Friday, December 11, 2009

On teaching the education establishment Communist democratic ideals

"[V]erbatim notes from the required course, Education 200Fa, Foundations of Education, given at Teachers College, Columbia University:
  1. Democracy is not a form of government (the idea that the United States of America is a Republic was ridiculed). Democracy is a way of living, a social panacea. The all-inclusive definition of "democracy" given in this course defined, not American democracy, but Communist democracy.
  2. "You won't get democracy," said Professor Rugg, "until you change the economic base."
  3. The capitalists waste and exploit and their only desire is for profits. Individually operated business enterprises must go and our economy must be "planned" for us by the central government.
  4. Private property now means "use for all the people."
  5. There must be redistribution of wealth as, for example, by governmental deficit financing. Since some of our national income is held by people who do not spend it, the "government has to step in and spend it for them."
  6. The agencies of communications (press, radio, TV, etc.) must be controlled by these believers in "democracy." Professor Rugg: "If you control these you can raise a barrier between people and other sets of ideas."
  7. A plan for full employment (such as the Beveridge plan) would comprise government control of housing, fuel and food, control and regulation of all private industry, extension of public industry, full production by spending, and complete organization and mobility of labor.
  8. The United States Senate is a bottleneck to worldwide economic planning.
  9. The prejudice against negroes in the United States is "fraught with the greatest threat to our national life."
  10. Ideas and values in American life are happily "changing." Such items as moral values and the "changing role of government" were stressed.
  11. Education must be based on "our changing world" and the four curricular areas should be: Work (vocational), Health, Leisure, and Creative Activities. Education must be directed toward producing the kind of men and women they (Teachers Colleges) want. Some of the means at hand are sociology, psychology and expressions of art which have a "social message." Youth must be given a "sense of indubitable obligations."
  12. Education of the last generation was inadequate because it was standardized (a child in a particular grade moving to another community would find the same work going on); it was inadequate because there was too much stress on the past rather than being "an enterprise in living"; it was inadequate because "discipline and control were imposed by the teacher," "order and quiet were imposed by command," the goal was "a gentleman educated in the classics," and control was "in the hands of the upper classes."
 -- Jones, K., and Olivier, R. (1956). Progressive Education is REDucation. Boston: Meador Publishing Company

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