The last few months have seen many examples of the betrayal of public trust by the Toronto District School Board. Valley Park Middle School practices religious Chauvinism and gender-based discrimination during school hours, we have TDSB policies which dictate that only whites can be racists, and most recently, the reintroduction of a proposal to teach sexuality to 1st graders have all incurred heated criticism. But most of the TDSB’s critics have failed to connect these travesties to their root cause.
It’s like we’re seeing hornets in the house, swatting one after another and complaining about the pests while neglecting the nest in the attic that produces them.
The nest from which the policies that give rise to the TDSB’s ill-conceived educational approaches is the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). Teachers who form policies and curriculum not only for the TDSB, but in school boards all over Canada are trained there under an educational philosophy called Critical Pedagogy, which is based on the works of the late Brazilian Marxist, Paulo Friere. The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Friere’s seminal work, is required reading in teachers colleges and its essential message is to divide the world into a Manichean equation of oppressor or oppressed, in which the oppressor can do no right and the oppressed can do no wrong.
What is unfortunate for Canadians, as well as any society derived from European origins, is that we fall into the oppressor category and proponents of Critical Pedagogy are tacitly teaching our children that we are inherently unfair racists who need radical reinvention. Or more to the point, generations of young Canadians are being influenced to commit civilizational suicide.
An example of a subtle way these ideas are being communicated to our children is the way that Middle Schools approach the issue of the domestic internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War 2.
Clearly the singling out of Japanese Canadians was based on racism and deserves condemnation.
But Grade 7 students are taught about this without context, before they are taught about the causes of World War 2, about Pearl Harbour, or about the practices in the rest of the world at the time. There was no country in the world then that did not practice similarly racist policies. What Canada did to its Japanese citizens pales in comparison to Japanese treatment of non-Japanese in countries they invaded like China and The Philippines, where massive murders, rapes and extermination occurred, or in Korea, where the Hirohito’s Army abducted tens of thousands of women to be used as brothel slaves.
This upside-down approach to teaching promoted by OISE and practiced at the TDSB has even insinuated itself into Math classes at the grade 5 level, where teachers are instructed to take the following approach:
The class will represent the number of people in the entire world and the teacher will distribute the world's wealth between the students... Students will attempt to negotiate with other countries to donate their wealth/candies. At the end students will debrief their feelings and emotions of fairness with the data from the wealth chart.
“Feelings and emotions of fairness” have nothing to do with basic mathematics. But it has a lot to do with the type of social conditioning with which OISE seeks to surreptitiously condition Canada’s youth.
The National Post ran an ad last week, for which it later apologized, that criticized teaching sexuality to young children. The ad was offensive in that it appeared to attack Gay and transsexuals for their orientation , which is unacceptable. But what was glossed over in the aftermath is the legitimate concern about the potential harm of teaching sexuality and sexual practices of any kind to children as young as 7. It is OISE that is at the forefront of pushing such approaches.
OISE is an institution that has recently produced theses recently alleging ludicrous proposals such as that Western feminists opposed to female genital mutilation are motivated by racism, the pleasure of whiteness, and an obsession with genitalia or that Holocaust education is a Zionist plot to further Jewish racism. A graduate of OISE who promotes their teachings recently alleged that by being ignored in a hardware shop, she was a victim of sexual oppression.
OISE relies on the understandable reality that most parents and very few politicians are aware of what actually happens in classrooms. Your kid, who spent the day waiting for the final school bell to ring, is hardly going to want to spend valuable time that could be used to kill Nazi zombies in Call of Duty: Black Ops to rehash his school day for you.
So we are content to leave it to the “experts.” But who is making sure that the experts aren’t pushing a politicized agenda? What Ontario desperately needs is a comprehensive review of educational policies, curriculum and approaches being promoted at OISE.
Unless that happens, we’re doomed to more infusion of Marxist-based indoctrination for Ontario’s children and we as a society will pay the price for it.
OISE graduation ceremony:
OISE graduation ceremony: