The New Discourses Podcast with James Lindsay, Episode 61
Critical Education Theory Series, Part 2
Something is rotten in the state of Western education. The name for that rot is “Critical Pedagogy,” which could also be called “Critical Education Theory,” the infusion of Critical Theory into all aspects of education. How did this happen? Rather, how was it allowed to happen? Activists have been tirelessly working for over 50 years to make their way into the American, Canadian, and other Western school systems, and, as you will learn in this episode of the New Discourses Podcast, the second in a growing series on the Critical Turn in Education, they have been successful in that mission for at least the last 30 years. In this episode, second in this series, James Lindsay reads through the book that documents this horrific turn, The Critical Turn in Education, by Marxian education professor Isaac Gottesman, and makes clear exactly how our educational systems were deliberately and strategically turned Marxist over the last half century. Join him to understand exactly what’s going on in our schools and why.
Critical Education Theory Series:
Part 1: Education’s New Marxist Commitments
Part 3: Paulo Freire’s Politics of Education and a New Hope
Part 4: Paulo Freire’s Prophetic Vision for Education
Part 5: Critical Education: What Is Culturally Relevant Pedagogy?
Part 6: Critical Education: Transformative Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
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Previous episodes of the New Discourses podcast are available here.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Common Core didn’t come out of education’s critical turn, as suggested in the episode. Quite the contrary. The goal of both was workforce development and economic opportunity–goals that social recons characterize, per Bowles and Gintis, as “reproducing capitalism.”
NCLB was pegged to high stakes standardized tests, and Common Core set “college ready” standards for literacy and math. If there are three things critical educationist hate it’s stakes, standards, and standardized tests, all which they regard as white supremacist/systemically racist.
The rightwing did also oppose Common Core, but that stemmed from their suspicions of Obama (who incentivized its adoption) and the Gates Foundation (which underwrote its development), and their reflexive opposition to “federal intrusion” (though CC was the creation of a consortium of states). So it’s become conventional on the political right to view CC as some sort of leftwing plot. But both CC and NCLB were the opposite of social recon, about as polar opposite of the critical turn as it gets.
And from the turn of the millenium:
Also from 1960.
The trouble with Ed Schools began long before then.