Friday, May 14, 2010

The right history--a private matter.

There is a man in the news who charges academia is leftist, and right wing perspectives are not being taught, so maybe teachers in teacher's colleges are being taught to teach our children a history (let alone science) which is not "right". Creationism is the right wing's version of science, and the scientific method, discovering evolution, decidedly leftist. But this man is going beyond science into history. What is, I would like to know, Creationism's view not only of science but of history? Is it the same scripture which explains, explicates and venerates both or what? What is history in the Creationistic view and why should it have anything to do with Other interpretations (promoted by left-wingers according to this interviewee)--of history? All histories are stories we know. But why, I ask why, does the right wing explanation have to be the "right" one? That's what this man says it is, and he fears it is not being taught in the schools because it is leftist, and therefore, apparently, "wrong."

Not being taught in schools? Can there be a "right" (is there a moral imperative involved?) perspective of science and history? One is a method and what that method produces, one is a story, produced by a human mind out of chaotic, disparate parts we call "facts." What has "right" to do with this collective story carved out of time or the portrait of natural disclosure? The rightness or wrongness is in the learner's and the teacher's domain, and conveyed as in a conduit, via their relationship, as it turns out, social--so is the nature of good pedagogy I am convinced. The teacher and student need to know each other and speak to each other in order for education to occur. As Dewey concurred, all learning is social.

In an age which says "right" is relative anyway (that would be the leftist view), why are we arguing about what is taught in school?

The facts M'am, just the content. Reading, writing, arithmetic get us to them, but human nature, simple natural cognitive growth, gets us to question them, the facts which constitute the produce of science and history. It is "right" that we teach in school (as Robert Frost articulated) reading and writing and math, the "right" interpretation of the facts being left to each individual who learns these skills. The tutelage of a teacher or teachers one's parents hires to guide one in making a story of history and glimpsing the dazzling mysteries of science, both in all their beauty and what it portends--this might well be the form schools take in the future: parents who want their children to study history and science, and after that art, theology and philosophy hire a tutor or team of tutors, reading, writing and arithmetic being taught in public school until they master it. The rest is a private matter, as nature ordains.

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