Friday, February 24, 2012

The aim of progressive education is explicitly to indoctrinate

John Dewey, widely considered the father of modern American progressive education, wrote the following in his 1916 book "Democracy and Education" : (Page 82, middle paragraph) (Gutenberg text)
It is the aim of progressive education to take part in correcting unfair privilege and unfair deprivation, not to perpetuate them. Wherever social control means subordination of individual activities to class authority, there is danger that industrial education will be dominated by acceptance of the status quo.

Now this doesn't sound too bad, I suppose. Extreme inequalities? Who wants that? Well, Dewey also further explains this on page 63:

4. The "Individualistic" Ideal of the Eighteenth Century. In the eighteenth-century philosophy we find ourselves in a very different circle of ideas. "Nature" still means something antithetical to existing social organization; Plato exercised a great influence upon Rousseau. But the voice of nature now speaks for the diversity of individual talent and for the need of free development of individuality in all its variety. Education in accord with nature furnishes the goal and the method of instruction and discipline. Moreover, the native or original endowment was conceived, in extreme cases, as nonsocial or even as antisocial. Social arrangements were thought of as mere external expedients by which these nonsocial individuals might secure a greater amount of private happiness for themselves. Nevertheless, these statements convey only an inadequate idea of the true significance of the movement. In reality its chief interest was in progress and in social progress. The seeming antisocial philosophy was a somewhat transparent mask for an impetus toward a wider and freer society—toward cosmopolitanism. The positive ideal was humanity. In membership in humanity, as distinct from a state, man's capacities would be liberated; while in existing political organizations his powers were hampered and distorted to meet the requirements and selfish interests of the rulers of the state. The doctrine of extreme individualism was but the counterpart, the obverse, of ideals of the indefinite perfectibility of man and of a social organization having a scope as wide as humanity. The emancipated individual was to become the organ and agent of a comprehensive and progressive society.

Now, I don't think I'm reading this wrong, but as usual I give the sources so that people can make up their own minds.

Here's how I read what's written: In the 18th century ideals are different than the ideals that existed in the modern 20th century progressive America, where back then "Nature" still meant something antithetical to a centralized state. When he says "social", he does not mean two people sitting at a restaurant having tea and crumpets. But here in the modern 20th century progressive America, "Nature" has new and more diverse meanings, instead of that tired, dusty, and old doctrine of extreme individualism. And where to progressive educators in? They make emancipated individuals (from the doctrines of EXTREME individualism of course) into agents of government, because they've been taught to oppose perceived inequalities and social control through their "industrial education".

This from Dewey, who labeled Horace Mann a "patron saint of progressive education". Let us never forget what Mann said, that "your children are hostages to our cause".

In both instances: Mann with his hostages, and Dewey with his emancipated individuals who are organs and agents of a progressive society - this is aggressive rhetoric. Dark, devious, and aggressive.

Finally, take note of what he wrote on page 66:

Neither phase of the problem can be worked out by merely negative means. It is not enough to see to it that education is not actively used as an instrument to make easier the exploitation of one class by another. School facilities must be secured of such amplitude and efficiency as will in fact and not simply in name discount the effects of economic inequalities, and secure to all the wards of the nation equality of equipment for their future careers.

Wards? That's more aggressive language. And we know what progressives mean by 'efficiency', more centralization and power for the dear leaders.

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