Suppose you wish to shield youngsters as much as you can from cultural imposition of false understandings.
Amidst all the popular but false assertions that swirl around, you’d most like youngsters to recognize and hold to what is verified.
So, how can you act in support of “agreed-upon knowledge” and safeguard the children from bogus beliefs?
Confronting Indefensible “Truths”
Beliefs in all sorts of supernatural entities and forces are widespread in society. (It’s not just abundant deity-belief and other mystical aspects of religion that challenge the emergence of a naturalistic outlook.)
In view of the cultural influences, it’s not so easy to channel children away from the misleading and false and toward what is well substantiated.
Parents who are Brights, having themselves gained experiences and information sufficient to dispute even the most popular New Age unrealities, will be alert to a great many false notions.
Still, even the best-intentioned parents may need to think through how they craft their activities in response to unsubstantiated but popular assertions. One must be cautious, particularly as concerns complex subjects.
Brights commonly say that they oppose indoctrination. They favor opening doors to children to learn from experiences instead. (Many parents who are Brights do not even wish to propagandize their own naturalistic worldview with their children. Or, at least they say as much.)
But indoctrination can be elusive. It sometimes isn’t recognizable as such. One can indoctrinate in well-established knowledge as well as faith.
Example: Urging a young child to espouse “belief in evolution” differs very little from instilling beliefs in entities or agency that are not supported by sound evidence.
When children do not really comprehend, the youngsters simply go along with the stated expectations.
Is it only "people of faith" who teach children to voice notions that to them are nebulous? No. Secular parents can do that as well. Young children who say of their family “We believe in evolution” when they do not understand are like participants in a “tribe of evolution believers”.
What is required for “education” involves a very gradual process of leading the learner to an actual understanding. This is true whether learning about evolutionary change or about science itself. Children, like adults, can learn to gain confidence in “what science says” through conducive experiences over time.
Whether offered by schooling or by parents, building to genuine understanding requires provision of gradual small building blocks. To the extent possible, antecedent understandings related to science come from experiences that are directly and empirically focused. And this means factoring in readiness and age-appropriateness.