Reclaiming the institutions: Schools

Caption: Joining in with your friends to parrot your teacher’s slogans is easier than learning English and maths.

One of the left?s most successful fronts on the Long March through the institutions has been education.

Left-wing orthodoxy is hegemonic in tertiary education: the humanities are completely dominated by the left, and even STEM is under siege as leftists attack and silence any scientific papers and academics who challenge nonsensical ideologies such as transgenderism and feminism. Having conquered the universities, the left is busily insinuating its reach into every level of education, from kindergarten on.

The results are showing: kids can barely read, write or do maths, but they will reliably parrot their teachers? idiocies about climate and transgenderism.

A counter-attack is desperately needed. Quote:

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has flagged a revamp of the national curriculum, saying we need to get “back to basics” like reading, writing and maths before worrying about “soft skills” like teamwork and critical thinking. End of quote.

?Teamwork?, in education union speak, really means ?conformity?. ?Critical thinking? means ?parroting rote-learned criticism of non-left ideas?. Quote:

“The feedback that I have been getting from principals, from teachers and from parents is that [the curriculum] is too cluttered and what we need to do is simplify it, go back to basics,” he said.

“It is the view of the Morrison Government that our education system must ensure that every child gets the basics right.

“If you can’t read, and you can’t write and you can’t count, then you can’t continue to learn.” End of quote.

Here?s the kicker about actual critical thinking: it?s impossible if you can?t read or write. People need to read widely, and often quite challenging texts, to understand what Victorian cultural critic Matthew Arnold called, ?the best that has been thought and done and said?.

Even more importantly, you can?t really analyse and test your own opinions without writing them down. It?s easy to spout slogans and conventional wisdoms; seeing them in front of you in black and white exposes the frequent weakness of our own thinking.

For instance, Carl Sagan emphasised the importance of ?back of the envelope? analysis. An idea that might seem obviously brilliant often quickly falls apart when you do some rough sums. Quote:

Mr Tehan cited Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, in his call to streamline the lessons being taught in schools.

“Dr Finkel argues that the hard slog that is studying mathematics becomes vulnerable if we send a message to students that ‘soft skills’ are the keys to success,” Mr Tehan said.

“I’m not wary of soft skills. What we have to do, though, is make sure that we have got those basic understandings there first, those literacy and numeracy skills which are so important.

“Then we can look at things like critical thinking, then we can look at things like the importance of being part of a team, the importance of being able to evaluate.” End of quote.

As we saw with last week?s Kiddy Climate Conniption, it?s easy to join a mob (?teamwork?) and shout smart-alecky slogans (?critical thinking?), but, as Avi Yemini found, when challenged to justify their views, the marching morons invariably fell silent and slunk away.

So what have we got in return for decades of lefty educational faddism, not to mention ever increasing truckloads of money poured into placating teachers? unions? Quote:

Australia’s performance in international tests has slipped markedly over almost two decades, being outperformed by countries including Japan, Canada and New Zealand. End of quote.

Unfortunately, if Labor is elected next year, we can only expect more of the same.