White Supremacy dies hard and it’s not going away without a fight. Cue the deep red state legislatures and pandering governors to present another non-issue that doesn’t exist in our nation’s public schools: Critical Race Theory.
What is gingivitis? It is an inflammation of the gums. Nobody knew that when a decades-old mouthwash company threw the word into a scare ad campaign. OMG, you have GINGIVITIS?! You need to use our product three times a day!
The old pleadings to avoid ‘bad breath’ no longer worked. So borrow a word, use it entirely out of context and its meaning, and hope to scare people into buying what they were selling.
For laughs, Grumpy Old Teacher (GOT) will indulge in a reminiscence from his high school days, when he and his friends would go to the University of Maryland library to do research for a term paper. He loved to spend time in the stacks looking at old magazines from the 1910s and 1920s. Especially hilarious were the ads and this mouthwash company was prominent in their old-timey claims that the product would cure dandruff, prevent bruises, clean the floors, cure gonorrhea, and soothe chapped hands.
Critical Race Theory is the gingivitis of today’s shock politicians who would have you believe that it is the evil, no, currently THE EVIL, with which rogue teachers are indoctrinating children.
Before we go any further, let’s deal with that issue–teachers indoctrinating children as if your local public school was a re-education camp that the Chi-Coms specialize in (see Uighurs and cultural genocide a/k/a forced assimilation.)
When we pierce through the claims of politicians, culture warriors, and sadly-misled parents, we find the theory of B.F. Skinner: behaviorism, or that a series of rewards and punishments will cause humans to adopt desired behaviors, including thoughts and beliefs, and to abandon undesired behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs.
In the Silicon Age, where we interact daily, almost constantly, with machines driven by the movement of electrons on small wafers of sand, whose movement is guided by the programming or directions laid down by a human engineer, it is easy to believe that the education of children follows the same process.
Behaviorism is the theoretical foundation for that understanding of learning and human psychology.
How easy it is for opportunistic politicians to exploit this connection for power and profit. Children have no minds of their own; they are new computers fresh out of the box and the struggle is over who will program them: evil, leftist, commie, socialist, union teachers or those who are walking across the water to save the children.
GOT exaggerates. Or does he?! Twenty-five years of educational reform have led us to this very place, where the behaviorist/human programming theories drive laws like NCLB and ESSA, in which outside factors on the lives of children are thrown aside and teachers, schools, and administrative personnel are held accountable for a failure to program young minds made of carbon and possessing a human soul to score at artificially-set levels along an unintelligible scale.
If you need help to understand that, ask yourself why the Fahrenheit scale sets the temperature of water freezing at 32 degrees. What is magical about the number 32? Why not 50? Why not zero? Why 32?
Why indeed? And now that GOT has you wondering about the learning theories that reform-minded politicians, self-appointed experts, and others assume without ever offering an explanation as to why they are correct, he will end this post here.
Part Two to come. No ‘tl;dr’ for this blogger! 🙂