Public schooling and indoctrination: Still sending your kids to government schools?


Public school. The bastion of civilized society. Every child receiving a free education for the benefit and advancement of all humankind.

Or, is it something else entirely?

Some may at once protest, “What? Is education to have as one of its symptoms the acceptance of radical views?” The answer is “Yes,” if “radicalism” means any serious endeavor to alter our social arrangements for the better. We must consciously adopt and foster the position that it is the prime business of education to remake our institutions and our traditions—and learn to recognize the possession of this spirit as one of the main earmarks of the educated man…. The principal obstacle to the acceptance of this outcome is the persistence of a set of “inert” ideas (to use Whitehead’s phrase) which lingers to afflict our civilization. One of the most subtle and pernicious of these inherited and unexamined postulates is the view that the aim of education (or life, for that matter) is the development of the individual’s personality as such….

…For good or for ill, we must cease training people for what they are going to do, and point out instead what they should do. It will probably fall to our generation to resurrect the word “ought” to its rightful status in the affairs of men—for what else are values if not areas of experience with an imperious push or pull emanating from them?

There are some purists who will be frightened by the indoctrination which must inevitably follow if this recommendation is effective…. Such an objection is silly, for since indoctrination of attitudes occurs anyhow, our sole concern must be to ensure that the right ones are established….

How any one with the least pretensions to higher education can fail to be thrilled by the ultimate prospects of a single world government, the abolition of war and poverty, the enhancement of beauty in daily life, and the enlightened practice of eugenics and euthenics, is a riddle which can be explained only by a blind, exclusive regard for the immediately practicable…. What nobler and more enlightened aim for education in this century can possibly be proposed than that it enlists the enthusiasms of youth for the attainment of more rational forms of group living.

“A New Definition of the Educated Man”, Dr. George Hartmann, Professor Of Educational Psychology at Pennsylvania State College, Progressive Education, December 1933

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s