Social Studies

Social Studies


In a 2009 report titled “Indoctrination without Apology: Social Studies Teachers Share Strategies on How to Mold Students,” Mary Grabar exposes the extreme ideological bias that pervades Social Studies education in the United States. Her report begins as follows:

If anyone doubts that indoctrination takes place in our schools, he should attend the annual National Council for the Social Studies conference. The NCSS is the major professional organization for social studies teachers from prekindergarten through high school. Their 2009 annual meeting in November drew about 3200 educators. Teachers met in Atlanta to share pedagogical strategies in workshops and through poster sessions. They listened to speeches and visited booths offering curriculums. For their attendance—paid for by taxpayers and less frequently through private tuition–they earned graduate credit and continuing education credit. As they imbibed the decidedly progressive atmosphere, they thus made themselves eligible for promotion and raises in salary. I spent two days and one evening sampling from over 400 sessions, over a dozen speeches, and several cultural events.

I have been writing about education for a number of years and have taught at the college level for nearly twenty. I am familiar with the left-wing bias in higher education and have witnessed the decline in intellectual abilities of college students. But even I was surprised to see that blatant political bias in curriculums, anti-intellectualism, and emotional manipulation of often very young children are accepted as a matter of course in our schools. Among the troubling trends were the promotion of primitivism (in the form of Native American “thinking”) and of Islam. A District of Columbia Senator encouraged very receptive teachers to propagandize his cause of DC statehood and use children to lobby legislators. A middle school teacher detailed how she used an adult-level polemic to induce feelings of sympathy for illegal aliens. Government agencies like the Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Bank sent officials to offer their curriculums and teaching strategies, and ask teachers to recruit students to do their bidding. The tax-supported National Public Broadcasting Corporation sent numerous representatives to present workshops on using PBS-produced curriculums and even teachers in the classroom. When actual U.S. history was presented, it was from the perspective of various “victims.” Vital facts about political issues and historical events were routinely omitted from the workshops, curricular materials, and speeches. The presence of an alternative perspective was limited to a handful (among hundreds) of out-of-the-way booths (Hillsdale College and Ashland University, for example).

In workshops, the goals of effecting “social justice” and using children in the public forum were openly advocated. Teachers were overwhelmingly and uncritically receptive to messages from government officials, politicians, advocacy groups, and activists…. I could not find one [workshop] that promoted a positive view of the U.S. and the West. The idea of patriotism never came up. Nor was there a speaker to offer such an alternative perspective, including to that of keynote speaker historian Eric Foner, an apologist for communism. And while several workshops focused on the victims of the Nazi regime, none did for the communist regimes.

To view Mary Grabar’s full report, click here.

Additional Resources:

Indoctrination without Apology: Social Studies Teachers Share Strategies on How to Mold Students
By Mary Grabar

© Copyright 2024,