Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Revolutionary Pedagogy: Or, so you thought reading, writing and calculating were why you sent your child to school?

Perhaps you think you send your child to school to learn to read, write and calculate. Think again.

The seeds of Common Core Curriculum have grown and flourished since they were sown in  Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Then Jimmy Carter  established the Department of Education and empowered an elite group bent on radical social change in America. Since then the edicts of those entities pretty much reflect the philosophies of Leftist revolutionaries who label themselves Progressives. Among their number is Paolo Freire, defrocked Jesuit priest, who led a movement called liberation pedagogy.  With their control of education academic excellence takes a back seat and patriotism is a dirty word. ( and on UTube)
"There is no such thing as a neutral education process. Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of generations into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the 'practice of freedom', the means by which men and women deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."
—Richard Shaull, drawing on Paulo Freire[7]

One need only read the Whole Language Catalog by Ken and Yetta Goodman and Human Capital edited by David Hornbeck to understand that what the Progressives want is a total restructuring of society -- and they are well on their way of achieving it.

Rich Gibson, Associate Professor of Education at San Diego State University writes in Paulo Freire and Revolutionary Pedagogy For Social Justice: 

"Could Freire's literacy for critical consciousness answer questions like: what must people know and, equally significant, how they must come to know it, in order to overcome exploitation and alienation? Can human creativity be unleashed in an increasingly undemocratic world? Can consciousness leap past exploitation--or repression? How do we spot lies? Can revolutionary pedagogy foment revolutionary social change, incorporating forms of consciousness that can also overturn the rise of new bosses, so we do not become what we set out to oppose? What might pedagogy have to do with overturning the subject-object split, the habitual subservience created both by capital and revolutionary organizations, that both Harvey and Freire, and the late George Lukacs, all said was central?
The rich are not forever, and will the crown last to every generation?
Proverbs 27:24

Freire insists, repeatedly, that no system of education is neutral. Bias is inherent in any selection and ordering of facts, the common project of social educators. One's understanding of how the democratic possibilities of citizenship might be achieved depends on a partisan assessment of current conditions, and where one wants to go: a political standpoint. Any appraisal of the prospects of democratic education through literacy, a literacy that reads both the word and the world, must be start from an articulated standpoint, on expressed terrain. Just what is the current situation? What should be done about it?" (

Having already written about my concerns regarding the change in Mathematics education, I found this statement in Wikipedia regarding Freire particularly interesting:

"Freire's work has also influenced the so-called "radical math" movement in the United States, which emphasizes social justice issues and critical pedagogy as components of mathematical curricula." 

Why did Jay Leno's Jay Walking segment ring true to all of us? Why are our children 34th in the world in Math when we once led the world in Math and Science and got our astronauts to the moon? Why do 60% of first time entering freshmen to our community colleges have to take remedial Reading and Math? 

Once a group of women approached a beautiful stream. One cried out, "Look!" There, caught in the current were children struggling. One woman grabbed another's hand and said, "Quickly, let's form a human chain and pull them from the current!" One by one they pulled children from the turbulent waters. But still they came. At last one woman broke away and headed upstream. The other women cried out, "Where are you going?" "There are children to be saved!" The woman responded, "I'm going to find out who is throwing them in."

Other articles you might want to read:

I did not know the hornets nest I was about to enter when I decided to become a teacher. I wish I could become a part of the circle the wagon mentality of fellow teachers. I want to join those who never question and blindly "support our schools." Naively, I really thought schools were to teach children to read, write and calculate. I thought cultural literacy meant honoring the traditions that have made our country great.

Apparently others have a different idea.

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