Chapter Twelve: Sabotaging Education (Part II)

The Epoch Times is serializing a translation from the Chinese of a new book, How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, by the editorial team of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.

Table of Contents (continued)

2. Communist Elements in Primary and Secondary Education
a. Dumbing Down Students
b. The Destructive Nature of Progressive Education
c. Education: A Means of Spoiling Students
d. Psychological Manipulation
e. The Infiltration of Education

3. The Goal: Destroying Education in the East and West

Conclusion: Returning to Traditional Education

References

* * *

2. Communist Elements in Primary and Secondary Education

Although communism is most influential at the university level, it has also influenced primary and secondary school education. Its influence has undermined children’s intellectual development and maturity, making them more susceptible to leftist influences in college. It has caused generations of students to have less and less knowledge and less ability to reason and engage in critical thinking. This has gone over for over a hundred years. The progressive education movement led by John Dewey initiated the trend. Subsequent educational reforms generally followed in the same tradition.

In addition to instilling students with atheism, the theory of evolution, and communist ideology, primary and secondary education in the United States engages in psychological manipulation that destroys students’ traditional beliefs and morals. It instills moral relativism and modern concepts that convey a corrupt attitude toward life. This occurs across all sectors of education. The sophisticated measures used make it almost impossible for students and the public to guard against the trend.

a. Dumbing Down Students

The United States is a democratic country. From presidents to lawmakers, town mayors, and school-district committee members, all are elected by voters. Whether democratic politics can be pursued in a manner that is truly beneficial to all depends not only on the moral level of the people, but also on the level of their knowledge and understanding. If voters are not well-versed in history, political and economic systems, and social issues, they will have difficulty wisely electing officials who will base their platforms on the long-term and fundamental interests of the country and society. This puts the country in a dangerous situation.

In 1983, a group of experts, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, wrote the report A Nation at Risk after eighteen months of research. The authors of the report said:

“For our country to function, citizens must be able to reach some common understandings on complex issues, often on short notice and on the basis of conflicting or incomplete evidence. Education helps form these common understandings, a point Thomas Jefferson made long ago in his justly famous dictum: ‘I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.’”

Individuals with little knowledge and poor critical thinking ability are unable to recognize lies and deceptions. Education plays an enormous role, and communist elements penetrate into all levels of the education system, making students foolish and ignorant and thus vulnerable to manipulation.

A Nation at Risk makes these additional points: “The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.” “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.” “We have even squandered the gains in student achievement made in the wake of the Sputnik challenge. Moreover, we have dismantled essential support systems which helped make those gains possible. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.” [1]

The report quoted analyst Paul Copperman: “For the first time in the history of our country, the educational skills of one generation will not surpass, will not equal, will not even approach, those of their parents.”

The report cites some shocking findings: In addition to U.S. students’ grades often being at the bottom in international exams, 23 million American adults are functionally illiterate — that is, only possessing the most basic literacy skills, unable to meet the needs of complex modern life and work. The ratio of functional illiteracy is 13 percent among 17-year-olds and may reach 40 percent among minorities. From 1963 to 1980, the grades of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) slid down, with the average language score dropping by more than 50 points, and the average math score dropping by nearly 40 points. “Many 17-year-olds do not possess the ‘higher order’ intellectual skills we should expect of them. Nearly 40 percent cannot draw inferences from written material; only one-fifth can write a persuasive essay; and only one-third can solve a mathematics problem requiring several steps.” [2]

After the 1980s, people of insight in the American education field launched the Back to Basics campaign, but did it help stop the decline of American education? In 2008, Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, published The Dumbest Generation. The first chapter of the book combines the results of examinations and surveys by the Department of Education and non-governmental organizations, summarizing the knowledge gaps of American students in history, civics, math, science, technology, fine arts, and other fields. In the history exam in the 2001 National Education Progress Assessment (NEAP), 57 percent of students scored “below basic” and only 1 percent achieved “advanced.” Surprisingly, in response to the question, which country was the U.S. ally in World War II, 52 percent chose Germany, Japan, and Italy, instead of the Soviet Union. Results in other areas were equally disappointing. [3]

The decline in the quality of education in the United States is obvious to all. Since the 1990s, the term “dumbing down” has appeared in many books on American education and has become a concept American educators cannot avoid. John Taylor Gatto, a senior teacher and educational researcher in New York City, wrote: “Pick up a fifth-grade math or rhetoric textbook from 1850 and you’ll see that the texts were pitched then on what would today be considered college level.” [4]

In order to avoid making the American education system look bad, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) had to redefine the scores of the university entrance examination, the SAT, in 1994. When the SAT began to adopt the modern form in 1941, the average score of the language exam was 500 points (top marks are 800 points). By the 1990s, the average score had dropped to 424 points, yet ETS redefined 424 as 500 points. [5]

The decline in the quality of education is not just reflected in the decline in students’ literacy. Due to the lack of basic knowledge, the critical thinking faculties of American students have fallen sharply. The scholar Thomas Sowell pointed out in the 1990s: “It is not merely that Johnny can’t read, or even that Johnny can’t think. Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is, because thinking is so often confused with feeling in many public schools.” [6]

Unlike the rebellious student leaders in the 1960s who could speak eloquently, today’s young people who participated in street protests and were interviewed by television news reporters could rarely clearly express their demands. They lack basic common sense and reason.

The reason for the decline of grades is not that students today are not as intelligent as before, but because communism is quietly carrying out a war against the next generation, using the education system as its weapon. Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, the author of The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: A Chronological Paper Trail, and former senior policy advisor to the U.S. Department of Education in the 1980s, said, “The reason Americans do not understand this war is because it has been fought in secret—in the schools of our nation, targeting our children who are captive in classrooms.” [7]

b. The Destructive Nature of Progressive Education

The backlash against tradition in American primary and secondary schools began with the progressive education movement of the early twentieth century. The following generations of progressive educators concocted a series of sham theories and discourses that served to alter curricula, water down teaching materials, and lower academic standards. This brought enormous damage to traditional education.

From Rousseau to Dewey

John Dewey is the father of American progressive education and was greatly influenced by the ideas of the eighteenth-century French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Rousseau believed that people were good by nature and that social ills were responsible for moral decline. He said that man was free and equal at birth and that given a natural environment, everyone would enjoy their innate rights. Inequality, privilege, exploitation, and the loss of man’s innate kindness were all products of civilization, he claimed. For children, Rousseau advocated a model of “natural education” that would leave them to their own devices. This education was to be absent of religious, moral, or cultural teaching.

In fact, humanity is endowed with both benevolence and wickedness. Without nurturing benevolence, the wicked aspects of human nature will predominate to the point where people consider no method too base and no sin too evil. With his elegant rhetoric, Rousseau attracted many misguided followers. The deleterious influence his pedagogical theory has had on Western education is hard to overestimate.

About a century later, Dewey picked up where Rousseau had left off and furthered his destructive work. According to Dewey, who was influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution, children should be weaned from the traditional tutelage of parents, religion, and culture and allowed the freedom to adapt to their environments. Dewey was a pragmatist and moral relativist. He believed that there was no unchanging morality and that people were free to act and behave as they saw fit. The concept of moral relativism is a critical first step in leading humanity away from the moral rules set by God.

Dewey was one of thirty-three people who signed their names onto The Humanist Manifesto, penned in 1933. Unlike the humanists of the Renaissance, twentieth-century humanism is at its core a kind of secular religion rooted in atheism. Based on modern concepts such as materialism and the theory of evolution, it regards a human being as a machine, or the sum of a biochemical process.

In this calculus, the object of education is to mold and guide subjects according to the educator’s wishes — something not fundamentally different from Marx’s “new socialist man.” Dewey himself was a democratic socialist.

American philosopher Sidney Hook said, “Dewey had supplied Marxism with the epistemology and social philosophy that Marx had half seen for himself and had half sketched out in his early works but had never adequately spelled out.” [8]

In 1921, as civil war raged across Russia, the Soviets found the time to produce a sixty-two-page pamphlet featuring extracts from Dewey’s Democracy and Education. In 1929, the rector of the Second State University of Moscow, Albert P. Pinkerich, wrote: “Dewey comes infinitely closer to Marx and the Russian Communists.” [9] Biographer Alan Ryan wrote that Dewey “supplied the intellectual weapons for a decently social democratic, non-totalitarian Marxism.” [10]

Progressive educators make no pretenses about their goal to transform students attitudes toward life. To achieve this aim, they overturned all aspects of learning, including class structure, teaching materials and methods, and the relationship between teachers and students. The focus of education shifted from the teacher to the students (or children). Personal experience was considered superior to knowledge learned from books. Lectures took a backseat to projects and activities.

The conservative American magazine Human Events listed Dewey’s Democracy and Education as number five in its list of the ten most harmful books of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It pointedly observed that Dewey “disparaged schooling that focused on traditional character development and endowing children with hard knowledge, and encouraged the teaching of thinking ‘skills’ instead.” [11]

Astute critics have taken the progressive bent in education to task from the very beginning. The 1949 book And Madly Teach: A Layman Looks at Public School Education provided a concise and comprehensive rebuttal to the principal tenets of progressive education. [12 Progressive educators have dismissed their critics as “reactionaries” and used various means to suppress or ignore them.

Dewey spent over fifty years as a tenured professor at Columbia University. During the period when he headed the Teacher’s College, at least one-fifth of all primary and secondary school teachers received instruction or advanced degrees at Columbia. [13] Progressive education has since spread beyond the borders of the United States.

In contrast to figures like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, or Mao Zedong, Dewey had no aspiration to become a revolutionary guru or take over the world. He was a lifelong academic and professor, but the system of education he created became one of communism’s most potent tools.

Indulging Students

According to Rousseau’s theory of education, humans are born good and free, but are made bad by society. Therefore, the best method of education is to give children free rein and yield to the child’s own whimsical development.

Under the influence of Rousseauean thought, progressive educationists since Dewey often echo these kinds of ideas: One should not force the values of parents or teachers on students; upon growing up, children should be allowed to make their own judgments and decisions. English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once elegantly gave the following retort to this sort of view:

Thelwall thought it very unfair to influence a child’s mind by inculcating any opinions before it should have come to years of discretion, and be able to choose for itself. I showed him my garden, and told him it was my botanical garden. “How so?” said he, “it is covered with weeds.”——“Oh,” I replied, “that is only because it has not yet come to its age of discretion and choice. The weeds, you see, have taken the liberty to grow, and I thought it unfair in me to prejudice the soil towards roses and strawberries.” [14]

The quick-witted poet used the analogy to convey to his friend a principle: Ethics and wisdom are painstakingly cultivated, just as with gardening. Not overseeing a garden will cause an outgrowth of weeds. Abandoning children is akin to giving them over to ever-present forces for ill. It amounts to extreme negligence and irresponsibility. Good and evil are simultaneously present in human nature. Though children are by comparison more simple and pure, they are also susceptible to laziness, jealousy, combativeness, selfishness, and other negative traits. Society is a big dye vat. If children, with their natural bad inclinations (along with the good), are not properly raised, then by the time they have come to their “age of discretion and choice,” they will have long been contaminated by bad thoughts and bad habits. Educating them at that point will be too late.

This indulgence of students reached its peak in the pedagogical literary work published in 1960, Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Education. The book’s author, A.S. Neill, established in 1921 an English boarding school, Summerhill School, which admitted children ages 6 to 16. The school gave children complete autonomy. Children were able to decide whether or not they wanted to go to class at all, or whether they wanted to go to one class but not another. Neil’s thought on education was heavily influenced by Frankfurt school philosopher Wilhelm Reich, a vigorous proponent of sexual freedom, and the two often corresponded.

Besides academics, the school was also extremely lax on ethics, discipline, and male-and-female relations. It was all anti-traditional values. Boys and girls were able to casually date or live together, which the school would ignore, or even facilitate. Neil allowed staff and students to swim naked together at an outdoor swimming pool. His 35-year-old stepson taught ceramic art, and would often bring older-grade girls home with him. [15]

In his book, Neil says, “Every older pupil at Summerhill knows from my conversation and my books that I approve of a full sex life for all who wish one, whatever their age. [16] He has even hinted that, if not prohibited by law, he would have allowed boys and girls to sleep together. [17] When Summerhill was published, it quickly became a bestseller. In the 1960s alone, it sold over three million copies, becoming a “classic” that teachers at teachers’ colleges would require all of their students to read.

An ancient Chinese saying goes: “A strict teacher produces outstanding students.” People with knowledge and experience in the West have also found that strict teachers have better classroom results. They also have a more positive influence on their students’ conduct. [18]

Sadly, in the United States and other Western countries, under the influence of progressivism and educational autonomy, laws have been enacted that limit the scope of parents or teachers in managing students. This has caused teachers to be afraid to discipline students. Students’ bad habits are not corrected in a timely manner, thus leading to a precipitous decline in their moral sense as well as their academic performance.

Student-Centered Education

The most important function of education is to maintain and pass on the traditional culture of human history. Teachers are the hub connecting the past for the benefit of the future. “A teacher is to pass on the Dao, teach the learnings, and clear up confusion,” according to a Chinese saying. Dewey’s progressive educational thought removed the authority of teachers and downgraded their importance. His stance is anti-intellectual and against common sense — against education itself, in essence.

Progressive educational advocates claim that education must put students at the center and let them explore on their own and reach their own answers. Yet the content of traditional course books was an accumulation of thousands of years of human civilization, How can that be explored by young and ignorant students so quickly? The real intention of progressive education is to cut students off from their bond with traditional culture. A negation of teachers’ authority in the process of education is a negation of their role in carrying forward the knowledge of civilization. This is the ulterior motive of communism.

Daisy Christodoulou’s Seven Myths About Education analyzed and refuted seven widely spread misconceptions, including claims that facts prevent understanding; teacher-led instruction is passive; projects and activities are the best way to learn; teaching knowledge is indoctrination, and others. [19]Most of these myths are left over from progressive education, but after being passed down for several generations, they have become a plague on educational culture. Christodoulou is English, and most of her works use examples from the United Kingdom, from which it can be seen that progressive educational concepts have impaired the whole world.

Take the first misconception, for instance. Modern American education has degraded the traditional methods of attention to memorization, reading aloud, and practice as “mechanical memorization,” “rote learning,” and “drill to kill.” Many are familiar with these criticisms. Rousseau attacked memorization and verbal lessons in his novel Emil, and Dewey’s progressive educators furthered such theories.

In 1955, American educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom proposed the famous Bloom Taxonomy, which divided human cognition into six levels, from low to high: remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create. The latter three are regarded as higher-order thinking because these abilities involve comprehensive analysis. We are not analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the Bloom classification itself, but merely pointing out that since the system of classification was proposed, progressive educators have used the pretext of cultivating “higher-order thinking” to weaken the teaching of knowledge in schools.

Anyone with common sense knows that having certain basic knowledge is the foundation of any intellectual task. Without a considerable reserve of knowledge, the so-called higher order thinking, critical thinking, and creative thinking are both self-deceiving and deceiving of others. Bloom’s classification system provides a seemingly scientific excuse for the unfathomable approach by progressive educators.

One of the planks of the theory of student-centered instruction is that students choose what they want to learn and what they don’t want, according to their own interests. The theory also avers that teachers should educate students only in what they’re interested in. This idea appears plausible, but may not be so. To have students learn in an enjoyable way is what every teacher would wish for, but children have shallow knowledge and limited vision, and are unable to judge what is important to learn and what isn’t. Teachers must take responsibility for guiding students so that they can transcend their superficial interests and broaden their visions and understanding. Simply catering to the superficial interests of students will only lead to their permanent infantilization. By espousing student-centered instruction, educators are thus deceiving students and parents, which is irresponsible to society.

Studies have found that there is a tendency in American society for adults to remain in a kind of adolescence longer than other populations. The National Academy of Sciences in 2002 defined adolescence as a period from 12 to 30 years of age. The MacArthur Foundation went even further and tried to argue that a person is considered an adult at age 34. [20] The educational system and media bear the responsibility for this extended period of adolescence that many adults have found themselves in.

One of the excuses of progressive education in lowering teaching requirements is that along with the popularization of education, more people get enrolled in secondary and post-secondary schools, and thus the average level of attainment cannot be as high as in the past. This is a wrong understanding. Adapting education to a democratic society is supposed to enable those who did not have the opportunity to receive an education before to be able to receive one — not to lower the standards, or to have everyone receive an inferior education by lowering the quality.

Progressivism claims to replace useless classical courses such as Greek and Latin with more contemporary courses, but in the end, most schools do not in fact introduce high-quality courses useful for modern life, like in-depth courses in mathematics, economics, and modern history. Instead, progressive educators promote classes like driving, cooking, beauty, and accident-prevention, which have nothing to do with academics. The curriculum and teaching-method reforms advocated by progressive educators deceive students who are not yet well-informed, as well as parents who defer to schools, teachers, and so-called experts.

If we look at only some teaching methods proposed by progressive education, they are not useless when applied to some subjects and areas of learning. However, when we look at the progressive educational movement and its specific background and outcomes, it becomes clear that progressive education sets itself up in opposition to traditional education, thereby mutating education, and ultimately ruining it. Unlike Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Zedong, Dewey had neither the ambition of being a revolutionary nor the arrogance of attempting to launch a world revolution. If we put his life into perspective, he is clearly a scholar and a professor — but the educational movement he launched became one of the most useful tools for communism to undermine human society.

c. Education: A Means of Spoiling Students

On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Colorado murdered ten students and one teacher, and injured over twenty people in a carefully plotted massacre. The tragedy shocked the United States. People wondered why the two students would carry out such a cold-blooded attack, murdering their classmates and a teacher they’d known for years.

By comparing social phenomena in different historical periods, educators noticed that up to the 1960s, problems with U.S. student behavior were minor — things like tardiness, talking in class without permission, or chewing gum. After the 1980s, there were worse problems, like excessive drinking, drug abuse, premarital sex, pregnancy, suicide, gangs, or even indiscriminate shooting. The downward trend worried those who saw how things were developing, but few knew the real roots of the change, and none could prescribe the appropriate treatment for the disorder.

The distortion and downward spiral of the moral standards of American youth was no accident.

Atheism and Evolution

Dr. Frederick Charles Schwarz, author of the book You Can Trust The Communists . . . to Be Communists, and a pioneer of U.S. anti-communist campaigns, observed: “The three basic tenets of Communism are atheism, evolution, and economic determinism. The three basic tenets of the American Public School system are atheism, evolution, and economic determinism.” [21] His point was that key elements of communist ideology have been adopted in American public schools.

The divine created humankind and laid down the moral standards that should regulate human life. Belief in gods lays the foundation of morality for society and underpins the existence of the human world. Communism forcibly spread atheism and the theory of evolution in schools as a means of destroying morality. This is to be expected in communist states like China and the former Soviet Union, but in the United States, it was carried out coercively.

Under the pretext of separation of church and state, leftists opposed the teaching of creationism in American public schools, though they promoted the theory of evolution. Public schools dare not transgress such boundaries. This education inevitably leads the number of religious believers to decline, as children are indoctrinated with the idea that the theory of evolution is scientific truth and not to be questioned.

Since the 1960s, courts around the United States shut down Bible study in public schools, again under the pretext of separation of church and state. One court ruled that students enjoyed freedom of speech and the press unless the topic was religious, at which time such speech became unconstitutional. [22]

In 1987, students in Alaskan public schools were told not to use the word “Christmas” since it contained the word “Christ.” In 1987, a Federal court in Virginia ruled that homosexual newspapers could be distributed on a high school campus, but religious newspapers were banned. In 1993, one elementary school music teacher in Colorado Springs was prevented from teaching Christmas carols because of alleged violations of the separation of church and state. [23]

Teaching and test materials in the United States have undergone ridiculously strict scrutiny due to the anti-theist orientation of the education system, in combination with decades of political correctness. In 1997, Diane Ravitch, a historian of education, once participated in the scrutiny of test content at a department under the U.S. Ministry of Education. Much to her surprise, the maxim that “God helps those who help themselves” was changed to “People should try to work things out for themselves whenever possible” because of the word “God” in the original. [24]

On the one hand, the American public education system ejected belief in God from schools under the pretext of separation of church and state. On the other hand, evolution, with its unresolved gaps, was held to be a self-evident truth to be instilled in children who had no mental preparation or defense. Children tend to believe in the authority of their teachers.

Parents with religious beliefs teach their kids to respect others, but children who are instilled with the theory of evolution are likely to challenge the religious education given by their parents. At least, they will no longer take their parents’ religious instruction seriously. The result is that education pulls children away from parents with religious beliefs. This is the most challenging problem that families with religious beliefs face when it comes to their children’s education, and it’s the most evil aspect of the anti-theistic education system.

Communist Ideology

Chapter Five of this book illustrates the nature of political correctness: It works like the thought police of communism, using a set of distorted political standards to replace authentic moral standards. Since the 1930s, communism has gradually entered American schools. From then on, political correctness has played the dominant role in the American educational system. When put into practice, it comes in different forms, some of which are extremely deceptive.

E. Merrill Root, author of Brainwashing in the High Schools, released in the 1950s, conducted research into eleven sets of history teaching materials used in Illinois between 1950 and 1952 and found that they characterized American history as the history of a power struggle between rich and poor, between the privileged few and the underprivileged. This is the essence of Marxian economic determinism. Such teaching material promotes the development of a global government that emphasises global concerns above those of any individual people, and in the end leads to global socialism. [25]

In 2013, a school district in Minnesota adopted a project named All for All, which put the focus of teaching on racial equality — equality here referring to identity politics. This ideology blames the poor performance of students from some ethnic minority groups as due to systemic racial discrimination, which leads to efforts devoted to dismantling “white privilege.” The project demanded that all teaching activities be based on racial equality, and that only teachers and administrators who were deeply aware of the issues associated with racial equality be employed.

The project started with kindergartens. Tenth-grade English classes focused on the themes of colonization and migration, as well as social constructions of race, class, and gender. The eleventh-grade framework claimed, “By the end of the year, you will have … learned how to apply marxist [sic], feminist, post-colonial [and] psychoanalytical … lenses to literature.” [26]

In July 2016, California adopted a new social science framework for elementary and high schools. The original left-leaning framework was made to look even more like left-wing ideological propaganda. Content that should be emphasized in history and social science courses — like the founding spirit of America, and military, political, and diplomatic history — was watered down or ignored. In contrast, the counterculture of the 1960s was passionately highlighted and made to seem like the founding principles of the nation.

The curriculum also articulated a clearly anti-traditional framework of sex and family. Take the eleventh-grade courses, for example. The framework claimed its focus was on the rights movements of minority races, tribes, and religions, as well as women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. In fact, religions were seldom mentioned, but much was written about sexual minorities. In particular, LGBT groups were included first, having a significant share of eleventh-grade history courses. The LGBT portions were written in a tone clearly supportive of “sexual liberation.” For example, in the part on AIDS, it was suggested that people’s fear of AIDS caused sexual liberation to wane. [27]

The sex content occupied many chapters, squeezing out other content far more worthy of attention for young people. For example, in the course on World War I, students hardly learn of the critical role played by the U.S. Army, but instead learn that American soldiers found European sexual customs satisfying. [28] This left-leaning framework is full of distortion and bias, guiding students to hate their own country. Though the framework was adopted by California, the impact of this approach has been national. [29]

d. Psychological Manipulation

Another major way that students have been morally corrupted is the introduction of significant psychological conditioning in education — injecting students with moral relativism.

In March 1984, hundreds of parents and teachers attended hearings for the amendment of pupil rights protections hosted in seven cities, including Washington, D.C.; Seattle; and Pittsburgh. The testimonies in the hearings run to over 1,300 pages. Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly incorporated some of the testimonies in her book Child Abuse in the Classroom, published in August 1984.

Schlafly summed up the issues described in the testimonies, including using “education as therapy.” Unlike traditional education, which aims to impart knowledge, education as therapy focuses on changing students’ emotions and attitudes. This kind of education uses teaching to play psychological games on students. It has them fill out surveys on personal issues and forces children to make decisions like adults, weighing in on issues like suicide and murder, marriage and divorce, abortion and adoption. [30]

In fact, such courses weren’t set up for the students’ psychological health. They were intended to change the values of students through psychological conditioning.

Psychology and Education

Modern education is heavily based on philosophy and psychology. Besides John Dewey’s progressive education, which has had a huge impact on the U.S. education system, there is also Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis and Carl Rogers’s humanistic psychology. The Frankfurt School’s critical theory combines theories from Marx and Freud. Herbert Marcuse, a theorist of the Frankfurt School, called for the removal of all inhibitions, so that young people could let loose their natural instincts and indulge their personal whims. [31] It was this thinking that helped accelerate the birth of the counterculture of the 1960s.

Deeply influenced by the above-mentioned schools of thought on psychology, the first director general of the World Health Organization and a Canadian psychologist, Brock Chisholm, said in one of his speeches in 1946:

What basic psychological distortion can be found in every civilization …? It must be a force which discourages the ability to see and acknowledge patent facts … which produces inferiority, guilt, and fear. … The only psychological force capable of producing these perversions is morality, the concept of right and wrong. … [This] artificially imposed inferiority, guilt, and fear, commonly known as “sin,” … produces so much of the social maladjustment and unhappiness in the world. … Freedom from morality means freedom to observe, to think and behave sensibly. … If the race is to be freed of its crippling burden of good and evil it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility. [32]

Based on false ideas, Chisholm proposed a shocking theory: In order to release an individual from psychological pain, morality and the concept of right and wrong must be neutralized. This psychologist hence waged war on morality. Seemingly influenced by Chisholm, humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers came up with “values clarification” classes, which served the purposes of eradicating traditional values and concepts of right and wrong.

Eventually, Dewey’s moral relativism, the Frankfurt School’s rejection of inhibitions, and Chisholm’s psychological theories worked together to attack and undermine traditional values. They destroyed the moral fortifications of public schools in the United States.

Moral Relativism

Americans who attended schools in the late 1970s should remember an imagined scenario many teachers brought up in class. The story went like this: After a ship sank, the captain, several children, a pregnant woman, and a gay man got on a lifeboat. The lifeboat was overloaded and one person must be let go. The teachers would ask the students to discuss and decide who must get off the lifeboat, meaning give up his or her life. The teacher would not comment or judge the students’ comments.

This story was often used in the values-clarification classes that emerged in the 1970s. Besides being used for values-clarification, the classes were used for decision-making, affective education, the Quest drug-prevention program, and sex education.

William Kilpatrick, author of Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong, described such classes as having “turned classroom discussions into ‘bull sessions’ where opinions go back and forth but conclusions are never reached.” “It has resulted in classrooms where teachers act like talk show hosts, and where the merits of wife swapping, cannibalism, and teaching children to masturbate are recommended topics for debate. For students, it has meant wholesale confusion about moral values: learning to question values they have scarcely acquired, unlearning values taught at home, and concluding that questions of right and wrong are always merely subjective. It has created a generation of moral illiterates: students who know their own feelings but don’t know their culture.” [33]

The scholar Thomas Sowell understood that these sessions utilized the same measures employed in totalitarian countries to brainwash people. They include the following: “Emotional stress, shock, or de-sensitization, to break down both intellectual and emotional resistance; isolation, whether physical or emotional, from familiar sources of emotional support in resistance; cross-examining pre-existing values, often by manipulating peer pressure; stripping the individual of normal defenses, such as reserve, dignity, a sense of privacy, or the ability to decline to participate; rewarding acceptance of the new attitudes, values, and beliefs.” [34]

Sowell notes that the sessions have in common the encouragement of students to rebel from the traditional moral values taught by their parents and society. Classes were conducted in a neutral or a “nonjudgmental” way. In other words, the teacher does not distinguish between right and wrong, but searches for what feels good for an individual. They focus on “the feelings of the individual, rather than on the requirements of a functioning society or the requirements of intellectual analysis.” [35]

‘Death Education’ and Drug-Prevention Education

In September 1990, ABC aired a program that had viewers very concerned. A school took students to a morgue as a part of its new program of “death education.” The students viewed and touched corpses. [36]

Common activities of death-education classes include asking the students to write their own epitaphs, select their own coffins, arrange their own funerals, and write their own obituaries. A death-education questionnaire included the following: [37]

“How will you die?”
“When will you die?”
“Have you ever known anyone who died violently?”
“When was the last time you mourned? Was it expressed in tears or silent pain? Did you mourn alone or with someone else?”
“Do you believe in an after-life?”

Obviously these questions have nothing to do with studying. They are designed to probe the students’ outlook on life, their religious beliefs, and their personalities. Some of the questions are aimed to elicit particular reactions, and can have a negative impact on teens.

It is said that death education can help students establish the right attitude in the face of death. However, suicides of teens who were in these classes occurred throughout the country. Although a causal relationship has not been established scientifically, it is certainly reasonable for parents to suspect and fear that by exposing psychologically immature students to information on death and suicide, students may tend to develop depression and hopelessness, which may contribute to reasons for committing suicide.

Drug-prevention education also became very popular in schools. However, in 1976, Dr. Richard Blum of Stanford University conducted a four-year study on a drug-prevention education course called Decide. The group that took the course had a weaker ability to resist drugs than the control group that did not take the course.

Between 1978 and 1985, professor Stephen Jurs conducted a research project comparing the rate of smoking and substance abuse among students who had taken a course called Quest and those who had not. The result showed that those who did not take the course maintained a steady or lowered rate of smoking and substance abuse. [38]

Neither death education nor drug-prevention education generated the expected outcome — so what was the real purpose? The purpose was to pollute children. Children are very curious, but have an immature moral foundation. New and strange content stimulates their curiosity and can lead them down a dark path. In the meantime, such education tends to desensitize students, making them view violence, pornography, terror, and moral decadence as simply normal parts of life. Their tolerance of evil increases in turn. The entire exercise is part of an evil use of art, violence, and pornography to bring about moral decline.

Pornographic Sex Education

Traditionally in both the East and the West, sex has been a taboo topic in public. According to both traditions, the divine established that sexual conduct must take place only within marriage. All other forms of sexual conduct are considered promiscuous and sinful, violating the divine standards of morality. This makes sex and marriage inseparable, and sex can’t be a matter of public discussion in a properly functioning society. In traditional society, the youth received only education in physiology, and there was no need for today’s sex education.

The modern concept of sex education was first introduced by Georg Lukács, founder of the Frankfurt School of social theory and philosophy. His purpose was to completely overturn traditional Western values. In 1919, Lukács was the people’s commissar for education and culture in the brief Hungarian Bolshevik regime. He developed a radical sex-education program that taught students “free love, sexual intercourse and how outdated marriage was.” [39]

The sexual revolution of the 1960s annihilated these traditional Western values. Sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy began to rise rapidly. In these circumstances, those who wanted to solve such social problems promoted sex education. But in the education system that had already deviated from traditional moral teachings, sex education instead emphasized safety (preventing disease and pregnancy) and was disconnected from marriage — thus following the Lukács model of sex education by ignoring all moral aspects of sex.

This form of education then became a tool for destroying youth. They were also exposed to the extramarital, promiscuous conduct of homosexuality, thus normalizing such behavior. The result of all this has been that the younger generation indulges in what they think is freedom, but what is in reality a path that turns away from divinely ordained standards. This sort of sex education from elementary school onward has already destroyed the traditional values of family, individual responsibility, love, chastity, a sense of shame, self control, loyalty, and more.

John Dewey’s “learning by doing” form of progressive education is a convenient tool for Marxists. The sex-education program Focus on Kids, widely promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends that teachers organize students to compete in a “condom race.” Each student must put a condom on an adult sex toy and then take it off. Whoever finishes fastest wins. [40]

Be Proud! Be Responsible! is another sex-education program endorsed by the CDC and promoted by Planned Parenthood and other educational organizations. The program requires students to role-play — for instance, two female students discussing safer sex. Student-centered instruction is another idea from progressivism. In this program, the teacher is instructed to ask students to brainstorm questions of intimacy with sexual partners. [41] To the majority of people who still have traditional values in their hearts, it is difficult to distinguish this supposed education from child pornography.

The main proponent of the program, Planned Parenthood, is the biggest provider of sex education and books in the United States. It has branches in twelve countries. It also promotes abortion rights. The group was formerly known as the American Birth Control League. Its founder, Margaret Sanger, was a progressive socialist who worshiped Stalin’s Russia and traveled there to pay her respects. She was also a strong proponent of the sexual liberation movement. She is on record as saying that extramarital affairs “really set me free.” [42] She holds the idea that females have the right to become single mothers, and even wrote to her 16-year-old granddaughter about sexual intercourse, saying “three times a day was about right.” [43] She established the Birth Control League because her promiscuous lifestyle required it. In the modern sex-education courses created by this organization, it is not difficult to see that sexual liberation finds its origins in communism.

It May Be ‘Perfectly Normal,’ But It’s Also Frequently Banned is a sex-education textbook that has been translated into thirty different languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. The book used close to one hundred cartoons of nudes to describe various normal and abnormal movements, feelings, and physical sensations of masturbation between opposite sexes and homosexuals, as well as birth control methods and abortion. The author claimed that children have the right to know all such information. [44] The main theme of the book is that this variety of sexual behavior is all “normal,” and that none should be subject to moral judgement.

In a widely used high school sex-education textbook, the author tells children that some religions believe that sex outside of marriage is sinful and says: “You will have to decide for yourself how important these messages are for you.” [45] To summarize in one sentence, this worldview basically says that all values are relative, and right or wrong is for children to decide for themselves.

Today’s American public schools have two basic types of sex-education classes. One type that’s strongly promoted by educational organizations was described earlier: the complete sex-education curriculum, which includes education on sexual behavior, birth control, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, and the like. The other type teaches young people to control their sexual desire, does not discuss birth control, and encourages the delay of sexual behavior until after marriage.

It is undeniable that social morality, especially general attitudes toward sex, have in general deviated far from traditional, faith-based morality. The media and the internet are flooded with pornographic content, all of which drags children to toward the edge of the abyss.

In today’s educational field controlled by atheism, most public schools that follow “value neutrality” don’t want or don’t dare to teach children that sex outside of marriage is disgraceful and immoral, nor do they teach children right from wrong based on traditional moral principles.

Sexual education is still a hot topic in society today. There are numerous arguments in different sectors of society around the issue of safety in sexual activity, which focuses on the teenage pregnancy rate and the rate of sexually transmitted diseases. However, the fact that schools are publicly teaching teenagers about sexual behavior will obviously increase sex outside of marriage, which violates traditional sexual morality. Even if there are no teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases, does that mean everything is fine when teenagers are promiscuous?

In Europe, where the sexual culture is even more lax than in the United States, the teenage pregnancy rate is half that of United States., due to “effective” sex education. Some people are delighted about this, while others are very worried. Regardless of these figures, with a decadent attitude toward sexual conduct in ascendence, communism will have achieved its goal of destroying human morality.

Self-Esteem and Egocentrism

Since the 1960s, a new dogma has been heavily promoted in the field of U.S. education, and it is responsible for a major downward slide in educational quality: This is the cult of “self-esteem.”

On its surface, self-esteem should refer to a feeling of confidence and self-respect that arises from one’s own abilities and accomplishments. However, the self-esteem promoted in U.S. schools is something completely different. In her book The Feel-Good Curriculum: The Dumbing Down of America’s Kids in the Name of Self-Esteem, Maureen Stout, Ph.D., writes about a very common phenomenon in current American schools: Students care about their grades, but don’t care about what they learned or how much effort they put in. To satisfy the students’ demands for better grades, teachers are forced to reduce the difficulty of exams and demands on students. But this only results in underperforming students putting in even less effort. The author’s colleagues seem accustomed to the phenomenon and are even of the belief that school should be like the womb — isolated from the outside world so students can gain emotional comfort but not intellectual development or resilience. The focus seems to be on students’ feelings, not in their overall growth. [46]

As many commentators have pointed out, the dogma of self-esteem confuses cause and effect. Self-esteem is the outcome of effort, not a precondition for success. In other words, feeling good does not lead to success, but one feels good after becoming successful.

This misconception of self-esteem is the by-product of the psychotherapeutic style of education ascendent since the 1960s. Psychotherapeutic education ended up indoctrinating a large number of young people with a sense of entitlement and victimhood. Dr. Stout delineates the common mindset in everyday language: “I want to do what I want, how I want and when I want, and nothing and on one is going to stop me.”

American education exaggerates the ideas of freedom and self-centeredness in the name of sentimental self-esteem. This style of education produces a generation of young people who don’t value morality and don’t assume responsibility. They care only about their own feelings rather than other people’s feelings. They pursue enjoyment but try to avoid effort, sacrifice, and suffering. This has wrought havoc on the morality of American society.

e. The Infiltration of Education

Control Over American Secondary and Elementary School Education

For a long while after the founding of the United States, the federal government was not involved in education. Education was up to the church and each state government to decide. The federal government established the Department of Education (ED) in 1979. The Department of Education’s jurisdiction has been enlarged ever since. Currently, the power ED has over educational strategies and allocation of education budgets by far surpasses the power it used to have. Parents, school districts, and state governments, which used to have a greater say about education, are increasingly compelled to take orders from federal government officials. Parents and school districts have gradually lost their power to decide what gets to be taught and how to teach it at schools.

Power is neutral — those who wield it can do either good or bad. Centralization of power in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a matter of how the person or institution uses its power and what its goals are. The centralization of power in American education is a major issue because Marxism has infiltrated all levels of government agencies, especially the central bureaucracy. Under such circumstances, once a wrong decision is made, the impact is extensive, and a few clear-headed individuals cannot simply reverse it themselves.

As explained by B. K. Eakman, one of the results from the centralization of power in American education is that the officials in charge of education cannot, over a short time span, see how their educational strategies develop historically and how great an impact they can create over a longer period. Many people deal with a limited scope of affairs. Although some events may raise doubts, most people do not have the time, energy, resources, or courage to investigate for themselves. Even if their suspicions are aroused in some cases, without other pieces of the puzzle, they can do little more than obey what they’re told by their supervisors. Everyone thus becomes a part of a gigantic machine. It is difficult for them to see the consequences of their decisions on students and society, and as a result, their moral accountability is attenuated. [48] Communism can take advantage of the weaknesses in this system and break down society’s defenses one by one.

Moreover, teacher’s colleges, publishing houses, educational accreditation organizations, and teacher-accreditation institutions have decisive impacts on education, and therefore all become targets of infiltration.

The Role of Teachers’ Unions

Chapter Nine of this book discusses how communism manipulates and utilizes unions. Teachers’ unions have become one of the key reasons for the failure of American education. These unions do not care about raising the quality of education. They have become professional organizations that award failure, protect incompetence, and sacrifice conscientious teachers who aspire to make a contribution in their career and who truly dedicate themselves to teaching students.

Tracey Bailey is a science teacher in a senior high school and the 1993 National Teacher of the Year Award winner. [49] At that time, the chief of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) said he was pleased that a union member had won this prestigious honor. However, the truth is that Bailey was no longer an AFT member. Bailey believed that big teachers’ unions are exactly the reason for the failure of American public education and were part of the problem rather than the solution. He holds that unions are simply a special interest group protecting the status quo and a pillar of a system that awards mediocrity and incompetence. [50]

Major American teachers’ unions have adequate funds and immense influence, and are ranked as one of the most important political lobby groups in the country. Teachers’ unions have become the primary obstacle that hinders benign reform within the education system. Looking at the California Teachers Association (CTA) under the AFT as an example, CTA has huge funds from its members, which it can use for legislation and political donation. In 1991, California sought to insert Proposition 174 in its state constitution, allowing families to use school vouchers provided by the state government so that families would be able to choose their own schools for their children. However, the CTA blocked Proposition 174 and even forced a school to revoke its commercial contract with a hamburger franchise that had donated $25,000 toward the proposition. [51]

The Exclusion of Family Influence in Children’s Education

Another key goal of communism is the removal of the child from his parents as soon as he is born, and having the community or nation raise the child. This is not an easy feat, but things have been quietly moving in this direction.

In communist countries, students are encouraged to sever their relationship with parents of the bourgeoisie class. In addition, the time students spend in school is extended by means of an exam-centric education, so as to reduce the impact of parents on their children. In Western countries, different approaches are used to exclude the influence of the family in the education of children. This includes maximizing students’ school time, reducing the age requirement for children to attend school, preventing students from taking textbooks and study materials home, and discouraging students from sharing controversial topics they learned in class with their parents.

Courses such as Value Clarification attempt to separate students from their parents. A parent of a student taking the Quest class commented: “It seemed as if the parents were always put in a bad light. The story would be about a father and his son, say; and the father was always overbearing, always too strict, always unfair.” Oftentimes the subtext of these courses is that your parents don’t understand you, but we do. [52]

Sometimes due to legal requirements, students must first obtain parental consent before they can participate in certain activities. On such occasions, teachers or the school administrative staff often use misleading and ambiguous words to make it very difficult for parents to know the detail of what they’re agreeing to. If parents complain, school authorities or the school district have methods to deal with the complaint: procrastinating, shirking responsibility, or going through the motions. For example, they might say that parents do not have the professional knowledge of education, that other school districts are doing the same thing, that only your family is complaining, and so on.

Most parents don’t have the time or resources to engage in a prolonged argument with the school or school district. Moreover, when the student grows up in a few years, he will leave the school. Parents will generally choose to keep things quiet. Yet in the meantime, the child is almost held hostage by the school, and parents don’t dare to offend the school authorities. They have no choice but to refrain from protesting. When parents do protest against school practices, school authorities may label them as extremists, troublemakers, religious bigots, fanatics, fascists, and the like. By doing so, school authorities deter other parents from voicing an objection. [53]

Misleading and Obscure Education Jargon

We previously quoted Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt’s book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America. Iserbyt pointed out the problem at the beginning of her book:

The reason Americans do not understand this war is because it has been fought in secret — in the schools of our nation, targeting our children who are captive in classrooms. The wagers of this war are using very sophisticated and effective tools: 
• Hegelian dialectic (common ground, consensus, and compromise) 
• Gradualism (two steps forward, one step backward) 
• Semantic deception (redefining terms to get agreement without understanding).

Phillis Schlafly also wrote about this phenomenon. In the foreword to her book Child Abuse in the Classroom, she said that psychotherapy classes use a set of special terms to prevent parents from understanding the true purpose and method of such courses. These terms include behavior modification, higher-order critical thinking, moral reasoning, and so on. [54]

For decades, American educators have created a dazzling array of terms such as constructivism, cooperative learning, experiential learning, deep understanding, problem-solving, inquiry-based and outcome-based education, personalized learning, conceptual understanding, procedural skills, lifelong learning, student-teacher interactive instruction, and so on. There are too many to list. On the one hand, some concepts appear reasonable, but investigation into the context of the terms and what they lead to reveals that their purpose is to discredit traditional education and promote dumbing down in education. They are examples of Aesopian or Orwellian language, whereby the key to interpretation is to turn the meanings inside out. [55]

Large-Scale Changes to Subjects and Textbooks

None Dare Call It Treason, published in the 1960s, analyzes the textbook reform program of the 1930s. This reform combined content from different disciplines, such as history, geography, sociology, economics, and political science, into a set of textbooks. This set of books abandoned the content, value system, and way of codifying traditional textbooks. “So pronounced was the anti-religious bias; so open was the propaganda for socialistic control of men’s lives,” [56] that the textbooks downgraded American heroes and the U. S. Constitution.

This set of textbooks was very large and did not fall within the scope of any traditional discipline; therefore, experts in various disciplines did not pay much attention to it. Many years later, when the public realized the problem and began to oppose it, five million students had already been brought up on such materials. Nowadays, in the primary and secondary schools in the United States, history, geography, civics, and so on fall into the category of “social studies,” and the idea behind them is the same.

If the changes to textbooks had been transparent, they would have been questioned and resisted by experts and parents. The newly edited textbooks, which mix several subjects together, don’t belong to any clear subject taxonomy, so experts have difficulty judging the content beyond their own profession, making it relatively easy for textbooks to pass a review and be accepted by a school district and society.

After ten or twenty years, some people may see the conspiracy behind this set of textbooks. However, when they are ready to speak up, students have grown up, and teachers have become accustomed to the new textbooks and teaching methods. Then it is impossible to change the textbooks back to their traditional form. Even if a small number of people realize the serious flaws of the textbooks, their voices aren’t heard by the public, and they are less likely to affect the decision-making processes. If opposing voices are louder, it is an opportunity to launch the next round of reforms, further diluting traditional content and inserting leftist ideas. After several rounds of reforms, the new generation of students is then separated from tradition, making it almost impossible to go back.

The updates made to American textbooks were done very quickly. Some say it’s because knowledge has grown at an accelerating rate. However, in fact, the basic knowledge to be gained in primary and secondary school does not change much. So why have there been so many different textbooks published and continuously reprinted? The surface reason is that publishers compete with each other. Superficially, in order to pursue profits, they don’t want students to repeatedly use the same set of textbooks for many years, but at a deeper level, just like the reorganization of textbook content, the process has been used to distort the teaching materials for the next generation.

Education Reform: A Dialectic Struggle

Since the 1950s and 1960s, American education has seen a series of reforms. But these reforms did not bring expected improvements in the quality of education. In 1981, American students’ SAT scores reached a record low, triggering the publication of the report A Nation at Risk and the “back to basics” movement in education. In order to change the embarrassing circumstances of education in the United States, several governments since the 1990s have successively launched large-scale educational reforms — but they have had little effect. Not only did they not help, but they also brought problems more difficult to solve. [57]

We believe that most people involved in education reform sincerely want to do good things for students and society, but because of the influence of various wrong thoughts, their intentions often backfire. The result of many of these reforms end up promoting communist ideas. Just like reforms in other fields, the infiltration through educational reform doesn’t need to win everything in one battle. The success of a reform is not its goal. In fact, every reform is doomed to fail at the beginning of its design in order to provide an excuse for the next reform. Every reform is a deeper deviation, each making people more alienated from tradition. This is the dialectic of struggle — one step back and then two forward. In this manner, people won’t regret the collapse of tradition, but will instead wonder: Tradition, what does that mean?

3. The Goal: Destroying Education in the East and West

With the aim of corrupting education in the West, communism can wait hundreds of years if necessary and achieve its goal over generations of change through progressive education. China has 5,000 years of profound cultural traditions. However, owing to specific historical conditions at the time the communists came to power, they were able to use the Chinese people’s mentality of quick success and instant benefit. This induced the Chinese people to adopt radical means that rapidly separated them from tradition in a matter of decades. In this manner, communism achieved its goal of corrupting education and humanity in China.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, when Dewey’s progressive education began to corrode the United States, his ethnic Chinese followers returned to China and became pioneers of modern Chinese education. British cannons had destroyed the self-esteem of the Chinese people, and the intellectuals were eager to find a way to strengthen the nation. The communists exploited these conditions to set off a so-called New Culture Movement that repudiated China’s traditions.

The movement attacked culture and was a rehearsal of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. The New Culture Movement has three main representatives: Dewey’s disciple, Hu Shi; Chen Duxiu, one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party; and Lu Xun, who was later praised by Mao Zedong as “the chief commander of China’s cultural revolution.” Li Dazhao, another founder of the Chinese Communist Party, also adopted an important role in the cultural movement of the later period.

Criticizing China for the faults of its traditional path of development, the New Culture Movement attributed China’s accumulated weakness over the past hundred years to traditional Confucian culture and advocated abolishing Confucianism. Traditional culture was viewed as “old culture,” while all Western culture was treated as new. Traditional beliefs were criticized for not adhering to the ideas of science and democracy. This movement was the forerunner to the heated May Fourth movement, and started the first wave of thorough subversion of traditional ethics and values. At the same time, it laid the foundation for Marxism to invade China from the West, allowing it to take root, sprout, and grow.

In education, among the greatest harm wrought by the New Culture Movement was the campaign to promote the vernacularization of written Chinese. As advocated by Hu Shi, Chinese-language education in primary schools was changed to the teaching of vernacular written Chinese. As a result, after one generation, the majority of Chinese people were hardly able to read and understand classical Chinese. This meant that The Book of Changes, the Spring and Autumn AnnalsDao De JingYellow Emperor’s Inner Classic (Huangdi Neijing), and other traditional books were now inaccessible to the ordinary student. Instead, they were treated as esoteric content for the specialized research of scholars. China’s 5,000 years of glorious civilization was turned into mere decoration.

In the development of Chinese culture, it was divinely arranged that the written classical Chinese language be separated from the spoken language. In China, over the course of history, there have been many large-scale assimilations of different ethnic groups and multiple relocations of China’s cultural center of gravity, thus the spoken language was constantly changing. But due to the separation between the spoken language and classical Chinese used in writing, classical Chinese remained largely unchanged. Qing Dynasty students could still read and understand Song Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, and even pre-Qin Dynasty classics. This allowed traditional Chinese culture and literature to be transmitted unbroken over thousands of years.

However, communism caused the Chinese people to sever their cultural roots through the language. At the same time, by combining the written language with the spoken language, it became easier to mix in deviant words and phrases, thus pushing the Chinese people yet further away from tradition.

The literacy campaigns and popularization of culture in elementary education that were undertaken by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) before and after its establishment subjected their captive audience to direct and explicit brainwashing. For instance, the first few phrases learned by students in literacy classes and the first year of primary school were propaganda like “long live Chairman Mao,” “the evil old society,” and “evil American imperialism,” phrases that fully exemplify the clear hate-based class struggle ethos the Party demanded.

Compared with deviant ideas that progressive education mixes into children’s books (like Heather Has Two Mommies), although the two movements differ starkly in method, they are both essentially a form of ideological indoctrination imposed on the young. Chinese children who are educated in this way grow up to defend the CCP’s tyrannical regime of their own initiative, vilifying and lambasting people who talk about universal values. Children educated in the Western environment grow up to be part of the angry student mobs that prevent speakers from talking about traditional values and accuse them of discrimination.

Not long after the CCP established its regime, it began its thought-reform campaign against intellectuals, focusing on university campuses and high schools. Its main objective was to reform intellectuals’ perspectives on life, force them to forsake traditional moral principles, and give up the philosophy of first improving oneself, then extending that to one’s family, state, and the world. It used a Marxist class-based view of the world and life, from the perspective of the proletariat class.

Professors of the old generation, in particular, have to repeatedly criticize themselves, confess, and accept being informed on, monitored, and criticized by their colleagues and students. They were even made to acknowledge and eliminate “counter-revolutionary thoughts” in their own subconscious minds, which were called aggressions against the proletariat class. Of course, this was much more intense than the sensitivity training of today. Some were unable to take the humiliation and stress and committed suicide. [58]

Subsequently, the CCP began adjusting faculty and departments in universities. It greatly diminished, merged, or eliminated departments like philosophy, sociology, and those related to the humanities, leaving many comprehensive universities with only Soviet-style science and engineering faculties. This was because the CCP was unable to tolerate the threat to its tyrannical rule from any independent ideological perspectives on politics and social issues. These were associated with the humanities-related faculties, which had academic freedom in the days of the Republic of China. At the same time, Marxist politics and philosophy were made mandatory for all students. The entire process was completed within two to three years. In the West, communism took an entire generation to establish new disciplines with the aim of ideological indoctrination and the injection of Marxist thought into universities. Although the speed differed greatly between the two, they achieved similar results.

In 1958, the CCP started its education revolution, which had the following notable features: Firstly, education was emphasized as a tool that should be used in service of the proletariat. Under the leadership of the Party Committee, students were organized to prepare the curricula and teaching materials. In the Chinese language department of Peking University, sixty students spent thirty days to write a 700,000-character treatise called the History of Chinese Literature. [59]

This fully exemplified what progressive education was about: The teaching methods should be “student-centric,” focused on “exploratory learning” and “cooperative learning” — that is, what to learn and how to learn it were all to be discussed and decided by the students themselves. The objective was clear — eliminating “superstitious beliefs” in authority figures (which was meant to instill an attitude opposed to tradition), magnifying students’ self-centeredness, and laying the foundation for rebellion during the Cultural Revolution to come.

Secondly, the union of education and productive labor was to be emphasized. Every school had its own factory, and during the height of the Great Leap Forward, teachers and students smelted steel and tilled the land. Even a university that had previously focused on social disciplines, like Renmin University of China, operated 108 factories. In name, this was to let students “learn by doing,” but in fact students learned nothing.

In the subsequent Cultural Revolution, students were mobilized to destroy all forms of cultural heritage associated with traditional culture, be they tangible or intangible (see Chapter Six for details). This again echoes the counterculture movement that took place in the West. After the Cultural Revolution started, Mao Zedong felt that the situation of “bourgeois intellectuals” ruling the schools should not continue. On June 13, 1966, the CCP issued a notice to reform university admissions and started the “corrective action campaign”: University entrance exams were abolished, and large numbers of “worker-peasant-soldier” students were enrolled.

The film Breaking With Old Ideas, produced during the Cultural Revolution, reflected the reason for this reform: “A youth who grew up in a poor farm is not sufficiently literate, but the calluses on his hands from hard farm work qualify him for enrolment.” A school principal said: “Can you blame us for their low level of literacy? No! This debt should be settled with the Nationalists, the landowners, and the capitalist class [the oppressors]!”

In the West, there was a professor who published a paper claiming that mathematics exams lead to racial discrimination (because students of certain ethnic minority groups have lower math scores compared to white students). [60] Another professor published a paper that said math standards based on the higher scores achieved by male students leads to gender discrimination against females when they are held to the same standard. [61] Qualifying students for the university level based on the calluses they have and attributing lower math scores to racial and gender discrimination are all methods that communism uses to dumb down students and stunt their intellectual growth.

After the Cultural Revolution, China resumed its university entrance examination. From then on, this exam has become a key part of the education system and the ultimate objective of primary and high school education. Under this utilitarian education system, many students became machines that learned only how to pass exams, without the ability to think independently for themselves or to distinguish right from wrong. At the same time, Marxist philosophy, politics, and economics have stubbornly remained mandatory exam subjects.

In the minds of students who are cut off from tradition, right and wrong and good and evil are all evaluated according to communist standards: Thus after the 9/11 terrorist attack occurred, many students cheered. Primary school students declare that they want to become corrupt officials when they grow up. University students prostitute themselves and become surrogate mothers for cash. Communism has hijacked the younger generation.

Conclusion: Returning to Traditional Education

The education system shoulders the future of a country, a nation, and human civilization. It is a long-term endeavor whose impact extends through centuries or even millennia. Looking back at the past one hundred years, the American education system has all but been broken by the infiltration and influence of communist ideology. Parents and teachers have had their hands tied and cannot give students a good education. Schools, which should have cultivated students’ talent, have instead indulged them and led them astray. The whole society is deeply worried about students’ lack of morality, low skill level, fragile psychologies, and bad habits, as well as the chaotic, anti-traditional and anti-social trends they’re caught up in. This is to witness the forces of evil devouring the descendants and the future of mankind.

Among the forty-five goals listed in the 1958 classic The Naked Communist, the goals for education are the following: “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.” [62]

Looking at American education, these goals have not only been achieved, but the situation has also become worse. Due to the political and economic strength of the United States, American culture is the object of admiration and emulation by countries around the world. Most countries use the United States as a model for educational reform. American teaching concepts, teaching materials, teaching methods, and school-management practices have affected many countries. So to a certain extent, changing American education is tantamount to changing education around the world.

Both at the beginning of Creation and when human civilization is corrupted, there are enlightened beings or saints born. These enlightened beings or saints are precisely a group of people known as “teachers.” For example Socrates, the founder of the ancient Greek civilization, was an educator. In the Gospels, Jesus also called himself a teacher. Sakyamuni Buddha has ten names, one of which is “the teacher of heaven and man.” Confucius was an educator, and Lao Zi was the teacher of Confucius. They tell people how to be human, how to respect God, how to get along with others, and how morality may be improved.

These enlightened beings and saints are the greatest educators of mankind. Their words shaped the major civilizations and became fundamental classics of all civilizations. The values they teach and the ways they go about improving morality allow each individual to achieve spiritual transcendence and health. Individuals with healthy minds are essential to social health. It is no wonder that these greatest educators have come to a similar conclusion: The purpose of education is the cultivation of good character.

Eastern and Western classical education, which has been practiced for thousands of years, inherits the culture that God has given to people and retains such precious experiences and resources. According to the spirit of classical education, both talent and integrity are important criteria for judging the success of education. In the process of reviving the tradition of human education, the treasure of classical education is worthy of preservation, exploration, and learning.

People with high moral values are capable of self-governing. This is the social norm that the American Founding Fathers hoped for. Those who are morally noble will receive God’s blessings, and through diligence and wisdom, will obtain material abundance and spiritual satisfaction. More importantly, people with high morality allow society to proliferate and last for generations. This is the revelation of enlightened beings and saints, the greatest educators of mankind, for how today’s people may return to tradition.

References

[1] A Nation at Risk, https://www2.ed.gov/pubs/NatAtRisk/risk.html.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Mark Bauerlein, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2008), Chapter One.

[4] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling (Gabriola Island, BC, Candda: New Society Publishers, 2005), 12.

[5] Charles J. Sykes, Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good about Themselves but Can’t Read, Write, or Add (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1995), 148–9.

[6] Thomas Sowell, Inside American Education (New York: The Free Press, 1993), 4.

[7] Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: A Chronological Paper Trail (Ravenna, Ohio: Conscience Press, 1999), xvii.

[8] Robin S. Eubanks, Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon (invisibleserfscollar.com, 2013), 48.

[9] Ibid., 49.

[10] Ibid., 45–46.

[11] “Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries,” Human Events, May 31, 2005, http://humanevents.com/2005/05/31/ten-most-harmful-books-of-the-19th-and-20th-centuries/.

[12] Mortimer Smith, And Madly Teach: A Layman Looks at Public School Education (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1949). See also: Arthur Bestor, Educational Wastelands: The Retreat from Learning in Our Public Schools, 2nd ed. (ChampaignIllinois: University of Illinois Press, 1985).

[13] John A. Stormer, None Dare Call It Treason (Florissant, Missouri: Liberty Bell Press, 1964), 99.

[14] I. L. Kandel, “Prejudice the Garden toward Roses?” The American Scholar, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Winter 1938–1939), 77.

[15] Christopher Turner, “A Conversation about Happiness, Review – A Childhood at Summerhill,” The Guardian, March 28, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/28/conversation-happiness-summerhill-school-review-mikey-cuddihy.

[16] Alexander Neil, Summerhill School: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing (New York: Hart Publishing Company, 1960), Chapter 3.

[17] Ibid., Chapter 7.

[18] Joanne Lipman, “Why Tough Teachers Get Good Results,” The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2013, https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-tough-teachers-get-good-results-1380323772.

[19] Daisy Christodoulou, Seven Myths about Education (London: Routledge, 2014).

[20] Diane West, The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing down Western Civilization (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008), 1–2.

[21] Fred Schwartz and David Noebel, You Can Still Trust the Communists… to Be Communists (Socialists and Progressives too) (Manitou Springs, CO: Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, 2010), back cover.

[22] Stein v. Oshinsky, 1965; Collins v. Chandler Unified School District, 1981.

[23] John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education: A Schoolteacher’s Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling (The Odysseus Group, 2000), Chapter 14.

[24] Diane Ravitch, “Education after the Culture Wars,” Dædalus 131, no. 3 (Summer 2002), 5–21.

[25] Steven Jacobson, Mind Control in the United States (1985), 16, https://archive.org/details/pdfy-6IKtdfWsaYpENGlz.

[26] “Inside a Public School Social Justice Factory,” The Weekly Standard, February 1, 2018, https://www.weeklystandard.com/katherine-kersten/inside-a-public-school-social-justice-factory.

[27] History Social-Science Framework (Adopted by the California State Board of Education, July 2016, published by the California Department of Education, Sacramento, 2017), 431, https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/cf/documents/hssfwchapter16.pdf.

[28] Ibid., p. 391.

[29] Stanley Kurtz, “Will California’s Leftist K-12 Curriculum Go National?” National Review, June 1, 2016, https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/will-californias-leftist-k-12-curriculum-go-national/.

[30] Phyllis Schlafly, ed., Child Abuse in the Classroom (Alton, Illinois: Pere Marquette Press, 1984), 13.

[31] Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966), 35.

[32] B. K. Eakman, Cloning of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality through Education (Lafayette, Louisiana: Huntington House Publishers, 1998), 109.

[33] William Kilpatrick, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong and What We Can Do about It (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), 16–17.

[34] Thomas Sowell, Inside American Education: The Decline, the Deception, the Dogmas (New York: The Free Press, 1993), 36.

[35] Ibid., Chapter 3.

[36] “Death in the Classroom,” 20/20, ABC Network, September 21, 1990, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbiY6Fz6Few.

[37] Sowell, Inside American Education: The Decline, the Deception, the Dogmas, 38.

[38] Kilpatrick, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong and What We Can Do about It, 32.

[39] “We Teach Children Sex … Then Wonder Why They Have It,” Daily Mail, August 1, 2004, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-312383/We-teach-children-sex–wonder-it.html.

[40] “Focus on Youth with ImPACT: Participant’s Manual,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://effectiveinterventions.cdc.gov/docs/default-source/foy-implementation-materials/FOY_Participant_Manual.pdf?sfvrsn=0.

[41] Robert Rector, “When Sex Ed Becomes Porn 101,” The Heritage Foundation, August 27, 2003, https://www.heritage.org/education/commentary/when-sex-ed-becomes-porn-101.

[42] Norman K. Risjord, Populists and Progressives (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), 267.

[43] Madeline Gray, Margaret Sanger (New York: Richard Marek Publishers, 1979), 227–228.

[44] Rebecca Hersher, “It May Be ‘Perfectly Normal,’ But It’s Also Frequently Banned,” National Public Radio, September 21, 2014, https://www.npr.org/2014/09/21/350366435/it-may-be-perfectly-normal-but-its-also-frequently-banned.

[45] Kilpatrick, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong and What We Can Do about It, 53.

[46] Maureen Stout, The Feel-Good Curriculum: The Dumbing Down of America’s Kids in the Name of Self-Esteem (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Publishing, 2000), 1–3.

[47] Ibid., 17.

[48] B. K. Eakman, Educating for the ‘New World Order’ (Portland, Oregon: Halcyon House, 1991), 129.

[49] “Teacher of the Year Ceremony,” C-Span, https://www.c-span.org/video/?39846-1/teacher-year-ceremony

[50] Sol Stern, “How Teachers’ Unions Handcuff Schools,” The City Journal, Spring 1997, https://www.city-journal.org/html/how-teachers%E2%80%99-unions-handcuff-schools-12102.html.

[51] Troy Senik, “The Worst Union in America: How the California Teachers Association Betrayed the Schools and Crippled the State,” The City Journal, Spring 2012, https://www.city-journal.org/html/worst-union-america-13470.html.

[52] Kilpatrick, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong and What We Can Do about It, 39.

[53] Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman, Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children(Washington D. C.: WND Books, 2015), Chapter 14.

[54] Schlafly, Child Abuse in the Classroom, 14.

[55] Valerie Strauss, “A serious Rant about Education Jargon and How It Hurts Efforts to Improve Schools,” Washington Post, November 11, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/11/a-serious-rant-about-education-jargon-and-how-it-hurts-efforts-to-improve-schools/?utm_term=.8ab3d85e9e45.

[56] Stormer, None Dare Call It Treason, 104–106.

[57] Regarding the criticism of “common core,” see Duke Pesta, “Duke Pesta on Common Core – Six Years Later,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyRr6nBEnz4, and Diane Ravitch, “The Common Core Costs Billions and Hurts Students,” New York Times, July 23, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/24/opinion/sunday/the-common-core-costs-billions-and-hurts-students.html.

[58] There are many such cases. For examples, readers to refer to Zhou Jingwen, Ten Years of Storm: The True Face of China’s Red Regime [風暴十年:中國紅色政權的真面貌], (Hong Kong: shi dai pi ping she [時代批評社], 1962). Web version available in Chinese at https://www.marxists.org/chinese/reference-books/zjw1959/06.htm#2

[59] Luo Pinghan, “The Educational Revolution of 1958,” Literature History of the Communist Party, Vol. 34

[60] Robert Gearty, “White Privilege Bolstered by Teaching Math, University Professor Says,” Fox News, October 24, 2017, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/24/white-privilege-bolstered-by-teaching-math-university-professor-says.html.

[61] Toni Airaksinen, “Prof Complains about ‘Masculinization of Mathematics,’” Campus Reform, August 24, 2017, https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=9544.

[62] W. Cleon Skousen, The Naked Communist (Salt Lake City: Izzard Ink Publishing, 1958, 2014), Chapter 12.

[“Source-theepochtimes”]

Related posts