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Education Reporter

As Global Studies Spread, Critics
Complain of 'Political Brainwashing'
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Global education may soon be coming to a school near you as a growing number of schools try to add a global perspective to their curriculum. At least 18 states have initiated policies encouraging or mandating more attention to instruction in world history and culture, foreign languages, and the interactions between the United States and other countries.

The four-year-old International Studies Schools Association has a mission to expand the number of teachers and schools that incorporate international content into the curriculum. The association is a network of schools housed at the University of Denver's Center for Teaching International Relations. (Education Week, 3-2-05)

While teaching about other countries sounds noncontroversial and, indeed, traditional, some global studies content amounts to little more than indoctrination of young children in global-government propaganda.

Thanks to an irate Carrollton, TX resident, the Education Reporter obtained a copy of the 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade assignment plans being implemented by the school district in the Dallas suburb.

'How to run the world' 
Some five weeks of 6th-grade class time are allotted to a simulation called "How to Run the World." Students are instructed as follows:

"You are the governing council of a new world order. No longer are there separate countries. The entire globe is under your guidance and leadership. There is chaos everywhere, because it as [sic] been a long and arduous process to organize the earth and it's [sic] people into a workable situation. You currently have pockets of wealth, but most of your people are extremely poor and hungry. There is in-fighting among people of different religions and various races. The new world economy is at an all time low, because there hasn't been any leadership in this area in a very long time. What will you do to organize your world into a productive, economically feasible world where everyone gets to eat healthy food and drink clean water and earn livings to support their families?"

The students are asked to form groups to do the following:

  • "List 15 problems that you currently see in the world.

  • Categorize these problems into 3 or 4 groups, and label these groups (for example Department of Health and Human Services)

  • Elect a leader of your group, and assign other group members to become your cabinet members over each of the categories in which the problems you listed exist.

  • Determine what you would require to attack these problems in your world. Money? Crops? Manpower? And determine what you would do to get what you require.

  • Create 10 laws that you would need to enforce right away. And create a plan of how you would intend to enforce these laws.

  • What kind of leadership would you require in order to be successful in this endeavor? What kind of qualities would your leadership need?

  • How would you solve problems that seem to have multiple solutions? How would you solve problems that seem to have NO solution?

  • Discuss these questions with your group and devise a 'How to Run the World' booklet outlining what your world would look like if you and your group were running it."

In addition, students are asked to read a biography of a "world leader" and do all of the following projects outside of class time:

  • "Create a Power Point about your chosen world leader

  • Create a paper doll of your world leader

  • Create a world leader wallet

  • Participate in a wax museum as your world leader character."

'Implicitly dismisses the Constitution' 
District resident Bill Mullins is "angered that 6th-grade students would be assigned a study that implicitly dismisses and taints the Constitution as a programmed brainwash to introduce the New World Order." The retired physicist and college instructor called the curricular materials "appalling" and "grade school political brainwashing."

Last spring Mullins and a neighbor with a 6th-grade daughter presented their objections to the school principal and the assistant superintendent of curriculum instruction, who said they would look into the matter. No response has been forthcoming.

Mullins also decried the fuzzy content of the 8th-grade "interdisciplinary seminar for gifted and talented" students, focusing on "interdependence." The materials include the following "Thematic Focus Questions (to be reviewed throughout the year)":

  1. "Why is interdependence an important theme to study throughout the year?

  2. How do cultures affect interdependence?

  3. What kinds of conflict can occur as a result of interdependence or lack thereof?

  4. How does the development of technology and art impact interdependence?

  5. Does interdependence affect males and females in the same way?"

It is hard to see how such global studies content will advance grade-school students' knowledge of any real-world political systems. It is even harder to justify the class time spent on such generalities and fantasies in an era of increasing public school accountability for test scores.

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