Sign in to follow this  
carlimac

Wokeness in schools

Recommended Posts

This was in Meridian magazine today. (Is it OK to repost here? There is an acknowlegement of where the article came from. )  I only read about half of it before I felt compelled to send it to my daughter with five kids. Is this where we're going as a nation? I'm so uncomfortable with this! Luckily my two youngest kids are 11th and 12th grade and moving on to conservative colleges. But I fear for the education my grandchildren will face. The oldest of eight of them (from three families so far, with hopefully many more to come) is in 5th grade.  Their mom is homeschooling this year since their district is closed, then open then closed about every three weeks. Looks like the rest coming up the ranks are going to face some "re-programming" if they attend public schools. This makes me sick!! (Katie Couric, I used to like you. )

I see the only alternatives to public school as being home school, private Christian school- depending on their curriculum or finding the rare charter school that is grounded in conservative values.  We sent our youngest to a charter school in Idaho that was fantastic but then we had to move. Is there any way to stop this?

 

https://latterdaysaintmag.com/ultra-woke-illinois-mandates-are-top-threat-to-u-s-education/?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=scot-maurine-proctor&utm_content=Thursday+21+January

 

 

Edited by carlimac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was painful to read, mostly because it was difficult to separate the facts of the story from the partisan hyperbole. Then I looked at the top of the article and saw that it originally came from the National Review. Sources matter, and NR is in Breitbart territory in terms of bias and factual reliability. The left equivalents would be Jacobin (a very polarizing publication even among liberals) and Occupy Democrats. 

Media-Bias-Chart-6.0_Low_Res_Licensed-1024x786.thumb.jpg.a3ccb2c16b2490fc6a994288d29c161d.jpg

I won't pick the article apart here, but I have a post drafted (possibly the last substantial contribution I'll make here) that should outline my thoughts on the matter to some degree.

For now, I'll just say that our public education system more often than not tends to reflect the values of those who are passionate about supporting it. In recent years (and probably longer than that) there has been a fairly clear partisan divide over support for public school systems vs home-schooling and private schools.

Edited by Godless

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The easiest way to control a generation is by what they are educated with, and depending on how things are going will depend if we pull our younger children out of public education.

The prolific "Media Bias" sheet/doc that people constantly show is biased (irony) also. The easiest example is CNN, which is hyper-left media. Politico is also hyper-left, and others are showing to be hyper-left. This sheet isn't convincing, but funneling people to sources, by which you hear on Facebook people say, "Unless you can show me an "unbiased" source like I have provided I won't accept it." The key word "unbiased" as-if there is any such source. Forbes is skewing left from the articles I have read, not the middle. Another example is look to how these media outlets took to Trump and Russia and how they handled Biden and China.

Some say its a good place to start, but I don't think something that is already incorrect as a good place to start, but definitely an easy way to force "opinion" as fact, because "these" are the only sources that are fair or minimal bias. I put very little weight in documents like these.

Edited by Anddenex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Godless said:

That was painful to read, mostly because it was difficult to separate the facts of the story from the partisan hyperbole. Then I looked at the top of the article and saw that it originally came from the National Review. Sources matter, and NR is in Breitbart territory in terms of bias and factual reliability. The left equivalents would be Jacobin (a very polarizing publication even among liberals) and Occupy Democrats. 

Media-Bias-Chart-6.0_Low_Res_Licensed-1024x786.thumb.jpg.a3ccb2c16b2490fc6a994288d29c161d.jpg

I won't pick the article apart here, but I have a post drafted (possibly the last substantial contribution I'll make here) that should outline my thoughts on the matter to some degree.

For now, I'll just say that our public education system more often than not tends to reflect the values of those who are passionate about supporting it. In recent years (and probably longer than that) there has been a fairly clear partisan divide over support for public school systems vs home-schooling and private schools.

This chart gets tossed around as though it actually means something.  It's rating outlets on story accuracy, which is an incomplete picture of bias.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Grunt said:

This chart gets tossed around as though it actually means something.  It's rating outlets on story accuracy, which is an incomplete picture of bias.

I agree. And @Anddenex is right, several of the outlets close to the top/center are more slanted than the chart would suggest. I find that the best use of the chart isn't for identifying reliable news sources as much as the unquestionably agenda-driven ones. CNN definitely skews left, but not nearly as much as Jacobin and Occupy Democrats. Same for the right. The New York Post doesn't skew nearly as far as Nation Review and Breitbart. In today's media landscape, it's best to always cross-check stories, and it doesn't hurt to see what sources outside your ideological bubble are saying. That's why, whenever possible, I like to use right-of-center sources that are able to report a story objectively, especially if they're corroborating left-of-center outlets. If multiple sources towards to top-center of the chart are saying the same thing, then it's probably pretty reliable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Godless said:

I agree. And @Anddenex is right, several of the outlets close to the top/center are more slanted than the chart would suggest. I find that the best use of the chart isn't for identifying reliable news sources as much as the unquestionably agenda-driven ones. CNN definitely skews left, but not nearly as much as Jacobin and Occupy Democrats. Same for the right. The New York Post doesn't skew nearly as far as Nation Review and Breitbart. In today's media landscape, it's best to always cross-check stories, and it doesn't hurt to see what sources outside your ideological bubble are saying. That's why, whenever possible, I like to use right-of-center sources that are able to report a story objectively, especially if they're corroborating left-of-center outlets. If multiple sources towards to top-center of the chart are saying the same thing, then it's probably pretty reliable.

It is interesting the different views one has on the same chart.  Each side may find things they disagree with how it's portrayed, but for different reasons and different news organizations.

For example, I find it horrific that they rate MSNBC so far left and as being that unreliable.  I'd put Huffpost far to the left of MSNBC and FAR LESS reliable any day of the week.  I'd put CNN (it's been completely agenda driven for the past 3 years) Newsweek and Vice as far less reliable than MSNBC.  MSNBC at least TRIES (with left leaning journalist, but it at least tries) to give a full story representing both sides (once again, from more obviously left sided journalists).

I'd put the Guardian and PBS actually on the more conservative side of the line.  Very unbiased (both of them) but I'd say they actually have a slightly conservative slant.    NYP should be further to the right than it is.  It's more akin to Fox News I think though I think Fox News should probably be somewhat more towards the center than it's placed on that chart.

The Blaze and OAN should be FAR FAR right, much further right of Fox News than they are.

I can't find my favorite news sites (BBC and Sky News) anywhere, but that could just be my vision.

It's funny how different views of life can lead to how one sees what news organizations should be posted in different positions on that chart.

Edited by JohnsonJones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Proposed Regulations

I don't see that these proposals are actually all that problematic.  For those who already have a good foundation in the knowledge of History, I actually see that many of these items could be beneficial in promoting a better realization of the responsibilities of being a citizen and acting upon those granted rights and abilities of being such a citizen.  For those advanced History students in High School I could see this as a boon rather than a bane.

That said, I see an inherent danger and a much bigger problem on the horizon as it is being proposed for all grades K-12.  This phrase from the article posted

Quote

Minnesota’s new draft social studies standards minimize key events in American history and stress “systemic racism” and “marginalization” instead. Cities like Seattle and San Diego are moving in the same direction. The egregious 1619 Project has already been adopted by school districts across the country.

Is far more scary than anything else, but not because of recognizing systemic racism and marginalization.  Racism is a major problem in the US today, recognizing it is the first step in trying to change things for the better.

HOWEVER, to do so by erasing or not teaching history is FAR worse.

We already have students that come to the university that have no idea what the French and Indian War (and by extension, the Seven Years war), the War of 1812, the Missouri Compromise, or many other historical items of our history were.  They have not learned these key items in class.

If we already have a problem teaching US students the basic items of US history, what is a program that is designed to emphasize it less and other factors more going to actually accomplish?  A bunch of students that have no idea of the basic events of their own nation?

We'll get students that know that there was slavery and repression through US history, but no idea what the Revolutionary war was, why we have three branches of government or why the electoral college exists (actually, many do not know those two items already when they get to the university, so this is already a problem...even professors who are not in history don't understand this!), what led to World War 2, or that we even have a Constitution!

We need to actually get better at teaching the Basic History to our children than we already do.  That said, after reading the propose Regulations, I actually think for those who have a good foundation in history already, these items (listed in the PDF above) would be excellent to incorporate into a curriculum.  Perhaps it should not be in History though, perhaps include a different class such as civics or political science and include it in that.  Awareness of these issues and ensuring that students are good citizens that are aware of their rights and the rights of others does not seem to be that bad of an idea to me.

Edited by JohnsonJones
grammar and legibility

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/22/2021 at 2:49 PM, JohnsonJones said:

 

If we already have a problem teaching US students the basic items of US history, what is a program that is designed to emphasize it less and other factors more going to actually accomplish?  A bunch of students that have no idea of the basic events of their own nation?

We'll get students that know that there was slavery and repression through US history, but no idea what the Revolutionary war was, why we have three branches of government or why the electoral college exists (actually, many do not know those two items already when they get to the university, so this is already a problem...even professors who are not in history don't understand this!), what led to World War 2, or that we even have a Constitution!

We need to actually get better at teaching the Basic History to our children than we already do.  That said, after reading the propose Regulations, I actually think for those who have a good foundation in history already, these items (listed in the PDF above) would be excellent to incorporate into a curriculum.  Perhaps it should not be in History though, perhaps include a different class such as civics or political science and include it in that.  Awareness of these issues and ensuring that students are good citizens that are aware of their rights and the rights of others does not seem to be that bad of an idea to me.

Unpopular opinion: STEM has ruined education. Now, I love STEM, but it has been pushed to the detriment of the humanities. We don't teach history, we don't teach social understanding, because we are too in love with STEM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Backroads said:

Unpopular opinion: STEM has ruined education. Now, I love STEM, but it has been pushed to the detriment of the humanities. We don't teach history, we don't teach social understanding, because we are too in love with STEM.

Many elementary schools don't even push reading and writing the way they used to. My elementary age son gets 1 hour of music a week, no art, and no history. It has been eye opening for my wife and I as we struggle to try and fill in the gaps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a propensity to limit education.  The first part of STEM is Science.  Science is the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.  It is contrary to true science to refuse learning of truth.  An education should not be a dictation of information and data but rather the tools of how to sift through information and data to discover truth.   Education should be how to learn truth and not how to parrot back information.  Some examples:  Removing religion from formal education is a gross error - it is impossible to understand the truths of history without understanding the truths of religious influences on the events of history.  Without a firm and accurate understanding of religion it is impossible for someone to be educated in history.

I would also suggest that how to defend one's self and the use of firearms is an element of education that if lacking - a person is not educated nor prepared to function in any free society.  Sadly it is my personal view that few are sufficiently educated to live or function in a free society based in liberty.  

 

The Traveler 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Traveler said:

An education should not be a dictation of information and data but rather the tools of how to sift through information and data to discover truth.   Education should be how to learn truth and not how to parrot back information.

I like much of what you're saying here. The more I learn about education and teaching, the more I realize that critical thinking really cannot be taught explicity. It's just something you have to do.

But education is being driven away from getting opportunities to use and therefore develop critical thinking. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Traveler said:

An education should not be a dictation of information and data but rather the tools of how to sift through information and data to discover truth.   Education should be how to learn truth and not how to parrot back information.

I can't begin to tell you how many people I work with (in healthcare) that cannot remember the things they were taught in school, whether it be secondary or post-secondary education. The whole goal now is to pass tests, and people do it by cramming...not actually learning the material. (much of the material isn't worth learning anyways, but that's a different beast altogether)

Now, I was not a 4.0 student, and all of us have been guilty of cramming before a big test here and there, but more and more the information just isn't sticking because all that matters anymore is the grade...not what the grade is supposed to represent. Too many young people are graduating with degrees that certify they are knowledgeable in their field, when really this person is not. They find it hard to get a job because they don't actually know anything and bomb their interview, or can't hold a job due to being lazy. In college after my mission (around 2008) I was astounded to hear so many kids whining about not being able to get extra credit to get better grades in their coursework. I remember thinking "this is college...not middle school. What are these wimps saying?" But I heard it all the time, and it is now the norm. Kids want an easy ride and to be handed everything, and felt sad because they weren't getting a good grade...and many college "professors" are catering to them - giving them extra credit for volunteering at some wacky liberal arts event.

Parents have always been the main party responsible for their children's education, and they need to step up. Much of what we learn is also done outside of academy walls. Street smarts are pitifully lacking in the current generation. Many kids don't want to leave home because they don't understand basic concepts like insurance or retirement plans. And among those that do, many are just afraid to mess things up and face the world, so they retreat into their own private world like an Ostrich with it's head in the sand while life passes them by. These are the ones that want government to take care of them...the ones that don't know how, or are too lazy, to take care of themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Backroads said:

I like much of what you're saying here. The more I learn about education and teaching, the more I realize that critical thinking really cannot be taught explicity. It's just something you have to do.

But education is being driven away from getting opportunities to use and therefore develop critical thinking. 

 

I believe it requires failure. You aren't going to learn critical thinking skills if failure isn't a possibility, or if the potential rewards aren't different. Too many parents and leaders baby their kids, and they never get a real chance to grow. They come home from their mission after 4-6 weeks because they miss their mom and the comforts of home. They enter the workforce, are told "NO' for the first time, and they don't know how to handle it and break down. You see these kids on college campuses all the time wanting their "safe spaces". You see them going from job to job because they can't handle directions and authority. Without income they cannot pay debts that they never should have entered into, and eventually wind up with the homeless crowd and become addicted to all of the vices that follow that lifestyle. I have sadly seen far too many kids with so much potential permanently fall into the gutter because they don't know how to do something hard. To them, anything difficult is not worth doing. They have never experienced the satisfaction (and increased appreciation) when you put time in and actually work for something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, scottyg said:

I can't begin to tell you how many people I work with (in healthcare) that cannot remember the things they were taught in school, whether it be secondary or post-secondary education. The whole goal now is to pass tests, and people do it by cramming...not actually learning the material. (much of the material isn't worth learning anyways, but that's a different beast altogether)

Now, I was not a 4.0 student, and all of us have been guilty of cramming before a big test here and there, but more and more the information just isn't sticking because all that matters anymore is the grade...not what the grade is supposed to represent. Too many young people are graduating with degrees that certify they are knowledgeable in their field, when really this person is not. They find it hard to get a job because they don't actually know anything and bomb their interview, or can't hold a job due to being lazy. In college after my mission (around 2008) I was astounded to hear so many kids whining about not being able to get extra credit to get better grades in their coursework. I remember thinking "this is college...not middle school. What are these wimps saying?" But I heard it all the time, and it is now the norm. Kids want an easy ride and to be handed everything, and felt sad because they weren't getting a good grade...and many college "professors" are catering to them - giving them extra credit for volunteering at some wacky liberal arts event.

Parents have always been the main party responsible for their children's education, and they need to step up. Much of what we learn is also done outside of academy walls. Street smarts are pitifully lacking in the current generation. Many kids don't want to leave home because they don't understand basic concepts like insurance or retirement plans. And among those that do, many are just afraid to mess things up and face the world, so they retreat into their own private world like an Ostrich with it's head in the sand while life passes them by. These are the ones that want government to take care of them...the ones that don't know how, or are too lazy, to take care of themselves.

I will also respond to @Backroads.  I believe that I was in about 8th grade when I realized that all the smart kids in school were not really that smart - just that they had done their homework.  My two older brothers were 4.0 students.  One because he is a certified genius with a photographic memory and the other was just determined.  I was wired for logic so subjects like English, history, social studies and such made no sense to me and I could not connect.  But I decided that the key to good grades was to convince the teacher that I was the smartest person in the room.  By time I got to college I would cram between semesters so that the first day of class I could answer any question a professor would ask.  And if they ever dared ask for questions I would have one ready that would convince them I was a head of the curve.

I am also convinced that ever person is a genius in something and that one of the great tricks of life is figuring out your genius.  Moroni refers to this in Moroni Chapter 10 of the Book of Mormon but there he calls it spiritual gifts rather than a genius.   And so I think the other great failure of education is trying to stuff all the students into the same learning box.

Abraham Chapter 3 also says something about education that goes with the previous paragraph.  In essence it says that regardless of someone's education - they will never produce the same.  So much for the equal work equal pay theory.  But pay is not nor should it be the only complementation for one's services.  Thus it is that regardless of what is being taught in schools the most important thing a parent can contribute to their child's education is how to utilize divine spiritual guidance in learning.  The parent that ignores mentoring their children spiritually handicaps their children far beyond religious things - and the student that does not learn to utilize divine spiritual guidance in all things learned - will eventually fail at everything.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we ought to be schooled in all things spiritual and ought to be getting straight "A's" in all things of spiritual learning and preparations.   If we cannot teach this - what is taught in schools will not matter.  I have a couple of kids that did all the spiritual homework and pasted all the tests with flying colors concerning all the right answers but have failed in applications.  The goal of an education is not to get the grade but rather to learn something that you can rely on when life becomes a challenge.

 

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, scottyg said:

The whole goal now is to pass tests, and people do it by cramming...not actually learning the material. (much of the material isn't worth learning anyways, but that's a different beast altogether)

I was recently having this conversation with fellow teachers.

A common thing is to allow make-up tests. In theory and even in some practice, I like this. When done appropriately, the student who fails the test then learns the material to mastery which they may then demonstrate by passing the test. 

What happens far too often is this cramming you speak of. And if/when the cramming fails, parents flip out and principals, wanting to please the prarents, force passing grades through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/22/2021 at 9:51 AM, Godless said:

I agree. And @Anddenex is right, several of the outlets close to the top/center are more slanted than the chart would suggest. I find that the best use of the chart isn't for identifying reliable news sources as much as the unquestionably agenda-driven ones. CNN definitely skews left, but not nearly as much as Jacobin and Occupy Democrats. Same for the right. The New York Post doesn't skew nearly as far as Nation Review and Breitbart. In today's media landscape, it's best to always cross-check stories, and it doesn't hurt to see what sources outside your ideological bubble are saying. That's why, whenever possible, I like to use right-of-center sources that are able to report a story objectively, especially if they're corroborating left-of-center outlets. If multiple sources towards to top-center of the chart are saying the same thing, then it's probably pretty reliable.

In fairness, National Review is a basically an opinion site and doesn’t really pretend to be anything else; whereas Breitbart holds itself out as “news”—and often does so badly.   The graph puts “opinion” and “variable-reliability news” at the same place on the vertical axis, thus putting Breitbart and NR nearly at the same location—which I think is problematic.  I trust and respect National Review; I have little of either for Breitbart (at least, since Andrew Breitbart’s death).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/27/2021 at 10:27 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

In fairness, National Review is a basically an opinion site and doesn’t really pretend to be anything else; whereas Breitbart holds itself out as “news”—and often does so badly.   The graph puts “opinion” and “variable-reliability news” at the same place on the vertical axis, thus putting Breitbart and NR nearly at the same location—which I think is problematic.  I trust and respect National Review; I have little of either for Breitbart (at least, since Andrew Breitbart’s death).

They are the same.  People prefer things that support their bias.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Grunt said:

They are the same.  People prefer things that support their bias.

This is only true when truth is not the end goal.  I find that in science, truth is much more the goal - whereas in religion and politics - truth is hardly ever the goal - it is more important to "convert" others to your bias.

 

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Traveler said:

This is only true when truth is not the end goal.  I find that in science, truth is much more the goal - whereas in religion and politics - truth is hardly ever the goal - it is more important to "convert" others to your bias.

 

The Traveler

I agree.  The added issue is people politicizing science.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I admit that I am openly biased for the principles of freedom and the Constitution.  It is good to let people choose what to do with their money, how to live their life and allow people effective and reasonable tools to defend their life, liberty and property.  That government which governs least governs best in my opinion on most things.  It is not needful for us to compel in all things with laws and regulations.  Hate speech laws should never be allowed to censor free speech even if it gives a wretched and unpopular opinion.

Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.  Where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Still_Small_Voice said:

I admit that I am openly biased for the principles of freedom and the Constitution.  It is good to let people choose what to do with their money, how to live their life and allow people effective and reasonable tools to defend their life, liberty and property.  That government which governs least governs best in my opinion on most things.  It is not needful for us to compel in all things with laws and regulations.  Hate speech laws should never be allowed to censor free speech even if it gives a wretched and unpopular opinion.

Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.  Where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty.

I believe we all agree - at least in words and theory  - that freedom and liberty is good.  However, I have become convinced that freedom and liberty will only work for a society deeply rooted in truth and a truthful knowledge of G-d.  However, I am also convinced that for justice to exist that there must be power within a society and government to deal with those that use their freedoms and liberties to exercise "unrighteous" dominion.   It seems to me that there is a problem in defining both what constitutes unrighteous dominion and to what extent to do what in whatever society and government be they allowed to exercise power  against those that over reach.

 

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/29/2021 at 5:16 PM, Traveler said:

However, I have become convinced that freedom and liberty will only work for a society deeply rooted in truth and a truthful knowledge of G-d.  However, I am also convinced that for justice to exist that there must be power within a society and government to deal with those that use their freedoms and liberties to exercise "unrighteous" dominion. 

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." -- Benjamin Franklin

"We would not accept the yoke of Christ; so now we must tremble at the yoke of Caesar."  -- Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

"Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we've become." (D. Todd Christofferson, "Moral Discipline," Ensign, November 2009, 105-8).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this