More recently, the student (and parent) demonstrations against desegregation in several southern American states after the Brown V. Board of Education decision in 1954 demonstrated how much students absorb perception and form fundamental beliefs by social learning.
That is not to say that social learning should not occur within the realm of education; in fact, it is inevitable and unavoidable that it would. The issue is that education systems must be insulated from the undue influence of specific beliefs and philosophies. The purpose of modern education must be provide students with the best possible opportunities to explore their interests and abilities and to become productive members of society in the way that best matches those interests. Because one of the most important goals of modern education is (or should be) to encourage intellectual independence and objectivity, educators have an ethical responsibility to refrain from injecting any personal beliefs or perspectives that might conceivably interfere with the appropriate focus on promoting intellectual freedom among students.
Typical examples of contemporary problems in the U.S. In that respect would include efforts to promote specific religious beliefs through changes in curricula and educational materials, most notably by the state of Texas. Likewise, educators in many states have attempted to misuse the educational system to promote Christianity over non-Christian religions, general religious values over secular values; they have also attempted to undermine scientific education by proposing "alternate" explanations for biological evolution that are clearly designed to discourage beliefs that contradict biblical beliefs.
All of those efforts violate the educator's ethical obligation not to misuse the role and authority of their positions to promote beliefs that should be private matters; that is particularly troubling when it also conflicts with the essential role of modern education as a means of teaching independent and autonomous thought.
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Mooney, C. (2005). The Republican War on Science. New York: Basic Books.
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