Public Schools Teaching a Worldview?

Tyler Collins, Opinions Editor

Almost everyone agrees that schools should not push a particular worldview on students, forcing them to hold the same beliefs. In our culture, and particularly our school, the general perception seems to be that schools are very good about this. “I mean we go to a public school right? It’s not religious or anything? Of course they don’t force a worldview on me.” I would like to challenge this perception and demonstrate that public schools do, in fact, push a worldview on students.

Before I do, however, I must note that I am not going to provide a critique of this worldview, as there is not adequate room here to do so and since I have done some of this in my other writings. I am simply going to shed light on its presence to make it apparent to the reader. I am not going to discuss its validity or the scientific evidence for its claims.

In both science and history classes, we are presented with a narrative about the history of the universe which says this: The entire universe expanded from a singularity and formed everything we know today. Humans and all other life evolved from a common ancestor.

However, is this the only theory about the origin of the universe? Is it the only one for which scientists put forward scientific evidence? It is not. There are many scientists who have pointed out major flaws in this narrative and provide evidence which contradicts this story. Remember, my goal is not to present this evidence here but simply to make an observation.

Why do we never hear about this? Why is this contrary evidence never addressed? Why are we not told about the flaws which Ph.D. scientists—not uneducated science deniers, as some would have us believe—have have found in this narrative which is so singly taught? These are the questions we need to ask. There seems to be a bias against any worldview other than the one currently being taught in the scientific community.

It is important to note that this is not the fault of MN faculty. The issue really goes farther up the ladder into the culture of education in the U.S.—to the people who write curriculum at the district, state, and national level. Teaching the current worldview is looked at as the only acceptable thing to do. Now, this is quite a bold position to take—to be blunt—as it goes against the ideals of a fair education.

Education is all about teaching students broadly so they fully understand the world in which they live. This means that a well rounded education would teach the many positions on issues rather than just one side of the discussion. Teaching only one side of an issue, by definition, is indoctrination—a word that gives us flashes to low points in history.

There must be reform in the education system in the U.S. to root out this worldview indoctrination and a strong move towards a more rounded and fair education, which teaches differing views and the varying evidences on these topics. No worldview should be solely taught in a public school, and if a worldview is taught, it needs to be presented equally and without bias alongside a variety of others.