Saturday, March 29, 2003

Teaching by Intimidation, Part Deux

Thomas Sowell on the intellectual foundation of today's government schools:

It is bad enough when someone takes the position that he has made up his mind and doesn't want to be confused by the facts. It is worse when someone else makes up his mind for him and then he dismisses any facts to the contrary by attributing bad motives to those who present those facts.

Creating mindless followers is one of the most dangerous things that our public schools are doing. Young people who know only how to vent their emotions, and not how to weigh opposing arguments through logic and evidence, are sitting ducks for the next talented demagogue who comes along in some cult or movement, including movements like those that put the Nazis in power in Germany.

At one time, the educator's creed was: "We are here to teach you how to think, not what to think." Today, schools across the country are teaching students what to think -- whether about the environment, the war, social policy, or whatever.

Terrorism remains the greatest threat to America's security. But "public education" may rank a close second.

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