Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Political Correctness in the Classroom

Usually I don't read, listen or watch the CBC because the bias is nausiating. But while trying to find a link to Harper being on Corner Gas I clicked onto this article about political correctness in the classroom. I found it quite interesting, check it out!

In some provinces, according to the teachers' unions, good teachers will advocate for women's rights, abortion rights, native rights, same-sex marriage rights, secular humanism, feminism, multiculturalism, diversity, the environment, the Earth, meditation, co-operation, wild whales, wild salmon and moral relativity. If you happen to believe in the rights of the unborn, or the traditional definition of marriage, or if you dare question the joys of diversity, feminism or homosexuality, or believe anything that is not on the bandwagon of the politically correct, you should keep your mouth shut, or you may be admonished by the high priests of correct thinking.

Teachers whose views run contrary to their union's opinions hardly ever suffer censure from fellow teachers. For one thing, those contrary views seldom find their way into a classroom and never into a curriculum. Teachers are as various as individual members of any group. Their personal opinions and beliefs span the full range of thinking on any issue. This is not a problem. Most teachers know very well how to draw the line between having personal beliefs and promoting them to students.

However, when a teachers' union makes a public statement supporting abortion rights, same-sex marriage, the Kyoto accord or whatever, it is crossing a line in education and seriously inhibiting a teacher's right to differ, and (more importantly) limiting students' rights to an unbiased education.

No one argues that politically incorrect views are unbiased. Most of us have no trouble understanding that preaching the rights of the unborn, or the sanctity of traditional heterosexual marriage, or the joys of big-game hunting in the spring has no place in the public school system. But the same people who claim to see the folly of one point of view and the need to avoid promoting it in classrooms have no problem endorsing the opposite point of view and transplanting it into the curriculum.

My point here is that these issues are matters of opinion. Perfectly nice, reasonable, intelligent people have opposing ideas about things. This is good. Every one of these and many other issues are legitimate material for student debate, exploration and discovery. What is not good is how a point of view becomes a mantra that the self-declared enlightened put forward as required or even optional course content.


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