A very brief word on teaching for social justice…

All schools serve the societies in which they’re embedded—authoritarian schools serve authoritarian systems, apartheid schools serve an apartheid society, and so on. Practically all schools want their students to study hard, stay away from drugs, do their homework, and so on. In fact none of these features distinguishes schools in the old Soviet Union or fascist Germany from schools in a democracy, and in fact those schools produced some excellent scientists and athletes and musicians and so on. They also produced obedience and conformity, moral blindness and easy agreement, obtuse patriotism and a willingness to follow orders right into the furnaces. In a democracy one would expect something different—a commitment to free inquiry, questioning, and participation; a push for access and equity; a curriculum that encouraged free thought and independent judgment; a standard of full recognition of the humanity of each individual. In other words, social justice.

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22 Responses to A very brief word on teaching for social justice…

  1. Jack Janski says:

    Hey Tommy J,

    Keep defending the Leftist skunk Ayers. You may just end up in hell with him.

  2. tim baker says:

    Mr. Murtagh, wait-a-minute let me get my head together………… I believe that almost all members of the military hold the second amendment as being sacred. That’s ok with me. Being generally understood as awarding the people rightousness in the event the government becomes punitive against the safety and security of the people and that Nam was a dead end street and that former Defense Secretary Macnamara, however it’s spelled, said as much in retrospect, then………….one could argue Mr. Ayers was the second amendment in action.
    And, I should think you might go light as I’m not Sampson standing here with the jaw bone of an ass. And if I were I would not call you to task with regards to your story.

  3. Tiberius says:

    Let me start by saying what is wrong some of you. Compairing our education system to Nazi Germany is just like compairing a Steam Boat to a computer. From what I am getting out of this is that it is wrong to be patriotic towards one country. You know there is another family in American like that. They are called the Phelpes and the Westbor Church. I am studying to become a teacher (I will graduate soon) and I will say something that might shock some of you……..Its HARD work. Teachers have State, Federal, and Local requirements to meet. Also we have to pass certain requirments for state tests and that is another issue in its self.

    Teachers have to produce lesson plans and each generally take 2+ hours to complete and most lessons have at least 10 and then there are the test and so on. I do Math and Social Studies, and yes there is BS in some of the history books. Trust me I know, and many teachers try to show all of the different sides. In the real world teachers are always on the front lines unlike several of these college professors who some of them have never taught in a public school. When something bad happens we are to blame. There are problems with the system yes, but there will always be problems. I love my country and it hurts me to see so many people bashing it because they dont like what it is always doing…..well thats life.

    A for Fonda well its sad that she was not put on trial for high treason along with several others. I have several friends who served in Vietnam and would have been shot by their officers if they ever did anything like she did, but unlike every other cournty we didnt do anything to her. That is what seperates this country from so many others, becuase we have the freedom of speech. You would dissaper is this was China or Russia, in Iran you would be stoned to death. Many fail to remember that we were in a war with the nut cases of the world. There was very little stopping Russia and China from starting a full scale war on most of the world except for the US. Who unlike most other nations is always helpling the other guy out.

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. jojo says:

    Bill – nice title for this page. But, please make it briefer……….. more brief…….. more brief…
    more…more…..much more……much much more.

  5. tim baker says:

    Sam, thanks, I am your leadero. After giving the matter a great deal of thought, it seems almost a foregone conclusion that our beloved country may be in the process of break-up. It’s not about Bill Ayers or anyone in particular. It’s 300 plus million citizens alaigned into a large number odf very competitive constellations around income, race, age, and religion, forming the most interdependent culture in history. And now enters dwindling VITAL natural resources. At the least one would say this is serious. All of us could be in the initial stages of a second great depression. We see it, but like in the movie “Independence Day” we just stand there. Total kayos? Not that bad, but food riots and the like.
    The Janski-ites, as I call the far right wing and other constellations, if not all, are compelled to follow their own slogans “Lead – Follow – Or Get Out of the Way” and “America Love It or Leave It”. Obviously these juvenile tantrums are not creative or informative in a constructive sense. It’s pretty generic schoolyard bullying. Look out if we become 300 million Janski-ites.
    On point, we assume very few desires to subscribe to a national totalitarian system that would hold the old structure together by use of military force and intimidation, god forbid.
    For debate, here are two issues: 1. “States Rights”, long the god-child of the Republician Party as in the words of President Ronald Regan, “That government governs best which governs least” or less often the doctrine of, “The laboratory of the States”. and more directly to the primary topic 2. “Performance based teachers pay”.
    Performance based teachers pay seems to be a difficult issue. I’ve a family member who is a Clinical Psychologist in the Educational System and I mentioned it seems like a good idea and she went ballistic, briefly.
    I believe both these issues should be on table in our upcoming election. I echo Clinton: “I just don’t want to see us fall backwards”. I want the 60’s generation to be remembered as the greatest generation in the history of the world.

  6. Timothy Husbands says:

    One of the saddest things to witness over the past thirty years or so is the return of the class system to the public education system in the U.S.A. While it had never really disappeared, the later ’60s and 1970s had seemed to make strides in making a quality education in which the student would be challenged to determine what he or she would make of one’s self a reality in many school districts. With the onslaught of the Reaganite ’80s, all of this came to a grinding halt, and “conditioning” according to social and economic class made a roaring comeback. The upper/employing class could rest on their collective laurels and count on a career as being “captains of industry”, albeit in the second-hand form of hiring and firing in order to maximize profits. The oft-parodied “Yuppie” stereotype, while good for a chuckle now, was nothing of the sort at the time. Believe me; I was there. Since my graduation from high school in the late ’80s, I’ve seen a continuing erosion of the influence and political clout of the working class, to the point that it barely exists as a coherent body anymore. How does this influence education? Just ask yourself this: How many times will you see a military recruiter at a community college or at a state college or university that has traditionally served the citizens of a lower- or middle-class constituency? Now, ask that same recruiter how many times he or she has set up shop at a private college or a state university which historically consists of upper-class students. My guess, and I will wager that 95 out of a 100 times that I will be right, is that the recruiter will either not answer or use you as fodder for an incendiary rant concerning “liberals”. It is a sad fact that the educational system as we know right now is class-based, with the urban/lower-class schools really being designed to produce citizens who will create as little commotion as is possible. In the lower/working class schools, a student is taught just enough to get by in the minimum wage world, while the students who enjoy all the trimmings of an upper-class school find themselves confronted with a cornucopia of academic possibilities. This is not a new development; it’s one which has been building and building for decades now. What absolutely amazes me is that the U.S.A., the supposed leader of the free world, actually took steps backward on the educational front. Instead of producing students who are freely conversant with the language of democracy, equality and brotherhood, we instead churn out clones who fill menial jobs or join the “volunteer” army. This alone, this failing on our part, should be the shame which causes us to remedy this defect within a single generation. It is my fear that this trend will continue, to the extent that, as was the fact during the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries, a true, inquisitory education will once again be the province of the privileged few. If this should happen, if such should become the de facto practice across the nation. I would weep then for what would become of this grand experiment.

  7. ValricoJoe says:

    Tim, Tim, keep the Leary cool aid coming. The sixties was hopefully the worst generation in the history of this country. The spoiled brats flocked to the progressive marxist philosophies shoved down their throats like worms from their mother. They did not bother to learn the history of the rugged individualism of this country prior to 1913. They bought the Democrats socialist calls for government to solve the problems of all peoples, except the rich and big oil, big dairy, big everything. Don’t confuse you with the facts, the sky is falling and the only way to stop it is more government spending.

    Look at your precious intercity schools, you dumped ton after ton of money on the poor uneducated child, you take responsibility, punishment, aspiration, hard work, God, etc. out of the classroom, dumb down the population. Yet are amazed at the poverty and crime you have caused by your feel good policies. I fortunately was able to get out of the Detroit school district before the damage could be done.

    All we ever hear from you libs is we need more money for education. HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? Why do children who attend private schools, P.S. where most of your cherished and exhaulted bureaucratic pinheads send their children (for their safety I am sure), where the cost and benefit when compared to public schools is far better?

    I know you will probably use profanity and rant incoherently due to your public school education as you are not able to express yourself in a logical and factual way. You can just say it and it has to be true, because it feels good. The right thing does not always feel good and is usually the hardest option. Unlike your mentor, the dishonorable William Ayer, there is a right and wrong, with no grey areas. A murder is a murder.

    God Bless your tormented soul.

  8. GMP says:

    The amount of money spent on public education in this country is staggering. Although we spend the third highest percentage of GDP on education the results are terrible. Our achievement scores lag many countries who spend a fraction of what America spends. It is difficult to believe this is not intentional. Perhaps if educators left out indoctrination on “social justice” children could be educated in math, science, reading, history, geography and writing. Critical thinking must be grounded in fact. Ayers and his ilk want to brainwash our children not teach them useful skills. As a parent of a middle schooler it is clear that science and social studies have been remade to “global warming hysteria” and “politically correct fluff”. However, an undereducated populace is always more open to political revolution, and clearly, that’s the aim.

  9. CharlieMansion says:

    Does “moral blindness” = legal abortion? Nazis state, “ok to kill Jews”, US states, “ok to kill the fetus”

    Bill, put that in your government empolyee’s mind, ponder, write a paper that my hottie grad assistant will read.

  10. Rob Adcox says:

    The problem here, Bill, is one of hypocrisy.

    When I was pursuing my undergraduate and master’s degrees, on a multitude of occasions I encountered professors who went out of their way to shame and assign failing grades to students who disagreed with said professors’ liberal views.

    Social justice might be introduced in the classroom in theory, but in reality there is no social justice where our colleges and universities are concerned. Professors know they have captive audiences, and they waste no time exploiting that fact -and ethics be damned, as far as they’re concerned. I refused to allow myself be indoctrinated by certain arrogant liberal professors at a small Catholic university hq’d in Winona Mn. The result was that I was kicked out of that school with an A average, and owing the US Dept. of Education $30,000, so to hell with anyone who defends our institutions of lower learning. I was screwed and screwed royally, so I have a very serious axe to grind. From my experiences, the self-important, haughty, liberal assholes who call themselves professors are actually pretty stupid. They assume that they’re altering students’ worldviews when the fact is that the students are simply telling these idiots what they want to hear. Upon graduation, the student will usually say to him -or herself, “Screw Professor Eubank (fictitious name, I’m sure). I have my degree and I have put that moron in the past where she belongs”.

    In the end, the only way to graduate from these idiot sheds is to play the game. Regurgitate the propaganda that the professor hands out, and then forget it.

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