Monday, February 23, 2015

IndoctriNation: Public Schools & the Decline of Christianity in America {Review}

IndoctriNation DVD Review
     IndoctriNation is a project completed by Colin Gunn of Great Commission Films.  Gunn had an unsatisfactory experience with public school and in his research felt that public schools were a major part of why Christianity is looked down upon in our nation.
     As a parent, early childhood educator, and a faithful Christian, I have a lot of hands on experience with the concepts addressed in this documentary.  Right away, the title strikes me as a conservative view that aims to prove that public schools are not the best option.  Since I chose to be a homeschooler, I figured I might agree with a lot of the content in this film.

     PRESENTATION & CONTENT
     The film includes several interviews and testimonies of parents, authors, and educators.  Being that the documentary aims to sway people to remove their children from the educational system, I found the film to deliver extreme views that demonize public school.  As much as I dislike public school, I feel there are other factors to consider when it comes to the decline of Christianity.   However, there were many good points the film brought to my attention.
     I was interested in the history behind public school.  The film tells us that the founder of public school aimed to create an educational institution that specifically excludes religion.  I can actually see the good intention behind this concept, because when children from many different faiths come together, it is difficult to adhere to everyone's educational preferences based on religion.  BUT, I do agree that when putting a child in public school, people of a certain faith need to understand that school is not a place where their faith will be encouraged.  In fact, nowadays, it is strongly discouraged.  As a person of strong Christian faith, I do believe this is a big downside to putting my children in public school.
     I also thought it was a valuable point when the film discussed that public school supports the use of prescription medication for young children.  When parents feel their child might need to be medicated for ADD or ADHD, it is often because they aren't able to sit still for very long and their attention span is very short.  These kids seem to think and learn in a different capacity than the "average" child.  But when you look at public school from further back and question the entire concept...why should young children be expected to sit for that long?  Why should they be expected to learn a certain way?  I think if more parents questioned the standards held within public schools, they just might realize there is more leniency that can be given to a child in their educational journey.
     One of the parts that I thought was hilarious was when they say that public school was established to psychologically condition a child to be submissive.  One of the teacher points out that that is why public schools use bells between classes.  Like the Pavlov's Dog studies, they use the ringing of bells to condition the children to get up and move to the next class.  Haha! I think it's funny because I have never thought about why there are bells between classes.  Come to think of it, why don't the teachers just say, "Okay, that's all the time we have.  See you tomorrow."  Weird.
     The film brought to mind some very interesting and thought provoking questions.

     PRICING
     IndoctriNation can be rented to watch online through vimeo.com for $4.95 or purchased through the same site for $12.95.  The DVD can be purchased here for $19.95, where you will also find the book for $14.95; but BOTH can be purchased together for $24.95.

     OVERALL
     I don't think public school is all bad, but I do think that all of the aspects presented in this film are important and should be thought about.
     In any event, it is important for everyone to take a closer look at the public school system.  I feel the decline of education in our country is due to the lack of parental involvement in education.  We should all be constantly be asking: What are our children learning? How are they learning it?  What is the importance of the subjects being taught?  How dedicated are the teachers to each individual student?
     I don't have a general aversion to the idea of public school, but under the current circumstances, I see so much wrong with the procedures and goals of the public school system.  And personally, when it comes to my kids, I will always have the right to choose a better path for them.  It's time take back control of our children's education!

IndoctriNation DVD Review
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