Friday, September 6, 2013

Education and Critical Thinking Skills or, Progressive Indoctrination?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs-Tyranny

And they call the following EDUCATION? Forgive me please, but the Professor, if you can call him that in good conscience, seems to be a Brown Shirt involved in indoctrinating students into the Progressive ideology and creating as much class envy as possible.

There is no adjective to describe this other than PATHETIC. A raping of the contract Professors have with students, which of course is to educate with opposing views, challenge their critical thinking skills, and prepare them for active independent judgement as they enter the adult world of reality and hard knocks.


What say you?


  1. And the dude is an English teacher. His rants aren't even relevant.

  2. Take it easy, Les. What the guy said was inappropriate, and he's been reassigned for the time being. You can't just be one Brown Shirt. There has to be a bunch of them, or there can be none at all. This guy said some things that some people quite understandably found very offensive. Say stuff like that and people will get offended. There is no concerted progressive agenda here. Just a guy who said some stupid $#!% and every responsible person involved, whatever their point of view, agrees.


  3. I suppose so Will. Hopefully the dude himself will become as irrelevant as you view his rants, like a pimple on the ass of a donkey.

  4. For once I agree with the use of your favorite word. But can't help but wonder the reaction if a righty had said similar stupid stuff about democracta and their party.

  5. For balance, Les, as you always point out on other blogs, you could present what the conservatives have tried to do in pushing their agendas in places like Texas, where they've attempted to rewrite American history, and even ignore some of it because they don't like the players:

    New York Times

    AUSTIN, Tex. — After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.

    The vote was 10 to 5 along party lines, with all the Republicans on the board voting for it.

    The board, whose members are elected, has influence beyond Texas because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks. In the digital age, however, that influence has diminished as technological advances have made it possible for publishers to tailor books to individual states.

    In recent years, board members have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin’s theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who have fought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation of church and state.

    “I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state,” said David Bradley, a conservative from Beaumont who works in real estate. “I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.”
    They also included a plank to ensure that students learn about “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.”


    As Jersey pointed out, one idiot does not make a conspiracy of progressives. But as you can see, one VERY influential school board in Texas has influence over text books for the entire country and ALL of its school children. Far, far worse than what the idiot professor did.

    1. Old news. I remind you of my disdain for all non Socratic education.

      I have been typically highly critical of lunkheads, especially republicans on RN USA and you know it.

      Whatever and whenever I might have overlooked something, or chose to delay a post on a particular matter I know you will have chimed in.

      Nobody thinks like (an)other(s) all the time and if appropriate they may seldom think the same.

  6. RN: A question:

    Are you concerned much about "balance". Or are you more concerned with evaluating issues on their own merits?

    1. Good question. I typically prefer evaluating issues on their specific merits and demerits and then deciding whether a compromise would be better than a either or decision. Mark it up to my experience as a Plant Manager in a unionized manufacturing environment.

      Results are what matters and to achieve consistent positive results requires developing a consistency of purpose and the ability adapt as needed. Which I suppose you might call balance.

  7. "However, the Detroit Free Press reports the Office of the Provost began a review of the situation Tuesday and that now, Penn's teaching duties have been reassigned."

    I say quit whining and report the whole story.

    1. Whose whinning Ducky? Is pointing out glaring inappropriate behavior and obvious huge bias in a teaching/ learning environment whining? The point is teachers ought to be teaching critical thinking skills.

      So if that is whining I proudly plead quilty.

    2. So, exactly how do you "teach critical thinking skills"

      What exactly are "critical thinking skills?"

      Wouldn't you start by attacking a students preconceived notions?

      Can't get anyone to think if our do not poke holes in what they believe!

    3. "Wouldn't you start by attacking a students preconceived notions?"

      You might "attack", I wouldn't.

      Asking probing open ended questions to get the student to think for themselves is a good start. What if scenarios with the teacher playing the devils advocate for example. Being judgmental and going of on students or engaging in pointless rants in support of your own personal bias is not a good practice. Non of the best teachers I had did so. The ones who did? I ignored them for the most part and did just enough "to get by.

      Take it away professor. :-)

  8. Tao said: "Can't get anyone to think if our do not poke holes in what they believe!"

    Might be... well, no. There's the fact that he threatened to assault those who spoke out.

  9. Oh, lets look up a few student comments about this professor:

    "Reading over a lot of these comments I was not surprised that people hated him. I personally really loved the class and would recommend it to those who are not easily offended or weak minded. He is strong in his opinions and will say things to piss you off so that you are forced to think about it more. The TA's even in the beginning of the semester said he will intentionally say things that upset you to get a rise because it's what get's your attention. If you are over sensitive and can't get over yourself and open your mind a little more, then do not take this course. Find something that will suit your feelings to ensure you don't get upset. Maybe there's something about friendship and how everyone needs to get along and not have their own opinions."

    Here is another one:

    "If you can stand reading a paper in front of the class and then sitting back and taking criticism on if from them and Penn then take a class with him. After this class I definitely improved my writing and also my reading skills. Depending on the paper and the feeling of the class he may allow a re-write or two. He talks a lot but is just really trying to get people to talk back to him. I see him called out in other posts for playing favorites, but honestly he was just talking to those people who would talk back to him. I wasn't really one of them but still got a lot out of his class. If you can watch your work take a beating and are willing to work to improve he is a great prof."

    Oh, and another one:

    "I thought I was going to hate professor Penn at first, but it turned out I really liked him. I was not part of his favorites, but I found the way he taught to be quite a learning experience. He knows his shit and if you take him, you will learn something about writing. Yes, he is an asshole, but he is good at teaching!"

    Oh, and how about a bio:

    If you go through his online reviews and subtract all the ones dated 9/2013 you find out that he gets a pretty high rating for being an opinionated asshole.

    Lets see, you post a video of a few minutes of a 50 minute class and you make a judgement of "progressive indoctrination."

    You have no idea of the context, of what was said before the video was shot and what was said afterwords. You and dmarks are like broken records just repeating the same old shtick.

    You believe whatever little sliver of data you have if it fits your agenda and you never take the time to dig any further.

    Oh, and you want to critique the teaching of critical thinking? Why not take this sentence, "Non of the best teachers I had did so. The ones who did? I ignored them for the most part and did just enough "to get by."

    Basically, it translates into the teachers I agreed with I liked and considered to be "the best teachers" while the ones who, "Being judgmental and going of on students or engaging in pointless rants in support of your own personal bias is not a good practice..." were ones you ignored.

    Your other teachers could have also been judgmental and went off on students in pointless rants but since their personal bias was your own personal bias you didn't see it the same way.

    Think about it.....

    1. You missed the point, made judgements regarding my response to your prior comment as well.Think about it.

      Filling the template as each desires is the reality of what you are really saying. Everyone but yourself of course

    2. Sorry, RN, the "template" thingy is all you. You see, this bunch of hooligans are using the Breitbart template to slander and smear with their video campaign, and quite successfully I might add.

      No one questions what the students think about this professor or what has he accomplished with his life; all of which could be achieved with a little critical thinking and 15 minutes on google.

      Nope, it much more fun just reacting to a five minute video and then demanding for the professors head.

      Its the conservative "template" to feed red meat to their minions.

  10. And let's face it, there's a lot of truth to what the guy said.


    1. Certainly, if one is in complete agreement with the template.

  11. And it is pretty much no less or more true than for his own left/progressive/liberal/Democrat Party side.


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