Students at St. Peter Catholic School were to travel to the U.S. to experience election activity first-hand. When a parent expressed concern that the teenagers might be exposed to opinions that did not mesh with hers, and those she projects onto all Catholics, the principal cancelled the field trip. (Read the Ottawa Citizen story here: School trip cancelled amid pro-choice controversy.
This parent didn’t consider that the students might make the trip, hear those opinions and then reach the same conclusion as she did. Instead, she wanted to deny students access to information.
That is the opposite of what education is about.
Education is about fearlessly exposing our children to the broadest spectrum of information available. It’s about teaching them to separate credible sources from non-credible sources. It’s about teaching them to think critically about the best possible information and then to form well thought out opinions, even if those opinions differ from those of parents.
It’s about teaching them “to think,” not “what to think.”
After all, if you’re afraid that information that opposes your point of view might change someone’s mind, then maybe the foundations of what you believe are a little shakier than you’re willing to admit.