The Infantilization and Intellectual Abandonment of Our Students By Cornelius Agrippa

European-Canadian students are being left behind in favour of a multicultural tapestry. Educational issues are all-pervasive, from elementary to post-secondary education. As the European soul is removed from educational programs, the nation as a whole suffers to be competitive with other countries internationally. Apart from an unfaltering dedication to multiculturalism, our school systems won’t admit that a decrease in overall education is the outcome designed, as the more education commitments the system takes on (multiculturalism, inclusivity, prioritization of women), the more work that the Canadian education industry makes for itself. The infantilization of Canadian students comes from the declining quality of education beginning in childhood.

In the past, ‘minorities’ were expected to assimilate into the larger Canadian culture. Now, these same groups are deciding otherwise. The government has brought it upon itself to adopt a federal multicultural policy that aims to promote cultural pluralism, while deriding Canadian children. The 1990s saw Canada take a hard stance and prioritize the educational ‘values’ of equality and inclusion. The real or perceived stigmatization that students felt at being treated according to their intellectual capacity was a main cause of this shift. Educators had to scramble for a way to ensure the inclusion of students that drag the whole class down. The enforcement of tolerance and ‘diversity’ ensures that the focus of education shifts to indulge the ever-growing multicultural presence. The presence of non-European peoples within Canadian schools is clearly a tool used in the infantilization of youth. The lack of funding, governmental aid and the decrease in marketability have gutted such disciplines as the classics, social sciences and humanities, with social justice, justice-oriented social critique, power issues, inequality, politics of recognition and systemic change becoming ever-popular topics and seen as a way of teaching that has made victims, and potential enemies, of the nation’s children.

No-Zero policies, whereby students are not given failing grades despite the inability or unwillingness to complete school work, further serve to coddle and encourage non-achievement. This is how our educational system cultivates the eternal child: incapable of either failure or achievement, that passivity is success. If this is what passes for quality, this only shows that the design of the educational infrastructure is to shuffle students out of the educational system, possibly in preparation for swathes of students arriving from the third world. Alternatively, the advent of the No-Zero policy shows that schoolteachers are not prepared or cannot be expected to expend a quality effort into struggling students. Worse yet, teachers may be unable to give the type of help that students require. The governmental role in schools and the growing involvement of the government across all education has led to this point, working against its European population. Continually having expectations of standards proves difficult when the schools’ systems have to accept children or students with little to no proficiency with either official language, and which take up a possibly qualified teacher’s time as they could be pre-occupied with the slowest students. In the current year, school students’ research skills are measured in the proficiency by which they can use Google, and from what we can expect from Google, this is indeed a troubling sign. In 1987, a report found that five million Canadian adults were functionally illiterate where basic tasks that involved reading and basic mathematics couldn’t to be carried out. The year of 1992, saw one quarter of young Canadians functionally illiterate with more on the way.

George Elliott Clarke, English professor at the University of Toronto made the point that since Canadian classrooms are now ‘multicultural,’ subjects linked to Eurocentric thought would be a detriment to the curriculum. In a 2010 Toronto Star article, Latin lovers fight to keep the language in Ontario’s schools, Clarke said the following: “The Greek empire, the Roman empire — what does that really have to do with those of us who do not descend directly from those traditions? And especially in terms of multicultural, diverse classrooms, why should we focus primarily on these two civilizations?” In a time before concerns over multicultural educational needs arose, students used to be taught such European subjects as the classics along with Latin as to better understand the civilizational evolution which lead to many different branches of European history. Classical languages came under attack due to ‘irrelevance’ and Eurocentrism, along with other factors such as teacher shortages. That the decline in a classical education was due to these considerations is telling. The gutting of these language classes shows that the European tradition is no longer a priority.

A similar event occurred, but with cursive writing, as the schools thought it archaic with the presence of computers. The number of teachers who could properly teach cursive is falling, similar to the classics. Students are left to suffer since not being able to read, let alone reproduce cursive writing, will hamper the reading of historical documentation. The Economic Council of Canada examined the quality of education between 1966 and 1991 and found despite increased funding, performance declined. Fostering creativity and interest in learning within Canadian education may have ignored a pursuit of quality. The inquiry found teachers in the social studies are not qualified, seemingly a trend amongst Canadian teachers; they are unable at the professional level to deliver. Scores in math have been falling, the decline in qualifications from Math teachers were also a culprit in this regard. Canada’s universities are dropping in rankings, with declining education across all levels, no wonder.

God forbid a European nation teaches subjects that were mainstream skills and disciplines for centuries within European thought. If fewer teachers are learned in classical languages and the general education given by the classics vanishes from the curriculum, students are being robbed of the contributions of their ancestors due to society turning away from the European soul. The Canadian Teachers’ Federation found that 75% of teachers believe “that the role of public education is to provide a well-balanced general education to prepare children for life and to assume the responsibilities of good citizenship”. ‘Well-balanced’, ‘general education’, ‘good citizenship’ – at one point, one could have given them the benefit of the doubt, but the government seems to have widely differing opinions on how that statement should be interpreted.

Some may view private schools as a great alternative option; however, those entities within Ontario, at least, have very little oversight. Teachers in private schools are not required to be certified by the Ontario College of Teachers. This is a sign that if alternatives to public school are going to be considered by parents, than they must be participatory in their children’s education since it may not be of quality. Post-secondary education; however, is a different entity, making it harder to stretch away from, unless international options are considered. Homeschooling and instilling a sense of quality may also be an alternative; just hope that Canada does not make doing so illegal, as Sweden and Germany have already done. The infantilization is thus so: providing inadequate education in traditional subjects that were hallmarks of European-based education; having inadequate university education in needed educational fields (including those outside of STEM); having schools treat students as eternal children, along with a focus on multicultural diversity. Education has only served to further displaces European-Canadians and their students.

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