The Toxic Influence of Progressive Education Schools on K-12 Curricula

This is post # 5 in this series

By Chuck Rogér

In the 1960s, America’s education schools began conditioning teachers to peddle impossible social and economic theories to captive human sponges in K-12 classrooms.  Since then, teachers taken in by progressive indoctrination have been planting fallacies in students’ minds using a pernicious device: the “deconstruction” of reality.

Deconstruction aims to disassemble traditional Western culture and replace that culture with a collectivist utopia operated under rules set by the deconstructors.  Between Inauguration Day 2009 and the January 2011 GOP House takeover, a congressional wrecking crew led by President Barack Obama did an amazing amount of deconstructing.

The ouster of much of the wrecking crew in last November’s election was a small step toward stopping America’s descent into a utopian hell.  But it is the 2008 election of a full-bore statist and the statist’s still decent approval rating which suggest that too many Americans embrace socialist-collectivist promises.  Such naïveté and ignorance of socialism’s miserable track record are stunning.

Though naïveté will always afflict some people, ignorance can be corrected by objective education and heightened awareness.  One thing is certain.  The nonstop flow of pre-primed, left-indoctrinated university graduates must be stopped, which means that the K-12 education system which feeds the universities must be rehabilitated.

Cleaning up K-12 requires understanding how schools devolved into left-wing ideology centers.

Starting in the 1960s, academics took heightened interest in Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci’s cultural Marxism.  Members of the political class glommed onto the resulting “social justice,” affirmative action, “diversity,” multiculturalism, political correctness, and other malignancies spawned by cultural Marxism.  Progressive politicians came to view society as a hodge-podge of racial, ethnic, gender-based, and now also sexual orientation-based groups locked in zero-sum combat with Western whites.

Generally speaking, cultural Marxism’s indoctrinees have learned to view morality and knowledge as “constructs” and social and economic power as commodities to be transferred from “oppressor” to “oppressed.”  Progressives routinely label minorities as oppressed and anything that benefits minorities as moral. Such thinking dominates the Democrat party platform.

In embracing Western middle class deconstruction, universities took a radical left turn.  To ruinous effect, the radicalism gradually descended below freshman level.  Cultural Marxism entered high school, then middle school, and now infests elementary schools as well as preschools.  One illustration of the use of anti-wealth, anti-American fallacies in K-12 classrooms is the showing of the virulently anti-capitalist video, The Story of Stuff.  The video presents baseless, hysterical vitriol as fact.  For instance, schoolchildren are told that:

… extraction … is a fancy word for natural resource exploitation, which is a fancy word for trashing the planet. What this looks like is we chop down trees, we blow up mountains to get the metals inside, we use up all the water and we wipe out the animals.

Thousands of schools and churches have the video, while “hundreds of teachers” have required students to view the propaganda on the Internet.  Googling the phrase, “The Story of Stuff,” nets 2.2 million hits, and though the web buzzes with concern over exposing schoolchildren to the video’s venomous distortions, interspersed amid the alarm is a shocking amount of gushing praise.

What motivates such praise?  What motivates teachers to bias students against capitalism?  Answers lie within education schools which influence K-12 teachers and curricula.

University of Arkansas researcher Sandra Stotsky found that education schools push “evidence-free theories” to influence curriculum development.  One theory, “constructivism,” argues that children learn best by constructing class topics and methods in ways which leverage the children’s personal experiences.  The notion “feels” seductive, but contains no factual basis.

Constructivist theory recklessly assumes that racial, ethnic, gender-based, and sexual orientation-based subgroups learn what’s truly important by absorbing teacher-led dissection of Western middle class knowledge and values.  Constructivism holds that after such cleansing, the subgroups should be qualified to select study topics of their choosing.  The method aligns with the equally baseless views of early progressive education theorist John Dewey, who wanted children to specify “relevant [classroom] material.”[1]

Related to constructivism, “reader response theory” teaches students to ignore authors’ actual words and assign preferred meanings to written works.  Children are conditioned to believe that truth is relative to individual or tribal experience.  Ayn Rand captured the tribalistic aspect of minority exploitation in her essay, “Global Balkanization.”[2]  Rand observed that government “manufactures pressure groups,” especially ethnic groups.

The profiteers are those group leaders who discover suddenly that they can exploit the helplessness, the fear, the frustration of their “ethnic” brothers, organize them into a group, present demands to the government-and deliver the vote.

By encouraging minorities to resist socioeconomic assimilation, progressive politicians maintain a nationwide nursery of government-dependent adults from which to draw lifelong votes…and income.  Progressive teachers steer students toward a strange-brew mindset of anti-assimilation, collectivism, diversity, and we-are-the-world-ness.

Stotsky points out that the “evidence-free” education school theory of “social justice” alleges that minority children learn best when encouraged to embrace grievances against middle class whites.  Social justice-indoctrinated teachers instill resentment in “non-dominant” (minority) children and guilt in “dominant” (white) children.  Judging by the abundance of guilt-ridden white Americans, the tactic is working its magic well.

Social justice education deemphasizes knowledge retention and the development of traditionally productive skills.  The theory’s fanatical adherents maintain that teaching American history to blacks and Hispanics is oppressive.  It’s also oppressive to force blacks to “think like whites.”  “Diversity consultant” Glenn Singleton teaches that blacks must be excused from developing “annoying white characteristics, such as being ‘task-oriented’ and ‘intellectual.'”  Together, government dependency and social justice education have fashioned a super-progressivism turbo-charged by cultural Marxism.  Stunted black academic achievement and disintegration of the black family are but two of the many devastating results.

In truth, disintegration of not only the black family but of wholesome tradition itself begins in preschool, as discussed in my introductory analysis of Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky’s influence on early childhood curricula.  A study by Stanford education professor David Labaree frames the scope of disfiguration of America’s education curricula.  Education schools fit “solidly in the progressive camp.”  Teachers are conditioned to “integrate the disciplines,” use “socially relevant themes,” and push morally relativistic versions of “community, cooperation, tolerance, justice, and democratic equality” in ways that make the concepts appear noble, indeed innocent.

But there is no innocence in the effects of the progressive conditioning of teachers.  More K-12 students than ever are now being manipulated through lesson plans warped into platforms for moralizing against capitalism, the white middle class, and America.  The deconstruction of American society is proceeding.  The ghosts of Gramsci, Dewey, and Vygotsky are probably smiling.

A physicist and former high tech executive, Chuck Rogér invites you to visit his website, www.chuckroger.com.  E-mail Chuck at swampcactus@chuckroger.com.


[1] John Dewey, The School and Society and The Child and the Curriculum, BN Publishing, 2008, p. 94.

[2] Ayn Rand, “Global Balkanization,” in Return of the Primitive, 1999, p.198.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mannyr
    Aug 14, 2020 @ 15:39:42

    Here is the slow moving intense progressive Indoctrination of our public schools. The all inclusive “warehousing” of our young Americans. Who unfortunately will never know the difference between good/evil as a way of life.

    Reply

  2. Chris
    Aug 16, 2020 @ 00:39:12

    It is a very interesting post. It does not surprise me that University of Arkansas researcher Sandra Stotsky found that education schools push “evidence-free theories” to influence curriculum development. In K-12 education, I’ve found that Arkansas is less intrusive in this area than other more “progressive” states like California. My guess is that Sandra’s study included many states, maybe even the entire country.
    I haven’t been in the classroom over three years now but when I was substituting at many different schools I didn’t notice overt cultural Marxism. I know that a lot can change in three years.
    There is the obvious introduction of Darwinian evolution at very early ages. Most do not consider it to be “evidence-free” but, as it is the only theory about how man was “created,” there is certainly only one paradigm being taught. This fact does not allow for free thought on a very important topic.
    When asked by older students, I was always very happy to tell students about the Arkansas Creation Trial in 1981 where evidence like that presented by Robert Gentry was termed “a tiny mystery” and ignored by the judge. Since this legal decision, Darwinian evolution is the only theory of man’s origins allowed in the public classroom in Arkansas.
    (see https://www.icr.org/article/arkansas-decision-creation-science/)
    To see a theory like global warning pushed in spite of all the evidence for a much more balanced view presented by the Corwall Alliance (https://cornwallalliance.org/) and the like, just makes it obvious that certain views get more notice in the modern progressive classroom. I do believe that the Earth will be destroyed by fire one day but it will not be because of man-made global warming. We should be good stewards of what God has given us but not puppets who believe in anything thrown in our direction.
    There is nothing wrong with “integrating disciplines.” How one goes about it is another story altogether.
    There is no excuse for the teaching of anti-American themes. Honesty is the main thing. The mistakes that America has made should be taught only on balance with the amazing accomplishments of our forefathers. God should get the glory for the wisdom of such men but God is not a topic up for discussion in most of the pubic schools in our day. This is very unfortunate in a country where Christian prayer used to start every school day in every public classroom.
    It appears that “one-world themes” and the like are preparing our children for what the Bible speaks about in so many prophecies. We are watching this preparation in our days like in no other times before us. May God’s will be done and may He have mercy on us.

    Reply

    • Mannyr
      Aug 16, 2020 @ 15:58:17

      The evidence-free theories are the work which i call Satanic influence. As we believe we are born in original sin from Adam. This to my mind is the basis of Satan’s usurping the role and place of our Heavenly Father. From our mothers womb we are influenced by harsh surroundings from our mothers who have fear of dying giving birth and the child hearing and sensing it. To harsh words being spoken between parents, the child hearing and wanting to recoil from coming out, desiring to stay in rather than come out. I see lies or so called half truths as part of our sick society and an ever menacing life pattern.
      I agree the less intrusive states seem to bear up better than the “progressive” ones. But the influence is there non the less as a generalization feeding off of social contraindications of evidence-free theories and socialist inclinations that breed hatred and lies as a way of life. The role of influence is the bait stick. So called higher thinking which is just pride, rebellion and mindless thought and a tendency to allow someone to think for us, take care of us while we regress again and again from our influenced stance stemming from our bad womb atmosphere.
      Fear is a constant overshadowing in our young lives which we carry into our educational and social lives.
      The one paradigm is the leading influence we are taught, and accept simply because we are busy and hurried.

      The huge truck labeled “progressive” is loaded with minds of men/women who are so called leading edge people who want change for the sake of change as a base full of uncertainty. We are reaping the mind numbing of our up coming generations who cannot, do not want to tolerate any part of our nations history because lies fit better than mistakes according to their indoctrinated theories. What a mess morality does not exist any more except in usins. Anything goes never mind simple facts that are supposed to cleanse our sin sick society. I totally agree with your statement about “There is no excuse for the teaching of anti-American themes. Honesty is the main thing. The mistakes that America has made should be taught only on balance with the amazing accomplishments of our forefathers.” Again i agree in the prevalent theme of “One world” is the influence we are all be force fed. Come soon Lord Jesus.

      Reply

      • Chris
        Aug 16, 2020 @ 22:55:40

        As usual, we are on the same page, Manny.

        “I see lies or so called half truths as part of our sick society and an ever menacing life pattern.”

        This is such an appropriate observation. Lies and, sometimes worse (particularly when it comes to theology), half lies are more prevalent today than I have ever experienced.
        And, as you have identified Satanic influence in evidence-free theories, many other lies have the same origin. Adam’s sin was influenced by Satan and his sway on modern “education” cannot be understated.

        Your connection of up and comers with the lack of morality also cannot be understated. Many “churches” have not done the job of living in honesty and young people are not fooled. Many of them probably figure that, if they can’t believe their spiritual leaders, why should they believe them about history or anything for that matter.
        There are still wonderful men of God in pulpits, but so many others are teaching lies that mirror the lies of Satan in the garden. On top of this, we are dealing with years and years of incorrect textual criticism of scripture. The authority that once accompanied any reference to the Bible has been gone for generations in some families.
        The analogy of the snow ball rolling downhill holds here, I think, except it is a black and dark ball.
        I appreciate your comment, Manny. How is a good education even possible in our day without the influence of a Godly teacher? May God use us to be salt and light to our families first and then to others. May He open doors for us to have opportunities to share the only thing that can save: the Gospel message.
        God’s blessings my friend…

        Reply

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