I admit to being baffled by the pervasive, leftist indoctrination we see today in the Education industry.
I grant that the leftists recognized Education as a high-leverage enterprise and they targeted it but it doesn't explain why Education so whole-heartedly embraced Collectivist thinking.
I want to share my current thoughts on that topic.
Stratification and the science of learning
People learn in a fairly predictable way.
We are exposed to concrete examples of why the topic is important. Perhaps we burn our hand on the stove or want to be sure we are not cheated out of our share of the birthday cheese-cake.
We become comfortable with mechanical, rote ways of executing the task and when we demonstrate proficiency in the mechanical, we are shown a "hack" or short-cut.
Because of our solid foundation in the physical realities of the phenomena, we quickly grasp why the hack works.
Example: Belladonna pulled up a brain-fart on dimensional analysis when there is a fraction in the denominator. Simply reciting the rule "Invert and multiply" bounced off UNTIL I asked her, "Suppose you have to drive thirty miles and you are going sixty miles per hour (miles/hr), how long does it take?"
BAM! Once tied back to a problem she solved regularly she was back into the groove.
Most students seem to learn most efficiently when these steps are separated and mastered one-at-a-time.
Rote is boring, for the instructor
The very young student is taught how to decode. "C makes a 'ka' sound like C-A-T, cat."
Vowels and the highest frequency consonants are introduced first and very simple books (Bob books, for example) are given to the student to read.
After a few weeks, "sight words" or the Dolch word list is introduced and a few new words are introduced each day and the words that have already been introduced are reinforced.
Mistakes are corrected.
It can be tedious work even when the instructor sees the light-bulb go off in the young reader's eyes and they are off-to-the-races.
What the instructor loses sight of is that the rote material is new and engaging for the student even if it is the 23 time the instructor presented it.
It should come as no surprise that there was a fad called Whole Language where the child was simply handed a book and told to read it. They got a little bit of support. Everybody in the class might have the book and the instructor might read the book aloud while they were somehow supposed to know where to be looking.
It was presented as "The natural way to learn reading" which is at least two lies. For one thing, there is almost nothing natural about reading and second it is the "natural way to TEACH reading" which focuses on the instructor's needs and not the student's.
The need for prestige
Teachers are no more, and no less competitive than anybody else. The nature of their work means there are limited opportunities to gain recognition and prestige from their peers.
Again, looking at reading because everybody reading this blog learned to read somehow, our teacher who wants to jump ahead might do it because they can subtly pat themselves on the back by saying "My class is so smart I am teaching them second grade material even though they are just starting first grade."
The teacher might be presenting second grade material but it is debatable if any "teaching" is occurring when there is very little "learning" happening as a result.
Many sports involve putting a ball into a target area: Basketball, football, hockey, soccer and so-on.
When kids first start playing a sport they need to learn the fundamentals. They need to learn how to dribble and pass, or control the ball with their feet or stick.
The next stage is to be able to perform those tasks so seamlessly that they can attend to the positions of their teammates and their opponents and be able to pass the ball to a player in a better position.
At some point, the coach installs the background program that should be running continuously in the player's head: "If you have the shot, then shoot. Else if you have a player who is in a better position than you are, pass. Else dribble."
Notice that it is inverted from the amount of time the youngest players spend at practice. The point is the player needs to grow in skills before that background program is installed else every player will launch a shot every time they touch the ball.
I believe that there are fewer things more rewarding than to be able to present University-level ideas in sentences that anybody with a fourth-grade reading ability can comprehend.
I am in the minority. It is tedious to teach writers "One idea, one sentence, one period" writing because young writers don't recognize "one idea". Their thinking is a pan full of scrambled eggs. They have great difficulty un-scrambling the eggs.
That is one reason why writing, good writing, is a powerful thinking tool. It forces the writer to uncouple his thoughts so they can be arranged and manipulated into their rightful order.
Back to collectivism
Team projects used to be the province of the third and fourth year of university level courses.
But due to the competitive nature of the Education industry and a desire to avoid grading high school term papers, there has been a rush to "team projects" in high school, middle school and even elementary school.
The teachers say with a swagger "Yes, industry tells us that they need employees who can work in teams. We are stepping up and teaching University Level material here.". Oddly, if you ask them to define "industry" they struggle. To them it is a huge, incomprehensible monolith.
They conned themselves into thinking that they are doing something noble by "teaching" kids to "work in teams". And by cunningly arranging the teams so there is at least one half-azzed writer in each team, the teacher vastly reduces their work load.
Most teachers are not so cynical as to do that intentionally, but that is the end result. Teams of five means an 80% reduction in the number of papers to grade. And since the papers are written by students with a modicum of skill the papers are at least readable.
Pretty much from top-to-bottom, the Education industry drifted to the left because they offered what seemed to be not only a "better way" but it was easier to get there.
And now we have college graduates who cannot think or write a simple sentence to save our souls.