Constantly Casting Aside Those Things that Become Useless in this Caravan of Civilization: Who Decides?

No wonder a well-stocked individual mind is becoming forbidden. I had hardly finished the previous post before an insight as I read that day’s materials sent me after the global human rights/human behavioral curriculum clearly intended to come into the US as the Common Core and elsewhere as 21st Century Learning. Every day now seems like a game of Bingo as the real implementation rolls forward in education to finally put into place what HG Wells actually called The Open Conspiracy back in 1928 in a work that was intended to be a blueprint, not the fiction that earned him fame. Then again he and Julian Huxley were old friends and actually wrote a book together–The Science of Life. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised then that so much of the focus is on using education for social experimentation to gain political transformations. So many of the people we run across over time had similar ideas because they all seem to have known each other.

We have been the ones without the knowledge of all these connections and revealing resources. So getting ready to go down the Human Rights road, I read this quote this morning while I steeled myself to write (my bolding):

“At Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy, history teacher Matt Baird called his high school’s 1-to-1 program ‘radically democratic.’ Information ‘doesn’t necessarily flow from the teacher to the student in the form of a test. Information is something that can be gathered, used and utilized by students in the way it is in the real world,’ he explained, adding, ‘It’s not an awful lot of people who take standardized tests for a living. We don’t really want school to be a proxy for real life. We want school to look like real life as much as possible.”

The education historian in me immediately recognized that real life focus and the way Baird so obnoxiously preaches its superiority to an academic knowledge focus as what was called Life Adjustment back in the 40s and 50s. Nothing indeed new under the sun of Radical Ed Reform once you have the template I laid out in my book. Life Adjustment had been on my mind this week as well as it fits so well with what are now being called “Authentic Learning Opportunities” in connection to the Common Core. When I went off to find my notes on Life Adjustment, guess what came out that aligns perfectly with the NEA’s 2011 CARE Guide we have looked at in the last 2 posts?

It was the NEA that pushed what was then called Life Adjustment as the new purpose for ed in its 1947 Organizing the Elementary School for Living and Learning. In anticipation of today’s New 3 Rs of Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships the NEA wanted schools to put “human relationships first.” Now that declaration is why the human rights post got bumped behind this one since Why explanations should always precede the How. Does this sound familiar in the current era of Whole Child Codes of Conduct and Positive School Mandates? In 1947, apparently in recognition that an America rich enough to provide one side’s armaments and rebuild Europe afterwards, was rich enough to transition to a Human Needs focused Development Society, suddenly there must be education with “a school environment where the satisfactory adjustment of all pupils is a primary consideration…This ‘R’ is of even greater importance than the 3 ‘Rs’ yet it has received little time or attention in the school’s organization.”

Do Colleges of Education or the accreditation agencies today get to decide the answer to the question the NEA asked back in 1947 as part of its post-war, Let’s Transform the US intentions and make the impending Cold War a moot point, philosophy? “Is it more important for Dick to excel everyone in his class and bring home a report card of all A’s or learn how to live with all the other boys and girls in his neighborhood?” Today’s Collaboration mandate is Educators and Business Interests declaring that they get to decide the answer to that question and none of us are to have any ability to veto that transformation of the historic purpose of education.

Me? I went back to the words that John Keats wrote so well back in 1958 in his Schools Without Scholars that was also a tirade against a Life Adjustment focus. He noted that the difference between making the child’s interests the focus [today’s Relevance and Engagement] and making a body of knowledge the focus is about more than just “the nature of learning” and “the nature of things learned” although I will note that today’s Common Core rhetoric tries to ignore that both of those are being turned upside down. If we knew we might refuse to defer to the professional educators’ insistence they now get to decide. No, most importantly, as Keats also recognized, Life Adjustment under whatever name it uses in a particular decade is about “the true role of the individual in society.”

Now it seems with all the requisite communitarian focus and the “Universe of Obligation” required inquiry I will explain in the next post, Keats could not have been more prescient to our current dilemma being imposed via education. Are we going to allow schools to shift to required practices so that a teacher must now “conduct her class from the point of view that the individual has only a functional significance in society?” That is after all the view of the Career Pathways for All that the federal Departments of Ed, Labor, and HHS are now soliciting proposals for as School to Work is back. http://www.jff.org/news-media/long-sought-compromise-unites-parties-improve-us-workforce-development-system

I would be what Keats called a traditionalist: “dedicated to the proposition that society is merely a function of individuals.” As I put it in my book, do not use the word society as a noun unless we are talking about Mrs Astor’s Ballroom size. The title quote also comes from the 1947 NEA push and the same question still applies. What if the taxpayers paying the bill KNOW what is still useful much better than politicians or cronies or educators who live as parasites off the bounty produced by others? What right does a District Administrator or Principal dedicated to Mind Arson, the political transformation of the US, and active deceit to parents have to decide what is useful for the future and what is to be cast aside? Should a union like the NEA have the right to decide that either? Accreditors? Every one of these people or entities survives off of taxpayer funds and most of the adults leading these entities have no clue what actually produced the financial bounty they take for granted. And they have the veto power over what is needed for the future?

Or what is ‘useful?. This 1947 quote mirrors the School districts touting now that they no longer have a ‘deficit’ focus. Teachers are to “cease thinking of marking children and will start thinking how much the child is growing day after day, week after week, how much progress he’s making toward the kind of boy or girl which our town, our America, and our world finds useful.”

Useful for what? Useful to whom? If that decision is no longer in the realm of the individual student or parents, but has been outsourced to others who benefit from Mind Arson, what kind of society are we becoming?

Instead of town, today’s language is community. What functions does the community want each individual to have? Ask yourself who benefits from making the focus of the school the use of a device like a computer coupled to Non-Cognitive factors. Now that I have refreshed my recollection and augmented yours on Life Adjustment, we can contemplate what that focus has always intended to do. We can now examine the implications of what Columbia prof, Jacques Barzun, wrote in 1961 was an inversion of the entire purpose of education as students are all assumed to have “the supremely gifted mind, which must not be tampered with, and the defective personality which the school must remodel.”

That’s today’s assumption as well. What shall we do about these current unabashed intentions? Most of the barriers that have delayed this desire for wholesale transformation for so long in the purpose of education have fallen or died.

It’s up to us now to become those barriers again. Protect the children. Protect ourselves most of all. There are few things as dangerous as a parasite that has no idea where it actually gets its sustenance.

 

 

9 thoughts on “Constantly Casting Aside Those Things that Become Useless in this Caravan of Civilization: Who Decides?

  1. Who decides? Exactly. Who, indeed.
    I recently read an apropo quote:

    “The mighty error of the world has been to take for granted what someone has called ‘the rightness of the customary.’ The values, attitudes and practices of the majority in any given period constitute a code accepted as binding upon all members of society. Any aberration from this code on the part of anyone excites immediate attention and may even bring the charge of being ‘mentally ill.’ And unless I miss my guess I believe that the advocates of the customary are preparing to use the threat of being charged with mental illness as a whip to bring everyone into line.” ~ A. W. Tozer [1897-1963]

    Of late, I have noticed quite a lot of media coverage of the push-back. But still it seems to me that CC is like the elephant the blind men are trying to describe by the small parts they can touch. Of all the complaints of the bits and pieces I rarely see a comprehensive discussion or dissection of the origins. And, it is the origins, as defined in your book, and that you continue to expose in this blog, that truly matter.

    All the variations, the morphings, the retro-fittings, the small negative impacts that can be pooh-poohed away as trial run failures–these are but spawns of the original plan to fundamentally change society from the inside out.

    And we thought we were free. America’s epitaph.

    • That is an excellent quote. And perhaps even more appropos then we are all ready to accept. As I read it I could not help but consider the large federal push to provide funding for research into brain mapping, and various other neuropsychology fields.

      And following every new motive free lone gunman attack ( interestingly predicted by President 0bama approximately 4 years ago) there is a hue and cry from officials for more medication and more research into mental illness.

      So timely.

  2. A teacher can be a guide, helping a student avoid blind alleys and illogical thought, or a teacher can be a teacher: someone who says, “here are the facts, this is how you use them, this is where they lead”.

    The teacher-guide works well for people who have ability already. But to say that the average kid can just figure it out for himself is not helpful.

    I’m reminded of C.S. Lewis’ “The Abolition of Man”, which starts out as a condemnation of schools in his day.

    An education should provide the student with the tools and education to be a productive citizen: someone who can earn a living. If we can’t do that, they won’t. I don’t think we’re doing all that well in that area. There’s a lot of propaganda in schools, and too little useful information (like, understanding interest rates, the basics of investment, the basics of science and technology, how to write a coherent paragraph….).

  3. Catching up on the last three posts has my head spinning. I mentioned to a friend the other day that I often have this sense of being a witness to a silent coup that is taking place all around everyone every minute of every day but that only a minority can see.

    And having seen the reality of the coup I can no longer un – see it or anything else that is false. At times the feeling is disorienting. I keep talking to people but I feel like it s a drop in the bucket.

    Robin, as you described in the previous post the push to emphasize racial and economic discrimination consistently as part of equity in education and how it would ( and I agree ) lead to tensions among the student body I had this image of serfs brandishing pitchforks as they shouted back at one another and forth across hay bails.

    The layers to this deception for me anyway are incredible. Because while on the one hand we have all these UN educrats believing and hustling a Utopian spirituality and common consciousness of man based on some communitarian/collectivist ideal, we have on the other hand a handful of planners ( who I believe really run the show ) who are promoting division and angst, but selling it as compassionate awareness to the radical educrats. That was officially a run on sentence. My apologies.

    I am beginning to believe that this deception has layers of compartmentalization. The Senges of the world actually believe what they sell. They are some of the useful idiots. Then the supers are as well. And the clueless masses? Well they don’t even need to be useful for the planners.

    But the real planners who push the divisions, the collectivist group identification for the common good, do so knowing fully well that it will keep the serfs fighting among themselves so they will not question the State. They know of course too that as the serfs are deprived of cognitive abilities and facts that they will do what they are told to do by the state being unable to cognize any other option.

    I keep seeing this strange Orwellian movie in my head where some policy wonk comes over the loud speakers every day, in every office, in every school leading everyone in a communitarian prayer and wishing everyone well on their group projects and assigned quotas of the day. Then as soon as the voice fades the werkers or the students begin ‘rigorously’ tearing each others hair out in their shared and egalitarian sustainable habitats.

    All the faux zen meditations, all the presencing, will make not one whit of difference when people are hungry or when they feel angry but they don’t know why. Human beings can be made to be dumber. They can even be made to forget….for a while. But even the worst victim of Stockholming begins to have intrusive and unapproved thoughts. This will never work in the end. But there is serious damage in our future for generations if we don’t stop it right now.

    How do we boil this down ( as we continue to learn and intervene) so that more people can see the gravitas of what is unfolding?

    • Well said, Mari, this is exactly the scenario I’ve had running through my head for a few years, now! I concur completely … it is bizarre how so many people are not able to see this.
      Have you seen the new film “Divergent”? I have to remember: “This isn’t real”, in order to break it!

      • Fariba

        I have not seen the movie but I am familiar with the premise . That one and Hunger Games feel more like conditioning propaganda for me these days than fantastical entertainment. Arg.

  4. Scotland is a very small country with a very small population – somewhere in the region of five million, give or take.

    The contribution that Scotland has made to the planet, in terms of science and engineering, is without dispute. It is superb.

    You would think, therefore, that our education system should have been investigated for the lessons that other countries could learn.

    No. It is now under attack: I quote.

    The purpose of the new curriculum is encapsulated in the four capacities – to enable each child or young person to be a successful learner, a confident individual, a responsible citizen and an effective contributor.

    I thought the purpose of education – WAS – education ?

  5. Silly you. Silly me too. I was in the middle of the forest and had no clue there were trees anywhere. After twenty plus years at the same school and surviving nine administrations I was the frog in the big pot on the stove with the water getting warmer each year. I had no clue thie was the plan from the start. The Dumbing Down of the American people, courtesy of John Dewey and the Prussians. Within six months of retirement I had read John Taylor Gatto and watched Charlotte Iserbyt. And then I found ISC and Robin Eubanks. Sadder but wiser I am grateful that I can stand my ground against anyone who favor CC and its wicked step children. Good education was never the point of the public school systems, so good schools must be stopped in their tracks and remodeled.

    I can only say, Maranatha Lord.

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