Brave New W0rld of Education - The Regressive Left

by cofty 25 Replies latest social current

  • cofty
    They also pave the way for the extreme right to take over.

    This is a very important point.

    Unless we are all allowed to robustly criticise bad ideas and worry out loud about issues like uncontrolled immigration etc we cede the floor to irrational hate-mongers.

    A generation of young people are being educated to believe their precious feelings are beyond criticism and that it is sufficient to silence those who would challenge them with labels like racist and Islamophobe.

    If you haven't read the article in the OP I highly recommend it.

  • Laika
    Ah Luhe, I know we've had our differences in the past but I'm trying to be more civil ;)

    I didn't want to 'set anyone straight' just open up the discussion a bit more. I'm a 'white, hetero normative, cisgendered, male' too btw, so the majority of my post was quoted from another writer, I wanted to introduce a different and critical perspective, which seemed in keeping with the intent of the OP.

    Of course we should listen to people with different ideas but I think we should also bear in mind that some people have had different life experiences to ours, and be willing to consider them.
  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse
    I read this the other day and it reminded me of this thread.
  • talesin

    To the OP, haven't read the thread.

    The article was both thought-provoking and alarming. At one point, I stopped and thought "Brandeis?!", so I looked up its history, and sure enough, things have radically changed. The universities in the article, are not places I would expect to be using censorship.

    I think this quote from the article sums things up:

    [bold is mine]

    There’s a saying common in education circles: Don’t teach students what to think; teach them how to think. The idea goes back at least as far as Socrates. Today, what we call the Socratic method is a way of teaching that fosters critical thinking, in part by encouraging students to question their own unexamined beliefs, as well as the received wisdom of those around them. Such questioning sometimes leads to discomfort, and even to anger, on the way to understanding.
    But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way. It prepares them poorly for professional life, which often demands intellectual engagement with people and ideas one might find uncongenial or wrong. The harm may be more immediate, too. A campus culture devoted to policing speech and punishing speakers is likely to engender patterns of thought that are surprisingly similar to those long identified by cognitive behavioral therapists as causes of depression and anxiety. The new protectiveness may be teaching students to think pathologically.

    As for the term, regressive left (which I did not see in the article, but have researched already, and know from whence it came, I don't see that referenced in the OP, but it was coined to partly define the people who express anti-Muslim sentiment, which I find rather odd; it's not just the 'left' that embraces it, but I digress), I could see there being a fringe (reminds me of the "Tea Party") element that embraces these dangerous ways of thinking (or should I say, NOT thinking). I feel it is important to realize that some of the (briefly heard, in relative terms) loudest nutjobs, are bloggers, authors (often opportunistic columnists) who are cashing in, or religious people, who get exposure because their message is founded in some logic, then embellished and twisted, and at first, it seems to "have a point". People get sucked in. Time goes by, and the crazy really starts to show ... that's when the mainstream wakes up and says yikes, there are more of these people than we realized.

    Prominent mainstream liberal thinkers like Naomi Wolf, for example, would never endorse this school of thought.

    When I see an article in The Atlantic, I pay attention. It has journalistic integrity in this poster's opinion. It's good that educators are aware, and that it's being exposed NOW. A good read, and very informative, thanks Cofty, and Oub.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Yes, I'm trying to be more civil - I hope I'm better mannered now than when I first joined the forum!

    I think we should also bear in mind that some people have had different life experiences to ours, and be willing to consider them - this is a good point, as long as it's not taken too far. For instance, road services. Public roads should obviously be in a safe condition for drivers. And it doesn't matter about the skin colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious belief of the people that use them. All these categories of people use the same roads in the same way and have been taught to the same standards of driving.

    Are you in the UK, Laika? In my uni, students are encouraged to 'celebrate diversity' - of course, learning to get along with different people is good. But why just celebrate diversity - what about discussing or questioning diversity? Or even criticizing/suggesting improvements? As Talesin said, education should be about teaching people how to think, not what to think.

  • Oubliette

    LUHE: As Talesin said, education should be about teaching people how to think, not what to think.

    "Children must be taught how to think, not what to think." - Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist

    "THERE is a difference—a big difference—between education and propaganda. Education shows you how to think. Propaganda tells you what to think." - Awake!, June 22, 2000, p. 9

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