On Friday, I examined the Alberta Department of Education’s views on Accelerated Christian Education. As part of its report, the Committee on Tolerance and Understanding made recommendations on educational policy to correct the problems it found. I think these make a reasonable skeleton for a public policy that could be implemented to ensure better education, and limiting poisonous systems like ACE. Lets look at their suggestions.
Actually, before we do, I’d like to post this quotation from the Committee’s report, since I agree with it so much I think I could put it on a poster:
“The mission of education must include development of critical thinking skills based on openness, inquiry, imagination, original ideas, dissent, rational thinking, and independence. Scoeity’s best efforts must alwas be open to skepticism and constructive criticism from students themselves. To do otherwise, to ignore their developing autonomy and judgment, would undermine the whole purpose of the enterprise. Respect for authority is essential, but a balance must be kept. History has shown time and again that when respect for authority completely overrides responsible independence, critical thinking is destroyed and society is left open to the evils of apathy, dogmatism and prejudice.”
Alright, so what are their suggestions? Read the rest of this entry
In 1985, the Canadian province of Alberta got very worried about Accelerated Christian Education. In fact, they said in a report that “In the view of the committee, there is no place for curriculum of this kind in the schools of Alberta.”
The chair of this committee, Ron Ghitter, visited an ACE school and reported that he saw an ACE book which said “All kinds of Buddhists and Muslims are evil.” In the background was the rise of Stockwell Day, a controversial former pastor and politician, who was accused of anti-Semitism and connections to supporters of the Aryan Nation. Stockwell Day boldly and publicly defended Accelerated Christian Education. “God’s law is clear. Standards of education are not set by government, but by God, the Bible, the home and the school.” Read the rest of this entry