For years now we have seen people seeking to push the bible into the science classroom. However, the move in recent years to push the religiously based ‘charter school’ system has opened up a new front in the war to erode critical thinking skills. No longer satisfied with pushing the rubbish ofCreationism or abstinence only health education, now a new model is out, attacking the foundation of mathematics itself.
The A Beka Book company provides a great many of the literature for these religious schools. We come to expect dominionists to push for their lies about science and history, but the A Beka Book company produces a whole series of dominionist school textbooks, including a revisionist form of mathematics not based on logic nor reason but instead “mathematics are a creation of God and thus absolute.”
Here is an example, taken from the A Beka Book piece titled “The Christian Approach to Elementary Math” originally published in 1980 and still used in their latest titles:
We are unabashed advocates of traditional math, not only because the students learn something that can be built upon, but also because it accords with our Christian viewpoints on education. Only from a Christian perspective can the basic rationale — the intrinsic reasonableness of traditional elementary math — be seen and appreciated. Traditional math will not succeed unless it is taught with the conviction that something more than arbitrary process derived from arbitrary principles is at work. The elementary student does not need to “understand” 2 + 2 = 4 in order to learn it and use it; he will learn the abstract principles later. But the elementary student does need to see his multiplication tables as part of the truth and order that God has built into reality. From the Christian perspective, 2 + 2 = 4 takes on cosmic significance, as does every fact of mathematics, however particular.
Note they call their Divine Mathematics “traditional math” in order to make it sound acceptable to a particular group of people. They are targeting the easily deceived who then feel that they are trying to restore “tradition.” They even claim that a student does not need to understand 2+2=4, only to accept it as a sign of divinity.
This reads almost like an article from The Onion.
I mean, fuck. I used to joke about shit like this but now it’s happening, and it’s not funny anymore.
What they mean by “traditional math” is actually that they want to go back to the pre-1960 system of teaching children mathematics by rote procedure, as opposed to the post-1960 “New Math” which teaches mathematics by explaining the underlying principles.
Basically, an elementary school child taught by “traditional” math would solve 20-5 by applying the ‘carry over rule’ that you take one from the tens place and add ten in the ones place. An elementary school child taught by “New Math” would solve the same problem by actually understanding that value from higher digits can be carried to lower digits because it is the same thing.
A Beka Book is arguing that it’s “Christian” to teach children math by rote rather than by understanding because this promotes the worldview that truth is dictated by authority, not understood.
So, it kind of falls in line with the Texas GOP’s stance on critical thinking.
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
Sounds a lot like conditioning children to grow into adults that don’t question authority or challenge what is told to them.
UFOs on a quest to search for intelligent life forms would never stop by our planet, and here’s another reason why. We’ve got to beat this anti-intellectualism back wherever it rears it’s stupid head.
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