Thursday, May 3, 2012

Irony! And cultural shifts.

If I understand what the term 'cultural shift' means, one that we're seeing at the moment is this: schools are being called on to do what families used to do. I don't think it is a good idea in principal and it isn't working in practice anyway. It is ironic because so many people who reject communism, as I do also, are being taken in by a Marxist idea: diminish the importance and role of the family and replace it with a government instrumentality, the school.Marxists wanted that to happen because the family could be an alternative source of influence from the state, and a rival focus of loyalty. Marxism, like all one-state ideologies, wants the complete allegiance of the individual, and the means of capturing and holding them is the school, a government organ with teachers required to teach the party line and see to the indoctrination of all its students. The family should not be allowed to interfere with that. According to that outlook the Khner Rouge, when they ran reeducation camps after the capture of Cambodia, instucted children to sever the bond with their parents. The same was reported from the Soviet Union in the past. Families must not be an obstacle to the state's complete hold on the loyalty and obedience of the individual. Ironic then that in non communist societies, people want to call on the school to bring their children up for them, thereby surrendering to the school the chief role in influencing their child's development. This may not be the conscious intention, but it can be the result of calling on the school to teach their children discipline. I've heard a parent saying "I'll be glad when they go to school, so they learn some discipline." In other words, that parent does not want to take responsibility for teaching their child discipline, the school should do that. How oftern have people said, "Schools should be doing something about it", when any problem is raised concerning children or youth. Parents should not have to do it themselves, they say. I can see where the 'deschooling society' movement comes from. In response to the increasing influence of schools in child raising and development some people want to take back the parents right and duty to raise children themselves. Schools should teach the curriculum, not take over as surrogate parent. Some teachers eagerly put up their hand and try to assume this role. A favourite teacher cry is 'there's nobody else there for them!" which can be quite untrue, and insulting to some parents that a teacher should arrogate the role of mentor and chief caregiver. Even when the child is neglected, and the school is forced to make provision that should come from home, the result is not as good as a good home should make it. Whether you believe in God, as I do, or nature, God or nature set up the family as the means of raising children and inducting them into adulthood. In better times the church was largely involved here, and still is in some families or communities. Those who have tried to undermine the role and influence of the church failed to put anything better in its place, and are now left howling about 'schools are failing our chilren.' Schools are only failing children if the family failed them first, by failing to send them to school properly reared, provided for and ready to respond to school the right way. Schools and their staffs should not be expected to replace parents, and the attempt to make this happen is a failure.

1 comment:

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

There are only two things a parent can give their children; love and an education. School is but a lesser part of the latter.