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What They Want to Teach Your Kids in “Social Studies”

Posted on Monday, July 19, 2021
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Social Studies

As Republican state legislatures have taken action to stop the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and related ideologies in public school classrooms, one subject area that has come under particular scrutiny is social studies. Democrats and liberal activists have decried Republican efforts to force teachers to actually teach traditional notions of history and civics in social studies classes as “censorship.” But the record shows that in recent years, increasingly radical education organizations have pushed to remake social studies classrooms into indoctrination chambers for liberal activists.

 Don’t take our word for it. Take theirs.

Specifically, the words of Tina Lane Heafner, former President of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). Social studies, according to Heafner, “more than any other subject area, has the capacity to reveal structural racism, inequality, and exclusion that endures in U.S. society, and is deeply rooted in our nation’s history and perpetuated through policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages.” The goal of social studies? To bring “transformative understandings that are foundational to shifting the mindsets of students and promoting the culture of equity and inclusion.” [Emphasis added]

 That doesn’t sound much like the social studies that most Americans grew up with. Heafner penned these words in an essay from January of 2020 that expanded upon her keynote address from the annual NCSS national conference in November of 2019. Both the speech and the essay were published before the rise of Black Lives Matter and before CRT went mainstream, suggesting that, rather than reacting to such cultural phenomena, Heafner and groups like NCSS were actually active participants in helping left-wing activists gain influence by forcing their ideologies on the youngest generation of Americans.

 Heafner goes on in her piece to state unequivocally that there is “no neutrality in the racism struggle,” explicitly quoting Ibram Kendi, the author of How to Be an Antiracist, which AMAC Newsline has analyzed here and here.

The crux of Kendi’s book is that when outcomes for any racial groups are unequal, there is an “inequity,” and thus an injustice. That “injustice” will only be fixed when racial groups are perfectly equal in their outcomes.

 That is, in a very real sense, Communism. No, that is not an exaggeration.

With Kendi’s beliefs as a guide, Heafner goes on to advocate that American students be indoctrinated to believe this hate-fueled dogma, twisted, anti-American versions of history, and the dangerous rhetoric of radical LGBTQ+ groups.

That anti-American version of history was on full display at the aforementioned NCSS conference in 2019. “All education in the United States,” Heafner declared, “takes place on Indigenous lands.” At the same conference, participants were asked to acknowledge that “we are gathering together in a place on the shared lands and waters of many indigenous and Native Peoples.”

While it’s true that the United States has a troubled history regarding its treatment of native peoples, the only purpose these statements appear to serve in this context is to undermine the legitimacy of American institutions and the very existence of the nation itself. In other words, Heafner isn’t interested in actual historical accuracy or nuance. She’s interested only in promoting a completely one-sided view of history in order to justify teaching leftist propaganda about the United States to students.

 To this end, Heafner also calls for “Civic Engagement among Youth” as a core principle of social studies education. In theory, this sounds fine. But in reality, it is nothing but the Action Civics we have reported on elsewhere, which recruits students in public schools as protestors for leftist causes.

 But Heafner saves perhaps her most startling statement for the conclusion of her piece. “Social studies,” she writes, “teaches us that knowledge is not neutral; it is socially constructed.” Not opinions, agendas, or parties, but knowledge itself is “socially structured.”

What does this mean? It means no knowledge is ever objective. This sounds insane, but it is actually being applied across disciplines, even to things like mathematics. Some schools are actually teaching that the idea of objectivity in mathematics – or finding the correct answer – is only a reflection of white, Euro-centric ideas—a most absurd assertion.

Since no knowledge is really objective and certain according to Heafner, teachers are therefore empowered to recognize the “structure” of knowledge in our society, dismantle it, and change it to one in accord with their own agenda. This is why, in her words, “Critical inquiry is at the heart of social studies.” This is the same sort of “Critical” involved in Critical Race Theory—a “critical” that presumes to dismantle every norm, every structure, every truth, for the purpose of supposedly reconstructing them in the name of “equity” and “justice.”

But, you might be asking at this point, does Heafner at least still reserve some place in social studies education for traditional lessons about American history? On this issue, Heafner’s silence is deafening. How many times does she mention the Constitution? Zero. The Founders? Zero. The Declaration of Independence? Zero.

 Is any of this logically consistent? No. And it isn’t meant to be. Its sole purpose is to break down what Heafner and her allies see as the current “power structure” in order to replace it with their own.

 That means only one thing: the radical left is at war with reality itself, and they want to recruit your children and grandchildren to join their side in that war.

 

 

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Laynee8
Laynee8
2 years ago

Our children and grandchildren are the future of our country. Their education, or lack thereof, will determine whether this country survives in the next 50 years as a land of freedom and opportunity for all its citizens. God, help us!

Bill on the Hill
Bill on the Hill
2 years ago

The behavior by young people across this nation these last ( 18 ) months in America’s cities I find quite troubling…I fear the indoctrination of our youth began decades ago & has steadily become more anti-American in nature moving forward. I graduated from HS in ’72 & I have no memory of this dreadful ideology in my classrooms that today’s kids are now facing…I can’t say with any certainty when it all really got started in our K-12 schools, however as a young teenager in the mid to late ’60’s I clearly remember the radical behavior of many of the college aged crowd, some call it the ” counter culture ” generation…
Bill on the Hill… :~)

Anita C
Anita C
2 years ago

What bs about curriculum!!! Fifty years ago my education was structured with known yearly subject matter and which teacher you were going to get: English w penmanship, history , geography states capitals location what they were known for, mathematics, civics government voting – my teachers didn’t belong to a union they tirelessly worked and were respected by their disciplinary actions always expected by parents !
I was fortunate that it was a parochial school taught by the Madams of the Sacred Heart .
WHAT MEMORIES!

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

Unfortunately, nothing in this article is new. Social Studies as been preaching the ideology of socialism since1980, when Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States was first introduced into American classrooms. Since then, the number of socialist oriented texts in public education has steadily increased.

This is what you get when, as a society, the majority of the American people don’t pay attention to so much of what transpires in this country year after year. The damage adds up over time until one day even the most oblivious amongst us realize the country is fundamentally changed. Apathy and indifference are extremely destructive societal forces, if the people ignore what is going on around them long enough.

Marilyn
Marilyn
2 years ago

CAMERAS ARE EVERYWHERE BUT IN THE CLASSROOMS, SCHOOL OFFICES, RESTROOMS (NOT IN THE STALLS). PEOPLE SHOULD WRITE/E-MAIL/PHONE THEIR SENATORS/REPRESENTATIVES.

Momcat
Momcat
2 years ago

They ignore the Constitution, the Founders, and the Declaration of Independence to keep students ignorant of their rights, liberties, and responsibilities as a citizen. Please subscribe to WallBuilders to learn the truth.

Momcat
Momcat
2 years ago

this is what you get when you don’t teach history, you teach feelings. Young indoctrinated youth has no idea what she’s doing.

Wanda
Wanda
2 years ago

My daughter is a teacher and she could not teach the kids about 911 because it was violent…..really. It is history and most of the time history has lots of violence in it….kids need to know the truth about the Nazi camps and the millions of people they murdered. They need to know about the revolution against Brittian, the civil war, WWII, Viet Nam, the people killed in Benghazi….wars are a big part of history and all wars are violent. It is time our kids stop being a bunch of snow flakes

Mimi
Mimi
2 years ago

My grandchildren are unable to do handwriting, as cursive has been dropped from school curriculum. Therefore if I send them a handwritten note their parents have to read it to them. However, they have plenty of time everyday to discuss LGBTQ topics. Oh God of the universe help us!

June
June
2 years ago

God help us!!!!

Bill
Bill
2 years ago

Resurgence of the atheist,
There is no God, heads their list!

Atheism needs to be upheld,
Soon the free Republic is felled.

In order to oppose the truth,
”We must propagandize the youth!”

Identify many ways of conflict,
Of course, the prosperous on them did inflict.

The old tactic, to divide and conquer,
A modern, godless Russian moniker.

The new liberty equated,
Godless pluralism infiltrated!

Self-evident on our ancient walls,
God and the Bible, our founding installs!

Even in our Courtroom Supreme,
God and His Law, straightforward SCREAM!

In Public, the Bible – not the Koran or Vedas! ! !
Others only in Private or true liberty lost.

We’ve come to let the Marxist/left dominate,
The God of the Bible they hate!

Allowed to interpret religious liberty without opposition,
Passivity in war, a defeatist position.

History repeats itself, again and again,
American voice – where are your Minutemen!

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