Thursday, March 30, 2017

Educating for Revolution or Revolution in Education

Sunday, December 4, 2016, 16:26
This news item was posted in Education category.
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By the Rev. Dr. Joe Renfro

Rudyard Kipling, who received the Nobel Prize in 1907, the first Englishman to receive that prize, believed very much in spreading justice, adherence to the law, and Christian enlightenment in faraway lands.  His slogan for learning was: “I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew: Their names are WHAT and WHY and WHEN and HOW, and WHERE, and WHO.” (The New Learning Revolution, Network Educational Press, Ltd, p. 192) But sad to say, honesty is often presented from the left as a slanted half-truth or not truth at all, but it has become the motivation of demonstrations to spread their cause all over our nation, and much of this relates to the educational establishment, since often our schools are educating for revolution rather than really seeking a revolution in education.

Many are watching the demonstrations by students from elementary school through college, contesting the election of our new president who happens to be a conservative or at least a moderate conservative.  Many of our schools are often more concerned with educating for revolution instead promoting the rule of law.  The goal in education often is more for seeking to change the culture to what is esteemed desirable (the mythical classless society) rather than to see education become a revolution of real learning.

Motivation is a vital ingredient in learning! But to have the demonstrations associated with educational institutions motivating, promoting, or at least allowing them to appear educational gives a note of truth to them. It would seem to many that if the school supports it, it is good. The Bible well says in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Thinking from the right is condemned as hate speech, whereas thinking from the left is applauded as absolute truth. The great sins that the left has cried about as being characteristic of the right are things like sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, to which the more liberal presidential candidate referred to as a “basket of deplorables.” Our schools and public education in America are often more concerned with destroying these artificial stereotypes of bigotry, sexism, racism, etc. that often might have a degree of substance to them, but are themselves stereotypes and thus are most prejudicial, something they profess to be very much against!   Proverbs 55:21 speaks well to this, as it says:“The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.”

Many of these students carry signs saying things like, “Electing Donald Trump is an act of violence.” Colleges call pro-Trump comments a… HATE CRIME! Anti-Trump demonstrations have and are taking place on eighty-plus college campuses, and many are in process in high schools and in earlier secondary education, often with the approval and motivation from the academic institutions themselves. A Trump-assassination threat was displayed in one school’s trophy case in a middle school in Duluth, Minn. for at least 24 hours before being taken down, and it said in a coded manner the caption, “You’re a dead man.”  This seems like nothing but educating for revolution!                                                                                                           

 

Author Scott Greer (WND, November 18, 2016) wrote about the childish behavior of this demonstrating, as the students supposedly “lash out at their enemies, then boast of their victimhood’.” Greer says that:“Around the country, students are indulging in mass protests, sometimes violent, and outbursts of emotional hysteria, partially in response to encouragement by their professors.” This is not education, but this is a way of using education as a tool for revolution. Greer goes on to observe that “At Cornell University, students held a ‘cry-in’ to protest the results of the election and claimed to be ‘terrified.’”

President-elect Trump is a graduate of the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, but in that school, rather than celebrating Trump’s victory the mood was something akin to grief, with professors canceling classes and students calling in to report feeling sick. One dorm set up a ‘breathing space’ for traumatized students to use coloring books and play with puppies to recover from the result. There was also a “solidarity walk” on campus to support “POC (‘People of Color’), immigrants, POWs, Muslims, Jews, Latinos, LGBTQs, any type of minorities, disabled folks, and anyone and everyone who is affected and would be/will be affected by a Trump Presidency and his more right wing thinking.

Students at American University in Washington, D.C., burned the American flag and engaged in vulgar chants against Trump. Faculty at Towson University in Maryland organized a ‘walk-out’ culminating a tense confrontation with a lone Trump supporter and obscenity-laden threats of violence. The watchdog organization Campus Progress documented dozens of universities around the country where canceled classes, raucous student protests, and ‘safe spaces.’ Plans were promoted where students weren’t allowed to talk about election results.

The newspaper, Duluth News Tribune, buried the story about Trump pictures in the trophy case coded to kill him, giving it a two-sentence mention in an unrelated story of bashing Trump for his “anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric.”  This newspaper also focused on a hijab day in the Duluth high school with a warm and fuzzy feature about students and teachers donning hijabs to support a Muslim girl, contained many blatantly false statements such as “no one can force a Muslim woman to wear a hijab.” Apparently, the author did not consult women in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan and practically every other country in the Middle East where Muslims rule.  One teacher is quoted in the News-Tribune story saying the goal of the event was to “normalize” the wearing of the hijab by female students in Duluth.

In the days following the Nov. 9 announcement that Donald Trump had won the presidential election, Twitter and other social media were alight with threats to assassinate Trump and dozens of incidents have been documented of violence against Trump supporters. The FBI has reported no arrests for the assassination threats made openly on Facebook and Twitter, but it is all over the place. Wonder what the government response would have been if Clinton had won and if threats were written about assassinating her?

Yet, when young Muslim refugees allegedly raped a little girl in Twin Falls, Idaho, the federal prosecutor Wendy J. Olson threatened to prosecute any member of the public who posted “false or inflammatory” information about the perpetrators. After the jihadist attack that killed fourteen people at a Christmas party in San Bernardino last year, Attorney General Loretta Lynch also threatened to prosecute anyone who made comments about Muslims that she considered “edging toward violence.” And in the same way, threatening the president-elect of the United States in the school trophy case drew no such warnings from the Obama Justice Department.

In an article from the Washington Free Beacon entitled, “Soros-Funded Group Pushing ‘Sanctuary Campus’ Anti-Trump Protests,” it suggests that the demonstrations are being billed as being led by students, which is not the whole truth at all, for the Beacon observes that, “An organization that has received funding from liberal billionaire George Soros is pushing anti-Donald Trump student protests that call for sanctuary campuses to protect undocumented students.” Thousands of students at campuses all over our land have and are participating in ‘sanctuary campus’ protests. Students have signed petitions and walked out of classes at their universities ‘in support of undocumented classmates, and their grief about the outcome of our Presidential election. These protests are billed as though they are being organized by students at the grassroots level, but in fact a D.C.-based immigration activist group is behind them.” This is education for revolution!

Students, anarchists and other “protesters” filled the streets of Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Boston and other cities. Many of the protests turned violent, with cars set on fire, store windows smashed and flags burned. It can be argued that this protesting is very much associated with our educational system that in their curriculums and activities seek to promote politically correct thinking of the left, which is very much in conflict with the traditional Christian values that were once part of schooling.

Revolution is in the air for many! And that for which many are seeking revolution are often very revolting-things that in the long run will be harmful to our land. Yes, many of our schools are often stressing educating for revolution, which itself is very stressful. Maybe if the focus was more on a revolution in education in academic achievement, actual learning, and in respect to the WHATS, the WHYS, the HOWS, the WHERES, the WHENS, and the WHOS instead of promoting learning that spawns revolution, we would see real progress. We would see that our nation would be near the top in public schooling among the industrialized nations instead of near the bottom.  Sad to say, our colleges lead academically, but fail to instill or encourage moral values that the right kind of learning entails.

If things do not change, the effect of lowering our standards to accommodate all will further academic decline in the colleges—especially as forces are seeking to offer free education at least for the first two years of college regardless of students’ academic skills.   Think of the price! The WHATS, the WHYS, the HOWS, the WHERES, the WHENS, and the WHOS of learning need to be stressed, instead of promoting socio-political and economic revolutionary directives in the name of education.  In Christ, there is the perception of truth and the discipline of commitment.  Much of contemporary American public education is concerned with educating for liberal attitudes, while at the same time true learning is being neglected.

Thinking which once was dominant in American schooling was the quest to realize learning as Christo-centric or at least not anti-religious. Let me ask, “Where is the therapy for the more conservative students, who are insulted by liberals by being called “racists,” “sexists,” or “homophobes?” One of the Biblical commands is to “love your neighbor as yourselves,” and this takes care of sexism, racism, or homophobia much better than leftist social indoctrination.

The key to a true revolution in education can to be found in understanding the “WHAT, ” the “WHY,” the “HOW,” the “WHERE,” the “WHEN,” and the “WHO” as they come together in Christ who said, he was  “the way, the truth, and the life,” as taught in John 14:6. Here can be a revolution in learning much different from the educating to revolution that his increasingly becoming part of American schooling!

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