"Civic Engagement" class"Civic Engagement" classThe big news last week--because it was made big news by the media and exploitative politicians--was the Trayvon Martin case.  Students streamed out of classes, where if the professoriate were doing their duty they might learn about due process, to protestSeminole State College officials unilaterally decided to expel George Zimmerman, who claims he shot Trayvon in self defense. Administrators cave to mobs stirred up by the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.  The Black Panthers put a bounty on Zimmerman's head, and face no repercussions.  

Yet, the academics use this as an opportunity to advance their favorite cause: left-wing activism.

 

Mary Beth Gasman, blogging at the Chronicle of Higher Education, gasses on about the role of Historically Black Colleges (HBCU's):

 

 

"HBCU’s have a long history of protest and civil disobedience. HBCU students were active and central to the civil-rights movement. They registered African Americans to vote, marched against violent white racism, integrated lunch counters and movie theatres, and endured beatings and ridicule in the name of justice. These young people were brave in the face of racism. With the death of Trayvon Martin, we again see this bravery in the actions of HBCU students."

 

Dissident Prof knows from personal experience that such professors (especially those in the field of "education" as Gasman is) are wont to attribute "bravery" to every punk who follows their wishes.  Dissident Prof would bet that most of these students had had classroom conversations about "questions of race" preceding these walkouts.  She would even bet that many of these protests, if they involved a minimal amount of "journaling," would earn the student extra credit.  The New York Times even has a curriculum for that. After an extended quotation from a slanted article in the same paper that ends with quotations from the deceased's parents, the Times' Learning Network lesson asks the student:

"Students: Tell us your feelings and thoughts about the Trayvon Martin case. Are you following the story and its fallout? Are you talking about it at school, at home or on Facebook or other social media? What questions do you have about the story? What are the main issues it raises for you — about race, justice, the law and law enforcement, gun violence and more?"  [er, due process, rule of law?]

 

What never comes out are the real statistics on race and crime, as pointed out by Diana West, and many others. 

But the purpose of focusing on only one type of crime serves to perpetuate the originally Soviet-inspired tactic of dividing the nation by race. 

As standards decay even further, colleges substitute activist "do good" projects for real academic work.  At Weber State University in Utah, students, through the university's "community involvement center," study the perrennial favorite, the homeless.  This has become standard fare at most colleges and universities.  But Dissident Prof suspects that it only adds to the narcissism raging through the Millennial generation.  With such "service learning" students get to feel like Mother Theresa and Albert Einstein at the same time.

Indeed, "civic education" these days is a thinly disguised effort to get students registered to vote the way most of their revered celebrities vote.  Rock the Vote's Democracy Day was one filled with mind-numbing hip-hop and adolescent chatter rather than real civics education.  Rather than nurturing students toward adulthood and serious civic participation, these efforts simply reinforce adolescent concern with peer pressure and being cool.

One of the things being promoted as cool is Islam.  Leave it to a teacher of writing to defend the Muslim Student Association, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that specializes in converting students through "cultural awareness" like "wearing a hijab for a day" as has been promoted at Georgia Perimeter College or shouting down Jewish speakers, as happened at the University of California, Irvine. We wouldn't want the New York City police monitoring such groups, would we? 

What's in the neighborhood?What's in the neighborhood?The Fred Rogers Early Learning Center Environment (trademarked) begins getting young kiddos (ages 0-5) used to seeing women in Muslim dress, identified as the "Farmer's Wife" in a book by that title.  Hey, what happened to the idea that children's books were supposed to show men at the stove cooking and women up on the roof nailing on shingles?  The new sensitivity training about wives comes from The Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media at St. Vincent College and The Fred Rogers Company ("The Legacy Lives On") via PBS Kids.

Maybe such early education led to the invitation of Louis Farrakhan by Alabama A & M University (another of those HBCU's).  He will be speaking on April 10 at the invitation of a coalition of student groups, including College Democrats and the A & M Poetry Club. 

The battle with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (or Journal-Communist as many call it) continues.  Dissident Prof had to tell their sales rep to take her off the call list because she no longer wanted to subscribe to the paper, regardless of the public editor's claims of "balance."  The AJC is trying to lure subscribers by advertising its latest "study" that indicates test-cheating nationwide.  See, it's not just in Georgia, to go back to their earlier study.  You can read the report only by subscribing! 

Yet, Ms. Downey continues the drumbeat against testing by publishing the views of agreeable teachers.  Not only does the excessive testing cut into classroom time for creative explorations of "social justice" and ethnic identity, but it stresses teachers out.  Increasing teacher absenteeism is due probably to the need for "mental health days."  Now if those pesky politicians would just let the teachers do their work and let the kiddos engage in constructive group activities to examine social justice, gender identity, and world peace, teachers would not be so stressed out.

Oh, and the reason for cheating is too much emphasis on testing, according to Fair Test, an organization run by a p.r. man who specializes in far-left causes and has zilch authority to speak about education.  (Discussed by Dissident Prof three years ago.)  But, nonetheless, Downey gives him space for a post.  If only they would let the teachers do what they do best!  And that is teach about "social justice" and the genocide committed by Christopher Columbus.

Which reminds the Dissident Prof of her lovely day at the Georgia State Teach-In.  One of the things needed is multiculturalism and not of the kind that examines cultures and traditions, but oppression as Tim Wise admits on a YouTube video, via the site Georgians for FreaDom, the sponsoring group for the Teach-In that Dissident Prof recently wrote about.

Speaking of the Teach-In people, Dissident Prof doesn't know how those letters from all the "critical thinkers" at the Teach-In under the guidance of education professors swayed legislators, but SB 458 died. 

As a new NAS report about the politicization of California colleges indicates, "both federal and state laws prohibit the use of public money or the paid time of public employees for partisan activity."  The Georgia State Teach-In was held in a public university, the university's equipment was used, and some public funds were expended for this event.  Hello?  Is anybody going to complain?

Peace StudiesPeace StudiesAnd here you have it.  Do we need any more evidence regarding the sovietization of education? Here is a nice little primer by a blogger, Donald Clark, a Brit, via Education News.

 

"We are still living with a hangover of Marxist theory in education, especially through social constructivist theories. Marxism is far from dead and the Marxist idea that everything becomes commoditised, including knowledge and education, is useful in combating the excesses of education and training aimed merely at increasing productivity."

 

Oh, there she goes again, that red-scarer!  Let's just let the "experts" at Georgia State and their "supporter" Maureen Downey take care of education. 

Yours, the Dissident Prof

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