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Teaching versus indoctrination


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Diario de Navarra

Gerardo Castillo

School of Education and Psychology

The school must educate for life, which includes the civic-political and social aspects of human behavior. Unlike today, in classical antiquity the subject of Education was given great importance. It was considered proper for a free man to be a good citizen and to be educated for it.

But the civic-political Education at school runs the risk of being instrumentalized for the benefit of extremist ideologies, thus incurring in the politicization of the Education. This occurs above all in authoritarian political regimes, but also in some regions of democratic countries that profess separatist ideologies. In such cases, Education usually turns into indoctrination: the action of insistently instilling certain ideas in one or more people so that they make them their own.

It is very important to distinguish between indoctrination and Education, between indoctrination and teaching. purpose The Education offers information so that, from it, each person can generate his or her own criteria and opinions. On the other hand, indoctrination transmits ideological positions to be passively absorbed by others. It is thus forgotten that Education aims to teach how to think, not what to think; it makes it possible to discern what is good and less good in the culture.

While Education aims to provide the necessary knowledge for the person to gain autonomy from development of their own judgment, indoctrination creates dependent and uncritical people.

Indoctrination hides its intention by disguising itself as teaching "paternal"; it leaves no freedom to think on one's own and to choose. He who educates is a teacher; he who indoctrinates is a fanatic. The fanatic does not admit discrepancies.

The high school of Spanish Social Policy denounced in 2020 that in Spain there is indoctrination in the classrooms and points out that a single ideological model cannot be imposed on minors. Its president, Pablo Hertfelder García-Conde, declared that "parents are not puppets at the service of the government of the day; they have the right and the duty to decide what subject of Education they want for their children. For example, not everyone wants their children to attend from before the age of five to "sexual workshops" as internship of gender ideology. From the high school of Social Policy, we urge parents who do not agree agreement with this educational interference to demand that they be allowed to object".

For its part, the Ombudsman denounced, in its report of the same year, the lack of ideological neutrality in many Spanish schools.

Indoctrination denies freedom of thought and replaces argumentation and dialogue with blind faith in the one who indoctrinates. It should not be forgotten that in the process of teaching-learning, the main protagonist is not the one who teaches, but the one who learns. To teach is to guide the learning of each person; no one can learn for someone else. Indoctrination can be mitigated by practices that favor free thinking and the use of critical reason.

Parents have the right to be informed by the school management about possible activities of subject ideological. With that goal the Parental PIN was created. report It is a document through which parents request to the school management educational to be previously informed about the realization of the mentioned activities.

The basic solution against school indoctrination is educational freedom. Schools are free to propose different educational ideologies to serve the educational preferences of families. And parents, as first and foremost educators, have the right and duty to educate their children at agreement with their own convictions, without hindrance from the State.

In the human person there is a close relationship between procreation and Education, to the point that the latter is considered as an extension or complement of the generative work. Every child has the right to Education, necessary to be able to develop his or her capacities; and to this right of the children corresponds the right-duty of the parents to educate them.

The rights to educate and be educated do not depend on whether or not they are included in a positive rule , nor are they a concession of society or the State. They are primary rights. The right of parents to educate their children is a function of the right of their children to receive an adequate Education to their human dignity and needs; it is the latter that is the basis for the former.

 Consequently, parental authority is vested in the parents. It is the set of rights and duties over unemancipated children. Ignoring or rejecting this reality would allow the State to monopolize the Education of the children, something that historically has only occurred in totalitarian regimes.