Enshrining a Neural Expansive Universe of Obligation via Collective Cognition and Calling It Good Citizenship

Consider this post to be the mother of all syntheses from this past year of confessional online webinars coupled to insights that go back to the research from my more prescient than ever book Credentialed to Destroy. At one point I even considered using the post title “Most Apt Analogy Ever!” to describe just how well the metaphor of this blog that there is a quietly imposed, via education, ‘serfs collar’ of owed obedience planned for each of us all over this globe in the 21st century. Education and communications generally, including the media and public policy think tanks, are a big part of this coordinated effort. I have known that for years, but recently the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US (that is so involved with the absurd response to COVID in the US) put much of what I have found into perspective. https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/118/27/e2025764118.full.pdf explains the pandemic, learning standards in education, climate change hype, and allegations of ‘structural racism’ and inequality generally are all tools for “Stewardship of Global Collective Behavior”.

Inferring is one thing, but that’s quite the admission, isn’t it? Now the term–Expansive Universe of Obligation–is not in that paper. It comes from a civics curricula Facing History and Ourselves has created for K-12 teachers and students on the Holocaust and Human Behavior, but I recognized it functioning the same as what already has a tag on this blog–Kohlberg’s Moral Development Theory. We also covered it years ago as being part of the Hong Kong Citizenship K-12 Curriculum imposed by the Chinese Communist Party. I guess the new phrase gets the function without any notoriety, but in two separate webinars this summer on the new ‘history/civics’ Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy (EAD) I heard the presenters hype creating a belief in the students that they have a responsibility to enact what was laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That this is what Democracy entitles all people to in the 21st century.

I even clarified through the CHAT function that students were to be taught that Democracy now means an “Expansive Universe of Obligation coupled to an Economic Justice Vision”. The speaker, who works for the Illinois Holocaust Museum, thought that was a lovely, succinct new definition of what is intended. So when the White Paper linked to above mentions that ” A consolidated transdisciplinary approach to understanding and managing human collective behavior will be a monumental challenge, yet it is a necessary one” and that “decisions that impact the structure of society should not be guided by voices of individual shareholders but instead by values [functions like Principles or Ideals from previous post] such as non-maleficence, benevolence, autonomy, and justice,” they mean that they will create “ethical standards” to be imposed via a new vision of education globally that will impose “a globally held normative framework for deciding what constitutes healthy societies or desirable socio-technical interactions.”

As that paper detailed, this stewardship process has to intervene at a personalized level that gets at beliefs as to ‘perceived reality,’ in order to inculcate desired ‘feedback loops’ to address ‘injustice and inequality.’ It must also get at ‘individual motivations’ and provide new ‘ethics’ for future behavior. All of that fits both with how personalized learning in a Competency-Based Framework really work, especially when coupled to a digital environment delivering some of the desired experiences. None of this is an accident, since I recognized one of the institutions–the Santa Fe Institute–from both the proclaimed (ny name, not function) Marxist aspirations for the US of some of its fellows using education, as well as Santa Fe’s Artificial Societies research. The first matters because Samuel Bowles has now moved on to selling his vision in terms of “Good Citizenship’ in his 2016 The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens. Add the word ‘Citizen’ to our list of hijacked Abstract terms to be wary of.

The second matters because David A. Lane’s “Artificial Worlds and Economics” paper from Santa Fe, funded by the MacArthur Foundation and the National Science Foundation [both heavily involved with learning standards and pushing Constructivism in education], laid out a new theory of learning that it contrasted as follows:

In the rationalistic view [the old transmission of knowledge/textbook/lecture approach], the world is composed of definite objects, properties and relations, and ‘learning’ is the process whereby an agent forms a mental model of the world that correctly describes these features. Learning in classifier systems is acquiring circumstance-specific behavioral propensities that function together to produce reward. That is, the agent is learning how to act in the world, rather than how to describe it.

Bingo!! Best explanation I have read for Constructivism in subject-disciplines, competency-based education, and all the hyping now about Conceptual Frameworks to trigger ‘Higher Order Thinking Skills’ in all students. Those HOTS skills have to be assessed now at least annually in the US to keep track of each student’s needed ‘internal states’ and the mental ‘classifier system’ the student is using.

A learning-based theory directly models the transformation from information-stream to actions.That is, all the mechanisms that process the information stream on the basis of which the agent is assumed to act are handled internally to the theory. In principle, agents in such a theory could learn to ‘choose’–but the theory would be responsible for describing how the agents identify situations in which they regard choice as appropriate, how they organize what they perceive about the environment into the ingredients of a problem of choice, and how they develop the methodology that they apply when they go about the act of choosing.

I guess we could define Misinformation then as factual information that incompatible with the Theories needed for this invisible stewardship? Remember when I explained that UNESCO wanted to make education globally about getting at decision-making processes and how the Rockefeller Foundation in 2014 began to focus on getting at ‘anticipatory assumptions’ students were using? The above quote is saying the same thing. These are all a means to get at:

the internal states…agents [use] to progressively ‘model’ their world: that is, to generate broad categories that describe the world, to develop plausible hypotheses about the relationships between these categories…and to refine these categories and hypotheses on the basis of increasing experience.

See now why Knowledge has become about Concepts, Principles, and other abstractions with a supplied illustration to fit a Narrative instead of a body of facts as in the past? In late July the Institute for New Economic Thinking put out “The One-Earth Balance Sheet” explicitly stating that “a new collective mental map is needed” because “siloed thinking created many of our problems with inequality, injustice and planetary damage.”  Now all the Misinformation hype makes more sense. We must not have Information circulating that disagrees with this desired new Collective Mental Map. It’s also why UNESCO is pushing the idea now of an Infodemic that is as dangerous to its plans as the Pandemic. https://gemreportunesco.wordpress.com/2021/08/16/reflections-on-the-covid-19-second-wave-in-india/ Education now is needed to create desired ‘internal states’ in students to “help create shared efforts for a common understanding of shared threats.”

Anyone in a back-to-school sudden hyping of Humanities and STEM should recall that the needed collective mental model calls “to evolve trans-disciplinary thinking that integrates the natural, social, biological sciences and arts by transcending disciplinary boundaries.” Now imagine those concepts for the Collective Mental Map coming from those who admit wanting “active management and guidance” of collective behavior using internalized mental maps and new values. I am fascinated to see so much fascination with “vaccine refusal” in a paper from people who want to ‘steward’ our behavior with no right to say no. Who want to create the Theories through which people “model the world’.

I want to close with a recent anecdote from my alma mater that it is calling the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative. It let me know about “our common humanity” and how the term Citizenship bolded just like that was NOT being used “as a narrow marker of legal status but as a source of identity we all share as human beings, a collective identity that complements our individual commitments and associations”. In other words, there is a vision being put out by educational institutions at all levels that each of us has an obligation to “transcend our existing positions as we work together to solve the deep challenges that face our society” and that this obligation is “the work of citizenship“. Italicized just like that.

If alumni of highly-ranked colleges and universities are getting these kinds of lectures unsolicited, just imagine what is occurring on campus with the young people. I mentioned FHAO above and the materials being used as part of the professional development webinars for the EAD Roadmap. This unit https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-holocaust-and-human-behavior was referenced in the webinar along with the question “What does learning about the choices people made during the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazi Party, and the Holocaust teach us about the power and impact of our choices today?” Anyone not convinced this is not ultimately about getting at that internalized Classifier System within each student and the teachers as well should read this concluding Learning Goal that came up in connection with what is supposed to be ‘integrated history and civics’. This really is NOT about a body of knowledge being transmitted at all.

Make connections between universal themes related to democracy, citizenship, racism, and antisemitism that this history raises and the world they live in today. Understand their responsibilities as citizens of the world to make choices that help bring about a more human, just, and compassionate world.

78 thoughts on “Enshrining a Neural Expansive Universe of Obligation via Collective Cognition and Calling It Good Citizenship

  1. Hi Robin,
    Curious if you ever read the results of project follow through? I just finished a large research project for a class on the achievement gap and found it very interesting that the known results of intensive phonics were so disregarded and districts that achieved success in low income minority areas with phonics were forced to go back to whole language. Anyway, I am sure you have been through that all before but it brought be back to discussions we had years ago. They know what works but refuse to engage it. Very sad.

    • I am familiar with Project Follow Through and this actually relates to the discussion of the classifier system in this post. Fluent reading doesn’t just create the Axemaker Mind. It creates an internalized mental map that is anything but collective in how it works. It’s idiosyncratic based on what it has been fed and able to hear or see a Conceptual Understanding being offered up for being a Classifier going forward and recognize it is an Inapt Analogy and inapplicable. The earlier version of the title, written on the xeroxed page from Lane’s paper “Circumscribing the Brain-Based Internal Roadmap Lays the Groundwork for Revolution”. Here’s a pertinent description and tell me this DOES NOT sound precisely with how Competency-Based Education works when the actual real definition–first offered up by Michael Horn of the Christensen Institute in a program he did for a local think tank–conceptual knowledge coupled to skills and then student Attributes or Dispositions. Remember Dispositions is the term used in the Social Studies C3 Framework that seems to be at the heart of the Common Core.

      That’s another post but In july the nAS put out a paper on “Educating for Civic Reasoning & Discourse” that makes it clear that ALL Subjects now exist simply to provide a well-rounded box of concepts that will fit any situation a student or the adult they become encounters. Again, the sudden push for phonetic reading instruction and the so-called Science of Reading (another webinar I was on) is only allowed because the CEDS national education framework funded by Fed Ed and tied to the desired Competencies has the desired Concepts incorporated now into what is to be built up internally and neurally within students. I wasn’t kidding about the amount of synthesizing I have been doing and part of it was “Why Now?” on the reading.

      In a classifier system, the agent [student] is essentially just a collection of basic cognitive units, called ‘classifiers’. Each classifier integrates perception, categorization and action. A classifier monitors the world, on the watch for a particular constellation of perceptible features. When this constellation is perceived, the classifier ‘proposes’ that the agent [student] take a particular action.

      I rediscovered that paper after sorting through some papers that some of the household cats had knocked to the floor and out of the designated piles that tell me how things relate. When I saw the Santa Fe Institute working paper designation, I realized it tied to that hugely troubling PNAS paper. I have never forgotten that Bowles and Gintis book (there’s a post on it from years ago) that saw education as a means of bringing what they called the Marxist vision to America without it necessarily having to be violent. That they later relocated to Santa Fe and now use systems thinking conceptual language and Citizenship to get to the same place by function is again just something my unauthorized internal roadmap of disparate facts is aware of.

      Hope that helps. The Classifier System, once I reread that paper about a week ago also resonated with another webinar Pamela Cantor was on recently in how the Science of Learning and Development will work in the classroom and how it fits with Equity. Environment, experiences provided, and neural based were the hallmarks I remember without going back for my notes. As I said, it’s all quite clear now on why I found what I documented and discussed in CtD. It remains the foundation for now being able to follow the rest of the story.

      • I can tell you as an adult going through a course designed to ‘change’ fixed mindsets was brutal. I cannot begin to imagine what the mind of a young grade schooler is going through with such cognitive dissonance front and center. As an adult I would say I experienced sleep disruption, dreams, and headaches and my neural pathways are pretty well fixed unlike those under 14yrs of age.

        As far as far as project FT goes, for me it just backed up everything I learned in CtD. They really are binding the minds of groups which has directly played into the hands of Revolution as seen in Portland so clearly.

        As I have said, and continue to believe the early experiments in PDX with OBE and beyond have worked and they have their gloss eyed crew working at the push of a button.

        We are treading on dangerous ground as you are well aware. I’m afraid there are too many under the spell set to react that we have reached the end of possible change. At this point even awareness does not seem to register for folks.

    • This new paper out, tied to the Frameworks Institute, is kind enough to list the terms to act as Classifiers.

      Like the individual experiences of Black adolescents, the types of racism that youth encounter are diverse and complex. In discussing racism and race-related inequities in this paper, we address two major categories of racism: interpersonal racism and structural racism. These categories of racism are described in detail in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)’s 2019 report The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth11 and briefly summarized here. In addition, we discuss anti-Blackness, in which interpersonal and structural racism work together to systematically marginalize Black people in American society.


    • I was on the founding board of a charter school 25 years ago that used the phonics methodology that wiped the floor with all the other approaches that competed in Follow Through. Since then a number of other charters in the area have been spawned using the same methodologies. Most recently I have consulted at a charter that used a different phonics curriculum and finally decided to switch. That was when I fully appreciated the genius of Siegfried Engelmann’s work. Let me tell you, there’s phonics and there’s phonics. Zig’s was pure gold, and after one year on the new curriculum, parents and staff were ecstatic with the results.

      Here is a marvelous video of Engelmann working with the younger siblings of Head Start kids from highly disadvantaged homes. This was before he became a curriculum designer and was just beginning to feel his way. He raised the average IQs of those kids 26 points in two years. A nice counterpoint to the recent report that infants have lost 21 IQ points during the “pandemic,” a figure that is highly suspect since you can’t give numeric IQ tests to infants, but I’m certain there are other ways to assess infant development, and scores are probably assigned that are correlated to IQ.

  2. Hi Robin,
    Wondering if you’re familiar with the work of Niki Raapana. Her body of work goes back decades in studying what she terms, “communitarianism”.
    It appears to me very much in alignment with your work here. If you’re not familiar with her, the only link I have is to her blog – http://nikiraapana.blogspot.com/
    Keep up the good work.

    • I am Bob although it has been years since I have followed her work. Thanks for bringing that link here for newer readers and welcome to ISC.

      Interestingly enough there is a link between this post and communitarianism although I did not tag it yesterday. The so-called Father of Communitarianism–amitai etzioni the sociologist–shows up in the early 60s work on cybernetics. His work on communitarianism came out of that interest in crafting that web of collective connections whether individuals wished to be part of the collective or not. The work I cited in this post from the Santa Fe Institute on the classifier system clearly is grounded in cybernetics research as well. Education creates an internalized net of concepts linked to other categories of thought that act as the receiver that guides perception (and what gets ignored), then the interpretation of the offered experience, and finally the transducer that motivates and guides future action. Here’s a quote not used in this post from the section on “Specifying a Classifier System”:

      Formally, a classifier system is a discrete-time AW [Artificial World] that models a learning agent and the environment in which the agent lives…The state of the environment changes according to a specified dynamic, which may depend upon current and past environmental states and the agent’s current action. Since this dynamic describes how the agent’s actions change the environmental state, the agent’s effectors are also implicitly modelled, through their actual effects.

      The agent’s processor is represented by two structural features: a behavioral repertoire, which determines the set of possible actions the agent can take, and a message board, which records the agent’s current internal state in the form of a list of messages. The behavioral repertoire consists of all the [Contexts because the abbreviation of Microlevel Entities (MEs) to substitute for each environment and its dynamic is too cumbersome] These [Contexts] are called classifiers. Each classifier consists of two symbol strings, the condition and action strings…There are two kinds of action: external actions, which change the state of the environment, and internal actions, which send a message to be posted on the message board.

      The neural net is the message board and it is created by these concepts and their web-like connections within the brain, but also all is tied to the real world. Hence the new 3 Rs–Rigor {Conceptual], Relationships [connected concepts], and Relevance [Real World Ties that illustrate the concept].

      I will see if I can pull up the older cybernetic post where I covered UNESCO’s push on this and Nina Talyzina.

    • Found the cybernetics post I was referring to. March 2014. http://invisibleserfscollar.com/imposing-cybernetics-control-theory-on-students-while-pretending-the-impetus-is-equity-for-all/

      I remembered time frame basically because I remember reading it in the pediatrician’s office while waiting on the results of a strep test. I had pulled that post notebook off the shelf previously, which slowed me down from finding it. All back in chronological order now.

  3. Karlyn Borysenko had an interesting YouTube going over a CRT for Math Teachers plan. The CRT concepts are following your findings very closely. Having read your posts for several years, I’m always surprised people keep thinking this material is new or just discovered.

      • So the first author on the PNAS paper is Joseph B. Bak-Coleman from U of Washington in Seattle, which is also where the Center for Multicultural Education is located and its Director was one of the authors of the troubling Stanford report quietly released Thanksgiving week in 2013 that I wrote about here http://invisibleserfscollar.com/willingness-to-make-personal-sacrifice-for-the-good-of-the-whole-to-become-an-integral-component-of-student-identity/

        Report is still available since I never gave a hot link, just the name and it was all about “a new definition of US civic education” just as we are seeing now as the method to get the desired stewardship. I had forgotten about the requirement that all the Founding Documents and Primary Sources must now be read “through the lens of what constitutes ‘authentic liberty’. No wonder all these Roadmap to EAD webinars are pushing UDHR. It all fits.

        It also fits with Bob’ question about communitarianism above since the new civic education “must reflect a commitment to interdependence and improving things for the many and not just the self.”

      • https://knowledgeworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/finding-your-path-navigation-tool.pdf came out this week and certainly validates what I am saying in this post. Especially see pages 34 and 35 of pdf. Students are essentially being programmed via provided ‘learning experiences’ to be the desired ‘citizens’ of a reimagined American ‘democracy’ modelled on the MH vision. Somehow I had missed that Rick Hess was on that February 2013 presentiation at Stanford with Eric Liu. They did a Panel on “Reinvigorating Youth Citizenship”. I knew I recognized Eric Liu as he is one of the co-chairs, along with Danielle Allen (co-chair also of Roadmap to EAD for K-12) and Stephen Heintz who heads the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, of the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship that produced Our Common Purpose report in June 2020.

        It’s all coming together. The desired Democratic Citizen to be created by K-12 grounded in Equity has the Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions laid out in that Knowledge Works Learning continuum and operates as a Classifier System as laid out in this post and the Santa Fe Artificial Worlds’ paper–Democratic Schooling in the United States indeed.

  4. Per your suggestion, Robin, I braved an online ‘change agent’ symposium hosted by my graduate school. They were looking for ways to ‘engage’ alumni in on-going initiatives.

    I participated in a breakout session with 3 alums and 1 active student. The student was an African American guy who stated that he worked in “higher education”…and, was upgrading his skills in order to find other opportunities. He was using that lexicon of Social Justice, as in, “I have been disappointed in the level of social justice in the program”. I guess other participants understood what he meant but I sure didn’t. Using catch-all terms just obscures what are the real issues. My hat is off to you for gutting your way through these things.

    • We have confirmation that the mass psychological fear being injected about CoVid and the real nature of the threat and the use of learning standards for “Governing the Mind, Brain, and Behavior” that I covered when I wrote about the book Psychological Governance and Public Policy. Here’s the article https://dailysceptic.org/the-dubious-ethics-of-nudging-the-public-to-comply-with-covid-restrictions/ and it is the admission of the ties to the MINDSPACE document that is the common element. Since I have the book and wrote about it I recognized the article’s mention of the document here.

      In an article in the Critic, I discussed the remit of the Government’s behavioural scientists in the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), a subgroup of SAGE which offers advice to the Government about how to maximise the impact of its Covid communications strategy. The methods of influence recommended by the SPI-B are drawn from a range of ‘nudges’ described in the Institute of Government document, MINDSPACE: Influencing behaviour through public policy, several of which primarily act on the subconscious of their targets – the British people – achieving a covert influence on their behaviour. The three ‘nudges’ to have evoked the most controversy, among both psychological practitioners and the general public, are: the strategic use of fear (inflating perceived threat levels); shame (conflating compliance with virtue); and peer pressure (portraying non-compliers as a deviant minority) – or ‘affect’, ‘ego’ and ‘norms’, to use the language of behavioural science. (Specific examples of how each of these covert strategies have been used throughout the Covid crisis are described here).

      The British Psychological Society (BPS) is the leading professional body for psychologists in the U.K. According to their website, a central role of the BPS is: “To promote excellence and ethical practice in the science, education and application of the discipline.” In light of this remit, I – together with 46 other psychologists and therapists – wrote a letter to the BPS on January 6th, 2021, expressing our ethical concerns about the use of covert psychological strategies as a means of securing compliance with Covid restrictions. In particular, our alarm centred on three areas: the recommendation of ‘nudges’ that exploit heightened emotional discomfort as a means of securing compliance; implementing potent covert psychological strategies without any effort to gain the informed consent of the British public; and harnessing these interventions for the purpose of achieving adherence to contentious and unevidenced restrictions that infringe basic human rights.

      Responses from the BPS to our initial letter were slow and circuitous. However, on July 1st we received an email from Dr. Roger Paxton, the Chair of the Ethics Committee, which clarified the BPS’s position: in the Committee’s view, there is nothing ethically questionable about deploying covert psychological strategies on the British people as a means of increasing compliance with public health restrictions.

      Of course, the BPS regarded it that way since to quote from the Preface of book:

      The core focus of this book is to investigate the ways in which knowledge about the mind, brain and behaviour has informed the methods and techniques of governance and to explore the implications of this for shaping citizen identity and social practice.

      Gee, there’s that CITIZEN IDENTITY again as now the legitimate regulatory domain of governments at all levels in the 21st century. Precisely what this post warned about. Read the whole post, but often this interference gets hidden behind rhetoric beyond Founding Principles. Many times it is hyped as ‘Aristotelian Ethics’ or ‘Classical Virtues’. I had moved that book the other day to the top of the pile with my notes from this post so I could reexamine its confessions in light of what I laid out here.

    • Look at just launched–Stanford Social Innovation Review Japan https://ssir-j.org/

      It truly is a global vision.

      Adding this new open access book from today’s readings. https://dighum.ec.tuwien.ac.at/perspectives-on-digital-humanism/

      The Age of Digital Sustainability is what the Future Earth Initiative Obama created as the Belmont Challenge that I wrote about in the early days of this blog is now billing itself. https://futureearth.org/2021/08/02/future-earths-governance-transition/

      In case anyone guessed there was a shutdown. All still going on.

  5. Robin – A possible issue you should be aware of. I’m getting an error when I try to get to your website. The error says “Privacy Error, your connection is not private. Attackers may be trying to steal personal information.” The browser won’t let me even get to the site directly. (although I figured out a way around that)

    I’m not sure if this is a general issue or just me, but I wanted to pass this along. It’d be a shame if people weren’t getting to the site because of this.

  6. Off topic, but on….the “golly we don’t know how many American citizens were left in Afghanistan” thing stinks to high heaven.

    As an American citizen who felt completely ABANDONED after the 3/11 event in Japan….well, this resonates!!!

    The State Department is talking about these people like they are on a Club Med holiday…and, just don’t want it to end…or, like, we TRIED to contact these people 19 times…

    I can tell you that airlines were gouging people who were trying to leave Japan after the quake/tsunami/nuke meltdown…and, Uncle Sammy said…A-OK.

    What that State Department HACK is describing of State Department rescue efforts sounds very similar. If an American managed to get to Kabul airport and board a plane…I am betting they were tripple-charged for a flight out.

    Throughout the Covid-19 debacle I have asked my Embassy for help. I have been directed to disconnected numbers, food banks that no longer exist (if they ever did), and a Japanese entity that apparently helps battered women. I was told to ‘lie’ and say I am a victim of domestic abuse.

    • I had a physical reaction to last Thursday’s news conference and statements by the Man Speaking that almost made me physically ill. I knew better than to listen again last Tuesday. At one point I considered going into the Foreign Service so international affairs has always been an area of interest and still is. It’s hard for the typical person to grasp what the horrific long term implications will be for this kind of ridiculously poor decision-making coupled to a refusal to own the consequences of intentional acts or failures to act.

      On a different note, https://techonomy.com/2021/09/spiritual-opium-china-limits-online-gaming-time-youth/ was in my inbox and it certainly looks like the Chinese may be shifting back to a focus on content and the transmission of knowledge, while leaving UNESCO to push Change the Child at a noetic level on the rest of the world. It would be a great way to ensure dominance globally in the 21st Century.

      • For sure. US is too busy making sure everyone is woke and any possible combination of genders or non-gendered feel special.

        In another note, I watched the entirety of a school board meeting that made headlines this week. Haven’t seen parents that worked up in a long time. Refreshing yet sad, because they all clearly think school is about academic education. I wanted to face them all and ask one question. What do you think whole child education means??? They’ve scratched and itty bitty part of the surface and think the board and teachers Union changes can fix it. Only a few days this is a deep imbedded problem. If only they knew.

        • This interview is being pushed in one of my weekly newsletters from the Global Planning/ Upravleniye Set https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/if_humans_evolved_to_cooperate_why_is_cooperation_so_hard

          Apart from all the focus on how we must now act ‘collectively’ because, as this blog and my book have shown, our kids are being programmed to think collectively with common words and images, notice this passage on the ‘circle of moral concern”.

          Expanding our circle of moral concern is sensitive to people’s own perception of material security. When people perceive that their basic needs are either unlikely to be met or they’re in doubt, you tend to see a constriction of those circles of moral regard, and people invest more heavily in a much smaller number of highly interdependent relationships.

          It’s only when the state provides material security to some extent that people can afford to expand their social networks a bit, because they’re not so reliant on highly interdependent interaction partners to meet their basic needs. In that respect, the state or government has a role to play in extending people’s circle of moral regard and their willingness to cooperate.

          That ‘circle of moral concern’ phraseology and goal as an outcome for students is part of the curricula and learning experiences created by Facing History and Ourselves to implement the ‘citizenship’ desired Dispositions that are a part of the Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy. And if you believe the False Narrative that EAD is merely a push by the left, how’s this recent endorsement https://amgreatness.com/2021/08/28/civic-education-as-duty-and-delight/

          It’s the Common Core managed pincer action all over again. By the way, Carrese was a Rhodes Scholar. Look up what he got his two Masters in. Talk about How to Target the Human Belief System for Normative Change! Reminds me of the work Danielle Allen did in Oxford on her Marshall Fellowship there after Princeton where Robert George was her mentor. She brags in an interview about wanting 3 dissertation advisors because of her transdisciplinary aims. Now she bills herself as a Moral Philosopher in an interview she gave after relocating to Harvard. And she is the main PI for both the Roadmap and Our Common Purpose.

          The jigsaw puzzle I have been piecing together using webinars for professional development and think tank programs all spring and summer is largely complete now. Time to talk about it in full after our respective holidays.

          Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend

          • Wanted to make sure you had seen this– https://www.edutopia.org/article/creating-mindful-space-self-regulation It picks up multiple of our bugaboos.

            Dealing with something unexpected in my real life, but hope to get back to explaining what is indisputedly intended soon. In the mean time, people may want to search the phrase “Vulnerability Theory and the Human Condition”. https://lpeproject.org/blog/countering-neoliberal-logic-with-the-vulnerable-human-subject/ came my way as I travelled recently. The implications fit right in with making ‘subjective well-being’ the focus of government globally and Resilience a key disposition to be fostered by personalized, student-centered K-12 education.

          • Adding this just out which fits with the above discussion. https://www.gettingsmart.com/2021/09/21/well-being-matters-an-index-to-measure-student-thriving/

            Good confession here.

            Around the globe, policymakers are prioritizing well-being. Why? Because our lived experience as human beings matters as much as the bales of cotton, kilowatts of energy, and gigabytes of information that we, as a society, produce each year.

            And the pandemic has only added to the concern, for adults and children alike. How are the young people in your life feeling right now? Are they thriving, languishing, or somewhere in between? Do you know?

            Because you cannot manage what you cannot measure, Character Lab created the Student Thriving Index. Administered each fall, winter, and spring using Qualtrics to over 100,000 middle and high school students nationwide, this self-report questionnaire separately indexes social, emotional, and academic dimensions of well-being.

            And then there is this from today on how we supposedly get to a ‘just, sustainable future’ globally with education as the highway in. https://www.gettingsmart.com/2021/09/22/a-vision-for-transformative-education/

            Worldwise Learning presents a vision for transformative education, one that allows us to collectively rise from the ashes of trauma and loss caused by recent events. It unpacks what it means to educate in the context of our complex world. While recognizing that globalization has in many cases increased levels of inequality, promoted consumption, and made dominant voices louder, our aim is to consider how we can co-construct humane, democratic classrooms within this context. Learning encourages children to seek solutions to problems they face. Learning that fosters students’ emotional connection, personal well-being, and reverence for the natural world. Learning that demands students participate actively in their communities. Such learning matters. It is authentic, purposeful, relevant, and engaging. It builds and improves neighborhoods. It prepares learners to navigate an unknown future. Through such teaching, we communicate a key message: to learn is to hope. Learning is a light, which can guide us through times of darkness.

            Oh. My. Also look at that graphic of the Swiss Army Knife. Remember when I warned in CtD that the Common Core was actually a Competency Framework, while the False Narrative crowd kept insisting erroneously that Competency was about vocational education?

        • This from a few days ago is quite graphic as to what ‘Whole Child” is getting at. https://www.gettingsmart.com/2021/08/knowing-students-deeply-is-the-most-important-thing-we-can-do/ The author, Pamela Cantor, is very tied into the activities of the SoLD Alliance. A sample–

          Imagine what it would mean if all the places where children are growing and learning were designed to meet each child, the whole child, where they are, and help each one develop to their fullest potential?

          Developmental and learning science tell an optimistic story: children’s brains, bodies, and abilities are malleable to experience—because the human brain is a dynamic, living structure made up of tissue that is the most susceptible to change from experience of any tissue in the human body.

          If we optimize the contexts for learning, we optimize the possibility that our young people will not only catch up and recover from the effects of this past year—we will have also made a down payment on the learning settings we need to build for our kids and their futures.

          What happens from here depends on the things we decide to invest in. The message in the science is clear—we need a new design mapped to the way the brain learns and children grow.

          A design that combines these 5 elements: positive developmental relationships; environments filled with safety and belonging; rich learning experiences and knowledge development; the intentional development of critical skills, habits and mindsets; and integrated student supports.

          And here is the secret sauce: the development of a whole child emerges when we combine these elements into experiences that connect to one another – that are interdisciplinary and integrated. You can picture this as a web of experiences, because this is how our brains develop – lots of connections that happen between the structures of the brain, and these connections produce increasingly complex skills.

          Programming each child as if they were simply computer hardware and software who need to think, be motivated, and act as desired and when.

          • Benjamin Boyce just did a podcast with a CA mother and former school board member (who remained anonymous). This person described her own daughter’s bout of gender identity confusion. She also stated that 40% of the moms in her reading club reported that their daughters were similarly confused. Her suggestion, was to: 1) meet with teachers to learn what constructs related to gender are being disseminated, 2) investigate what training firms are indoctrinating teachers. She seemed to feel that having a talk with one’s child about this culture would be prophylactic. Your thoughts?

  7. It is my understanding that American citizens who were, as of a few days ago, assured by the Biden administration that it would continue to facilitate their safe departure have now received messages from the State Department to the effect that they are on their own. This should be read in the same way by every American citizen who is out of country (or in country).

    Yeh, I saw the article on China and gaming. Just common sense.

  8. Off point, as usual, but I have been listening to James Lindsay’s series on Herbert Marcuse. His most recent effort detailed, among other things, Marcuse’s speculation that a ‘dominator’ culture would readily re-assert itself in human groups, and that the remade Soviet man would have to guard against this. Is this the origin of Riane Eisler’s thesis? THX

    • I thought Riane’s thesis came from a collaboration she had with Nel Noddings. She and her husband, David Loye, were part of the Darwin Project with Csik, Ervin Laszlo, and others on intentional cultural evolution that would bridge East and West. She was also featured on an IEEE webinar I was on this summer tied to the AI systems used in digital learning and the objectives to be met by them.

      I think it is all a means of pitching the little ‘c’ vision without calling it that. Am reading this https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/node/19526/pdf/build-forward-better.pdf just out that UNESCO is hyping. Was a bit taken aback by the Figure 1 graphic on “Why does education matter?” which had this definition for ‘Global Citizenship’. Hard not to think of the overhyping of the so-called Capitol Insurrection or the absurd lockdowns Down Under.

      Global Citizenship–Education which develops skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and social and emotional learning can help build young people’s resistance to extremist narratives and equip them with the ability to spot ‘fake news’ and conspiracy theories. Citizenship skills–such as the ability to make decisions collectively and democratically–are vital to children’s development in society.

      That was my bolding. Just wow. All over the globe there is now an organized desire to control thought and what must be believed and what cannot be said. It reminds me of someone using Bertrand Russell’s The Impact of Science on Society in the context of all the demonstrated knowledgeable people with confirmable facts being depatformed for asserting the non-approved narrative on COVID. It quoted this aim that fits with what I have been warning are the real aims of learning standards and competency frameworks globally.

      Among the questions that are referenced in the video, are political issues of human nature that are very much among the questions that we need to be asking. Is the Covid Regime the slippery slope? Consider these quotes in that regard:

      Scientific societies are as yet in their infancy. … It is to be expected that advance in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries.

      Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.

      — The Impact of Science on Society, Bertrand Russell, 1951

      From here https://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/2021/09/another-sign-that-narrative-is-breaking.html#more

      We have a convergence among these various areas being hyped with False Narratives abounding.

    • This paper should be of particular interest to you.

      The term life space (LS) in topological psychology pioneered by Kurt Lewin is characterized by a holistic mode of thinking and attributes human behavior to the interaction between internal psychological space (i.e., the person) and external physical space (i.e., the environment). The internal dynamic mechanism of the whole life space was illustrated based on Lewin’s dynamic psychology which reveals the relation between human and environment and an ecological space for the cooperation and development of teaching and learning, that is, a learning field, was constructed with reference to the operation of life space. In the present study, topological analysis was conducted on the mechanism of action between learners’ learning behavior and environment in the learning field. Apart from the construction of the learning field, the study also paid attention to some issues closely related to teaching such as the relation between teaching and learning and teaching and learning methods under the framework of learning field. A parallel cooperative teaching-learning relation was proposed and teachers are recommended to design teaching activities that fit the i+1 pattern by making the best of the potential teaching carriers in the physical environment to arouse learners’ learning interest, induce their learning motivation, awaken their inner tension system and finally transform their learning behavior. Learners were encouraged to engage in self-directed and experiential learning with the assistance of objects in the environment so as to achieve better learning outcomes and more efficient learning and eventually to form the habit of lifelong learning. The learning field constructed in the study is the fruit of an attempt to apply Lewin’s field theory in teaching domain. The significance of such construction lies in getting rid of the thinking model of regarding coursebooks or even teachers as the intermediate to link teaching and learning and taking the psycho-physical dialogue between learners and environment as the starting point to consider and solve teaching problems.


        • Yes and it all boils down into instilling the desired thought processes using prescribed conceptual Understandings coupled to desired Values of the kind described here.

          Increasingly, people are turning their backs on the values of trust and solidarity in one another – the very values we need to rebuild our world and secure a better, more sustainable future for our people and our planet.
          Humanity’s welfare – and indeed, humanity’s very future – depend on solidarity and working together as a global family to achieve common goals.

          For people, for the planet, for prosperity and for peace.

          These people are as delusional as Chamberlain proclaiming “Peace in Our Time” in 1938. But transformed education grounded in the Intrapersonal Neural Connections is the way in. Competency is simply the term used to obscure the ruse of treating people as if they were a combo of computer hardware and software that can be trained to operate as programmed through ‘learning experiences’ tied to poorly understood ‘standards’.

          Well, it’s not poorly understood here at ISC.

        • Also notice what I have been warning about for several years as Disinformation was clearly about the source, not veracity. We are entering a world of ‘approved information’. No wonder education is determined to circumscribe the neural net and try to dictate its content and connections.

          Third, now is the time to end the “infodemic” plaguing our world by defending a common, empirically backed consensus around facts, science and knowledge. The “war on science” must end. All policy and budget
          decisions should be backed by science and expertise, and I am calling for a global code of conduct that promotes integrity in public information.

          ‘Integrity in public information’ means a return to required cant so that governments can rule instead of individuals choosing their own life courses. No wonder K-12 education wants to focus on ‘the decision-making processes’ globally while billing it as a student-centered Competency focus.

          Here we have it. To function as a system, per Kenneth Boulding, requires ‘a common purpose’. So we get covid overhype, misrepresentations of racism, and Climate Change fears. Fix the threat with collective action. But it also requires “an ever deeper crisis of trust fomented by a loss of shared truth and understanding.”

          The requisite Higher Order Thinking Skills that must be assessed in virtually all schoolchildren in the US (hence the 95% reference in ESSA) is designed to get at forcing the needed “shared truth and understanding” at a population level. Remember Guiding Fictions will do because they motivate the desired actions in the everyday world.

    • Have you seen this? https://unfoundation.org/our-common-agenda/ It came out while I was out of town. No over the top rhetoric here.

      COVID-19 and the climate crisis present humanity with shared tests like at no time since the Second World War. We have an urgent and stark choice: business as usual that brings perpetual crisis, or recommitting to working together to achieve a better, greener, safer future for everyone.

      The UN Secretary-General’s landmark Our Common Agenda report offers a vision of a future grounded in solidarity and common cause, where global decision making is more representative, and young people are designers of their own futures.

      That designers of their own futures language in turn aligns with the visions in K-12 Portrait of a Graduate and Learner Profiles.

  9. Robin, I revisited my notes related to the research project you and I were involved in. In the course of doing this, I consulted the professional bios of anti-cult activists, those who were survivors of a certain West Coast LGAT cult. These are people who had sent me elaborate descriptions of their experience in ‘est’. All seem, now, to be omitting the name of that organization, or its current iteration. Instead, they say they had become involved in an LGAT, or that they affiliated with the anti-cult movement owing to the experience of a relative. This is not the case with recovered-Scientologists, or Moonies, et al.

    • Having financed the Common Core in the US and the related global Achievement Standards, look at what the Gates Foundation is bringing us now to make sure that “thinking” stays in the assigned pathways. https://www.frameworksinstitute.org/publication/the-features-of-narratives-a-model-of-narrative-form-for-social-change-efforts/

      And you are right it is basically cult-like in its desire to control. Also this https://www.frameworksinstitute.org/publication/talking-about-poverty-narratives-counter-narratives-and-telling-effective-stories/ and this https://www.frameworksinstitute.org/publication/how-do-other-fields-think-about-narrative-lessons-for-narrative-change-practitioners/

      All released yesterday with Gates’ financing.

      Thought I’d add this money quote from the first paper.

      For clarity, we reserve the term “narrative” for patterns in discourse. When talking about
      patterns in thinking, we use the term “cultural mindsets.” Distinguishing between the two
      is valuable for multiple reasons. As we discuss below, the explicit narratives we tell in
      discourse have a specific form that is tied to the form of stories. The stories we tell each other
      have a set of features that structure narratives in a particular way. In addition, by distinguishing
      between narratives and mindsets, we can more clearly articulate the relationship between
      them. Narratives both reflect and shape the cultural mindsets people hold—the deep, taken-
      for-granted assumptions about the world that we use to make sense of our circumstances, our
      experiences, and the communications we receive.10 Making this distinction helps articulate the
      purpose of narrative change: because the narratives that circulate within our public discourse
      shape our mindsets, changing which narratives are dominant can shift how people understand
      society and their role in it.

      • Well, an Aussie ruffian announced yesterday that he and his were going to deal with anyone who was perpetuating the Covid-19 narrative. He stated that this group would include politicians, medical treaters, TEACHERS, business leaders, anyone propagating the ‘story’. He said that the ‘dealing with’ would be multi-pronged and would involve the courts, but not necessarily only legal pathways. He asked his listeners to send the names, pictures and addresses of Covid-19 myth managers, which he is going to post online. Probably, he is right in that a directory of these people needs to be created.

        • Quite a story from Down Under. While the fundraising nonprofits and the think tanks hyping CRT are claiming victories while asking for donations for the Cause, look what just rolled out on the 22nd with this message.

          To build the pro-Black future we imagine, we have to dig into the history and impacts of racism, and build the skills to disrupt it. The new Reckoning with Race Curriculum offers a framework – seven modules with resources, discussion questions, and sample workshop agendas – to do just that.


          If you look at the dominance of the financial institutions and philanthropies tied to Living Cities, which has published this Reckoning with Race curriculum, it is also a tight connection to every local Chamber of Commerce. The teachers’ unions may be pushing this, but its advocates are far more mainstream than that . Everywhere we find this myth that new human systems simply require commitment and imagination.

          • If memory serves, Melbourne is a ‘sustainable’ city. My AUS buddies, here, think it is a beta test. Were I TPTB, I might pick a different population group. The same friends tell me that “we never gave up our guns, just hid them on the roof, or buried them in the yard”.

            Am I alone in finding TPTB a bit grandiose? I think they live in an echo chamber and imagine their numbers are much greater than they are. AUS would be hard to control given its size and natural resources. Also, the people are naturally ‘resilient’.

          • Trying to benchmark ‘capability’ Down Under. Looks like — and I think this is conservative — there are 3 m plus privately-held weapons in AUS, and these would not be hand guns, but long guns with various capabilities. For NZ, the number is 1 m, also a conservative estimate.

            I don’t know if American audiences are privy to what is going on in these Five Eyes states, but this is YOUR future. Check out Bitchute or other alternative platforms to see grannies who are peacefully protesting lockdowns thrown to the ground and pepper-sprayed, or ordinary Aussies who are trying to have a meal in an OUTDOOR setting being hassled for their ‘papers’. The state response to peaceful protests now encompasses rubber bullets being fired into crowds, and it will go further.

            As I have suggested many times before, Robin, this is no longer an issue that can be remedies by intellectual exercises.

          • That may be true, but there can be no question that controlling the ‘intellectual’ faculties is an essential component of this global vision. https://issues.org/rise-of-the-cognitive-ecosystem-allenby/ was linked to today by a weekly newsletter. Notice too that it views the Chinese Social Credit System as I have. Controlling the collective belief and value system, which is precisely what the global ed model does when properly understood.

            Fast forward to today. It should be no surprise that at some point techno-human cognitive systems such as social media, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, cameras, computers, and sensors should begin to form their own ecology—significantly different in character from human cognition. Perceiving the rise of such a cognitive ecosystem is a different matter, however: in periods of technological, social, and political upheaval, there is always a tension between feeling that despite superficial appearances, things are much as they always were, or, alternatively, that the world has gotten fundamentally weirder. Today, in one important way, it is increasingly apparent that the latter perspective is, in fact, correct, and that the weirdness is arising from deep roots that transcend our everyday frameworks. It is arising from an evolutionary leap foreshadowed throughout human history, but now, after a long ramp-up, emerging explosively across social, military, political, and cultural landscapes: what I will describe as a global cognitive ecosystem. Understanding this emergence is one of the principle challenges of our age, because the cognitive ecosystem undermines many, if not all, of our existing institutions and assumptions.

            The Global Cognitive Ecosystem is precisely what governments all over the world at every level seek to control via a reimagining of education. CRT IS terrible, but much of the hype surrounds what this article regards as ‘congealed knowledge’, which is actually not the field that the game is being played on anymore. The same newsletter also hypes Steven Pinker’s new book, https://stevenpinker.com/publications/rationality-what-it-why-it-seems-so-scarce-and-why-it-matters which is also related to the desire for ‘collective, controlled cognition’ among the citizenry in the 21st century.

          • Those LC folks die-hards there. I have been watching this Aussie build up too. Certainly does look like a trial run. They are farther ahead on forcing green. It does appear the WEF has started their GR there although I would say it has been in progress before they officially announced the plan as we all know. Aus. schools have been in the thick of it for a long time right along with NZ.
            It’s tough to watch any news given the audacity of our current leader. What a joke.

          • Do you remember that quite a few of the cited resources on the ACTUAL common core implementation and what Learning Tasks actually mean that I used in the More Prescient Than Ever CtD came from servers in New Zealand? Much of the Qualifications Frameworks material came from OZ, as did a considerable amount of my research over what Constructivism actually intended and what Tranzi OBE aimed to do.

            I don’t like to talk about my personal life here at ISC, but we suffered an unexpected sudden tragedy in September. I am finding writing a bit of a relief from the grief, but am not able yet to sit down and get back to explaining what I recognize is going on.

  10. On the topic of ‘collective controlled cognition’, I have been thinking about how the pandemic scam was cognitively infiltrated into the population in Japan. We have a population of 130,000,000 and there are approximately 16,000 deaths on record, with most victims being VERY elderly. Given those figures how many people would actually know someone who died of Covid-19? I am thinking back to WHO was propagating fear in my world during the early days of the ‘pandemic’. First to come to mind are members of the clergy. Priests at my Catholic parish were delivering homilies that referenced a ‘plague’ at least one month before the lockdown. At another ‘church’, I heard a pastor describing online deaths that had occurred in L.A., and sobbing while he did it. Had none of this crossed my screen, had I not partaken of the news, there was nothing in my world to suggest that anyone was getting ill, beyond the usual colds and flu.

    Most of the ‘deaths’ I have heard of occurred in the U.K. and among people who, again, were very elderly and had multiple health issues. So, I really like the idea of identifying WHO in each community has taken special pains to promote the idea of a pandemic. Certainly, teachers and school boards have done their part. Also, you can spot ‘them’ on FACEBOOK. I wonder how many of these folks are being paid to be hysterical???

    • A good example is Linda Lantieri https://dalailamacenter.org/users/linda-lantieri who gives training sessions for teachers to use with students by one name and then uses the same techniques and practices in training other days that is more openly Kumbaya in its purposes.

      https://www.safetolearn.com/linda-lantieri.html is more geared to K-12.

      or here https://www.ikedacenter.org/thinkers-themes/thinkers/interviews/linda-lantieri where she says:

      The way we have been educating our young people is not necessarily preparing them for today’s world. Our vision of an educated person is primarily connected to the details of intellectual competency, academic development, and high test scores. We have to expand this if we are going to prepare young people for the twenty-first century that they’re in and for the dilemmas they are going to face as world citizens…I’d like to add that I don’t think that explicit standards are bad. My concern is the assumption that we can measure what we need to know well through testing and standardization. And then the wider vision of education—which includes educating young people’s hearts and spirits—goes to the back burner. We are missing the awareness that emotional, social, and spiritual development are clearly connected to academic achievement.

      What we need, in general, is an alternative way of assessment, where we are being held accountable for a higher form of learning. We need standards that stress the importance of demonstrating the kind of competencies of mind and heart that can be publicly reviewed. This is part of what I’m working on now, helping to develop standards in the field of social and emotional learning.

      What would some of those standards be?

      The standards we’re talking about are standards that have to do with identifying one’s emotions, managing one’s emotions, and then seeing how those emotions can effectively help to problem solve. Those are the concepts, but within those concepts are skills: Can the young person actively listen? Is the student able to say what s/he needs and feels by using an “I” message without putting the other person down?

      And then there are skills in the areas of diversity and bias-awareness. Our young people need to be aware of prejudice and discrimination but they also need to have the skills to interrupt that prejudice and discrimination.

      See what can hide under the term–‘learning standards’ or ‘competency-based education’?

    • I have been screaming this fact since day 1 !!! It is abuse AND Grooming! parents are so brain dead and or Brainwashed or aloof that they still trust schools no matter what, And the schools are expert at tamping down any insurgency With lies gaslighting techniques of all sorts, so parents stop questioning. The fear of children’s intentional ridicule isolation or abuse because of thrir parents ironically keeps parents allowing this sel abuse. Whenever i have gotten into a national group to fight these things there is alway someone in the group marching everyone into a corner or ready to kamikaze anyone with chutzpah. Controlled ops. A telling fact i have been highlighting for years here is that the school change academics are a bunch of miscreants and political operatives. Canadian professor (and convicted pedo) Ben Levin was a leader in international school change friend of Trudeau and unapologetic pedo. Living the same Kinsey marx ideology that he and his colleages like Linda darling Hammond have imbedded in Common Core SEL etc.
      (This reply is to leslie oct 2)

      • This is from the same report on Science and Engineering I just referenced above. I would argue that the explicit sexualization you and I have discussed here at ISC and offline over the years is an attempt to get at the very internalized ‘sensemaking, being described.

        During the preschool and elementary years, children’s worlds expand and grow in
        complexity in ways that steadily broaden their approaches to posing scientific questions,
        pursuing investigations and designing solutions to self-defined engineering problems. Children’s
        learning is general is connected to and interdependent with both the human communities where
        they live and the natural ecosystems where those communities exist. This chapter looks at how
        both natural and social systems shape children’s science and engineering experiences.
        As children make their initial ideas and understanding visible, consider disagreements and
        gaps in their knowledge, and evaluate how new data and experiences relate to and help refine
        their ideas, they engage in sensemaking (Schwarz, Passmore, and Reiser, 2017; Warren et al.,
        2001). Schwarz and colleagues write:

        Sense-making…is the conceptual process in which a learner actively engages with the
        natural or designed world; wonders about it; and develops, tests, and refines ideas with
        peers and the teacher. Sense-making is the proactive engagement in understanding the
        world by generating, using, and extending scientific knowledge in communities. Sense-
        making is about actively trying to figure out how the world works and exploring how to
        create or alter things to achieve design goals. (p. 6)

        Children’s sensemaking is shaped by their social, cultural, historical, and even political
        contexts and the norms and practices, implicit social goals, relationships, and material and
        semiotic resources available in those contexts (including materials that may be inherently
        biased). Learning to see the value in children’s sensemaking, or taking a sensemaking stance
        (Bang et al., 2017; Warren et al., 2001), is an important task of educators and others who support
        children’s learning, as subsequent chapters address.
        This chapter explores how children engage in sensemaking and the many contexts in
        which they learn about disciplinary approaches to and explanations of the natural and the
        designed world, about themselves as thinkers and actors, and about scientific investigation and engineering design as distinctive approaches to understanding the world (Bricker and Bell,
        2014). It does not address how children come to be proficient in investigation and design
        (addressed in Chapter 4) nor how to support children’s learning (addressed in Chapter 5). And in
        keeping with the rest of the report, the focus of this chapter is on preschool through fifth grade,
        though foundations for science and engineering learning begin from the start of children’s lives.
        This chapter is organized around four big ideas. First, learning is a social and cultural
        process, where culture is understood as shared behaviors, practices, and orientations of socially
        distinguishable groups passed down from one generation to the next (Eisenhart, 2001). Second,
        learning is a process of identity development. As children engage in scientific and engineering
        practices, they position themselves and get positioned by others as particular kinds of people
        (e.g., as people who competently do science or engineering). Third, children move through a
        range of cultural contexts where they learn science and engineering, and variations in these
        contexts shape what and how children learn. Fourth, how teachers teach and children learn
        science and engineering are shaped by social and political forces—learning in these disciplines is
        not neutral because the disciplines themselves are not neutral. Box 3-1 provides an example of
        how these big ideas play an important role in children’s learning and sensemaking. The box is
        followed by sections that elaborate further on each of the four big ideas.

        • Robin this passage is amazing.
          The deconstructing how life works is maniacal arrogance.
          They know how to damage and where to insert it because they have disssected and studied brain damage in children. the age bracket referenced explains their creating the habits of mind which will follow the child forever. Disrupting the normal natural order. With trauma. Like Leslie reveals and I can attest, therepists are working overtime now that we are looking at ourselves.

      • Madmommy, I have been examining my entire CA edu experience and can see elements of grooming from kindergarten to graduate school. My educational experience was highly sexualized, willfully or via neglect, from junior high school on. I was a high risk kid and was more vulnerable, but I think the ‘vibe’ was pervasive.

        Deborah Cole, I had the luxury of being able to observe the cultural debasement because my parents equipped me with phonetic reading skills from a very young age, so I was reading very well when I entered this mess. I watched kids struggle for years to master what was effortless for me. I kept thinking, “why are we all here?”

        The nastiest forces on earth are involved in all of this.

  11. Re Global Cognitive Ecosystem: “We are being governed by an alien mind.” The invasive data-sweeping algorithms go in and the results come out, but nobody knows how the AI data cruncher “thinks.”


    Did somebody say there is a lot of weirdness out there?

    Btw, Amazing Polly did a very interesting video on how replacing one-on-one doctor and patient interactions with specialized “teams” of doctors who depend on computer programs to make medical decisions have had very bad health and mortality results.


    Duh. The dystopia of the experts. That Hideous Strength.

    • I saw the Amazing Polly thing and later encountered a vid in which “front-line responders’ described how they just DID what they were told to do by ‘experts’. This will escalate when military personnel are brought in to replace those who will not be vaxxed.

      On Robin’s points, I keep going back to my early research of Rogerian interventions in convents, seminaries and parochial and public schools.

      On this front, I compare the output of traditional vs. ‘sensitive’, child-focused education (parochial). I note that almost ALL of my personal heroes describe their ‘survival’ of repressive Catholic, and other religious schooling. These were the folks who were pugilized by nuns if they did not ACHIEVE. Clarence Thomas tells a story like this.

      I think you can talk about pre-Rogers, and post-Rogers edu. In the later, Sister Mary is just Mary and she burdened children with HER personal quirks and emotional needs, and THIS was contagious!!!

      • Oh. My. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2021-10-07-american-democracy-is-sick-can-colleges-be-part-of-the-cure

        There’s long been a belief that a more perfect civic education can lead to a more perfect union. Colleges tried service learning. Then they pushed to get out the vote. But the political events and rhetoric of the past few years—culminating in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol—have heightened the sense of urgency that higher education do something more to patch the widening cracks in American democracy. In an era of viral digital disinformation, eroding governance norms and increased political violence, the same old campus “civic engagement” programs no longer seem sufficient.

        So now colleges are rethinking their efforts. In June, the University of Virginia announced that a new Institute of Democracy is in the works. In July, the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University won a grant to create a research framework about colleges and democracy. September saw the birth of the Civic Learning and Democracy Engagement coalition, led by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Complete College America, College Promise and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

        “We see this as central: to preserve democracy by drawing people together in civic discourse grounded in the civic purpose of higher education,” says Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

        Several of these new initiatives have a specific focus on racial equity. The idea is to educate students “for a strong and inclusive democracy,” says Thomas, the Tufts researcher. “It’s not the democracy we have, it’s the democracy we want and need. A more aspirational democracy.”

        And the ‘Aspirational Democracy’ needs a New Kind of Citizen, which requires a New Kind of Mindset and Value System that will Make Meaning in Shared Ways for a 21st Century Sought New Kinds of Collectivism in the Name of Wellbeing and Sustainability. Were you aware that Fernando Flores had written a book with Hubert Dreyfus? 1999 by MIT Press called Disclosing New Worlds: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action and the Cultivation of Solidarity. It is cited in a new Geoff Mulgan paper out in September called “The Case for Exploratory Social Sciences.” Once we remember that Pedagogy and Psychology ARE ‘Exploratory Social Sciences’ already as CtD laid out, it becomes clear to me what is wrong with too much of the CRT hype. It’s not about Bad History as a body of unhistorical so-called FACTS. It’s about creating the justification for Redesigning the Future. I just finished the paper.

        • Your inquiries, objections, have probably garnered you “domestic terrorist” status under the new order of things so at what point are your prepared to stop intellectualizing this stuff?

          • Not in the near future I hope with this from a new NAS Report just out:

            Every child deserves to experience the wonder of science and the satisfaction of
            engineering. Children, even at very young ages, are deeply curious about the world around them
            and eager to investigate the many questions they have about their environment. Engaging them
            in learning science and engineering takes advantage of this interest and helps them to answer
            their own authentic questions and solve real-world problems that are important to them. Doing so
            helps children develop into people who can be informed decision-makers about issues that will
            matter to them as adults—issues related to their health or the environment, for example, and that
            deeply affect them and their communities.
            From the start, this committee was dedicated to two key principles: first, the importance
            of recognizing and building on the assets of children, families, communities, and educators, and
            second, the imperative of working toward equity and justice in society through science and
            engineering in the early years.
            Even very young children—from infancy, and certainly from around age three years,
            when this report’s scope begins—can make sense of their world in sophisticated ways. From
            preschool through fifth grade, the older end of the report’s scope, children are connecting ideas,
            building concepts, and engaging in meaningful science and engineering practices. Their
            proficiencies, as this report shows, are amazing. Such proficiencies are nurtured when educators
            design opportunities to learn that meet children’s needs; when educators engage responsively
            with children’s ideas and interests; and when they can hear children’s ideas and see their
            successes. This report aims to support educators in this work by reviewing and elaborating on
            what the literature says about how to support children’s engagement and growth.
            Yet, at the same time as we are recognizing children’s strengths, we must also recognize
            our country’s struggles. Although a group of academics and educators who support and study
            how young children make sense of and engage in science and engineering is unlikely to end
            systemic injustice, such a group can use their expertise to try to work toward justice, locally and
            societally. This report takes seriously the charge of considering who the children are who have
            been historically marginalized from engaging in science and engineering—through assumptions
            about their cultural backgrounds, their prior knowledge or experiences, their linguistic resources,
            their gender, or any other dimension of potential oppression—and exploring what the literature
            says about how these children can and do engage in meaningful science and engineering, when
            supported. This report, then, also aims to help educators recognize and foster the brilliance of
            every child.

            FRom Science and Engineering in Preschool Through Elementary Grades: The Brilliance of Children and the Strengths of Educators. According to its Chapter 3, Learning Science and Engineering is a matter of ‘Identity Formation’.

      • So True! My experience was pretty good with nuns but right after I left school the nuns all started leaving and now school is completely secular it’s really a shame. What Rogers began the media completed. How could a nun take her vows seriously with threes company and Mr. Kotter?. Oh and the flying nun and Love American Style. It was a shame campagne and they were being lured by new age freedom to be groovy. Permisssion to groove.

          • Yup. Now the new transhuman lgbtqrxtvbjk religion with the entire school staffs doing what “experts” tell them.

  12. Just heard Catherine Austin Fitts tell a great story. She reported that the mayor of Hudson, OH had become alarmed by the sexual content of elementary school texts. He evaluated the situation with a local judge, walked into a school board meeting and told members of that board that they have five minutes to submit their resignations. He said that if they failed to do so, he would have them charged with child pornography. Apparently, they resigned.

    • Sadly, an isolated case. In most areas, the police are turning a blind eye to the child porn and pedophilia concepts springing up throughout the K-12 texts.

  13. Robin that NAS report is astounding! They know that killing the joy of living by forcing technical rubbish manipulated info data and telling Kids what they are will surely stunt them .

    • There is a Chinese term–tianxia which actually seems to be in play behind calls for Equity that force a new kind of Learning as we saw in that NAS report as this quote further lays out–“Viewing learning as identity formation means that science and engineering educators’ work is to nurture humans (italics in original), not only to nurture humans’ minds.” Nurture humans is exactly what all these Citizenship calls also want as this summer’s Professional Development webinars on Educating for American Democracy made repeatedly clear while I listened.

      Tianxia is the idea of “a common choice made by all peoples in the world, or a universal agreement in the ‘hearts’ of all people.” Precisely what these Learning Standards and Competency Frameworks, as well as the related Tranzi OBE covered in CTD, aim to inculcate at a largely unconscious, Habits of Mind, level. It’s probably not a coincidence that in late September Educational Psychology & Cognition carried an article called “The Construction of a Learning Field Based on Lewin’s Equation for Behavior” by a Chinese scholar, Zhang Qi, from Lanzhou University. It lays out a vision for obtaining “a unity of psychological and physical environment”. It makes no bones about the targeting of the “dynamic system [that] resides inside the individual”. Curriculum takes on an entirely new meaning when “the learners’ psychological structure [development]…is achieved in the way of psycho-physical negotiation…To be specific, by making full use of personal carriers of teaching content in physical environment, teachers are required to design learning activities that would trigger the cycle of desires-tension-target-learning behavior in learners’ psychological world.”

        • This week’s quote from an upcoming webinar–

          Our nation’s education system is at a crossroads. The choices that we make, particularly in this school year, can either ignore or further exacerbate inequity, or can be leveraged to create more equitable, identity-affirming, safe environments where all young people, especially BIPOC youth, can learn and thrive. The Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Alliance is inviting field leaders to join a series of conversations, “Who Gets to Thrive? The Science of Learning and Development as a Tool for Anti-Racism.”

          The science of learning and development tells us an inherently hopeful story of the billions of pathways to thriving inherent in every young person and points to important mindset shifts about environments, experiences, and relationships. Used as a lens through which to view our education systems, these and other insights highlight the many and deep inequities that must be addressed if all young people are to be given an authentic chance to thrive. Anti-racism and designing for equity is about deconstructing systems and actively choosing a new purpose and path forward. What do we actually know about the impact of racism on learning and development? How does the experience of racism and other systems of oppression impact education practice, policy and the design of a learning environment? What actions must we take to dismantle racism and cultivate learning experiences for all young people to thrive?

  14. I have some ‘odd’ personal experiences to report. I think I mentioned earlier that I have been looking into the nature of an ‘experimental’ experiential learning program I unwittingly found myself embroiled in as an undergrad. A unique feature of this program entailed the sexual predating of co-eds, and a few males by most of the professors involved. This ran the gamut from an “A” for a lay type stuff, to kidnapping and physical assaults. I was a minor victim: verbal harassement and I was academically punished for lack of compliance. I told my story as did many others in the context of a F/B alumni group. I also told my story to the Title IX compliance officer now in place at this institution. I was summarily kicked out of the F/B group because I suggested that a #metoo campaign may not be the best approach to behavior that spanned decades and involved many perpetrators and enablers. The university seemed amenable to investigating what had transpired and to offering redress in the form of an apology and guarantees that there would be no future victims. What more could be done?

    I now understand that subsequent to my being booted from the F/B group, a story was concocted which entails my having been the ‘live-in’ lover of the most virulent of the faculty predators. I apparently had this relationship ‘at distance’ in so far as I was at that time taking care of my dying mother and commuting to campus once or twice a week from a city 40 miles away. I am being told that I am fixated on events that occurred decades ago and need ‘therapy’. So fixated was I that prior to last year when I was doing some crowd-funding, I had, had virtually no contact with this group, avoided reunions, did not participate in its online community.

    Apparently, this sort of group psychosis is the net outcome of Frankfurt School-based navel gazing. Looks to me like much of the U.S. population is suffering from the same collective delusion.

  15. Robin, quick question.

    I am researching whether an individual claiming to be licensed to practice law in CA is licensed. If a female attorney was licensed under a maiden name, would this be cross-listed with the married name in CBA records? It would not appear so. I do not know the maiden name. Any ideas how to check this out? THX

    • I doubt it would be cross-referenced unless the attorney went to the trouble of changing her legal name to her married name. The longer one has practiced law, the more reluctant a lawyer is to change the name that has a reputation attached to it. Your best bet may be to try some kind of “also known as” search that may back door you into the unknown maiden name.

      I am trying to get in the head space to write again. I actually have quite a lot to say. In the mean time, I would suggest locating a 2013 paper from Systems Research and Behavioral Sciencecalled “Understanding Systems Science: A Visual and Integrative Approach” that was in turn cited in the Bibliography at the new report Next Generation Earth System Science at the National Science Foundation. There was a news conference on the report last week. No need to wonder anymore why the NSF is pushing Constructivism as covered in CtD in depth. Mind and personality manipulation are simply another means for “developing novel institutions to make collective decisions” as in this quote:

      With recognition that human activities–such as burning fossil fuels, transforming natural ecosystems to agricultural land to produce food, and developing novel institutions to make collective decisions–are altering the ability of the planet to support life, solutions-oriented systems approaches to Earth Systems Science take on urgency. The increasing desire to find solutions for complex societal problems related to the Earth’s systems entails a rethinking of NSF’s Earth Systems Science enterprise. In order to achieve the second aspect of NSF’s mission, to ‘advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare,’ next generation Earth Systems Science calls for advancing convergent, solutions-oriented systems approaches.

      Essentially Knowledge in the traditional sense needs to be circumscribed in order to ‘couple’ the socio/human element with the environment so that both can be controlled by political edict to align with ‘goals’. Probably also why the agenda also aligns with the UN’s new release of “Our Common Agenda”. Me, I am not looking forward to the kind of authoritarianism that attends “Elevating the Adoption of SES Models and Impact on Policy”. We also need to remember when we keep reading about the desired use of the Social Sciences to effect Social Change that Psychology and Pedagogy are two of the most useful Social Sciences if the aim is transformational social, economic, and political change–the Tripartate banners we just keep encountering going back to CTD.

  16. Let me run this by you. I have been trying to figure out what is the glue that holds this alumni group together. I thought it was sexual trauma bonding and it is, in part…but, I mentioned the Frankfurt School to a member. I figured I would get push back, but instead I received a multi-page testimonial to Herbert Marcuse and the gang. I have seen a number of them use the same phrase, which goes like this:

    “We learned that we had been lied to about everything, all of our lives.”

    I guess this refers to “false consciousness”, which they no longer suffer from. LOTS of talk about power and relationships, power being the end-all.

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