Is post-modernism beating science dead at your local school board?

Good chance. While science boffins obsess about “creationism in the schools,” your local teachers’ union could be selling out to no-standards post-modernism. From Conrad Black at The National Post:

In response to falling test results, teachers’ federation proposes ending testing

The obfuscation of the teachers’ union publication continued: “Soon, a perceived crisis in Ontario education began to emerge when our students began scoring lower on mathematics standardized tests … First politicians placed the blame for these low test scores on educators.” What an outrageous act of scapegoating that was — what would deteriorating academic performance have to do with the quality and competence of teaching? “Money was poured into boosting the math proficiency of teachers … but the curriculum remained largely unchanged … Scores continued to decline. It looked like it wasn’t the educators after all.” To whom came this apparition that absolved the teachers? The answer, of course, is the teacher’s union: “Now it was the curriculum’s turn to take the blame. Throughout this period of panic over low math scores on standardized tests, some questions have simply not been asked.”

The main question was how to jimmy the system so that not learning anything doesn’t matter:

The reader then learns that “A modern educator does not base a student’s final course mark on just one test. Ongoing assessment and evaluation, based on professional judgment and knowledge of students’ needs, are integral aspects of the work that teachers and education workers undertake every day.” What imbeciles we parents and grandparents have been! We don’t need tests that merely muddy the waters and produce irritating competitiveness, and other stressful complexities for young sensibilities. We must simply have continuing assessments, many of which can be lifted from the over-burdened shoulders of teachers and entrusted to “education workers.” (The identity of these people to whom the tasks of teaching are to be downloaded evades my imagination, but I am prepared to fear the worst.) More.

Idea!: Maybe the post-modern student can get extra points for threatening to beat up a Canadian version of Bret Weinstein (social justice credit transferable to the US). Because, please, folks, this is happening everywhere, not just in Canada.

As noted earlier, elsewhere:

Modern science,  beginning in Europe in the 18th century, has been dominated by educated European men. But their dominance was not a principle of science. The principles were the laws and theorems that apply an internationally recognized thought pattern to nature. “Hidden figures” who sought and gained equality applied the same principles to the same effect.

But for post-modernists, philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend (1924–1994) provided liberation:  “Anything goes.” One outcome is that social justice activists have shifted away from helping marginalized people qualify in science toward questioning its principles, supposedly on behalf of the oppressed.

We hear that objectivity is “cultural discrimination” (or sexist), Newtonian physics is exploitative, mathematics is a “dehumanizing tool” (if not white privilege), and algebra creates hurdles for disadvantaged groups. And mavericks in science are a problem because they tend to be wealthy, white, and male.

These post-modern talking points are launched from American education faculties. It may be relevant that the United States spends far more on public education but gets far less than many developed countries. Do public educators find it convenient to focus attention on the personal attributes of current scientists and away from their own policies, practices, and performance?

Many hope that these attacks on science’s core disciplines are a passing fad. Unfortunately, when biology professors Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying were targeted by social justice mobs at Evergreen State College, the message was clear: Attacks on core science values (like just teaching science) are inevitable, not random, outcomes of post-modernism.

Just think. If post-modern science is happening where you live, you are probably funding it.

See also: Nature: Stuck with a battle it dare not fight, even for the soul of science. Excuse me guys but, as in so many looming strategic disasters, the guns are facing the wrong way (cue End of Science rent-a-riot).


Can science survive long in a post-modern world? It’s not clear.