I have long maintained that education is subversive—it undermines traditional views. In my opinion, true education is the process by which one becomes a very, very good atheist. That is why it is so hard to teach evolution in the hinterlands. Now comes the 2012 Republican Party platform of the state of Texas:
“Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."
Jerry Coyne calls Texas the “dumbest state.” Looks like he may be right, at least with regard to the right half of the population.
I wonder how those “fixed beliefs” got there if it wasn’t by “behaviour modification” (otherwise known as “brain washing” or education). Of course, undermining cosmogony will require a great deal of “critical thinking,” recognized here as the enemy. Protecting one’s paradigm has always involved a certain degree of censorship, as experienced by dissident physicists and atheists alike. On the other hand, whoever wrote that part of the platform might not be as dumb as Jerry suspects. The fact that the attack on education has reached a political platform in such an overt form means that the threat to the status quo has been duly noted. As educators, we are having an impact on traditional views despite budget cuts and tuition hikes.