Developing Adequate Personalities and Psychosynthesis: An Odd Way to Define College & Career Ready

Sometimes I think I am suspected of shopping for gruesomely grabbing quotes to try to crystallize the extent to which the new focus of education is to be at a psychological level. I wish. These well-paid, frequently tenured or pensioned-for-life clowns really do write and talk about accessing the unconscious so that future actions will be guided as if by auto-pilot. (Search out RSA Social Brain Centre & Robert Kegan if and only if you have an adult beverage handy. A sense of humor and irony will serve you well too.) I can in fact take this all forward in multiple places but first let’s go back and thoroughly check out the enduring vision. And remember we went back to look at psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli’s 1965 Psychosynthesis vision of education used interchangeably with psychotherapy as a means of creating a desired self-identity NOT because I was bored and looking for something tantalizing to read.

The League of Innovative Schools planned research involves conation and personal motivations as does the OECD’s current Subjective Well-being push. Looking into that pulled up 4 giants: Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi, and a Roberto Assagioli. Who I had never heard of. That book title was a grabber. Even more troubling was seeing the book had been brought back into print for use in 2002, 2008, and 2012. If I was role playing Sherlock Holmes we would call that a keen indicator of current interest.

As I talk in this post about targeting personal perception, if the names Yrjo Engestrom (Finland) and Evald Ilyenkov (Soviet) and the Enduring Understandings and Understandings of Consequence and the C3 Social Studies Framework component to the Common Core classroom vision are not ringing a bell or if you are new to the blog, they all have tags. They are all examples of how crucial getting at the personal perceptual level is if you have the pursuit of government power and utopian transformation of the future as a goal. Let’s go back to 1962 and a vision of dealing with the conflicts and competing ideologies involved in the Cold War globally via education. Here’s Perceiving, Behaving, Becoming:A New Focus again (my bolding):

  “The new situations and new problems we face today and which we cannot predict tomorrow call for new ways of seeing and dealing with the world. Subject matter is too often used as a way of teaching people to look backward, to recite past performances, instead of as a medium for preparing students for future developments. Content then becomes sterile, even negative, if it inhibits new leads and new solutions. Education must deal with subject matter, not as an end in itself, but as a means of helping children to achieve the intelligent imagination and creativity necessary to find adequate answers to the world’s increasingly complex problems.”

I am going to interrupt the quoting for a dictionary alert to add to your Orwellian Decoding Glossary of Education terms. That’s right. It is the ubiquitous but vague term of 21st Century schools–‘learning to learn.’ Now if the 1962 vision had gone as planned and for sure in the new Positive School Climate (PSC) classrooms of 2013 the “exciting experience of exploring and discovering meaning is the central activity.” We need a PSC of course because ALL students need to feel an ‘atmosphere’ that is ‘fundamentally accepting’ so they will NOT keep their perceptions safely tucked inside themselves. They will share with their fellow comrades, I mean students, so they can all explore for meaning. That way those personal perceptions can be examined and changed to create new ways of looking at the world.

That’s right ‘if’ the new “objective of instruction becomes that of perception building, students may become aware of, or sensitive to, the importance of meaning…They learn how perceptions or meanings are broadened or changed and how they are built. They learn how to learn.

In 2013 learning how to learn gets billed frequently as self-authoring–Robert Kegan’s 4th stage of consciousness, or Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset. It is alive and well and coming to a K-12 or college classroom or workplace retreat near you soon. The global bureaucrats and politicians and Big Business are intensely determined that this time we will get a paradigm shift, starting at the unconscious mental level. And it all really does track back to what Maslow and Rogers sought for their humanistic psychology that led to a strikingly Marxian human development vision. Today HP runs around most often calling itself Transpersonal Psychology. As always, new names for enduring transformative ideas anytime notoriety intrudes.

So one more time here’s the vision that is viewed as aiding transformative political, social, and economic change, coming in invisibly via stealth:

“It is the unsolved problem rather than the factual question and answer that encourages freedom of thought and children’s respect for their own mental processes. It can help them to change concepts in light of new evidence and to build a sense of personal responsibility for increasing knowledge and solving problems.”

That’s solving problems by creativity and imagination and feelings unimpeded by a body of knowledge about previous consequences of a similar set of facts. It may be a grand way to encourage attempts to model and redesign societies and economies but the consequences will come from reality. Not the perceptions that launched the attempts to transform. But hey, I am a history major and I just don’t see how peace in our time is going to flow from stressing “emotional as well as intellectual experiencing. Learning about people involves an empathy, a feeling with them, an acceptance of differences, and an appreciation of variability in values and behavior.” That is the kind of nonsense that forgets that there really are bullies in the world who can only be held in check from fear of power and likely retaliation. It also forgets that not all cultures are compatible or willing to co-exist peacefully. It is all a prescription to ignorantly and in good faith lay down and await your fate. No wonder history now is only about reinterpreting the present.

The ‘adequate person’ by the way reminded me greatly of the current drive that students only need to be ‘competent,’ not well informed. The adequate person in 1962 being prepped for social change was to have “a field of perceptions, rich and extensive enough to provide understanding of the events in which he is enmeshed and available when he needs them.”

Available for what? Glad you asked. So the individual “will act on his information when the appropriate time and place occur.” And this kind of hoped for behavioral pre-programming was before Big Data and adaptive computer software and the planned gaming emphasis. Same desire now but much better and effective tools.

What was so special about the 1962 new focus that has guided education as the real pursuit going forward was the “recognition of the part played by perception and the emphasis placed upon perception at the immediate moment and in the life and behavior of the individual. The job of the school is to work with present perceptions, with feelings, attitudes and ideas of learners so that they grow in the direction of greater adequacy.”

That’s adequate for the future plans of transformation. Then and now and at all times in between. Psychosynthesis‘s publication in 1965 gave another tool in targeting the psychological and conation. Assagioli regarded a search for self-identity as the new purpose of education. Of course since he was a psychiatrist, he used the techniques of psychotherapy. Now we just call the same techniques brain-based learning theories or epistemological reflection and launch them on students in return for tax dollars and tuition payments in the case of private schools and colleges and universities.

I used the term ubiquitous before and these theories are everywhere now. And not well understood. The typical doctorate program credentialing a Principal or Super doesn’t go through this as I have. It might impact the sought role as a Social Change Agent. Once again we parents, taxpayers, and students are going to be called on to understand the real drivers in education better than the credentialed professorate and the public sector and their consultants. All of whom we are paying handsomely.

I will close with a mention of a potential tragedy that happened locally last week when a middle schooler took a loaded gun to school. Parents have been concerned with how the incident was handled and what info was provided and the lack of interest in any public airing of what happened. School districts can deal with the world as it is or they can put their energy into switching to this Maslow inspired humanist psychological vision of changing the student at the level of their inner core.

But reality does intrude. I suspect another tragedy that goes all the way through is only a matter of time because the focus of the administrators at all levels is on psychological innovations to gain social transformations. While hiding from the public that this is what is up.

And duplicity takes even more energy and is a distraction from the realities all these students bring to school.

Something to keep in mind.

42 thoughts on “Developing Adequate Personalities and Psychosynthesis: An Odd Way to Define College & Career Ready

    • If you read the reports that go with the actual implementation and the footnotes, there were references to this 1962 book. And as I said Assagioli came up in the conation search.

      Kegan I already knew about from his work with Senge and integral theory with Ken Wilber. It was noticing he was the 2002 keynoter at an OECD conference on the Competencies needed for a well-functioning society that caused me to look again. (I was working on the footnotes to book and decided to revisit the primary sources because of the sudden PISA push).

      Plus certain countries are terrible about adhering to the Do Not Copy instructions and there it will be on the internet with confessions of all intentions going forward laid out.

      Because I actually do read all this stuff it is really difficult to hide behind a name change or as in the case of a Professor Baxter Margolis to not include Kegan’s name.

      Plus I like wearing Deerstalker hats. So becoming to curly hair.

  1. I do so thank you for muddling through this depressing literature designed to bend our school children and warp them from the start. In reading the four reviews of a 2000 edition of Psychosynthesis on Amazon, the first one was so pretentious I couldn’t handle the windbag and could barely stand his final 7 or 8 paragraphs, I thought, how do you do it Robin? Bless you, but you’re almost finished, and can probably see some daylight ahead, so carry on.

    • Tina-

      Given the gravity of what I have uncovered and the foreseeable consequences much less the unintended ones, how could I not?

      There’s a reason when I caught the true essence several years ago I became so determined. And I am getting help from many readers who send me stuff or have expertise that is helping me bring the book to market in a timely and professional manner.

      I am looking forward to the daylight. I would like to foster interest in readers in faraway places though. Traveling to visit would be so much fun. I really need to get out of the house and away from the computer.

  2. Another phrase hijacked and repurposed. learning how to learn. Robin might assemble a glossary of words and phrases with surprisingly different before-and-after meanings: deep learning, learning how to learn, growth, …

    And puns: “common core” seems to be be a pun, where the core refers to the student not the curriculum.

    “Learning to learn” used to mean becoming an autodidact. It was primarily a goal of university education. Your formal education is finished when you are able to continue on your own, including enough knowledge of one area of specialization that you’re able to continue the process and seek depth in whatever areas you may choose in your life. You’ve learned how to learn outside the formal setting.

    Now it means being pre-programmed with what to notice and care about, and what to do about it. And skip the deep (in the old sense) knowledge, that might get in the way of the programming.

    My older son is in high school and is in regular, not honors classes. He’s a solid student but he has to work for what he gets, because he has a learning disability. I am anormously grateful to the school district for their help. He’s on the academic track in high school, he’s taking science and accelerated math, he’s making the most of his potential. When he was a young child in another state, they wanted to put him in retarded classes and throw away his future (so they could focus all their remedial efforts on the children of illegal immigrants.)

    Anyway, in the regular Global History class he is in, the teacher is discussing the current situation in Syria instead of going back to the 1500’s to start the year. The information given is: there’s a rebel uprising in Syria. Violence started when some kids in Daraa were peacefully protesting and were killed by the government. Now kids, go watch the TV news over the long weekend and figure out what the US should do in Syria.

    The kids were never shown Syria on a map. Never told that it’s a Russian ally and their only access to a good warm water port. Never shown that it looks like part of a pathway for us to build a natgas pipeline from Saudi Arabia to Europe, thus competing with Russia to supply natgas to Europe.

    History and current events without a map. Brilliant. Well at home we have a map and we used it yesterday.

    Nothing about that Daraa is a border town, giving credence to reports of foreign involvement. Nothing about previous violence that may have predated Daraa. Nothing about the recent video of a rebel soldier, cutting open the stomach of a dead government soldier. If you’ve seen it you know how gruesome it is.

    Nothing about the reports that the rebels are tight with al Qaeda.

    Nothing about Putin’s logical argument that it was probably the rebels who did the gassing.

    Just a worksheet saying: the government couldn’t handle the civil disobedience of some school kids in a Syrian city and killed them. Now they’ve gassed their own people. Watch the corporate TV news over the weekend and tell us: What should the US do?

    God forbid that the teacher has the class draft a letter to our Senators and Representative giving their “consensus”, in time for them to vote for intervention. Then let me say that the blame for what happens would be on her soul. This feels like a full-court press, using the schools.

    If this were computerized, then there would not be a worksheet for me to look at. I wouldn’t know what my son had not been told.

    An example of providing the student with just an “adequate” field of perceptions and then engaging him in appropriate social activism. This sort of thing has always been in our schools, but I think they do less of it in honors classes where they would get more difficult questions. Everyone gets only one vote anyway. And these kids are getting within a few years of voting age.

  3. “For the last two decades, the model of the rational individual- ‘homo economicus’- that has underpinned our faith in democracy, reliance on the market, and trust in social institutions has been consistently undermined by social psychology, behavioural economics and neuroscience. The notion of a profit-maximising individual who makes decisions consciously, consistently and independently is, at best, a very partial account of who we are. Science is now telling us what most of us intuitively sense: humans are a fundamentally social species.”,-cognition-and-creativity/social-brain

    Beware of social scientists bearing claims such as “Science is telling us” etc. anything about “who we are.” After eugenics, Lysenkoism, DAGW, numerous other fraudulent eco-scares, the permissiveness movement in child-rearing begun by Dr. Spock, the sexual revolution sparked by Alfred Kinsey, and other examples that could be mentioned (many from the world of counseling psychology), all in the name of science (including that conservatives, as a group, are essentially ignorant, uneducated, simply-minded, flag-waving jingoistic bigots), there’s no reason to be fooled.

    Some people are social. Others less so, and some very little. There is no neurological mandate, across the entire human species, mandating social interaction, or rather certain forms of social interaction, and nothing in neuroscience that tells us anything about how we “should” interact, or at what levels of intensity or proximity to one another.

    Religion, philosophy, and ethics tells us something about that, but not science, which deals with empirical, quantifiable phenomena, claims about which can be verified and studies replicated by independent observers using the same research methodology, and who’s assertions can be falsified by conceivable conditions in the real, empirical world.

    I fear we have entered an era of junk science in thrall to ideology not at all unlike the 1930s.

    • Loran,

      I actually listened to this hour audio yesterday of Kegan talking about the 5th stage-self-transforming mind back in May.

      At about the 50 minute he says explicitly what I had recognized. That we are teaching these kids and adults to practice dialectical, scramble your brains thinking without saying so.

      That’s my description as scramble the brains. He merely called it dialectical and the kind of thinking that can save humanity. I think it is more like lighting a bonfire to everything that has ever worked.

      I did warn not to read without an adult beverage. is the original November 2011 report by a former student of Kegan.

      In addition Kegan’s work is the foundation for A Crucible Moment’s reenvisioning of higher ed. Which puts it at the heart of the cooperative commonwealth vision commenced by the White House with Harry Boyte in 2012.

      • So, according to the RSA document, the role of the scientist in the 21st Century is that of a provocateur and not an authority? They follow the pattern set by journalists in the 20th Century. That fits.

        • No unauthorized knowledge in this vision of the future. It really is the institutions against the people, just like feudalism in that respect. Your point reminded me of this old post involving Paul Ehrlich but also the various govt agencies in the US and UK coordinating to limit knowledge and increase control over all sectors.

          I feel a bit like the voice crying in the wilderness but it’s with lots of documentation.

          • Robin,

            Within the final quote in the article you linked to above it spoke of “developing a new workforce that excels at critical and interdisciplinary thinking.” To which you made the observation “They don’t know much and much of what they believe is false but they are passionately devoted to these beliefs and committed to acting on them.”

            The 4th dimension of the C3 Framework is to have students “take informed action.” There’s that conative stuff.

            In a local school system the social studies department made a curriculum out of the C3 using Lynn Erickson’s Structure of Knowledge—no surprise there, and all predicated on a definition of curriculum by Hilda Taba. The definition wasn’t unusual but I wondered why they were reaching back to Taba, and I still am.

            So we now have the institutions controlling what kids know (cognitive), shaping how they should feel about it (affective), and spurring them on to do something about it (conative). That’s a powerful package.

          • It absolutely is. These are totalitarian instruments which the RSA report basically acknowledges but then acts like it is OK because the intentions are good.

            No, actually I don’t think they are. I also think that is why the C3 Framework came out Thanksgiving week when people are busy. Me, I was trying to keep from worrying about a family member so I dove into my work particularly hard. The state schools’ organization, CCSSO, has since said it is not formally sponsoring C3. But it is still the Social Studies framework. The National Society for Social Studies Education, NSSE, has a global partner and they are formally a part of the Belmont Challenge. Which helps explain why the interest in systematic change.

            Assagioli mentions numerous times what types of personalities it is dangerous to use these techniques on but since global transformation has been so long delayed now, all warnings are being ignored.

          • That’s interesting that the CCSSO says that it not sponsoring the C3. The CCSSO logo is on the title page and in the introduction they admit to “facilitating” the process of creating the document. It’s mind boggling.

          • That withdrawal was within the last few months. Yes the duplicity involved in all this maneuvering is mind-boggling.

            And since ed may be the method of getting massive behavioural change but AGW is the excuse on why it is necessary, this would be an oops.

            As you know pushing climate change and systemic modelling is built into that C3 Framework AND the Next Generation Science Standards and also the definition of Global Competence itself being pushed.

          • That’s hysterical—the BBC predicting the arctic would be “ice-free” by 2013 (also, the link from within the article had been removed). Equally laughable is the countries funding the IPCC demanding 1500 changes. It’s like a prince telling Mozart how to compose a concerto.

  4. “The emerging early 21st century view of human nature is richer and more complex. We are

    Constituted by evolutionary biology
    Embedded in complex social networks
    Largely habitual creatures
    Highly sensitive to social and cultural norms
    More rationalising than rational.”

    Translation: human beings are complex organic machines, wholly the product of mechanistic, biological forces, our minds being nothing more than an epiphenomena of those biological forces, who are primarily creatures of conditioning and stimulus-response, and who are fundamentally irrational and herd-oriented.

    In other words, human beings are specimens in a social-ideological Petri dish to be manipulated by “the experts” for our own good and for the “common good” as determined by “the experts.”

    The West needs no Islamists baying for our blood outside the city gates. Most of our most determined enemies are right within our own precincts, teaching our children, and teaching the teachers who teach our children.

    • Rather than use education to help children overcome their baser instincts and gain access to their mind’s power, the purpose of the new education is to mobilize those baser instincts of self and others to put the mind in its place. And that place isn’t to be on top.

  5. Thanks for the links to the RSA site. I hadn’t heard of this group before, and I’ve downloaded a bunch of their stuff and will be reading it today. Based on what I’ve read thus far, its the same old warmed over Utopian collectivism wrapped in the folds of “neuro” and hence “science” and all in the name solving pressing social problems facing the 21st century such as “climate change” and the fact that some people make more money than other people

    Well, that’s where Uncle Karl started us, isn’t it, with “scientific socialism.”

  6. So, if you wanted to infiltrate the system, and get a $40K job with most of the summer off to boot, just dust off that old certificate, rewrite your resumé, and lesson plans using the jargon and quotes that Robin finds such as “…providing my students a field of perception, rich and extensive enough to provide understanding of the events in which the student is enmeshed and available when he needs them.”
    Then spend all your time doing PBiS/ PCS committee, collecting collectivist data on your students and kissing up to the admin de’jour.

    • George,

      I think later we will find that we are spending now far more on education than the value of the psychologized output.

      A bit like the Germans spending $26 billion on Green Energy with a market value of $3 billion.

      A government-centric economy is horrifically wasteful because it gets benefits from picking winners but does not visibly bear the costs of the consequences of its policies. Much like ed.

      • Since the US has already experienced German-style government-funded-wasted green energy, how soon do we get German style homeschooling?

        • As in criminal activity?

          I think at this point that is a political hot potato that would force recognition of what is really going on. Easier will be the remake of the SAT away from knowledge to these indeterminate situation/higher order dialectical thinking where home schoolers will not do well and will now know precisely why unless they read this blog.

 is from UK on measuring cooperation using Kegan’s criteria. How do you think home schoolers would do? When the doors to future advancement in a Qualifications Framework planned economy are closed, homeschoolers will have to voluntarily rejoin the credentialling system.

  7. I am leading an effort to stop implementation of Common Core in Palos Verdes CA (coastal community just south of LA). At the end of the argument I am always asked: If our kids do not take the CC tests, how will they be admitted to the best colleges (as they are now)? The SATs are controlled by David Coleman. What can I say to these parents who are concerned about Common Core?
    Please keep up your fantastic work.
    Bill Lama

    • Hi Bill.

      Welcome to ISC. This January post explaining the true nature of a performance assessment is a good start to get at the radically different nature of what an assessment is and why it is not synonymous with a test.

      You will also see I have tags for the terms “rigor” and “higher order thinking skills.” Also Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge. All of those have Orwellian meanings I have laid out.

      The Hewlett Foundation is deeply involved in the actual implementation and has said in writing CC is not about content. is the post explaining their vision.

      I also wrote a post on the 2010 Framework for Equity and Transformative Improvement in Education put out for all students by California Tomorrow. is that post.

      All of that should lay a good foundation for preparing you for what is actually coming to the classroom under the misleading banner of the Common Core.

      • Speaking of definitions, this one is interesting. You may already have posted it, but repetition won’t hurt. It come from the glossary of the National Council for Education Statistics: “any systematic procedure for obtaining information from tests and other sources that can be used to draw inferences about characteristics of people, objects or programs.” This makes it clear that the purpose of the Common Core assessments is not to measure academic achievement but to “characterize” and therefore label individuals according to categories. It turns the entire student population and their families into specimens for social scientific clinical analysis, along with the “objects” and “programs” referred to in the definition. Who’d have thought it?

        • That’s a good one Deborah. Helps guide us towards the “social and moral development” that the Canadians have conceded is what they mean by the common core. Of course they are using the same materials we Americans are citing as part of the Positive School Climate push here.

          It has been interesting the last several days as I read, say Assagioli, and then recognize a commonality with someone I have written about, say a Alice Bailey or Peter Senge, and then out pour the connections. And then frequently pulling Maslow and Rogers back in as well.

          Remember that Tom Vander Ark quote about using digital literacy to create personal Motivational Disposition profiles? Someone wants to know what buttons to push to stealthily advance this insiders-only Statist vision.

      • Robin,
        Thanks for the good info. However, it doesn’t address the question of what happens if a school district opts out of Common Core. What criteria will colleges use for admission? Can I give the parents any assurance that grades, activities and such will be sufficient? What about the SAT’s? Do you know what the states that did not join Common Core are thinking about college admission?

        • The SAT is being redone for fall 2015 I believe to align with being college and career ready. You will find no one ever references the Common Core as what is being followed. It is always either the college and career standards or the standards for teaching and learning. Both bring in the sociocultural and higher order thinking skills emphasis that is dialectical. It’s about how students react to nonlinear problems that have no set answer that they have never been taught. The only way to get good at that is lots of practice thinking dialectically. Which is the whole idea because you are teaching kids to think ideologically through the assigned lenses whatever the actual facts.

          This treats ed as a system and a key component of those Race to the Top applications and grants has been to get the higher ed systems in all these states on board with not questioning the credentials of anyone from a school or district using the Common Core. They had to agree no more remediation as that has been seen as a barrier to gaining higher ed credentials since those courses were non-credit-bearing. But if CCSSI had actually been about content, you would not need higher ed to sign off in advance like that.

          Remember also that AACU is pushing this education for democracy and justice vision and they have developed those 10 Essential Learning Outcomes applicable to K-12 and higher ed. And so has the land grant college trade group-AACSU. They are part of that American Commonwealth Partnership vision that commenced in 2012. is what is being pushed via higher ed that connects to all this whether you have adopted CCSSI or not.

          The intention is a fundamental transformation starting at the noetic level.

          Plumbing may be the best option.

          I have mentioned Robert Kegan several times in recent posts. Not only is K-12 being remade around his work but so is higher ed. With the accreditors acting as the enforcers of the vision.

          Texas and Virginia are 2 of the states that did not join CCSSI but both are heavily involved in creating the new attached higher ed reforms. In part because both Va and Texas were early adherents of outcomes based education so it was higher ed that most needed to be pulled into line.

          So if you don’t fall in line the graduates can essentially be blackballed for noncompliance. If the districts implement as desired they are shifting to an intentional brain scrambling, personality manipulation template. It is a bit like armed barbarians behind Door #1 and cannibals behind Door #2 and the platform retreating back into the wall. I can only tell the story so everyone goes to the platform armed in advance to deal with the cannibals or barbarians.

          • I read it and then calculated it against my youngest child’s high school career. And I noticed what terms he used. As I have been building up on-college and career ready is partly a desired state of mind.

            David is also assembling quite a team at the College Board and I think that is where the Gordon Commission’s work will really come into play. The common link to Educational Testing Service.

            The bad news is that education is being revamped as a total system. The good news is I have found and am monitoring all those pieces. My little brain hurts.

    • Also be on the look out for the Linked Learning planned remakes of the nature of high schools. It came out of Jeannie Oakes work before she moved out from UCLA to the rich coffers of the Ford Foundation.

      Linked Learning takes CA high schools toward the old polytech for all vision. In Ga it is pushed as Career Pathways for All Students.

      In other states I am seeing comparable pushes coming out of Governor’s offices as they push a theme of Workforce Development with current large employers. It’s a stagnant, fixed pie vision of the economy that will likely gut the ability of the economy to even stay even. To gain power, we are undermining the historical foundation of technological progress. Which in turn drives the economy.

      • Does that mean internships for all students?

        What company is willing to have interns from the lower half of an average high school class?

        I mean seriously how is this going to work?

        • It only works in a public sector dominated economy and in that vision, reality intervenes and the economy itself ceases to work well. Like right now but you will see all over the world that these economic doldrums are being erroneously attributed to a crisis of capitalism. So the damage caused by previous interventionism becomes the excuse for ever greater interventionism.

          This theory of human development teaches that human differences are due largely to differences in environment–physical as well as financial resources. The idea is that with a social welfare states differences in ability will diminish.

          But let’s face it, all of this is just wishful thinking to propel us towards Global Statism in a very benito “everything within the state” vision that will seize up the economy. And Syria is a reminder that turning the other cheek and dialogueing to reach a consensus is frequently just a recipe for becoming roadkill.

  8. Disturbing Forecasts

    The RSA links provide more grounds for fear and foreboding.

    The Social Brain Project !

    We could reckon that some interconnectedness was behind much of what is being conveniently dubbed 21st Century Learning. Now it’s becoming more apparent.

    We should be grateful for home educators and faith based schools for being there versus the psychological homogenization that seems to be emerging from state efforts in public education.

    [It’s a bit of a detour from the essay, but let’s look at the word homogenize — standardize, regulate, normalize, regiment, emulsify, mash, pulverize, hammer, puree, whip, beat, smooth. Helps visualize the process, eh?]

    This week RSA has published a new report as a tool in their agenda — Empowering Parents, Improving Accountability.,-improving-accountability

    As a parents rights follower for the last 40 years I’m dubious that this report is really meant to help parents other than have them continue supporting large scale state projects. It’s still “elite capture” — a system running for it’s own vested interests. Parent sovereignty is not on the horizon.

    I do see that this project goes beyond just keeping parents in line. It has convened an “expert group” to also provide assistance to media and public and besides providing data will also “use value terms/meaning rather than numbers”. Here will come the social emotional competencies . . .

  9. The more I learn the more frightened I become. The states that did not join CC and the ones who are disengaging will presumably not teach the CC curriculum nor take the CC assessments. That’s probably the case with Sidwell Friends and other super-elite schools. Will the students in those states and schools take the new SATs designed by Coleman the manipulator? Or will they opt out of those and base their college applications on course grades? Does anyone know if those states and private schools have a strategy?

    • I don’t have any special knowledge about the assessments, but two thoughts occur to me:

      (1) Doing the same as the elite schools is probably not a bad idea. Somehow they’ll take care of their kids, and you can slip into the same pathway.

      (2) There’s also the ACT. I read that recently the ACT surpassed the SAT in number of tests taken per year — it’s out-competing the SAT.

      So part of Coleman’s mandate for the ETS to shake things up may at least find a receptive hearing because they are not feeling complacent with the market status quo any more. Anyway, it means the ACT is a fully legit test and probably accepted by most schools, so you could just suggest that kids take that instead.

      • David–
        Oh, believe it: ACT is in on the game.
        (Taken from ACT website; link below)
        How will modifications better align the ACT with the Common Core State Standards?
        Decades of student performance data from ACT’s flagship assessment, the ACT, were a critical resource for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) writing teams as they determined what content to include as requirements of college and career readiness for all students. The ACT, however, has not been a static test. It is constantly being reviewed and updated through information derived from the ACT National Curriculum Survey and other data and information available to ACT. As an additional enhancement to the evolving life cycle of this well-established and respected assessment, the ACT will be adjusted thoughtfully and gradually to more clearly reflect alignment with CCSS for grades 11 and 12 by including the following changes:
        • A redesigned and enhanced overall reporting structure that includes an alignment to CCSS while retaining the utility of an ACT Composite score for college readiness
        • The addition of questions on the Reading Test that address whether students can integrate knowledge and ideas across multiple texts
        • The inclusion of additional statistics and probability items in the Mathematics Test to allow for reporting of student achievement in this area
        • The introduction of optional constructed-response tasks in mathematics, reading, and science—offered alongside the existing optional direct writing assessment—assessing whether students can justify, explain, and use evidence to support claims.
        Pasted from
        I have a nearly-16 year old whom I pulled out of school about three years ago, when I finally woke up and recognized that something horrible was happening in our schools, though I couldn’t say what it was. As a family, we have always valued education (my husband obtained his PhD in Speech Communication from the UW and is currently a tenured professor at a local community college); however, higher education is no longer the same animal it once was. We are no longer promoting college for our child as a matter of course. In fact, we are preparing him to think “outside the box”, i.e., by supporting himself on a black market (which may be the only true free-market system that will exist for him) if it ever comes to that (and we think it will).

        The more I learn about the nefarious goals of TPTB the less inclined I am to participate or encourage the future participation of my child. In fact, my husband is preparing for the possibility of having to face losing his job rather than submit to the changes going on there.

        I assume everyone has read the Marc Tucker letter to Hillary Clinton written back in November 1992? ( I’ve only just found it myself.

      • Bill & David,

        I think you will both find this report interesting. It shows first of all that Common Core is learning standards, not content.

        Notice the connection of Bridgespan to the Hewlett Foundation and Google and Bain Consulting and Harvard Business. I guess it will close the gender gap too if you read the recent NYT story.

        One point on Kentucky is that they pioneered outcomes based education as a state in the 90s so this is more of the same continuum for them.

        Hillsborough has been piloting the Gates Funded-Charlotte Danielson aligned Measures of Effective Teaching push already that is going national and had Cambridge Education come in more than 2 years ago to tell all their schools and teachers to step away from content and move the the student centered approach. The article acknowledges they have PLCs so many of the planned coercion tactics to prevent teachers from closing the door and teaching content are already in place there.

  10. Listening to this podcast
    (via the search terms at the top of this post)

    I am really starting to think Robert Kegan is the devil. I feel very dirty just listening to the guy. It’s hard for me to spend much time with it. I’ve been wanting to finish this little comment for a week now.

    To make sense of it, I think he has several personality levels and he mentions the “top” three:

    3. socialized mind (go along with the group)
    4. self authoring mind. (you have your own principles)
    5. self transforming mind (you recognize that different, contradictory sets of principles each have their strengths and weaknesses; supposedly a human cannot achieve this before midlife.)

    He admits there can be something like
    6. synthesized mind that unifies and finds sense between different systems of principles

    but he admits he’s not there yet and his instruments can’t detect it.

    Since I think 6. is not so unusual among moderately perceptive people (what does this say about Kegan?) he’s probably mislabeling some 6’s as 4’s and even 3’s with his flawed instruments. And an educational system built around his ideas would only be good for the least resonant among us.

    Like all the other authoritarian crap of especially the past 15 or so years, it’s sort of obviously stupid. It feels like we all are going to be forced to act retarded now.

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