Reports have been done. Whistles have been blown. Information has been available over the last three decades that has been rightly critical of the NEA containing the same list of problems: decreasing test scores, poor academic performance, high dropout rates, ineffective curriculum, student violence, and even low teacher morale. The NEA’s solution is more money for education, better health plans, smaller class size, higher teacher pay, new buildings, new curricula, more computers, more….
Enter socialist John Dewey [1859-1952]. Dewey once plotted a long-range, comprehensive strategy that would reorganize primary education to serve the needs of socialization. “Change must come gradually,” he wrote. “To force it unduly would compromise its final success by favoring a violent reaction.” In other words, Dewey was saying that implementing socialistic ideas had to be done slowly; otherwise those who truly cared about educating children would become angry and resist.
JOHN DEWEY – THE “FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION”
Longtime member of the American Federation of Teachers, atheist and “progressive” philosopher, John Dewey, has had tremendous influence on education. He taught at Columbia University, The University of Michigan, and Chicago University. Through the years, Dewey was a member of many Marxist organizations and a totalitarian socialist who wanted government to take over all education via government schools. Dewey rejected traditional religion and moral absolutes and is considered the epitome of liberalism by many historians, sometimes even portrayed as “dangerously radical.”
John Dewey and his colleagues are responsible for deciding that since high literacy was an obstacle to their progressive agenda, the NEA needed to reduce emphasis on reading. Dewey’s agenda has produced absolutely tragic results in American education. He and a few other progressives brought in the system of “social studies.” Naturally, this direction soon edged God out of public school curriculums as Dewey disparaged schooling that focused on traditional character development. It’s no wonder today’s youth have a distorted view of our founders.
“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” – John Adams
Dewey wanted to transform America into a secular and socialist country and had major support from the Rockefellers. In order to move toward that end, he, along with other progressives, concluded the young must be less educated and less informed than their parents. John Dewey was also a trainer of teachers and a creator of curriculums. He spent a good portion of his adult life attempting to reconstruct the American system.
In 2005, HUMAN EVENTS asked a panel of 15 conservative scholars and public policy leaders to compile a list of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. John Dewey’s 1916 book Democracy and Education made the list as the fifth most harmful book over two centuries! The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx was first on the list, and Hitler’s Mein Kampf was number two. (Marx’s Das Kapital was number six, immediately after Dewey)
Karl Marx once said that “The first battlefield is the rewriting of history.”
While teaching at Columbia University in 1935, John Dewey came up with his own list of the twenty-five most influential books since 1885. Number one on the list was Das Kapital by Karl Marx. So the father of modern education, Dewey, considered Marxism pretty important, even going so far as to say it was “one of the greatest modern syntheses of humane values.” Number two was a famous 1887 novel by Edward Bellamy. In Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy depicted a happy, socialist America where greed and material want ceased to exist; harmony prevailed, the arts and sciences flourished, and an all-powerful government and bureaucracy were efficient and fair. Bellamy saw America becoming socialist by way of consensus rather than revolution.
This is exactly what Dewey wanted for America. In his 1934 essay, “The Great American Prophet,” Dewey claimed capitalism imposed a restriction on freedom and “socialized industry and finance” would be the vehicle by which people would reach their full potential. How could he believe that, and why write so much about Dewey? He changed NEA curriculums!
Six years earlier John Dewey traveled to the former Soviet Union with others from the NEA and studied the communist education system. It was 1928, and the Soviet system of Socialist education was very similar to China’s system. Dewey was apparently manipulated and was not given the full picture as the Soviets only showed him what they planned for him to see. The Bolsheviks had invited Dewey and enjoyed his work so much they translated his books into Russian.
In Dr. Paul Kengor’s 2010 book, Dupes and the Religious Left, Dr. Paul Kengor talks about how the Bolsheviks rolled out the red carpet for Dewey in Russia and even implemented the same books by Dewey that teachers’ colleges and education departments in the United States have used to “train a century of public school educators.” When he came back praising their development of progressive education ideas, Kengor writes,
“He did exactly what Stalin hoped, promoting the ‘new world’ he discovered in the USSR.” In one account, Dewey hailed the “restoration” of Russia’s churches when everyone knew the Bolsheviks were demolishing churches.
THE HUMANIST MANIFESTO
As part of his agenda, John Dewey co-authored and signed the Humanist Manifesto in 1933. Humanism is a worldview that focuses on human values and concerns, attaching prime importance to people rather than on a divine or supernatural being. The Humanist Manifesto is a philosophy and value system which does not necessarily include belief in any personal deity or “higher power.” It referred to Humanism as a religious movement to transcend and replace previous religions. This philosophy promoted by John Dewey refutes the salvation of God. In fact, Dewey promoted the teaching of the Theory of Evolution in order to popularize humanism.
Evolution denounces any existence of God; if there is no God, there is no need for salvation. John Dewey was adamantly opposed to anything that supported the Christian faith. He believed the children needed to be re-educated away from the traditional values of the parent. He felt this would make them better citizens for the new world order. He also believed in the redistribution of wealth and called for universal socialism. Dewey had an alarming philosophy:
“You can’t make socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society, which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.”
Dewey was the first honorary president of the NEA and a major influence on school curriculums. What a drastic contrast between John Dewey and early American settlers whose primary goal and desire, where education was concerned, was for their children to be able to read the Bible proficiently and live its principles freely. In 1936, the NEA stated one of its reformed goals: “We stand for socializing the individual.” Apparently, Dewey and his ilk were effective enough to transform the system so that 88% of Christian children deny their faith by the time they graduate from college.
“I don’t want a nation of thinkers. I want a nation of workers.” – John D. Rockefeller
(Excerpt from “The NEA Agenda” chapter 3 in ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA)