Radicals have been in education for decades pushing their radical agendas aiming to turn students across the country into anti-American activists. Their work spans from kindergarten through the university level, but their greatest impact is arguably made in K-12 schools while students’ schema about various topics is first developing.
In an article featured in the Washington Examiner, it is accurately pointed out that many of these radicals have entered the field of education. In their study concerning the rise of anti-Israel sentiment across universities, the authors reveal that 38% of the radicals preaching this point of view go on to teaching careers. They also importantly note that this statistic is more than double those who pursue careers in activist and advocacy organizations, which is 16%.
When one considers the role that activist and advocacy organizations have in K-12 education and beyond, the total number of radicals involved in the education of America’s youth is actually 54%. Radical activist organizations, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, have a strong influence in education with their branches that provide resources usable in classrooms across America. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning For Justice is just one example of this, and is among the top resources that has made a grand entrance into teachers’ unit plans. Others include Black Lives Matter, the Zinn Education Project, and Facing History and Ourselves who collectively supply a majority of available educational materials up to current standards for teachers across the country.
The alarming fact that radicals are growing their influence in education is worrisome. Those who are standing firm in their support for cold-blooded acts of terrorism are doing so, sadly, with much support for themselves. Leading educational organizations that influence teachers, including the NCSS and other highly respected and sought-after resources, have been preaching an anti-Israel agenda since 2021, and likely even earlier than that. With the Israel-Palestine Conflict listed in most standard curriculum outlines for Social Studies classes covering the time period, the lessons preaching anti-Israel sentiment have been taught for a while now. Many of the Hamas-supporting activists taking to the streets across America likely already have a pre-conceived notion of who they believe is right and wrong when it comes to Israel and Palestine, and if they listened to their teachers, they likely hate the former and sympathize with the latter.
While college campus activity is important and should alarm everyone, college is not the primary entity responsible for radicalization. Most college students joining radical activist clubs and events likely already align with the beliefs being preached by campus leaders. Unfortunately, some who have not formed a political identity and/or have been ignorant of current events, may be lured into these groups by friends or curiosity. Still, the radicals most passionate about their cause are likely being influenced by their schema on the topic.
The psychology of education is crucial in understanding the ‘why’ question so many are now asking as America witnesses the support of Hamas’ terrorism across the country. According to Merriam-Webster, schema is “a mental codification of experience that includes a particular organized way of perceiving cognitively and responding to a complex situation or set of stimuli.” Structural Learning defines it as “schema is a mental framework that helps individuals organize, process, and store information about their environment. These mental structures are essential for understanding the complexities of the world, as they allow us to interpret new experiences through the lens of pre-existing schemas.” In even simpler terms, however, schema is simply the building of background knowledge. This crucial aspect of education is what radicals take advantage of knowing that most students are learning about many topics, people, places, and events for the very first time in their lives.
Our organization is named after John Locke for several reasons, but one quote of his struck us as crucial in understanding the pursuit of quality education, and it explained the psychology of schema exceptionally well. Locke stated in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, “[Children] are Travellers newly arrived in a strange Country, of which they know nothing; we should therefore make Conscience not to mislead them.”
Using the example of Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, students learning about it may have never heard of Hamas, Israel, or Palestine, and will therefore believe whatever their teacher tells them. While some parents may be able to intervene, the number of students spending time talking about this outside of school with passionate curiosity is not very high, and therefore, many will never be corrected if their teacher explains the “occupied Palestine territory” argument to them.
It’s time for action, not just awareness. If we do not want these radicals to use their power in the classroom to pervert and corrupt the minds of future voters, we must have a presence in the classroom. This means we must encourage and assist freedom-loving individuals, who do not glorify the acts of terrorists, to enter the educational field. Speaking at school board meetings and holding rallies with conservative pundits and commentators is not having a presence in the classroom.
It is only by having a presence in classrooms across America that the radical left’s influence on youth will be neutralized as moderate and conservative teachers fill teaching positions. Teachers have much power in the classroom; they are not robots or reading off of scripts like many falsely believe.
In addition to encouraging moderates and conservatives to enter the field of education, The Locke Society is providing usable, high-quality lesson plans that are up to current standards and can be incorporated into teachers’ unit plans. Our lessons are written in a student-centered style which allows all teachers to use them regardless of their own political bias. We know that in order to make change, we not only need to reach students through moderate and conservative teachers, but also try to influence them through a leftist teacher who may choose to use one of our lessons.
Learn more about The Locke Society’s three crucial steps in reclaiming education in our article The Three Steps to Reclaim Education.