Everybody In! Instilling the Proper Mode of Human Conduct to Capture Hearts

In the last post, the cited Behavioral Scientist article justifying the need for #Charlottesville Conversations in all schools nationally, in turn cited a 1987 book The Battle for Human Nature by Barry Schwartz. Try not to be too shocked that I have now read that book and took today’s post title from its goals. See if anyone else thinks these aspirations were a good reason to try to create mayhem that tragically escalated, instead of simply serving as a rationale for a certain emphasis for the new school year. Since I have a hard copy I can tell everyone that the Acknowledgments page thanks a “Marty Seigman” who we all know as the Penn Prof behind Positive Education, Prospective Psychology, and Positive Neuroscience that feature so prominently in the actual new ESSA state plans and required Social Emotional Learning Standards now.

Just in case anyone thinks the following quotes cannot actually be anything more than a nerdy discussion, this is was what outcomes-based education was really about. It is what standards-based reforms such as the Common Core or even supposed alternatives like the Catholic Curriculum Frameworks are really about. It’s why we keep running into the phrase ‘human flourishing’ around every corner in education. I also suspect it is what the outcry over the DACA rollback is really about.

“How should society be organized? How should the resources of society be distributed among its members? How much should individual freedom be restricted, and in what ways? What is the extent of our responsibility to other human beings, and to the society to which we belong? What is the proper mode of human conduct, and how should it be instilled in people?”

That instilling in people is what the Tranzi OBE laid out in my book Credentialed to Destroy was all about and it is what its new rename as Graduate Profiles and Portraits of a Graduate gets at. My alma mater just put out its “Reflections on the Reformed Tradition  at Davidson College” where it describes the Marxist Humanist vision without using the M word but attributes the necessity for economic and social justice to the Presbyterian view of the world. Funny how it gets to the same place as what we saw with the Special Rome Edition of the 2016 World Happiness Report Vatican laid out for Catholicism or Islam’s Tarbiyah Project for schools. In case your alma mater has not yet added a new “Justice, Equality and Community” distribution requirement to mandate all “students’ intellectual engagement with social issues,” let’s quote the rationale everyone seems to be using to get at the internalized basis of future behavior:

“Educating the whole person involves more than training the intellect; it also involves training the knower’s interests and commitments. This inevitably influences his or her values, character, and behavior. Again, because Reformed believing envisions an expansive human calling (love of God and neighbor, or attention to the broadest ‘public good’), preparation for responsible living [College, Career, and Citizenship Ready?] does not reduce to intellectual training but involves the person’s other capacities as well. Indeed, when people pursue more particular callings or vocations, say as physicians, lawyers, parents, or teachers, the Reformed Tradition construes these lines of responsibility through which they serve others with their minds, hearts, and wills.”

I write books and this blog to do that, but somehow I doubt Davidson would see it that way. Notice you could substitute virtually every religious faith for what they are using the “Reformed tradition” to rationalize. For secular progressives, the word Democracy will substitute nicely as well. Virtually everyone seems intent now on insisting that education “cultivates humane instincts, and creative and disciplined minds for lives of leadership and service.” Again, this is not a new thing as we can see in a book from 1955 that Schwartz cited called Utopia 1976. It spoke openly about a desired “coming revolution of the spirit of man,” which is certainly a good reason for ubiquitous SEL, isn’t it?

The current Davidson statement complained about “those in our society, both conservative and progressive, who would separate faith and reason.” Utopia 1976 wanted that same combination to fuel its “desired revolution of the spirit”. It even provided the reason for all this Mind Arson and Dumbing Down I and others have documented through the years. Notice the use of the word “apperceive” to describe what Davidson called “disciplined minds” and “Marty Seligman” thanked above now calls Prospective Psychology. With Templeton Foundation funding just like the Jubilee Centre that has created the Knightly Virtues curriculum and the Moral Development Framework. If only we had some continuity in these initiatives across the decades, institutions, and countries. Oh, wait.

“We will avoid some of man’s great prior losses that occurred because discoveries came before man had knowledge enough to recognize the novel. We will apperceive what is in front of our eyes, and not only what is behind them. Every human, to lesser or greater degree, has the capacity of hypothesis, imagination, comparison, and reason. And this capacity, affected by environment, can be taught. [Can anyone say ‘inquiry learning’?] Even the art of intuition is not exclusively a matter of genes.

In fact, for some purposes the less informed are often the best equipped to grasp new principles. They are less thwarted by traditional acceptance of formerly held ideas.”

Oh, wow. Let that sink in. Utopia 1976 put this same aspiration even more succinctly by stating that “Dreams are a form of ideas and hence are powerful makers of history.” As a history major, that approach, cultivated deliberately and deceitfully by education, strikes me as quite dangerous. Davidson’s statement called it a desire to “cultivate creativity to affect change” in students. Schwartz in 1987, laying the cited foundation for the Charlottesville Conversations now, said it was all about a vision of human nature that sees it as mutable instead of fixed. If the type of education implemented and social conditions “in which people are at risk” can be changed, then, perhaps, people can be changed so that they operate under “a life of commitment to producing social change.”

The shifts we have all noticed in the curriculum make far more sense once we read Schwartz complain about “Knowing what forces are responsible for keeping the planets moving about the sun does not give people any particular power to control or change them.” No need then for a transmission of knowledge curriculum. Better to focus on creating a new guided moral compass to motivate a change in behavior and a desire to transform the world as it is.That would be “current social conditions” to Schwartz. I guess that would be the world behind us so we can concentrate on the world that might be. Prospective Psychology again or just competency-based education when accurately understood.

So “Knowledge” now is really only worth knowing when “it identifies aspects of the world over which people can exercise some control.” No wonder we keep hearing requirements for relevant, authentic learning. I am going to end this post with another Schwartz quote from his Epilogue as I believe it lays out perfectly why we keep hearing about Outcomes, Objectives, Standards-based Reforms, and Competency Frameworks. Remember how we just keep encountering a desire to use education to force an evolution of prevailing culture? Think about this when we falsely assume that the schools or colleges of today have the same purpose of the ones we attended.

“As culture develops, the paths are changed. Some stop being used and are allowed to fall into disrepair, slowly reclaimed by the wilderness. Others become popular and are lengthened and expanded to make room for all travelers. Culture’s paths are not accidental. They are meant to constrain people to move in some directions and not others; to make some destinations easy to reach and others impossible. These paths are meant to help travelers find their way.”

The paths of desired transformations via education are probably the least accidental of all. It’s why we keep coming across the same vision of the future, but with a variety of justifying rationales depending on the expected audience and what is plausible.

The true desired transformation may not be pleasant to see, but neither is there any doubt what education’s new role is and why it must be ‘student-centered’.

The whole student–head, heart, hands, and will.


25 thoughts on “Everybody In! Instilling the Proper Mode of Human Conduct to Capture Hearts

  1. Wow. This is a great insight into what “classical” education has now become… I believe this is the term Davidson college uses to market itself. Not surprised that traditional Catholic Universities would be pushing “Social Justice”, but I am a bit taken aback by Davidson and will certainly let people know. The truth is out.

    • I loved my years there and this post was not really about them, but it provided an excellent current admission of this long-standing desire to force this MH vision via a so-called Revolution of the Heart, Mind, and Personality. Most people are unaware of this aspect of Marxism or his Human Development Society vision. Once you become aware, you recognize it whatever it calls itself. This is another quote from page 4 of the statement that fits right into every holistic, integral, or transformational vision we have encountered. Think of Amitai Etzioni’s New Golden Rule and there is a direct alignment. That’s where I am going next and fully explains the everybody in part of title.

      “…while Davidson is committed to rigorous academic inquiry, it does not privilege the intellect above all; humane instincts are at least as important as disciplined and creative minds. Second, the Reformed Tradition emphasizes God’s concern for our life togethercharacterized by social justice, freedom, and peace; consequently, graduates should use their gifts of leadership to serve the common good. Third, a liberal arts education is not simply about acquiring knowledge, but about doing so in the context of the personal relationships students form with one another and with teachers and mentors. Fourth, and in a way that integrates the preceding three categories, a Davidson education can help students not only to prepare for a career but to become attuned to a ‘calling’ (or, to use Reformed language, a ‘vocation’). Drawing on one’s gifts, abilities, values, and joys in order to live into a particular way of serving in God’s good world may in fact be the ultimate end-goal of assisting students ‘in developing humane instincts, and disciplined and creative minds for lives of leadership and service.'”

      I read the statement, released yesterday to alums, while I was getting my oil changed this morning. I can’t say I didn’t believe it, but I have been watching the changes Carol pushed and what she meant when she stated she was a feminist and a humanist. I did absolutely though get I was reading a mirror of all these other visions. We have an admitted convergence going on if we know where to look.

      Here is a link to the actual report if anyone wants to believe I am exaggerating or taking anything out of context. http://www.davidson.edu/about/college-leadership/reformed-tradition-working-group-report

      I am simply putting a current initiative into the context of everything else it relates to.

    • Notice how what Davidson calls for in the name of the Reformed Tradition doesn’t really differ from what this calls for in K-12 in the name of Global Competence in the 21st Century. http://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/09/educating-for-global-competence-6-reasons-7-competencies-8-strategies-9-innovations/

      If you click to the Fed Ed Framework for Developing Global and Cultural Competencies to Adavnce Equity, Excellence and Economic Competitiveness we see the same mention of “Discipline-Specific Knowledge and Understanding.” When Joy Pullmann or Terrence Moore describe the Barney Classical Education vision for K-12 they also hype that they emphasize conceptual understandings. Everybody wants to provide our perceptual lenses. Here, make sure your mind uses these glasses to see the world and interpret your daily experiences.

      See why that pathways comment hit home?

  2. Thought of you last night as I watched the movie The Circle. The plot was life connected to social media mandatory was the goal. No knowledge or experience should be had more by an individual than another. No knowledge or experience hoarding hoarding.
    Sounds familiar?

    • Harrison Bergeron. Yes, if you have more knowledge you may not accept the desired “shared meaning” and approved conceptual lenses.

      Meanwhile, the False Narrative crowd keeps saying workforce readiness over and over again like its a mantra. I guess so that we won’t notice that what was called the “organized society” in the 70s has been renamed as the caring society with the Independent Institute creating a book about it and the Pope. Good reason to have Vicki Elgar mislead people on the Common Core.

      Notice this was just created in June. https://www.slideshare.net/vielariegulla/how-society-is-organized

      All ready for whatever comes this way. Have full tank of gas, wine, food, candles, Went to pick up some kitchen knives I had sharpened this week and some people have been investing in Big Green Eggs. Those of us who lived through Opal in 95 know even 70 MPH winds and hardwood trees do not go together.

    • By the way and in case I lose power and/or internet, did you see this admission? http://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/08/creating-change-agents-the-intersection-of-critical-thinking-and-student-agency/

      So many admissions there. I also went back this past weekend and read Phyllis Schlafly’s Child Abuse in the Classroom guessing that the organized push to hype ESSA as “illegal” by laymen with no basis for drawing such a conclusion meant I would find something in that book. It’s interesting that you never read the word ‘outcomes’ in the book and my reading of the Hatch Amendment is that most of the conclusions that the cited practices were illegal was not true. It’s not the spirit of the Amendment that counts or Hatch’s personal testimony but the language used. Just like ESSA. Anyway, the cited practices are clearly tied to what Jenny Pieratt is describing in that article. I think that the belief that the practices were about Skinner instead of cybernetics blinded people to actually interpreting what they were looking at correctly.

      Good thing I understand all this from the sequel to Credentialed to destroy. It’s actually a bit like learning a new language, and now I am fluent. Just in the nick of time apparently.

    • How is this for a Board with its fingers in all applicable pies? http://www.couragerenewal.org/about/board/

      Last week’s issue of Pioneering from the Convergence Center cited the 2011 book Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit as the “What We are Reading” section. It seemed tied to Barry Schwartz and thus to the Charlottesville Conversations set-up so I got the book. Now I can see what the False Narrative seeks as well if you notice what phrases they hype and those they stay away from. Parker Palmer created that Center and he likes to quote Howard Zinn. It’s all coming together and Irma makes me feel like I am back at my beach house for those many years during a tropical system, except it’s not too windy at the moment. Well, except all my kids are adults now and not using the weather as an excuse to watch cartoons.

      • I hear that Dalton is out of gas. I pray that nobody in your neck of the woods needs it.

        Speaking of convergence, look what the surge brought in as I was surfing the web: http://nceatalk.org/2015/10/reverence-and-excellence-the-role-of-faith-and-learning-in-society/

        Pull quote: “Quite plainly speaking, I am devoted to the idea that the seeming boundary between public and Catholic education actually share profound purposes and powers. And those who seem to be in the more secular side of this world need to think again about the productive relationship of religious education.”

        Uh huh.

        Who would have thought that David Coleman was into faith and reverence? Me neither.

        • I have a full tank as does hubby and it does not seem too bad but I just heard a transformer blow. Palmer links to this https://iamheart.org/Heart_Rhythm_Meditation/origins/christianity.php

          That footnoted cite is tied to this aspiration which I had already noted dovetails with Csik’s definition of Excellence as combining what you want, think, and feel into a single aspiration or act.

          “When we learn to ‘think with the mind descended into the heart’–integrating cognition and emotion with other faculties like sensation, intuition, and bodily knowledge–the result can be insight, wisdom, and the courage to act on what we know.” That’s essentially what “creating Change-Agents” called the intersection of Critical Thinking and Student Agency.

          Palmer also mirrors Amitai Etzioni and what he laid out in the New Golden Rule that we covered in a call that “Learning to hold individualism and communalism in creative tension with each other–allowing each to check the other’s darker potentials–is a key democratic habit of the heart.” That’s democracy as a way we must now live, not a form of government.

          There’s clearly a consensus about what everyone wants from learning standards in K-12. It’s just we are not supposed to recognize the true reasons or the level of collusion going on between the Pro-CC and purportedly anti-CC forces. New Jersey veteran mafiosi could learn a thing or two about racketeering from this as we move through the decades and who gets their money from whom and what else they finance that also seeks such a remodel of the heart and human nature and FBO access to taxpayer money.

  3. WMBriggs found another interesting item from Australia. Sydney University apparently wants the students to unlearn truth. http://wmbriggs.com/post/22652/

    “We’re changing the way we teach and how our students learn…

    Unlearning is about challenging the established, and questioning the accepted.

    It’s not about ignoring what you already know, but it’s about being brave enough to question it and break down old rules so we can write new ones. It’s about looking at things in the context of today, and tomorrow.”

    Sounds sort of familiar.

    • It will be history viewed through the lens of feminist, critical race, whiteness and cultural Marxist theory. I was going to say that it is revisionist history, but that has connotations and is strictly not true. It is constructed to become another force to destroy our culture and the status quo in general. There is no push back by the establishment and that can only mean acquiescence. We are entering an era of all out psychological and political warfare. These minority groups are being let loose on all that we hold dear. Groups in Australia are using the same tactics and justification as in the USA and Canada. It is the equivalent of a rampaging mob, and they make it clear that each victory is only a part of the revolution they wish to effect. It is now time to re-read the Gulag Archipelago.

  4. There are a couple of things you alluded to, Robin, that it seems you have not put in their context. The first one is the lack of reference to “outcomes” in the testimonies in Child Abuse in the Classroom. There is a reason for that: Outcome-Based Education had not been introduced into education’s mainstream usage. Richard Spady had not developed OBE at that time. He had, however, developed Competency-Based Education (CBE) as a first step toward it. But his CBE was even different from what is now thought of as competency-based education.

    The second is that most of the practices that parents were upset about at that time parents believed crossed the line in terms of experimentation on their children without notification or permission. There was little political expertise at that time, and gracious little legal experience, just lots of truly irate and upset parents beginning to feel helpless before an educational leviathan. The relationship of the original book has no real relationship to the organization by the same name.

    Just saying.

    • That’s actually not true. It’s true that Spady had not yet named OBE, but when OBE is accurately understood the testimony is actually describing it. OBE is simply a new packaging of the old cybernetic behavioral science template and the testimony makes that clear if, like me, you know that template. That’s why there are so many references to “decision-making and problem-solving” in the testimony. I just got my Internet back about an hour ago, but before the storm I noticed that the deceptively named Truth in American Education had come up with this list. https://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/stop-common-core-end-fed-ed-activists-twitter/ Interesting bedfellows since it includes so many of the deceivers and think tank fellows tied to the Harvard Kennedy School’s PERG.

      The tweet referenced from Jane Robbins is clearly alluding to the Schlafly book because it mentions “experimental techniques”. That’s just days after she wrote the piece on “government interference in personality manipulation.” So if government requires it of a mediating structure to be eligible for taxpayer money that’s A-OK, but parents will never know that. They will have heard the deceptive rhetoric on the Common Core and SEL Standards and fled to a private school, a charter, classical education, or other entities that intend to manipulate the Whole Child every bit as much. Parents will be tragically unaware they remain at risk because so many of the people on that list have been lying to them about what is really going on.

      Experimental technique doesn’t have a layman’s meaning. Parents can be rightfully outraged and seek recourse, but that statute is clear that what it is protecting against “For the purpose of this section ‘research or experimental program or project’ means any program designed to explore or develop new or unproven teaching methods or techniques.” So when testimony laid out how certain practices had been going on for 15 years or how powerful the practices were in terms of their psychological effects on students, that testimony was creating a paper trail taking those practices out of the admittedly already meagre protections of the statute.

      It made it easier for Spady to come up with the term OBE to whitewash these existing practices. No one would explain it that way because of all the effort to mislead about the true nature of the shift in education and just how many people were actually on board with the desired changes. I warned I had a book published by the Commonwealth Fund on the Pennsylvania reforms. It openly laid out the desired noetic transformation of the student and why OBE was desired. It had nothing to do with reading, science, or math and everything to do with getting at the basis of future decision-making and the motivations of behavior.

  5. Having lived through that period, I will beg to differ with your perception of what was happening with those who gave testimony regarding the Hatch Amendment. Those things you point out could have been understood by those operating within the education establishment, but, trust me, the average parent just waking up to the fact that things were happening over which they had no control did not understand the sophistication to which you refer. It was only later, after having gone through a couple of years of the process did the full import of what was and had been happening dawn on those same parents.

    Certainly, Spady and friends had a vision and path to follow, but even they were playing around with how to present the toxic material they were re-creating. He and his associates were the renegades of that era, but their popularity spread quickly. Given their participation in the
    development of the standards that still control where education is headed and how it is measured, there were few obstacles in their way.

    That time period was when Pandora’s Box was opened and all the demons were released into the political structures of the day. Think tanks were established to guide us to conclusions that were preconceived by those who did not have this country’s best interests at heart. They continue to operate in the same manner and so many of those in the link you posted are involved.

    • The parent’s understanding of what is and is not “illegal” is not what guides the law. It does guide outrage and what groups get donations and who is viewed as being the brave truth-purveyors. Look what got launched yesterday in Massachusetts. http://www.renniecenter.org/blog/next-step-social-emotional-learning-massachusetts

      We are going to have a discussion again about Child Abuse in the Classroom, but this time there will be klieg lights on all attempts to guide irate parents down the wrong paths. So far that appears to me to be what that group that has taken the title is doing. It also fits with the USPIE efforts. They really should look at footnote 44 of the March 2017 Aspen paper I linked to yesterday to prove the states and districts have this template down as much or more than the feds.

      • I don’t need to double-check footnotes to confirm that this is so. A year of attending State Board of Education meetings, not to mention a Gates-underwritten teachers conference held in the state back in 2013 to indoctrinate teachers, where a Tides (Soros) representative presented a session on how to wage a demagogic campaign to effect those objectives, made it clear to me. (See https://www.psfk.com/2012/06/book-burning-save-library-campaign.html. The video acknowledges that maybe something “vile” would be needed to win the campaign. Among the vile things used was the smearing of the tea party movement; this I encountered multiple times at the conference.) The conference was the first place I ever heard the term Enduring Understandings.
        Yes, the state level represented the principle of subsidiarity about the same way as the satraps represented “local control” in ancient Persia.

        • You may not need to read the footnotes, but looking for what was cited and then discovering it was immediately uploaded to ERIC shows just how pertinent this all is. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED568889.pdf

          It’s also the height of deceit to be linking SEL to PII and being all about the workforce. Plus when I see this http://www.renniecenter.org/research/reports/social-and-emotional-learning-opportunities-massachusetts-lessons-nation and then think about that APP/Pioneer paper to hype a push to the Catholic Curriculum Framework and how public schools are just interested in workforce readiness and that that is what competency-based ed means, these narratives are not just false, they appear to be fraudulent. They are aimed at altering what parents think they must do to protect their children without explaining to parents their perceived ports in the storm engage in the same practices and use the same Ascending from the Abstract to the Concrete techniques.

          The “Everybody In!” in the title was a reference to all the groups ready to push this same template in the name of their religious faith and to pursue the MH vision. I have put all that together but quite frankly I still have frayed nerves from the storm and then worry over a tree we had to get down yesterday because the winds had ruptured its root system. It’s upsetting to race to bring down a tree before a gust of wind brings it down.

          • It is the big hardwoods that come down with those winds and none had lost their leaves so they were wet and heavy. Hubby insisted on exploring as winds picked up on Monday and then went to work on Tuesday am after showing one of our kids how to put gas in generator.

            Look at just how very much the local focus is the proverbial Briar Patch where the desired new template transforms people and communities. INACOL has their keynoters announced. https://www.inacol.org/symposium/program-presenters/keynote-speakers/?platform=hootsuite

            Am still plowing through these materials on SEL from yesterday to confirm it all fits as I already recognized. So far batting 1000%. Then we can get back to why faith-based perspectives, even if the faith is secular humanism, are supposedly the best way to get at the desired change.

        • Notice how Tim Shriver of CASEL is using the “Summer of Charlottesville” to justify the SEL integration. http://www.educationdive.com/news/aspen-institute-panels-research-stresses-sel-importance-in-future-careers/504862/

          The Citizens of the World Charter footnote that lays out what was presented at the 2015 National Charter Schools Conference (what parents don;t quite grasp about the port in the storm they think they escaped to) is at least more point blank. “SEL is essential to the development of human potential” and we know from reading Marx’s theory of the Human Development Society that “human potential” is an English synonym for what he originally wrote in German.

          CWC turns out to have a Graduate Profile that sounds awfully similar to Portrait of a Graduate that I warned Cjarlottesville was the excuse for. Here’s a quote taken from the slideshow cited in the footnote.

          “What endures are the dispositions and habits of character we have been able to nurture. What stays with us, what sticks from our education are the patterns of behavior and thinking that have been engrained and enculturated over time.”

          Also with Mary Immordano-Yang being a speaker yesterday at that Aspen Presentation we have our link to the BRAIN Initiative.

          • And we have this as well http://www.governing.com/columns/eco-engines/gov-broken-communities-bowling-alone-social-capital.html

            SEL is how to build that Social Capital and Mike Lee’s paper just reeks blatantly of communitarianism and hostility to the individual. It’s also where I first learned about the Mediating Structures Project. Notice too that’s the Manhattan Institute that is tied to APP through Sien Fieler who is on MI’s Board. He was also at the famous anti-cc program APP and Pioneer put on at Notre Dame back in 2013 where the Indiana parents were lectured to about what they were to believe as if they were sheep to be herded.

            There is what parents are led to believe and then there is the true MH agenda just like we saw in that Williamsburg Charter. Education is the core as is religion. The book I mentioned from the latest Pioneering issue even had a chapter with the title “Classrooms and Congregations” to explain why.

  6. Yes, I did see a reference to the Aspen Institute’s recent contribution to the present confusion. Thanks for posting a link. Need to remember that Lamar Alexander has been a frequent contributor to AI’s confetences. They are one of the oldest think tanks around, and you must remember that Shirley Hufstedler, former president of Aspen, was chosen by Carter as the first Secretary of Education when he formed the department.

    • Remember too Harlan Cleveland’s involvement back when we thought it was the Bicentennial and Aspen wanted to make it all about the Declaration of Interdependence.

      Notice too how the Transgender agenda now has much the same alarming effect as the sex ed the parents were rightfully upset about.

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