Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Forum - Perennial Ideas and Debates that cross societal/time boundaries


View Poll Results: Are Public Schools Designed to be Propaganda Systems to Indoctrinate the Young?
Yes 9 34.62%
No 11 42.31%
Other 6 23.08%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 1st, 2018, 04:22 PM   #11

Dan Howard's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2014
From: Australia
Posts: 2,603

Already did. See above.
Dan Howard is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 1st, 2018, 04:34 PM   #12

xMathFanx's Avatar
Academician
 
Joined: Dec 2017
From: USA
Posts: 95

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Howard View Post
Already did. See above.
Everything you stated was orthogonal to my post (and Chomsky's main point in the video provided) for which this thread is based around. Have you read my post? I can only address the issues you sited within the context of the arguments I made, which has yet to be engaged with. I will happily respond to you at length if you first refine your line of questioning as it correlates to the aforementioned arguments/perspective submitted.
xMathFanx is offline  
Old January 1st, 2018, 05:11 PM   #13

YouLoveMeYouKnowIt's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2013
From: Canada
Posts: 3,931

The word "propaganda" and "indoctrinate" are unfairly taken as inherently negative. Teaching kids to be respectful towards others, to love one's own country, to oppose racism, to treat men and women as equals or smoking is bad are all examples of indoctrination at youth. Most people will support religiously forcing ideas such as premarital unprotected sex is bad, stealing is wrong (and if you do it, you better apologize and return it to whoever you stole it from), teenage pregnancy and parenthood is mostly bad, free speech and democracy are to be protected, etc... down children's throats. These are all examples of indoctrination and propaganda.
YouLoveMeYouKnowIt is online now  
Old January 1st, 2018, 05:26 PM   #14

Fox's Avatar
Fox
散木
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Korea
Posts: 3,606

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Howard View Post
What is the difference between "indoctrination" and encouraging personality traits that society sees as beneficial?
Indoctrination is the impressment of an ideology or principle upon the mind of another; for something to be indoctrination, there really must be distinct informational content being pushed. For example, the Island of Dokdo is currently controlled by Korea, yet that ownership is contested by the Japanese. Korean children are taught about Dokdo, and the idea that, "Dokdo is our land," is impressed upon them fairly openly and aggressively. That's indoctrination: they are in essence taught that there is one side to the issue, and that they should believe that one side. By contrast, personality traits are more general in character. Compassion could be fairly said to be a personality trait, yet two compassionate people will not necessarily reach the same conclusion on any given topic, and even two compassionate people who do reach the same conclusion on a given topic might be motivated to respond differently. The two seem almost opposite in a way: indoctrination demands a certain view or position be adopted, while the cultivation of personality traits inclined ones in a general direction while still leaving much scope for natural variation. It does not seem especially controversial that someone might object to the former while encouraging the latter, depending on the results they desired. "Violence is never the answer," is probably closer to indoctrination than personality cultivation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Howard View Post
Should a school not try and teach kids that using violence to solve problems will not benefit them? Why can't a school encourage behaviour that facilitates the smooth running of the school itself?
Sometimes violence might solve problems, though, and sometimes "violence" (as in "rough housing") is not necessarily a problem at all, but rather, a natural expression of character which can lead to bonding, enjoyment, and self-discovery. When I was in elementary school, a few boys and I used to play fight on the playground at times. That was tolerated then, but would not be now as far as I understand it (in fact, I remember reading an article where a student faced disciplinary proceedings under a "zero tolerance policy" for "threatening" another student with the One Ring). Even now I can imagine how alienated I would have felt had a teacher attempted to impose herself between us and put an end to our fun out of her own neurotic concerns.

Something about your question asking, "Why can't a school encourage behaviour that facilitates the smooth running of the school itself?" strikes me. Firstly, it's exactly the sort of question I can imagine a school administrator asking. Secondly, it's not always clear how the behavior being encouraged "facilitates the smooth running of the school itself." Children not being allowed to enjoy themselves during recess in a fashion that harms no one has little to do with "the smooth running of the school itself." And if we move from behavior and back to ideology to link back to "indoctrination," then the question only becomes more confused. For example, there are cases of transgender ideology being pushed in the classroom, and far from "facilitat[ing] the smooth running of the school itself," they seemed to introduce an impediment due to the responses of some children and parents. Whatever the reason for pushing such ideas in class, it cannot be "facilitat[ing] the smooth running of the school itself." A genuine promotion of compassion and kindness should logically pay dividends when it comes to future potential interactions with other people, including transgender people; that's the cultivation of personality traits, and does not require the mention of any particular group. By contrast, pushing specific ideologically-grounded ideas is probably fairly called "indoctrination," as it's fixated on impressing a very specific ideological position upon children, even at the expense of "facilitat[ing] the smooth running of the school itself."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Howard View Post
Should the school allow a bunch of kids that belong to a majority social class to torment and torture a member of a minority? If not, then what methods are appropriate for the school to use to discourage this behaviour? Which of these methods would you consider to be "indoctrination".
What's wrong with simply focusing on harm done? When, "A bunch of kinds that belong to a majority social class torment and torture a member of a minority," the problem is not that one group is "the majority" and the other is "a minority," but rather, that they are tormenting and torturing another human being. That can be addressed through appeals to general personality traits without delving into identity, and what's more, it can probably be addressed more effectively in such terms. In fact, the aggressive fixation on identity at the expense of general humanity is probably an exacerbating factor, which is part of why "indoctrination" could be seen as less desirable than "encouraging personality traits."

Ultimately, the question is, "What do we want from our school system?" Do we want our school system to be a machine for producing children who will repeat on command whatever ideological propositions were fashionable when they were young? If so, "indoctrination" is the correct approach. By contrast, if we want children who are capable of reasoning out the world for themselves, then focusing on a combination of the cultivation of positive general personality traits and liberal reasoning skills at the expense of concrete ideological propositions would be wiser. For my own children, I'll be pursuing the latter to the extent possible.
Fox is online now  
Old January 1st, 2018, 06:17 PM   #15

Eye of Woland's Avatar
Archivist
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: UK
Posts: 214

Quote:
Originally Posted by xMathFanx View Post
The largest issue (as I see it) is that people who respect intellectualism/independent creativity are in the extreme minority
This really depends on how you define intellectualism.

Intellectuals & creative people need a sense of uniqueness to go against the grain, examining boundaries & challenging common beliefs from a unique perspective you can't find from the mainstream point of view. If intellectualism became mainstream you'd just get a whole new bunch of creative people who wish to break free of the new "intellectual" mainstream , thus giving birth to a new group of independently creative people who buck the trend.


Quote:
The scenario I described above, concerning the father, is firmly inside of what I often refer to as the Mammal Snow Globe World that most adults inhabit (and have tacitly agreed with each other not to "shake up"). In order to not shake up the Snow Globe, the adults are forced to subject their children to a Perpetual Firehose of Bullsh't or else (if the children found out any deep truths about ourselves and/or the Universe which have been discovered thus far) they would be bound to break free of the confinement.
Maybe there are other benefits to being in the Snow Globe, like feeling safe & secure, which outweighs the potential risk of taking the red pill. When it comes to children, I'd imagine most parents would adopt a "safety first" policy, hence not wanting their child to break free into the harsh unforgiving world they know too well.

Quote:
As of right now, the education system is so bad and the adults are so oblivious/stupid/ignorant/arrogant that they can't even let the kids come in to school and watch credible lectures, documentaries, OpenCourseware or point them in the right direction with people to look up, book recommendations, the fundamental questions that any given topic is exploring , ect. The kids would be naturally drawn to this information if they were exposed to it, they simply are not exposed to it because there is an obscurantism at work that is pervasive in our society (and world wide). Instead, in the current system, children growing up through their teenage years into young adulthood are subjected to a Perpetual Firehose of Bullsh't through the "education" system and the "mature" adults in our societies.
Even if kids were exposed to more information & given more options to explore a future career, they might not have the money or resources to fully realise their dreams. Also, some adults are forced to work such long hours they simply don't have enough time to properly inform & guide their kids on the right path.

Quote:
People have been strongly primed to believe that magical type thinking is "wonderful", "beautiful", "interesting", "hopeful", "fun" ect. due to things like Sana Claus, Easter Bunny, Superhero tv/comics, Harry Potter type Sci-Fi, ect. ect. Although these things in-and-of-themselves are not harmful (and can be enriching in many ways), when combined with not being exposed to the real world, how it actually is and the methods by which we have determined our limited range of knowledge thus far, then the magic show becomes extremely pernicious.
Not sure what Santa Claus & the Easter Bunny are doing in that list, most people stop believing in them before they hit puberty. Also think you're underestimating the average person's ability to discern reality from fantasy; sometimes people just enjoy stories as entertainment, knowing it's all fantasy & not to take it too seriously.

Quote:
Also, the majority of adults are so attached to their infantile superstitious beliefs that they think learning science is "dry", "scary", "cold", "devoid of any deep meaning/feeling" and don't want their kids to learn it either for these reasons. This combination confines children to the mind-space of the Mammal Snow Globe rather than what me know of the Real World thus far.
Are you sure the "majority" of adults shun science out of anti-intellectualism? Also even scientists aren't immune from falsifying data & conclusions to influence & shape opinion, when it comes to nutrition at least (but that's a story for another time).



Quote:
Now, after people hit a certain age there is going to be a level of courage required of people in order to break free of the Mammal Snow Globe World for which they have always resided. We are in a very difficult predicament because we cannot allow adults to program their children with this primitive mindset and we also cannot force them to teach their children a certain way either without becoming completely tyrannical.
That is the delicate balancing act of how to solve the problem of inadequate teaching. The problem is what if we give a child all the options in the world yet said child chooses the idiotic option?
Eye of Woland is online now  
Old January 2nd, 2018, 07:29 AM   #16

David Vagamundo's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2010
From: Atlanta, Georgia USA
Posts: 3,166

I voted "Other"--if they're not, they should be, but only if by "indoctrination" you mean teaching children about why their country and it's system is the best--or at least very good--and giving children the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their country.

But if you mean by "indoctrination" teaching young children about what's wrong with their country or with the world, or any a certain political party or ruler should continue in power, then no, they should not be. You have to be able to see the good things before you are ready to see the flaws. And "indoctrination" to propagate a partisan point of view should have no place in a democratic or republican system where public schools are funding by the tax dollars of people who have diverse political views.
David Vagamundo is offline  
Old January 2nd, 2018, 07:46 AM   #17

David Vagamundo's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2010
From: Atlanta, Georgia USA
Posts: 3,166

Quote:
Originally Posted by xMathFanx View Post
. . . Therefore, most people inevitably are not going to be fostered in such a way as to bring about the best in their intellectual/creative capacities while in the bulk of their most formative years (growing up), will lack exposure to areas outside of immediate contact (e.g. how is one going to "realize" they have a passion for and want to pursue Paleontology . . .

The kids would be naturally drawn to this information if they were exposed to it, .. . .



, the k-12 teachers tend to be aware/educated/intelligent enough to teach the material they are instructed to in the curriculum, however lack the depth of critical thought to challenge the system itself . . .
It is not the purpose of the public schools to provide "career counseling" to the very young, but rather to give each child the education he or she needs to succeed in whatever environment he or she happens to be in.

As a former college professor and son and sister of elementary teachers, I can tell you that, while some children--and some university students-- will be drawn to information, most children will not. Most children--most people--are not intellectuals and don't give a fig for the intellectual world or intellectual pursuits.

So the teacher needs to try to teach each child to be the best he or she can be rather than trying to undertake the futile task of educating each child to be an intellectual or to love learning. Simply teach the fundamentals so that every child comes out of high school able to read, write, do some math, and have an appreciation of why things are as they are, and have a decent shot at succeeding in the nation he or she lives in.

Finally, it is emphatically NOT the province of the public schools to "challenge the system itself". The system is paying for the education; why in the world should public school teachers have an explicit role of subverting the very system by teaching the children to challenge it?
David Vagamundo is offline  
Old January 2nd, 2018, 07:55 AM   #18
Historian
 
Joined: Dec 2015
From: USA
Posts: 1,474

Quote:
Originally Posted by YouLoveMeYouKnowIt View Post
The word "propaganda" and "indoctrinate" are unfairly taken as inherently negative. Teaching kids to be respectful towards others, to love one's own country, to oppose racism, to treat men and women as equals or smoking is bad are all examples of indoctrination at youth. Most people will support religiously forcing ideas such as premarital unprotected sex is bad, stealing is wrong (and if you do it, you better apologize and return it to whoever you stole it from), teenage pregnancy and parenthood is mostly bad, free speech and democracy are to be protected, etc... down children's throats. These are all examples of indoctrination and propaganda.

This is essentially my experience as someone whose worked in public schools.

We have something we like to call "hard curriculum" and "soft curriculum". The former are, of course, the actual subjects being taught like math, reading, writing, civics, and so on, but the later is arguably the more important one. It teaches children how to work well with others, how to treat people different from you with kindness, how to show and reciprocate respect, how to do work on time and follow directions, and so on.

I do concede that here in the USA, with having children say the pledge of allegiance and a rather sanitized take on how the country came to be, does have some more negative elements on "indoctrination", but that is changing. Ultimately, the idea that public schools are somehow leeching the intellect and spirit of children, or foisting some kind of political religious agenda upon them, just doesn't exist in that aspect.
ameteurhistorian is offline  
Old January 2nd, 2018, 07:56 AM   #19

Comet's Avatar
Jedi Master
 
Joined: Aug 2006
From: IA
Posts: 8,683
Blog Entries: 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by xMathFanx View Post
Are Public Schools Designed to be Propaganda Systems to Indoctrinate the Young?

Are Public Schools designed to be propaganda systems to indoctrinate the young or are the overwhelming majority of the Adult population (i.e. parents, teachers, principles, school administration, politicians, US Secretary of Education, ect.) really so oblivious/ignorant/stupid that they do not recognize the blatant miseducation/abuse that is occurring year after year, generation after generation, ect.? Or, do you challenge the premise of the question entirely? Thoughts?

As a reference, see short video where Linguist/Commentator Noam Chomsky discusses the Public Education System:
This is a loaded question that seems to be an attempt to hide your own personal biases. If that's the case, you didn't hide it very well.

Speaking as a teacher, my job is to put kids in a position to succeed academically and socially. I do not have the time nor energy to "push" my own biases upon them. We teach about biases on a daily basis as we focus real hard on historical methods. Objectivity is where we want to be when we look at history world wide.

As to the curriculum, it is slanted towards a white, European view of the world. You have to have a good grasp of history to better teach kids how to view history from more than just a "winners" point of view or from a European/American experience. Most teachers do not have the knowledge (or the time to get educated) of other cultures to effectively balance the curriculum. If teachers had this experience their ability to counter curriculum biases would be easier and done more frequently.

I would hope other teachers would chime in on this. As far as I'm concerned, teachers are there to help their students...not indoctrinate them. That is where the real learning takes place. The politics of administration certainly hampers our abilities to do our jobs, but we teachers have an idea of what kids need so we tend to heavily dampen the effect of educational politics.
Comet is offline  
Old January 2nd, 2018, 08:06 AM   #20
Historian
 
Joined: Dec 2015
From: USA
Posts: 1,474

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comet View Post
This is a loaded question that seems to be an attempt to hide your own personal biases. If that's the case, you didn't hide it very well.

Speaking as a teacher, my job is to put kids in a position to succeed academically and socially. I do not have the time nor energy to "push" my own biases upon them. We teach about biases on a daily basis as we focus real hard on historical methods. Objectivity is where we want to be when we look at history world wide.

As to the curriculum, it is slanted towards a white, European view of the world. You have to have a good grasp of history to better teach kids how to view history from more than just a "winners" point of view or from a European/American experience. Most teachers do not have the knowledge (or the time to get educated) of other cultures to effectively balance the curriculum. If teachers had this experience their ability to counter curriculum biases would be easier and done more frequently.

I would hope other teachers would chime in on this. As far as I'm concerned, teachers are there to help their students...not indoctrinate them. That is where the real learning takes place. The politics of administration certainly hampers our abilities to do our jobs, but we teachers have an idea of what kids need so we tend to heavily dampen the effect of educational politics.
It's also probably worth mentioning that many, if not most, public school teachers are parents themselves who have their children go into the same system they work in. A lot of people don't seem to appreciate that teachers see education from both sides as both an educator and as a parent, and would want to make sure that the education that their students receive would be the kind they'd want their own kids to have.
ameteurhistorian is offline  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology

Tags
designed, indoctrinate, propaganda, public, schools, systems, young



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Glossed over aspects of U.S. history in public schools? Precedence American History 99 November 25th, 2015 07:07 PM
Most well designed city? LordZ General History 11 July 30th, 2015 08:01 AM
Uses and Abuses of Propaganda: Instances of Propaganda Attenel American History 24 April 11th, 2012 08:08 AM
Should Public Schools Teach Political Correctness? hiplikebrando Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 50 April 23rd, 2010 12:25 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.