Thursday, March 29, 2007

Education: the final frontier

Two recent films: one common topic -- educational dogma and the cessation of academic freedom.

Education should be about bringing knowledge out, not about indoctrination. The choice begins at kindergarten: it is the choice between giving a student a blank sheet of paper and some colours and asking them to create, versus giving them a pre-defined outline and having them follow directions on how to colour the blanks correctly, with the correct colours,
within the correct lines. It is the difference between developing students who can think for themselves, creatively and those who know only how to memorize what they have been told, to follow directions and to mimic their trainers in criticising what they reject as outside their correct perspective. It is the difference between teaching and training.

Political correctness is not just about an axiomatic dogma, reinforcing a prescribed ideology: it is primarily about invoking a mindset of dependency, orthodoxy and fear that makes its citizenry compliant, complacent and constrained within the dominant constructs of the ordained "correct" ideology. Education is the primary tool by which elites oppress the citizenry. This was vividly shown to us in Nazi Germany, in Stalinist Russia and in novels such as Orwell's 1984. It is being shown to us again in the guise of ideological environmentalism and the propagation of ecomyths. And, most sadly, the central vehicle by which this fraud is being perpetrated is our institutions of "higher learning".

The two films linked above illustrate the various ways in which higher education has been supplanted by political correct training: there is no learning, only the transference of prescribed opinions.

Think I exaggerate? Ask a university student or recent graduate about any contemporary public policy issue. Follow up their answer with this question: "why do you think that?" and see how far the discussion progresses. They know on a superficial level what the "correct" answers are to everything, but as to why, and the basis for their belief -- well, doesn't everyone, you know, well like, everyone knows that...don't they? And anyway, it must be true, everyone says it....