Tim Blair isn’t a dumb guy but you’d hardly call him an education expert. Across the internet Ayn Rand loons, von Mises enthusiasts, and even the exceedingly grumpy Phyllis Schlafly have been denouncing a teaching method called ‘whole language.’ Obviously it’s possible to determine the effectiveness of different techniques of language learning without ever reading the literature or doing any empirical research. But how?
If you’re a real conservative then the correct position is obvious. Unlike most people, you have a natural talent for identifying the truth. It’s like having perfect pitch but living in a world where most other people are tone deaf. Other people get confused by what they want to be true. They suffer from ideology. But you – and your fellow practical, hard working, realistic, conservative buddies – are able to see through all the over-intellectualized lefty bullshit and see things as they really are.
Obviously whole language is some kind of postmodernist, hippy, tree hugging crap. It has to be. Back in the age of sensible thinking (an age which ended in the early 1960s) kids were taught to read by sounding out words. It was boring. It was hard work. And that’s how you know it was the right way to teach. There was none of this talk about creativity or about kids having an innate ability to use language. Nothing worthwhile was ever achieved just by being nice to people. Real work isn’t fun.
Whole language is like fighting crime by being nice to criminals or preventing terrorism by talking things over politely with terrorists. It’s just more of the same left-liberal lunacy. If you want to stop crime or terrorism you have to be tough. If those delinquents knew that every home owner had a gun under their pillow how many home invasions do you think we’d have? And how many nutty dictators do you think are going to invade their neighbors after what we did to Saddam?
There’s no more certain antidote to commonsense than too much of that lefty bullshit liberal education. Why else would all those so-called experts disagree with us?