Would ide­ol­ogy-free cur­ricu­lum be wel­comed?

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Prairies -

Ed­i­tor:

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter David Eggen likens the re­cent UCP pledge to keep ide­ol­ogy out of the new Al­berta cur­ricu­lum to a “drive-by shoot­ing,” an at­tempt to “score cheap po­lit­i­cal points.” UCP leader Ja­son Ken­ney char­ac­ter­izes the gov­ern­ment’s cur­ricu­lum re­write as a “Tro­jan Horse for NDP ide­ol­ogy.” Both could be right.

In the pre­am­ble to the new K-12 cur­ricu­lum, plu­ral­ism is men­tioned 10 times, di­ver­sity 23 times, jus­tice five times and in­clu­sive 13 times. Reli­gion is ref­er­enced once in forms of iden­tity, in­clud­ing eth­nic­ity, so­cioe­co­nomic con­di­tions, com­mu­nity, cul­ture, gen­der ex­pres­sions and iden­ti­ties. The pre­am­ble states that in­tegrity and re­spect are key values af­firm­ing truth. How­ever, the ide­ol­ogy and po­lit­i­cal strat­egy un­der-gird­ing the NDP’s so­called “di­verse, plu­ral­ist and in­clu­sive” cur­ricu­lum of­fers no “safe space” for chil­dren of so­cial con­ser­va­tive par­ents, no peace in the per­sis­tent as­sault on the values and be­liefs of tra­di­tional world re­li­gions.

The NDP cur­ricu­lum on SOGI mat­ters will be at least as ide­o­log­i­cal as that of for­mer On­tario Lib­eral premier Kathleen Wynne. Her 2015 On­tario Health and Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion (H&PE) cur­ricu­lum de­clares a num­ber of con­sid­er­a­tions un­der sex­ual health. The term gen­der iden­tity is found 43 times, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion 42 times and gen­der ex­pres­sion 11 times. The terms trans­gen­der, trans­sex­ual, in­ter­sex and two-spir­ited to­tal 18 times; gay and les­bian 14 times; and ho­mo­pho­bia four times. The word het­ero­sex­ual is found only once, listed in brack­ets along with gay, les­bian and bi­sex­ual, as a type of sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. The H&PE cur­ricu­lum glos­sary de­fines: bi­sex­ual, gay, gay-straight al­liance, gen­der, gen­der-based vi­o­lence, gen­der ex­pres­sion, gen­der iden­tity, ho­mo­pho­bia, les­bian, in­ter­sex, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, sex­u­al­ity, trans­gen­der, trans­sex­ual and two-spir­ited.

The glos­sary does not in­clude nor does the cur­ricu­lum any­where de­fine the term het­ero­sex­ual.

Af­ter decades spent by the po­lit­i­cal left de­con­struct­ing het­eronor­ma­tiv­ity, it is no longer seen as de­sir­able or nec­es­sary by “pro­gres­sives” to pro­mote het­ero­sex­u­al­ity in schools. In­deed, af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion poli­cies on be­half of sex­ual mi­nor­ity stu­dents de­mand the el­e­va­tion of SOGI ide­ol­ogy ahead of sci­ence and sta­tis­ti­cal data, e.g., in­clu­sive cur­ricu­lum teaches cel­e­bra­tion of trans­gen­derism; avoids teach­ing the knowledge that 84 per cent of trans­gen­der iden­ti­ties de­sist once through pu­berty; and omits in­form­ing stu­dents on the in­her­ently higher health risks among men hav­ing sex with men. In sum, the SOGI ide­ol­ogy cham­pi­oned in NDP ed­u­ca­tion poli­cies puts more chil­dren at risk.

To the ex­tent the UCP keep their pledge – min­i­mal ide­ol­ogy in Al­berta cur­ricu­lum – fewer chil­dren will be sex­u­ally con­fused, mis­led, put at risk.

Car­man Bradley, Cal­gary

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