A small forward then;The origins and hidden curiculum of our education system
First I'd like to say thanks and I think its really cool that people are interested in this. I think its important that we understand whats going on in the world, with a good and comprehensive understanding we can actually work on real solutions. I am doing all this from memory, I recently went through a bit of an upheaval and moved (everytime this happens I have to give up my books and start all over). I was going to write a short on the truth about the illuminati and NWO conspiracy, as well as chemtrails since it appears to be a hot topic, but I think I'll reserve that for single conspiracy article. However, conspiracy and secrecy are natural by-products of power. Why is this? Its a bit complicated, but as far as we are concerned here state power and private power (obscene wealth) rests on violence, manipulation, and exploitation. Without which they'd lose control-- and history has shown that any force that openly and honestly does these things with full disclosure to the populace doesn't last long. Once that is acknowledged we need to put it into a realistic context, to understand the reality behind it--which is deliberate conspiracy, and which is the powerful simply(and independently) working in their own interest? Usually they are just working in their own interest and lying to us about it, which, under certain circumstances, looks alot like a "conspiracy"--and sometimes, like in the case of our schools, the lines get very blurry.
Using education to socially engineer the populace towards certain ends has been used sporadically by different states throughout history. In china it was called "the policy of keeping people dumb," during the times of ancient greece one of the greco-ish states (I think it may have been sparta, but ive honestly forgotten) used compulsory education to make people useful to the state, India used it to support its caste system. Ours is based on the Prussian system however, with a smattering of influence from India.
Back in the day Prussia was basically a mercenary state, their military was a seasoned and professional "exportable good." When there was a war various states/kingdoms in Europe would use the Prussian military to bolster their own. That is until they got their asses handed to them by a young and amateur Napoleon. This was bad for business, not only had they lost but they lost to a comparatively green army. They held a big congress to discuss the problem, and the congress broke into two factions. One faction insisted their soldiers were too submissive, there wasn't enough independent thought--if they weren't following orders they were useless. The other faction took the opposite opinion, the soldiers were too independent, they needed to stop all that independent thinking and be the mailed fist of the state they were meant to be. Of coarse that side won, no state in its right mind encourages a free thinking independent populace. The solution was to create an education system where the developing years of the people could be monopolized and molded by the state.
Skip to the U.S., pre-industrial revolution. While we know these were not exactly the mythical years of american democratic perfection the history books would have us believe, there were areas where the people retained certain freedoms that industrial capitalism would soon remove. One was work, while slavery and a small amount of wage labor were taking place, most people who could make their own way were artisans or farmers. They determined their own hours and were respected, and respected themselves, as free men ( they were usually white & male-its important we recognize good ideas without glossing over reality). School was another, and for those who were allowed and had the means to receive an education, the one room school house was common. This method had several advantages, for one, a sort of free market for teaching methods existed, methods that worked were kept and got better. In those days a 13 year old that had attended school was reading at what would be considered a college level today, as using the old phonetic method for teaching reading took only about 80 hours. Reading was easier to pick up and as a result wasn't perceived as the "work" or "chore" it is by most kids today--many read for enjoyment. Another basic advantage was the multi-age classroom, young children could look to older children for help (they spoke a similar language) as well as see where they themselves might be one day and conversely older kids could get a greater understanding of the material through teaching the younger and see where they themselves once were. This creates not only a deeper level of understanding of the lessons but of eachother and...this is important...a sense of time. The age segregation common in todays schools create an A-historical perspective, kids have no sense of time or of cause and effect. There were other advantages as well, smaller class sizes and, my personal favorite, children were pretty much done with their basic education at 13-14 and ready to take on apprenticeships. A person might go through 2 or 3 apprenticeships before deciding what they wanted to do, or move on to higher education, which in those days people still did because they wanted to learn, not simply make themselves more attractive to an employer. If you contrast this against contemporary times many are stuck in the first trade they are hired in, and those that attend college generally do so late enough in their lives that if they are not hired within their chosen field the future is uncertain for them.
On came the industrial revolution, suddenly people who once retained a sense of freedom, independence, and personal pride were forced to rent themselves and use their labor to enrich another. Working conditions were deplorable, hours inhumane, and the wages barely kept them alive. In many circumstances the employer kept tent cities or ramshackle communities for the laborers because they couldn't afford to live anywhere else. This was often contrasted against slavery where the owner had to at least care for their "property"-under this new system the boss simply threw them away when they were no longer of use as there were several to take their place. Under capitalism an abundance of something tends to lessen its value, so the more skill-less work industry could produce....well, anybody could do it, even a child, and there's lots and lots of people, so life was/is cheap. This by the way is why a huge army of unemployed is essential to capitalism as it currently works, the more people there are to take your place, the less you get paid and the less likely you are to demand a raise.
Needless to say people were pissed off and unhappy. New social, political, and economic theories were getting a receptive audience; like socialism & communism,-and there are many different types of each. For the purpose of these articles we will break them into two categories; state or authoritarian and libertarian (libertarianism, before being co-opted by the right, originally meant a state-less form of socialism (more or less) or "anarchism")--anarchism was also growing in popularity, the IWW or "wobblies" advocated what would come to be called anarcho-syndicilism.
The industrial capitalists were making a fortune, but the workers were organizing, and if this kept up things could get out of control. Indeed, as the years rolled by the labor movement was marked heavily by violence and repression-both by the state and industry. In the late 1800 early 1900's the Rockefeller's along with several other heads of industry (mostly steel and coal if I remember correctly) got wind of Prussia's experiment with education, and elected to create an educational monopoly of their own. This is one of the really scary examples of what the private powers and the state are capable of when they work together. This was also the time period that the social sciences were particularly controversial and growing in popularity. Funded almost exclusively by private interests and legitimized and legalized by the state almost everyone got in on the act, psychologists--the whole bit.I cant remember the names of all the people involved but there was another guy who made a special trip to India and saw the wonders of their caste system, he too had something to contribute. In the words of one of the education associations---"We mean to do through education what European dictators have tried through coercion and force."---It really doesnt get more straight to the point than that. There is another quote by Rockefeller addressing some educational committee himself that goes something to the effect of, "....In a perfect world people give themselves willingly to our capable hands to mold...we do not mean to create philosophers, statesmen, artists or scientists for which we have in abundance...we seek to create children to do perfectly what their parents are currently doing imperfectly" and the unstated purpose here appears to be work without complaint. When this program was finally implemented it was heavily resisted, in some cases the national guard was called to march kids off to school. What we take for granted today as totally normal was seen as an outrageous misuse of state power, nobody trusted it, why should people send their kids to be educated by the state when they were getting a perfectly fine education already? It was not uncommon back then for an "educated" person to be an artist or philosopher as well as a scientist of some kind and a tradesman!!
This is a perfect example of how an institution upholds the system, it doesnt require your teacher to know how it works, or why it was created, it becomes a part of our narrative, and as such, virtually unquestioned. Everyone acknowledges there are problems in education, but now that you know what the real problem is, do any of their proposed solutions even begin to touch the problem? Standardized testing operates like social eugenics, not weeding out the stupid ones, just the ones that cant conform to the curriculum. This curriculum is way too sophisticated for me to really break down, but in the 70's it was revamped and updated. This was when medicating children with psychoactive drugs was planned to become a part of policy, and by the 80's parents who were reluctant to medicate were getting visits by CPS if the school counselor had made such a "recommendation." The army intelligence agency discovered the hidden curriculum when they noticed literacy was going down significantly within single generations. We dont question things like that, we blame TV, poor people,minority's or teachers unions. Intelligence agency's however make it their business to not only manipulate populations, but recognize when they are being manipulated, and army intelligence launched an investigation into our school system because they knew it was IMPOSSIBLE for a population to spontaneously get dumber without any outside systemic influence within a single generation. According to their report, literacy went down proportionately to how much money was being thrown at education. Think about that. That means the more tools and money and stuff they get for you or your childs education the better they can implement the curriculum. It also means those schools that actually show improvement from an influx of cash, like East St. Louis for example, have fallen so far below the standards that the agenda to make us dumb and submissive is actually a step up. We recently sold our curriculum to China. When i first read that in the news it blew me away, their kids are way smarter than ours...I guess thats a problem for them.
If your interested in this topic John Taylor Gatto, an award winning teacher from NY really did this research. He wrote, "Dumbing Us Down" a small quick read, it covers 'the seven lessons' (a look at the 7 pathologies he associates with our schools), and "The Underground History of American Education" a mammoth book packed with all his research, excellent bibliography, a bit dry and "Weapons Of Mass Instruction" a compressed version of Underground History that reads like a Chomsky, some new info, a really fun info packed read. Another author that tackles more contemporary problems within education (like socio-economic racism) is Jonathon Kozol, he wrote "Amazing grace" and "Savage Inequalities"
Next will be media, propaganda, and information management....I leave with a quote,
"We are going to inherit the earth. There is not the slightest doubt about that.The bourgeoisie may blast and burn its own world before it leaves the stage of history.We are not afraid of ruins.We who ploughed the prairies and built the cities can build again,only better next time.We carry a new world here in our hearts.That world is growing this minute.-Durruti