November 28, 2011

Teaching school kids how to debate about politics.

It's a great idea... if you can do it right.
[University of Wisconsin-Madison education professor Diana Hess] is a nationally renowned expert on curriculum and instruction with a special focus on helping teachers in the art of leading students in effective, respectful debate of controversial topics. A key motivator: her research shows that high school students are more open-minded and intellectually flexible than adults.

"A lot of parents want schools to reflect their own ideological views," Hess says in an interview. "I argue that parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink why they have their kids in school.

"It's not to suggest schools should be working against parents' values," she continues, "but we want schools to be ideologically diverse places. That's how we educate citizens."
Reading that, I can't help worrying that what teachers will really try to do is indoctrinate students in liberal ideology. Can we trust them to put the development of young minds first? Or will they take advantage of their "intellectually flexible" minds and the opportunity to displace conservatism that parents may have instilled.
The backdrop, of course, is one in which political incivility and intolerance seems ever more toxic in Wisconsin and across the nation. Hess agrees that the culture outside schools is more polarized than when she started focusing on the subject in 1997.
But it was specifically teachers who were at the core of the Wisconsin protests, vilifying conservatives.

And as for parents needing "to rethink why they have their kids in school." Let's be clear: Schooling is compulsory. The government forces parents to send their children to school. (Yeah, they have a right to opt out of public school if they can swing it, but it's not easy and schooling is still required.) Teachers should never forget that they have their students trapped in their classroom by the force of law.

But sure, let's teach kids how to talk about controversial issues, support their arguments, and listen to divergent opinions respectfully and critically.

188 comments:

Original Mike said...

"Can we trust them to put the development of young minds first?"

You're kidding, right?

paminwi said...

Does she teach "shame, shame, shame" or how to blow a vuvuzela in someone's ear?

How about how to run to Illinois because you don't want to debate and then vote?

My last question is, who gave her the "nationally renowned expert" title?

Kirby Olson said...

I loved this. Part of the problem is the terminology. Leftists call it "progressive" thinking versus "conservative thinking." But it's really "liberty" versus "totalitarian" thinking. The left have always been and will always be totalitarians.

But they've renamed the problem. This is part of their ingenious linguistic hijinks.

They want to give high Marx to people who think like them, and people who don't they want to put into a reeducation camp.

But you can't get them to accept this. They have a problem accepting reality as it is.

Sorun said...

[University of Wisconsin-Madison eduction professor Diana Hess] is a nationally renowned expert...

Would that be like rocks voting you the smartest rock on the rock pile?

Lefties are nationally renowned for their love of political propaganda in inappropriate places, such as classrooms.

TTBurnett said...

What is this civility bullshit?

Jay said...

but we want schools to be ideologically diverse places.

Right.

Because they like want so many people in the schools who don't believe in the latest AGW scam.

I'd love to see how the person giving that quote would react if one of the students say wrote a paper arguing recycling is a wasted effort.

bagoh20 said...

A modern teacher has no problem pointing out the fact that Washington and Jefferson owned slaves when teaching about them, or the negatives of free markets that lead to unions, but I suspect they are not so forthcoming with the unparralelled atrocities of socialism when teaching Marx, and I bet they don't mention even his very poor treatment of his employees.

I just say teach it all and let the young minds decide. I can trust an open mind, told the truth, and given time to digest it. I think they will more often become conservatives or libertarians if given the chance and the choice.

Henry said...

One way to "do it right" is to make sure parents are skeptics. Then the debate training that takes place in the schools has a natural control at home. I look forward to the challenge.

If done right, this is a really valuable exercise. My sister teaches composition at the college level. One assignment in most of her classes is to write a persuasive essay. Since a weak argument is less persuasive than no argument at all, students must research and attempt to refute the best counterarguments to their point of view. A large number of students are incapable of understanding this requirement.

Curious George said...

With the K-12 system failing to keep us competitive with the world in math and sciences, they come up with this shit?

TTBurnett said...

"A large number of students are incapable of understanding...."

That about covers it.

garage mahal said...

So "ideologically diverse places" represents liberal ideology? Interesting.

Seeing Red said...

"It's not to suggest schools should be working against parents' values," she continues, "but we want schools to be ideologically diverse places. That's how we educate citizens."


And then her lips fell off.


Maybe parents want their values taught because they don't like the values educators like her teach.

PatCA said...

"If they do it right."

Of course, IMHO they have no intention of doing it right. They are education professionals, 99% of whom are aiming to indoctrinate because they are losing the national argument.

The concern about our sudden "polarization" gives it away; they certainly didn't worry about that when W was in office!

SteveR said...

"but we want schools to be ideologically diverse places. That's how we educate citizens."

Who's we frenchy? Idealogical diversity means lean off the cliff to the left. Thats not education, that's indoctrination (political correctness).

Ward Churchill, Bill Ayers = diverse

Anything to the right is racist and homophobic, they should be ignored.

Robin said...

Well said Prof Althouse.

Robert Cook said...

All schools should teach Logic to all students. In my high school, it was only offered in the 12th Grade and only to AP students. It seems obvious that learning logic and how to think logically would benefit all students at every grade level, and will allow students to analyze for themselves the strengths and weaknesses of arguments they will hear throughout their lives for and against this idea or that.

Also, participation in "Forensics" (debate), where students typically must be prepared to argue well for either side of a binary debate, will strengthen the students' ability to recognize arguments that are well-reasoned and supported by data, as opposed to arguments that consist primarily of editorializing or that are undone by specious reasoning.

Seeing Red said...

supported by data,


And if the data is faulty?

Socialism kills, free markets feed.


One of the lessons of the 20th century, but here we are, trying to make it work. Again.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
So "ideologically diverse places" represents liberal ideology? Interesting."

Actually the opposite. Reading comprehension is not your strong suit. Here, let me help:

"Reading that, I can't help worrying that what teachers will really try to do is indoctrinate students in liberal ideology."

Hope that helps.

Dave said...

The phrases that hit me most were these : ".. .parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink ..." classic leftist tyrannical thinking. She'll tell us parents what we should want and think.

Henry said...

garage mahal wrote: So "ideologically diverse places" represents liberal ideology? Interesting.

It's newspeak, garage. You don't recognize it? Interesting.

I'm willing to grant that good teachers could follow through on the program. But if there is a preponderance of feeling on one side, students will face a fairly steep social obstacle to really forming their own opinion.

The school, as an environment, represents an ideology. (Likewise, the home school.)

The luckiest student is the one whose home or out-of-school social networks prepare him or her to be skeptical of what the school considers ideologically diverse.

Dave said...

the worst part: "... parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink ..."

Classic tyrannical leftist speech. She knows what we parents should want and how we should think.

TTBurnett said...

Schools should teach rhetoric.

That's the old-fashioned word for all this.

Schools taught rhetoric for 2500 years (at least they did in the lands of Dead White Men).

Then they stopped. Too many dead guys to bother with.

Here's a website to learn something:

http://rhetoric.byu.edu/

gregq said...

"Reading that, I can't help worrying that what teachers will really try to do is indoctrinate students in liberal ideology. Can we trust them to put the development of young minds first?"

That's a rhetorical question, right?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"A lot of parents want schools to reflect their own ideological views," Hess says in an interview. "I argue that parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink why they have their kids in school.

Just when you thought you'd heard it all!

So, the liberal reason for 'teaching kids to debate' is to make sure they get 'equal time' with their conservative parents.

Herr Hess' does not cite the steps taken to ensure teachers are not directing debate based on personal biases. Because, they don't exist.

Open-mindedness is just a liberal euphemism for 'do it my way'.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"The luckiest student is the one whose home or out-of-school social networks prepare him or her to be skeptical of what the school considers ideologically diverse."

Have to concur with Henry. The real corruption lies in the institutions.

PETER V. BELLA said...

How about if we demand the schools be ideological neutral places. There is no such ting as ideological diversity in the educational system. It is a lie and a canard, like wealth redistribution, economic inequality, and social justice.

TTBurnett said...

One principle of rhetoric is not to say the same thing over and over.

Doing so will not send Verres into exile.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

ideologically diverse places" represents liberal ideology? Interesting
Uh yes, Garage, just like “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” really means AMNESTY….or “Meaningful Campaign Finance Reform” means abridging the First Amendment. To most teachers ideological diversity means, “I hate Amerikkka”, “America has done many, many bad things, and needs to live up to its ideals, and live down its shame” to “America can be so much more.” It does NOT include, “I love this country.” In short it means many variations of Centre-Leftism (“The Right”) to Far Left Ideology (“Liberals”) but it does not include the idea of REAL diversity…at best it encompasses various victim groups, sexes, and sexual orientations that all want a more expansive government….

Robert Cook said...

"And if the data is faulty?"

All any of us can try to do is make decisions or arrive at conclusions according to the best data we have available. If the data turns out to have been faulty or incomplete, then we must reassess our previous conclusions or decisions in light of new or corrected data that becomes available later.

Would you rather we simply ignore data entirely because some of it may turn out eventually to have been faulty?

TTBurnett said...

Is my last statement confusing?

I hope so.

bagoh20 said...

""A lot of parents want schools to reflect their own ideological views," Hess says in an interview. "I argue that parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink why they have their kids in school."

Can you imagine him saying that about a religious private school, educating liberal children who were forced to attend it?

garage mahal said...

Hope that helps.

Weak. You have not attempted to explain why "ideologically diverse places" lead Althouse to believe liberal ideology was going to be indoctrinating students. I thought ideologically diverse places were what conservatives are clamoring for.

Skyler said...

This is the best argument for abolishing public schools. I have considered this the most important change we could make in our society.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Would you rather we simply ignore data entirely because some of it may turn out eventually to have been faulty
Uh yes, when we have no reliable data, we cannot act…I know that hurts, after all it’s been the siren song of the Global Warmening people, “We must act NOW, even if we are unsure….” Tell me Cookie if the Doctor said, “Bob we have no reliable data that actually shows Prostate Cancer, but how about we act on the UNRELIABLE data, and cut that sucker out, just to be sure?” would you “OK” the operation?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

I thought ideologically diverse places were what conservatives are clamoring for
They are, but sadly in today’s Public Education that merely means some variant of Socialism or Keynesian Analysis….We’re not falling for the Newspeak Garage…we grasp what “Ideological Diversity” means, No Enemies to the Left.

Why should we trust the Public Education Machine to change its spots…”Oh last week Pravda was the Propaganda Arm of the CPSU, but THIS week they promise to be better.” Only we DON’T believe that, because if they had meant it for the last 25 years they’d have been putting into practice.

carrie said...

"Can we trust them to put the development of young minds first?" At Middleton High School, a teacher actually stopped a kid in the hall who was wearing a tea party t-shirt and told him that he was closed minded--there are mmany other examples of teachers attempting to quiet the conservative voices at the school. I think you can trust some teachers, but you can't trust all of the teachers and if you can't trust all of the teachers then you shouldn't do it at all.

Brennan said...

Now I am really confused. What is the purpose of parenting if they must sequester their own beliefs in their own house?

Are public schools trying to self immolate?

Brennan said...

Teachers squash opinions all the time. Every writing assignment I had usually had the teacher list topics students could not write about. The topics they'd prohibit were abortion, the right to bear arms, and the prohibition on certain drugs.

I wrote about those subjects anyway. I'm still waiting for my Kurt Vonnegut back rub.

TTBurnett said...

The quickest way to stop being a member of a respected profession is to unionize.

A certain amount of genteel poverty was better for society.

Paul Zrimsek said...

You have not attempted to explain why "ideologically diverse places" lead Althouse to believe liberal ideology was going to be indoctrinating students.

She happens to be awake at the moment.

TTBurnett said...

"A schoolmaster is a man among boys, and a boy among men."
—Winston Churchill

Paul Zrimsek said...

Any time you hear teachers pissing and moaning about "teaching to the test", it's helpful to remember what they'd rather be doing instead.

Shanna said...

Is she teaching normal debate? Because in Debate (where you actually go to meets) you learn to, well you HAVE to, argue BOTH sides of the issue.

That's how people learn. You also have to research and present evidence. It sounds like this lady just does touchy feely crap, unless I'm reading the article wrong. Send these kids to real debate meets and they'll learn.

TTBurnett said...

No form of poverty is considered genteel anymore.

More's the pity.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

That's how people learn. You also have to research and present evidence. It sounds like this lady just does touchy feely crap, unless I'm reading the article wrong. Send these kids to real debate meets and they'll learn
1) We keep score and losing can hurt the psyche; and
2) They learn BOTH sides of an issue, that there EVEN two sides of an issue…remember, “The Science is settled.”

garage mahal said...

We’re not falling for the Newspeak Garage

I sense something more. Is it that you're afraid your ideology will lose in an ideologically diverse place?

traditionalguy said...

Does this mean intelligent design theory can be discussed without causing a Jonestown Cool-Aid Mass Suicide among the Orthodox Biology community?

That would teach students how to use Logic without heresy minders.

Henry said...

From the article:

Most disturbing may be the talk-radio-stoked hatred of President Obama. A New York Magazine story last week marked the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination (by a week, Obama has now served longer than Kennedy) bearing the headline: "What Killed JFK … The hate that ended his presidency is eerily familiar."

Does Paul Fanlund consider himself open minded? Maybe he should rethink his uncritical parroting of a Frank Rich confection.

This is exactly the kind of ideological diversity -- the smug bias presented as conventional wisdom -- that makes non-liberals roll their eyes. Safe in their institutional echo chambers, "liberals" are anything but.

Indeed, if "liberal" still meant what it once did, you wouldn't need the term "ideological diversity." The word "liberal" would suffice. Once we had "liberal education". Now we must trump that with "ideological diversity".

* * *

I repeat that I think Hess's proposal is a good one and that many teachers are capable of following through and teaching it successfully.

And I think her idea that parents should not want schools to reflect their own ideology has merit. It is, or course, the children of liberals who suffer the most.

J said...

But sure, let's teach kids how to talk about controversial issues, support their arguments, and listen to divergent opinions respectfully and critically.

Like the great orators of the GOP-TP-- Rush Limbaugh, Bachmann, Palin, Fox, etc. or the gumps of A-house, Kirby O etc--who consider any suggestions to raise taxes as part of a marxist plot.

The Right doesn't want reasoned debate--it will lose thereby. The right wants....Gumpspeak! (ie, Rush, BushCo, Fox, A-house, etc)

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

I sense something more. Is it that you're afraid your ideology will lose in an ideologically diverse place
Projection Thy Name is “Garage.” Really, I’m afraid, tell me is it liberal or conservative colleges with “Speech codes” Garage? Was it at the TEA Party Rallies or an Occupy(City) Rally that a Libertarian was shouted down by the Hard left, was it the TEA Party or an Occupy(City) Group that invaded an public forum on the OWS Movement and proceed to disrupt the proceedings for an hour? Who gets their @rse handed to them regularly here, YOU or the conservative commenters? You and Cookie aren’t even trying today…I laughed pretty hard at the take-down of you on the “Bonnie Fwank” thread, too.

LordSomber said...

Go back to teaching the Trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

Renee said...

I was hoping for a better article, why does she assume that all parents think the same way? Or that parents do not have their child's best interest when we share what we value day in and day out from the day, they were born?

Seeing Red said...

Actually I was thinking more along the lines of men and women are different. They learn differently, yet we keep trying to prove that wrong.

So which data is faulty? 100k years of evolution and recent mapping of the brain

or the do-gooders?

J said...

Ah Churchill quotes from one "TTBurnett", with no blog/writing: Byro the queer AZ- mormonic strikes again.

garage mahal said...

I laughed pretty hard at the take-down of you on the “Bonnie Fwank” thread, too.

Hahahaha. This is exactly what I was talking about. You think adolescent taunting and name calling is a winning argument. Inside winger circles, it surely is. Outside of winger circles? That's what you're afraid of.

Robert Cook said...

"Uh yes, when we have no reliable data, we cannot act...."

How do you know when the data available to you is unreliable?

If it is known that available data pertaining to a particular problem is unreliable or sufficiently scarce as to render making a decision or reaching a conclusion problematic, then one defers making the decision or arriving at a conclusion until one has more--or more reliabe--data.

In the meantime, one may have no choice but to act or make decisions based on the data that is available.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Hahahaha. This is exactly what I was talking about. You think adolescent taunting and name calling is a winning argument. Inside winger circles, it surely is. Outside of winger circles? That's what you're afraid of
I laughed at your silly argument that “Bonnie Fwank” was homophobic, and then got your @rse handed to you when it was pointed out that’s how he REALLY pronounces his name…and then Sorepaw nailed your response…and then you tried the “We can’t KNOW” approach and got confidence intervals thrown back at you….I cannot think of a time you have prospered on this board since Walker became Governor and you became unhinged….I don’t worry about losing to the likes of you or Obama, the results of your policies are clear, so instead you guys like to divert or silence your critics.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

How do you know when the data available to you is unreliable
We begin to suspect the data when the data points are not available for review and the holders of the publicly funded data points refuse a FOIA request and they will not release their code and simulations, that refined the data to make models, for one thing Cookie.

For another we begin to look at assumptions and claims, the great “Landfill shortage” was based on poor and incomplete data, as another example.

ricpic said...

We've got to wean those skulls full of mush teenagers away from their rigid Tea Party parents while there's still time!

bagoh20 said...

"Is it that you're afraid your ideology will lose in an ideologically diverse place?"

Schools are the least ideologically diverse environments in America, and the higher the level - the lower the diversity. Most churches are more tolerant. A gay man in the average church would find greater acceptance than a AGW skeptic in a college. That should embarrass educators, but they are fine with it, and want it that way. Excuse me if I don't trust them to be fair.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


And then garage, there was the quote from Frank’s manager, that made you look the complete fool, about how, after his 2010 run, he nearly announced THEN he wasn’t going to run again…plus, contemporaneously there were many who commented on Frank’s 2010 run as uncivil and nasty, that Frank seemed ANNOYED that he had to campaign, rather than simply be re-anointed, and that he seemed pained to have to explain himself, and that this was probably not a good sign for his FUTURE chances.

But hey, you keep telling yourself that you are showing “them thar wingers, watt fer.”

MnMark said...

"A lot of parents want schools to reflect their own ideological views," Hess says in an interview. "I argue that parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink why they have their kids in school.

Substitute "values" for "ideological views" and it looks like this:

"A lot of parents want schools to reflect their own values," Hess says in an interview. "I argue that parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink why they have their kids in school.

Sounds entirely different, doesn't it?

Robert Cook said...

"Does this mean intelligent design theory can be discussed without causing a Jonestown Cool-Aid Mass Suicide among the Orthodox Biology community?"

It could certainly be discussed in a Religion class or a Logic class, but not in a science class, as it is not science. Science can only be concerned with the physcial realm, not the metaphsycial realm.

Scientists make speculations and pose hypotheses based on the facts as we know them at the time; as the facts change, so may the speculations and hypotheses. Where something is not known, scientists say simply, "We don't know." "Intelligent design" theory replaces the "We don't know" with "God did it."

There are no tests or hypotheses that can be expected to reveal or "prove" that "God did it."

J said...

Logic

Require politicians and pundits to adhere to even informal logic--avoiding fallacies such as hasty generalization, ad hominem, ad verecundiam, begging the question, etc.--and Limbaugh and most teabag sites would be out of business, as would JoeJoe Kissinger and the Gumphouse combox gang.

craig said...

Robert Cook said...

"All schools should teach Logic to all students. ... Also, participation in "Forensics" (debate)...."

I agree wholeheartedly (and that may be a first): bring them back! Logic, rhetoric, and grammar are the classical Trivium, the three subjects once foundational to every classical education. John Dewey and his educrat disciples are largely to blame for expunging them from the modern curriculum.



Brennan said...

"What is the purpose of parenting if they must sequester their own beliefs in their own house?"

You're about two PR campaigns ahead of schedule in the left's plans. Currently their lawyers are working on substituting "diversity" in place of freedom of speech and association, and on replacing freedom of religion with "freedom of worship". Subordinating parental authority to the dictates of the state is exactly where they want to go.

garage mahal said...

I laughed at your silly argument that “Bonnie Fwank” was homophobic, and then got your @rse handed to you when it was pointed out that’s how he REALLY pronounces his name

That's not how Frank pronounces his name. Maybe you hear something different.

And then garage, there was the quote from Frank’s manager, that made you look the complete fool, about how, after his 2010 run, he nearly announced THEN he wasn’t going to run again

No, the assertion made was Frank decided to retire because he thought he would lose. I asked, "to who"?

Thoughts?

Coketown said...

"A lot of educators want schools to reflect their own ideological views...I argue that educators shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink why they chose the teaching profession in the first place."

There, I fixed it for Ms. Hess. Maybe now she can recognize projection when it's blatantly obvious to the rest of us.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

No, the assertion made was Frank decided to retire because he thought he would lose. I asked, "to who"?

Thoughts

Apparently Bonnie thought that the risk-reward analysis, after 32 years and a close-ish election made it unappealing to run again…..as to who was going to run against him I, you, nor possibly did Frank, but he felt it was time to leave the sinking ship…..

And Yes, that’s how “Bonnie” pwonounces his name….

Patrick said...

"let's teach kids how to talk about controversial issues, support their arguments, and listen to divergent opinions respectfully and critically."

How 'bout we teach them some math, first? Then maybe some reading?

Patrick said...

Garage:

That would be "to whom."

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


As to the topic of this thread, the most wonderful thing I ever heard was in “Introduction to International Relations;” when a tiny, freshman voice proclaimed, “Wow, this is pretty complex and there doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut, right or wrong answer.” BINGO I thought! THAT’S what every teacher/professor should be aiming for, when the light bulb goes on in a small skull! It’s not that the tiny Freshman suddenly became a Librul or a Rethuglikkkan…it’s that the tiny voice began to see that the world was a big place and Clinton/Reagan/Daddy/the Minister didn’t always have the right answer! To me that’s the best part of school, not so much the answer we arrive at, but the process of learning, or UNLEARNING….

For Garage and others, it’s about making more DFL members. It’s that I object to…..

J said...

How about not letting teabugs and other plebes brainfart away about what they take to be "pedagogy" when they don't know Dewey's writing from their favorite Dunkin donuts joint. Yeah

Amartel said...

Obviously, blatantly absurd and incompetent.
This is just a more transparent attempt to teach children what to think and not how to think.
It's easier to teach them what to think.
Teachers cannot (or will not) fulfill their mission of teaching children reading, science, writing, geography, arithmetic, etc. so now we should expand the mission?
Anyone who falls for this deserves to be dumped on the side of the road and left to die after their productive years are over. Cheerleading and underwriting a generation (or 2 or 3) of self-centered simpletons who will not take care of you in your old age.

MadisonMan said...

o/t: Stalin's daughter died in Richland Center last week (Tuesday).

I had forgotten she lived there. Which is probably one reason she did.

edutcher said...

Agree with Cook (I know...) and TT about the teaching of logic and rhetoric.

In my wild and misspent youth, I was taught the basics of taking an idea apart and separating out all the emotive words to see what was really in there.

You get the feeling diversity isn't about that.

Skyler said...

This is the best argument for abolishing public schools.

Not so much public schools, since our Puritan forebears thought a public education was necessary for an informed citizenry, but if you want to abolish the teacher unions and the theories of John Dewey and William Ayers, you're onto something.

J said...

yes Dewey and Bill Ayers, comrades

You sure are one stupid SOB, Edu-Nixon.

TTBurnett said...

And I just came here to find the link to Trooper York.

Revenant said...

"A lot of parents want schools to reflect their own ideological views," Hess says in an interview. "I argue that parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink why they have their kids in school.

So if your ideological viewpoint is that women should have the right to vote and work, homosexuals should have the right to marry, and non-Christians should have the right to practice their religions -- you shouldn't want schools teaching kids that you're right about those things? You should want them taught that a woman's place is in the home, that homosexuals are deviants and perverts, and that Christianity is the one true faith?

I'm guessing "no". Ideological "diversity" is just code for "making sure kids are exposed to one side of the story, whether they hear the other sides or not".

Crunchy Frog said...

Be nice to garage, folks. He can't help it - he's a product of the Madison public school system.

Or some other hotbed of leftist twaddle.

wv: emenest (of them all)

gadfly said...

University of Wisconsin-Madison eduction professor Diana Hess supposedly accepted an appointment as Senior Vice President on the the staff of The Spencer Foundation in Chicago effective "in the fall of 2011." So did the job fall through or is this a publicity gimmick for her new career?

Pogo said...

"a nationally renowned expert on curriculum and instruction"

Only a master at bullshittery and useless pedagogy could attain such heights.

Seriously, would anyone notice if she never showed up at work?

47 monkeys typing rules furiously would generate less damage than this woman.

J said...

Deep thoughts at the Gumphouse.

What we need is for edu-ma-cators to teach old-fashioned phamily values--like the Good book, 2nd Amendment studies, meth cookin', and the wisdom of Sarah Palin. Aint dat raht, Billy Bob

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


I will make the plea, please don’t feed the troll…it’s what it lives for, and you’ve seen the best arguments it can muster, already on this thread.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I'm willing to let schools become 'adventuresome' when at least half the graduating seniors can do all four of the following things:

a) include two coherent thoughts in the same sentence and follow it with a tightly-written explanatory paragraph

b) discuss the origin and meaning of R-squared in statistics. Bonus points for explaining the difference between precision and accuracy

c) lay out a basic Supply / Demand diagram and explain it in terms of a free market

d) discuss the inherent tension between the Tenth Amendment and the Elastic Clause.

garage mahal said...

... but he felt it was time to leave the sinking ship…..

You have no way of knowing that. It makes you feel better though, so that's what you're going with.

Be nice to garage, folks. He can't help it - he's a product of the Madison public school system.

Or some other hotbed of leftist twaddle.


Wrong again. Small town in Northern Wisc.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


One of my favourite professors was an “gad fly”, whatever position you took s/he took the other. IF you were a Marxist, you got Smith thrown in your face, if you were a Neo-Liberal, you got Marx and Dependencia thrown into your face. And s/he did it well, s/he understood both cases, and I was never really sure what this person believed. It made for good classes. THAT’S “Intellectual Diversity”….

craig said...

Robert Cook said...

"It [intelligent design] could certainly be discussed in a Religion class or a Logic class, but not in a science class, as it is not science. Science can only be concerned with the physical realm, not the metaphysical realm."

See, this is why logic, rhetoric, and grammar need to be taught again: because they are truly fundamental and so are applicable to every topic. Science is not; it is a walled garden of epistemological rules that limit the inferences that can be drawn.

(Any forensic investigation that excludes the possibility of deliberate agency from its root-cause analysis is bound not to infer any. Arguments over random versus directed development come from the lack of awareness of the epistemological boundaries where proofs end and inferences begin -- or a lack of humility over same.)

Terry said...

"A lot of parents want schools to reflect their own ideological views," Hess says in an interview. "I argue that parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink why they have their kids in school.
The parents pay for schools. The parents will live with the way their children turn out until the day the parents die. The teachers will not.
The author of the article makes the usual allusions to "hate radio" and somehow believes that a climate of hate -- rather than a crazed communist with a gun -- killed John F. Kennedy.
The world would be a better place if Professor Diana Hess and article author Paul Fanland would quit their jobs and find something productive to do with their lives.

m stone said...

I think we should extend the same courtesy to Barney Frank that some person...er...people...here extend to Scott Walker.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

You have no way of knowing that. It makes you feel better though, so that's what you're going with
The old, “We Can’t KNOW” Defense…you guyz trot that out a lot…Occam’s Razor, No Opposition, Bonnie runs again, and again….2010 there IS Opposition, real opposition and Bonnie declines to run again…What would the Razor Theorem suggest Garage? But that might be the whole “logic” thing that’s too much for you Garage.

Freeman Hunt said...

Anyone here ever debated many teachers about politics?

Yeah, no thanks, Hess.

(Note: That is not to impugn all teachers. The good ones, especially the good ones, will know exactly what I'm talking about.)

Freeman Hunt said...

So if your ideological viewpoint is that women should have the right to vote and work, homosexuals should have the right to marry, and non-Christians should have the right to practice their religions -- you shouldn't want schools teaching kids that you're right about those things? You should want them taught that a woman's place is in the home, that homosexuals are deviants and perverts, and that Christianity is the one true faith?

I'm guessing "no". Ideological "diversity" is just code for "making sure kids are exposed to one side of the story, whether they hear the other sides or not".


Heh.

"All men should be equal under the law? Whoa there, son. Sounds like mom and dad have been feeding you lines. Here, take this Klan handbook home this weekend. I'll expect a book report on my desk Monday."

Freeman Hunt said...

Say a child had to listen to Rush Limbaugh every day for a year or Diana Hess everyday for a year?

Which way would he come out more informed about the arguments the speaker was NOT endorsing?

It would be interesting to find out, wouldn't it?

This sort of endeavor usually means that the teachers will teach the actual liberal view and some dumbed down caricature of the conservative view. At least that's generally how these things go.

ricpic said...

Hey Joe, why couldn't s/he make a gender decision?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Hey Joe, why couldn't s/he make a gender decision
To keep his/her students on their toes.

Heart_Collector said...

Im pretty sure hitler tried to do this with german youth.

Heart_Collector said...

"WHOS ART TEACHER WHO TOUCHES US SKIN TO SKIN FOR PHOTOS, OUR ART TEACHER WHO TOUCHES US NUDE FOR PHOTOS!!!"

DADvocate said...

Can we trust them to put the development of young minds first?

Ideology aside. I'm not so sure it's a matter of trust in most cases as a matter of ability. I'm not sure most of the teachers I know have the needed ability to be detatched and objective enough.

Give us vouchers and let us choose.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heart_Collector said...

Put that on yer ows tshirt.

J said...

JoeJoe Kissinger, yr not about logic, little atheist, are ya, or pedagogy.

Yr about greed, usury, backroom deals, wall street, AIPAC power. You know, Kissingerism.

Robert Cook said...

"Give us vouchers and let us choose."

No. If you want to put your kids in a private or parochial school, do it on your dime.

Coketown said...

Could the same benefits of critical thinking, synthesis of new information, and open-mindedness toward opposing views be achieved by debating fictitious scenarios involving fictitious creatures? Why create unnecessary tension by demanding that real-world, political examples be debated? After all, politics is extremely fluid and dynamic. There is no political issue you could debate today that won't be as irrelevant in three years as whether the Zoinks are expelled from the Elf Kingdom.

Coketown said...

No. If you want to put your kids in a private or parochial school, do it on your dime.

Um. I'm curious: How do you think public schools are funded?

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

"It's not to suggest schools should be working against parents' values," she continues, "but we want schools to be ideologically diverse places. That's how we educate citizens."

Why does this seem so predictable?

She's making a joke about schools being idealogically diverse places, right? Or she doesn't realize how ludicrous that sounds.

The fact that she writes / says that shows an incredible -- and given that she is, indeed, in Wisconsin -- make that a truly incredible amount of lack of self awareness. Utopianism does that to one's thinking.

They are so into their thing they haven't noticed the jig is up.

Parents and the rest of us can and do read and access the internet and youtube ...

Surely she's watched some of the homeschool forensic competitions (debates)? Those are kids who are learning to think on their feet, and not talk in the platitudes of utopia.

J said...

Science is not; it is a walled garden of epistemological rules that limit the inferences that can be drawn.

Heh heh--what a sad joke. Do bio-chemists start by studying epistemology? No. (do you even know what epist. is? No) Byro-craig the AZ-mormon now with his fundamentalist-creationist act. A bit more believable than yr nursey schtick, dreck.

Curious George said...

"Coketown said...
Um. I'm curious: How do you think public schools are funded?"

Not on dimes. Well, unless you mean "on dollars."

JAL said...

Yeah TT -- where is Trooper?

Are things well in Brooklyn? If he's on a cruise, it's bben a long one, and Christmas shopping has started.

Where's my favorite Yankee?

Fen said...

I'll never forget what my rhetoric teacher (and feminist!) opened the class up with the morning after the Lewinski story broke:

"The President's sex life is none of our business, right?"

Roger J. said...

Troooper has his own blog--google trooper york for a link

Fen said...

Garage: Is it that you're afraid your ideology will lose in an ideologically diverse place?

Thats rich. And even funny when considering that Garage actually believes his own ideology can survive a diversity of thought.

Liberalism. Progressive. Then Liberal again. Then back to Progressive. If it fared so well Garge, then why the need to change the name every generation?

Jay said...

Oh look, Byro in the house!

J said...

Logic

Require politicians and pundits to adhere to even informal logic--avoiding fallacies such as hasty generalization, ad hominem, ad verecundiam, begging the question, etc.--and Limbaugh and most teabag sites would be out of business


And of course without the slightest bit of irony:

J said...

JoeJoe Kissinger, yr not about logic, little atheist, are ya, or pedagogy.

Yr about greed, usury, backroom deals, wall street, AIPAC power. You know, Kissingerism.


Gee, it is almost as if Byro is projecting or something.

traditionalguy said...

Cookie...You are shadow boxing against a god as creator alternative . That is not the alternative to easily disproving Darwins' hypothesis by examining modern science's understandings of complexity of organisms.

The best minds now agree that a super computer powered alien race came to earth and transmitted the complex life codes here from outer space.

Why be so touchy about thoughts you cannot control?

That is why schools do not teach debate of ideas. It lets heresies blow up received religions like Darwinism.

mariner said...

Let's be honest about this: it's yet another initiative using schools to teach children to parrot leftist talking points.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

Damn--agree with J on the importance of epistemology--if we dont know how we know something, what then do we do? I am using he Cliff notes version of epistemology: how do we know what we know?

Revenant said...

Any forensic investigation that excludes the possibility of deliberate agency from its root-cause analysis is bound not to infer any.

Science doesn't exclude the possibility of deliberate agency.

"Intelligent Design" fails to qualify as science not because it posits a deliberate agent behind life on Earth, but because of WHY it posits such an agent -- i.e., "because that's the only explanation we can think of for certain aspects of life". It is a classic example of the "argument from ignorance" fallacy.

roesch/voltaire said...

This is an interesting twist: "But it was specifically teachers who were at the core of the Wisconsin protests, vilifying conservatives" implying those teachers are responsible for our polarized culture and can not be trusted to promote open debate. Of course this ignores that it has been teachers who have been vilified by the right for almost a decade, and Walker who made them out to be a separate group form the regular middle class folks because they have unions etc. Still I suspect, a good class would look at all the issues and debate th whether or not teachers have the right to protest the Walker budget or any other contentious issue including Creationism.

Chuck66 said...

When Governor Walker was speaking at the 100th anniversery of technical education in Wisconsin (in Racine), WEAC, on their web site (and probably elsewhere), instructed teachers to go their and try to prevent the Governor from being heard. They specifically told public school teachers to "bring your drums and horns" to try to drown out the Governor. Do you want these people controlling the debate? Here's the video of Wisconsin public school teachers trying to prevent the Governor from speaking.

http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/video-protesters-shout-as-walker-speaks/vmix_cdab1ade-ace5-11e0-af21-001cc4c002e0.html

Paul Zrimsek said...

Of course this ignores that it has been teachers who have been vilified by the right for almost a decade

Ignores, because it's irrelevant. If teachers are vilifying conservatives, what does it matter how they got started?

Chuck66 said...

If public schools are like colleges, what few conservatives there are, are teaching the hard sciences. Biology, math, business, accounting, that sort of thing. Courses where politics don't come up very often.
The left wingers go to soft sciences were there is more discussion on various subjects and a loose organization to the course. History, political science, and in college, anything like sociology, and related "...ology" classes.

My point being, if there is a likehood for political opinions, the class is probably taught by a liberal.

garage mahal said...

Ignores, because it's irrelevant. If teachers are vilifying conservatives, what does it matter how they got started?

I know right?

I call you a miserable parasite. You shut up!

Fen said...

Of course this ignores that it has been teachers who have been vilified by the right for almost a decade

Bullshit.

Whats been "vilified" is a public education system thats corrupt and rotten to its core. Incompetent teachers that can't be fired. Teachers Unions that care more about themselves than teachers and kids. As well as the Left-wing indocrination of our children.

Your bullshit won't fly here. Don't make me go all Chris Christie on your ass.

Ralph L said...

I had a 7th grade teacher who spent weeks of class time watching the Watergate hearings (we didn't). My parents put me in private school the next year, at about the same cost as tuition, room, and board for my brother at UNC.

Today, a job applicant, ten years out of Southern High School, asked us how to spell "southern" for his application.

WV - jackmie - doesn't this belong on the Fwank thread?

Shanna said...

Surely she's watched some of the homeschool forensic competitions (debates)? Those are kids who are learning to think on their feet, and not talk in the platitudes of utopia.

I have nothing against homeschooling, but it works the same in public school debates (real ones, not the stupid ones this lady is having in her classes).

Research, opening, closing arguments, point, counterpoint and you switch off between affirmative and negative each round. It would do exactly what this lady is talking about, without injecting her own politics into it, as I am sure she is constantly doing whatever she says.

Seven Machos said...

If school teachers are so awesome and wonderful, how come they were the dull ones in college majoring in education? All of you know -- you know, down in the cockles of your heart -- that schools of education are full of people who aren't very smart.

At what point, exactly, do you think the light bulb goes off for these people and they become awesome and wonderful?

Bruce Hayden said...

No. If you want to put your kids in a private or parochial school, do it on your dime.

It is their dime. The money doesn't fall out of thin air, and it doesn't automatically belong to the teachers and governments. Those evil parents opting out pay their taxes too. It is just that their tax money goes to educate some one else's kids and pads the over generous teachers' pensions and benefits.

What you are suggesting is that the taxpayers pay the same, even when there is a declining enrollment because parents have decided to educate their kids outside the government system. I know that this sort of logic is popular in the teachers' unions, but not so for those of us who do opt out. The teachers can get more for less work that way. Great for them, but not so for those of us paying for it.

Fen said...

It is kind of ironic. At my college, the ones who needed mental help went into psych (presumably to heal themselves) and the ones who couldn't handle the more rigorous disciplines became Education majors.

Fen said...

To be fair, the reason I am so outspoken today is because of a "liberal" youth minister.

He taught us all the things Shanna touched on: "research, opening, closing arguments, point, counterpoint and you switch off between affirmative and negative each round."

Oh, I put "liberal" in scare quotes because his breed of liberal is (like Ann) on the endangered list.

Jay said...

Of course this ignores that it has been teachers who have been vilified by the right for almost a decade,

Of course you are lying.

Fen said...

Robert the Marxist: No. If you want to put your kids in a private or parochial school, do it on your dime.

Others have already pointed out how ignorant your argument is.

I just want to ask: where did you think the money for public schools came from? Fell out of the sky? No wonder we have a debt crisis. You don't even know the source of the money you're burning through.

Roger J. said...

Mr Cook--apropos Fen's point, as a policy proposal how would you react to a proposal that permitted taxpayers to opt out of that portion of their taxes that funds public education, and let them arrange for alternate approaches to providing for their children's education.

That seems OK to me, but I am fundamentally libertarian in outlook.

Your thoughts?

MayBee said...

I almost can't believe there are university professors who are experts in teaching teachers how to lead respectful classroom debates, or that there are people who are teachers who need this kind of research.

Ralph L said...

That's an idea, Roger J; but what about renters? Also, a portion of our state sales tax goes to counties.

JAL said...

Hey Shanna --

I mentioned it as a homeschooling activity because I do not see it in public high schools. I hear about it in the homeschooling crowd (and the Classical education crowd).

I have run acoss it in some of the colleges which have a forensic team.

Roger J. said...

Ralph: points well taken, and my proposal would undoubtedly generate more book keeping requirements than under the current "winner take all system."

I just hate it when people bring up reality! :)

Your point does go to the mechanisms by which public education is funded and without some overhaul of those, I dont see much chance of reform--Frankly, the better off can afford to pay their taxes, fund public education, and still send their kids to good private schools--that is an option not available to the less well off in the community. And that is not a good thing, IMO.

RonF said...

I refuse to use the term "progressive". It insinuates that what the left wants is progress.

I don't need to rethink why my kid is in school (or was, mine are both out of school now with engineering degrees). I wanted them to learn how to read at a 12th grade level with comprehension and to write in such a fashion as to be able to clearly express that comprehension and their own thinking. I wanted them to learn the history of our country and of the cultures that influences it's developments, as well as other nations and cultures in the world. I wanted them to learn mathematics up through introductory calculus. I wanted them to learn enough about music to be able to read it and to sing and/or play it at a basic level on an instrument. Art? Meh, not so much.

What I DON'T want them to be taught are the biases, predjudices and politics of their teachers - not that those didn't come through clearly in any case. I DON'T want them taught history smothered in detailed emphasis of every single thing that the U.S. did wrong to the exclusion of the concept that EVERY culture has done some things that were horrifically wrong and that we have made steady progress towards eliminating those wrongs.

I almost had a cow the day my kid came home from high school with a book by Noam Chomsky. Who assigned that tripe? I remember sitting at a "teach-in" listening to him surrounded by adoring co-eds when I was 18. I thought he was bogus then and I've seen little to change my mind since.

I commented on a leftist blog about that. I said that at least the teacher could have balanced him out. They said, "What do you expect? That he should have been taught pro-war writings?" I said "Sure. What happened to balance in education? Why not teach him Clauswitz and Sun-Tzu and the rest? Every single generation in this country has had it's war. Might as well teach him what it's all about."

Lance said...

I sense something more. Is it that you're afraid your ideology will lose in an ideologically diverse place?

That's the point, how can it be ideologically diverse when there's one teacher and twenty or thirty students? Note this part:

A key motivator: her research shows that high school students are more open-minded and intellectually flexible than adults.

That places a tremendous burden on the adult instructor to also be open-minded and intellectually fair, which, according to her research, just isn't the case.

Please note this cuts in all directions: the instructor could lean Demo, Repub, libertarian, socialist, Randite, Keynesian, Bircher, etc. Whichever way they're biased, no matter how fair they try to be, do we really want them providing "political" education? I think that's better left to non-government institutions, like family and friends.

Ralph L said...

teaching teachers how to lead respectful classroom debates
"How to stamp out snark"
"Yes Virginia, there is something besides the Received Wisdom."

RonF said...

BTW, Robert Cooke is right, and I've said this myself. Every H.S. junior should be taught at least one semester of formal logic, so they can cut through the bull$hit that they hear from marketers and politicians.

sorepaw said...

No. If you want to put your kids in a private or parochial school, do it on your dime.

Cook,

Why do you think governments should run schools?

sorepaw said...

You think adolescent taunting and name calling is a winning argument. Inside winger circles, it surely is.

The unit has refrained, on the present thread, from producing output that might be construed as a defense of Barney Frank's track record in Congress.

sorepaw said...

I almost had a cow the day my kid came home from high school with a book by Noam Chomsky.

It wasn't a linguistics book, was it?

sorepaw said...

Science can only be concerned with the physcial realm, not the metaphsycial realm.

Cook,

Are you advocating positivism?

It's hard to do science without any metaphysical hypotheses.

I'm not raising this issue out of any sympathy with "intelligent design." I have none.

Chuck66 said...

A little tip to the angry debators...if you want to win, you don't do nasty attacks on your opponent. You want your target to think you care about them and have their best interest in mind.

Screaming nasty things at Governor Walker or conservatives/libertarians is not going to change any minds.

Ralph L said...

I took a symbolic logic course in college that could be counted toward either our math or our religion/philosophy requirement. It was an easy A for us math students, but an uphill climb for the philosophs.

JAL said...

Yeah Roger, I wandered over to Trooper's place after I posted. Alive and well.

But his input here often changes the flavor. Even iof (especially becasue?) he's a Yankee / Giants fan.

Terry said...

Sorepaw wrote . . .
It's hard to do science without any metaphysical hypotheses.

I saw an anti-Darwinian on youtube a while back. The guy was a scientific skeptic, not explicitly a creationist.
Anyway, the interviewer told him he had seen, as a young person, a museum exhibit promoting Darwinism that showed the fossilized skeleton of an eohippus (an extinct proto-horse) next to the skeleton of a modern horse with an arrow pointing from the eohippus to the horse.
The skeptic asked the interviewer if he knew where they found the fossilized arrow.
His point was that the evolution of the eohippus into the horse was represented by the arrow, a human artifact, not by either of the objects produced by nature (the remains of the eohippus and the horse).

Seven Machos said...

Percentage of high school teachers who actually understand evolution and its limitations and strengths, or have read The Origin of the Species: zero.

Let's not kid ourselves in an effort to feel better, people.

garage mahal said...

United Wisconsin sez over 300,000 sigs collected in 12 days to recall Walker. Not too shab!

Allie said...

Amazing, Garage!!

Revenant said...

Percentage of high school teachers who actually understand evolution and its limitations and strengths, or have read The Origin of the Species: zero.

"On the Origin of Species" is 152 years old. Anyone seeking an understanding of the theory of evolution would be better served reading something a little more modern.

I agree that high school biology education is generally terrible, though.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- I disagree tremendously. But I am a sucker for the classics.

DADvocate said...

No. If you want to put your kids in a private or parochial school, do it on your dime.

Then quit forcing me to pay for public schools whether I have kids in them or not, fascist asshole.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Garage, it's no sin to be bad at snark; you need only recognize that your skills lie elsewhere, and act accordingly. Of course teachers can vilify conservatives all they want. What they can't do at the same time is have conservatives take their impartiality for granted.

Real American said...

yeah, right! so, who's gonna teach the teachers?

Seven Machos said...

Moreover, DAD, why should taxes pay for people to learn how to debate politics? Government schooling should be politics neutral.

Right, leftists? Or is that only with speech you don't like?

Check mate.

Lem said...

Obama's reelection campaign on taxpayer dime continues unabated.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If school teachers are so awesome and wonderful, how come they were the dull ones in college majoring in education? All of you know -- you know, down in the cockles of your heart -- that schools of education are full of people who aren't very smart.

True story.

With the exception of one chemistry teacher, a few retired math and engineering professors and a shop/mechanic teacher....every single educator that I had to deal with, as a financial adviser, was as dumb as a bag of hammers, sharp as a box of rocks.

Trying to explain the inverse relationship between fixed income (bonds) coupon rates, new coupon rates and the rise or fall in market prices along with the duration or time element of the bond included.....you might as well be talking to a first grader about quantum physics. I even drew neat little cartoons and illustrations. Teeter totters and all kinds of things.

Freaking deer in the headlights look...all the time.

Teachers are among the densest, least intelligent people on earth.

*explanation of fixed income dynamics deleted here since I figure...no one cares :-)

Chuck66 said...

Dust Bunny, I come from a family of teachers (have a couple of dozen active, retired, and deceased teacher relatives) and can say that a few aren't the brightest bulbs. But even those that are a stong average or a bit above, basic finance is not their strong point. For the most part, they live their lives via the checkbook method. Perhaps this is why they want to:
A) Maximize their take home pay

B) Want a good pension and benies once they retire.

The concept of mutual funds, 401(K)s and investing for the future aren't their stong points.

MayBee said...

"I argue that parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink why they have their kids in school. "

Hilarious. That's the expert saying that. The person who is supposed to be teaching other teachers on the fine art of leading debate.

Apparently, the fine art of classroom debate involves telling people what they *should* want, and if they disagree they should just....leave(?).

That doesn't bode well.

SunnyJ said...

Just a few years ago my only child was a jr/sr in high school and I remember her talking about her teachers. She knew which ones were selling their opinions, and short on facts. She knew which ones were open, declared when they were giving an opinion and respected the students opinions.

I was amazed at how astute she was at picking up on the manipulators. I asked her if she ever felt the need to confront it and if so, did she? She said she tried to pick her battles, knowing that the ones that had no problem ranting and selling opinion as facts also had no problem retaliating...seems there's a set of ethics skills that go together. The few times she did speak up, were when she felt the bias was being used against someone in the class that couldn't fend for themselves.

This latest generation the 9/11 and financial collapse group are not impressed by the wild arm waving and polarizing left/right haters from either side. They are living in a healthy dose of reality that their grandparents and parents never had...hence the debt issues. They know BS when they hear it and they know the old hippies that didn't get their revolution in the 60/70's are making a last gasp effort now.

I have nothing but great hope for this country. The teens and early 20's group coming up are some very solid citizens.

David said...

Why is it so hard to teach school kids to debate politics? It was not very hard from 1958-61, when I was in high school. That encompassed the Kennedy-Nixon election, and an organization I lead sponsored student debates. We also had local Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives come to talk about the election, and why they favored Kennedy or Nixon.

The debates went on at a fairly high level, and were conducted with what I would call aggressive respect. The Congressmen made substantive arguments and listened to each other's positions with apparent respect.

So why can't they do that now?

It's clear to me that it's because the adults in politics no longer treat each other--or even basic facts--with respect. They are shills, charlatans and demagogs. The kids mimic the adults.

Thus Emma Sullivan of Shawnee Mission, Kansas, a high school senior, thought she was cool to tweet "“Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot”

Thus the idiots on Brownback's staff reported her to the principal of her school.

And thus about a million idiots on liberal blogs are telling this silly rude girl that she is some kind of heroine.

It's discouraging.

ignatzk said...


"A lot of parents want schools to reflect their own ideological views," Hess says in an interview. "I argue that parents shouldn't want that. If they do, they need to rethink why they have their kids in school.


Another "expert" telling people what they "shouldn't want"...

"Diversity" (ha), requires a percentage of teachers be non-union equal to the percentage of non-union employees across all professions.

Teachers Unions and their members are the ideological enemy of open dialogue.

Give parents the choice to have their kids in public schools.

[University of Wisconsin-Madison eduction professor Diana Hess] is a nationally renowned expert...

Sorry, UW-Madison has lost its cachet - no one in its education programs should be trusted.

Wally Kalbacken said...

The hell with that nonsense!

ignatzk said...

True story. With the exception of one chemistry teacher, a few retired math and engineering professors and a shop/mechanic teacher....every single educator that I had to deal with, as a financial adviser, was as dumb as a bag of hammers, sharp as a box of rocks.

When I was in grad school, education majors always had the best tans.

MayBee said...

Why is it so hard to teach school kids to debate politics?

I don't believe for a second it is hard to teach school kids to debate politics.
Any competent teacher should be able to lead a classroom discussion on the topics they teach. The ability and desire to do so should be one of the reasons someone chooses to go into teaching.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Chuck66

Not saying that they aren't nice decent people who do the best they can with what skills they have. They mostly are.

The concept of mutual funds, 401(K)s and investing for the future aren't their strong points.

I know. That's why they 'supposedly' hired me to assist them. However, they either refused to take advice because it conflicted with their per-conceived political ideology or it was just too confusing.

If you "hire" me and then refuse to listen....I fire you.

I also believe in education and one of my principles was that if you were my client not only would you know WHAT you owned, you would understand WHY.

That principle is not just to educate, but also to protect my ass. If you have clients who are uncomprehending and then things don't go according to the unicorn and fairy ideals they have in their heads they are all over you because they are confused, feel cheated and are angry.

If they understand the dynamics of the investment world and understand and ACCEPT the risks, you have a client for life who will stick with you through up and down markets.

Those clients who listened and learned, made money or were barely hurt in the various down turns.

Teachers were just too much trouble and too stupid to help. I foisted them off onto other brokers.

So glad I don't do this any more!!!!

But, back to teachers. If they can't even plan for their own future or accept help for planning....How the HELL can we trust our children with them?

David said...

I took a look at Dr. Hess' publications and a few quick summaries of some of her articles. She has been a high school teacher (Downers Grove,Il.) before going to grad school and getting her Phd. She has been trying to think at a high level about these issues, and raises serious questions.

Many comments on this thread reflect some well founded suspicion about the skill and ethical position of many classroom teachers. Fair enough. But it seems to me that Diana Hess is trying to address the problem seriously. It's not clear why she deserves the disrespect that some are showing.

It occurs to me that part of the problem is that too many students (and probably some teachers too) lack the verbal and analytical skills to conduct a debate on other than emotional or irrational terms. That is sad. Many of our commenters have higher skills than this. Let's use them.

DADvocate said...

Moreover, DAD, why should taxes pay for people to learn how to debate politics? Government schooling should be politics neutral.

Amen. You can teach logic and critical thinking without politics being involved.

Henry said...

Oddly enough, my experience with public school teachers -- my wife's aunt, a number of friends, my children's elementary-level teachers, my own teachers 30 years ago -- is highly eclectic. All of the ones I know personally like to teach and take it seriously. But for one, now retired, punch-the-clock zombie, my kids' teachers have been super. And this is in a poor urban school district.

Does education draw the dim bulbs? Maybe as an average. My mother, who got an education degree in the 40's says her classes were deadly dull even then. Yet one of my friends who teaches has a mathematics degree. Another, who taught for many years until the bureaucracy burned him out, had two engineering masters. And there are people who teach because they have a gift for it. As an undergraduate in fine arts some of my courses overlapped with arts education majors. Some of them were underachievers (just like the fine arts majors). Most weren't. And then there was one guy who was not a very good draftsman yet obviously was going to be a great teacher. He was enthusiastic, charismatic, loved to explain things, a sponge for ideas.

There are lots of good teachers out there.

The idea of teaching logic and debate is a good one. Hess makes many very good points. Watch out for your own knee-jerk reactions, conservatives.

jim said...

Kids grow up to vote along familial lines so much that it's both uncanny & depressing.

"I can't help worrying that what teachers will really try to do is indoctrinate students in liberal ideology."

Granola, pot & Birkenstocks!

The concept of innocent youth systematically undergoing indoctrination into conservative ideology apparently raises no hackles ... which is very odd indeed, considering that some of the key founders of the original conservative think-tanks were quite open about their earnest & strenuous efforts being directed primarily to do exactly that.

Conversely, I can't think offhand of any liberal analogue to the epic struggle that was fought to try to have Intelligent Design theory taught as science-course material.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I want to quote Robert Cook at 12:50. I normally at am odds with him on many issues but agree 100% with him here

""All schools should teach Logic to all students. In my high school, it was only offered in the 12th Grade and only to AP students. It seems obvious that learning logic and how to think logically would benefit all students at every grade level, and will allow students to analyze for themselves the strengths and weaknesses of arguments they will hear throughout their lives for and against this idea or that.

Also, participation in "Forensics" (debate), where students typically must be prepared to argue well for either side of a binary debate, will strengthen the students' ability to recognize arguments that are well-reasoned and supported by data, as opposed to arguments that consist primarily of editorializing or that are undone by specious reasoning."

Logic and the ability to see the argument from BOTH sides.

Unfortunately, the program proposed by Ms. Hess is not likely to promote either of those techniques.

The art of argument is an important skill. Critical thinking is crucial. And most importantly is the ability to consider the argument from your opponent's viewpoint.

Teachers and liberals are unable to do many of the above.

Henry said...

jim wrote: Conversely, I can't think offhand of any liberal analogue to the epic struggle that was fought to try to have Intelligent Design theory taught as science-course material.

Apparently you haven't heard about drowning polar bears...

(though I agree that Intelligent Design is not science)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Conversely, I can't think offhand of any liberal analogue to the epic struggle that was fought to try to have Intelligent Design theory taught as science-course material.

Global Warming theory as accepted settled rock solid science.

Gay and alternative lifestyle acceptance forced into the curriculum


Sex education: see above

Re: Teachers. I'm not saying every single elementary or high school teacher is not smart. I haven't met every one. However, my anecdotal experience is that that the preponderance are dim. Nice. Well meaning. Misguided (according to my lights) but dim.

Public school education as we know it, should be abolished and people who have to pay taxes to support this system, should be given vouchers so that they can choose the educational style and educational facility where they would like to send their children.

Free market principles in education.

Seven Machos said...

DBQ -- The problem is that you'd have to completely restructure the tax system because property taxes and municipal bonds fund public primary and secondary education in most places.

Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ralph L said...

Government schooling should be politics neutral
Pretty difficult when the textbooks aren't. Other than the introduction of the income tax in the "Progressive" era, did anyone learn anything about federal taxes in high school? Will students learn the causes of the latest bubble, or will it all be blamed on Wall Street? The books either show one side or gloss over unpleasant facts.

A hundred years ago, there was a conscious effort to Americanize the immigrants' children with the ideals of our history and system. Now it's the reverse.

Ralph L said...

who made the mistake of interning for a U.S. senator
Are we supposed to guess what happened? You gave us quite a buildup.

Seven Machos said...

Pretty difficult when the textbooks aren't.

Don't get me started on textbooks. Textbook are the proof that teachers are idiots.

gk1 said...

Why would any person in their right mind trust a bunch of unionized, mensheviks to teach their kids how to think correctly?
It will take the dissolution of the teachers union and a few decades of reform before I would expose my kids to that sort of indoctrination.

Sofa King said...

Many comments on this thread reflect some well founded suspicion about the skill and ethical position of many classroom teachers. Fair enough. But it seems to me that Diana Hess is trying to address the problem seriously. It's not clear why she deserves the disrespect that some are showing.

Because if that is truly what she is doing, she is painting herself not just as naive, but dangerously naive.

Public school teachers have collectively - especially here in Wisconsin - pissed away any trust in their general ability to be fair or even-handed in political matters that might affect their own pocket-books. To blithely ignore this while castigating the parents (!) is to be so high-minded as to perch on the very tippy-top of the ivory tower.

Craig said...

Are we supposed to guess what happened?

The intern woke up one morning in the senator's bed and couldn't explain how she got there. Neither could the senator, so he resigned.

Something eerily similar happened to Seattle's pro basketball team, except the bed belonged to an oilman.

Shanna said...

I mentioned it as a homeschooling activity because I do not see it in public high schools

It's there. I did Debate in high school and the other schools in the area had teams as well. Just wanted to point out that it's not something limited to homeschoolers.

Fen said...

But it seems to me that Diana Hess is trying to address the problem seriously. It's not clear why she deserves the disrespect that some are showing.

Its the corruption. If she's not stupid, she knows very well that her ideas will be perverted by the corrupt education establishment. Resulting in yet more Leftist indoctrination of our sons and daughters.

But she's obviously not stupid. She just thinks we are. Hence our contempt.

The patronizing and condesending tone ("parents should rethink why they have their kids in school") doesn't help.

Neither does her bio footprint, which includes duty at Time and the NYTs.

TMink said...

"we want schools to be ideologically diverse places."

It is not wise to lie so close to Christmas.

Trey