Hat tip: Joanne Jacobs
In Newsweek, George Will takes on Ed Schools, roundly dimissing the "dispositions" theory that has apparently become the norm in education schools across the country.
The dogma has been that primary and secondary education is about "self-actualization" or "finding one's joy" or "social adjustment" or "multicultural sensitivity" or "minority empowerment." But is never about anything as banal as mere knowledge. It is about "constructing one's own knowledge" and "contextualizing knowledge," but never about knowledge of things like biology or history.
What I have found interesting is with all this emphasis on "self-actualization" and social justice, there is a surprising amount of censorship on school campuses. If the concepts of a progressive, multi-cultural education dominate in ed schools, why then are some viewpoints systematically denied? FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, routinely documents the excesses of Ed schools, including the case of Scott McConnell. So ed schools censor and censure their own students for views that deviate from the accepted party line.
But the problem with such a dispositions model is not just that these ed schools practice censorship themselves, the produce some teachers who will continue with the concepts of censorship when they start working. As Will wrote, "most ed schools, celebrating "child-centered classrooms" that do not "suffocate discourses," are enemies of rigor." But "suffocating discourses" is exactly what happens in so many high schools. Previously, I had written about some of the censorship happening on high school campuses.
If the dispositions theory of education is designed to foster self-actualization and self-knowledge, why then does not one of the teachers in such censorship cases stand up for the self-realized discourses of their students? I'll tell you why, because dispoitions is not about social justice and equality, it is about thought control, not just of ed school students, but all students. The dispositions is just another feature of the multi-cultural wave of thought washing over us and commanding us not be a society of people, but a mosh pit of separate identities each fighting the other to show the world that they are better than everyone else by championing the downtrodden, even as they tread upon those who think differently.
Oh, the irony, the horrible, horrible irony.