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Indoctrination, Not Education: Rampant Radicalism in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Chapter 1 - The Sad Saga of Dori Kozloff

Chapter 2 - GSEIS - A Closer Look

Chapter 3 - Par for the Course(s)

Chapter 4 - Coloring the Definition of Diversity

Chapter 5 - Sandra Harding

Chapter 6 - Peter McLaren

Chapter 7 - Daniel Solorzano

Chapter 8 - Clara Chu

Chapter 9 - Take Action

















Indoctrination, Not Education: Rampant Radicalism in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

By Andrew Jones
9/8/06
Chapter 2
GSEIS - A Closer Look

    Was Dori Kozloff’s experience typical, or just a terrible aberration?  Voluminous evidence proves that GSEIS is exactly what the lawsuit depicts – an enterprise which is deeply and irretrievably radical, populated by professors and students committed in word and deed to a perverse and intellectually insulting brand of skin-deep diversity, and devoted to the prostitution of K-12 and higher education in the service of an anti-capitalist, anti-American Marxist agenda.

    The preeminent philosophy underlying all GSEIS activities is the totalitarian ideal of “racial justice.”  This high-flown phrase is nothing more than the intellectual veneer for an anti-white political agenda.  This agenda manifests itself in many ways, most visibly in GSEIS’ mania for racial diversity.  With little debate and even less resistance, diversity has been installed as an unquestionable value, to the point that a GSEIS student or professor would no more question diversity than they would question the Holocaust. 

    As a result, each GSEIS department proudly displays its diversity initiatives front and center on its web site, and such initiatives are a major part of daily academic life.  The Information Studies department, home to no less than fifteen professors listed as specializing in diversity issues,[i] seems to be most militant about diversity, perhaps making up for the fact that the field doesn’t lend itself to the focus at all. 

    Its department home page boasts that cultural diversity is an “Integral Component” of the department, and explains that the “IS faculty is committed to incorporating both theoretical and applied issues of cultural diversity into its curriculum. Every IS course has undergone review and the Department has adopted a three-tier curricular model, thereby offering courses with a primary emphasis, a distributed focus, or an elective focus on cultural diversity.”[ii]  ‘Integral component’ or not, the imposition of a pro-diversity agenda by administrative fiat demonstrates that all GSEIS operations, from admissions and student retention, even class curricula, are conducted in the service of a narrow political agenda.

    The Education department is home to the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access (IDEA) which explains that it “seeks to become the intellectual home of a broad based social movement that challenges the pervasive racial and social class inequalities in Los Angeles and in cities around the nation.”[iii]  This innocent-sounding statement of purpose inadvertently reveals another all-encompassing GSEIS philosophy – that of “social change.”  Not content to merely research, write and educate its enrolled students, GSEIS institutions and its professors have a much more activist goal of explicitly pursuing political and public policy goals.

    IDEA operates the journal “Teaching to Change LA” that follows this activist line.  In one “Teaching” journal article, San Fernando High School student Jennifer Gonzalez inadvertently reveals the primary effect of her attendance at IDEA’s “Summer Seminar” – it has turned her into another utterly predictable minority political activist spouting anti-everything paranoia.  “The media,” writes Gonzalez, “wants to give you whatever benefits them and whatever is going to sell more.”[iv]  Thanks to the “critical research” skills Gonzalez learned at the Seminar, she can now do her own research and tell a “counter narrative” to do battle with the “administrators, teachers, and board members [who] don’t want students to gain any power, especially students of color, because that means danger to them.”  The end result of this GSEIS program is an angry student activist who is now firmly convinced that high school students must “fight[] against adults that don’t want to give away the power that they have come to have.”

    “Teaching” proves to be chock-full of such fist-pumping folderol.  Jordan High School English teacher Sean Leys fumes about the (very much accidental) explosion of a WWII-era artillery shell at a scrap metal yard near his school, and somehow manages to turn the incident into a clarion call for schools to “engage students in participatory democratic processes.”  Only later in the piece do we read the politicized punch-line: Leys’ step-by-step plan calls for “anti-oppression” training of a “cadre of students” with an “explicit social justice perspective” dedicated to fighting, among other –isms, “heterosexism” and “ablism.”  Unsurprisingly, the article tagline labels Leys an “educator/activist” who previously “worked as a labor union organizer with the AFL-CIO and a community activist with the Direct Action Network.”[v]  The Direct Action Network, of course, is the anarchist collective responsible for the Seattle World Trade Organization riots in 1999.[vi]

    Little better is GSEIS’ Activist Librarians and Educators, a transparently political group in both name and deed.  “We are committed to promoting equity in information services,” their mission statement reads, “through the naming, prevention, and destruction of barriers built on systemic imbalances related to class, race, ethnicity, language, sex, age, and disabilities.  … ALE seeks to identify and to work against social imbalances resulting from the ways information is evaluated and devalued, promoted and proscribed, held and withheld.”[vii]

    All of these groups are reflections of GSEIS’ second major teaching and operational agenda: Freireanism, an educational theory encouraging teachers to engage in classroom indoctrination in the service of a Marxist political agenda.  Like so many other academic fads, Freireanism is all but unknown to the outside world, but within the walls of GSEIS, the teachings of its namesake, the late South American Marxist theorist Paolo Freire, reign unchallenged.

    GSEIS boasts a number of powerful exponents of Freireanism, particularly former Education department chair Daniel Solorzano, ‘rock-star academic’ Peter McLaren, Information Studies Professor Clara Chu, and Education Professor Carlos Alberto Torres, who runs the Paolo Freire Institute at UCLA.  Freireanism, like Marxism, lends itself to cults of personality, such that premier UCLA Freirianist Peter McLaren is himself the subject of veneration at the Fundacion Peter McLaren de Pedagogia Critica (The Peter McLaren Institute for Critical Pedagogy) at the University of Mexico, Tijuana and a just-opened Instituto Peter McLaren in Cordoba, Argentina.[viii]

    Freire is revered by academic theorists worldwide (including much of the GSEIS faculty) for developing the teaching theory known as “critical pedagogy” in his famous work, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed.”  Critical pedagogy is a cohesive educational theory that pushes students to question and challenge “domination.”  Through critical pedagogy, K-12 students are taught to step out of their social roles and view society through a critical (Marxist) lens. 

    Attainment of this cultish “critical consciousness” drives the students to a complete reassessment of everything they have known, with an eye toward rooting out perceived oppression.  As one explanation of critical pedagogy notes, “The student often begins as a member of the group or process (including religion, national identity, cultural norms, or expected roles) they are critically studying. After they reach the point of revelation where they begin to view their society as deeply flawed, the next behavior encouraged is sharing this knowledge with the attempt to change the oppressive nature of the society.”[ix]

    Freireanism is in truth nothing more than Marxist political indoctrination.  The talk of ‘critical consciousness’ and stepping outside of societal roles and expectations is a means to a politicized end.  The expectation is not to create students who think for themselves, unless the resultant thinking is the right kind, done through a Marxist lens of us vs. them, tops vs. bottoms, oppressors vs. oppressees. 


[i] http://is.gseis.ucla.edu/diversity/index.htm

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] http://www.tcla.gseis.ucla.edu/about/index.html

[iv] www.tcla.gseis.ucla.edu/voices/1/features/student/gonzalez.html

[v] www.tcla.gseis.ucla.edu/reportcard/features/5-6/jordan.htm

[vi] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Action_Network

[vii] polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/actlib/

[viii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_McLaren

[ix] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_pedagogy