5 thoughts on “EPA: Schools program kids to green family behavior”

  1. Schools are part of any society’s indoctrination system. Indoctrination is a neutral word; it refers to developing knowledge and beliefs and doesn’t tell us whether the knowledge or beliefs are valid. The materials we teach in schools and how they are presented are automatically a form of indoctrination.
    We want our schools to develop attitudes of self-respect, respect for others, and love of nation — at least I do. That’s indoctrination.
    I got my first lessons about conservation and environmental issues at school. It’s appropriate to encourage a respect for nature and an understanding that human activities affect the common good. That’s indoctrination.
    Of course I want kids indoctrinated with values I support. That’s the problem; the people doing the indoctrination at the moment, a lot of them, are people with bad facts and bad ideas.

  2. Goeff. That’s all well and good, but these children are being indoctrinated with false scientifc knowledge and exaggerations to perform tasks that range from interesting and educational though of no real ecological value (composting), to minorly beneficial (recycling programs), to environmentally counter-productive actions (supporting renewable energy) and outright supporting political affiliations (demonizing industry). Perhaps I’m just being too cynical here, but I am extremely wary of anything to do with environmental education.

  3. Howdy BofH
    I’m suspicious of exactly the same things, thus my last paragraph. Badly informed or ill-intended indoctrination is harmful.
    Indoctrination, in and of itself, is not inherently good or bad and is occurs as part of the learning process even if it’s not intended. That’s why it’s so important to recognize it and shape it — my way, of course, which is probably also your way.

  4. Howdy mo2tex
    I would beg to differ. I attended Catholic schools for two years and then Catechism class (it wasn’t, exactly) through grade 10. We learned the teachings — yes, the dogma — of the Catholic Church about sacraments, about the istory of the church, about moral lessons. The point was to indoctrinate us into the ways and beliefs of the Catholic Church so that we would be knowing, thinking participants in the life of the Church as adults. We were also indoctrinated at home, or at least my family was.
    Only some of it took. None of the eight sons and daughters attends a Catholic church as an adult, nor have we raised our own sons and daughters in the Church. But all of us live reasonably responsibly.
    Indoctrination can be closer to brain-washing. The description of the madras system, when boys who don’t know Arabic learn to recite the Koran in Arabic, but not to read it in their own languages, seems awfully close to that. Some of what goes on in public schools may also seek to indoctrinate children with bad ideas and errors of fact.
    Indoctrination can push toward the mindless or develop the mind.

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