You may have noticed an ongoing battle over the government’s new humanities curriculum between Alberta’s Unified Conservative Party and educational institutions (teachers’ union and college of education). And you may have noticed that the “expert” commentary in the mainstream media is uniformly damaging the government. According to their commentary, “they want to set back our education system for 40 years” and “cancel the progress of the last three generations.”
It is clearly a battle between two conflicting educational philosophies. But don’t let your eyes glaze. Your child is at stake.
Traditional or natural philosophy of education believes that the purpose of the school is to help children grow into responsible adult citizens. Children need to be prepared to participate in the political, cultural and economic world in which they are born, the real world. It needs to take advantage of our roots and not only be partially “traditional”, but also adapt to the changing needs of society. You know: reality. The important term here is “core knowledge”.
However, in the 1970s, the university’s Faculty of Education was dominated by Marxist Paulo Freire and postmodern Michel Foucault followers. Their progressive education believes that the purpose of the school is to free children from the oppressive past. Creative children only have to “imagine” their future, and the past only hinders their “self-expression.” Yes, kids need some skills, but when it comes to our shared history and culture, they just need to learn that it is evil and that it is evil. The important term is “liberation”.
Have you ever wondered why the city council faces the demand to destroy the statue of John A. McDonald? Have you ever wondered where “awakened anger” and “cultural cancellation” came from? Thank you to the educational elite. The academic epidemic has become a path to power, teaching teachers who are currently teaching your children. I saw it all happening at the University of Alberta. By 1980, educational theory was “always Foucault,” but it is still the case. It’s the ideology of the 1960s. By 1990, a friend who was an educational psychology instructor said she would lose her job if she challenged the liberationist. Google Search Foucault and his progressive education.
By the 2000s, liberation was in the classroom, “globalism”, “nationalism,”“ In Alberta, the “ideology” used in grades 10, 11 and 12, respectively. Some of my children took the course, and they easily mourn that 80 percent of their classmates disband their own capitalist parents and become socialists. My own children know that socialist regimes from East Germany and Russia to China and North Korea have killed more than 100 million of their own helpless citizens by liberating them. But none of their classmates have been taught the true history. And the culture of the classroom was so dogmatic that my children were barely allowed to express themselves.
The government may lose this battle. Ambitious scholars and government officials are unaware of the fact that they can destroy the nations that feed them and kill geese, much like Venezuela, which was poor and once wealthy. The United Conservative Party was elected by 55% of Albertin, partly due to the promise of educational reform, but “expert” educators take every opportunity to make them look bad. We, the general public, assume that civil servants follow elected governments and their statutory bosses. But in general, they are “experts” who work in the bureaucracy, rise in the bureaucracy, primarily interfere with the government and make them feel embarrassed.
Ironically, Alberta’s Department of Education is busy defending the 1960s, as France, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Singapore have all abandoned progressive education and returned to the core knowledge curriculum of culture. All this is documented in ED Hirsch’s “How to Educate a Citizen” (2020), along with facts and numbers. An audiobook that is easy to read or complete in 4 hours and may encourage your child to be protected. John Lennon’s “Imagine” is a beautiful song, but it’s a really poor public education policy.
Dr. Joseph K. Woodard has been a scholar, journalist (Calgary Herald), and judge in federal court. He lives in Calgary and currently teaches the Great Books program online. Angelicam Academy..
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.