The Radicalization of Teacher Education
What are our educators learning before they teach our children?
Major schools of education are increasingly trying to indoctrinate new teaching candidates with radical, far-left ideas. Propaganda spouting radical professors are putting numbers of talented prospective elementary and high school teachers in the unfortunate position of allowing themselves to be reeducated - or having to quit their post-graduate teaching credential programs. Consequently, American schools are losing some of the best and the brightest future teachers; those who refuse to be beaten down into politically correct submission.
Robert Holland and Don Soifer of the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Virginia gave me a preview of their explosive new report Radicalization of Teacher Education Programs in the United States that was just released. This new study blows the lid off of just how far Bill Ayers and other radical education gurus have succeeded in brainwashing a new generation of American teachers - often at the taxpayer’s expense.
Robert Holland is a former editor and education journalist at the Richmond _Times-Dispatch_ and is a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute. Mr. Holland is also a nationally recognized advocate for educational standards and school choice. Don Soifer is Executive Vice President of the Lexington Institute with an expertise in educational issues. Mr. Soifer spends much of his free time away from his own family working with American History teachers and students at predominately low-income, African-American charter schools in the Washington, D.C. area.
Paulo Freire, the radical Brazilian author of the far-left education screed Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and revisionist historian and propagandist Howard Zinn have become two of the most influential and destructive forces in modern American classrooms. Zinn’s highly inaccurate, hate-America-first book, A People’s History of the United States, has become one of the most widely used history books. That sharp-witted, working class conservative pundit Daniel Flynn has pointed out, “If you’ve read Marx, there’s no reason to read Howard Zinn.”
If your child wants to become a teacher today they’ll need to get through the minefield of radical political indoctrination spread by the infected teaching credential programs at major universities. Major schools of education like the University of Massachusetts, the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan and the University of California, Los Angeles have all eagerly signed on to these radical transformative teaching programs. UCLA’s education department actually houses their own Paulo Freire Institute and boasts a popular, self-styled rock and roll professor, Peter McLaren, who worships at the alter of Che Guevara, Castro, Lenin and Mao.
As the Holland and Soifer’s report reveals, too many university schools of education have now become hot beds of “institutional (reverse) racism, redistributionist ideology, resisting oppression, equipping teachers with the tools to transform their students’ perspectives.”
Former Nigerian educator, now a University of Missouri, Kansas City associate professor, Omiunota Nelly Ukpokodu, is one of the most radical proponents of Freire’s transformative learning propaganda. For over ten years Ms. Ukpokodu has been reeducating potential teachers at the University of Missouri. Ukpokodu ardently believes that “European Americans of middle-class backgrounds who are socialized to conservative ideologies and mind frames negate their ability to engage in effective cross-cultural responsive teaching. ”
Ukpokodu’s publicly stated goals at her school’s Diversity Curriculum Infusion Program are to “break down ‘resistance’ to multiculturalism and open doors to ‘transformative practice and change.‘”
Out of 45 recent teaching candidates attending her reeducation classes, five brave souls exhibited passive resistance to multicultural transformation. Unfortunately, one student was forced out of the teaching profession completely. Ukpokodu stated that that particular prospective teacher “realized that she did not have what it takes to teach diverse students and so decided to resign from teaching.”
For most of us, the word reeducation brings up brutal images of Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s post-revolution China, Ho Chi Minh’s Vietnam and Pol Pot’s Cambodia. Ukpokodu mentions nothing about this former teaching candidate’s knowledge of her subject or actual teaching skills. Yet, the University of Missouri professor is incredibly proud of herself for forcing this teacher in training out of the profession.
Soifer and Holland point out that the transformative learning emphasized in so many schools of education today is really “about inducing white guilt and causing teachers to acquire the ‘dispositions’ of leftist activists who believe in government-enforced redistribution.”
In the end it is the students who lose out by not having a qualified and dedicated teacher in the classroom. Soifer and Holland’s report emphasizes that: “No matter how expert a politically conservative mathematics teacher might be in the academic discipline, or how highly skilled in making the subject come alive for students, he or she would flunk the ‘disposition’ test posed by these agents of transformative learning.”
Today, radical leftist educators are trying to get to your children’s minds at the youngest possible age. Major radical education organizations like the National Association of Multicultural Educators and the Teaching Early Childhood Equity Initiative want “Early childhood education teachers to access a range of anti-racist education resources that included anti-racist leadership camps where unlearning racism is central to teacher preparation.”
What these radical educators are really talking about is teaching instructors to brainwash your preteen children with reverse racism and forced acceptance of fringe sexual mores that many parents don’t agree with. To these groups an oppressor is anyone who is white, Christian and heterosexual. In fact the National Association for the Education of Young Children, who are also the authors of the textbook Rethinking Early Childhood Education, emphasize teaching about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender roles to three to five year olds.
What Soifer and Holland are encouraging parents to do is take a serious look at what is going on in their children’s classrooms. Their report thoughtfully asks: “Do parents who entrust their children to government-controlled schools have a clue about the radical agendas that many schools of education are pushing upon teacher candidates? Do they believe that if state education departments certify teachers as a result of completing all those state education credits (many given for attending radical conferences and seminars with taxpayers dollars) that their academic preparation was sound? They should not make such an assumption unless they believe schooling should be about political indoctrination instead of transmitting critical knowledge and skills, and encouraging kids to become well-informed, independent thinkers.”
Soifer and Holland expertly show how radical educators are creating a generation of teachers with a major lack of, “basic knowledge in the very subjects they are teaching.” Knowledge that has been replaced by leftist political indoctrination and ”teaching candidates who are under equipped to address the well documented, worrisome decline in student levels of skills and knowledge in American public schools.”
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