What is Indoctrination, and Do Homeschoolers Engage in It?
As homeschoolers, we are sometimes accused of “indoctrinating” our kids. I’m willing to concede that point — or not — depending on what definition you use. (Of course I can’t speak for everyone else’s household.)
“Teaching” them, certainly.
“To teach a particular belief with the aim that they will reject other Beliefs.” Guilty as charged.
“Teaching someone to accept doctrines uncritically.” Not as much as some might think.
Education is Never Neutral
“Education is a moral enterprise that shapes human development. The pedagogical visions of educators can be inspired by different worldviews, cultural experiences and political ideas. Moral values are at stake…”
You might be inclined to think this is a quote from a Christian arguing for the importance of a Christian education. You’d be mistaken. This quote actually comes from Dutchman Wiel Veugelers, in a booklet called Education and Humanism (where humanism is the preferred worldview).
Individuals from a broad range of backgrounds have long recognized that it’s not a question of whether education will convey a worldview — it will. The only question is which one?
Education from My Worldview
So, yes, I teach my Children from my own worldview. And I hope our children will accept our beliefs as true. I think that’s pretty universal to humanity — we all hope that, in the end, our offspring will share our values.
My children are also encouraged to question those beliefs, to weigh them against other beliefs, to see if they measure up. I actually don’t want my children to believe what I believe simply because I do, or because I tell them to.
I hope that they will share my beliefs, sure. But my hope is that they will share my beliefs because they have tested them and found them to hold up where others do not.
Perhaps more importantly, our children know their bias. Do you & yours?
Education from the Mainstream Worldview
In my experience, many who share the most common beliefs within their cultures, communities, or even just their circles, are completely unaware they even have a bias. They have accepted their “doctrine[s] uncritically.”
School as we know it goes so far as to teach us that the “accepted” thing is not biased. Government websites, for instance, are considered “unbiased.” But the fact is, the commonness of a bias does not make it any less a bias. The simple matter of how many people believe a thing does not make it true. (These are logical fallacies, actually.)
Were you encouraged to question the things you were taught? Or were you taught to believe without question that what your government, your teachers, and/or your textbooks told you was absolute truth, and anyone who believes contrary is simply an idiot?
Do you know how to recognize a fallacy?
Have you been steeped in the fallacy of appeals to authority all of your life?
Do you lay claim to scientific reasoning and evidence-based thought, while unknowingly resting your beliefs on what you’ve been told is true rather than what has been demonstrated to be true? If you have put your trust in some person or entity to be honest and accurate in what they’ve taught you, on what basis did you conclude that faith was well-founded?
These are incredibly common experiences — because, contrary to claims of objectivity, government-run schools do engage in indoctrination. Savvy professors are recognizing the results of this in their incoming students.
(The media takes this even farther, pushing to “stop the spread of misinformation,” when what they’re really referring to is the spread of socially-unacceptable information.)
Who is Indoctrinating Your Children?
It’s unavoidable that somebody will be indoctrinating your children — by one definition or another. The only question is, “Who?”
What worldview do the indoctrinators hold?
Are they teaching students to examine what they’re teaching? To consider and evaluate competing views? Or to avoid questioning?
And what does your worldview tell you the answers to those questions ought to be?
Who is Indoctrinating Your Children? is a post from: Titus 2 Homemaker
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