Anti-Intellectualism in American Education System

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

American is experiencing dearth in people who believe knowledge and education is vital for a nation to progress in all ramifications. There’s been a growing culture of people not accepting the fact that education, knowledge, facts are pivotal and most interestingly this stem from highly placed individuals who in my opinion tend to go against set rules to say horrendous things.

This country once stood head and shoulders above the educational system of the Western world, but as it appears that pedigree has slowly eroded away over the years due to the institutionalized opposition to intellectualism that has eaten deep into the American system. The United States spends more funds per school-age student than any other civilized nation, in highs of fifteen thousand and lows of eleven thousand per child, this is quite a huge amount excluding the affluent parents who can afford to send their kids to private schools this also accounts for ten percent of the school-age population, the US. Has however failed in transmitting the used resources to make education better into valuable outcomes because world rankings have massively dropped in areas considered that are critical and used to be considered its stronghold like: science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It is almost laughable that known third world countries like Brazil outperform the US (McLaren).

Critics of American public schools have long assailed them as factories that discourage intellectual creativity and are intended to funnel working-class white students into mindless corporate jobs while simultaneously directing minority students into the prison pipeline (McLaren). They also indicate that the schools are little more than relaxation grounds for incompetent teachers—vigorously protected by unjust and unsustainable unions—to indoctrinate the innocent on the latest hyper-liberal nonsense.

It is ironic that American education appeared to the world as a paragon of equal opportunity, witness the aftermath of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case (“50 Years Later”) where it was ruled that segregation of public schools was a violation of the 14th amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. A further irony is that, while the same educational practices and predilections also plague the nation’s universities, they continue to top world rankings and, moreover, mysteriously to attract students from all over the world.

The origins of the American educational system may serve partially to explain how it ended up in its current quagmire. Initially, the huge geographic extent of the nation and the scattered nature of its settlements made it impossible for individual communities to take charge of education or, more particularly, to fund it. Consequently, the responsibility for education was presently inherited by the individual state governments. If nothing else, this meant that broad swaths of communities with radically disparate needs and expectations were, at least in principle, educated to uniform standards (McLaren).

Part of the reason for the decline of primary and secondary education can be laid at the feet of the nation’s nursery schools and kindergartens. Several decades ago, these institutions focused on instilling not only the basic values of education in these students, but also a fundamental curiosity and love of learning, the joy of reading, the wonder of discovery. Because of the efforts of the liberal left, most of this has been replaced by force-fed indoctrinations into multicultural mantras that have essentially nothing to do with education.

Majority white students are being taught from the outset that they are somehow evil and responsible for the oppression of the majority of the civilized world, lessons that are steadily expanded and reinforced throughout the pupils’ school and college careers. There is no redeeming value in burdening children—many of whom have not even learned to view others in terms of race, religion, or national language—with such ominous moralizing. Without doubt, by focusing on issue-oriented initiatives rather than general educational goals, it works sharply against fostering an atmosphere of joy and wonderment in becoming educated and spreading one’s intellectual wings (Strauss).

The steady erosion of American educational standards has transpired in spite of earnest efforts by the federal government to enforce some measure of uniformity. The most damage against intellectualism has arguably been inflicted by the so-called Common Core. The notion of a common curriculum to which all students are mandatorily exposed is clearly a good one. However, the Common Core runs afoul of its own mechanisms and apparatus. Essentially, it is top-heavy, burdening itself with justifying “learning objectives” and presenting lengthy “rubrics” that underlie even the briefest or most trivial of assignments. The notion of learning for the sake of learning has become all but alien to American students. Indeed, unless they are presented with a rubric that carefully explains the motivation, rationale, and objectives of the assignment, they are loath even to undertake it, let alone to complete it (Meador).

The contrast between American and foreign education is markedly visible in higher institution of learning. American colleges are maybe overrated considering the amount of funds invested in relative to other countries in the Western world, however American colleges never stop to attract the brightest from different countries and nationalities. According to Wall Street Journal international students remitted over 30 billion dollars, unlike homeland students who take out non-existent funds like loans and grants for tuition.

These fees are exorbitantly high which has made American university degenerated into money-making ventures rather a place for knowledge and learning. In certain scenarios, certain courses are taken off catalog if they don’t financially break even. It seems all but crystal-clear that the American university has degenerated into a money-making institution that airs intramural sports contests on national television and, between the cracks, condescends to educate young scholars and grant them diplomas (Wall Street Journal).

One reason for the intellectual weakness of the university system is that what the colleges provide is essentially a function of the dynamics of the money system. Colleges feel free to pursue their own ultra-left-wing agendas and collect staggering sums that flow into their coffers, primarily as a result of generous student loans that are all too easy to obtain. Student debt now amounts to nearly thirty thousand dollars per student—a total of over one trillion dollars, all told. Young people graduating from American universities are left hopelessly mired in debt from which they can never escape. Since the universities are grooming them to assume subservient roles where they devote their most earnest efforts to repaying these debts rather than to contributing markedly to society, is it any wonder that the colleges fail intellectually to challenge them (McLaren)?

In the past few years, there’s been a lot of physical layout changes in mu university, they’re making it look more like an adventure theme park than a study a ground. Ordinarily one should except that monies as such should help to fund innovation, excellence and quality education but in reality, most funds go into construction of new dorms, new stadiums, theatres and so forth (Thomas Edmundson).

Charges have been leveled that universities are a stomping ground for the polarized interests of the Democratic Party. It is no myth that more than eighty percent of college professors identifying themselves as moderately or strongly liberal (Sweeney). Moreover, they have worked to replace the traditional curriculum with multicultural and globalist nonsense that flatly denies the uniqueness of America (Sweeney), the very spirit that enabled it to achieve world domination during the Cold War, win the space race, and succeed in the eventual dismantling of the Soviet Union and the continuing spread of democracy and unrestrained mercantilism around the globe.

What is even more disturbing is the general tenor of the nation’s university campuses. Students are whipped into a frenzy by rabble-rousers who are paid by various political factions, most of them ultimately Democratic. They are taught that any adherence to the doctrine of American uniqueness or superiority is anathema. They are told that the heroes of the past—whose nobilities and foibles have served as object lessons to us all—must somehow be shunned, even to the point of dismantling statues of our nation’s most hallowed leaders, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Students are taught to judge these citizens of centuries past, not by the norms and standards of the eras in which they lived and worked but based upon today’s abject hyper-liberalism. Most disturbingly, those students who are conservatively bent are discouraged—even actively frightened—from airing their opinions. Behold, in an environment where students are supposed freely to explore the limits of intellectual pursuit and achievement and debate great ideas, they are being programmed to believe that at least half of those ideas are intrinsically evil from the word “go” (Sweeney).

Along these lines, the religious tradition in education has been relegated to a dismissive role. Notwithstanding the fact that, during the Dark Ages, Roman Catholic monasteries kept the light of civilization and scholarship alive for centuries despite incessant barbarian invasions, college students who hail from parochial school backgrounds are made to feel that religious faith is a negative. They are taught to ignore the obvious fact that our own Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written based upon hallowed Judeo-Christian principles that had underlain the zenith of Western civilization since the earliest times.

Part of problem in the university context is the amount of edge and free treatment if I should say that professors get. Full professors earn so much and have so much leeway and are often treated like they could get away with much. According to McLaren they could often or easily earn over two hundred thousand per year plus what ever else they get from research grants.

He has graduate assistants at his disposal which helps him in grading papers and teaching classes while the professors themselves focuses on research. In my opinion professor are more concerned about getting the work done.

The way this workload is balanced has served sharply to discourage intellectualism in college. Rather than evaluate student exams, reports, and term papers, professors routinely offload this work to their graduate assistants or “tutors,” many of whom hail from foreign countries and have limited English language skills. It is a sad fact that an entire cottage industry has grown up whereby students can purchase homework and research papers from Web-based companies located all over the world.

What is sadder is that the “tutors” who evaluate these papers are unable to distinguish the work of an eighteen-year-old—whose level of scholarship, discipline, and organization can fairly be compared to the high-school student of yesteryear—from the work of a profoundly widely read polymath in his fifties or sixties who may have actually penned the work that the student is submitting. Moreover, the fact that the colleges are so overburdened with paying students—money, money, money! —makes it nearly impossible for professors to forge individual relationships with students that enable them accurately to gauge intellect, preparedness, and discipline and so be able to discriminate between a student’s own work and papers purchased from a paid “ringer” (Masson).

In my experience growing up in Africa, where it is mostly totalitarian type of democracy and how it relates to anti-intellectualism is that the system in place allows for non-educated folks grab unto power, in turn make unfavorable policies that has negating effect on what it was meant to do and this makes me appreciate living in a developed society where education is more valued more so it amazes me what America is becoming, in comparison the African education has less resources to make one comfortable so the bulk of the burden lies on the student, in a sense it makes the student studious and not lazy.

American textbooks are too wordy, books have many distractions from the concepts, it’s easier to understand and remember contents read from a book that is concise than one that is long and filled with too much extra information. Books back in Congo are straight to the point concept wise. US produces more books than any other country but the result doesn’t match (Thu-Huong Ha)

The anti-intellectualism that plagues American schools and universities shows no signs of abating. Indeed, since the installation of the Trump administration, Democrats have consistently worked to convince the young—as well as everyone else—that the merest conservative thought is abusive and belittling to those who are less fortunate than oneself. Unfortunately for them, the purpose of education is to pursue one’s own intellectual path, not to weave ornate apologias for the failures of others or the societal contextures that ostensibly set them up for these failures

Cite this paper

Anti-Intellectualism in American Education System. (2021, Jul 29). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/anti-intellectualism-in-american-education-system/



When did anti-intellectualism start?
Some scholars trace the roots of anti-intellectualism in the United States to the Protestant Reformation. Others date it back to the 18th century, when some Americans began distancing themselves from Europe and its "elitist" ways.
Who invented anti-intellectualism?
The term "anti-intellectualism" was first used by historian Richard Hofstadter in his book Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. Hofstadter was critical of what he saw as the anti-rationalist and anti-elitist tendencies in American culture.
Why would someone want to create a scale to measure anti-intellectualism amongst students the general population?
There are a few reasons someone might want to create a scale to measure anti-intellectualism. Firstly, they may want to study the effects of anti-intellectualism on society or on individuals. Secondly, they may want to use the scale to identify individuals who are at risk of becoming anti-intellectual.
We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out