Missing That Invite for More Strenuous Forms of Soulcraft to Erect the Formative Project?

Me too, but as usual following up on coordinated deceitful narratives like I laid out in the previous post led to pay dirt. So today let’s try to avoid using the M word at all and focus on the related upfront transformational plans laid out once we know where to look. It even pops up in that long-winded Sermon of Love by Bishop Michael Curry at the Meghan Markle/Prince Harry wedding if we are familiar with Curry’s Beloved Community work that the Episcopal Church launched in May 2017. The so-called Formative Project is a belief that governments at every level (not just the federal that the False Narrative always wants to make the Bogeyman) have an obligation NOT to be “neutral towards the values and ends that its citizens espouse.” If your dictionary isn’t handy think of ‘espouse’ as a fancier term for what ‘motivates’ people to act and then remember that this aim is precisely what ‘learning standards’ like the Common Core or any competency frameworks also want to target for control.

Before I quote further from a seminal 1996 book by Harvard law prof and communitarian Michael Sandel called Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy, I want to pull this broader discussion of why K-12 education reforms matter to broader plans to a MYWays document that came out this week. https://s3.amazonaws.com/nglc/resource-files/MyWays_06CompetencyList.pdf sets out “Habits of Success–for learning, work, and well-being”; “Creative Know How–for a novel, complex world”; “Content knowledge–for the life students will lead”; and “Wayfinding Abilities–for destinations unknown” that get at what a student has internalized as beliefs, concepts, and values that motivate behavior and guide perception.

That internalized mindset is what learning standards always target and the euphemisms used to obscure this common aim vary from “self-discipline” per the Fordham Institute this week and also Grit advocate Angela Duckworth (who also heads up a Character lab). The OECD calls it ‘self-regulation’ and says it is the central purpose of education globally in the 21st century.  Sandel, Hillsdale College, and the Heritage Foundation all seem to prefer the term ‘self-government’. However these entities bill themselves on the political spectrum, these euphemisms function the same as what Sandel terms as a “republican conception of freedom” and liberty, which “requires a formative politics, a politics that cultivates in citizens the qualities of character self-government requires.”

That vision of changing the person, which I guess we could euphemise as “student-centered learning” like Jeb Bush and the Aspen Institute like to do, needs a new kind of education. K-12 students get the MyWays Competencies or some kind of formative pillars or Portrait of a Graduate laying out the person they are to become. Adults get something like the Antiracism Training Manual of the Episcopal Church Seeing the Face of God in Each Other https://www.episcopalchurch.org/files/antiracism_book-revise3.pdf to lay out “a theology of inclusion and justice for our work in this time and place in our history” or the http://www.reclaimingjesus.org/sites/default/files/downloads/reclaiming_jesus_civil_discourse_curriculum_2018_1.pdf which lays the Curry Agenda beyond just the Episcopal Church that led him to a Candlelight Vigil at the White House the week after the wedding.

Everybody seems to want to use institutions like churches, the media, and schools to dictate what we are all to believe in the future and what we are to act to bring about in a collective, non-individualistic manner. Let’s get back to those plans in Sandel’s book (that I really did find following up on something odd the Hoover Institution wrote) as he wants us to move away from the procedural republic we have been for the last 50 or so years according to him (that would be 70 years now in 2018) and use our social institutions to instill in students and adults the “capacity to deliberate well about the common good.” In order to be able to engage in the (required for our own good so that we are no longer ‘discontent’) roles of “sharing in self-rule…then citizens must possess certain excellences–of character, judgment, and concern for the whole.” Also remember that since we live in the world of K-12 that mandates Success for All and churches now want Inclusion for All, both visions effectively mean:

“…given the demands of republican citizenship [we could substitute Beloved Community, depending on our audience, with no real loss of meaning], the more expansive the bounds of membership, the more demanding the task of cultivating virtue. In Aristotle’s polis, the formative task was to cultivate virtue among a small group of people who shared a common life and a natural bent for citizenship. When republican thought turns democratic, however, and when the natural bent of persons to be citizens can no longer be assumed, the formative project becomes more daunting. The task of forging a common citizenship among a vast and disparate people invites more strenuous forms of soulcraft.”

Not usually what a parent has in mind when they hear the euphemism “learning experiences”, but at least we know now why social and emotional learning is so ubiquitous and embedded in daily activities. Sandel, by the way, called the idea that “liberty can be detached from the exercise of self-government and conceived instead as the capacity of persons to choose their own ends…the voluntarist conception of freedom, [which]…no longer needs soulcraft, except in a limited domain.” No wonder we get euphemisms like parental or school choice or the classical theory of education so that political power anywhere in the 21st century is “accorded a stake in the character of its citizens”, whatever their wishes. We should be wary of the term ‘civil society’  too when we read Sandel concluding with:

“different forms of political association would govern different spheres of life and engage different aspects of our identities. Only a regime that disperses sovereignty both upward and downward can combine the power required to rival global market forces with the differentiation required of a public life that hopes to inspire the reflective allegiance of its citizens.”

Is it treasonous to say “No Thanks”? That a formative project of governments enabled through the human mind and deceitfully euphemised about by philanthropies and the think tanks, professors, media outlets, and others they pay is no way to successfully run the 21st century, no matter how much data is now available?

How many people now reflexively use the term “self-government” to mean I am my own person and should be able to select my own ends in life? In the last post, we noted that what now turn out to be some of the same actors pushing this coercive vision of self-government were not being accurate in describing King’s Agenda, at least by the end of his life. If you look at the Beloved Community materials through the links provided, have any Familiarity with the Marxist Humanist agenda from earlier posts, and look at what Sandel wants to solve Democracy’s Discontent, they are all headed to the same place. They also all need a new vision for education. As Sandel notes:

“To assimilate the civil rights movement to the liberalism of the procedural republic is to miss its most important lessons for our time. More than a means to equal rights, the movement itself was a movement of empowerment, an instance of the civic strand of freedom. The laws that desegregated public facilities and secured voting rights for blacks served freedom in the voluntarist sense–the freedom to choose and pursue one’s purposes and ends. But the struggle to win these rights displayed a higher, republican freedom–the freedom that consists in acting collectively to shape the public world.”

We, and especially our children caught up in these related education reforms, are involved with a Formative (re)Project hiding behind deceit and euphonious euphemisms like liberty, freedom, and high standards for all. At their core though, these are all psychological changes being sought in each of us “aimed at the moral and civic ‘transformation of a whole people’. Our minds and personalities targeted for political purposes to transform the neural levels that “tell the tales that order our lives.”

The only way out is to understand it and I seriously doubt it was any accident that the MyWays document was put out the week of so many Memorial Day vacations when few but the designated change makers would ever read it.

Levers and Logic Models: A Framework to Guide Research and Design of High-Quality Competency-Based Education Systems

came out the same day. Remember Logic Models turn out to be a euphemism used for Evidence-Based Policymaking that turned out to be another euphemism for scientific techniques employed in the name of that word we were not going to use today.

Methinks someone views summertime as a wonderful time to get significant changes in place without anyone paying alarming attention. If it’s pretty where you are, just read these summer posts on a rainy day.

Some times people tell me they are best read with a stiff drink anyway.

16 thoughts on “Missing That Invite for More Strenuous Forms of Soulcraft to Erect the Formative Project?

  1. I cannot tell you how struck by the comparison of what you are writing about today and a book I had pulled off my shelf this morning. The book is Soviet Preschool Education, Volume I: Program of Instruction, edited by Henry Chauncey with an Introduction by Urie Bronfenbrenner with a positive review by Jerome Bruner. This series lays out how what you have exposed is accomplished—and it has been referenced and used by educationists for decades. Of course, the Soviet system was to be studied to find out how we could accomplish the same outcome but doing “different things” to do so. However, somewhere along the way it seems that we have not only adopted the outcomes, but are using the same processes after all.

    • When I read the Cornel West book from 1989 mentioned in the previous post it was clear that one of the places has gone to hide is to reassert it under Dewey’s title for it–pragmatism. Ironically that is also the term SSIR has used in an article within the last week called “Bridging the Divide Between Idealism and Pragmatism” complete with alarming graphics of the sought transformation. West himself like the pragmatic term and he went on to refer to Sidney Hook as the foremost Marxist scholar America ever produced. So I ordered the 2002 reprint of the 1933 book he cited called Towards an Understanding of Karl Marx: A Revolutionary Interpretation, which I finished over the weekend.

      I looked up what people were now writing about Hook, whom I had always just seen as Dewey’s student and so-called Bulldog, and it pulled up this from 2016 http://newpol.org/content/left-hook-marxism-sidney-hook which was typical but also this https://www.hoover.org/research/fearless-sidney-hook which was not. Made me think of the false narrative so I looked into the background of the author Thomas J Main. He has a book coming out in June published by Brookings called “The Rise of the Alt-Right” so not wanting to draw connections to the MH template made sense but a 2011 article he did for Hoover is what cited Sandel’s book and it had this affirmative vision of self-rule I had come to associate with various books and think tanks that the Bradley Foundation finances. In particular it reminded me of Yoel Levin’s The Fractured Republic and what Larry Arnn is putting as themes in courses on the Constitution that the site The Federalist then further boosts.

      Things just started to thoroughly click. by the way, read this template that Bill Gates has already endorsed. https://www.strategy-business.com/article/Dont-Fight-Regulation-Reprogram-It?gko=c2f43 which wants “business and government to regard regulation as a means for creating social rules akin to a computer operating system. They can work together to reprogram “for the common good.” Remember when I cited Turchenko from the USSR in Credentialed to Destroy? This is the vision on steroids and again mostly out of sight.

    • No problem. Look at what was linked to in this month’s IPEN newsletter. How timely. http://iasculture.org/research/culture-formation/school-cultures-and-student-formation-project

      We are encountering that phrase ‘virtuous citizens’ almost as often now as ‘thrive’ and ‘flourish’.

      Well, look here http://iasculture.org/about They tie themselves directly to two different strains of Marxists that would give rise to the MH vision–the Frankfurt School and the Vienna Circle. Hans Von Foerster, a famous cyberneticist who was at the Macy Conferences and CASBS, just explained in a book I read last week on the link to the Vienna Circle work. Sidney Hook laid out his connection to Lukacs of the Frankfurt SChool and I covered Herbert Marcus and ERich Fromm, other members.

      Oh, this just gets more interesting. The director, Ryan Olson, http://iasculture.org/about/leaders was previously with the Kern Family Foundation, which is also where Greg Forster as in EDChoice the previous Friedman Institute is pushing School Choice. Forster was the one who also helped create the false discussion around that 2011 False Narrative manipulation Closing the Door on Innovation writing for the Witherspoon Institute (connected to Bradley and Robert George) with Jay Greene writing about it for the Bradley finance Education Next that is part of the Harvard PERG program at the Kennedy School of Government. Jeb Bush used to head the PERG board. Come to think of it Thyomas Main wh wrote the Sidney Hook article for Hoover that seemed afactual has an MPA from that same Kennedy SChool of Government. He has a PhD from Princeton in Politics, which is, of course, where George is as well as the Witherspoon Institute.

      Have I mentioned I can tie that MyWays Framework definitively to UNESCO’s New Humanism agenda? Details matter when we are tracking around so much deceit. This hardly seems like a good way To Make Man Moral.

    • By the way, remember that link of George Will being the emcee at the 2018 Bradley Prize dinner? Here is the back cover plug from George Will for Sandel’s book–“American political discourse has become thin gruel because of a deliberate deflation of American ideals. So says Michael Sandel in a wonderful new book, Democracy’s Discontent…Sandel’s book will help produce what he desires–a quickened sense of the moral consequences of political practices and economic arrangements.”

      Will also used to be a member of the Board at the Bradley Foundation. Robert George of APP still is. Sidney Hook does a superb job of lying out why we keep finding so-called conservatives with such an interest in history and a propensity to footnote to admitted Marxists. I had wondered why Bernard Bailyn was their consistent fav. I don’t wonder anymore.

  2. I don’t see how anyone who has been awake during Trump’s administration can miss that our country has been infiltrated and manipulated by a Marxist movement that has finally been exposed to the light. Without actually declaring civil war, we have been involved in a revolution in progress, led by any and all of the persons mentioned in your last posts plus so many others. If we don’t deal with the truth of what has been happening, we will lose this country. Sorry to be so blunt. Just sick of what is going on now.

    • We are being led at all levels and via both parties–Bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking–by people intent on social transformation commencing at the level of the mind. Unfortunately, Betsy DeVos has long pushed this agenda, possibly going back to what she learned as a student at Calvin College. Did you see her Commission on School Based Violence last week decided that PBIS was the solution to school shootings? These ideas are being whitewashed and denied but always brought into implementation as a matter of law and what gets funding because we are in the midst, as Leontiev told Urie Bronfenbrenner decades ago, in the midst of the Great Experiment here in the West.

      Having the Common Core Diva telling people that the BRAIN Update is about ‘mental health’ as she did yesterday when last week they did an RFP to chart “neural pathways” is either deliberate misdirection or a bizarre level of misunderstanding of what is in play. Since the NIH also funds the Science of Virtues Initiative and Templeton turns out to have been a funder also of Positive Neuroscience and Marty Seligman as well as a 2007 http://humbleapproach.templeton.org/Enlightenment,_Modernity,_and_Atheism/kolakowski.html that Roger Kimball was also at, I know which one I think the neural pathways are being charted to manipulate. It’s about the Formative Project as are all those church links I put up.

      One fun thing about this research is that Cornel West and Sidney Hook are both very clear writers. Both tell us why Ideas and values are so important to revolutionary plans of transformation. Here is Hook talking about the M word (you will see how far this is from Skinner): “all social action and change is mediated by ideas in the minds of men. Ideas, therefore, cannot be passive images; they must be active instruments.” That’s what the required annual assessments for all of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) under ESSA will be looking for and why the problems are non-algorithmic. It gets at whether certain ideas affirmatively guide a student’s perception in a given context and motivate desired actions. Just what a government engaged in a formative project needs to know, but a genuinely free country does not.

      Much later on in his book, Hook is writing about those who have inaccurately interpreted Uncle Karl (Hook does not seem aware of the Earliest Marx writings that are even more influential on the MH template) and once again shows just how crucial getting at Ideas will be as well as motivations for future behavior. Exactly what learning standards target, which is likely why the State of Massachusetts hypes the foundation of ‘standards-based reforms’ in that 1987 Education for DEmocracy document that is intended to implement Dr King’s vision laid out in the last days of his life. Hook is not talking here about anything that had gone on in the USSR. He is aware that it is the UK and the US that have the requisite technology and wealth Uncle Karl deemed necessary components of his plans.

      “Both schools further assume that communism springs into existence immediately after the revolution, and overlook the gradual interactive effects between human ideals and social existence which result from the activities of socialization. They do not view social experience as an educational and transformative process in which, by the control of social institutions, human motives and ideals are themselves changed.”

      I will interrupt for a moment to provide a different way of phrasing such plans or goals for deliberately changing a person’s Ideals and Motives. The changes are Learning and another word for goals or plans, especially when imposed by governmental entities on the masses is ‘standards’. It is not, and never was, about teaching reading, math, or science effectively. Disciplines are merely tools to get at what must be changed in the name of the formative project. Sandel at one point cites Richard Falk, who ISC readers know as one of the prime architects of the World Orders Models Project–WOMP–another name for the formative project. Remember it had Carnegie and Rockefeller financing when it began in 1973, the year Hook became a fellow at the Hoover Institution? Remember WOMP met in Moscow in 1987 and Mary Catherine Bateson, Margaret Med’s daughter was there? I have those books too. Turns out I have the blueprints for the formative project. We just lacked that name or the ties to think tanks or colleges that bill themselves as conservative and pushing the “Ideals’ of America’s founding.

      Let’s quote again what Hook said about Ideals before I go for my therapy walk. This is the next paragraph after the quote above: “According to the Marxist philosophy the content–the very meaning of moral ideals–is a function of a concrete situation in the process of historical development. Ideals must be redetermined from time to time in relation to what the forces of production make possible and what human beings will as desirable.”

      In 2018 that willing (the italics are in original) is imposed by edicts from the Episcopal Bishop or standards imposed by government officials and politicians and hyped as necessary by think tanks from the Left, Right, and Libertarian arms. Proclaimed as a matter of public policy or necessary as a matter of civil rights laws for Equity and Excellence and now to supposedly prevent school shootings. All are in the realm Uncle Karl wanted targeted.

    • By the way this came out yesterday from the ISTE keynote speaker https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-06-04-the-key-to-21st-century-classrooms-isn-t-tech-it-s-evolved-teaching and states forthrightly that the purpose of content is to teach “desired skills and character traits”.

      We also have UNESCO today https://gemreportunesco.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/countries-need-to-prepare-teachers-better-to-teach-about-our-impact-on-the-environment/ announcing in a graphic cartoon in honor of World Environment Day that education needs to train students to think collectively, not individually.

      Just wow.

    • This has just been released. https://www.digitalcivicstoolkit.org/

      I wrote a post back in the early days of the blog quoting from a MacArthur funded ed report that acknowledged directly they were seeking a Marxian transformation.

      Civics makes that sound less alarming, but it doesn’t alter the purpose of the tool or its function.

      Right on cue the link that sent out that Toolkit ties to this. https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/deep_dive/ed4democracy/home/

    • I have a bit more time now as various fathers day activities over the weekend left me scrambling to find my notes. Senge’s involvement appears related to both MIT’s involvement in the Re-engineering Futures push going back to 2014 as well as their earlier work as a partner to UNESCO in the Belmont Challenge and the Earth Systems Partnership. Also remember mit is a partner in Fadel’s Center for Curriculum Reform.

      When I followed up after writing this post with whether UNESCO was using the term “Formative Project” I found this 2015 document that fits with Senge and Luksha’s plans. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002325/232555e.pdf It is called “Rethinking Education: Towards a global common good?” Contrary to what Jane Robbins or the Hoover Institution have written in the last month, this is a vision that simply does not see academic content as the purpose of education anymore.

      It also fits with the new Stanford Social Innovation Review rollout last week of the Civil Society for the 21st Century Project. Alongside admitted radical Angela Glover Blackwell of PolicyLink we have another Bradley Foundation fav–Yuval Levin–pushing the Convergence once again. https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_american_context_of_civil_society is straight out of what Hardwired to Connect pushed.

      Lots going down this summer, probably in line with ESSA having full effect this fall.

      Did you realize Ze’ev Wurman works for IEEE that created the Learner Technology Standards that are the basis of what IMS Global does as well as Project Unicorn? I guess I no longer need to wonder why Cheri Kiesecker wrote such a 180 degrees from the truth overview of Project Unicorn for Missouri Education Watchdog. http://sites.ieee.org/sagroups-ltsc/about-ieee-learning-technology-standards-committee-ltsc/

      Why continue the deceit that this is all about math as a subject, for example, when what we really have are references to ‘human performance standards’? http://www.ieeeltsc.org/NewsItems/competenciesstudygroups/ No wonder also there is such a coordinated push to misrepresent the nature of competency-based ed.

      Sometimes it seems I am the only person writing about these ed issues not writing a work of propagandistic fiction. It may not be lucrative here at ISC, but it is honest work from sunup to sundown as we toil to get out what really threatens our kids at the level of their minds and personalities.

    • Did you see this? http://behavioralscientist.org/your-brain-is-neither-computer-nor-ceo/

      The brain interacts in essential ways with the rest of the body, and some of the most personal and individualized aspects of thinking and feeling depend critically on these interactions.

      That’s a true statement and if, as I am asserting and laid out in CtD, learning standards seek to dictate the nature of those interactions to control the physiological shifts, we do have political authority now intervening at levels history’s despots only dreamed about. The various false narratives and misinterpretations obscure that reality.

    • Since she clearly knew Von Foerster as he speaks several times and she makes explicit references to Marx so we know this is at least tied obliquely to where the pragmatists like Dewey, Sidney Hook, and Cornel West now and the MH philosophers if we read their own works as I have and do not rely on false narratives created by think tanks or financial contribution driven private colleges, let me quote directly from his book on why controlling ideas matters so much. This is what the false narrative with all its talk of PII databases, mental health abuse, GDPR as a remedy, or Grading SEL are a deflection from. I think it’s also why there has been such a coordinated effort to hijack the conclusion of CtD that learning standards intentionally target “values, attitudes, and beliefs” for systematic change.

      “This reminds me, incidentally, of a very funny saying: ‘Seeing is believing.’ I, however, would reverse this saying–‘Believing is seeing.’–one only sees what one believes. If you know it’s all about this or that, only then can you see. Seeing alone wouldn’t be enough–first you have to believe what’s going on, then you see. Incidentally, here we are dealing with a phenomenon important for sects, cults, and preachers’ flocks–if someone manages to make people believe, then the poor souls are lost.

      In German there’s another proverb that suits our purpose, which comes from the bad old days in children’s education: ‘Wer nicht horen will, muss fuhlen’ (Those who won’t listen must feel). For our discussion, there is another possible meaning for the proverb, namely that emotions, feelings–desire, happiness, hunger, joy, fear, desperation–also play a paramount role in what is heard or seen. [italics of entire paragraph in original]

      A completely decisive role of course. And that’s why it’s so important in what mood one experiences something. ‘believing is seeing.’ ‘Those who want to listen must feel.’ [Today that is known as engagement in the classroom]…This systemic connection between believing, feeling, and perceiving directs our attention to the following problem as well: In what condition was this gigantic network first exposed to a sensation? I can easily imagine that first experiences, first adventures, first feelings exercise a really decisive influence over operations and perceptions.”

      See why learning experiences and the concepts to serve as the categories of future thought and the Whole Child emphasis have now become so ubiquitous? We are not bootstrapping cybernetics onto a template and using it to interpret what is going on. Everything going back decades was developed around these principles. Brun is a prof at U-Illinois which is where Von Foerster created the Biological Computer Laboratory in 1957 after joining the faculty originally in the Electrical Engineering department. BCL closed in 1975, when he retired but cybernetic ideas thoroughly permeate that campus.

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