A return to a traditional form of education might be worth a try, if critics of B.C.'s public education system are correct that the education system is failing children and families.
Aside from the typical complaints by groups like B.C. Teachers Federation about class size, composition, and student-to-teacher ratios, which are definitely important issues, is there something more fundamentally wrong with public education in the province?
One need look no further than statistics on family pathology (divorce, teenage child rearing, single parent homes, abuse etc.), which have skyrocketed but don't have to, with adequate childhood education. Family pathology and its associates, crime, substance abuse, and homelessness, are all higher than when education was based on traditional Western values. Coincidence?
While the days when children recited prayer along with the national anthem on a daily basis in school, took Christmas holidays in December, and respected—even feared—teachers is now considered an antiquated notion by many, upon which ideology is today's education system based and is it any better than that of the past?
The current B.C. government under the BC Liberals may be fiscally conservative, or corporate fascist, according to some, but socially, our government appears to be running a culturally Marxist education program beneath all of that. Cultural Marxism can be defined as a political concept that applies radically left wing and critical theories to matters of family composition, gender, race, sexuality, and cultural identity within Western society. This school of thought began to creep into Western culture during the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s, aroused by the teachings of questionable "social scientists" and institutions, like Sigmund Freud (psychoanalysis), Herbert Marcuse, Edward Bernays, the Frankfurt School, and of course, Karl Marx.
The deconstructionist views offered by cultural Marxists tend to pathologize traditional forms of thinking and offer radically leftist views as the only cure. Impulsivity over moral restraint, they tell us in an Orwellian Newspeak manner.
To say that the proliferation of this movement is not reciprocal to the steady deterioration of Western culture is ridiculous. But then, perhaps cultural Marxists don't see broken families and crime as bad or deteriorative, at least for their political purposes.
Some speculate that cultural Marxism took hold of the B.C. education system under the BC NDP in 1997, when the B.C. Teachers Federation began putting forward resolutions pertaining to social policy. Those changes in policy have laid the foundation to where teachers can now give toddlers sex education, among other things. I'll go out on a limb and say most parents would find this very disturbing.
One thing for sure is that the taxpayers didn't demand this. You couldn't find a group of parents anywhere in the province demanding a radical shift to the left in the education system. In actuality, it was a small band of political activists that brought it in through the back door, through the unions, and through highly influential think tanks and institutes, like The Columbia Institute. So, this raises the question. Was there anything wrong with traditional education, which tended to encourage high-investment parenting, resulting in intact families, lower occurrences of high school drop-out, and a reduced crime rate?
A return to traditional education on the curriculum front might be a good idea, too, especially for a generation of technologically obsessed students who can string together a slang-filled text message better than they can handwrite a complete English sentence. Perhaps letter writer Lin (LB) Wotton's suggestion (Oct. 13) to ban calculators and computers until Grade 10 would help lift the system up from what he calls "educational mediocrity."
His call for leadership change at the district administrative level here in School District 58 is understandable. Trustees do have the ability to affect change in the classroom.
"School boards often pass motions that curtail teachers' professional autonomy," says the BCTF. This should become all the more important to parents who don't want six-year-old Johnny or Jane to learn about masturbation, oral sex, or how to put on a condom.
For a return to traditional education to be possible, changes also need to be made at the top, starting with gutting the B.C. Ministry of Education and the BCTF of their political agendas, which are sometimes brought on by lobbyists, not necessarily the teachers themselves and especially not parents, the most important voice in all of this.