Primary Years Programme (PYP) – Whose Morals and Ethics are they teaching?

Not too long ago formal education involved the detailed teaching of science, maths, great discoveries, brave explorers, ancient history and related languages. It encouraged students to strive to reach their individual potential and discover for themselves that good things come from hard work, efficient study habits and a passion for knowledge. They also came to realize that life is not always easy, sacrifices must be made, obligations must be met and competition amongst others will appear in all walks of life, not just education. With this in mind students were able to balance their choices in life and make the best possible decisions for their own careers.

Fast forward to today and there is a paradigm shift happening in the education systems around the globe, particularly in the western nations of Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and more recently Singapore. This shift is not the least evident in the philosophy of schools who adopt the International Baccalaureate programs into their curriculum. Rather than providing a clear educational framework for academic achievement, programs such as the PYP (3-12 years) and MYP (11-16years) force a particular world view onto schools and aim to mold the ethics and morals of students to an ideology that has it’s roots in secular humanism, which is the predecessor to communism.

This ideology puts forward certain fixed views of the major disciplines of modern society which are immutable and must be adhered to regardless of personal ethics, moral teachings of parents or societal norms. It has clear views on Theology, Philosophy, Ethics, Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Law, Politics, Economics and History, apart from their pure academic teachings.

It encourages detachment of students from national events, local community involvement, major religious celebrations or views that are seen as opposing the fixed views of secular humanism as defined by the underlying framework. It discourages everything that makes people so unique and interesting and instead shapes students into a single, autonomous, group think machine with no room for innovative thinking or the realization that we are all different and not clones in a propaganda campaign for one world government.

Rather than a place to achieve academic excellence, such schools are now places where young students are indoctrinated about environmentalism, social equality, group consensus, gay marriage, single world government (UN) and human rights. They are taught that individual backgrounds and cultures have no true meaning and are inconsequential in their existence, instead they must all strive to achieve certain human values which are recognized as universal as adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 and propagated by UNESCO through such programs as the International Baccalaureate.

If a parent spends any time at an IB school they will be bombarded with such terms as Lifelong Learner, Global Citizen, Primary Year Program, Personal Outcomes, Learner Profile, Unit of Inquiry and much more rhetoric, while students must painstakingly conform to a fixed set of ethics and morals set forth by the program head office in Switzerland.

Each semester a select few students are awarded for best fitting the Learner Profiles defined by the program, rather than being assessed on basic academic achievement. Little is mentioned of academic outcomes, school performance or individual achievements within the school. Instead, the concepts of team work and consensus are promoted at every opportunity. For students who think outside the box or are self motivated enough to strive for personal achievement and goals, this environment may seem harsh and unwelcoming.

The PYP program has little in the way of assessing students academically to ensure they keep up with national standards, but simply judges students by their attitudes and learner profiles gained during the school year. Competition amongst children to perform their best is discouraged as evidenced by the lack of individual gradings given to students. Group activities mask the academic levels of students within a classroom environment and give no incentive for students to achieve greater results compared to their peers. Students are taught that there are no winners or losers in any aspects of life, that everyone is equal, that everyone is right, that achievement is not important, that they are entitled but not obligated.

The lack of structure and intellectual rigour in the PYP program permeates into all subjects. For instance, you may find primary spelling programs encouraging a whole word approach, spelling rules and grammatical rules are not taught. Instead, the whole word approach relies on students to make connections for themselves while showing them endless and unrelated lists of words, without being concerned about why they are spelled a certain way. This leads to students who enter high school with poor spelling ability and the inability to spell new words.

This approach is systemic of the IB program, it indoctrinates students with political views, environmental activism and other world views but does little to ensure proper teaching of core academic knowledge. That aspect of school is not important to the IB program, as students are considered lifelong learners and are encouraged to continue their learning when they leave school.

The PYP program may result in your child coming home and feeling personal guilt for the environmental damage of our planet, the mistreatment of indigenous peoples, the conquests of the Spaniards or simply the unfairness of wealth distribution in our society due to the evils of capitalism and democracy. Students are discouraged from making personal decisions and instead must consult and conform with others in group sessions and decision making processes. They quickly learn there is no personal responsibility, there is no absolute right or wrong, there are no personal morals or ethics except those thrust upon them by a faceless organization on the other side of the world.

They may become detached from their parents culture, their own history and family roots, their individualism takes a back seat to conformism and they are burdened with solving the problems of the world. In reality what is happening is these students have been detached from their roots, their community and their family and think of themselves as global citizens of the World, ready to be manipulated by those who are setting the educational agenda for these international programs.

Society is comprised of independent thinking individuals who each bring their own strengths and weaknesses to the community they live in. The International Baccalaureate threatens this through it’s agenda driven ethics and morals and the goal of indoctrinating students with certain ideologies rather than letting them get on with learning, critical thinking and academic knowledge.