Response to Noam Chomsky's Beyond A Domesticating Education

The indoctrination in our schools and the extents of efforts made by those in authority to crush a student’s free thinking into mindless obedience, to the point they would “sacrifice the content in the Pledge of Allegiance” (15) for the students compliance.

To disregard the rights said in the Pledge of Allegiance, and using it to punish a student freely using those rights, reveals that the teachers find no merit in those rights. They downgrade it, they see the Pledge not as a collection of liberties given to man, as a pledge to freedom, but as a recitation, they only see words, they don’t examine those words, they view those words only collectively as the pledge, and therefore easily objectify it and throw it aside. Without this now objectified and meaningless collection of words, they justify their authority to themselves and to the world, and define their primary task in education as teaching conformity and unquestioning accordance with those in higher positions of power than them. They reiterate this sense of dutiful education through the way they educate. Children are grouped according to age, teaching them that age is synonymous with intelligence.

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That even though they may believe they are correct in their ways of thinking, if anyone older disputes it, despite whatever reasoning or evidence they place behind it, they are unquestionably correct. While they receive their teachings in this age group structure, children are subjected to a right-wrong mentality. Math, Science, History, even English, all questions within each subject hold one specifically correct answer, and all others are false. So they define right and wrong by a standardized system of “what did I memorize exactly from my textbook?” and regurgitate their memories onto paper, leaving them with the ultimate answer that there is only one way to approach this subject, only one way to think about it, and that is to unquestioningly accept every word in their divine textbooks as absolute fact, but if they deviate the smallest amount from their standardized form of thinking, they are wrong, and the more they deviate, their lives become worth less and less. Because the entire process of schooling, from elementary to college, is focused on obtaining a career, a job deemed successful and acceptable by society’s general opinion. Throughout their schooling, children are told the correct answer to the question “Why do I go to school?” is always, “to get a good job.

” It is not until a student begins to think critically and actively in their schooling, not seeing it as work to obtain a better job, but seeing learning as a way to expand themselves and their minds, to reimagine their definitions of life and the world surrounding them. It is then that a student develops a love of learning, not learning for some unseen job in the future, but learning for themselves, learning because they want to, no longer trapped with the idea that they have to in order to survive later in life. Ensnaring us in this mindset, educators feed the government and mass corporations with new workers, believing themselves completely dependent on this ruling percentage, that they must work for them, or risk ostracization and a deplorable life style as seen through the eyes of society. And so with this fear, they create mass consumers, buying as much as possible to stave off that infection that they call poverty. “If you are rich, this is what house you should buy, what food to buy, what people to be with.” as an example of Harvard’s indoctrination, “you carry our name, therefore you are above everyone else, and must act accordingly.

You are perfect because you define the world as right or wrong, you scored perfectly on the standardized tests that were designed to shape you into consumers. You have obeyed us without question, and your reward is to rule all those who did not.” In its present state, the education system is heavily geared toward right-wrong ideology and favors heavily the idea of buying into existing power structures, of conforming to those rulers and systems that currently exist. The spectrum is to heavily geared towards a mathematic, one-sided view of the world. The philosophical side, based in almost a chaotic view of differing perspectives on the world we live in lacks representation in the system.

The best way to reform our system and to change our ways out of this constant conforming power struggle reveals itself in balance. To allow ample opportunity for growth and structure, to give every student an opportunity to learn things in a way they love, to feel the rush of discovery and inspiration, to know the satisfaction of solving a problem, not for a test, but for themselves, we must find a healthy balance between structure and chaos, authority and anarchy. It can begin with a system more geared to allow the student to study whatever they’re interested in later than college, maybe even as early as middle school. Give them options to expand their minds in ways they desire to, otherwise, we have no love of learning, and we have no self-fulfillment, we have no purpose other than subservience to the endless power cycle that exists.