Driving Behavioral Change by Building a Different Kind of Brain Circuit in Students: Unity for Our Strife-Driven World?

Let’s finally get to the end of the Trilogy on Enactive Cognitive Science which is not really about how human minds work. It is about how the human mind can be made to work when immersed repeatedly in the ‘right-kind’ of experiences. As we will see, virtual reality and digital technologies are seen as a Godsend to aspirations that go back to 1932 Congress of the International League for a New Education in Nice, France stating:

The current crisis calls for a worldwide concentration of all the efforts made towards a renovated education. In 20 years, education could transform the social order and establish a spirit of cooperation susceptible of finding solutions to our present problems. Only an education that completely redefines the relationships with the children can start a new era, freed from the ruinous competitions, the biases, the concerns and miseries so characteristic of our civilization.

That aspirational quote from the past was in an insert from UNESCO’s MGIEP publication Blue Dot, Issue 8 (July 2018), article called “Learnification: Encouraging Learning Through Video Games” that also informed us that:

Education can no longer mainly be focused on reproducing content knowledge; it evolves too fast, and has never been so broadly shared and so easily accessible. Educational success is now more about what people are able to do with what they know, how they adapt and how they behave. It is more about being versatile, about constantly adapting and constantly learning and growing in a fast-changing, hyper-connected world.

A renovated education needs to balance content knowledge and understanding with skills that help students extrapolate what they know, and with curiosity, motivation, and socio-emotional intelligence that will teach them to consider the wider implications of their actions, and to act mindfully.

I found that issue because to a cited author in this India Today story from a few days ago https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/how-a-global-citizenship-curriculum-could-create-the-empathetic-citizens-we-need-in-future-to-save-the-world-1642944-2020-02-03, Professor Duraiappah, also wrote the lead-in called “Technology: A Game Changer in Education”. Today’s title came from the article’s aspiration to use  a new curriculum to “to incorporate MGIEP’s socio-emotional learning framework titled EMCC or EMC2 and aims to build empathy, mindfulness, compassion and critical inquiry in students.” Sounds complementary to the Right Brain planned dominance covered in Part 1 of this Trilogy, doesn’t it?

With proper socio-emotional training, children understand how to deal with their emotions better. Apart from building emotional resilience, they effectively learn how to control their behaviour and relationships with others.

SEL training focuses on the core personality traits of students and develops them into wholesome human beings rather than specifically targeting subject-knowledge.

Moreover, SEL can serve as a proactive measure to prevent mental health illness, reduce stress, anxiety, depression and impulsive behaviour.

Why do we need a Global Citizenship Curriculum?

“Global citizens can be described as lifelong learners, who possess the critical consciousness to drive ‘active citizenship’, to recognize the inherent interconnectedness and dignity of all life, and instill the values of acceptance, equality, respect for diversity, empathy and compassion,” explains Prof. Anantha Duraiappah, Director, UNESCO MGIEP.

Now, it is not possible for students to suddenly transform their behaviours. Thus, the curriculum needs to be created in a way that can train the students and drive behavioural change by building a different kind of brain circuit.

Building a different kind of brain circuit. Hard to get more explicit about the real purpose of learning standards and global competency frameworks than that, is it? Here’s a bit more and think Axemaker Mind as a metaphor for what must be changed by the planned curriculum delivered in a virtual environment by digital technologies.

This means that the usual way their brains worked in certain situations would need to be changed via extensive training to build both intellectual and emotional intelligence. This is the kind of transformation that the Global Citizenship Curriculum aims to bring.

“MGIEP’s Global Citizenship (GC) curriculum is designed to inculcate such behavioural change. It advocates that it is not enough just informing students about why one must be a global citizen but to also inculcate the competencies of understanding the ‘other’ and doing concrete action to foster global citizenship,” Prof Duraiappah adds.

Going back to that earlier article from the Blue Dot, it ended with the aspiration that:

Education needs to change in order to prepare the future generations not only to thrive as individuals, but also to take up the incredibly complex challenges humanity as a whole will face in the near future. We need a renovated education system to save the world. And, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, we might need video games to save education.

Before we cover all these plans for manipulative virtual reality environments some more because of the planned experiences to create new neural Habits of Mind they can provide, let’s look at two more books that also cover the crucial effect of experience: The Biology of Belief and The Embodied Mind. As the first book cited put it:

I call it the belief effect to stress that our perceptions, whether they are accurate or inaccurate, equally impact our behavior and our bodies…[a] whole new field of research called behavioral epigenetics [whose] mission… is nothing less than to figure out how nurture shapes nature…Here, nature refers to gene-controlled characteristics, and nurture refers to the influence of a wide range of life experiences, from social interactions to nutrition to positive mental attitudes.

So when another Blue Dot article on Virtual Reality in Education tells us that “Pedagogically, these types of interactive VR display systems can offer major advantages over other visualisation media, because of the engaging, immersive and interactive (active rather than passive) nature of the learning experience they create,” we need to recognize this as the manipulation of experience that it is. In fact, MGIEP notes that it “collaborated with Google to develop several 360-degree expeditions,” which again matters because Google is also the Vatican’s partner in using education to achieve Humanity 2.0 and was the developer behind Search Inside Yourself from Post 1. All of these see VR and embedding SEL within its experiences as a means for “transforming education for building peaceful and sustainable societies. It [MGIEP] sees immersive experiences such as VR as an integral part of SEL for our younger generations as they face 21st century challenges to build a peaceful and sustainable planet.”

The Biology of Belief provided this succinct explanation of the role of experience without regard to how the concept can be turbocharged for manipulation via VR and immersive digital environments that include what parents have been told are simply ‘digital textbooks’. Look for the Immersive Experience could be the warning label!

The same epigenetic influences also continue after the child is born because parents [and then educators] continue to influence their child’s environment. In particular, fascinating new research is emphasizing the importance of good parenting in the development of the brain. ‘For the growing brain of a young child, the social world supplies the most important experiences influencing the expression of genes, which determines how neurons connect to one another in creating the neuronal pathways which give rise to mental activities.’

The bookwent on to urge parents to act as ‘genetic engineers’ to provide the right kind of environment to “activate the genes to develop healthy brains,” but as the Blue Dot cover story “A New ‘Digital Ecosystem’ for Whole Brain Learning” made clear, parents are no longer to be the primary ‘genetic engineers’. From the article with the same co-author as cited by India Today above:

To summarise, new digital learning environments engage students in ‘real world-like’ interactions forcing them to use multi-sensory ways to learn. Resources from technology can provide access to multiple simulated environments and virtual reality experiences in novel situations, enabling students to experience the real-world relevance of their learning. For instance, learning platforms facilitate building skills of collaboration and communication. Similarly, digital games have emerged as a novel methodology to teach and assess both prosocial behavior and socio-emotional skills. The digital gaming scenario lends itself rather appropriately for SEL since it allows stealth assessments in real-world scenarios and opportunities to intervene and remediate them when necessary.

Who do you think evaluates such a necessity and whose vision lies behind the Learning Trajectories for remediation? As usual I am running long, but imagine the uses of this recognition that “genes are shaped, guided, and tailored by environmental learning experiences” when tied to digital VR student environments and remediation tied to global learning standards and frameworks. The Biology of Belief illustrates the role of environment and experience by pondering the effect on Liza Minnelli of being raised not in Hollywood by her “superstar mother Judy Garland and her father filmmaker Vincent Minnelli,” with its highs and lows of stardom and abuse, but:

If Liza had the same genes but was raised by a nurturing Pennsylvania Dutch farming family, that environment would have epigenetically triggered a different selection of genes. The genes that enabled her to pursue a successful entertainment career would likely have been masked or inhibited by the cultural demands of her agrarian community.

Masked or inhibited. Now imagine the effect of all this planned role playing in virtual reality with the provided student experiences grounded in how “the actual connections among ensembles of neurons change as the result of experience. In brief, these ensembles present us with a self-organizing capacity that is nowhere to be found in the paradigm for symbol manipulation.” That latter is a quote from The Embodied Mind, which recognized that:

it makes no sense to speak of brains as though they manufacture thoughts the way factories manufacture cars. The difference is that brains use processes that change themselves–and this means we cannot separate such processes from the products they produce. In particular, brains make memories, which change the way we’ll subsequently think. The principal activities of brains are making changes in themselves.

I am going to close today’s post on how neuroscience can create the very needed experiences using digital technologies to alter how most students brains will be wired. Many such changes have already taken place and such neural transformations go to the very essence of what learning standards tied to data standards seek to alter.

Such neural transformations that go to the dialectical nature of brain activity in conjunction with its environment, whether natural or artificial, are the essence of what stakeholders all over the world mean when they proclaim the upcoming Sustainable Future. It is why “it will be necessary to use performance-based assessments as manifested in behavior” that cross-check what students do in ‘novel situations’ instead of what they know from the past or how the world works in external reality now.

As usual, I am glad we know what is planned for us and our children, even if it is not particularly pleasant. If experience alters neural wiring in meaningful ways, knowledge of these plans helps us retain the ability to still act as ‘genetic engineers’.

 

53 thoughts on “Driving Behavioral Change by Building a Different Kind of Brain Circuit in Students: Unity for Our Strife-Driven World?

  1. This is no doubt an ‘aside’, but maybe we should dig into what Jordan Peterson has written/said about the mass of crap research that is attached to psychology/education. And, he did call Daniel Goleman out as being, shall we say, not academically equipped to have performed the research he allegedly and poorly performed regarding “Emotional Intelligence”.

    My feeling is that when the word “intelligence” is conjoined with words like emotional, cultural, global — it simply means ‘awareness’ or ‘apprehension’ of qualities attached to these phenomena. I may be wrong, here, but I think there is an issue when analogizing the other ‘Q’s’ with IQ (what occurs in the popular mind), in that IQ is, in theory, a fixed state, whereas, we are bombarded with messages to the effect that we can develop, grow, expand our EQ, CQ, GQ, and other Q’s.

    On EQ, even my degreed in material science research partner saw issues in Goleman’s research model and pointed these out. On my own part, I had 170 I.O.P’s telling me for years that EQ has not been validated, ergo does not exist as we understand it.

    So, how about going after this bunch on the rigor level.

    • Goleman is a shill to beat all shills. Have you looked at all into his family of origen? If I recall correctly his mother is certifiable . Makes one wonder about how his insecure attachment is acted out on the grand stage. Talk about an ought self for sale. Sheesh. Goleman is also Naomi Wolf’s uncle. She too is a Soros/ Oxford Scholar/Fabian shill for the new totalitarians. Just a little adoration and praise to these two and they will hustle whatever you make them think is their own idea.

      • All true, but I think it is his mother-in-law who is bonkers. In any case, the research model was BS and armies of people know about this, but nobody says a ‘word’. Your wizard word lexicon is helpful and humourous.

        • Look what I found that fits with my recollection.

          Senior editor Michael Szpir interviewed Goleman late last year to hear his thoughts about the recent convergence of the brain sciences and Eastern spirituality.

          How did you become interested in the relation between Buddhist and Western approaches to understanding the mind? Do you consider yourself a Buddhist?

          Back in the early 1970s, when I was completing my doctorate in psychology at Harvard, I had a predoctoral traveling fellowship (from the Ford Foundation) and then a postdoc (from the Social Science Research Council), which gave me the opportunity to spend a total of two years in Asia, particularly India, Sri Lanka and Dharamsala (a “little Tibet” in the Himalayan foothills). While there I began to study the Asian religions as theories of mind. I was surprised to find fully articulated systems of psychology—generally little known—at the heart of these religions; the most fully articulated was “Abhidharma,” a Buddhist system of thought. This system describes how the mind works, and how that process gives rise to ordinary states of suffering, and remedies—especially meditation. I, of course, had never heard of this psychology in my study of psychology in the West, even though it has been in full and continuous operation for more than 1,500 years. (The hubris of Western psychology holds that the discipline began in Europe and America in the early part of the 20th century.)

          On my return to the United States I began to write about this system—in my first book, The Meditative Mind, in a textbook on theories of personality, and in some obscure journals—and to do research on meditation as an antidote to stress reactivity (for my dissertation). At the time, as I recall, there was little interest among my professional colleagues. However, I began meditating at about that time and have continued on and off over the years. I experimented with many different varieties of meditation (that was the main topic of my book) and over the years settled into a Buddhist method called mindfulness, and most recently I have been working with Tibetan teachers. Given the recent findings (summarized in Destructive Emotions) that seem to indicate a positive neuroplasticity—for example, shifts to a more positive daily mood range—I’ve tried to make more time for it.

          http://www.buddhanet.net/psychotheraphy3.htm That also fits with the aspirations for education laid out in The Embodied Mind and SIYLI from Post 1. I think I have written about how Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote the Foreword when the book was republished as a new edition on January 13, 2017. Proof that its points are once again in the ascension.

      • I remembered writing about Goleman years ago and his ties to Buddhism and a well-known ashram, but apparently he is tied to the Holos Consciousness Dalai Lama too. https://www.businessinsider.com/daniel-goleman-on-his-friendship-with-the-dalai-lama-2015-7 and https://hbr.org/2015/05/what-the-dalai-lama-taught-daniel-goleman-about-emotional-intelligence

        We also have this with CASEL’s Richard Davidson that puts the presence of mindfulness at the core of the GCC into its proper context. https://www.lionsroar.com/how-meditation-changes-your-brain-and-your-life/

        We just keep coming back to the aspiration to change the brain as we noticed in the original MGIEP post from late last summer. invisibleserfscollar.com/driving-behavioral-change-by-building-a-different-kind-of-brain-circuit-in-students-unity-for-our-strife-driven-world/

        There is also this: https://www.westchesterbuddhistcenter.org/audio-daniel-goleman

        For more than half a century, in such books as The Art of Happiness and The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace, the Dalai Lama has guided us along the path to compassion and taught us how to improve our inner lives. In A Force for Good, with the help of his longtime friend Daniel Goleman, the New York Times bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence, the Dalai Lama explains how to turn our compassionate energy outward. This revelatory and inspiring work provides a singular vision for transforming the world in practical and positive ways.

        Much more than just the most prominent exponent of Tibetan Buddhism, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is also a futurist who possesses a profound understanding of current events and a remarkable canniness for modern social issues. When he takes the stage worldwide, people listen. A Force for Good combines the central concepts of the Dalai Lama, empirical evidence that supports them, and true stories of people who are putting his ideas into action—showing how harnessing positive energies and directing them outward has lasting and meaningful effects. Goleman details the science of compassion and how this singular guiding motivation has the power to:
        break such destructive social forces as corruption, collusion, and bias
        heal the planet by refocusing our concerns toward our impact on the systems that support all life
        reverse the tendency toward systemic inequity through transparency and accountability
        replace violence with dialogue
        counter us-and-them thinking by recognizing human oneness
        create new economic systems that work for everyone, not just the powerful and rich
        design schooling that teaches empathy, self-mastery, and ethics

        Notice that last one especially about ‘design schooling’. And so they have and in it comes in the name of anti-bullying, Positive School Climate, resilience, factors for achieving success, Whole Brain, Whole Child, etc.

          • Well, he makes a statement in that interview that he took up meditation after he got back to the states which is almost certainly a lie. That’s like saying you learned to swim AFTER living in the Caribbean for several years and returning home. I do remember reading somewhere that he was a speechwriter for Al Gore when he was VP and I wanted to put up this quote from the interview where Goleman brought in Martin Seligman.

            {Szpir Q] I was struck by a comment in your book on how Western science tends to take a negative view of human nature—for example, by explaining altruism as an evolutionary strategy to improve one’s own genetic fitness (and thus a selfish act)—whereas Buddhism emphasizes the importance of compassion in human motivations. What are your thoughts on how (or whether) science might incorporate a more positive/Buddhist view of human nature?

            [Goleman Answer] A more positive view has already been introduced into psychology, though not from Buddhism. Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, has spearheaded a large movement in psychology to study more vigorously positive states and experiences, like “flow” during optimal performance, as well as motivations like compassion. The movement has come in reaction to the earlier out-of-proportion focus on negative states and dysfunction that typified psychology in the last century.

            Goleman also brings up Francseco Varela and “neurophenomenology”. Varela is the lead co-author of The Embodied Mind and Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi is a phenomenologist and it is his vision of Excellence that becomes a mandate for education under civil rights laws as Equity and Excellence. In other words, Equity mandates a phenomenological mind push, not an analytical/ Axemaker one that a minority possess and which is less susceptible to manipulation.

            Remember too that whether Emotional Intelligence is a scam, these practices do rearrange neural connections. It works much like Guiding Fictions because it is beliefs that matter to motivations to act, which in turn affect neurophysiology. Remember also that one of the German sociologists I wrote about who worked with Anthony Giddens said it didn’ matter if CAGW was true or fals, because belief in it led to desired actions and that was the real point. I remember now. I think it was Ulrich Beck.

          • Harvard and the Dalai Lama are staples in a number of fake bios…through in a little ersatz Buddhist practice, too.

            I consider Erhard’s profile to have been an exemplar. I mean this guy was/is one of the crudest pieces of work imaginable, yet he is flitting around Tibet on a visa even the State Department cannot figure out at the time and imbibing the ‘ineffable’. It’s really comical.

            Ditto for some many attached to the Esalen Institute — where, I believe, they received their ‘roles’ and marching orders. Currently investigating the person of ‘Sir’ John Whitmore, British ‘aristocrat’ and race car driver, who: upon seeing the film, “Bob, Carol, Ted & Alice” (a 70’s paean to “getting real with your best friend’s wife”, decides he must “get real”, too, and at the Esalen Institute, where he ‘studies psychology’, develops seminal models for the coaching field, AND assessment tools, and begins his ‘journey’ as a Johnny Appleseed of self-actualization. John was assigned, I believe, a precinct in the now, EU, for his evangelism. And, funnily, McKinsey helped out with all of this after partners at that firm were TRANSFORMED by Whitmore’s ‘technology’. McKinsey has remained deeply entrenched in all things ‘ontological’, and woo.

            Anyway, lots of stories like Whitmore’s who spent his later life engaged in channeling and other spiritualism activities, in an effort to find his ‘true’ self-i-ness. His wife/widow was/is involved with Findhorn, the U.K. equivalent of Esalen.

    • The EQ discussion brought to mind the Learning Styles of 30 or 40 years ago. Howard Gardner was the big name attached to this one, and no accident that he is also big into Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. Anyway, Peterson does a job on Learning Styles, too; no credible research to support Learning Styles. Whenever someone tells me he/she has a kinetic or auditory “learning style,” I ask how he/she was taught to read. If your brain has been scrambled into dyslexia via Whole Word, naturally, your learning is diverted to your ears or your fingertips. This is the basis for classroom “accommodations” provided for students with learning disabilities.

      • Speaking of Humanity 2.0 and the Vatican have you seen this?

        Matthew Sanders – CEO/Co-Founder, Humanity 2.0: 02:02

        Well, thanks Matt. I mean, I appreciate you saying that. I mean, as to why people came. I mean, we were even surprised. We sent out around 400 invitations and we were told to expect about 5% of people would confirm and, it was 40%. So that’s one of the reasons why our event was over capacity, which is a high class problem. But I think it speaks that people right now are starting to realize that humanities kind of at a crossroads, we’re another one of those points where we can kind of go right or left. And you know, I think the say the environmental crisis is one such example of that where it’s, it’s kind of forcing humanity to think collectively and to think as a tribe, one tribe, which is the human tribe because the challenges is that big. And the only way to tackle it overcome is if human beings come together. And so I think because we’re faced with this enormous challenge that we’re all very open to new ideas and new methods of collaboration. I think that’s one of the reasons why these diverse actors came together is to explore if Humanity 2.0 could be one of those events.

        https://www.equities.com/news/matthew-sanders-interview-with-host-matt-bird-archive-interview-transcript-humanity-2-0-vatican-city

        And then there is this

        I mean, I think one of the reasons why we wanted to convene here at the Vatican is, I think that we are faced with enormous challenges, but humanity has faced enormous challenges before. And we’re still here. We’ve managed to overcome, and the Catholic church is unlike any other institution. I mean it’s the largest tangible network on the planet. You know, and most people don’t know that it manages 26% of healthcare facilities globally. Or most people don’t know that it supports over 140,000 schools now. And people forget it’s the largest NGO in the planet. And that was actually something that shocked me as well when I realized, so we forget that we think of this institution as just a religion. Um, but in fact it’s, it’s the largest impact organization in human history.

        • Well, this is why they targeted the Catholic church like a heat-seeking missile. No need to build global infrastructure when you can co-opt it.

      • I think learning styles is related to Gardner’s ‘theory’ of Multiple Intelligences — which is as bogus as EQ. Gardner was also involved in something called the Harvard Good Work Project, and this included one of Robin’s heroes, Csicks. This noble group tasked itself with identifying the elements necessary to Good Work in various fields…something about Ethics, Excellence, Integrity. Funnily, they never looked at their own field, which is uniquely free of these dimensions.

        On the brain-scrambling, I am now wondering if the student interns who announced to me — and proudly — that they were ‘on the spectrum’, and this is two out of five males I have hosted, were really just suffering from scrambled brain syndrome. Honestly, I encounter an incredible number of Americans who are suffering from dyslexia, ADHD, or claim to be, you would think that somebody would have put 2 and 2 together, and not got 5.

        • There is a huge amount to be said on the subject of the autism/spectrum phenomenon, which is real, not simply a matter of heightened awareness leading to increased diagnosis. However, I just came across something interesting of which I had been unaware. “The exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields has become the first factor that could be isolated ever in autism that could predict autism.” Researcher speaking at 57:25 in this documentary about the dangers of smart meters.

          https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/08/05/smart-meter-dangers.aspx

          • In re-reading the post to which you responded, I think I sound like a person lacking in compassion. I sure can allow that autism rates are skyrocketing and for, I’m sure, a number of reasons attached to the child’s or mother’s exposure to unsavory things in the environment.

            I guess I sounded so ‘jaded’ because the impairment stated to me did not seem to impede writing personal blogs, or doing other work deemed ‘of interest’. It was selective ‘on the spectrum’ness’.

        • And upon re-reading mine, I realize it could have been construed as a retort to perceived skepticism on your part. I actually didn’t make any such inference before I posted about the documentary. Naturally, there are bound to be plenty of people who vaunt the label, since it’s become fashionable. And the manifestations are protean. Nevertheless, when you work in a school environment, you become aware of the typical profile of a child with autism. You also become familiar with what the Asperger, high-functioning variant looks like. Speaking more broadly, the “special education/learning disability” population of kids is exploding. Some of these kids, I know from experience, have simply never been taught to read, suffer simply from “dysteachia,” and when somebody finally gets hold of them in junior high and teaches them, they soar.

          • The Future has certainly become the mantra.

            “Students have the greatest stake in their education; however, we rarely engage them in authentic decision-making,” said Lori Phillips, teaching and learning director with KnowledgeWorks. “Students need to believe that their voices will lead to choices that directly impact learning. By including them in the conversation, we can help shape a future that they’re excited about, as well as one that will meet the demands we see on the horizon…“When we think about the future, there’s three kinds: the possible future, where anything could happen; the plausible future, where things are likely to happen; and the preferred future – what we want to happen,” said Swanson. “The importance of understanding change and settling on that preferred future is that we can actually work to create it.”

            https://knowledgeworks.org/resources/2020-forecast-future-everybodys-business/ from the 12th.

            I always thought it was the saddest comment on teaching reading when my youngest’s middle school teachers, after she left Montessori, commented on how unusual it was that she could easily read words she had never encountered before. Apparently truly phonetic reading skills were unusual. Both of my older children’s Pre-K teachers in private school asked me to come in to meet with them and then I get there and they wanted to know how I had taught them to read so fast. To this day when I mention the logic is that “sounds have letters, not that letters have sounds” I get gasps akin to the elementary teacher who has never grasped that multiplication is about how many equal groups you have.

            Given the hacking of the Axemaker Mind, explaining its fuel lines in logical ways is apparently the ultimate no-no.

          • To Deborah…I just felt my comment was flip and came out of frustration, and did not fully acknowledge the depth of the problem. I am not remotely qualified to assess whether these boys are actually ‘on the spectrum’…was just using common sense in so far as that an alleged impairment should impair universally and not only the ability to do work found disagreeable or uninteresting at the ‘moment’.

            To Robin, and on the reading thing, and my own experience as a learner. I was reading reasonably well at ‘three’ and wonder, now, if this is owing to odd child production habits in my family, meaning that I was born when my parents were in their forties (late forties, in the case of my father), and my mother was born to a mother in her forties. My mother had achieved a H.S. degree and a Business College credential. My college-educated father had received his formative education in a one-room schoolhouse and at the hands of his convent-educated mother. My H.S.-educated mother taught me to read at three using a phonetic method. My father taught me to understand a variety of texts by having me memorize the Latin roots of botanical names listed in a very large book called, “Exotica Britannica”. This project started when I was six.

            At school, I couldn’t understand why YEARS were wasted on learning to read, and why other children struggled so much in acquiring this basic skill. Thanks to Robin’s work, I now get this. And, I now get why my interns cannot read and understand papers or even articles about topics outside their so-called fields, and why so many adults cannot understand basic legal language, which might as well be Greek.

            And, this also explains the incredible balkanization in the social sciences…and, why scholars don’t talk to each other and connect across disciplines, and also why each discipline has evolved a silly vocabulary of words we do not need.

            All of this takes a person’s breath away.

      • More quoting from the same article that goes to the right kind of thinking to generate ‘human flourishing’

        Matthew Sanders – CEO/Co-Founder, Humanity 2.0: 15:46

        Sure. So one I’m really excited about as the Humanity 2.0 lab and that lab his focus is looking at the key developmental periods in human life and finding ways to optimize them to ensure human flourishing. The lab right now is focusing on the global maternal health crisis. Because it’s the most important developmental period and right now, we have a crisis and if we’re really serious about investing and ensuring the next generation flourishes and we have to make sure we get this period right. I know the project we’re working on is really to business ethics is trying to form an institution which has kind of two functions. One is focused around education around ethics, but really, we’re talking about here is just thinking better, right?

        Matthew Sanders – CEO/Co-Founder, Humanity 2.0: 16:33

        Reasoning better. How do we apply, how do we build on, you know, the last 2,500 years of thinking and development in philosophical reasoning? How do we take all that learning and apply it to two executives and help to help them think better and prevent things like the Volkswagen crisis from happening, right. And ethical breach, which Detroit a very important company which had a global impact. Um, and one of the other projects we’re working on, which is our primary research project called project vision, is really focused around zeroing humanity again on what are the most important problems we should be working on. One of the things I say a lot is I think humanity gets distracted by a lot of symptoms of larger disease. And I think what’s needed right now is we need to kind of be able to sort the symptoms from the disease if we’re going to be serious about ensuring the next generation flourishes.

      • Not sure how close this University of Northern Colorado is to you, but it is creating a global paradigm for the assessment of human flourishing.

        Catalytic Session 2:Rethinking Assessment for Human FlourishingV2Matthew Farber:Assistant Professor of Technology, Innovation, and Pedagogy at the University of Northern ColoradoTobias Krantz:Head of Education, Research and Innovation Confederation of Swedish EnterpriseVishnuteerth Agnihotri:co-founder,GenwiseModerator:Anantha Duraiappah, Director, UNESCO MGIEP

        From the agenda for MGIEP’s TECH 2019 in December. https://d27gr4uvgxfbqz.cloudfront.net/files%2F86580ef8-28e3-4978-9a73-8bc6c4d96c72_TECH%202019_UNESCO%20MGIEP_Final%20Agenda_812.rev.pdf

        Also notice Richard Davidson of CASEL and presenter with Daniel Goleman of those links I put up was a keynoter. Lots of American profs made their way to India for this.

  2. A translation for the uninitiated into Global Word Wizardry:

    This:
    WHY DO WE NEED A GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP CURRICULUM?
    “Global citizens can be described as lifelong learners, who possess the critical consciousness to drive ‘active citizenship’, to recognize the inherent interconnectedness and dignity of all life, and instill the values of acceptance, equality, respect for diversity, empathy and compassion,”

    means This:

    WHY DO WE NEED A COMMUNITARIAN EDUCATIONAL IDEOLOGY?
    ” Collectivized Communitarian Workers can be described as brainwashed, lifelong, duped servants to Global Communitarian Governance, who possess the distinct lack of consciousness and discerning awareness to question the limits set forth for them by the unelected elite.

    • I don’t know about your kids, but mine’s reaction to group work projects was simply to take over rather than “makes them respect the abilities and contributions of their peers” as the cover story put it. We are also going to cover the so-called ‘LIBRE process for digital pedagogies’ mentioned in the India Today story. I nailed that down before I wrote this in case things went bye-bye after I wrote about them as happened to the Jensen/Erhard link from their seminars on SSRN. The manipulation of what causes a student to act in order to effect the desired resulting brain circuit also goes to motivation. The cover story said this:

      Sternberg defined motivation as a driving force to use cognitive components for creative purposes. He suggested motivation as a crucial component for creativity, which affects a person’s attention towards a task rather than the intrinsic-extrinsic nature of the motivator. In this context, it is crucial that motivation be task-focused rather than reward-focused. This is referred to as intrinsic motivation and is crucial for children since we wish to encourage children to be creative rather than reward seeking…To ensure continued [lifelong!!] learning, intrinsic motivation is crucial[so much so that this last sentence is in italics in the original]. The digital pedagogies described here (i.e., digital games for learning) by their design encourage goal-or task-based learning and provide opportunities to build intrinsic motivation and develop creative skills.

      Now how creative is it really if the motivation and what primes it and the nature of the ‘creative skills’ have all been deliberately manufactured by the curriculum? Isn’t creativity then just a euphemism for what Post 1 acknowledged was Right/emotional brain dominance over the analytical/ Axemaker Mind?

      • A common trope of the organizer class learned from the behavior scientists, philosopher /occultists and general cultural marxists
        Is to simply call something the opposite of what it is.
        Examples: integrity. Authentic. Excellence. Leadership. The leaders are really being taught to follow. The excellence is only in following the prescribed dogma, and the authentic is creating something fake that is illustrating the prescribed framework boundaries. Being “creative” is really not being creative at all but “ change” to the prescribed correct paradigm. Change means getting in the paradigm and stagnating there.
        This all creates confusion, necessary for control. Another method is cloning. Note the generic names of ed programs and conferences making it hard to zero in. You look something up and there are twenty decoys with same name that may be real or single source but both dilute the search, see: all together now conference, as example.
        So find something generic and you can hide in plain site.

          • I’ve been bombarded with years of Truth, Beauty and Goodness in the coaching field, and all the other stuff about diversity, inclusion, and helping each contributor achieve his/her/it’s full potential, well-being and flourishing.

            What I would say and relative to other fields in which I worked, and this includes a stint with a Yakuza law firm, it has been in the field of Human ‘cough’ development that I have encountered the most competently incompetent, dishonest, treacherous scum on the planet, and I mean right up to the top of the heap. First, you notice the weasel words and the endless repackaging of same old, same old. Then you figure out the science is FAKE, then you see the interpersonal chicanery, and then you start asking questions figuring, hoping, maybe, you got it wrong, but you didn’t and find that it is 100X worse than you imagined. And, you try to talk to the people in your world, try to explain the mountain of anomalies you are seeing, and some really dangerous stuff but there is so little recognition of basic moral/ethical frameworks that should govern any field. And, always important not to criticize or hurt anyone’s feelings.

          • Isn’t the focus of Classical Education with its Truth, Beauty, and Goodness as guiding compass points for future action just another way of making Prospection and Human Flourishing the point of all education? Doesn’t it fit with what MGIEP hyped about two weeks ago as fulfilling Gandhi’s ideals?

            https://mgiep.unesco.org/article/unesco-mgiep-discusses-future-of-education-using-core-ideologies-of-mahatma-gandhi-to-celebrate-the-international-day-of-education

            Also, apparently Duraiappah is a visiting prof at the U of Tokyo. http://selexchange.casel.org/Speaker-Duraiappah

            That SEL Exchange is in October 2020 in Illinois with CASEL as the sponsor.

  3. So when you are in say a school and you are talking with staff and they answer your questions with this language it sends you in circles. They dont even know they are stuck in the system, paradigm. Like calling out a narcissist, they short circuit if you start pulling them out of the framework.

    • Weasel words and ACRONYMS are standard fair for this bunch. And, they do take real delight in denuding words like “integrity” of their actual meaning and freight. Kill the language, kill the culture.

      I just had a chat with a Maryknoll priest during which I mentioned that I had managed to accomplish as an undergrad, and despite huge resistance, a degree in the Classics. Mr. Priest mocked this effort, in an effort to kill his own culture.

      Agree with Robin that it matters not whether this stuff is validated, or rigorous…result is ‘as intended’.

          • A little younger than I would have guessed. The just-post Vatican II Maryknolls, along with the Jesuits, are the radical spearhead of the Catholic Church, pushing Liberation Theology throughout Latin America. Of course, they don’t have a monopoly on cultural marxism. Melinda Gates, for example, is a product of schooling by the Ursuline sisters.

          • I was going to say 70s, but it is hard to tell. Yes, a Catholic friend/scholar told me about the Maryknoll pedigree.

            I went to see this person about a spiritual issue, that being that I cannot ‘be’ Catholic in a field, my field, which has become a medium for the inculcation of Transpersonal Psychology (really, everything we discuss in this blog).

            Before I opened my mouth, he informed me that he “had no answer”. After I related my concerns, the response was, “I have no answer.”

          • Well, wasn’t he a big help. As a Catholic convert, I sympathize, Leslie. Truly wise and orthodox priests are rare enough today; I have no idea what your resources would be, beyond the ubiquitous and repellent Maryknolls, in Asia. (Even in the very Catholic Philippines, progressivism has bitten deep.) And yes, you have to understand reality in a different way from the horizontal scientistic/naturalistic/psychological framework of your field; you add to it a vertical dimension as a believer. I will pray that you find the guidance you were looking for.

          • Thanks for ‘getting’ it, Deborah. Funnily, the repellant Maryknoller I am dealing with made international news in Catholic circles for refusing to provide the sacrament to ‘kneeling’ Filipino worshipers in his Tokyo parish. He is ‘liberating’ them from this oppressive tradition.

            Thank you for your prayers.

            Actually, I was ‘ok’ with my field as long as it was just “horizontal scientistic/naturalistic/psychological”. My issues began when it seemed to morph, overnight, into a delivery system for Transpersonal Psychology and neuroscience fun and games — to be performed on gormless, non-consensual clients, and I saw it being used for unsavory things like industrial espionage, wink, wink.

            I pray for all of us.

          • I guess you saw it change from the horizontal to the vertical — in a downward direction.

          • Exactly!

            And, this is where all the fake science and woo comes in. I lived though this in CA, moved 9,000 miles to extricate myself from fake Buddhism and everything else but this stuff has LEGs.

            I am laughing remembering the conversation that occurred in yet another practice group I attempted to foster, here…(OD, a formerly legitimate endeavor) was the topic and I was using best practice OD to form the group.

            In any case, the EQ thing came up, and rational me had to report that, “This is no such thing as Emotional Intelligence.”, and my goodness I supported this statement with a disection of that research model, and I even allowed that many of us ‘intuit’ that there is something important in this construct, BUT…

            Several members of this group literally broke down in tears…as though I had told them that Santa Claus is really daddy and mommy.

            I was chilled by this hysteria…

            What they could not believe is that X, Y, Z had lied to them…that their professors and their mentors had misled them. I HAD TO BE WRONG, as was my position — because — nice people don’t lie. And, doesn’t this pretty much sum it up?

            Yes, the horizontal, research-based world was ‘ok’, whereas the ‘I believe what makes me feel good world’, is not, and represents a verticle shift straight to hell.

  4. Omg just thought of something, i was told yesterday in setting up a meeting with a high ranking county district leader, that his “values did not matter in these issues”.
    So in essence he told me he is just a lead follower! So Superintendants are the top leaders of the district followers. The districts follow the state mandates which are dictated by national standards and laws. Their integrity, authenticity, excellence, dignity, empathy, etc do not matter. Ha its hilarious. They are only lead followers, pied pipers. Fake power positions. Its the chinese system. Kabuki theatre. So it makes sense that these boring drones like erhart are shilling fake leadership.

  5. On a new topic, is anyone familiar with the term “gigger’s”? You probably are, but I was surprised when my latest intern, NZ, told me that her cohort is being told that they can look forward to a life of gigging…short jobing in this or that. This mode of work seems to be the successor of venture or innovation culture in which they would all become entrepreneurs. Maybe, somebody recognized that entrepreneurship requires basic skills like literacy in one’s own language, and oops! So, gigging it will be.

        • Well, Robin, this is interesting because a member of the Compassion Games team is James Doty, a Clinical Professor in Neurosurgery at Stanford. Doty is the person who brought Werner Erhard to Stanford to participate in the series, “Conversations in Compassion”…so, small world, yes?

          • Indeed. See what connections we can make when we combine our respective knowledge and life experiences?

            I am currently poking into IEEE’s Standards on Autonomous and intelligent Systems. Its head, John Havens, used to be an actor before this per his CV. So far I have this which should ring a bell.

            Issue: The Monopoly on Ethics by Western Ethical Traditions Background As human creators, our most fundamental values are imposed on the systems we design. It becomes incumbent on the global community to recognize which sets of values guide the design, and whether or not A/IS will generate problematic, i.e., discriminatory, consequences without consideration of non-Western values. There is an urgent need to broaden traditional ethics in its contemporary form of “responsible innovation” (RI) beyond the scope of “Western” ethical foundations, such as utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. There is also a need to include other traditions of ethics in RI, such as those inherent to Buddhism, Confucianism, and Ubuntu traditions.

            However, this venture poses problematic assumptions even before the issue above can be explored. In classifying Western values, we group together thousands of years of independent and disparate ideas originating from the Greco-Roman philosophical tradition with their Christian-infused cultural heritage and then the break from that heritage with the Enlightenment. What is it that one refers to by the term “Western ethics”? Does one refer to philosophical ethics (ethics as a scientific discipline) or is the reference to Western morality?The“West”, however it may be defined, is an individualistic society, arguably more so than much of the rest of the world, and thus, in some aspects, should be even less collectively defined than “Eastern” ethical traditions. Suggest instead: If one is referring to Western values, one must designate which values and to whom they belong. Additionally, there is a danger in the field of intercultural information ethics, however unconsciously or instinctively propagated, to not only group together all Western traditions under a single banner, but to negatively designate any and all Western influence in global exchange to representing an abusive collective of colonial-influenced ideals. Just because there exists a monopoly of influence by one system over another does not mean that said monopoly is devoid of value, even for systems outside itself. In the same way that culturally diverse traditions have much to offer Western tradition(s), so, too, do they have much to gain from them…

            Standardization is an inherently value-laden project, as it designates the normative criteria for inclusion to the global network. Here, one of the major adverse implications of the introduction of value-laden standard(s) of responsible innovation (RI) appears to be the delegitimization of the plausibility of RI based on local values, especially when those values come into conflict with the liberal democratic values, as the local values (or, the RI based on local values) do not enable scientists and technology developers to be recognized as members of the global network of research and innovation (Wong, 2016).

            In case anyone wonders why Good, True, and Beauty keep coming into discussions that are supposedly about countering the Common Core. Standards are inherently normative as this says and Classical Ed gets the normative in so the actual desired common core a la Goodlad laid out in CtD becomes formative.

          • Gee, look at the title to the next section “Issue: The Application of Classical Buddhist Ethical Traditions to A/IS Design”.

            Can you say Ubiquitous?

  6. Phew! I got dizzy just reading the above.

    Going to bed, but your Compassion link indicates that Doty is the Chairman of The Dalai Lama Foundation.

    On Havens, they are ALL actors of one kind or another.

    Night!

    • Night. Now after Ubuntu and its push that we are all created through community, thought you’d appreciate that the next influence is the Shinto traditions.

      Issue: The Application of Shinto-Influenced Traditions to A/IS Design
      Background Alongside the burgeoning African Ubuntu reflections on A/IS, other indigenous techno-ethical reflections boast an extensive engagement. One such tradition is Japanese Shinto indigenous spirituality, or,Kami no michi, often cited as the catalyst for Japanese robot and autonomous systems culture, a culture that naturally stems from the traditional Japanese concept of karakuri ningyo (automata). Popular Japanese artificial intelligence, robot, and video-gaming culture can be directly connected to indigenous Shinto tradition, from the existence of kami(spirits) to puppets and automata.

  7. Professor Duraiappah, also wrote the lead-in called “Technology: A Game Changer in Education”. Today’s title came from the article’s aspiration to use a new curriculum to “to incorporate MGIEP’s socio-emotional learning framework titled EMCC or EMC2 and aims to build empathy, mindfulness, compassion and critical inquiry in students.”

    Was lunching, yesterday, with a long-term, expatriate to Japan/Asia. We discussed the “empathy, mindfulness, compassion” mandate as outlined above and its ostensive origins in Buddhist thought, Asian culture. My lunch mate observed that he rarely encounters any of these qualities in the local population and he could not imagine that anyone who had spent any amount of time in Buddhist-antecedent cultures would assume there was a linkage between stated values and actual behavior.

    Namaste

    • This video proposes making education about creating ‘solutionaries’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqzwXHS6M1k

      Notice all those ‘lenses’.

      Yes the reference to Buddhism, like all the references to Aristotle in Classical Ed, simply sounds much better that mentioning Uncle Karl and how his Human Development Society requires a moral revolution at an internalized, individual level. When I cross-referenced the Virtue Ethics IEEE’s Standards on Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (which includes people) it pulled up this essay from the Markkula Center. https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decision-making/ethics-and-virtue/ If you remember Markkula came up with the last MGIEP post as they were creating an ELA curricula tied to the Vatican and Google’s Humanity 2.0 Project.

      Here’s that post if anyone hasn’t read it or wants to reread in light of this post. http://invisibleserfscollar.com/rebooting-the-mind-and-heart-to-get-at-humanity-2-0-and-a-global-convergence/

      One of the things I have been working on is how this so-called ethical decision-making is tied to learning standards which in turn are designed to create the social learning that is at the heart of what it means to be Sustainable in the 21st century. The term is actually less about physical changes in external reality and more about getting at ‘the environmental crisis within’ each individual. That can only be solved by getting at ‘values and beliefs’ and also by changing the nature of what constitutes knowledge.

      Which is, of course, precisely what I have been piecing together gradually via my book Credentialed to Destroy, and then this blog. It really is all coming together. Constructivism was never about how to teach reading or math. It’s about the needed social learning that is experiential. Viva La Revolution! without that being apparent as the mottos are instead about Holism or Truth, Beauty, and Goodness or School Choice. Clever ruse.

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