US public education: Bullshit to train stupefied work animals. Language Arts fails to communicate inspiration for humanity; losing the human spirit’s self-expression to slavish empire (7 of 12)

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this… But we tend to take the situation for granted… (the bullshitter) does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up… (Bullshitters) continue making assertions that purport to describe the way things are but that cannot be anything except bullshit.”  ~ Princeton professor emeritus, Harry Frankfurt, 2005 Bestseller, On Bullshit

“[The] erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardised citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.” ~ H.L. Mencken, 1924

Think Nice’s brilliant 5-minute artistic frame for Professor Frankfurt (although there’s likely more to climate change than he mentions [and herehere]):

Stephen Colbert’s 2005 two minutes on truthiness as bullshit’s brother (embedding forbidden by Comedy Central).

This 12-part series addresses an overarching fact about public education: its design of intentional curricular lies of omission and commission to keep our children and the general public powerless, relatively stupid, and controlled work animals.

Importantly, I do not blame education professionals working in good-faith effort to produce high-quality learning from our children; public education exists in a matrix of control for ongoing empires that I’ll explain in detail within the series’ sections. That said, anyone truly educated in one’s field gradually discovers that public education is a ridiculous substitute for what’s most important to teach and learn. This is Emperor’s New Clothes obvious when pointed to, with this paper’s content including factual assertions that no counterarguments exist outside of shallow and misleading bullshit.

The 12 sections (links to be added as the series progress):

US public education: Bullshit to train stupefied work animals:

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Language Arts fails to communicate inspiration for humanity; losing the human spirit’s self-expression to slavish empire (7 of 12)

language arts: the skills, including reading, composition, speech, spelling, and dramatics, taught in elementary and secondary schools to give students a thorough proficiency in using the language.

I’m not credentialed to teach English or World Languages. That said, as a National Board Certified Teacher with 32 years’ experience in Social Science (World History, US History, US Government, Economics) and Mathematics, I’ve had sufficient observation to respectfully offer how Language Arts taught in public education is weakened by bullshit.

Let’s consider three points:

  1. Absence of purpose for language: Where is the emphasis and practice with communication?
  2. Language Arts is blind to the Orwellian world we live in while ironically “teaching” Orwell.
  3. Teaching grammar as form for language without inspiration for communication to build a brighter future.

And let’s reflect upon three questions:

  • What does it mean that Language Arts professionals miss the point of language to connect with each other?
  • What kind of academic discipline is blind to living on an “animal farm” while claiming to “teach” the novels Animal Farm and 1984?
  • Are we accurately describing public education in Language Arts as bullshit when language fails to frame grammar for communication within our immediate and living: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…” (A Tale of Two Cities)

Example 1:

If language is for communication, what is communication?

The California Framework for English Language Arts hints at the purpose for language (Introduction, pg. 5):

“…this framework recognizes that becoming broadly literate—reading and viewing for pleasure, information, and inspiration and communicating knowledgably, powerfully, and responsively—is necessary for life in today’s global society. A person who is broadly literate engages with a wide range of books and texts across a variety of genres, time periods, cultures, perspectives, and topics.”

Again, with all respect for all education professionals working in good-faith effort, and in light of my absence of academic and professional work in this field, my observations are offered in appreciation of colleagues working to powerfully educate our children. That said, the reading I’ve done with my state’s Framework and content standards for purpose and specific learning objectives, along with my professional observations, have me conclude that language arts flounders from lack of purpose.

I define language arts as the art and science of communication. Current public education teaching seems to be focused on reading comprehension, grammar, and technical writing skills. What seems to be missing is the purpose of why one would want to employ language: communication.

Connected to this apparent lack of purpose is public education’s failure to define communication, real-world consideration of its status in human living, and practice for improvement of real-world skills in human relationships. From ~20 years of exploration and professional/personal applications from various courses (here, here, here with my highest recommendations), my favorite definition of communication is the creation and recreation of experience.

Real communication has human beings intentionally and passionately:

  • create experiences worth living and sharing,
  • express those experiences (with emphasis on intent for others to recreate those experiences in their own experience),
  • discover the outcome of game-changing connectiveness, empathy, and love for others.

Language Arts can and should be a laboratory for students to discover the power to connect to others in mutual commitment to share experiences in a human adventure of expanding experience and expression of virtues.

Language Arts can and should be the pathway for Life being experienced and expressed as ever-more loving, powerful, intelligent, and beautiful.

That public education delivers Language Arts without outcome of human beings becoming more alive with language as they get more practice is damning evidence of bullshit.

If an “educated” human being is not becoming more brilliant in experience and expression with more practice in self-expression and communication, but exactly what we observe that almost all human beings become more resigned, weak, and feeling like the “work animal” titled in this article series, who can argue that Language Arts has fulfilled its potential and promise?

Human beings cannot imagine the world that awaits when communication and outcomes of connection and love are unleashed. All of us have experienced the magic and wonder of true connections in Life, with love that is cherished beyond words and beyond worlds.

Please take a moment to refresh your experience of the possibility of feeling and expressing love of Life, love for each other, and love in the power and beauty of human creative genius only and always connected to communication.

To “teach” anything less to our children is bullshit.

Example 2:

Teaching Orwell  while failing to perceive US Orwellian Empire

George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm are among the most-taught Language Arts novels. As we’ve explained, documented, and proved in our previous sections, Americans live in an Orwellian reality including public education curricula:

  • US History lies in omission and commission to rewrite history of treaty-violating, lie-started, and illegal wars of Empire as “bringing progress,” “sharing democracy,” “defending our freedoms,” or some other bullshit.
  • US Government uses language upholding American ideals and rights, while ignoring their destruction with TSA warrantless searches, “free speech zones,” “elections” without a paper trail to count, etc.
  • Economics doublethinks students to believe debt = money, creating escalating debt is good for the public, and poverty is unsolvable (when it’s ever mentioned).
  • Mathematics lies that ridiculously trivial puzzles are “real-world” problems, while producing more students afraid of math than those able to powerfully quantify reality.
  • Student leadership focuses on entertainment while falling for government political leadership “Big Lies” that gestures are all that are possible to address real problems such as poverty.

For Language Arts teachers to be blind to facts documented above, which are an intentionally small sample, and to teach Orwell as mere fiction or cautionary tale is to reveal public education in that field as enslaved to bullshit.

The onslaught of propaganda by US “leaders” in government, economics, and corporate media would not receive a passing grade if submitted as a high school Language Arts assignment from its obvious use of bullshit, yet this academic field fails to find sufficient voice to express the truth of our human condition.

To “teach” in an Orwellian condition blind to its presence is to preserve, protect, and defend its extension to our children’s lives for a future as stupefied work animals.

Example 3:

Grammar without inspiration for the brighter future communication calls for

Human creative power through language is perhaps most attractive within our Orwellian suppressed reality. Teaching language structure and grammar are useful tools to empower communication, as are reading comprehension and technical writing skills. This said, for public education to omit the context of children’s lifetime of co-creation for unimaginable and unpredictable virtues in an ever-brighter future is to limit language to basic forms for work animals.

We discussed lie-started and obvious unlawful Wars of Aggression. In this one example greatly affecting billions of lives with trillions of dollars, language is currently used either as stupefied silence, Orwellian doublespeak to “support the troops” with forever illegal invasions rather than ending them, and work within daily job-support and taxes for war on resource-rich defenseless “former” colonial nations. Within this loveless context, we teach children to correctly format written work so they can “communicate.”

Communication without connection to humanity is bullshit.

Communication without empathy and mutual support of building brighter futures is bullshit.

Communication without adult modeling of ever-brighter lives to at least voice that we as a nation not lie to kill the defenseless is bullshit, no matter what level of grammatical mastery is developed for what’s left in communication after love is excised.

The tests I’ve observed to judge students give them technical form only, and when pretending to address virtue keep it as historical victories such as overcoming overt slavery, American Independence, or advancement of women in limited frames that never contrast the game-changing facts and possibilities for a brighter future with the suppressed realities given our children through political “leadership,” corporate media, and public education.

Students honor Martin King yearly with reading and written work, yet never break from the limited frame that the same government that gave a national holiday in his name are the same .01% monsters who assassinated him. When this fact is the legal verdict of the only trial considering evidence from the King Family civil case, and when Martin’s wife (Coretta) is relegated to silence when she spent more than twice the number of years she was married to Martin to make these facts known, and all students receive are “teaching” of grammar to best language our sense of loss and honor for Martin, these limitations are bullshit.

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Our three questions to reflect upon to gain in experience and expression to empower our real-world communication:

  • What does it mean that Language Arts professionals miss the point of language to connect with each other?
  • What kind of academic discipline is blind to living on an “animal farm” while claiming to “teach” the novels Animal Farm and 1984?
  • Are we accurately describing public education in Language Arts as bullshit when language fails to frame grammar for communication within our immediate and living: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…” (A Tale of Two Cities)

Your life, your answers.

That said, for your consideration, what I’d like to self-express with those questions in case the entire essay is assisted with concise conclusion:

  • Education without communication leaves us teaching as separated work animals used for purposes other than human. Love is a function of communication, obviously, because it connects us in ways all humans discover are life-changing, and profound. This single point, love, when missing from education means that we’re missing the single most important point of teaching what human beings most need to learn and practice.
  • It’s ironic, Orwellian, and poetically appropriate to teach work animals that 1984 is just a novel. It’s also damning evidence of public education bullshit, and strong motivation for those able to homeschool their children.
  • Of course Language Arts is compromised by bullshit when we “teach” powerful work like Dickens without immediacy in our lives in the present. Almost all students are uninspired by what they experience in classrooms from the disconnect of what’s inspiring from what is presented as public education.

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Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008 among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences (and here). I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.

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Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu

Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: herehere).

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  • Pink Pantherlike Mike

    Carl,You are too much;too good bro.
    Love your mind.
    Keep on keepin’ on.
    Chief of staff in my administration wild man.