Sunday, May 4, 2008

Education & Conflict

Is any discussion of political issues in schools indoctrination?

Joanne Jacobs highlights the University of Delaware's Residence Life program as having an "agenda" because it will include discussions of: “Stereotyping, Oppression, Prejudice Reduction, Privilege, Heterosexism/ Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness, Racism, Ageism, Sexism, Values Clarification, Multicultural Jeopardy, Classism.”

When we keep the "politics" out of our schools, we silently give a nod of approval to the status quo. Schools aren't places of indoctrination, but places for conversation, interrogation, and transformation. Schools can and should be safe places where we discuss and explore any and all of the above.

Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world. --Paulo Freire

Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates to invention. It shocks us out of sheeplike passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving. --John Dewey


narrator said...

re: any social justice issue, I'll say again: There is no such thing as "values free" education. You are either promoting one thing or another. If you aren't discussing change you are embracing the status quo, and that's a political position.

LH said...

Hi narrator,

Thanks for commenting.

I agree. It's funny how any in school discussion that examines the status quo and risks the possibility of change is called "indoctrination."

As if a "status quo" education is free from agenda or indoctrination...

How can we change this?