Teaching Lies

Some years ago, a friend of ours decided to stop being a chiropractor and become a public school teacher. At the time, I was still dabbling in what we like to call “education,” serving here and there as a substitute.

One day I mentioned to him some of the untruths, false facts, and lies included in the curriculum. Stuff like “Contrary to what is often said, Queen Cleopatra was a pure black African.” Uh, no, she wasn’t: she was Macedonian, the last of the Ptolemys to rule Egypt.

The ex-chiropractor, who was coming down the home stretch of his teacher training, replied, “You don’t understand. It’s all right to teach children things that aren’t true, as long as it makes them feel good about themselves.”

Nice. Pile up some self-esteem built on a lot of easily-refuted falsehoods. When individuals did that on their own, it was considered a character defect. A lot of technical terms were invented to describe this: “liar,” “B.S. artist,” “self-deluding ninny,” etc.

If you need lies to feel good about yourself, how do you feel about yourself when you finally find out that those things that made you feel so good were only… lies?

Education marches on.

2 comments on “Teaching Lies

  1. Astounding. Utterly astounding. The children today don’t stand a chance with the current attitudes about ‘education’. Play nice in the sandbox, don’t offend anyone in any way, everybody wins in the game, you can be whatever sex you want to be on any given day, we’re from the government and we’re here to help you. The picture is bleak and worse yet – these are our future leaders.

    1. I remember seeing these attitudes when I was in grade school (1960-1966), but not nearly t the extent that we see them today. Kids today are being raised to be absolute creampuffs. Any suggestion that they need to take responsibility for something . . . anything, is met with righteous indignation that is more in keeping with religious fanaticism than academic rigor.

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