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November 4, 2004

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Disagreeing with Shaker

Paul Shaker correctly points out that all education has an ideological dimensionSFU News, Sept. 9. However he errs in highlighting only corporate and religious beliefs. Other ideologies are heavily represented in B.C. education, notably the Marxist and tribalist views that killed so many in Cambodia and Africa.

Educator Glenn Woiceshyn has linked what is taught in schools today to mob behaviour such as the murder of Reena Virk in Victoria B.C. And the teacher's union in B.C. fails Shaker's test - it pressures teachers to advance the union's socio-economic viewpoint, to the point of defending that pressure in court against teachers who object. Thus, that coercive monopoly is using funds taken by force from taxpayers and teachers to promote its own ideology. That Shaker's own views appear to represent particular ideologies “promotion of aesthetic values over material ones,” is the classical mind-body dichotomy view of humans as incapable split-personality beings, in a form promoted by those who believe Karl Marx's economic presumptions, and by some religions.

In fact humans regularly integrate aesthetics and mere material things like food and shelter, especially when the freedom of a society such as the United States fosters the productivity that provides time for more than bare sustenance. But most won't buy a crucifix in a bottle of urine as aesthetic. Shaker's choice of corporate as an ideology is odd, since corporations are simply a joining together of people to accomplish the trading aspect of human life, which has always existed - for example, through arduous trade routes among natives in B.C.

While Shaker mentions Berkeley California positively, many people there engage in the shameful behaviour of urging protection of tyrannies that deny education to individuals. For example, they objected to elimination of the Taliban, who prevented females from attending school in Afghanistan. Educators should be very careful that they do not promote - rather than study in context - philosophies that hurt education by attacking the freedom that facilitates it.

Keith Sketchley
Victoria B.C.

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