In 1952, William Whyte coined the word Groupthink. Irving Janis did various researches on the phenomena and arrived at the main principle of groupthink: The more amiability and esprit de corps there is among the members of a policy-making group, the greater the danger that independent critical thinking will be replaced by groupthink, which is likely to result in irrational and dehumanizing actions against outgroups (Wikipedia).
The Groupthink that teachers are to be blamed for the failures of education has already cost academia many excellent teachers through attrition. Why join or stay in a profession who gets the blame for all that ails society when you can be a CEO and do whatever you darn please to make money? It has cost people to lose their jobs due to budget cuts and funding for vital materials, resources, and programs.
This kind of groupthink is insidious and we already are experiencing many of its ill-effects: Shortage of teachers in areas such as Science, Math, and Special Education – the results of which placed us way below other developed nations on assessments of student achievement. A few more years of this, and scientists will have Americans as lab assistants and clerical help instead of principal research leaders.
Yes. There are bad teachers, but that is not even close to the source of education’s problems. It goes deeper than the other groupthink of union culpability. Groupthink has prevented any analytical attempts to extricate the root causes of the problems: The sinking of society’s morals, erosion of family values and structures, community indifference, the total disregard of one’s responsibility for one’s actions, and the unbelievable sense of entitlements.
Try convincing a child who worships a neighbor’s display of wealth in fancy cars, jewelry, designer clothes, and the like – to finish school – when his hero did not even finish high school. Or, try teaching a child to respect, when his own parents are free-basing in front of him. Try teaching a child responsibility when the people responsible for him cannot even make him dinner or help him with homework. Try teaching resilience to a well-privileged child who grow up wanting and getting everything without as much as a sweat or even half a tear-drop.
This may sound wretched, but that is the reality we refuse to face. We are all in ladida heaven thinking how we live our lives is not anybody’s business. We forget cause and effect – effects that ripple from our own selfish world to the world around us – the house we live in, the people we deal with, the community, and the world. We cannot live and act the way we do and expect everything to be the way we want it to be – or not to be.