How to Argue for Progressive EducationJune 10, 2014
A few weeks back, just after the publication of Progressively Worse, I noticed how few serious attempts there were to argue for progressive education on the basis of anything resembling empirical evidence, or coherent reasoning. Out of frustration, I tweeted a guide to arguing for progressive education in the way is it normally done on Twitter and in blogs.
Here is the full list:
- Disagreement with a progressive is a personal attack.
- Personal attacks on traditionalists aren’t personal attacks.
- If all else fails, object to the tone of somebody’s argument.
- Claim nobody really disagrees with you and anyone who says they do is wrong.
- Anyone who disagrees, hasn’t understood (but make no attempt to remedy the misunderstanding)
- Disagreement is only acceptable from certain types. Non-teachers or new teachers are not allowed.
- Anyone who disagrees with you, just doesn’t care as much as you do. Which is a lot.
- Education debate should be beyond politics.
- If you disagree with me, then you have the wrong sort of political views.
- Claim anyone who disagrees is oppressing, harassing or restricting professional autonomy.
- Claim that your views are based on science.
- Claim science doesn’t apply here.
- Object to a word used in an opposing argument, but reject all alternative words for expressing the same idea too.
- Observe that anyone disagreeing thinks they are right and imply this is a bad thing.
- Claim to agree with the opposing argument, than continue to act and talk as if you don’t.
- Have a conversation with another progressive about how wrong the opposing argument is.
- Have a chat with another progressive about how vile the person disagreeing with you is.
- If anything you said was too offensive to defend, claim it was satire or irony.
- Complain that, while logically correct, the opposing argument is not really persuasive.
- Deny all knowledge of the debate you are having (including your own position and arguments).
- Claim, without justification, that the flaws in your argument apply to the opposing argument.
- Claim it works for your students. (Provide no evidence).
- Accuse anyone who is not convinced that it works for your students of calling you a liar.
- See below: