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Indoctrination In Texas – Take Action Now!

Indoctrination In Texas – Take Action Now!

As I wrote here last month, the Texas State Board of Education voted on March 12 to give preliminary approval to a social studies curriculum that will essentially re-write history.

For example: with this curriculum, students will learn nothing about Thomas Jefferson’s political philosophy or his thoughts on the separation of church and state; the superiority of American capitalism will be lauded; the Tejanos who fell defending the Alamo will be ignored; and all Republican philosophies will be seen in a positive light.

Why is this issue so important? Texas is one of the largest textbook markets in the country, so material that is created to cater to the Texas curricula will almost certainly find its way into textbooks around the country. What happened in Texas will impact the education of our children across the nation.

Please take action now against this outrageous move to destroy the purpose of education. Go to the Care2 petition site at http://www.care2.com/go/z/19838608, and urge Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson Education, the primary publishers of social studies textbooks in the U.S., not to lower their standards in order to appease the ultra-conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education who are seeking to re-write history to reflect a far-right ideology.

As a teacher, I know that the purpose of education is to help children to think for themselves by presenting them with many points of view. Apparently the Texas method is to present one version of “the truth.” This is indoctrination, not education.

Please take action now!

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Creative Commons - rcbodden
Judy Molland

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134 comments

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12:34PM PDT on May 4, 2010

One of the first things Hitler taught before starting his final solution, was that the elderly and disabled were useless. He did this in the colleges by showing unflattering video images of handicapped people with voices telling the audience that a child clinging to his caretaker was not showing human affection but just animal behavior. They went so far as to bounce flashlights off their faces to make the disabled look like monsters. Once the students had a negative attitude toward "non-contributors" the jump to Jews was easy.

The Texas textbook situation is in the same vein, indoctrination by the far right to give children a distorted view so they will become conservatives. The remaining states must demand that their own textbooks be created without corruption in history or science, even, yes teaching other theories besides evolution for fairness, as theories, not fact. Children need to know about our Christian heritage but also about secular factors that impacted America. It is not the job of the schools to impose ideology, but to, even at the earliest levels, challenge children to think. I hope teachers will go off the books, close the door, and teach from the Internet, go out of their way to present various viewpoints and to present the truth of history and science.

The other states must go even farther since Texas is backward to ensure that their own children are not exposed to the extremism that state chooses to teach.

6:48AM PDT on May 4, 2010

I agree, Lindsey. Unfortunately, too few parents are willing to support an education program like the one Ainsley proposes. Few young people are accustomed to doing their own research--it's always been presented to them and I doubt that an 8-year-old is really capable of beginning a "self-taught" system.

The idea of presenting "intelligent design," (a religious concept) in a science class is appalling to me!

5:11AM PDT on May 4, 2010

Ainsley, I think some children would thrive in the type of educational environment you speak of. But I also think some wouldn't. Some children seem to need a greater degree of structure in order to stay focused (and some are, of course, simply too lazy and unmotivated to want to work at learning unless they are given the external motivation.)

Throughout my growing up years, I didn't like science courses and would never have voluntarily taken one. But I'm glad I was forced to - because as an adult I've learned to love science. And because a working knowledge of science is, I believe, essential to anyone's education.

But I would love to see more individuality in education based as much as possible on the individual needs of the children involved. Unfortunately our public schools can't afford the additional teaching staff and resources for that - here in Birmingham they're having trouble just handling the basics, let alone any extras.

4:59AM PDT on May 4, 2010

Allow me to requote Wyt. Raven, as this seems to me to be the best way to go when it comes to modern education:

"Hi Pam,
I'd like to teach them just five things...five critical skills for the Information Age -
Reading
Writing
Research
Critical Analysis
& Maths
Provide them with the skills of 'how' to learn ...and trust the human capacity for curiosity to help fill in the gaps....facilitation as opposed to dictation, of their curriculum content.
The human brain is more than capable of handling profound amounts of information and if, as Ms.Molland says,"the purpose of education is to help children to think for themselves", then it follows that censoring information would place a limit on their thinking...which then begs the question, do educators have the right to limit the thinking of OUR children??"

Perhaps, the modern school should be designed so that these basics are what is taught formally and that, after that, students would have refresher courses in these areas but would spend most of the academic day reading on their own in the library and going to lectures and seminars given by teachers in specialized areas such as history, English, etc. as well as choosing classes in the arts and phys. ed.

12:39AM PDT on May 3, 2010

thanks for post

8:35PM PDT on May 2, 2010

WHAT? Are you proposing the teaching of "intelligent" design in public schools?

7:32PM PDT on May 2, 2010

All events should be taught will another point of view with the percentage of scholars who disagree

8:14AM PDT on May 2, 2010

history, and i mean the history of this country, not just texas, should be taught as the truth. the good and the bad, because, after all, the triumphs and tragedies that have happened here is a big part of what makes this country great.

5:53AM PDT on May 2, 2010

Teach CRITICAL THINKING--raise awareness.

2:25PM PDT on May 1, 2010

I wonder how much of this debate IS being studied in Texas? It would be an excellent teaching opportunity.

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