Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why I Keep Marxadelphia Around

As I said in Why I Do This,
He's too perfect an example of the Left in this country not to let him illuminate their failings.
This week he provided yet another example.

In the comments to my post Critical Pedagogy, Marxadelphia responded:
It's a good thing I have the day off today. What a load of lying bullshit. And further proof of ridiculous paranoia. As usual, you start with your belief and then succumb to confirmation bias.

--

These EDU posts, Kevin, serve no purpose nor present any sort of concrete solution whatsoever. They don't even accurately address the actual problems. In essence, they sum up an emotional reaction--one that typifies the right these days--comprised solely of hate, anger and fear combined with a complete lack of factual foundation.
OK, two assertions are made here: One, the post linked is "a load of lying bullshit" and my Education posts "don't even accurately address the actual problems."

Let's investigate those claims, shall we?

The linked piece states:
The Critical Pedagogy Movement is coming to a school near you and it means to change the world.
One child at a time.
Most people have never heard the term, ‘Critical Pedagogy’. That is intentional.
Anyone not involved in the educational community would have little reason to be aware of this leftist theory of education. If it were merely a theory however, there would be little reason for concern.
The primary assumption of critical pedagogy is that disparities between individual and social group outcomes in life are due to entrenched societal oppression. So, if anyone or any group has ‘more’ than another it is because they are either oppressing others or benefiting from the ‘oppression of the masses’.
Thus, all whites benefit from an unjust social system and, as a result are inherently guilty of racism.
Advocates implicitly deny any definition of the ‘pursuit of happiness’, which does not result in equality of outcome. That necessarily limits American’s liberty and their pursuit of happiness to the politically correct calculus of Critical Pedagogy theory.
Pedagogy is defined as ‘the art or profession of teaching’. That definition is sometimes shortened by advocates into ‘the teaching’. The theory of critical pedagogy was first fully developed and then popularized in 1968 by the Brazilian educator and influential theorist Paulo Freire. His seminal work, the Pedagogy [The Teaching] of the Oppressed, was highly influential within the US leftist academic community and in 1969 Freire was offered a visiting professorship at Harvard University.
His subsequent work was highly influential with the Bill Ayers of the world. One might think of Paulo Freire as the Saul Alinsky of the US leftist educational community. Critical Pedagogy is the educational arm of the ‘social justice movement’, which is the political arm of “liberation theology”, all of which are aspects of ‘Cultural Marxism’.
OK, there's a pretty firm statement with assertions that a particular person is the focal point in pushing the "Critical Pedagogy" curriculum. A quick Google search on "Critical Pedagogy" brought up a link to the University of Colorado, Denver School of Education and professor Martin Ryder. Among the many links there, directly below one to The Frankfurt School, are several dedicated specifically to Paulo Friere. Nineteen, specifically, more than for any other topic covered on that initial page.

It would appear that the author is on to something, no?

Now, as to the assertion by that author that "The Critical Pedagogy Movement is coming to a school near you and it means to change the world," let's look at a piece I wrote in 2008, Balkanization. That piece was about a particular program that is apparently still running in the Tucson Unified School District schools called "Raza Studies." (The link to the original newspaper stories are broken, so you'll have to take my excerpts at face value.) The story indicates that the program, while "under fire" could grow, and reach younger children.

What is it? It's described as an "ethnic studies" program. "La Raza" in Spanish translates to "The Race" in English.
Raza Studies serves about 500 high school students, who take a four-course block of history, social justice and two Chicano literature classes.

--

It's the end of the school year and Raza Studies students at Tucson High Magnet School are presenting research findings to their principal.

Their PowerPoint presentation is critical of policies toward English learners; some concerns hinge on whether students are funneled to vocational tracks, and some focus on inferior equipment.

Then comes an exploration of classroom décor, with photos of classroom items students consider culturally insensitive.

First up is a baseball poster, which they say should be soccer or rugby to validate other cultures. Next up flashes the Pledge of Allegiance and a patriotic poster featuring the Statue of Liberty, the American flag and an eagle.

"Most of the kids are from a different country, and this is showing them that this is the country that's the greatest and yours doesn't matter," a student maintains.
So they're not teaching math, English, physics, chemistry, anatomy, etc., they're teaching the students to see the world through the lens of oppression, are they not?
Augustine Romero took over as head of ethnic studies two years ago, after running Raza Studies for four years. In his view, the system already divides students by ethnicity.

When he was a senior at Tucson High, his father asked school counselors to make military recruiters stop calling. His counselor couldn't believe Romero planned to go to college.

He proved the counselor wrong, and the 41-year-old just finished his doctorate. "Yes, there are examples of people who have made it, but we've made it by having to work harder than most people because we've had to endure the inequities of the system," he says.
As I said back then, anybody who gets a Ph.D has to work harder than most people, but it would appear that Mr. Romero has an ethnic chip on his shoulder. But here's the kicker:
Romero summons the work of Brazilian educationalist Paulo Freire to explain the premise of the program, hauling out a dog-eared and extensively highlighted copy of "Pedagogy of the Oppressed." He points to a passage: "This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well."
(My emphasis.) I wonder where Dr. Romero got his Ph.D? Was it one of those schools of Education referred to in Critical Pedagogy, or another? And does it matter?

Here's what a participant in the program, one of the teachers, had to say:
John Ward taught in the department in the 2002-03 school year. Of Latino heritage despite his Anglo-sounding name, Ward was all for more thoroughly integrating the contributions of Mexican-Americans into U.S. history. But once he started teaching, he became concerned about the program's focus on victimization.

"They really wanted to identify the victimizer, which was the dominant group — in this case white America — and they wanted students to have a revolution against upper-class white America," says Ward, who now works as a state auditor.

"They had a clear message that political departments in the U.S. are arms of the dominant culture designed to keep minorities in the ghetto and to keep them downtrodden. They're teaching on the taxpayers' dime that police officers and teachers are trying to keep them down. What a perverse message to teach these kids."

Such messages, he says, won't be found in the program's textbooks, such as "Occupied America."

"The department doesn't look bad on paper. It's what happens verbally that moves the debate from benign to pernicious," Ward says.

The tone worried him: "The students had become very angry by the end of the year. I saw a marked change in them."
Of course this concern was played down by Romero:
Romero says anger is essential for transformation, but insists teachers work to transform that anger into something positive. "For me, there's a real fine line between anger and awareness," he says.

He chalks up the dispute with Ward to politics, saying Ward didn't fit in because he was a conservative while he and the teachers in the department are liberal.
Gee, ya THINK?

Now here's a really interesting part. In a second piece by John Ward himself, we're told:
During the 2002-2003 school year, I taught a U.S. history course with a Mexican-American perspective. The course was part of the Raza/Chicano studies department.

Within one week of the course beginning, I was told that I was a "teacher of record," meaning that I was expected only to assign grades. The Raza studies department staff would teach the class.

I was assigned to be a "teacher of record" because some members of the Raza studies staff lacked teaching certificates. It was a convenient way of circumventing the rules.

I stated that I expected to do more than assign grades. I expected to be involved in teaching the class. The department was less than enthusiastic but agreed.

Immediately it was clear that the class was not a U.S. history course, which the state of Arizona requires for graduation. The class was similar to a sociology course one expects to see at a university.

Where history was missing from the course, it was filled by controversial and biased curriculum.

The basic theme of the curriculum was that Mexican-Americans were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle and upper-class whites.

In this narrative, whites are able to maintain their influence only if minorities are held down. Thus, social, political and economic events in America must be understood through this lens.

This biased and sole paradigm justified teaching that our community police officers are an extension of the white power structure and that they are the strongmen used "to keep minorities in their ghettos."

It justified telling the class that there are fewer Mexican-Americans in Tucson Magnet High School's advanced placement courses because their "white teachers" do not believe they are capable and do not want them to get ahead.
Yes, that's right, The MAN wants to keep them DOWN!

Now, let me reiterate my point from Critical Pedagogy: Future teachers are being taught this stuff. They are coming to SCHOOLS NEAR YOU, and bringing it with them. They are INFLICTING IT ON STUDENTS in your school systems - not all schools, and not all students, but it is being spread. It is the outgrowth of the Frankfurt School, and it is part and parcel of Gramsci's plan to destroy Western culture from the inside. And it's working.

So to Marxadelphia's assertion that Critical Pedagogy was "lying bullshit" and "paranoia," I say, "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on."

I suggest, if you wish to read further, that you read the entire Balkanization post, The George Orwell Daycare Center (bring lunch, it's long), and also I Say We Take Off and Nuke the Site from Orbit . . .

Now there's a "concrete solution"!

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