Letter: Education vs. Indoctrination — Let’s clarify!

To the Editor:

I love seeing signs around town, signs announcing the carnival being back on! This makes our children smile, and fills us with hope that everything is on its way back to normal.

But then, there they are, new signs filled with hatred and fear. I find it so increasingly sad driving through our picturesque town, slathered with signs spewing exactly what they advertise “no” to, but yet that’s exactly what it feels like [they] are trying to accomplish. Let’s start here… When someone uses their allotted time for public comment, at a town held meeting, to read out loud the Lord’s Prayer (which yes, it’s their right to) vs. speak educated thoughts and present facts, it feels less about education and more like indoctrination.

The difference between education and indoctrination is vast, but it is often subtle when the mind thinks of these two subjects. Education involves the seeking of facts, and learning about what is the truth, and what is not. Indoctrination is aimed at influencing people to believe in facts, without being able to back up these newfound facts with anything but opinion.

When we seek to educate ourselves, we learn from both history and research, which can be directly supported by data that is derived from facts. Indoctrination tends to use language that encompasses everything, referring to “all’” or “every” as though the insights created are a statement of fact for each and every individual of a group. Teachings by indoctrination is typically based on opinions that have been passed down, they are often fear based, or formed from a lack of interest in broadening the mind.

Education is development of one’s own beliefs based on the facts that are discovered throughout the process. Indoctrination has an agenda. It is used to encourage the embracing of another’s beliefs, and developing blinding and complete agreement with those beliefs.

I fear this type of indoctrination advertised in our town, indoctrination of trying to put a stop to education on CRT. Critical race theory examines social, cultural and legal issues as they relate to race and racism, and by saying no to this I feel we are spiraling backwards as a community, society and robbing our children of a more tolerant future. I fear indoctrination of biased education, indoctrination of intolerance and indoctrination of a narrow mindset.

Educate -YES
Tolerate – YES
Celebrate – YES

Charlotte Ejderberg