April 11, 2014 | Graham

Schools places of indoctrination rather than learning

A new British report pings the British education system for indoctrinating students on questions of climate change and sustainability. In this, Australia is no better.

Climate Control: Brainwashing in schools lays out in detail instances not just of bias, but active coercion, at a number of levels from core curriculum down to the choices that teachers make in the classroom.

For instance, despite a British court deciding that Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth was propaganda and had to be appropriately labelled before use in the classroom, it is still being recommended in the curriculum materials, without any counter recommendation to movies, such as the Great Global Warming Swindle, which could provide an alternative perspective.

To those of us who believe that educations’s function is to teach thinking and knowledge, this is deeply disturbing, but hardly surprising.

The current Australian Curriculum is full of references to “sustainability”, which is a concept without any intelligible meaning in most of the contexts in which it is used, apart from in the very short-term.

I’ve had personal experience of how the system works through the daughters of a friend who studied geography in a Queensland school. Their teacher, Ms P, was not just a global warming warrior, but also imparted valuable information to them over the course of the years, such as that only the Greens care about education.

At one stage, in response to a perception imported from the classroom that rainfall had decreased in Australia I produced a Bureau of Meteorology graph demonstrating that rainfall had in fact increased. I was told they weren’t interested in the facts, they wanted to pass the subject.

The teachers I had at school, who were Socratic in approach, and never ever gave me a hint of who they might vote for, would have welcomed the intrusion into the classroom of an unruly fact and the discussion which would have ensued.

If this approach has survived in any discipline in school you would expect it to be in philosophy. Alas, you would be wrong. Modern philosophy classes consist not of discussions of Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Hegel, Mill even Wittgenstein or Marx and what it means to be good or the nature of human rights, but pop-cultural tours of issues like abortion guided by bit players like radical utilitarian, vegetarian and eugenicist, Peter Singer.

They still teach them the logical concepts that underpin philosophy, but without seeing them applied by anyone with any skill, leading to lowest common denominator thinking.

There is hope.

A spokesman for Michael Gove [UK Secretary of State for Education], has said that teachers who do not offer a balanced view on issues like climate change are breaking the law.

Would be nice to think it could be the same here – teachers actually legally required to be balanced – but even better if there were no need in the first place.

Posted by Graham at 7:36 am | Comments (15) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Agree with most of this Graham, but add, if it’s okay to teach the theory of evolution as virtual fact, then the theory of climate change should be treated no differently?
    I mean, there is more chance of a whirlwind whipping through a junkyard and creating a fully functioning flyable 747, than the theory of evolution being factual?
    The same critique could be leveled at most in school religious teaching, particularly when it includes repetitious inculcation, or quite blatant catechism like brainwashing?
    The very best thing we can teach our children is the three R’ closely followed by critical thinking!
    If climate change is true, and I believe it is, then we should learn to adapt, regardless of the cause?
    I mean, is there another choice?
    And given we include basic common sense, we should be able to use the necessary changes, to actually and quite massively improve our economies, their performance and our common standard of living!
    Of course the four trillion per plus, fossil fuel industries, which have us well and truly by the short and curlies, will resist that adaption with every erg of their considerable energy.
    We need to adapt, and need to also understand, that the stone age didn’t end because of a shortage of stone, or that the steam age didn’t end due to a shortage of steam!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — April 11, 2014 @ 9:50 am

  2. It is a marvellous opportunity for kids to learn the skills of argument! The maths supporting the arguments would interest them.

    Comment by Christine Hyde — April 11, 2014 @ 10:01 am

  3. Alan,
    I never suspected you of being anti evolution.

    Do you accept that the Hubble telescope can look back at the most distant parts of the universe and the scientists evaluating the information observed are satisfied that the distant parts they are now looking at existed over 13 Billion light years ago?

    Have you looked at the Hubble one million second exposure photographs particularly one of a section of what was thought to be a dark area extending the same arc to the camera as one tenth of the diameter of the moon? That photo showed about 10,000 galaxies.

    A quick calculation shows that there are galaxies numbering in the hundreds of billions each containing up to hundreds of billions of suns and probably even more planets in orbit around them.

    Are you aware that the component of this earth that have atomic numbers greater than iron were produced in the supernova exhaustion of an earlier, larger sun?

    Evolution is not have a directed (aimed) outcome. It is the outcome of a multitude of mutations most of which failed because the particular mutation was unsuitable for the environment it had to cope with.

    You and every other animal, insect, fish or bird here because many lines of mutations survived all the mutations and environments their forebears encountered.

    Have you read of the Michigan State University Lenski Experiment? In the time this planet Earth has been in existence, with its water, oxygen, carbon and other elements evolution has had time to accomplish everything we see in animal and plant life. As Terry Lane wrote “What God would create spiders”?

    Comment by John Turner — April 11, 2014 @ 11:17 am

  4. John,
    I’m not anti evolution and am well aware of the number of steps, and indeed the death and rebirth of countless stars, and the critical perfect timing sequence, that produced something as complex and evolved as a human. I am rather, ambivalent or agnostic?
    Given I don’t know, and the case for complete serendipity, is certainly not proven or confirmed by Einstein’s theory of relativity?
    But particularly, when we still don’t know what dark matter, more than two thirds of the universe, is?
    When we do? We may be able to utilize it, to bend time and matter, and zip about the universe, almost as easily as we now make an international phone call?
    Spiders have very useful purposes, along with the other eight legged life forms, some more tasty than others, who share the same hereditary?
    The fact that there are radiation burst mutations, and or adaptability, or the survival of the fittest, only proves the survival of the fittest or the most adaptable, as a branch of believable science, rather than evolution per se?
    Were evolution completely correct, then surely we still couldn’t find any single celled organisms, which would surely have joined the queue, to combine as evolved life forms?
    The other problem I have with the THEORY of evolution, is the complete lack of deposits of carboniferous coke, (primordial soup,) which wold have left some evidence of its existence, as deposits.
    Particularly, on continents like Australia, which are as old as earth itself and have yet to experience the folding back into the mantle phenomena, which has allegedly destroyed all such deposits?
    The usual excuse trotted out by zealotry believers, when their evolutionary views are challenged by literal science?
    I don’t know if there’s a God or creative force?
    However, on reflection and balance, I can see a purpose in life and the many experiences it presents, along with immutable cause and effect.
    One thing I do know is that we’re all transformed energy, as is everything in the knowable universe!
    i.e., if all the atoms that make up the entire population of all the people that inhabit planet earth, were able to be compressed into a single space, they would only fill the space of a single sugar cube.
    That this is just the product of mindless serendipity is an astounding claim, far less believable, than some level of design or purpose?
    I also know, that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, and therefore, had to exist in some form before the so-called big bang, or the collision of matter and antimatter, the presumed cause of the big bang?
    Had this occurred, as most evolutionists seem to claim, then gravity would have intervened and caused matter, to slow down rather than accelerate away from other matter, the way it seems to be?
    There are just too many known unknowns, too many unknown knowns or suppositions and assumptions, to be confident that we actually understand if evolution is a fact, or just the recorded adaptability of those species that have adapted and survived changing conditions!
    The fact that other creatures, like say the African Ant Eater have not evolved, just confirms, if there’s no change in the environment or the usual food source, then there is no pressure or need to adapt or allegedly mutate, to survive?
    Is the universe intelligent and can it think?
    Well you and I can and we are an integral part of it.
    I don’t think in simplistic black and white terms, particularly, when all the evidence, most of it, just isn’t in!
    Even so, I stand by my comments on evolution, and some of the difficulties inherent in the quasi religious beliefs, of its devotees?
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — April 11, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

  5. Given the persistent pro-AGW indoctrination carried out by the taxpayer-funded instrumentalities, ABC, CSIRO and BOM, and university academic researchers, it indeed would surprise if a similar Australian study yielded a different finding.

    There is no doubting that political correctness is alive and well in Australia!

    Comment by Ray — April 11, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

  6. Ray, The privately owned media biased reports far outweigh those reports from the ‘taxpayer-funded instrumentalities’ you mention!
    In the same vein – my taxes are used to support private schools – which I don’t use, want, believe necessary or need!

    Comment by Karalta — April 11, 2014 @ 3:48 pm

  7. Christine,
    Some maths for you. If T=E, and E=M, then T can= M?
    Cheers, Alan B.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — April 11, 2014 @ 5:04 pm

  8. Good posting. The U. S. has a similar problem in the country is trying to have the same education for all students K-12. The program is called Common Core. The National Academy of Science is providing the science portion of Common Core. This portion is filled with climate science that is not science. Students time will be wasted and they will develop fear of the future for the planet. Less time for true science like study of the Periodic Table, etc.

    James Rust, Professor (USA)

    Comment by James Rust — April 11, 2014 @ 10:41 pm

  9. Students should be taught thinking and decision making skills. As a former teacher in a pastoral care group, I used de Bono’s thinking problems and it was interesting to see that students who often weren’t achieving academically would come up with a solution the high achievers didn’t.

    Comment by Dana — April 12, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

  10. Karalta, you would be paying more tax if the private schools closed down and their students attended public schools instead.

    Comment by Ray — April 12, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

  11. Dana…exactly! Everyone puts on a de Bono hat and discusses practical climate change, like heat transference, states of matter, reliability of evidence and planetary motion. Keep it in the solar system.
    James Rust…I saw on PBS News Hour that many states are abandoning the Common Core!

    Comment by Christine Hyde — April 13, 2014 @ 9:51 am

  12. My children are now homeschooled because of the green nut-baggery of the state school they were attending. I had become a little peeved with the constant lectures in the newsletter about not using clothes dryers etc. and other pathetic save energy tips. But when the note came home that they were contributing to the green curriculum conference and anyone wanting to review their presentation was welcome to have a look I applied.

    To my chagrin I was asked why i wanted to have a look and I said probably for the purposes of criticism I was denied!! Persisting I argued that this was no valid reason to deny me and finally won an interview after school where I was sat down to a power point presentation. After about 10 mins of utter boredom with being treated like a child I said Ok Australians Against Further immigration believe that a sustainable population for Australia is 3,000,000 what do you think with the answer that sounds about right I took my bag and bid the teacher adieu. I later got hold of a hardcopy of a paper presented at the conference outlining how to turn them all against their parents the destroyers and into eco warriors. OMFG It wasn’t long before Homeschooling looked like a great option. IKYN

    Comment by informally yours — April 16, 2014 @ 10:34 am

  13. The non-politically- correct columnist, Christopher Booker, makes a pertinent observation in The Telegraph of 12 April:

    “So relentless is this brainwashing that it percolates throughout the curriculum, so that even exam papers in French, English or religious studies can ask students to explain why the world is dangerously warming up, or why we must build more wind turbines.” See more at


    Comment by Ray — April 16, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

  14. Ray, Would be happy to do so. Think long term. How wonderful for all children to receive excellent education.

    Comment by Karalta — April 18, 2014 @ 6:52 am

  15. Nor are US schools immune from indoctrination, going on a speech entitled, “A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give”, given by US syndicated columnist, Dennis Prager. Some extracts:

    “I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country.”

    “I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda.”

    Read more:

    Comment by Ray — April 18, 2014 @ 11:34 pm

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