schools in America to offer or require students to “school at home” with online instruction, some teachers in our state schools are afraid of parents and others overhearing the teacher’s instruction. They believe that this could be damaging, at least to themselves.
Matthew Kay, an educator, recently tweeted,
So, this fall, virtual class discussion will have many potential spectators—parents, siblings, etc.—in the same room. We’ll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work? …How many of us have installed some version of “what happens here stays here” to help this? While conversations about race are in my wheelhouse, and remain a concern in this no-walls environment, I am most intrigued by the damage that “helicopter/snowplow” parents can do in the host conversations about gender/sexuality. And while “conservative” parents are my chief concern—I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia—how much do we want their classmates’ parents piling on?
One teacher expressed and summarized it bluntly: “Parents are dangerous.”
“Parents are dangerous.” They view children as wards of the state, to be indoctrinated and shielded from negative influences of parents, particularly, parents’ personal beliefs. In this view, parents are the enemy. Secular teachers, armed with a radical worldview that opposes the Bible, are the ones who can properly guide, nurture, instruct and really, brainwash these children in the way they should go.
Writing for the Daily Wire, conservative commentator Matt Walsh brings up three important points in regard to this kind of thinking. First, “classrooms are certainly not ‘safe places’ for children to be ‘vulnerable.’ Think of the pressure children are under to conform to the values and opinions of teachers and peers.” Second, “an adult keeping a secret with a child and helping the child conceal that secret from his parent is nothing short of predatory.” Third, a public school teacher “is not supposed to be, and should not try to be, educator, parent, spiritual guide, therapist, friend, confidant, and sex counselor, all rolled into one.”
Children are not wards of the state! Children are entrusted by God to parents to train and instruct in the way that they should go. One must not think that the state knows better than parents and has the right to indoctrinate children in a secular, naturalistic worldview.
We are thankful for our good Christian schools. But even here, parents have a responsibility to know everything being taught to their children that might influence them in the wrong way. Would it not be wonderful, in light of the training our teachers receive in the universities, if we had our own Christian college for the training of future teachers in the Protestant Reformed schools.
We as Christian parents must pray for our Christian teachers and the school boards of our schools. We thank God for our heritage where we have insisted on parental schools. Keep the state out of the instruction. Will it be education or indoctrination? Both are needed from a biblical foundation of the Word of God. “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).