Left-wing teachers

The state of education across the world

Left-wing teachers

Postby Elliott » 06 Aug 2011, 16:01

In this thread, there are several mentions of socialist bias in school staff. I don't want to drag that thread off-topic so will ask the question here:

How does socialist bias manifest itself in teaching?

There are the obvious examples of doing projects on "diversity" etc., but are there more subtle examples?
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Mike » 07 Aug 2011, 01:57

Most teacher colleagues of mine are, if anything, old-left. Staunch believers in unions and the nobility of being on the public purse, knee-jerk despisers of big corporations (other than the government), suspicious of new technology, etc. On spending a few minutes with one of these teachers you can guess their attitude on just about anything.

But having said that, I much, much prefer them to the sort of new-left bureaucrats who dominate academia and government departments - that is, the people who actually determine curricula and the like. They are the ones who provide the green/left tinge which permeates much of the curriculum here in NSW (Australia), which usually translates as choice of texts (English, the modern languages), movement away from technical knowledge to fluffy attitudinal stuff (the sciences, the technical subjects), and choice of periods to study (history). These types are often failed teachers who have discovered that the best way to prosper in a bureaucracy is to hide behind a bunch of jargon and create more paperwork for teachers, which of course creates more employment opportunities within the bureaucracy.

Interestingly, although most of the teachers are old-left, in my experience they rarely bring that into their teaching - because they believe, like me, that the whole process should be about the acquisition of knowledge and the conveying of a love of knowledge for its own sake rather than the inculcation of certain attitudes.
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Clinton » 09 Aug 2011, 22:33

I would answer that sometimes it is overt (my Iranian religion professor who said that the invisible hand must have arthritis...this just after the fall of communism), but like most bias, the bias in the academy is mostly unconscious.

I have often noticed that most leftists do not know that they are leftist. In their minds, there is a right wing and a center, and that's it. So the bias generally manifests itself in left-wing statements made from the assumption that everyone in the room agrees. When challenged on these statements, the speaker's usual response will be shock that there is someone in his presence who - gasp - actually has a different opinion.

And these are the people who endlessly preach diversity.
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Michael » 10 Aug 2011, 00:28

When challenged on these statements, the speaker's usual response will be shock that there is someone in his presence who - gasp - actually has a different opinion.

Oh, I had such fun in my graduate department voicing conservative views. Everyone I ever challenged was flabbergasted, then outraged (usually at the point they realized they had never bothered to learn why their view was supposed to be correct).

Incidentally, disgust with the groupthink of academia is one among several reasons I am no longer there.
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Arthur » 11 Aug 2011, 18:46

I had numerous left-wing teachers in my school in England.

I went to see one senior teacher after being teased as a "snob" and "geek" for paying attention in classes- Dalrymple once tells a story of an intelligent 15 year old in his Birmingham hospital ward who attempted suicide as a result of similar relentless taunting.
Even when the pupils responsible threatened me with stones and made me afraid to walk home unaccompanied, she said they had "difficulties at home" and it "wasn't their fault" how they behaved.

The principal was a millionairess who came up from the Home Counties with her professor husband; they owned a main home believed to be worth £2 million and a second home in the south of France and were well known in elite circles; top councillors, medics and academics were at her 60th birthday party, which a reliable source confirmed was extravagant. Yet she continued to espouse the ultra-liberal policies that made life a misery for the underclass; she could never see anyone as evil or bad, only a victim of circumstance, and struggled to accept the concept of personal responsibility; and she told me insistently that "gay sex is natural" when I was just twelve.

English involved a lot of posturing about equality and all accents being as good as RP, no "right" type of English, Merchant of Venice subverted to teach about anti-semitism and victimhood, etc.
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Gavin » 11 Aug 2011, 19:16

Interesting and shocking post, Arthur. In response, I remember two instances when I had trouble from individuals at school:

One on occasion the young female teacher said exactly the same thing that you cited: the "student" had "difficulties at home" and it "wasn't their fault". That was the end of it really, there wasn't any discipline.

The other occasion was quite different. The headteacher (a small man himself) encouraged me to hit someone in his school. Perhaps I should have chosen him! In seriousness, I was not afraid, but I found it difficult to break through the veneer of civilisation and punch someone in the face.

I'm sure schools are a lot worse now than they were then, and would not wish an inner city school on anyone, and that includes the teachers!

Now I think about it I remember some students actually offering teachers outside for a fight at my school. The teachers used to play it down. Part of their problem today is that if they discipline a child they may well have to contend with the righteous indignation (and possible violence) of the parents afterwards.
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Gavin » 11 Aug 2011, 19:28

I think Clinton hit the nail on the head earlier and this is exactly the same kind of bias we see from the BBC. There is no Left in their mind, just the Right (which is not only wrong but unspeakable) and the middle, which is where they believe they are.

Just as you say, Clinton, any views which depart from this position are viewed - with incomprehension - as heresy. Thus they are implicitly, if not explicitly, outlawed. Especially when these are the people marking your papers!

Not a good situation, but hard to see what can be done about it since this cabal of academics themselves control entry to their fields...
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Elliott » 12 Aug 2011, 00:56

Gavin wrote:The teachers used to play it down. Part of their problem today is that if they discipline a child they may well have to contend with the righteous indignation (and possible violence) of the parents afterwards.

Education is a subject close to my heart. Apart from the fact that I feel I was let down by my own education, my mother is a primary school teacher so I get all the stories about the nonsense that goes on. What you said (quoted above) reminded me of something.

In the child's end-of-year report, there's a box for grading their behaviour. VG means very good. G means good. S means satisfactory. U means unsatisfactory.

My mother has learned that the headteacher (her boss) will not back her up if she criticises a child. She will be left to the dogs. Between her and the headteacher is a management layer (founded early on in New Labour's run, and totally useless) who would, similarly, look for any reason to excuse a child's bad behaviour. Again, the teacher would be left, alone and isolated, trying to explain to the parents that she was right in making a criticism of their child that nobody else will back up. She will be made to look a fool. Behind the scenes, management may accost her for insulting the school's "parent community", for being troublesome.

So my mother has little choice but to mark in each child's box "VG", even when the child is an obnoxious, lazy little brat. In fact the vast majority of children get "VG" - only one or two in each class get a "G", and you can guarantee their parents will be up to the school questioning this grade in an outraged, offended manner.

This is a very middle-class area. Even the middle-class no longer have the authority to mould their children to be good. The implications do not bear thinking about.

Meantime the behaviour of children within the school gets worse by the year. They can't control themselves, can't stay quiet during lessons (or "learning opportunities" as they're now known), walk straight into adults expecting the adult to move aside for them, say "twen'y" instead of "twenty", never say "please" or "thank you".

With the loss of deference, and the rejection of Original Sin, we are losing all self-restraint. Any reason to respect somebody else becomes nullified. There is no reason to respect other people: you are the centre of the universe.

My mother, and the colleagues in other schools that she has known for 35 years, all say the same things. Of the riots, she said "I've seen this coming for decades". Meantime these same women, approaching retirement, are stigmatised for being too strict, for knowing where to use apostrophes, for believing in discipline, for missing their blackboards, for thinking that technology isn't the answer to every problem, and most of all, just for being decent people. Last year, the younger teachers at my mother's school went on an end-of-term pub crawl, in the small town in which they teach.

An ex-friend of mine who had just become a teacher (and pumped full of Marxist drivel at the training college) said that there was nothing wrong at all with teachers going on a pub crawl in the town in which they teach. "It'll be in the evening. Their pupils aren't going to see them," he said, as if that were the point.

I could go on and on about this. There is a mass of stories to tell, besides the staid (and depressing) statistics. The transformation that occurred in my afore-mentioned friend during his time at training college was disturbing in itself. By the end of it he was saying that all children were basically wonderful, that the 11 year-olds who killed Jamie Bulger were "just babies themselves". The righteousness was stomach-churning. There was a sense with my friend that he did not see his job as primarily to educate children, but to defend them from society, from their parents, from any criticism whatsoever. He had been indoctrinated into believing that children were angels, incapable of evil.

So much to say... But I've said enough for now.

TD is right, and is if anything understating the severity of the situation. Our society is heading for some kind of apocalypse. 60 years ago we had the world's last empire, and we are paying the price for doing what has subsequently become considered the worst thing a country could do. The Marxists will not stop until Great Britain is utterly destroyed, and I believe they are doing it primarily from the teacher training colleges.

I realise how paranoid and extreme that sounds, but it makes sense. What better place to kill a society from than its teacher training colleges?
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Gavin » 12 Aug 2011, 08:42

Hard hitting, but I can't fault what you say, Elliott.

Two things I will add. Did you hear about the teacher who got so drunk after binge drinking all evening that he climbed into a rubbish bin and got crushed to death? No joke. "He loved a drink", his friends said of him. Funny I wasn't surprised this happened in Brighton.

Also, "learning opportunities" - I love that! So if you want to learn, you can, if not that's fine too. Very much like "policing by consent" - one we've heard a lot over the last few days. "Excuse me, would you mind if I arrest you? Yes? Okay, I just thought I would check."
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Mike » 12 Aug 2011, 12:57

My colleagues and I in Oz (not just at my school, but pretty much throughout the Australian education system, if anecdotal evidence is anything to go by) have a simple method of dealing with the frivolous, irrelevant demands and the vacuous jargon of the education bureaucrats. We go along to the inservices, listen to all the drivel, nod sagely (and occasionally heckle gently if we're in the right mood), insert the latest fancy meaningless terms into our programs, and then quietly keep on doing what we've always done. Luckily, the education bureaucracy isn't as aggressive as it seems to be elsewhere, and they tend to let us get on with the real business of teaching while happily collecting their generous salaries.

The inservices can be absolutely hilarious though. At one we had about a month ago, the jargon was so exquisite that one of my colleagues decided to make a list of it during the day. "Student-centred learning facilitation". "Synergistic embrace" (I kid you not). "Constructivist pedagogy". "Disruptive technologies". Followed by a clumsy PowerPoint presentation (of course!) that featured a spelling mistake that a seven-year-old would have been ashamed of.

Education academics. A very low form of life indeed.
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Elliott » 13 Jan 2012, 11:02

With Diane Abbott in the news last week for saying that "white people love to divide and rule", I was made aware of this Youtube video:



It seems to me that if a primary teacher taught his class a song about a conservative politician, specifically teaching them to celebrate the politician's right-wing ideas, said teacher would be in big trouble.

The "song" is a rap song, so it is not so much sung as shouted, in an aggressive and uncivilised manner. As such it's very hard to decipher the lyrics. However, the content of the teaching (of which this song is the glorious culmination) can be surmised from the questions the teacher puts to his pupils afterwards.

At the end, he rewards them for saying the right things with the appraisal: "Good stuff, good answers."

All this is so ridiculous when one considers the person being celebrated. Diane Abbott is hardly an intellectual. If it weren't for her hard left ideas, she would never have got into politics.

Of course, in spite of being very left-wing, Abbott sent her own son to private school, rather than a state school in her constituency - such as the one in the video above.
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Rachel » 14 Jan 2012, 02:37

That video reminded me of my Dad telling me how when he was a small schoolboy in Romania they taught the children to sing songs about Stalin and how he improved everything "for people like you and me".

I'm not comparing Diane Abbot to Stalin. It's just that glorifying any *current* politician as a lesson in school is wrong -whether left or right.

Junior School should be about teaching to read, write and arithmatic.

I'm not sure that it was better in my Junior school in the 80's.
All I remember doing is similar projects on more neutral subjects and cutting out pieces of paper, singing and recorder lessons. My parents finally taught me how to read at age 8 because they saw the school wasn't doing it.

That video and the fact that Diane Abbot sends her own children to private school is proof that the schooling system should be taken out of the state.
The state should just pay for schooling like in Sweden and have only a little other influence.

This video should be on the front page of the news.
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Damo » 14 Jan 2012, 18:16

I couldn't agree more with Rachel. State backed education is a failure.

Here's a book I'd like to recommend.

All Must Have Prizes by Melanie Phillips.
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Caleb » 16 Jan 2012, 07:46

What do you guys think of Toby Young's project and the broader Free school movement? I personally would like to see such a thing around where I live, but I know such a thing won't be forthcoming in Taiwan. As such, my wife and I will be home schooling our children when we have them.
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Re: Left-wing teachers

Postby Elliott » 16 Jan 2012, 17:25

Caleb wrote:What do you guys think of Toby Young's project and the broader Free school movement?

Personally I think it's excellent and I hope eventually every school is a free school. I think it's the best way to raise standards (short of everyone going to private school) across the board.

The next step is to allow them to select by academic ability, effectively bringing back grammar schools; until we are prepared to do that, we are quietly allowing our country to sink into the mire. (I will always be bitter about the fact that I had to go to a school with kids who had no interest in learning and/or weren't intellectually up to it, because it damages everyone's chances of learning.)

Basically we need to bring responsibility back. If you're not prepared to learn, you don't deserve an education. It's ruthless but I think it's common sense. Under the present system, a kid can knowingly waste his time for 13 years to the detriment of all the other kids, and nothing will happen.

One of the things Free Schools will encourage is parental responsibility, which is the nub of the matter. The more government steps back and makes parents responsible for their children's education, the better.
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