An article by Richard James Rogers (Award-Winning Author of The Quick Guide to Classroom Management and The Power of Praise: Empowering Students Through Positive Feedback)
Illustrated by Sutthiya Lertyongphati
As teachers, it can be challenging to navigate the diverse groups of students in our classrooms while also upholding the values and principles we believe in. With the current trend of progressive ideologies being pushed in schools, it can feel overwhelming at times to combat ideas that are contrary to our own. However, there are strategies that teachers can implement to promote critical thinking, encourage diverse viewpoints, and foster an open-minded learning environment. Here are some ways to combat ‘woke’, or ‘progressive’, ideologies in schools:
#1: Promote Critical Thinking
One of the most effective ways to combat progressive ideologies in schools is to promote critical thinking. Encourage your students to think independently, question assumptions, and analyze facts. Give them the tools they need to evaluate arguments objectively, and let them come to their own conclusions. Encourage debate and discussion, and create an environment where students feel comfortable expressing their viewpoints without fear of judgment or ridicule.
Here are some good resources that can help you facilitate the critical thinking process in your lessons:
- 10 Great Critical Thinking Activities That Engage Your Students. Crockett, Lee. Accesssed 6th May 2023
- 50 Super-Fun Critical Thinking Strategies to Use in Your Classroom. Bored Teachers. Accessed 6th May 2023.
- 7 Ways to Teach Critical Thinking in Elementary Education. Walden University. Accessed 6th May 2023
#2: Teach the Value of Diversity
Another way to combat progressive ideologies in schools is to teach the value of diversity. Encourage your students to appreciate different cultures, religions, and perspectives. Emphasize the importance of tolerance and respect, and create opportunities for your students to learn from one another. When students understand the value of diversity, it becomes harder for progressive ideologies that promote exclusivity to take hold.
#3: Encourage a Growth Mindset
Progressive ideologies often promote victimhood, entitlement, and a lack of personal responsibility. To combat these ideologies, teachers can encourage a growth mindset. Teach your students that they are capable of achieving anything they set their minds to, and help them develop a sense of personal responsibility for their own success. Encourage them to embrace challenges and see failures as opportunities for growth.
Here are some resources that can help you get your students to adopt a growth mindset:
- How to Foster a Growth Mindset in the Classroom. American University, School of Education. Accessed 6th May 2023.
- 7 Strategies to Develop Students’ Growth Mindset. Global Indian International School. Accessed 6th May 2023.
- Promote a Growth Mindset. Carnegie Mellon University. Accessed 6th May 2023.
#4: Help Students Develop Strong Values
To combat the influence of progressive ideologies in schools, it’s important for teachers to help students develop strong values. Encourage your students to think about what they believe in, and teach them the importance of virtues such as honesty, integrity, and respect. When students have a strong sense of values, they are less likely to be swayed by ideologies that conflict with their beliefs.
#5: Stay Informed
Finally, it’s important for teachers to stay informed about the progressive ideologies that are being promoted in schools. Attend workshops and seminars, read blogs and articles, and participate in discussions with colleagues. By staying informed, we can better equip ourselves to combat these ideologies and promote a learning environment that is free from political bias.
In conclusion, it’s possible to combat progressive ideologies in schools by promoting critical thinking, teaching the value of diversity, encouraging a growth mindset, helping students develop strong values, and staying informed. As a teacher, it’s our responsibility to create an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity, promotes debate and discussion, and encourages students to think independently. By doing so, we can help our students become well-informed, thoughtful, and responsible citizens who are able to make a positive impact on the world.
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