by Graham Lane
Published in the Winnipeg Sun, December 29, 2017
A culture war is on in Manitoba’s public educational system, particularly in universities that used to be all about “higher education.” Recent evidence from the University of Toronto, Wilfred Laurier, and a number of other Canadian universities shows that, in the soft disciplines (Arts, Humanities, Social Work, Education), what is going on is more likely indoctrination than education.
The Faculty of Education of the University of Manitoba is on the forefront of political indoctrination. The Faculty selects 45% of incoming students on the basis of self-identities. Applicants can identify themselves as gay, multi-sexual, Indigenous, physically handicapped, mentally disabled, and non-White. Those belonging to one or more of those so-called ‘marginalized’ groups receive special treatment in seeking admission to the teachers’ education program. Will students lie when saying they belong to a “marginal” group? Why not, no one checks to see if their claims are true..
The same faculty accepting students on a questionable basis is launching a series of public dialogues on diversity. The faculty is bringing in Dr. Lee Airton, Assistant Professor in Gender and Sexuality Studies in Education at Queen’s University. S/he is to talk on “Toward a gender-expansive teacher education: The implications of gender identity and gender expression for professional practice.”
The topic will have no interest to parents wanting an education system that will help their children learn basic math, English, Science and French. But, if you want to know why a young man who thinks his apparatus is the wrong sex for his self-identity, and he (or she) wants to use the girls’ change room, then you should hear Professor Airton’s talk. And, if you think teachers should use a variety of pronouns to reflect the various sexual identities of the children they teach, and that no child should ever be called by the wrong pronoun, then you certainly should attend.
But, if your interest is your child learning the core curriculum, don’t bother going. The upcoming dialogues will not deal with that issue. It seems, for the faculty, the core subjects are not important, but gender and other identities are.
Columbia professor Mark Lilla writes that identity politics has given way to the false politics of self-regard and increasingly narrow, and exclusionary. self-definitions. Lilla concludes that this focus has left children unprepared to think about the common good in non-identity terms.
Nevertheless, too many professors in faculties of education, like at the U of M, spend valuable time and resources convincing student teachers that elementary students need to be enlightened about their gender identities. In the future, these then-graduated young teachers will impose gender politics on elementary school students, regardless as to the wishes of parents, who merely want their children to know basic math, English, Science and French.
Education is being hijacked by so-called progressive educators. Parents need to act to curtail the gender-obsession of education faculties, and move the focus back to focusing on ensuring a good education for children. Otherwise parents will end up paying tutors to help their children master the basic material while public school teachers indoctrinate them into a narrow-minded ideology.
The culture war in faculties of education needs to be fought. Common sense shouldn’t lose out to nonsense.