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Bill Ayers, the ‘Critical Pedagogy’ movement and ‘Cultural Marxism’

Geoffrey on December 15, 2009 at 10:30 am

[Morgen: Geoffrey is a regular commenter who we invited to post on occasion, based on his depth of analysis and clear writing ability. The ground war over the future of our nation's values is being waged in our school systems, and people like Bill Ayers are generals in this war. As they are wont to do, they mask their philosophies and strategies under the cloak of academic research and arcane terminology. Geoffrey's piece is a great primer on the core of liberal (socialist) strategy to subvert the education of our children.]

The motivational and foundational philosophical theorems of the American Left’s political, social and educational views are ‘Critical Pedagogy’ theory and ‘Cultural Marxism’. Bill Ayers is simply an influential, ‘celebrity’ advocate of these ideologies.

The Critical Pedagogy Movement is coming to a school near you and it means to change the world.

One child at a time.

Most people have never heard the term, ‘Critical Pedagogy’. That is intentional.

Anyone not involved in the educational community would have little reason to be aware of this leftist theory of education. If it were merely a theory however, there would be little reason for concern.

The primary assumption of critical pedagogy is that disparities between individual and social group outcomes in life are due to entrenched societal oppression. So, if anyone or any group has ‘more’ than another it is because they are either oppressing others or benefiting from the ‘oppression of the masses’.

Thus, all whites benefit from an unjust social system and, as a result are inherently guilty of racism.

Advocates implicitly deny any definition of the ‘pursuit of happiness’, which does not result in equality of outcome. That necessarily limits American’s liberty and their pursuit of happiness to the politically correct calculus of Critical Pedagogy theory.

Pedagogy is defined as ‘the art or profession of teaching’. That definition is sometimes shortened by advocates into ‘the teaching’. The theory of critical pedagogy was first fully developed and then popularized in 1968 by the Brazilian educator and influential theorist Paulo Freire. His seminal work, the Pedagogy [The Teaching] of the Oppressed, was highly influential within the US leftist academic community and in 1969 Freire was offered a visiting professorship at Harvard University.

His subsequent work was highly influential with the Bill Ayers of the world. One might think of Paulo Freire as the Saul Alinsky of the US leftist educational community. Critical Pedagogy is the educational arm of the ‘social justice movement’, which is the political arm of “liberation theology”, all of which are aspects of ‘Cultural Marxism’.

Some of the basic tenants of critical pedagogy are:

  • ALL education is inherently political
  • A social and educational vision of justice and equality should be the foundation for all education
  • Race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and physical ability are important domains of oppression
  • The purpose of education is the alleviation of oppression and human suffering
  • Schools must not hurt students–good schools don’t blame students for their failures
  • Good schools don’t judge the beliefs students have about their life’s experiences
  • Part of the role of any educator involves becoming a researcher into social oppression
  • Education must promote emancipatory change

Sixteen of the top educational schools in America are heavily influenced by Critical Pedagogy and are shaping the future leaders of our educational system. This belief system is now spreading out of the colleges into our K-12 systems and being promulgated by radical teachers as its ‘agents of change’. It’s a well-organized, widespread movement, firmly entrenched in many Universities and its advocates are actively seeking to spread it worldwide.

Thus, most recently in Minnesota the agenda of radical teacher education came to light; The University of Minnesota redesigns teachers. Here is what the Univ. of Minnesota’s new teacher certification program requires:

Students are required to adopt “race, culture, class and gender” identity politics in order to be recommended for a teaching license.

Students must accept that teachers’ lack of “cultural competence” is a major reason for many minority students performing poorly in Minnesota schools.

All prospective teachers have to meet 14 “outcomes”, as well as “assessment” methods to assure they had achieved the outcomes. The first outcome is typical: “Future teachers will be able to discuss their own histories and current thinking drawing on notions of white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, hetero-normativity, and internalized oppression.” [Think carefully upon that terminology, it's quite revealing]

Other highlights deserve attention:

“Future teachers accept that they are privileged or marginalized depending on context.”

“Future teachers will recognize & demonstrate understanding of white privilege.”

“Future teachers are able to explain how institutional racism works in schools”

“Future teachers can construct and articulate a sophisticated and nuanced critical analysis of [the American Dream]…. In pursuing this analysis, students will make use of…the following:

o Myth of meritocracy in the United States
o The historical use of scientific racism to justify assumptions of fixed mental capacity
o History of demands for assimilation to white, middle-class, Christian values
o History of white racism, with special focus on current colorblind ideology

Students are evaluated and graded on whether they conform to the “race, class, gender” agenda. They must, for example, write a “self-discovery paper” in which they “describe their own ethno-cultural background.” They must describe their own prejudices and stereotypes, question their “cultural” motives for wishing to become teachers, and take two “cultural intelligence”-type assessments. They are graded (for example) on “the extent to which they find intrinsic satisfaction” in “cross-cultural interactions.”

Students must not only demonstrate changed thinking — they must become activists. They must learn that schools are “critical sites for social and cultural transformation.” One outcome reads: “Future teachers create & fight for social justice even if only in the classroom”

Future teachers are required to subscribe to the prescribed ideology, “Every faculty member at our university that trains our teachers must comprehend and commit to the centrality of race, class, culture, and gender issues in teaching and learning, and then frame their teaching and course foci accordingly.”

The goal of critical pedagogy is social transformation, which is the product of the practice of social ‘justice’ at the collective level. Social transformation is accomplished through indoctrination of the young, leading to social transformation of the larger society as succeeding generations inculcate the ‘lessons of awareness’ transmitted to them by their ‘teachers’.

Teachers are urged not to mince words with children about the evils of the existing social order. They should portray “homelessness as a consequence of the private dealings of landlords, an arms buildup as a consequence of corporate decisions, racial exclusion as a consequence of a private property-holder’s choice.” In other words, they should turn the little ones into young socialists and critical theorists.

Young, impressionable children are no longer being taught to feel good about being Americans. Their schools teachers, who traditionally embody socially approved values, are teaching them to be ashamed of being Americans.

Spreading out from the schools that teach our teachers, this ideology is being inculcated into our nations’ K-12 schools and is anti-American in the most profound meaning of the term. It is a movement that is teaching future generations that capitalism and traditional American values are intrinsically evil.

Critical pedagogy and its advocates, in their vehement antipathy toward capitalism, private property and traditional American values amount to a classic fifth subversive column, no less dangerous to freedom than Communism. Its advocates are seeking to transform western societies by covertly indoctrinating our young, through an essentially clandestine and subversive transformation of its culture.

The second part of this article – focused on ‘Cultural Marxism’ – will be published tomorrow.

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