ERIC Number: ED250771
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
The Politicization of the Classroom.
Hadeed, Marcella D.
Although subtle compared to the politicization of education in a totalitarian state, American education has been politicized, with liberal ideologies affecting both curricula and teachers. This gradual politicization of the classroom will, if left unchecked, lead to infringements on individual freedom and the right to the pursuit of happiness. Evidence of this phenomenon can be seen in changes in textbooks over the last 15-20 years and in the change in attitude of the National Education Association (NEA). Textbooks contain information that is carefully selected and presented to create attitudes and impressions rather than systematically building toward a foundation of knowledge. The result is a widening gap in cultural literacy paralleled with an increasingly socialist mindset. Perhaps more harmful are politically biased and motivated teachers, who may go beyond educating students and begin to indoctrinate students. Classroom discussions on current events often do not put events into historical perspective or present pros and cons equally and fairly. Teachers' unions have begun to lobby for noneducation issues. Fundamental changes have to be made in the educational system. Academic integrity must be returned to the curriculum; teachers must recognize and accept their professional responsibilities; and teachers must respond to parents' concerns about the education of their children. It is suggested that the NEA has become a labor union, rather than a professional organization. To bring the organization back to its origins, teachers should consider state exams for licensing, peer reviews, and taking a keen interest in the education of future teachers. (DCS)
Descriptors: Activism, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Hidden Curriculum, Political Influences, Political Socialization, Public Education, Socialism, Teacher Associations, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Influence, Teacher Militancy, Textbook Bias, Textbook Selection, Textbook Standards
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Indoctrination; National Education Association
Note: In: Marshner, Connaught, Ed. A Blueprint for Education Reform. p111-129. For the complete document, see EA 017 236.