For this review, I got to watch the movie IndoctriNation from Great Commission Films. The documentary follows Colin Gunn and his family as they tour the country interviewing teachers, administrators, pastors, and others about the state of Christianity in our public schools. My hubby and I watched this movie together as it is definitely aimed at parents and other adults. Before I begin my review, I want to give you some background on how my family started homeschooling.
I started homeschooling my children mainly because I felt that I was not getting enough time with them when they were in school. Even though I was a teacher, I spent my time with my own students, and I felt like my kids got more quality time with their own teachers than they did with me. Also, towards the end of my 12 year career, I began to feel fed up with the fact that the instruction that happened in my classroom seemed to be mandated more and more by the state and national governments. I was frustrated by the fact that I no longer had the control to give the students what I could see they needed, because I was told to focus on specific standards, with specific curriculum, to prepare for specific tests. However, I have never felt like our schools themselves were “bad” or anything like that, and for the most part, I still believe this to be true.
After watching the film, my hubby and I thought that Gunn definitely brought up some good points. First off all, the documentary touches on our current style of “one-size fits all” education, which many people are aware does not work. He also talks about how originally, control of education was meant to be in the hands of states and local districts, not the federal government. Through his interviews, he touches on other topics, such as how other faiths and ideas are allowed in many curriculums, but Christianity, specifically is ignored. The documentary uses a lot of Bible-based quotations to drive home the point.
In one case, the documentary focuses on a particular young teacher who actually left the profession because she felt she was asked to deny her faith. Well-known authors and critics of the public school system, such as John Taylor Gatto, are also included in the film.
By the end of the movie, my hubby and I felt we had a lot to talk about. While we both agreed the movie brought up some things about our school system that did concern us, we also felt like there wasn’t much balance to the film. Whenever I read/watch/listen to information about a controversial topic, I like to see both sides represented so that I can compare the two and decide for myself which one I agree with. I felt like all of the people featured in the film were basically against public schools.
Nonetheless, the movie focuses on a very important topic for Christian parents. A lot of research cited in the film makes it clear that many students leave the church by the time they are out of high school. Obviously, there is something going on that is causing these young Christians to lose their faith, and it is really important that the Christian community talk about it, and try to find out why. I think this movie would be great for a discussion group at a church or an adult Bible study because the only way to come up with solutions is to have conversations about (sometimes uncomfortable) topics. Indoctrination costs $19.95.