Education Not Indoctrination

by Hunter Oswald

It is imperative to ensure that educators teach history truthfully, regardless of ideology, because history is a balance between dignity and depravity.

College Board clash

The ongoing clash between the College Board and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is an illustration of the conflict between those who support truth and those who lie for power. For some context, the College Board offered a new Advanced Placement course on African-American studies which is being piloted during the 2022-23 academic year in sixty schools across the United States. According to the AP African American Studies Official Course Framework, the new course “is an interdisciplinary course that examines the diversity of African American experiences through direct encounters with authentic and varied sources.”

In the past few weeks, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other Florida officials discovered elements of the course that required students to study topics such as “Black Queer Theory,” “Intersectionality and Activism,” and many other topics that violated Florida’s law. Under Florida’s Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (W.O.K.E.) Act, businesses and schools are prohibited from implementing any corporate policies or teaching any material to students that pertains to promoting Critical Race Theory or wokeness. In their investigation, Florida officials found that much of the material was based on the works of Marxists such as Angela Davis, Gloria Watkins, and Robin D.G. Kelley.

While history holds a special place in how we understand ourselves, there are some who wish to manipulate history for their own ambitions.

Curriculum or dogma?

As critics attempt to paint this dispute as a racist attempt to disregard the concerns of Black Americans, the truth is quite the opposite. DeSantis and opponents of the new course have stated that their concern with this curriculum has nothing to do with race—instead, they are seeking to ensure that those who teach African American history do so truthfully. Manny Diaz Jr., Florida Commissioner of Education, said, “We proudly require the teaching of African American history. We do not accept woke indoctrination masquerading as education.” Bill Proctor, Democrat Commissioner of Leon County and former educator of African American Studies, criticized the College Board for promoting ideology over actual history saying, “Well frankly I’m against the College Board’s curriculum. I think it’s trash. It’s not African American history. It is ideology.” When people supplant the truthful telling of history for their own agendas, they undermine our ability to function as a civil society by replacing truth with falsity—by breeding discord and chaos rather than unity and civility.

Despite the attempts made by progressives to replace truth with dogma, we should not yield to this challenge. It is imperative to ensure that educators teach history truthfully, regardless of ideology, because history is a balance between dignity and depravity. There are certainly bad moments that we must reflect on, but we must ultimately remember the good that has allowed us to overcome those challenging times. With truth and self-control, we will restore history’s virtue and build a better future for generations to come.

Hunter Oswald is a junior student studying political science and minoring in economics as well as national security. Raised in Liberty township, Ohio, Hunter developed an interest in politics through his passion for history, particularly America’s founding and military experiences. Hunter is the Secretary for the Young American’s Foundation Chapter at Grove City College. Hunter is a staff writer for Cogitare Magazine and contributor for the Grove City College Collegian Newspaper. Hunter is a member of the Grove City Debate Team. He is interested in the fields of international affairs, national security, and economics.

This Past Summer, Hunter Oswald graduated from the Heritage Foundation Academy Program, where he studied numerous public policy issues and America’s foundational principles. He aspires to further use his research and analytical skills in helping to inform the public on policy issues that promote and advance America’s principles.