May 20, 2004

“I Don’t Know Anything, But

“I Don’t Know Anything, But I Feel Great”

Now that the twentieth century has come and gone, we who have been fortunate enough to outlast it can compile a list of its most wretched villains. You know: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Kenny G. But there is one miscreant who probably won’t make many lists—but deserves to.

This is the philosopher-cum-educator John Dewey, father of so-called Progressive Education. It is largely thanks to the machinations of Mr. Dewey that American schoolrooms headed down the path of so-called “student-centered learning,” and kindred forays into pseudo-intellectual dubiousness.

Alas, thanks to the spiritual heirs of Mr. Dewey, American educators are obsessed about students’ self-esteem. Sure, our kids might think 3 + 3 = 8, but, provided they feel they are good at mathematics, there’s nothing to fret. No wonder so many cashiers these days flip out when you give them $20.25 for a meal that costs $15.25. How the heck does that make sense?

Naturally, it is partly due to the success of so-called Progressive Education that “Afrocentrism” found a voice in the American schoolroom. How many people would feel comfortable knowing that their kids are being tutored by Dr. Leonard Jeffries, the firebrand of African-American Studies who, when he is not expatiating on the barbarism of Jews, is blathering about blacks as “sun people” and whites as “ice people”?

For those of you blessedly unacquainted with the dubious tenets of “Afrocentrism,” we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will explain them to you.

1) Everything of any import to civilization as we know it was invented in Africa and stolen by the Greeks and other white interlopers.
2) There has been a massive conspiracy to deny this fact to American schoolchildren, in a bid to make sure that black students under-perform at all levels of educational endeavor.
3) White people suck.

Well, there you have it, dear reader: “Afrocentrism” at a glance. You can even write out these tenets on a note-card, and carry them around in your wallet. In case some “Afrocentrist” emergency takes place, we suppose. (Make sure it isn’t a white note-card, though.)

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are thinking, dear reader: You have done a lot of grousing about the intellectual patrimony of John Dewey, who was not merely an educational hack, but an important American philosopher; before you blame him for the excesses of a movement that had both positive and negative aspects, you ought to become more informed about Mr. Dewey’s thought. If not, you are simply penning a silly polemic. You dolts.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: Wow, our readers are even smarter than we supposed. Still, we hate John Dewey. We can’t help it. As far as we’re concerned, the only part of American education that should be “student-centered” is our old friend the Dunce Cap. That’ll learn ‘em.

Posted at May 20, 2004 12:01 AM | TrackBack