Education not indoctrination: education standards in crisis?
Monday 26 June 2023 at 5:30 PM
Press Club Brussels, Rue Froissart 95, Brussels 1000
- Dr Lindsey M. Burke, Director, Center for Education Policy, The Heritage Foundation
- Prof. Andrea Cerroni, Professor of Sociology, University of Milano-Bicocca
- Mike Gonzalez, Angeles T. Arredondo E Pluribus Unum Senior Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
- Dr Penny Lewis, academic and editor for the Scottish Union for Education
Join MCC Brussels and the Heritage Foundation for a panel discussion about this pressing issue, contrasting the experiences of the United States and different European nations with confronting the twin problems of declining educational standards and indoctrination in the classroom.
Parents and educators are worried that there is a crisis infecting and paralysing educational systems across the Western world. There has been a disturbing consistent shift in schooling from an emphasis on academic rigor to an emphasis on acquiring skills. Change is happening at such a rapid pace, we are told, and so much information is available at the touch of a screen, what’s the point of putting too much focus on the acquisition of knowledge that will soon be outdated when more time can be spent gaining valuable generic skills such as literacy, empathy and managing your finances. Equally, alongside the focus on skills, schools have increasingly become integral to transmitting values around issues such as race, gender, and climate change.
Whilst some argue this is all a step forward towards raising more globally aware young citizens equipped with the skills to navigate an ever-changing world, others regard it as destructive of an approach to education that seeks to conserve the legacy of the past and transmit the values, insights and achievements of previous generations. When American children began remote learning during the pandemic, many parents were shocked to discover how much lesson content was geared around contentious social issues rather than establishing strong foundations in traditional subjects such as reading, maths and history. So shocked were they that many have campaigned and protested about woke school boards and against the indoctrination of their children.
Join MCC Brussels and our colleagues from America’s Heritage Foundation for an engaging transatlantic panel discussion about what we can learn from our different national experiences of the turn education has taken. Should parents in Europe be more willing to challenge what schools are teaching their children? Does the American experiment with education vouchers, which provide parents with greater choice over where their children study, offer any lessons? What should be done to establish an education for our children which connects them with our past, supports generational continuity and promotes genuine intellectual confidence and independence?