By Dennis Cuddy
In 1932, the Department of Superintendence of the National Education Association (NEA) published its Tenth Yearbook subtitled Character Education. The Department of Superintendence was one of many subdivisions of the NEA at that time which have since been spun off into separate organizations.
Character Education presents the NEA's plans to use America's schools to undermine traditional values in pursuit of the goal of world government. Most people assume the NEA adopted its radical resolutions and objectives fairly recently. Those who believe that the redistribution of wealth, global interdependence, world citizenship, the loss of morality and the weakening of the church's influence, as well as educational initiatives including sex education, situation ethics, School-to-Work, universal preschool, and Marc Tucker's "cradle to grave" system, are relatively new should read on.
Here are direct quotations from the NEA's Character Education, published in 1932:
- "Relativity must replace absolutism in the realm of morals as well as in the spheres of physics and biology."
- "If the individual is to be happy in the contemporary order, he must be open-minded with respect to new values and new arrangements."
- "Loyalty to the family must be merged into loyalty to the community, loyalty to the community into loyalty to the nation, and loyalty to the nation into loyalty to mankind. The citizen of the future must be a citizen of the world."
- "Also, within the limits of a particular society, individualistic and competitive impulses must be subordinated increasingly to social and cooperative tendencies."
- ". . . interdependence rather than independence is the rule of life . . ."
- "Under the condition of freedom and plenty generated by industrial society, the youth of the country are abandoning the severe sex taboos of the past; the sanctity of the marriage relationship is being challenged; the dogmas and ceremonies of the church are losing their power."
- "The church seems never to have been able to win either the masses or the statesmen of the Western nations to the Christian way of life . . . . The position of the church today is one of confusion and uncertainty. It has lost much of the authority with which it at one time was clothed . . . Only when it employs the outworn dogmas of the past and appeals to certain of the traditional prejudices of the people does it appear to have confidence in its own pronouncements."
- "This analysis shows a need for statements of objectives which . . . stimulate the creation of new moralities in accord with our changing society. . . The old structure passes. Religion, morality, business, family, school, and state change."
- "Until we have a more equitable distribution of property and income in this country, great numbers of families will remain totally unfit agencies of character education."
- "Emotional conditioning does determine a great deal of one's attitudes toward persons, things, and ideals, and is responsible for a large part of one's outlook on life. Conditioning is therefore a process which may be employed by the teacher or parent to build up attitudes in the child and predispose him to the actions by which these attitudes are expressed."
- "An eminent teacher of ethics, Professor George Herbert Palmer (said): 'Many here (New England) carry a conscience about with them which makes us say, How much better off they would be with none!'"
- "The objective of character education is to teach the child that he will do the best possible thing in each situation, old and new."
- "Presumably the person which has specialized in child psychology and other sciences is better prepared to engineer a group of boys and girls in certain socialized activities than is the lay parent."
- "Education must be redirected if it is to become the chief means whereby society will attempt to remake itself."
- "School life will begin with the nursery school and extend to include adult education in various forms."
- "It may come to be, in this changing world, that society will come quickly to support and control a program of education extending, for the individual, from the cradle to the grave . . . As need arises, it will offer the individual opportunity to change quickly or slowly from one vocation or profession to another."
- "The question of demand and supply of workers in the various professions and occupations may in time also become a part of our social planning."
Dennis Cuddy, Ph.D. is a political analyst, former educator and Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education. He is the author of NEA: Grab for Power (available from 888/891-3300).