Saturday, September 02, 2006

Yet Another Post on Social Justice

The City Journal (Milwaukee) has a great story on a former Weather Underground communist who has since become a teacher in the "social justice" fight:

America’s historical ideal of public schooling as a means of assimilating all children (and particularly the children of new immigrants) into a common civic and democratic culture is already under assault from the multiculturalists and their race- and gender-centered pedagogy. Now Ayers and his social justice movement, by dismissing the civic culture ideal as nothing more than “capitalist hegemony,” subvert the public schools even further—while subsidized by the taxpayers, including the capitalists who supposedly control the schools.

He's going after curriculum, too:

Teaching science for social justice? Let Teachers College professor Angela Calabrese Barton, the volume’s principal author, try to explain: “The marriages between capitalism and education and capitalism and science have created a foundation for science education that emphasizes corporate values at the expense of social justice and human dignity.” The alternative? “Science pedagogy framed around social justice concerns can become a medium to transform individuals, schools, communities, the environment, and science itself, in ways that promote equity and social justice. Creating a science education that is transformative implies not only how science is a political activity but also the ways in which students might see and use science and science education in ways transformative of the institutional and interpersonal power structures that play a role in their lives.” If you still can’t appreciate why it’s necessary for your child’s chemistry teacher to teach for social justice, you are probably hopelessly wedded to reason, empiricism, individual merit, and other capitalist and post-colonialist deformities.

The series doesn’t yet have a text on mathematics, but it’s sure to come, since the pedagogy for teaching social justice through math is even more fully developed than for science. One of the leading lights of the genre is Eric Gutstein, a Marxist colleague of Ayers’s at the University of Illinois and also a full-time Chicago public school math teacher. Gutstein’s new book, Reading and Writing the World with Mathematics: Toward a Pedagogy for Social Justice, combines critical pedagogy theory and real live math lessons that Gutstein piloted with his predominantly minority seventh-grade students.

There's a lot of overlap here with the Rethinking Schools idiots that I've mentioned so many times before.

As for this next paragraph, I believe that NCATE has backed off its "social dispositions" criterion, even if only officially:

One by one, the education schools are lining up behind social justice teaching and enforcing it on their students—especially since they expect aspiring teachers to possess the approved liberal “dispositions,” or individual character traits, that will qualify them to teach in the public schools. The National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the main accreditor of education schools, now monitors how well the schools comply with their own social justice requirements.

And since lefties truly value control over others (which is why they want the government to run everything), you can clearly see the truth in this paragraph:

How does your average, traditional-minded future teacher cope in an education class taught from a social justice or critical race theory perspective? Such students are well-advised to bite their tongues or risk career-threatening penalties. For all their talk about teaching for “freedom and democracy,” the professors often run their own classes like leftist political indoctrination sessions.

I have a little first-hand experience in this area.

Allow me to be clear: this whole idea of "social justice", while it sounds nice, is nothing more than the usual leftist, Marxist, class-envy claptrap that has failed every time it's been put into practice in the world. Yet, people continue to believe it has value of some kind. And now, the crescendo:

It cannot be repeated often enough: ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have bad consequences. The Freirian theories that carry over to social justice teaching are incapable of “liberating” the children of America’s so-called oppressed. As E. D. Hirsch has exhaustively shown, the scientific evidence about which classroom methods produce the best results for poor children point conclusively to the very methods that the critical pedagogy and social justice theorists denounce as oppressive and racist. By contrast, not one shred of hard evidence suggests that the pedagogy behind teaching for social justice works to lift the academic achievement of poor and minority students.

Social justice teaching is a frivolous waste of precious school hours, grievously harmful to poor children, who start out with a disadvantage. School is the only place where they are likely to obtain the academic knowledge that could make up for the educational deprivation they suffer in their homes. The last thing they need is a wild-eyed experiment in education through social action.

And now for the fireworks to accompany the 1812 Overture:

So why do education professors who claim to care for the poor continue to agitate for instruction that holds back poor children? Either the professors are stupid (possible), or (more likely) they care more about their own anti-American, anticapitalist agendas than they do about the actual education of children. The literature of social justice education is obsessed with the allegedly “dark” side of American political, social, and economic life.

Unfortunately, there's lots of truth there.



"Social Justice" :-) , moi likes a good oxymoron.

“Unfortunately, there's lots of truth there.”
Regrettably the truth/facts are ALWAYS, well.....
I prefer the word “Regrettable(ly)” to “Unfortunate(ly).
The later implies too much “Voodoo” as in “Fortune.”

Good Blog, it has earned an A+.
Don’t try spendin’ that A+ though.

Stay on Groovin’ (DNA Jungle) Safari,

TexSport Publications said...

As usual, these WACKOS have their own agenda. They keep the poor poor, the uneducated uneducated, and the downtrodden stirred up. That way nobody will notice that they are pushing another agenda!

Do they think we are fools and wouldn't notice? The liberals use the same old methods they have for years. They just dress it up a bit different and hope we won’t notice.

Anonymous said...

I visited your previous post about your experience in your college class but didn't find how it was all resolved. Did you meet face to face? Were you able to reach any common ground?

Anonymous said...

Great minds think alike. See here.

Darren said...


No, I refused to meet him. I made the professor uncomfortable by my presence in her class, ended up with an A, and that was the end of it.

I don't respond well to attempts at intimidation.