The Radicalization of Teacher Education

Dan Gagliasso is an award-winning filmmaker who has written, produced or directed a number of shows for the History Channel and Discovery Channel. He has had three feature films produced from his scripts and a number other projects optioned by major studios and production companies. Dan has published over 100 articles on history and popular culture for various national and academic publications and is a frequent contributor to Currently he is preparing a major documentary about the crisis in the lack of knowledge of American history amongst high school and college students.

Major schools of education are increasingly trying to indoctrinate new teaching candidates with radical, far-left ideas.  Propaganda spouting radical professors are putting numbers of talented prospective elementary and high school teachers in the unfortunate position of allowing themselves to be reeducated – or having to quit their post-graduate teaching credential programs.  Consequently, American schools are losing some of the best and the brightest future teachers; those who refuse to be beaten down into politically correct submission.

Robert Holland and Don Soifer of the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Virginia gave me a preview of their explosive new report Radicalization of Teacher Education Programs in the United States that was just released.  This new study blows the lid off of just how far Bill Ayers and other radical education gurus have succeeded in brainwashing a new generation of American teachers – often at the taxpayer’s expense.

Robert Holland is a former editor and education journalist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch and is a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute. Mr. Holland is also a nationally recognized advocate for educational standards and school choice.  Don Soifer is Executive Vice President of the Lexington Institute with an expertise in educational issues.  Mr. Soifer spends much of his free time away from his own family working with American History teachers and students at predominately low-income, African-American charter schools in the Washington, D.C. area.

Paulo Freire, the radical Brazilian author of the far-left education screed Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and revisionist historian and propagandist Howard Zinn have become two of the most influential and destructive forces in modern American classrooms.   Zinn’s highly inaccurate, hate-America-first book, A People’s History of the United States, has become one of the most widely used history books. That sharp-witted, working class conservative pundit Daniel Flynn has pointed out, “If you’ve read Marx, there’s no reason to read Howard Zinn.”

If your child wants to become a teacher today they’ll need to get through the minefield of radical political indoctrination spread by the infected teaching credential programs at major universities. Major schools of education like the University of Massachusetts, the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan and the University of California, Los Angeles have all eagerly signed on to these radical transformative teaching programs.  UCLA’s education department actually houses their own Paulo Freire Institute and boasts a popular, self-styled rock and roll professor, Peter McLaren, who worships at the alter of Che Guevara, Castro, Lenin and Mao.

As the Holland and Soifer’s report reveals, too many university schools of education have now become hot beds of “institutional (reverse) racism, redistributionist ideology, resisting oppression, equipping teachers with the tools to transform their students’ perspectives.”

Former Nigerian educator, now a University of Missouri, Kansas City associate professor, Omiunota Nelly Ukpokodu, is one of the most radical proponents of Freire’s transformative learning propaganda.   For over ten years Ms. Ukpokodu has been reeducating potential teachers at the University of Missouri.   Ukpokodu ardently believes that “European Americans of middle-class backgrounds who are socialized to conservative ideologies and mind frames negate their ability to engage in effective cross-cultural responsive teaching. ”

Ukpokodu’s publicly stated goals at her school’s Diversity Curriculum Infusion Program are to “break down ‘resistance’ to multiculturalism and open doors to ‘transformative practice and change.’”

Out of 45 recent teaching candidates attending her reeducation classes, five brave souls exhibited passive resistance to multicultural transformation.  Unfortunately, one student was forced out of the teaching profession completely.    Ukpokodu stated that that particular prospective teacher “realized that she did not have what it takes to teach diverse students and so decided to resign from teaching.”

For most of us, the word reeducation brings up brutal images of Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s post-revolution China, Ho Chi Minh’s Vietnam and Pol Pot’s Cambodia. Ukpokodu mentions nothing about this former teaching candidate’s knowledge of her subject or actual teaching skills.  Yet, the University of Missouri professor is incredibly proud of herself for forcing this teacher in training out of the profession.

Soifer and Holland point out that the transformative learning emphasized in so many schools of education today is really “about inducing white guilt and causing teachers to acquire the ‘dispositions’ of leftist activists who believe in government-enforced redistribution.”

In the end it is the students who lose out by not having a qualified and dedicated teacher in the classroom.  Soifer and Holland’s report emphasizes that: “No matter how expert a politically conservative mathematics teacher might be in the academic discipline, or how highly skilled in making the subject come alive for students, he or she would flunk the ‘disposition’ test posed by these agents of transformative learning.”

Today, radical leftist educators are trying to get to your children’s minds at the youngest possible age.  Major radical education organizations like the National Association of Multicultural Educators and the Teaching Early Childhood Equity Initiative want “Early childhood education teachers to access a range of anti-racist education resources that included anti-racist leadership camps where unlearning racism is central to teacher preparation.”

What these radical educators are really talking about is teaching instructors to brainwash your preteen children with reverse racism and forced acceptance of fringe sexual mores that many parents don’t agree with.  To these groups an oppressor is anyone who is white, Christian and heterosexual.   In fact the National Association for the Education of Young Children, who are also the authors of the textbook Rethinking Early Childhood Education, emphasize teaching about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender roles to three to five year olds.

What Soifer and Holland are encouraging parents to do is take a serious look at what is going on in their children’s classrooms.  Their report thoughtfully asks:  “Do parents who entrust their children to government-controlled schools have a clue about the radical agendas that many schools of education are pushing upon teacher candidates?  Do they believe that if state education departments certify teachers as a result of completing all those state education credits (many given for attending radical conferences and seminars with taxpayers dollars) that their academic preparation was sound?  They should not make such an assumption unless they believe schooling should be about political indoctrination instead of transmitting critical knowledge and skills, and encouraging kids to become well-informed, independent thinkers.”

Soifer and Holland expertly show how radical educators are creating a generation of teachers with a major lack of, “basic knowledge in the very subjects they are teaching.”   Knowledge that has been replaced by leftist political indoctrination and ”teaching candidates who are under equipped to address the well documented, worrisome decline in student levels of skills and knowledge in American public schools.”

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  • Rifleman

    For leftists,it's political reliability, not knowledge and ability, that are important. The results speak for themselves. This took generations to create, and it will take generations to cast out, if it ever is.

  • Larry

    This is not new. It has been going on since I did my teacher training 30 years ago, and wasn't new then. As a result I, and most of my class, walked away from the teaching profession as soon as we got our pieces of paper. Approximately 10% of my graduating class went into the profession that they had just spent 4 years of their lives preparing for.

    • Tyler Janus

      What did you wind up doing since any “degree” with the word “Education” on it is a worthless piece of paper?

    • aspacia

      I am fighting the establishment, but what do expect from a person born in the 50's.

  • clarespark

    When I took teacher training at Cornell in the late 1950s, there was none of this. It took the New Left and the counter-culture in which it was embedded to embellish progressive education with anti-imperialism. See…. "Reality and the Left."

  • tagalog

    Ukpukodu says, “European Americans of middle-class backgrounds who are socialized to conservative ideologies and mind frames negate their ability to engage in effective cross-cultural responsive teaching. ”

    Interestingly, I find many (I mean MANY) former non-conservatives (both cultural and political) among righties these days, but I see very few former righties converting to leftism. So I think it's the people with the progressive ideologies who are having trouble engaging in effective cross-cultural responsive teaching.

    I wonder why that might be true; could it be that Mr. Ukpukodu is missing some valuable learning moment in his American journey?

    Despite about 4 decades of a leftist orientation among teachers, and its consequent cultural impact on people, we continue to experience 50-50 splits in elections. Eventually those 50-50 splits will do great political harm to our nation, but not yet. There's still time to recover our commonly-held values.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Ukpukodu says, “European Americans of middle-class backgrounds who are socialized to conservative ideologies and mind frames negate their ability to engage in effective cross-cultural responsive teaching. ”

      The question is why they believe the teacher must know so much about alien cultures in order to teach? In most cases, they don't. Cross-cultural sensitivities are only useful in limited settings. We don't have any fundamental need to learn how to adapt to alien (especially hostile totalitarian) cultures. Period.

      "I think it's the people with the progressive ideologies who are having trouble engaging in effective cross-cultural responsive teaching."

      That's because like so many things they label and describe, they only have a limited definition for what they mean. Their don't have their minds open as they demand of others. Special definitions and one-way streets, distinct standards for each class…liberalism…a big incoherent mess.

    • aspacia

      I am one:-)

  • flyingtiget

    I took a couple of basic education classes at Northern Illinois University in 1978. This was in the vague hope of becoming a teacher. I stopped taking after a sememster because I found them to be too radical left wing! I was a liberal in those days, but in the education classes I felt that I was in the Soviet Union.
    I found other ways to make a living, but I am shocked to learn that the education training is more left wing than in my day.

  • adam

    They teach college students to use reason and critical thinking, so you're wrong. You're politicizing an issue that is not there. You are creating straw man arguments.

    • Pontotoc Bill

      Actually, you are wrong. The use of reason and critical thinking is only for attacking conservative ideas. To use reason and critical thinking about liberal/progressive ideas is prosecuted with great vim. Just watch the MSM attack Rommney.

      My ability to speak, former teacher for eight years who NEVER swallowed the NEA kool-aid.

      • tagalog

        The fact that you acknowledge "the NEA kool-aid" and that you chose not to swallow it speaks volumes about the atmosphere among teachers in general, particularly the inexperienced, the young, and those who find it difficult to resist the flow of the mainstream.

    • Neils60

      Adam, Your teacher training must have been in the minority. Mine was just as described in this article.

      • aspacia

        Think the time period Neils.

  • BRL…

    QUOTE: schools of education are increasingly trying to indoctrinate new teaching candidates with radical, far-left ideas.

    Increasingly? Radical indoctrination is WHY those schools were created.

  • Marc

    I find the expression "reverse discrimination" unfortunate. It implies that when minorities (and leftists) discriminate against whites and males that they have suffered discrimination from the very people who are now "getting a taste of their own medicine". More often a young minority who has had the benefit of affirmative action all their life and has never been discriminated against is being given preference over a white male victim. That is not "reverse discrimination" any more than shop lifter is engaged in "reverse thievery". It is just plan discrimination, plan and simple. Even in the relatively rare case when the white victim had discriminatory ancestors, they still do not inherit guilt for five generates past. Even if a white male is a bigot, he can still be unjustly discriminated against just as he can unjustly discriminate against others. Lets not excuse those who discriminate by accusing their mostly innocent victims of racial or gender prejudicial too.

    • Wendy Nailart

      Agree, there is no such thing as "reverse" discrimination… when someone is insulting you based on your race, it is racism. I've been the target of insults and threats for being white, the concept being whites are the cause of minority problems. Problem with that concept is (aside from the obvious failing) that my family was not in the USA for any of the conflicts they are still angry about (and didn't suffer). It is just another shabby excuse for bad behavior. The sad thing is the authorities are so afraid of being called racist they will not apply the same codes to all races.
      When I was in school teachers avoided influencing students by sharing their political and religious views with students. The encouraged us to learn and decide for our selves. I'm shocked at some of the comments teachers have made to me about, what sounds to me, indoctrination of students. Blatantly using pressure to force students to conform and using pressure on dissenting teachers also.
      I suppose people who think for themselves are more difficult to control…

      • Tom Stark

        Your last sentence is the whole truth here. Control of the masses is what this is all about and the two things needed to accomplish that is 1)elimination of religion (and with it, the arguments of right or wrong since there is no standard to judge); and 2) secure the minds of the children becuase within two or three generations, the game is won. Not a bright outlook 100 years from the beginnings of the effort with the Wilson years.

      • Tom Stark

        How many of ou have considered the serious damage done to our constitutional republic simply by Wilson's managing to secure the passage of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution? Simply by changing the Senators from being the representatives designed to protect the states' interests and prevent the state governments from being ovepowered by the federal government to directly elected representatives of the people (the intended purpose of the House of Representatives), the concept of balance between state and federal was destroyed so that the central government could overcome those limitations and become all-powerful as it has today. Just one amendment. That's all it took. Now, try to tell even politically knowledgable individuals today (three or four generations later) that you want the state legislatures to elect the Senators instead of "the people" and you will be met with howls of "You can't take my Senator away from me. Why should the states have that right?" It doesn't take long for people to forget when the schools do not teach the truth of the Constitution and the Federalist Papers any more. Sad, but their plan is working very well.

  • guest

    Minnesota board of Education supported TIZA, a muslim school. They used uneducated teachers, used violence to motivate the students, and We paid for all of that. The money went to our enemies.

    A reporter "Katherine Kersten" was fired by a senator for speaking out on Tiza in Minnesota. Sharia in place.

  • riverboatbill

    A "teacher" is a person who knows a subject and can instruct others in that subject. An "educator" is a politically approved and papered panderer of propaganda.

  • aspacia

    Been there; done that and it is so true:
    "Major schools of education are increasingly trying to indoctrinate new teaching candidates with radical, far-left ideas. Propaganda spouting radical professors are putting numbers of talented prospective elementary and high school teachers in the unfortunate position of allowing themselves to be reeducated – or having to quit their post-graduate teaching credential programs."

  • Peter D Sowatskey

    L. Ron Hubbard covered these type of people in his comments on educational theory.
    They are so deep in hate in their personal lives that they only want to destroy everything around them. Of course none of them can look at their personal saneness. So we get flowery words to justify their destruction.
    I see the continuing decline of the public schools. Can this be offset by private schools? Add up the results.