Many teachers believe that their job is a calling because they shape lives by encouraging students to enjoy learning, to discover and develop their individual talents, and to become productive members of our republic. But since the early 1900s, most educational experts and policy people believe that the person leading the classroom should be a “change agent” whose duty is to assist in the transformation of America’s government, values, and traditions until her citizens become willing to accept global interdependence.
Because teachers, parents, and school boards have been resisting, educational policy makers took steps to increase federal control of schools and to develop a Behavioral Science Teacher Education Program (B-STEP). The major objective of B-STEP was to influence elementary teachers to become change agents and to “achieve a balance within present unbalanced social conditions.” The program also prepared teachers to “employ the clinical behavior style,” a single teaching model/pattern for all teachers to implement. This model contains a repertoire of teaching behaviors acceptable to B-STEP but not acceptable to parents or teachers.
The clinical behavior style includes classical conditioning/operant conditioning commonly employed by advertising agencies and psychiatrists who help people overcome phobias. All things have a productive use, but their misuse can be devastatingly destructive.
Classical conditioning was inadvertently discovered when Ivan Pavlov, a physiologist who was studying the digestive process, realized that dogs could be conditioned to associate the ringing of a bell with food and would begin salivating each time the bell rang. Food became unnecessary to obtain this response.
The Japanese misused this technique with their soldiers during World War II. A Japanese soldier was required to use a barbaric method to kill a prisoner of war while his peers cheered his actions. The Japanese used these techniques to condition large numbers of soldiers to commit atrocities. Lt. Col. Dave Grossman wrote in Christianity Today, (10/10/98), “Operant conditioning teaches you to kill, but classical conditioning… teaches you to like it.”
Grossman explains operant conditioning as a “powerful procedure of stimulus-response, stimulus-response.” A good use of this form of conditioning is to prepare children to file out of a school in an orderly manner when they hear the fire alarm. This technique is abused when used to encourage new teachers to surrender their values. In 1952, William F. Buckley, Jr. wrote God and Man at Yale, in which he revealed the consequences of these methods and policies for the college educational system.
Once B-STEP techniques had been implemented and classical and operant conditioning were complete, the teacher could be successfully transformed into a change agent. The same methods are to be used by teachers to influence future students. Clinical behavioral style permeates every phase of the B-STEP program. The teacher is expected to accept the overriding objective of general-liberal education which is “to relate the student’s knowledge of the study of human behavior” in humanistic terms. This performance-based-behavioral-
A major theme of this teacher-preparation program is to focus on cultural history. Students are to be “exposed to non-Western thought and values, thus sensitizing them to their own backgrounds and inherent cultural biases.” Why would the teacher-preparation program based on academics be replaced with behavior-modification techniques compelling teachers to accept an unfamiliar understanding of their own background and culture? Where is the focus on acquiring knowledge and developing skills? Parents and teachers resent these new teaching methods, which no longer encourage students to acquire knowledge but concentrate on acceptance of new curricula, new ideology, and a new political agenda.
The B-STEP document legitimizes these methods intended to transform education and American society. According to B-STEP, “This is one of a series of experiences designed for understanding by prospective teachers of alternate social, political and economic value systems.” History and civics classes are not the sole source for these transformational experiences. The B-STEP document also states, “Natural Science and mathematics components are designed to examine science as a process (sic), and its effect on cultures and individuals.” The B-STEP program was enhanced by a more aggressive approach called Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM).
Perceptive teachers and parents believe that the goal of these policy makers is to replace the traditional American governmental and educational systems with alternate systems. The fact that the American system has brought peace, freedom, and economic success to more citizens than any other system is irrelevant to these experts.
One reason the public is demanding school choice is to escape indoctrination of their children. Parents who demand alternatives to public education are also irrelevant to these experts because they have a plan to federalize school choice options in the near future. Some examples have been mentioned in Foreign Funding of Charter Schools and in Common Core Standards and the Federalization of Education, which can be found on the Advocates for Academic Freedom Blog page.
Under the chapter “Career Decisions,” B-STEP explains that many beginning teachers leave the profession after one or two years because they realize they have chosen the wrong profession. During my thirty-six years in the classroom, those teachers expressed frustration with being held accountable for academic success of students when curricula and policies were focused on social and political change rather than academics. Protecting students from these conflicts was a greater problem than these teachers were emotionally able to handle.
Americans are challenged to preserve our republic. The first step is to respect the role education plays in shaping social and political policies. To remain a republic, Americans must demand that the federal government be removed from education, that those federal dollars be reallocated to the states, and that local control of schools be reinstated. In the meantime, taxpayers must insist that state legislators provide specific academic standards including a requirement that every student learns that America is a republic and understands the significance of that term.
Karen Schroeder is the President of Advocates for Academic Freedom (AAF), which is a proponent for a return to fact-based curricula, accountability, and academic excellence in public education. Karen was appointed to the Governor’s Educational Communications Board on May 1, 2012. She provides seminars designed to inform and motivate citizens to reclaim their responsibility to become involved in the decisions made at the local and state levels of the educational system. Karen is regularly interviewed by Wisconsin radio personalities. With a BA degree in education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education, Ms. Schroeder has taught in suburban public schools for thirty-six years. During her teaching career, she became a free-lance writer to provide citizens with information revealing the impact of social and political policies on the educational system. Her works are published in the Eau Claire Journal and numerous other newspapers across Wisconsin, Illinois, Alaska, and Massachusetts. As an education consultant, Ms. Schroeder provides seminars and campaign training programs to political candidates. Among other projects, AAF donates conservative current-events materials to libraries of public schools. Karen can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 715-234-5072.