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Religious education, Public Education


Tarski

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Public education in the US is failing our children at least partially in that we have, for example, failed to get students up to speed in science and math.

Of course, private education and home education is often no better and at times explicitly anti-science. Much of the problem is with the culture--a culture which does not value knowledge.

But some wish to criticize public education in a different and more intense way by suggesting that it is nefarious indoctrination. Such folks sympathize with the famous and purposely provocative statement of H. L. Mencken"

"The plain fact is that education is itself a form of propaganda

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Why doesn't this show hypocrisy on the part of those who have such a conspiratorial view of public education (the educational content of which reflects academic, civic and intellectual values of democratically elected officials as well as professionals in the various academic fields).

Because the students in Primary, Sunday School, and Seminary are there voluntarily (or at least at the express direction of their parents). In government-run, tax-funded (grf, aka welfare) schools, the inmates are there because the law coerces them to be.

"Indoctrination", as you point out, is a neutral term, just as "propaganda" is. But the negative connotations arise when used in their most ordinary senses: being force fed information that is opposed to one's beliefs and that seeks to change the mind of the victim by repetition and often using threatening tactics or violence. GRTF-Welfare schools do just that.

I once taught USmerican history in a grtf-welfare school. It was that experience that made my eyes pop open: I taught those students that they lived in a free country, but every single one of them was there only because being absent would result in their being incarcerated (or their parents would be), and they knew it. I was lying to them; and, as I am a moral man, I could no longer do that.

Lehi

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Because the students in Primary, Sunday School, and Seminary are there voluntarily (or at least at the express direction of their parents).

Lehi

if a child attending primary is voluntary then so is a child attending public school. Students who attend public schools are at said school at the express direction of their parents. There is not law or mandate that a minor in the US must attend public school. How many LDS adults like attending the Temple but dislike attending 3 hours of meetings on Sunday. Isn't there a attendance requirements for LDS Students at LDS School, yes they are at the school voluntarily for whatever reason, could be reduced tuition, the program of study, or what ever, but said attendance at the school does not mean they do not feel indoctrinated.

For a person to claim indoctrination being what happens in public schools, that person can not honestly claim indoctrination does not occur in a religious setting. In either institution a person is being told what to believe, with the public setting being more open and tolerant of dissenting opinions.

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Because the students in Primary, Sunday School, and Seminary are there voluntarily (or at least at the express direction of their parents). In government-run, tax-funded (grf, aka welfare) schools, the inmates are there because the law coerces them to be.

"Indoctrination", as you point out, is a neutral term, just as "propaganda" is. But the negative connotations arise when used in their most ordinary senses: being force fed information that is opposed to one's beliefs and that seeks to change the mind of the victim by repetition and often using threatening tactics or violence. GRTF-Welfare schools do just that.

I once taught USmerican history in a grtf-welfare school. It was that experience that made my eyes pop open: I taught those students that they lived in a free country, but every single one of them was there only because being absent would result in their being incarcerated (or their parents would be), and they knew it. I was lying to them; and, as I am a moral man, I could no longer do that.

Lehi

The thing about education is that it is supposed to clear up things like superstitions and so forth. I guess you must be opposed to being taught science that contradicts the Bible?

I suppose some groups resent being force feed the idea that blacks and woman are equal. I suppose skin heads hate what their children are being taught but here we have a clear case where actual education has the potential to do some good whereas if the skinhead parents home taught their children they would teach them all sort of crap.

I think what you wish for would create a fractured society that far from being educated would rather be "force feed" by parents and group leaders quite a bit of absolute nonsense.

I guess you think the children of the Westborough Baptist church leaders would be harmed by public schools since they would teach things contrary to what the parents teach.

I say hoorrah for enlightened public school education with all its flaws.

How about the stuff taught to children by radicalized Islamist teachers? They must hate public schools too.

No, a society fractured by various racist, fundamentalist, superstitious, anti-science, separatist factions each teaching their own isolated crap to innocent children is not what we need.

Such should be obvious to a sane person.

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The thing about education is that it is supposed to clear up things like superstitions and so forth. I guess you must be opposed to being taught science that contradicts the Bible?

It's pretty obvious to me that that's not at all what Lehi was talking about; but I'll let him speak for himself on that point.

I suppose some groups resent being force feed the idea that blacks and woman are equal. I suppose skin heads hate what their children are being taught but here we have a clear case where actual education has the potential to do some good whereas if the skinhead parents home taught their children they would teach them all sort of crap.

And I suppose that someone whose vaunted public education taught them to really evaluate ideas might be intelligent enough to avoid straw man fallacies and appealing to extreme cases. In fact, I suspect that such a person might resort to such tactics on purpose rather than lack the intelligence to see how bad such arguments are.

I think what you wish for would create a fractured society that far from being educated would rather be "force feed" by parents and group leaders quite a bit of absolute nonsense.

So, Tovarich Tarski, I take it that you and your tovarishchi regard children as the property of the state, and don't think parents can be trusted to raise their children without state supervision; is that it?

I guess you think the children of the Westborough Baptist church leaders would be harmed by public schools since they would teach things contrary to what the parents teach.

I guess you and your tovarishchi would like to use the Westborough nutters in much the same way as your totalitarian role models have always used small, unpopular minorities: as b

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The thing about education is that it is supposed to clear up things like superstitions and so forth.

That's one, limited, definition.

An education is to teach a person how to think, not what to think. But in a grtf-welfare school, the emphasis is on what to think, and how to regurgitate it on the test form.

I guess you must be opposed to being taught science that contradicts the Bible?

If the parents choose, yes.

I suppose some groups resent being force feed the idea that blacks and woman are equal. I suppose skin heads hate what their children are being taught but here we have a clear case where actual education has the potential to do some good whereas if the skinhead parents home taught their children they would teach them all sort of crap.

Some parents would do all of these things. So what? They are few, and their errors will be few because they can have their effect on a small number.

When the grtf-welfare school makes a mistake (and their errors are no less frequent, no less egregious, and no less bigoted), it affects thousands of students at a time.

I think what you wish for would create a fractured society that far from being educated would rather be "force feed" [sic, if you're going to quote me, please use the words I did: force fed] by parents and group leaders quite a bit of absolute nonsense.

Just as what they learn in grtf-welfare schools is quite often "absolute nonsense". The difference being, of course, that the parents teach their own children and love them and teach what they believe will be for the child's good, while the state teaches children whom it sees as subjects and whose will must be bent to the politicians' good.

I guess you think the children of the Westborough Baptist church leaders would be harmed by public schools since they would teach things contrary to what the parents teach.

Yes, they would be harmed. But those children are few in number, while those harmed by the state's indoctrination are many.

I say hoorrah for enlightened public school education with all its flaws.

No one here doubted that.

One wonders why you insist on being given access to the children of others so their minds are formed around the model you advocate. Oh, maybe one need not wonder.

How about the stuff taught to children by radicalize Islamist teachers? They must hate public schools too.

Perhaps they do, but their goal is to take them over so they can teach all children what they want taught, just as the Kansas school board did when it was Christians who controlled it.

Teaching other people's children is a very powerful thing, and ought to be denied to anyone.

No, a society fractured by various racist, fundamentalist, superstitious, anti-science, separatist factions each teaching their own isolated crap to innocent children is not what we need.

It is exactly what we need.

If everyone thinks the same think, no one is thinking. That's why we need divergence of opinion, separation of concepts. If the state controls all "education", then there will be no education, just indoctrination.

Such should be obvious to a sane person.

Well, I guess you are tangentially calling me insane. Thank you so much for the vote of confidence.

Lehi

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I don't know why I bother to even respond to this nonsense. You accuse me of appealing to extremes and then you post this stuff putting words in my mouth and then referencing Tovarich.

And by "enlightened" you mean "left-wing," right?

No. Not unless you think evolutionary biology is left wing. Not unless you think science and math are left wing.

Not unless you think promoting equality and tolerance is left-wing.

Not unless you think respect for and pride in our democratic form of government is left-wing.

Not unless you think telling the truth about the existence and effectiveness of birth control is left wing.

In short, not unless you think our most prominant shared academic and societal values are left wing.

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First you have to know enough of what to think. Then you'll know enough to ask the right how to think questions.

Anyone with children knows they do not need to be taught how to ask important questions.

What they need is mentors, not teachers, to guide them, to insure they always do their best and help them to stay focused on their goals.

One of the worst parts of grtf-welfare school is shoehorning every child into the same mold. Not every child needs to wait until he's six to learn to read, and not every child must read by age 8. According to an award-winning teacher, if one learns at five and one at ten, in four years, your cannot tell the difference. Or would not except the school labels one deficient, spends tons of money in "remediation" (for a non-existent problem), and the child will never outgrow that label.

One of the tools the schools (grtf-welfare and "private", since they usually follow the same structure) is what this same teacher calls "the disconnectedness of everything". The purpose of "subjects" is to make everything more difficult to understand which makes most of the 12-year sentence imposed on children necessary. But almost everything a child should learn by the end of 12th grade (grade 12, for Canadians) is easily taught in no more than four years when taught logically.

There are several purposes of grtf-welfare schools, and one of the most perverse is to keep children out of the real world for as long as possible. That's why it takes twelve years to teach four years worth of material.

Lehi

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this conversation seems pointless without first defining what indoctrination means. It would appear some think indoctrination is being subjected to a message they do not agree, but being subjected to a message they do agree with is not indoctrination. Pertaining to dissent, there are plenty of examples of dissent being the cause for ones removal from the LDS Church.

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The thing about education is that it is supposed to clear up things like superstitions and so forth.

Nevertheless, the problem is that what is considered a superstition by some is not considered a superstition by others. This is why forcing them the information is considered indoctrination - unless you don't teach at all, you will be forcing someone into some sort of information.

I guess you must be opposed to being taught science that contradicts the Bible?

Nah, but I oppose people that teach that the Bible is incorrect, because it is rather unclear that it is incorrect.

I suppose some groups resent being force feed the idea that blacks and woman are equal.

Indeed they do. Isn't that for them to decide, and not us?

I suppose skin heads hate what their children are being taught but here we have a clear case where actual education has the potential to do some good whereas if the skinhead parents home taught their children they would teach them all sort of crap.

I'm pretty sure that the skinheads don't think they are skinheads.

I think what you wish for would create a fractured society that far from being educated would rather be "force feed" by parents and group leaders quite a bit of absolute nonsense.

No, this would not be the case I think. Remember, in order to be successful in life, you have to have some sort of education. The parents if they want their children to succeed, will have to teach their children something. And for those who do not want to, a successful non-biased optional electronic version can be provided to the student or the likes, if the student wishes to participate.

I guess you think the children of the Westborough Baptist church leaders would be harmed by public schools since they would teach things contrary to what the parents teach.

No. But I do think it is rather unruly to think that they should have little choice in what is being taught their children. There is what is needed for education, and then there is extra stuff. Some of this extra stuff is the stuff that is being taught in school's today. Luckily, my school hasn't been so filled with extra stuff, but I'm sure at other school districts there are some who teach extra stuff.

I say hoorrah for enlightened public school education with all its flaws.

How about the stuff taught to children by radicalized Islamist teachers? They must hate public schools too.

I say that we should look for something better, if possible.

Isn't that why a barrier needs to be drawn between what constitutes education and necessities of being a good citizen versus opinion?

Do we really need a pro-American Revolutionary War outlook in our textbooks? Or would something more neutral do the job, while not causing the havoc?

No, a society fractured by various racist, fundamentalist, superstitious, anti-science, separatist factions each teaching their own isolated crap to innocent children is not what we need.

Such should be obvious to a sane person.

On the other hand, this public school system creates a political, anti-religious, anti-seperatist environment. And oftentimes young children do not notice it. Young children are smart, but when your being fed with enough flak, some of it will get it eventually. It needs to be fixed. There are many ways to do this, but the way it's being done right now is not exactly good.

I saw we fix what we have rather than go in the direction we are going really. It would cause much less pain imo.

Best Wishes,

TAO

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I'll get my brother in on this debate. He has a huge amount of data to support the superiority of home schooling and private schooling over public schooling.

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this conversation seems pointless without first defining what indoctrination means. It would appear some think indoctrination is being subjected to a message they do not agree, but being subjected to a message they do agree with is not indoctrination.

Well, then why did you not provide it?

As I said earlier, there are both a technical definition and a popular one. I am talking primarily about the second, but the first is just as appropriate for discussion, and I have done so.

When we decided to teach our own children within our family, it was first about their physical safety. Secondarily it was about being sure they actually got an education, which was not the case in the government's schools. Only third was our concern that they were being indoctrinated. As I have studied grtf-welfare schools, I am convinced that the order is wrong: indoctrination is the first purpose of grtf-welfare schools (by the explicit and implicit admission of their founders and supporters) and the one most parents should fear most. Physical safety is a close second, with "education" running a distant third.

Pertaining to dissent, there are plenty of examples of dissent being the cause for ones removal from the LDS Church.

Which is quite true, as I hope anyone would recognize. If one does not support a religious entity, one should not be a part of it. It does no good for either the dissenter nor the organization.

In the case of The Church of Jesus Christ, there is another, even more important reason for separating such people from the Church: The apostate is not keeping his covenants, and that will work to the detriment of the apostate. By nullifying the covenant, no further damage is done to his eternal status.

Lehi

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I'll get my brother in on this debate. He has a huge amount of data to support the superiority of home schooling and private schooling over public schooling.

Is it anything like the huge amount of data you have against evolutionary biology?

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Not unless you think science and math are left wing.

The only real controversies I'm aware of with math and education is 1) the method of teaching it and 2) whether it's really all that important for kids to learn as much as we try to teach them. As much as I love math, I haven't used calculus on the job ever. If math helped me with my profession it was only in problem solving.

Not unless you think promoting equality and tolerance is left-wing.

Not inherently, no. However, I would say that equality and tolerance as it is being practiced today are rather left-wing. For example, it's a crime against culture to have a TV show where a man threatens a woman, but you can get some good yuks out of a situation where a woman hits a man for doing something wrong.

Another cultural double-standard: it's outrageous if you dare degrade a man by throwing characteristically feminine words at him. However, it's perfectly acceptable to user masculine words in a way that is unflattering (I did a parody of this once at the other board).

Not unless you think telling the truth about the existence and effectiveness of birth control is left wing.

I don't think the truth about it is left-wing. However, I don't think kids should feel like birth control exists to give them a free pass to do whatever feels good. I think they should know about risks of disease and accidents for various methods. I think they should understand the emotional dangers as well. How abortion is discussed will almost certainly be left or right wing due to polarization. The other methods may have some right-wing opposition, but not nearly as much. I rarely see them compared to murder quite as directly. It's hard to murder a human which never had a full set of approximately 23 chromosome pairs to begin personhood with (plus or minus a few for certain human genetic conditions).

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Lehi:

Shamelessly used from "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN"

These are the things I learned:

* Share everything.

* Play fair.

* Don't hit people.

* Put things back where you found them.

* Clean up your own mess.

* Don't take things that aren't yours.

* Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

* Wash your hands before you eat.

* Flush.

* Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

* Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

* Take a nap every afternoon.

* When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

* Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

* Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.

* And then remember the ****-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

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In the case of The Church of Jesus Christ, there is another, even more important reason for separating such people from the Church: The apostate is not keeping his covenants, and that will work to the detriment of the apostate. By nullifying the covenant, no further damage is done to his eternal status.

Lehi

when do members of the Church covenant not publish histories of life of Joseph Smith? From what I understand several have been removed for their academic/scholarly works and not for things related to violating covenants. Also, isn't there BKP talk from years ago wherein he instructs not to question Priesthood leaders? I was told as youth of a BKP counsel wherein he said "If you priesthood leader tells you get on the floor and role a marble with your nose, you get on the floor and roll the marble"; now whether BKP really said that I do not know, but what is true is that members of the Church believe that is the sort of obedience they are to have toward their priesthood leader. The Church makes much effort to control the message and image, even get ride of people who want to deviate from the controlled message; I would say all Church's do this. A religious education is just as much indoctrination as any other education where dissent is frowned up, not towing the line means expulsion, and bringing up matters which do not shed a positive light on the organization also means expulsion. For an example of religious indoctrination watch the film "Jesus Camp".

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Shamelessly used from "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN"

These are the things I learned:

* Share everything.

* Play fair.

* Don't hit people.

* Put things back where you found them.

* Clean up your own mess.

* Don't take things that aren't yours.

* Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

* Wash your hands before you eat.

* Flush.

* Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

* Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

* Take a nap every afternoon.

* When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

* Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

* Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.

* And then remember the ****-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

I learned none of those things in kindergarten*. My mother taught me all of them, and our children learned them from their mother, too.

* "Kindergarten" means "a garden
of
children",
not
"a garden
for
children. Fr
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when do members of the Church covenant not publish histories of life of Joseph Smith?

We don't. I just read two written by Saints over the past couple of years.

From what I understand several have been removed for their academic/scholarly works and not for things related to violating covenants.

You have understood wrong. It was not for their "scholarly works", it was for their apostasy.

Also, isn't there BKP talk from years ago wherein he instructs not to question Priesthood leaders? I was told as youth of a BKP counsel wherein he said "If you priesthood leader tells you get on the floor and role a marble with your nose, you get on the floor and roll the marble"; now whether BKP really said that I do not know, but what is true is that members of the Church believe that is the sort of obedience they are to have toward their priesthood leader.

One of my Tac Officers in OCS told us that, if the commander had ordered him to paint the company building with a toothbrush, he'd do it. What do you make of that?

Obedience is a fundamental component of the Gospel. I imagine that are people who would not have offered their sons on Mount Moriah. I am grateful that Abraham was not among them.

The Church makes much effort to control the message and image, even get ride of people who want to deviate from the controlled message; I would say all Church's do this.

Of course we (and they) do. It's part of the necessity of spreading the Gospel: people are much less likely to respond favorably when lies and distortions, including removing events from context, are the popular image of the Church of Jesus Christ.

A religious education is just as much indoctrination as any other education where dissent is frowned up, not towing the line means expulsion, and bringing up matters which do not shed a positive light on the organization also means expulsion.

Either the Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ are true or they are not. If you dissent from the truth, you are wrong. If you dissent, and you are right, then the Church is not true. Why would you want to remain part of a false organization?

For an example of religious indoctrination watch the film "Jesus Camp".

Why? I admit that every education is indoctrination. The important issue is what one allows himself (or his children) to be indoctrinated with. I prefer to be indoctrinated by those who have the truth (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), than people whose motivation is to exert power over me and my family (politicians and bureaucrats).

You are free to make your own choice, except, in the case of grtf-welfare schools, you still must pay for it even when you reject their "gracious" offer to propagandize your children to love them more than you.

Lehi

P.S. The reason for my having highlighted some of the grammar and spelling errors in dirty's message is because he is an advocate of grtf-welfare schools. If his writing is an example of what he learned, we might be excused from blindly following his advice.

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I admit that every education is indoctrination. ... I prefer to be indoctrinated by those who have the truth (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints),

Now the discussion can finally get somewhere. Indoctrination occurs in the LDS Church and I think it is fair to say that "questioning" is discouraged, BKP even said "let it alone" concerning issues. So now back the original post. There is no real basis from one to finger point and claim shout "indoctrination" when accepts and apologizing for the indoctrination they agree with. The premise of the original post is correct, it is hypocrisy to claim indoctrination in one instance but deny indoctrination in another instance, when the only difference is venue and who is controlling the message.

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