Monday, November 23, 2009

The Issue That Refuses To Die

At the end of the first Terminator movie, the Terminator wouldn't die. It just kept going and going, refusing to give up on its mission of killing Sarah Connor. When it was nothing but a partial robotic skeleton, it pulled itself on the ground towards her, its sole purpose being her death.

How many times was Jason hit, only to keep coming back for more? Or Michael Meyers?

Such an issue exists in teacher education circles. It's teacher "dispositions", or ensuring teachers have the right political and cultural beliefs--that is, hard left social beliefs--before they're let into the classroom. I've written about this several times before. The first instance I found dates back to December 2005, with other important posts on the topic occurring in June 2006, October 2006, September 2007, and March 2008; each of those posts link to others on the topic. What that list shows, though, is that this is an ongoing issue.

Add November 2009 to the list, with this article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Do you believe in the American dream -- the idea that in this country, hardworking people of every race, color and creed can get ahead on their own merits? If so, that belief may soon bar you from getting a license to teach in Minnesota public schools -- at least if you plan to get your teaching degree at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus.

In a report compiled last summer, the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the U's College of Education and Human Development recommended that aspiring teachers there must repudiate the notion of "the American Dream" in order to obtain the recommendation for licensure required by the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Instead, teacher candidates must embrace -- and be prepared to teach our state's kids -- the task force's own vision of America as an oppressive hellhole: racist, sexist and homophobic.

The task group is part of the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative, a multiyear project to change the way future teachers are trained at the U's flagship campus. The initiative is premised, in part, on the conviction that Minnesota teachers' lack of "cultural competence" contributes to the poor academic performance of the state's minority students.

To quote Ronald Reagan, "There you go again."

The first step toward "cultural competence," says the task group, is for future teachers to recognize -- and confess -- their own bigotry. Anyone familiar with the reeducation camps of China's Cultural Revolution will recognize the modus operandi.

The author of this piece is not mincing any words, and is entirely correct.
The goal of these exercises, in the task group's words, is to ensure that "future teachers will be able to discuss their own histories and current thinking drawing on notions of white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression"...In particular, aspiring teachers must be able "to explain how institutional racism works in schools."

Who knew there were so many racists teaching in America's schools?
And what if students' ideological purity is tainted once they begin to do practice teaching in the public schools? The task group frames the danger this way: "How can we be sure that teaching supervisors are themselves developed and equipped in cultural competence outcomes in order to supervise beginning teachers around issues of race, class, culture, and gender?"

Its answer? "Requir[e] training/workshop for all supervisors. Perhaps a training session disguised as a thank you/recognition ceremony/reception at the beginning of the year?"

When teacher training requires a "disguise," you know something sinister is going on.

There's already a Marxist undercurrent in a lot of teacher education, and only some of it is disguised. It's so much easier to spot, though, when they're out in the open about their beliefs. As was said so long ago, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.


Law and Order Teacher said...

Interesting article. I went through a little of that as this is my 9th year teaching so I'm fairly new at it. Additionally, this is my second career so I was older and more able to challenge the lefties in my college. The young must endure the indoctrination and really don't even know it's happening. I work hard in class to be neutral and allow the students to form their own opinions. A lot of teachers don't.

Ellen K said...

That's the article I was posting about earlier. It's appalling. And I don't know why students are putting up with it. It is an obvious attempt to indoctrinate them.

allen (in Michigan) said...

The Marxist undercurrent is one of the luxuries of not having to teach teachers how to teach.

You can do whatever suits you provided you can get the department head to sign off and the department head doesn't have to worry about turning out teachers who can teach either so it's a slam-dunk.

Anonymous said...

Folks need to get in the faces of those Marxists and tell them to knock it off. Failing that, those Marxists need to be dragged off and shot (as the late Acidman liked to say!).

If I had any kids, they'd have to be home-schooled, then I'd sue the state for my tax money back from the state to help pay for their education. Heads would surely roll (as my 6th grade homeroom teacher used to say!).