Changing the Filtering Perception, the Way We See the World, is Key

Key to shifting the dominant Social World-view away from the fruits of the Enlightenment. Apparently modern-day Schemers who prefer to do our planning for us in the name of a theoretical Ecological Cultural Worldview they have been writing about, and speaking at conferences about, now want to jettison the:

“dominant techno-scientific worldview which influences us all, is essentially positivist, objectivist and reductionist, and based upon the root metaphor of mechanism.”

In plain English, mechanism means Cause and Effect which seems to be a dangerous thing to try to jettison. Bet it really won’t leave. Reality is always out there whatever our manufactured, perhaps false, perceptions or ignorance of it.

My scheming prof from the UK whose Systems Thinking dissertation was widely cited in the run-up to last March’s Planet under Pressure confab in London says we need a new way of thinking. Sounds much like Paul Ehrlich, doesn’t he? Or “reperception.” Whatever is necessary to “allow us to transcend the limits of thinking that appear to have led to the current global predicament.” I am tempted to ask what global predicament and what really caused it.  I can also smell Hayek’s “the fatal conceit” coming where professors or bureaucrats are redesigning complex social systems that were never intentionally designed in the first place.

First note to Social Engineers–“Remember, Piecemeal is Your Friend!!” But no one invited me to participate in the Caviar and Champagne confab so I will have to tell you my thoughts instead. Then track this through to the All Important How. We deviated to discuss Spirituality as a Target and a desire to manipulate the human desire for inspiring motivational beliefs for a reason.

My scheming Ecology Prof says Perception is “informed by the inspirational, the affective, the imaginal, and the experiential domains.” I think we can now agree that radicals with plans for fundamental transformation via education are targeting all those areas. That’s what the last 3 posts especially have been about plus everything all summer on social and emotional learning. Check Box 1.  Moreover, the perceptual filter each of us has, whether we are aware of it or not, is “colored by:

1)Our spiritual grounding and awareness;

2) Our Belief System;

3) Our creative imagination; and

4) Our experiential histories.

So education targeting any of those goes after Perception. This is especially critical to reforms like Outcomes Based Education and Systems Thinking that are really targeting all of the above. Why? Want a refresher?

Before murderer Che Guevara became venerated as a pop art icon suitable for mass apparel, he wrote a book called Man and Socialism in Cuba. In it he wrote that (my bold):

“The vanguard group is ideologically more advanced than the mass; the latter is   acquainted with the new values but insufficiently.”

If you want a revolution or a paradigm change or a rejection of the dominant world-view, especially one that did bring unprecedented levels of global prosperity to the masses, you need New Values. It’s apparently part of the Overthrow 101 Syllabus. And that is consistent with what we are seeing throughout the real Common Core implementation and what we are seeing all over the world.

Now for the how. On November 30 Ed Week had a small story called “Multiple Perspectives in an International Classroom.” This paragraph jumped out at me. The Multiple Perspectives Instructional Design:

“compels students to analyze the past not through a textbook, but through various primary-source documents. The aim is to integrate the stories of conquered groups with the opinions of the conquerors, thereby enriching the classroom discussion. By incorporating these new perspectives, students develop a clearer understanding of how historical events have shaped society today.”

Misunderstandings building on emotion and ignorance and perhaps valid frustrations is far more likely. Then there is the alarming passage that “teaching with student perspectives refines students’ identities and beliefs.” Well, how fragile those must be then. I wasn’t quite hyperventilating yet but this is a painful strategy to read about. Especially when something called a four-corners discussion got thrown into the Bubbling Cauldron of Emotion. This technique pushed by the cited group “Facing History” is meant to “illustrate how political statements draw upon personal experience to articulate a viewpoint.”

The question asked was–“Those who make more money should be taxed more money.” Students go to corners based on Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree. Then they try to persuade each other to switch corners. Two points come to Mind. First, this is not History whatever the name of the class and it is only Social Studies in the Deweyan sense of Social Engagement and Interaction as the purpose of the classroom. Secondly, what a tremendous exercise in priming students to yield to the herd instinct. To the primacy of the Group. All alone in your corner? What do you think you know that we don’t? Or what selfish interest are you trying to protect?

I am also tempted to tell you what I think of seeing former colonies as about having been conquered when it was the only time some ever had a rule of law and some protection against predation by the Ruler over the Ruled. And yes there should be a special ring in Hell for what the Belgian King did to the Congo. This is a curriculum that builds on Ignorance and plays to Stereotypes and then lards on Grievances and then Builds up Personal Identities from that Bubbling Brew? I had enough false lenses in that new C3–College, Career, and Civic Life Framework.

To make sure I was fair though I went to the “Facing History” website to take a further look at what was being pushed. I knew it had famous patrons now living in DC but I had never systematically looked at it. My analysis so far from looking at the website and reading both “Margot’s Journey” about founder Margot Stern Strom and her “A Work in Progress” is this is not a history course in any traditional sense of the term. In fact, it appears to be a fair amount of Bad History. Why? It is a combo of creating New Moral Values and a Sense of Identity from the “lessons” and a Personal Behavior Intervention program. All to create a Mindset for Social Justice.

And not to be elitist about History but Totalitarianism and its causes is a dangerous thing to misapprehend. Pushing emotional false beliefs for political gain is playing with fire. Especially when using the Holocaust and talking about a regime that itself rejected reason in favor of cultivated emotional beliefs. What gave rise to the Nazis was not individual hate so much as using education in the 19th century to create a widespread unconscious motivating belief that the Group and the Race and the Country had Primacy. There was no room for the individual in that Belief System. It was not a place where individuals and their personal choices were the prevailing drivers.

So I am worried that horrific events are being used to create false Beliefs and erroneous but Useful (to a Political Schemer intent on Transformation) Values. We seem to be back to a curriculum similar to the one Robert Hutchins laid out in 1968 without being honest that is what is being pushed. I picked that post for a reason. Carol Gilligan and Kohlberg a la Stages of Moral Development are both involved with “Facing History.” So is esr, Educators for Social Responsibility, with its PBIS/ Social and Emotional Curriculum for Middle and High Schoolers, that we saw in our Responsive Classroom post. And honestly too many other people we have encountered in this blog. All pushing changing values and mindsets and morals to change society. Selling the Vision that 21st Century Utopias could be a Reality.

I think it is dangerous to teach students, especially those whose misperceptions are unlikely to be corrected at home that “history is largely manmade.” History is a lot of accidents and unintended consequences. Intentions are not the viable reality. Going on to tell students that “what civilization is and what it may become is directly related to each one of us” is misguided and downright dangerous. It’s woefully not true and leaves students unguided by accurate lessons from the past. It leaves them prone to jettisoning what is flawed but fixable in favor of a Dream that is unworkable.

So how do you get to a new Paradigm or Prevailing World-view? In the name of history you teach false but Transformative Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs utilizing the power of the Group and encourage each student to use them “in our lives, take it in, and make it a part of our identity, individually or as a community” as the recommended way of “dealing with ourselves.”

Then you make the definitions of Growth or Student Achievement measuring each Student’s developing Competencies about what a curriculum like “Facing History” is pushing. How is it changing the student? With that Change being defined as Learning.

Orwellian redefinition being another part of the Overthrow 101 Syllabus.



6 thoughts on “Changing the Filtering Perception, the Way We See the World, is Key

  1. I’m sure by now you’ve already seen and thought about this:!

    Talk about “mind arson.” This is among the most vulgar, venal, obscene thing I’ve ever seen the Left, or the unions, try to pull off. Again I’m reminded that when conservatives offer intellectual critique of the Left, the Left cries “hate speech!” and attempts to shut down critical debate and poison the well by asserting that people like Timothy McVeigh were motivated to do what they did by reading National Review or listening to Rush Limbaugh.

    On the other hand, when a piece of agitprop like this is done by the Left, which demonizes and vilifies an entire class of human beings and renders them little more than sub-human cartoon caricatures (notice how much the rich people in this thing look like the guy on the Monopoly money?) and paints them as the common enemy of humanity, and whose intent is, indeed, to create “hate,” nothing is said and the rest of the Left winks and nods and goes on about their business of creating a “better world.”

    All the while I watched this gutter propaganda, quite worthy of any competent Nazi film makers of the 30s (substitute “Jews” of “the rich” or “Kulaks” in this film and virtually nothing is lost) the French Revolution kept running through my head. Democratic masses, riddled with envy and their minds filled with their own pure, unleavened righteousness cheering the guillotine.

    Heaven help the school children exposed to this intellectual pornography.

  2. “On November 30 Ed Week had a small story called “Multiple Perspectives in an International Classroom.” This paragraph jumped out at me. The Multiple Perspectives Instructional Design.”

    “The following class, I designed a task that would challenge previous conceptions and stereotypes. Upon reading excerpts from The Devastation of the Indies, my students’ views of Columbus changed. Through analysis of the text and the subsequent discussion, several Spanish students began to question the morality of a historical figure they had learned to revere.”

    This is not education. The term for this is “indoctrination.” and I suppose that at this point it is hardly surprising that a teacher in a major educational trade magazine would just come right out and admit that her entire classroom plan here came with ideological strings attached and had, as its primary component, not the teaching of history, but the teaching of a particular, ideologically loaded narrative.

    This “teacher” should be one skip and a hop away from a pink slip. Alas, however, this now appears to be the fundamental mission of much public ed.

    • I had a friend who was watching the Oliver Stone miniseries who said she could tell it was propaganda but how does one really know. One I read a lot but it is the heavy-handedness of the language that is so striking. In the passage I used it was Conqueror and conquered. I think in part this is due to the deliberately poor job done in teaching reading. They want words that will be recognized and immediately have negative emotional connotations.

      The assumption is you are not dealing with students able to fluently read every word. Passages are made so that deciphering “meaning” is a group exercise.

      Ed Week stories are not accidental. This was simultaneously to be a definitive piece on Multiple Perspectives which is a huge part of the classroom implementation for Common Core. It’s about the dialogue don’t you know. And an ad pushing Facing History. I have ordered the textbooks. It remains on my radar screen to really look into how bad is the history in particular details. My first instinct though was how it was clearly structured as social and emotional learning and that would not be easily apparent to someone from a course name.

      Speaking of bad history, I am still looking into Spence Rogers and his Teaching for Excellence model. He is doing professional development training in school districts nearby. At great expense I might add. I have his work on with William Spady in creating Transformational Outcomes Based Education in the first place in the early 90s. And an article from Educational Leadership that makes clear how much of his idea of learning is what I would call psychological manipulation of feelings.

      But nobody ever said I did not try to be comprehensive. So a book of his from 1999 arrives the other day. In it he quotes Mao Tse Tung (spelled both ways for clarity) on what makes for good leadership.

      Quoters of mass murderers on what makes for good leadership have no business training anyone to be around children. Ignorant or an idealogue or both. Training high school teachers in 2012. Principal asking parents to fundraise to pay for it.

  3. But nobody ever said I did not try to be comprehensive. So a book of his from 1999 arrives the other day. In it he quotes Mao Tse Tung (spelled both ways for clarity) on what makes for good leadership.

    Well heck, this is one of Anita Dun’s “favorite political philosophers” as well., and Van Jone’s particular school of Marxist revolution is a Maoist one. The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) the core group underlying the International Action Center and and International A.N.S.W..E.R, who used to coordinate many of those old “peace” protest marches during the Bush years, is Maoist.

    It seems that the more innocent people you kill in pursuit of hope and change, the greater your chances of future nostalgic remembrance among the Western Left. I’m still waiting for Herr Hitler’s turn at moral rehabilitation, but they still don’t like him, for some reason.

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