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Modern education, especially as it exists in the government controlled public schools, has deteriorated continually over the past 100 years. There are no "education specialists" who aren't now actually behavioral psychologists or psychiatrists. The field of psychology has very much taken over the public school system, and is doing its best to take over private schools. Through covert tactics, extensive lobbying efforts, and setting government mandated "educational standards", even home-schooling may have to conform to the dictates of psychologists.
Before the advent of psychology into the schools, education involved learning to read, acquiring mental skills, and developing the ability to think conceptually. The idea behind traditional education was to prepare the student with as wide and strong a base as possible for future success and contribution in the world. The modern psychologists have a different idea, and this involves ensuring the students possess the correct beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. The attention in education has gone from cognitive skills and effective thinking ability, to affective things, such as how the student feels, what he believes and what attitudes he has. This is why students perform worse on standardized tests today that gauge thinking ability and cognitive skills compared to 25 or 50 years ago.
By 1952, behavioral psychology had not only become the "scientific" foundation of American pedagogy, but it had changed our textbooks, revised the classroom curriculum, and redesigned the American school building. If you detect something mindless about American education, it's because the mind has been taken out of it. Only visible behavior counts.
The modern psychologically-based schools fail to adequately teach the students how to read, learn and understand, concentrating more on the affective domain, and actually cause a number of "learning disabilities", which psychiatry then "diagnoses" and prescribes drugs for as the solution. Many children are labeled as having "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" in the public schools, where psychiatry also has its government mandated influence, based upon teacher observations and recommendations. The teachers are trained in college how to do this, even though they are not properly trained therapists. Almost all "diagnoses" of ADHD depend upon teacher comments and observations. The public school system is as an integral part of the national "mental health" system. There is much to hyperactive and attention problems that have nothing to due with "mental illnesses" and "disorders". The psychiatrists won't tell you that, and jump at the chance to prescribe Ritalin and other dangerous drugs. Often the child's behavior is due to dietary or other environmental factors such as sugar, allergins or toxins. Or, the child appears to have a "learning disability" primarily because faulty psychological theories and practices have ruined any ability to read and learn the child might have originally possessed (i.e. the modern "look-see" reading method that systematically destroys reading and cognitive ability).
There is much to this subject, and the links below cover a wealth of information and provide further information for the interested parent or person.
Losing the Education Race - While critics tend to rely on the three-decades long decline of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) to document the dumbing down of American education, more alarming is our performance against the students of other industrialized countries. By virtually every measure of achievement, American students lag far behind their counterparts in both Asia and Europe, especially in math and science. Moreover, the evidence suggests that they are falling farther and farther behind. Read the results of various studies and the details of exactly how modern public education has failed.
The Leipzig Connection - The history of modern psychology beginning with Wilhelm Wundt in Germany. Wundt's theories change the view of Man as possessing a "mind" or "soul" to one of Man seen as an animal, subject only to stimulus-response factors. Since then modern psychology has more and more aligned with the behaviorist view of Man as a beast to be controlled by placing him in suitable controlled environments. Read how this view came to predominate in modern education.
Behaviorism - The notion that Man is an animal to be controlled through environmental forces and manipulated experience had its beginning in the late 1800s with the German experiemental psychology of Wilhelm Wundt. These ideas were continued with the studies of F. Lee Thorndike and John Dewey. The approach of behaviorism explains how the mind of Man was forsaken, and has much to do with the disregard of modern educational theories for the intellect, cognitive skills, responsibility and morality (all apsects of the mind).
Ritalin & Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - The public schools operate as "mental health" clinics with teachers and administrators indoctrinated into the psychiatric view of "child disorders" and drugs. The schools have effectively become referral services for the psychiatric and drug industries. Find out the truth about Ritalin and other drugs, and how much uncertainty actually exists about the so-called "disorders" and their "cures". Read this before allowing your child to be labeled with a psychiatric disorder or put onto drugs.
Outcome-Based Education (OBE) - OBE is showing up in all 50 states, and with very similar goals and methodology. This is because the government is mandating it from the federal level. OBE was developed by behavioral psychologists, and admittedly is not designed to address cognitive skills, but aims more at adjusting and modifying the beliefs, values, attitudes and behavior of the students. This link has many references.
Public Education - The Point of No Return: Are We There? - In April 1983 the National Commission on Excellence in Education issued its now historic report, A Nation at Risk, in which it said: "The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and as a people." Then it added a comment, which must have raised a lot of eyebrows: "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves."
The New Illiteracy - Educationists noticed that many children misspelled words and realized that it would take a great deal of time, effort, and commitment to fix the problem. Instead, they discovered "invented spelling." Children weren't getting the words wrong, they were acting as "independent spellers," and any attempt to correct them would not only stifle their freedom, but smother their tender young creativity aborning. Such ideas have been widely seized upon by educationists who see the natural, unconscious, and effortless approach to spelling not only as progressive and child-centered, but a lot less work as well.
Look-See vs. Phonics - Phonics had been used successfully in the USA and Europe for many years to teach children how to read. It supplies the student with tools to expand their vocabulary. The look-see or whole-language approach, developed by modern psychologists, denies the students these tools, and instead forces them to learn through rote memorization. Find out details about both, and why students reading ability is reduced when forced to "learn to read" with the look-see methods. Another case of modern psychology's theories and methods sabotaging an area of human life and ability.
National Education Association (NEA) - The NEA is the controlling force behind what happens in the public schools, and is about the largest professional lobby in the United States. It has completely adopted the "modern scientific psychological approach" to Man, along with humanist views of socialism where the individual must adapt to the needs of society. The NEA allied with modern psychology and psychiatry very early in its development as the powerful teacher's union. Teachers must conform to their dictates to get or retain "official licensing".
The Separation of School and State - Modern "materialism" or the "humanist scientific view" act as "religious" ideologies possessing very involved ideas and beliefs about Man, the universe and Man's relationship to the Universe and others. These ideas are promoted in all public schools, using the excuse that they are "scientific" and not "religious". The government very much endorses a specific world view above all others, and oppresses the rest via what is allowed and what isn't allowed in the public schools. Schools should be free of government involvement of any sort.
The Swedish Failure of Progressive Education and Socialism - Carl Bildt, Sweden's new 42-year-old conservative prime minister, aims to steer Sweden back into the family of freemarket nations. "Collectivism and socialism have been thrown on the scrap heap of history," he told us during a recent visit. "There is no compromise worth having between state control and capitalism." Education is the area of greatest failure and this explains why and how.
Values Clarification & Situation Ethics - These are both relative systems of ethics that teach the child there is no absolute right or wrong. It's even okay to murder depending on the situation. While these ideas may apply in part to grown adults, with maturity and life experience to draw from, teaching these ideas to children almost always results in moral deterioration. This is more ideas spawned from modern psychologists and well-funded educational foundations.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching - This is one of the well-funded and influential foundations, which directs the course of modern teaching and education. It is staffed almost entirely by psychologists and endorses only their approaches. The foundation has many ties to powerful corporations. This group decides what to study, what to prove, what theories to consider.
Modern Education, Values Clarification, OBE, Behaviorism - The REAL Problems - An essay that ties all the aspects of the problems with modern education together. In a nutshell, who can and will determine the beliefs, values, attitudes and convictions of our children?
A Conspiratorial Slant to Modern Education - The elite Skull & Bones society of Yale University produces numerous influential members who train in Germany in the "new psychology", bring it back to the USA, and spread these views far and wide.
The Psychopathic School - The Failure of Modern Public Education from John Taylor Gatto's groundbreaking book Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling.
Home-Schooling - More and more parents are taking their children out of public (and private) schools to ensure their children receive quality education. The results and abilities of home-schoolers are routinely better and higher than public school children. Find out why. Many links to resources regarding home-schooling.
Suggested Reading List - the Demise of the Educational System - OBE (Outcome-Based Education), NEA (National Education Association), educational psychology, German psychology & influences, demise of public education, educational sabotage, Wundt, Pavlov, Dewey, Skinner, Watson.
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