It’s not surprising that conservatives are fans of Direct Instruction. It’s their whole life.
Many of them are religious. They do not/cannot question the belief drilled into them from birth for fear of being labelled an heretic or being excommunicated or at least having to do penance.
Many conservatives are fans of more standardised tests for children. They have even suggested that a teacher’s pay should be dependent on the results of such tests – which will inevitably lead to teachers teaching to a test with parents employing tutors to help their child get good marks, as already happens in too many private schools. Inquiry-based learning has no place in this system.
These conservatives keep saying “phonics”. As they don’t ever explain further, I assume they think it is far more important to be able to say and spell a word than to understand and use it.
Some conservatives receive their Direct Instruction from their parents. “We always vote National because they look after country people” or “We always vote Liberal because they are better for the economy.” These are accepted truths that are never questioned, even for a lifetime. (I saw examples of this whilst standing in the very long queue at my local polling booth as parents accompanying their first time voting children were instructing them to vote Liberal.)
Some young people join conservative movements like the Young Liberals who heroically fight against the “nanny state” and “socialism.” They want “small government” and “free markets” and “free speech” and “individual reward for effort.” Yet ask them if we should stop funding private schools or cut tax rebates for private health insurance and they will usually launch into a tirade about entitlements and how much tax their father is forced to pay. Any talk of reining in tax concessions will be labelled “class envy”. They repeat the ideological phrases but rarely have any depth of understanding – just slogans.
Other people who vote conservative get their Direct Instruction from shock jocks, Murdoch minions, and conspiracy theorists. These people are fired up to always look for something or someone to blame and are encouraged to do so by both the media and ambitious politicians who see votes in the blame game.
Conservatives have been taught to assess things on the basis of “How will it benefit me?” but their greed needs instant gratification. Discussions about long term social benefits fall on deaf ears. Empathy is not in the vocabulary.
So is it any wonder that our conservative politicians, having come from this background of Direct Instruction, are so incapable of listening to advice. They have been bred to be certain, to unquestioningly accept the mantra – they know what is right.
The mass of evidence of the illegality and inhumanity of the torture we are inflicting on detainees on Manus and Nauru is ignored because Direct Instruction says STOP THE BOATS. No discretion. No initiative. No compassion. No questions.
Despite the evidence of past privatisations and free trade agreements not working out well for us, Direct Instruction says FREE MARKET. No protection. No assistance. No consultation.
(I note Scott Morrison is belatedly realising it may not be a good idea to sell our vital infrastructure to foreign governments, much to the chagrin of Mike Baird.}
We seemed to be making an outward display of reversing some of the more ridiculous decisions regarding renewable energy and sacking climate scientists, and then we elected the ultra-right wing loons from One Nation just to add their special brand of Direct Instruction.
Turnbull talks about agility and flexibility but his mindset is that you pay someone to do that. (At university, he even paid someone to take notes for him so he didn’t have to turn up to lectures. He was already disseminating his Direct Instruction via his writing.)
This government cannot show initiative. They cannot come up with creative solutions. They can’t tolerate questions or alternative ideas because that’s not how it works. They tell you what is happening, not why. (Their ‘how’ also needs a lot of work.)
Inquiry-based learning is most definitely not a conservative trait.