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Marxism in the Classroom

December 28, 1985

Scott Warren aptly describes authentic education as "radical, critical and subversive of the conventional wisdom." The late President Woodrow Wilson of Princeton University said that the purpose of education was to make the young as unlike their elders as possible. Just so.

In the past, some well-deserved epithets have been applied to the institution we call "school": "It is irrelevant" (Marshall McLuhan); "it shields children from reality" (Norbert Weiner); "it educates for obsolescence" (John Gardner); "it does not develop intelligence" (Jerome Bruner); "it is based on fear" (John Holt); "it avoids the promotion of significant learnings" (Carl Rogers); "it induces alienation" (Paul Goodman); "it punishes creativity and independence" (Edgar Friedenberg).

Is all of that changing in favor of more open-mindedness in the classroom? Let us hope so, for democracy simply will not function without an informed and critical citizenry.

VANCE GEIER

Los Angeles

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