Education = Indoctrination

Valerie Moon over at the HEM blog linked this article today.

What a gem of an article it is. Here are a few marvelous snippets from the piece:

Where is the line between information, education, culturation and indoctrination? What someone views as indoctrination would seem to be any attempted or, particularly, successful dissemination of an ideology or philosophy that differs markedly from those ideologies and philosophies that person holds and follows. Generally the person levelling the accusation of indoctrination seems not to understand that the ideology they adhere to was also acquired through indoctrination.

This is exactly what I tell people who give me the “homeschooling is indoctrination” edu-babble. But, it just doesn’t sink in. How can it be indoctrination if I believe in it? I have free will, I wasn’t indoctrinated. But, oh, yes, you were. Especially if you think that your way is the right way, no matter what that “way” is. Public school indoctrination is no different than any other. The only reason why people are OK with it, is because it’s the system they were indoctrinated in.

Here’s another lovely snippet:

How can we expect or assume that students entering high school and university or, afterward, adult life, are prepared for critical assessment and constructive dissent and debate, reasoned thought and assessment, or independent thinking, when they have spent the first eight years or more of their education in an environment which neither fosters nor tolerates dissent, disagreement, questioning or debate, or independence of thought? In High School Indoctrination, Sol Stern claims, “The younger the students are, of course, the less likely are they able to withstand – or even detect – attempts at social and political thought control in the classroom.”

Ex-act-ly. Couldn’t have said it better. Can anyone say “universal preschool”? Can anyone say, “cradle to grave education”?

One more blurb, then I’ll let you go and read the rest:

The founders of our country saw that a well educated citizenry is essential to preserving Liberty. Yet they also knew that education ought not be centrally controlled. For no matter who is in power, those persons will inevitably impose their particular propaganda onto the schools. For this reason, the federal government was forbidden (by the Tenth Amendment) from involving itself in education.

Keep. It. Local. People, people, YOU are the ones who should be deciding what your schools should teach (and how). Not NCLB. Not standards. Not national ratings. Not comparing yourselves to other people in other states, and other countries. The bigger the monster controlling education, the less likely kids will come out of it independent thinkers.

Which I think is quite ironic, since most people send their kids off to school as early as possible, to “get rit of the apron strings” and to “let kids be independent.” When in reality, sending them to school is making them less independent, less unique and less individual, not more so. And the strong cultural belief that if kids are close to their parents and families that they’ll be little family clones, and never know anything of the world, is such a harsh criticism of homeschooling. When in fact, the kids in public schools are attempting to be clones of what the system wants them to be, not how they are in “the real world”, not having any real world experience, only a controlled piece of the real world – only the part that the schools want them to see, in the way they want them to see it.

It’s all the same. It’s all indoctrination. So, what’s the real difference between homeschooling and public school, education-wise, if they are merely two different forms of the same effort? What’s the real reason that people distrust homeschooling and other alternative forms of education so much?

Oh, and just for the record, the kind of indoctrination that goes on in our house is: Question everything, and in the end, you’re gonna have to figure it all out in your own way. Yes, that means questioning mommy and daddy’s logic and beling allowed to say “no”. Another indoctrination point that is important to us is respect. So, go ahead and doubt and question, but do it respectfully, please.  What are you indoctrinating your kids to do or think?

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