Deciphering the Deceit to Discern Accelerants Dispensed By False Education Narratives

The point of being right about what is really going on in the name of education reforms is not a matter of pride of authorship or who figured out something accurately first. The point is how easy it is to create an even more psychologically intrusive version of the concerns parents are raising when it turns out that the remedies advocated for do not work as parents have been told. Before I give a current example I have noticed involving yet another acronym–GDPR–or General Data Privacy Regulation, and what actually benefits Microsoft, no matter how many times some commentator complains about Gates Foundation funding, lets go back to 1969 when one of the original Education Policy Research Centers (Syracuse, NY) was actually upfront about the intended switcheroo. Warren Ziegler wrote the report and he wanted to change the goals of education going forward in order to “shape policy not in order to accommodate ourselves to a future continuous with the past, but to bring about–to ‘invent’–a future different from and, in significant ways, discontinuous with the past…might we not think about inventing the future itself through policy implementation?”

Think about that quote as we go from false think tank narrative involving education to deliberately sponsored misinterpretations and spread deceit. Your goals as parents may well not be the goals of think tanks that are all about using planning, public policy, the law, and transformative education (unperceived as a radical shift) to change the future. Maybe the Delphi technique keeps coming up in public forums not just to control what we all think on an issue, but “to set some approximate limits within which reasonable alternative futures might be developed” as Ziegler put it. That was 1969 but reinventing the future by having education globally focus on the “values, attitudes, and behaviours that must be accepted and practiced in earnest by decision-makers as well as ordinary people…This principle of constant ‘attuning’ is central to the New Humanism. Peace and shared welfare are two sides of the same coin. And humanism is that coin” to quote from a 2014 UNESCO paper called “Envisioning a New Humanism for the 21st Century: New Avenues for Reflection and Action.”

Linking us functionally to that enhanced view of ‘self-government’ from the last post, UNESCO wants to “explore new or renewed ideas, values, attitudes, behaviours, and models, and through these to address the challenges faced by the international community.” That means UNESCO loves concentrating on local officials with political authority over just those very things. In fact, the local is probably the easiest domain for a philosophy that “seeks to create their own future…It is a resource for all individuals and all communities to pursue their own progress and development. This presupposes social inclusion of everyone and at all levels of society.” When Irina Bokova became UNESCO Director-General in 2009, her installation speech should give us all pause, especially when education is now collecting the very kind of learner analytic data in student-centered learning pilots that reveals whether her desired aims are being met.

Bokova had plans “for bringing people together and sharpening their conscience with regard to the potential of a world based on peace, democracy, justice, and human rights.” If conceptual frameworks and Disciplinary Core Ideas for math, science, and history, just to give 3 current examples, are no longer actually about the transmission of knowledge as this article still asserts misleadingly, but rather topics that can be used to solve everyday current problems and image the future as UNESCO keeps asserting, then all of these intentions are already in play unbeknownst to most of us.

If Bokova stated that it is “through the nature of their intentions and the strength of their will” that UNESCO intends to work and ‘their’ refers to human beings generally and her desire to see “peace constructed in the minds of people” we better be paying attention to those goals when all the elements  are in place or are being put in place by advocates complaining in the US about SEL abuses or the need for stronger data privacy. Remember what I said about Beware of the Offered Remedy? shows that Microsoft regards GDPR as beneficial to its business much like how Brer Rabbit felt about that Briar Patch. After all, it even boldfaced that it has the most comprehensive set of compliance offerings of any cloud service provider.

Want to make sure a school or other online education provider is in compliance with GDPR? Just load all that data gathered to Microsoft proprietary servers and they will see that you “meet your GDPR requirements.” In all my prowling across the Internet in the EU I could not find any provider who did a good job describing the nature of the data being gathered in the name of “learner analytics.” Just that the student or parent acknowledged it was being collected and was integral to the desired changes education hoped to achieve in the student. Not much of a remedy so far, is it? But wait, just like those Ronco holiday commercials when we were younger, there’s more! came out on June 5. Along with a greatly revised vision of education for the 21st century, it provides us with a new term to get us there–the Analytics Trinity.

That Trinity turns out to be data about the student “from all student learning activities and assessments” and it works just fine even if there is nothing Personally Identifiable about it, cloud processing, and machine learning. In other words, Microsoft’s model for transforming education globally is actually supercharged by GDPR as well as the Student Achievement Standards Network and the learner data it needs that the Gates Foundation has funded. The My Ways Framework from the last post feeds into that kind of data nicely and so do competency-based curriculum frameworks like the Common Core. Here we have a perfectly lovely Microsoft confession that ties to UNESCO’s goals above, the true nature of evidence-based policymaking in education, and new conceptions of accountability (my italics for emphasis):

“once you have accessible, usable data, you can report accurately, demonstrate that you are spending tax dollars effectively, measure the impact of new initiatives and comply with new sustainable development monitoring requirements in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals agenda.”

GDPR is indeed an accelerant in the UN’s agenda of reimagining the future starting with the minds and personalities of people. Let’s look once again at what Microsoft sees that vision of education as being so we can focus on where we are really going and not where think tanks want us to believe we are going. is another recent example. This transformed vision gives us still more insights into why social and emotional learning is suddenly such a necessary component of 21st century education. Microsoft looks to Daniel Pink, who says the “role of school is to help students identify their purpose, learn how to pursue that purpose, and experience achieving self-defined goals.”

It’s both ironic and tragic that two of the people who for some reason are so actively pushing these false narratives of where GDPR takes us and what the data gathering is really about, Cheri Kiesecker and Michele Malkin, are both residents of a state, Colorado, that has a Student Centered Learning Pilot with clear ties to UNESCO. To illustrate its aims we have graphics of the desired changes in the brain synapses and dendritic connections. As I warned about in the beginning, this is a dangerous area to write about if you misinterpret what you are looking at or call for remedies like GDPR that only make the problem worse. I called attention to that Colorado pilot because of this next Microsoft quote:

“For learning transformation, student centricity should be the core of your ‘disruption’. This makes it possible to move successfully from a traditional model based on mastery of a curriculum, to a model of learning that is about giving students the practical experience to achieve their personal potential.”

The latter bolding is what the Gates Foundation regards as student achievement globally and what will be called in the US–Success for All Students–under the various state plans that become operative in the upcoming 2018-19 school year. In other words, this summer is actually a crucial time for parents to toss away the false narratives and start listening to what connected organizations are saying they intend to do in the name of education, data, student-centered learning, and the future.

I really am not picking on anyone in this post or other recent ones where we showed the difference between dispersed narratives and provable facts. To some extent I think this is a matter of money or employment being available if certain memes are pushed and the pusher may have no idea what is wrong with the vision they are pushing. Remember when I called attention to how David Horowitz and the Freedom Center were pushing the “Teaching Students How to Think, Not What to Think” vision and I accurately said that supplying the desired categories of thought and concepts WAS teaching students what to think? I will close this post trying to reset the discussion in actual reality, not pretend narratives, by pointing out that Microsoft gave an example of its desired Future Ready Skills that all students are to have. They want the “Focus on teaching students how to think, not what to think.”

Not to pick on Mr Horowitz since I also found that exact same quote as an education aim in in The Conservatarian Manifesto.

See why I am so worried about the remedies being put out now?

14 thoughts on “Deciphering the Deceit to Discern Accelerants Dispensed By False Education Narratives

  1. Warren Ziegler, as you noted in an email, founded something called the Enspiriting Institute in Colorado the 1990s. It was affiliated with the Education Policy Research Centers you reference, although it is now defunct. His book, Ways of Inspiriting: Transformative Practices for the 21st Century, got a plug from Willis Harman, President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. I have not read the portions available on Google Books, but a scan of the table of contents makes it clear that it is whole-heartedly New Age. Warren’s brother, Jerome, was attached to Cornell; here is a brief bio:

    “Ziegler was dean of the College of Human Ecology from 1978-1988 and then taught in the Dept. of Policy Analysis and Management and in the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) from 2002-2011. His work as a researcher focused on urban development, working as a consultant in education and race relations for numerous public and private agencies. In 1995 he founded the Leadership Institute for School Principals, a professional education program for school leaders.”

    Cornell has custody of Jerome’s papers, and one of the boxes of that collection contains brother Warren’s papers. Here is the description of contents;

    Series X. Warren Ziegler Files (Jerome Ziegler’s Brother)
    Box 8 Folder 26
    Warren Ziegler’s Publications
    Box 8 Folder 27
    The Futures-Invention Associates Reports
    Box 8 Folder 28
    The Futures-Invention Associates Publications
    Box 8 Folder 29
    “The Tao of Spirit”
    Box 8 Folder 30
    The Futures-Invention Associates Reports and Correspondence

    Very suggestive indeed. The Tao will help us invent the future.

    I just watched a short clip of the late Yuri Bezmenov, a KGB informant who became a defector. He had spent a long time living in India after having specialized in oriental studies at the university and had nothing but contempt for the Beatles-style presentation of Eastern religion. However, he said his KGB handlers were fascinated by the phenomenon and instructed him to study it because they were convinced that it would both attract potential agents of influence within media, academia and entertainment and would further “demoralize” (idiotize) them.

    Got that right.

    • I have the Ways of Enspiriting book and finished it this morning. I did not know about his brother Jerome but the book is all about creating communities of learners and the activities are similar to what we saw the Reclaiming Jesus and Beloved Community materials from the previous post. The link to principals of Jerome Ziegler is pertinent to Fostering Communities of Learners being the measure now of who is deemed an effective principal and eligible for further promotion.

      Ziegler came to my attention because he partnered with Elise Boulding in Peace education using these same methods. As you know, it was her husband, Kenneth Boulding, who pushed systems science and viewing the mind and people as systems that could be manipulated by education activities. The cited unesco paper in this post, like Ziegler, called for a “holistic approach to education and learning that overcomes the traditional dichotomies between cognitive, emotional, and ethical aspects. Overcoming the dichotomy between cognitive and other forms of learning is increasingly recognized as essential to education.”

      The MS e-book makes it clear that the Analytics Trinity, bolstered by SEL, learning standards properly understood, and GDPR, creates “analytical tools [that] include dynamic visualization, agile algorithms, and services for unstructured data that interpret student cognitive and noncognitive data.”

    • We have talked about the ubiquity of Tranzi OBE over the decades, and the refusal of the same people who now want to make learning standards as being about traditional academics in discussing the significance of the Broward County PROMISE Program motto. Ziegler uses the term social biographyto refer to the acronym KBVAF–the student’s Knowledge, Beliefs, Values, Attitudes, and Faith. Enspiriting and desired classroom practices are all about altering the student’s social biography through classroom activities. He uses something he calls intentioning, which he says “is a far cry from goal-setting. As a discipline of the spirit, intentioning enters into conscious awareness through the form of a compelling image that describes that which you cannot not be and cannot not do.”

      That is what think tanks and political authority are imposing when they mandate and lobby for Ziegler’s practices even if they have never heard of him or read his book. This is the kind of change that UNESCO is calling for and what we also see going on in private and parochial schools where parents still mistakenly believe they are getting traditional academics. I saw Ziegler type practices in the Valor Collegiate Academies that Chan Zuckerburg, the national charter school entity, and the Aspen NCSEAD were pushing.

      The desired political plans for us rely on necessary inner transformation and that mandate needs to be mostly unappreciated to avoid widespread revolt and scrutiny. Here’s what hides now so often in mindfulness practices and required activities supposedly conducive to Restorative Justice and a Positive School Climate. Again this is Ziegler:

      ” Enspiriting leads to transformation, not just easy social or personal change. The inner dialectic of a transformation puts your social biography up against your spirit. The confrontation can be softened. It can be eased into. It can’t be avoided. The chapters on deep learning take up this confrontation between your social biography and your spirit. That confrontation is the material out of which a new ‘self’ is born. Having a community of learners to midwife this birth is, for most of us, essential. Without it, the travail–as well as the joy–becomes almost too much for a soul to bear.”

      If someone is incorrectly explaining GDPR or Project Unicorn or the reasons for constructivism or SEL and as a result, this agenda of student transformation at a physiological level for collectivist political purposes gets enabled, how can we not speak up? I feel as strongly about this as I did that I had to publish the more relevant than ever Credentialed to Destroy. There’s a reason that book has sold continuously for almost 5 years now. It does give the foundation to then hear and recognize the rest of the story.

      It makes me determined to write even though it heightens the pain levels in my knees for about 48 hours after a post. This matters greatly.

    • Wanted to make sure you saw this.

      Makes it clear that the term ‘classical education’ is in fact NOT a synonym for ‘traditional education’. I just saw today that the Circe Institute said in a new book that effective education is about instilling virtue. Who decides what the instilled virtues will be and do parents realize that the children have inculcated Habits of Mind that are not grounded in factual knowledge. Instead they are grounded in normative visions of the future, much like what Ziegler and UNESCO have in mind.

      In fact, I am adding this comment this morning after mulling over what that piece is really saying about Classical Education, especially if you read the actual EdSurge article from the head of that private school. Classical ED targets the KBVAF too. No wonder its advocates hyped SEL as about a database of PII as a diversion from the reality. I knew that Good, True, and Beautiful came up a great deal when I was tracking Integral Consciousness before my knee injury.

      I just went back and found the Ziegler quote on point and it plays right into the How to Think, not what to think push as it rejects “the KBVAF that seeks to maintain the sanctity of received truth. To apprehend our spirit and to discern out transformation involves new practices of knowing different from these.” Those are Ziegler’s italics and this is in the section called “Discerning as a Way of Knowing.” I have not covered it yet but I wrote this post knowing that UNESCO several weeks ago released its game plan to use education globally and the topics of the various disciplines to get at “human decisionmaking” to create what it calls Futures Literacy and the Discipline of Anticipation. Let’s look at this quote in light of those aims in play.

      Discerningis a way of knowing that leads to judgment. But the aim of such knowing is not to achieve certainty through proof. Such knowing is about discovery. [Inquiry learning and HQPBL?] It is about ‘seeing’ into new realities…Ours is an age of proof. That’s not what discovery is all about. In matters of the spirit, we are where we left off a few hundred years ago when enlightenment, the celebration of reason and the scientific-technological project in the West swept all before it, and transformed our way of seeing and doing with fantastic material consequences. Spirit was left out. Now we seek to bring it back in goodways, without inter-denominational violence, proselytizing, and competition, without the call for true believers and spiritual loyalty, and without the male-dominated hegemony that has characterized most of the religious institutions of the world.

      To discern what is good, true and beautiful is the focus of this discipline.

      …At the heart of the discipline is a way of knowing that is heuristic, i.e., it furthers discovery rather than closure.”

      Remember that Learn Liberty video that was all about heuristics? A phrase that is not in most people’s everyday vocabulary is not accidentally ubiquitous at the same time that new ways of thinking are being both promoted and mandated when Higher Order Thinking Skills is accurately described.

    • This is being pushed by Education Reimagined and the Learner-Centered ed template in their inaugural weekend newsletter.

      It was published a few days ago but is miraculously in sync with what Ziegler laid out in Ways of Enspiriting. We are getting the aims and techniques, but with a better sales pitch. Notice once again that ‘high stakes tests’ turn into a boogeyman to justify what is a Whole Child, change them at a neural level, reality.

  2. Robin, in your last post I linked to a formerly unknown name Marianne Brun out of the University of Illinois . Last night I came upon this gentleman, Herbert Brun, a mathematician, cyberneticist, musician also of University of Illinois who appears to be her Father. Guess the desire to control others is a family affair.

    “”From 1968–74, he co-taught courses at the Biological Computer Lab with Heinz von Foerster(Professor of Electrical Engineering, Physics, and Biology) on cybernetics, heuristics, composition, cognition, and social change. In 1974, the members of the class published the book The Cybernetics of Cybernetics.[8]””ün

    He also ” ( He ) helped found the School for Designing a Society in 1993 and taught there through the year 2000. ”

    You know how much I love Design Thinking and all of its obfuscation and incorrect definitions provided to parents ( and teachers ) as their children are ‘educated’. Of course its all cybernetics. Habits of Mind. Humans as feedback systems.

    These misanthropic control freaks need outing .

    • I actually earmarked a quote in the MS e-book as pertinent to your interest in the implications of pushing design thinking on classrooms wanting to minimize facts and linear thinking.

      Future-ready learning is a mindset that empowers students to become co-authors of their learning and tailor their activities (this is straight out of Zeigler’s hope for a transformed ed too) to meet their needs, abilities, and interests. This requires a big change in the way teachers function in the classroom, moving from…’learning as script’ to ‘learning by design.”

      I have a Von Foerster quote that goes to the same issue and fits with what we have turned up in what History Matters is pushing and that Stanford History Group.

      “First off, it’s important to see that one can learn to learn, that’s important in and of itself. As soon as such a concept arises, seeing a learning possibility in learning itself, then one sees the whole problem of learning in a completely different perspective. For example, I can then use a certain topic, let’s say, the history of Charles the Great, as a tool and not as an object to be learned. I no longer ask, ‘When was the coronation of Charles the Great?’ You no longer orient yourself toward the topic, but rather take the topic as an object with which to demonstrate learning. This step, all by itself, is so important in my opinion because using this second-order perspective we can suddenly recognize problems that we did’t perceive before.

      With learning to learn my participation takes on another quality than when I have Charles the Great’s coronation date drummed into me. I suddenly get a feel for why I’m doing all this, why I want to know it, why something is happening, and so on. I form completely different connections to that which I’m learning because the object is only a vehicle, a tool to direct my attention to learning.”

      This is not about math, history, or science as subjects to be learned. It is about using useful concepts to be cognitive tools that will guide perceptions and motivate actions towards desired new behaviors and imaging of the world and what needs to be changed. Remember too that MS is a named partner in the Center for Curriculum Redesign along with UNESCO. There is a direct link then to that Helvetica Foundation view of maths to image the future in the link to the previous post I put up a few days ago.

  3. I just want to share an article from dated yesterday. One of the clearest articles I’ve read recently outside of this website and for public consumption. Tech that is spying on/in our children’s minds and souls in order to change them.
    Thanks, Robin, for still being here doing what you’re doing throughout all your various travails. God knows we need you.

    • I think you will find this interesting from today Down Under as the students are trained to lay out the respective Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, and Dispositions they are ‘learning’.

      Notice too that the Knowledge is procedural in nature. The curriculum’s purpose is to change the nature of the child and what they can and wish to do. In this country we have too many false narratives (of which Heartland is a major dispenser) emperiling parents ability to appreciate the true nature of the shift. I know money follows the child in Australia and I would be surprised if that was not also the case already in New Zealand.

      Here in the US the School Choice advocates want impatient parents demanding that there be a way out of the over and mishyped Common Core so they deemphasize how they really work. The parents then assume Classical is a synonym for traditional or that they are escaping an emphasis on creating a steerable rudder.

    • Education Reimagined just cited to this Angela Glover Blackwell essay I had already called attention to as an example of the world ‘learner-centered education’ is preparing students for. An important confession I believe and as I have been warning about starting with Credentialed to Destroy.

      They are also pushing this and social and emotional learning standards, properly understood, are all about getting at and making purpose into a Habit of Mind grounded at a neural level.

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