The Education Action Network

Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools

By  MAY 20, 2014 

But can students learn to love these jackets? Photographer: Lucas Schifres/Bloomberg

Suppose that an authoritarian government decides to embark on a program of curricular reform, with the explicit goal of indoctrinating the nation’s high school students. Suppose that it wants to change the curriculum to teach students that their government is good and trustworthy, that their system is democratic and committed to the rule of law, and that free markets are a big problem.

Will such a government succeed? Or will high school students simply roll their eyes?

Questions of this kind have long been debated, but without the benefit of reliable evidence. New research, from Davide Cantoni of the University of Munich and several co-authors, shows that recent curricular reforms in China, explicitly designed to transform students’ political views, have mostly worked. The findings offer remarkable evidence about the potential influence of the high school curriculum on what students end up thinking -- and they give us some important insights into contemporary China as well.

Here’s the background. Starting in 2001, China decided to engage in a nationwide reform of its curriculum, including significant changes in the textbooks used by students in grades 10, 11 and 12. In that year, China’s Ministry of Education stated that education should “form in students a correct worldview, a correct view on life, and a correct value system.”

The reforms, implemented a few years later, had six major goals:

1. Students should learn about, and value, Chinese “democracy” and political participation.

2. Students should learn about the importance of the rule of law for legitimizing the Chinese government.

3. Students should study the “Three Represents” ideology set out by Jiang Zemin, who served as China’s president from 1993 to 2003. The idea of the “Three Represents” is to extend political influence to people who were traditionally excluded from power under communism, but who are important to the nation’s socioeconomic success (such as managers and employees working for private business).

4. Students should understand the limits of free markets, and should form a positive view about China’s distinctive approach to the economy.

5. Students should be conscious of environmental issues.

6. Students should develop an appreciation for the diversity of ethnic heritages in China, and the Han majority should not have discriminatory views about minorities.

Because different provinces adopted the new curriculum at different times, Cantoni and his co-authors were able to isolate its effects on students’ views. They surveyed almost 2,000 Chinese university students, many of whom studied under the new curriculum, but many of whom did not.

The crucial finding from the study is that the new curriculum greatly affected students' thinking. They became more likely to count the Chinese political system as democratic. They displayed a higher level of trust in public officials. They were more skeptical of free markets, and more likely to reject the view that a market economy is preferable to any other economic system. They were more likely to want to extend political influence to groups outside of the Chinese Communist Party.

On two questions, however, the curricular reforms failed. Students didn't become more favorably disposed toward environmental protection. They were not more likely to give the environment priority over economic growth, and they were not more willing to give up some of their income to protect the environment. Nor was there a significant change in the attitudes of Han Chinese students (the majority) toward minorities.

These findings raise a host of questions. Why were the last two reforms unsuccessful? It is reasonable to speculate that in recent years, Chinese students have been concerned above all about economic growth and therefore were less willing to want to focus their attention on environmental protection. With respect to minorities, the students’ beliefs appear to be deeply engrained, and essentially impervious to curricular influences.

Notwithstanding the two failures, it is striking, and somewhat ominous, that government planners were able to succeed in altering students’ views on fundamental questions about their nation. As Cantoni and his co-authors summarize their various findings, “the state can effectively indoctrinate students.” To be sure, families and friends matter, as do economic incentives, but if an authoritarian government is determined to move students in major ways, it may well be able to do so.

Is this conclusion limited to authoritarian nations? In a democratic country with a flourishing civil society, a high degree of pluralism, and ample room for disagreement and dissent -- like the U.S. -- it may well be harder to use the curriculum to change the political views of young people. But even in such societies, high schools probably have a significant ability to move students toward what they consider “a correct worldview, a correct view on life, and a correct value system.” That’s an opportunity, to be sure, but it is also a warning.

To contact the writer of this article: Cass R. Sunstein at csunstei@law.harvard.edu.

To contact the editor responsible for this article: Timothy L. O'Brien at tobrien46@bloomberg.net.

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-05-20/open-brain-insert-...

Views: 220

Comment by gerry d welder on May 27, 2014 at 4:19am

Cass Sunstein:

The EPA is giving millions of US tax dollars to the UN to clean up 'e-waste' AROUND THE WORLD. Remember the distribution of thousands of Kindles AROUND THE WORLD at over a thousand dollars EACH? Anybody wondering why we don't have money for public pensions?
Who gave Cass Sunstein and his EPA the authority to fund international projects with millions of US tax dollars?
...and wait til you read this:
...  you will be forced to virtually re-build your house before the EPA 'gives you permission' to sell your own private property:
"Claiming a need for “healthy housing,” new 2013 policies enacted by the Obama administration give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD) the right to decide the condition of your home."

Homeowners vs. EPA Home Invasion - Trevor Loudon's New Zeal ...

www.trevorloudon.com/2013/02/homeowners-vs-epa-home-invasion/ 

Feb 11, 2013 ... The new federal EPA, HUD and DOE home regulations filter down to local ... The government's goal to invade personal privacy and control the ...

"Inspectors will have greater access into your home through new and unwieldy code requirements. Contractors’ open work permits flag your home as a target. The new federal EPA, HUD and DOE home regulations filter down to local inspectors who are required by law to impose them or fail the home inspection. Unnecessary and unreasonable code can be imposed on homeowners who find they “can’t fight code.” There is virtually no appeal."

Homeowners vs. EPA Home Invasion - Trevor Loudon's New Zeal ...

www.trevorloudon.com/2013/02/homeowners-vs-epa-home-invasion/ 

For Sebastian’s analysis on the EPA and Code via Agenda 21, go to YouTube. Click here.

NOTE: OBAMA & THE UN: AGENDA 21, April 2010, reads “…the Environmental Protection Agency will have power to force many homeowners to virtually rebuild their homes to meet stringent environmental requirements before they can sell them. Living in a house that does not meet the EPA’s “green” regulations for roofing, windows, doors, insulation or heating and cooling systems will be slapped with fines. Electrical companies are now installing “smart monitoring systems” to track usage of energy by residents.” TO CONTINUE: CLICK HERE.

Cass Sunstein:

Communist Obama Czar, Cass Sunstein's About to "Nudge" Your Ability to Get a Passport - Undocumenting the Documented

04.27.11
Communist Czar Cass Sunstein: "Environmental Justice" = Wealth Redistribution 04.21.11
ARE WE GOING TO STAND FOR THIS?!
George Soros' Pick and Communist Cass Sustein's Wife, Samantha Power to be the Next Secretary of State?
communist obama marxist socialist maoist progressive
Her Goal will be to:
DESTROY ISRAEL, CREATE "OPEN SOCIETY"
04.03.11
Marxist Science Czar Holdren Wants to ‘Educate’ Climate Change Skeptics - John, We Got Educated 01.30.11
Cass Sunstein Wants Sanctioning of Marriage Abolished! 12.14.10
The Most Dangerous Man in America's Views on Healthcare and the Constitution 09.22.10
Obama’s NutJob Science Czar Says He Would “De-Develop the United States” 09.16.10
Obama's Commie Science Czar Rebranding Global Warming 09.16.10
White House Science Czar Still Talking about Population Reduction and a “Substantial Carbon Tax” 08.03.10
Obama’s Socialist Science Czar (Holdren) Once Called for US to Surrender to Sovereignty to “Planetary Regime” to Enforce Populatio... 07.14.10
Obama Science Czar Called For Global Carbon Tax. More on Socialist John Holdren here 07.08.10
Maoist Czar Cass Sunstein Wants Sanctioning of Marriage Abolished 06.23.10
Kagan Hired Cass Sunstein, the Man Who Wants to Censor the Internet 05.18.10
Cass Sunstein and White House: Are They Behind Anti-Tea Party Efforts? 04.18.10
Obama's Science Czar: Tied to Accused Soviet Informers and Communists 03.02.10
Cass Sunstein Wants Us to Ignore These Treasonous Organizations: Trilateral Commission and Council for Foreign Relations. Demand Zero Participation From Those We Elect. 06.27.05, 06.17.05
Sunstein’s Now Wants to Go After “Conspiracy Theorists” 01.15.10
Involved in Climategate 10.07.09
Defends Communism 10.07.09
Wants to Impose Censorship 11.23.09
He Also Wants Your Internal Organs (Without Your Permission) 10.12.09
Wants to Force Broadcasters to Show Diversity Ads 09.24.09
Cass Suntein Wants to "Drown" Opposition News 09.20.09
Wants to Regulate the Internet 09.20.09
Cass Suntein Says Obama Should Rule, Not Judges 09.18.09
Forget "Right to Bear Arms", He Wants Our Guns 09.09.09
Congress Rapidly Confirms Sunstein After Van Jones Discovery
Wants to Give Your Steak the Right to Sue You 01.15.09

Obama's Climategate Team

And Cass is involved in curricular reform while the government is collecting unprecedented data on you kids?

... and as we read more and more articles like this:

Second-Grader Assigned to Draw What He Sees in the Clouds. When He Returned With This Picture, It Triggered a ‘Behavioral Report’

Second-Grader Assigned to Draw What He Sees in the Clouds ...

www.theblaze.com/ stories/ 2014/ 05/ 23/ second-grader-assigned-to-draw-what-he-sees-in-the-clouds-when-he-ret urned-with-this-picture-it-trigged-a-behavioral-report/

Comment by gerry d welder on May 27, 2014 at 4:27am

Their goal is mass control and behavior and not only in the class room and at PTA Stasi sessions (I mean meetings).

"If they knew they were the real power in the whole operation, if they knew they were investing feelings into images all day long, if they could actually slow down enough to see how they do this….then they would be far less prone to taking instruction about what feelings they “ought to” invest in second-hand images."
"Fanaticism of any kind begins with individuals projecting feelings into images. This is harnessed by leaders, who then choose the images and direct which feelings are permitted."
Under the Obama Administration the Federal Government Spent Millions on These Racist Shooting Target, Depicting Only White US Citizens!

Under the Obama Administration the Federal Government Spent Millions on These Racist Shooting Targets, Depicting Only White US Citizens as Terrorists! - See more at: http://nationalreport.net/shooting-targets-with-images-of-children-...

The Basis of Mass Mind Control  ~ link ~ Do take the time to read this one in full at the link.  Stirling   

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