As a former teacher, I have lamented about the fact that civics has all but disappeared from our nation’s classrooms. Civics illiteracy is a real issue and it prevents kids from understanding the importance of engaged citizenship.
Of course, I should be careful what I wish for.
Every four years, the presidential election brings out the worst in a few knucklehead teachers who seem to think their classrooms are the perfect venue to push their political views on young, impressionable students.
The fact that these kids are years away from being eligible to vote does not seem to matter; what is important to these misguided teachers is that it is an opportunity to indoctrinate instead of educate.
I also believe it is important to call out the other culprits: hyper-political parents. This “disease” is not limited to one political party…I have seen parents on both sides of the political fence working like zealots to jam their political beliefs into the minds of their kids. I would like to ask them: what do you want to raise: clones or critical thinkers?
Whether we are teachers or parents, we have a responsibility to raise kids to be able to think for themselves, to study the positions of politicians and candidates and to DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES who they feel deserves their vote and support.
This issue is the subject of my latest column in the Philadelphia Daily News. You can read it by clicking here.
I would like to know what you think…what is the right line in the educate vs. indoctrinate debate?
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