From Chapter One of Charlotte Iserbyt’s, “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America,” we find the following:
“… In 1898, Dewey wrote an essay, “The Primary-Education Fetish,” in which he explained exactly what he meant:”
“There is… a false education god whose idolators are legion, and whose cult influences the entire educational system. This is language study—the study not of foreign language, but of English; not in higher, but in primary education. It is almost an unquestioned assumption, of educational theory and practice both, that the first three years of a child’s school life shall be mainly taken up with learning to read and write his own language. If we add to this the learning of a certain amount of numerical combinations, we have the pivot about which primary education swings… It does not follow, however, that conditions—social, industrial, and intellectual—have undergone such a radical change, that the time has come for a thoroughgoing examination of the emphasis put upon linguistic work in elementary instruction… The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion.”
From this quote, in 1898 to the mid-1960s, phonics in K-6th grade education began to be battled by “Whole Word Memorization.” By the end of the 1960s, teaching phonics in the classroom will be lost entirely. Reading will continue to be irrationally marginalized, and learning the English language will take a hit so hard that many people will never know the grandeur of the language.
I spent some time reading statistical reports on reading, reading proficiency, and loving literature. What I found shocked me!
- Very few people will ever read an entire book after leaving high school.
- Poverty does not dictate potential, how often and how much a parent reads to their child will.
- While important on tests, reading has been marginalized until the vast majority of students graduating from K-12 education are functionally illiterate.
- Functional illiteracy has become the standard accepted level for the workforce to capture and keep the minds to steal freedom and liberty from the populace.
- Reducing literacy was planned, implemented, and slowly been used as a weapon for destroying the American Republic.
All this because Dewey considered reading and literacy a “perversion.” Dewey also claimed that literacy was a false god, a cult, and idolatry. Yet, study after study continues to proclaim a single and undeniable variable. When parents read to their children regularly, that child expects more freedoms, demands their liberties, and is better prepared to face the world.
John Dewey found high levels of literacy abominable. He worked tirelessly to transform the school curriculum centered around the development of academic skills, intellectual faculties, and high literacy to a curriculum built around occupational activities, provided with maximum opportunities for peer interaction and socialization. He spent 30-years teaching teachers how to subvert society by little introductions into the curriculum until the pattern was perfected, and lesser topics were more important than reading, writing, and arithmetic. The pattern: today’s school philosophies are tomorrow’s government actions. Remember, all actions taken by a legitimate government will cause injury!
Oh, the injuries inflicted upon America’s children by not teaching literacy. My wife made a point when I was discussing Dewey’s comments with her, “If I can read, aren’t I literate?” My wife plays a good “Devil’s Advocate.” Basically, yes, if a person can write their name and read their name, they are considered “literate” according to literacy’s most basic definition. However, there is much more to literacy than reading and writing one’s name. Dewey despises not the functional literacy of reading and writing one’s own name in commonly understood symbols of a society; but possessing the ability to love reading, enjoy books, speak, and write coherently and logically about what one has just read.
Literacy is the ability to use printed and written information to function and achieve in society, to master one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential, attain growth, and improve one’s mind and body through the written word. A 1992 survey reported 40 million adults’ literary competency at Level 1 (the lowest literacy level: understanding basic written instructions). The National Institute for Literacy estimates that 32 million American adults cannot read, which can contribute to chronic unemployment, low self-esteem, and a lower quality of available work. Dewey has succeeded in reducing literacy to its lowest common denominator, functional illiteracy. This lowering of literacy standards was intentionally conducted to destroy people’s minds to accept lives in socialism and communism.
The following are considerations for reversing the actions and influence of Dewey and appear in no particular order:
- Read out loud! Spend 30-minutes a day reading for fun, and spend at least 10-minutes reading aloud.
- If you have children, regardless of their age, read with them. Many religions encourage daily reading of scriptures. An excellent way to read aloud, read with children, and improve your knowledge base.
- Read poetry! Want a hint to make poetry reading more fun; read the words to songs, for a song is merely poetry put to music.
- If you have been told you are a slow learner, slow reader, dyslexic, etc., stop believing these voices! Grab a book on phonics and begin teaching yourself to read. You have a mind; you have a soul, you have unlimited potential. You can learn!
- Be the example of reading being a fun activity.
The power of reading is remarkable, critical, and is the hinge upon which the Great American Republic swings. Believe it or not, the American population’s literacy will be the point upon which we survive or fail as a nation. Dewey understood the truth of this in 1896 and fought tooth and nail to eradicate literacy in America. Castro in Cuba understood this, and that is why Cuban schools have such low literacy rates. Every despot in history knows that the more literate a population is, the less likely that population is to accept captivity in the form of government largess. Every single tin-pot dictator knows the pattern. Today’s school philosophies are tomorrow’s government actions, and controlling literacy is the tool to dumb down society into brainwashed robots who do what they are told.
Since the 1960s, the war on literacy has been doubled and doubled again; some of us educated in the early 1980s, and 1990s received an education worth 1000 times more than the newest high school graduate experienced. Those educated before the 1960s had an education 1000 times greater than the education we got in the 1980s and 1990s. All because the war on the classroom and the war on literacy is being fought without opposition. Fought behind closed doors and by enemies who learned early on how to subvert curriculum and teachers.
Hence, the best way to combat this war is through reading. Pick up a book! Read! Practice writing and grammar. I am not the best writer or grammarian; I use Grammarly, but I still try to write better because to my wife, I am functionally illiterate due to how and what I was taught. My wife, born in 1941, received such a robust education she amazes me. But, even in the K-12 Schools of the 1940s and 1950s, reading and literacy were being marginalized, freedoms and liberties were being stolen, and the plans to dumb down America were in full swing.
We, the citizens of America, have been duped, lied to, and abused for multiple generations at the hands of people we should have been able to trust, schoolteachers. The schoolteachers were forced to do what they did to maintain their jobs because the school boards exerted pressure to teach in a specific methodology. Sometimes, the school boards were coerced into those paths by money from the Federal Government. Is the connection clear; government size has led to the marginalization of literacy rates to produce a specific product for corporations. The only way to break this cycle of abuse is to change our literacy levels. The only way to increase our literacy levels is to read!
Please turn off the TV, turn off the computer, pick up a book. Read! Read because your life depends upon your ability and love of reading. Your children’s future depends upon your literacy rate and willingness to read aloud to them and with them. Your freedom, your liberty, your country all depend upon your literacy level. If you want help, ask. If you want suggestions, talk to a librarian. But, please read!
© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
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