Progressively Producing New Kinds of Students Pre-equipped Via Schools to Work Harmoniously

Education professor James Paul Gee has once again told us graphically what is really intended. Even if I did have to go back to 1996 and a book printed in Australia to locate the toxic vision for using schooling to obtain “indirect control” over students and their future behavior. It’s all about the “arrangement of environments” like schools and the required classroom focus and later a mandated change in workplaces. The idea is that these environments can be restructured so that the physical environments and the required nature of the social interactions can “themselves, in a sense, encode control.” Gee concedes that “[s]uch an approach can easily take on the tones of manipulation.” You think? Anything for the Good Society or ‘cooperative commonwealth’ I suppose if you are on the receiving end of taxpayer or other money to Make It So.

The book the new work order: behind the language of the new capitalism explains how cognitive science and the school classroom can be used to ease the transition to a reimagined economic system for the 21st century. And fairly invisibly too. “Such new classrooms may very well progressively produce students pre-equipped to work harmoniously in distributed systems by internalizing core values, values that issue from the social practices and organizational structures of the system itself and not from any visible controlling center.” Now those required new social practices and the change in focus can come from a charter agreement that parents and taxpayers do not understand. From what I am seeing that recognition of “Oh My. What have we really agreed to?” is about to hit full force around many parts of the US.

But the example Gee used from 1996 is about to be a key component of all schools because a requirement of creating a Community of Learners is part of what will measure who will be deemed an effective principal in the future. And the accreditor AdvancED requires a transition to these Learning Communities with their requisite collective visions in its Quality Standards that went into effect in 2012. That’s how this comes in without parents or taxpayers knowing the schools have done a U-turn and gone to the kind of psychological change the student focus that Uncle Karl and John Dewey have pursued in their philosophies towards education for more than a century.

Gee kindly gives us the money quote on how these Communities of Learners are really to work and what the so-called ‘learning theories’ or ‘cognitive science research’ we are really dealing with here. These ‘learning communities’ are

“based on the idea that knowledge does not reside privately in individual heads but rather it is situated in activities and distributed, or as Lave puts it, ‘stretched over–not divided among–mind, body, activity and culturally organized settings (which include other actors)’. This is, of course, precisely our theme of distributed systems.”

Now none of this is factually true but implementing these theories at school and workplaces goes a long way towards shifting towards the type of transformed society I described in the last post. The Good Society Gal Alperowitz is pushing or the cooperative commonwealth of a Harry Boyte or the All-in Nation or The Spirit Society or that welfare state based on subjective well-being the OECD is pushing. Trust me as someone who has read all these reports and books. Remarkable  consistency of vision going on with ed based on technology and the imposition of these psychological theories in the classrooms as the vehicle. And if you are unlucky enough to live in a League of Innovative Schools district, your Central Office has volunteered your children and dollars to fund the research into what works and what produces change and what really motivates your children at an unconscious level they may even be unaware of.

Are we going to get what is being sought? Mercy no. Let’s remember something the French commentator Jean-Francois Revel wrote more than 20 years ago in Last Exit to Utopia reacting to similar nonsense in France. Where of course UNESCO and the OECD are based.

“there can be no society without inequalities. These may derive from differences between individual performance or from disparities in advantages controlled by the state–or more simply from the wall separating those who have one or more state privileges and those who have none. Here I am using the word ‘privilege’ in the exact sense defined by Littre as ‘an advantage granted to an individual or group and enjoyed to the exclusion of others, to the detriment of the common law.’…

The inequalities within productive liberal societies are constantly subject to a mixing process and always in flux. In statist, redistributionist societies, the inequalities are frozen in place.”

That’s where all this is actually headed. The Meeting of the Minds is all about seeking special favors from an alliance with political power. So is the Global Cities Initiative or that Citistates conference at the Rockefeller Foundation estate in Bellagio, Italy in 2002, 2007, and 2012 that we discussed in the comments. Another invitation lost. We are using misunderstood reforms in education globally to change to societies where “the state creates the special privileges that generate inequalities, beginning with those that [politicians and the public sector and their unions] bestow on themselves.” And then quickly their cronies. And we will not be prospering in this static society and we would probably not consent if asked. So we are not being asked. Through federal grants and regional equity initiatives and planning around urban economies, it is all simply happening.

And a subjective well-being global and national focus is a tremendously useful way to make all this invisibly so. All you have to do is use the schools to make new social relationships the focus and limit transmission of facts. Anyone noticed a movement in that direction? Then you simply have to target social and emotional learning just like that July 28, 2012 Positive School Climate Executive Order plus the accreditation standards require. And then you go after an area that uses another $100 word–the conative. What motivates the student? Precisely what Digital Promise is researching and adaptive computer software, gaming, and learner analytics throw off. Massively.

This is a good paper on precisely how invasive this holistic focus is and all the aspects of the student’s identity and personality that are to be considered fair game. To get the desired change to tolerate or hopefully help take action for the desired change. To the Good Society that will actually function as an insiders-only kleptocracy of the sort Revel recognized. And the Soviet Union operated for the benefit of its nomenklatura with their special stores and ability to travel abroad. Notice this vision takes the prof in 2011 to Athens, Greece to present this “new vision for educating children and youth” with his whole child and every domain–Spiritual Transcendence, Moral Character, Social, Volition, Thinking, Affect/Emotion, and Physical/Kinesthetic. That Becoming a Brilliant Star Framework certainly qualifies as a Your-Child-Will-Be -Ours, All Ours orientation.

And finally getting to do research through digital literacy initiatives on students to study motivations and the “use of personal agency or volition to make choices regarding thought, emotions, and behaviors” is crucial to getting the desired common good society. And it’s so cool because virtually no one is paying attention to these levels of planned psychological intrusions or the real reasons for them. And again, you cannot make ‘subjective well-being’ the focus of social transformation UNLESS you also make the psychological and emotions and what drives behavior and collecting all that data the focus of school.

By the way, late in the paper Huitt does ask the question of “whose rights should be central to the concept of citizenship” in the 21st century. The individual or the community? Want to guess where he comes out in this well-cited paper? Yes it did have to do with collective benefit and the UN’s Universal declaration of Human Rights and redistribution to ensure REAL “individual autonomy.” Like anyone is autonomous with all this deliberate psychological conditioning coupled to intentionally trying to alter “one’s view of reality and one’s relationship to it.”

As I was researching this post and where subjective well-being and these psychological intrusions inevitably take us, I came across a 2012 paper on Human Behavior Modeling put out by the Cognitive Sciences Lab at the University of Karlsruhe. It laid out how a focus on emotion and motivation and grit and conative drivers and measuring all this via intentional assessments can be used to make human behavior predictable. People can then be made through schooling  to act consistently with desired models of their future behavior.

We have a very high level of intentional social reengineering going on here all being put in place by principals and consultants and central office staff just pushing whatever garners them the next lucrative promotion or grant or contract. Only aware, I hope, of the line to be sold and the changes to be made but no genuine idea of the real reasons why.

Did you know the word ‘quisling’ refers to a real person? Major Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945) was the Norwegian army officer who collaborated with German occupying forces during World War 2 and ruled Norway a head of the puppet government. After being shot for treason after the German defeat his name became synonymous with traitor.

I can accept not knowing the full story I am telling as all these people move towards implementation of this toxic agenda while living at our expense. But if the provable facts do not cause a Cease and Desist, I suggest getting T-shirts printed up for presentation that say:



10 thoughts on “Progressively Producing New Kinds of Students Pre-equipped Via Schools to Work Harmoniously

    This new “research” (above link) regarding the measurement of non-cognitive skills fits in aptly with your discussion of the “paper on Human Behavior Modeling …(that) laid out how a focus on emotion and motivation and grit and conative drivers and measuring all this via intentional assessments can be used to make human behavior predictable.”
    They know not what they do…or do they?

    • AMS-

      I like Jay who I have spoken to at length several times. I asked him last year whether he realized what he was calling for was abrogated by the accreditation standards.

      He said no, that he had never thought to look at accreditation and how it impacts what can go on. Many people who specialize in education act like these content standards are self-executing instead of just political documents with lots of barriers legally that actually control the classroom.

      I saw that post when Jay put it out and it just made me sad. Especially in light of that switcheroo David Conley tried to do with Ed Weeks’s help months ago to reclasify non-cognitive as metacognitive and then classify it as just as important as cognitive. Which was itself just skills, not knowledge.

  2. Client Exit Really Bothers the Central Planners

    Of course, in free democratic countries, people are not physically compelled — other than in court-ordered situations — to do what is against their will. Oh —I forgot — taxes! Even “compulsory” public schooling can be bypassed by home education or independent school attendance.

    Anyway — about universal public education as a means to change the minds and hearts of people so that they are more compliant and governable — that is a go-ahead in schools adopting 21st Century Learning. (I was dismayed today to find in my local paper a prestigious private school advertising 21st C skills focus.)

    What we are gleaning today about the homogenizing 21st C Learning was foreseen 40 years ago when the “deschooling” issue was being discussed. I was in Mexico and heard Ivan Illich expound on deinstitutionalization and the need to retrieve individual responsibility from “disabling professionals”. He, by the way, was not keen on Paul Erhlich’s book, The Population Bomb (1968), or its predictions, or its coercive solutions.

    Illich called public schools a “false public utility”.

    An early school reformer, John Holt (How Children Fail), attended Illich’s Institute. Undoubtedly, Holt must also have recoiled from Ehrlich’s population solutions as he also deplored America’s authoritarian education. In one of his letters he wrote: “What scares me is the amount of Fascism in people’s spirit. It is the government that so many of our fellow citizens would get if they could that scares me — and I fear we are moving in that direction.” (Free Schools, Free People, Ron Miller, pg 89)

    Holt was one of the few counterculture people of the 70s who went on to develop something concrete and positive from this period. He went on to promote and support home education — the biggest alternative we have yet to organized state education systems of the world.

    However, who knows what lasting value there is to mankind to promote such alternatives? What’s the use? My jaundiced experience is that far too frequently critiques of the system only stimulate the establishment to produce more contrived ways to subvert and to keep seducing their captive audience. Using the cover of “democracy” the state and its hangers-on have become “predatory” as Revel explains in “How Democracies Perish”.

    So glad Robin has brought forward Jean-François Revel. This Revel quote clearly illustrates the dichotomy we are working with: “The inequalities within productive liberal societies are constantly subject to a mixing process and always in flux. In statist, redistributionist societies, the inequalities are frozen in place.”

    I interpret that this way — free liberal societies are dynamic and self-correcting whereas controlled socialist societies are rigid and require an “elite” to control and redistribute. Am I basically right?

    Are there others like Revel who can help us claw out of this self-subversion we are slipping into?

    Even researchers and PhDs are to fall into line. See “It takes a global village to develop the next generation of PhDs”

    • Tunya-hectic day.

      Robert Conquest and Kenneth Minogue were also lights in the darkness for me.

      I think Hayek is helpful if you start with his last little book The Fatal Conceit.

      You will see that in the book I am laying out the autopsy of what is sought and why and for how long and with illustrations of what the likely consequences will be. We are going to finally get the autopsy we have been needing.

    • Thanks narciso. Interesting how quickly that article went to using the phrse “teaching and learning” and benchmarks both of which have particular meaning tying them to Competency. Which is international, predates Common Core and even 90s version as we saw with the Milton Rokeach post, and is intended to survive CC and then link into the digital learning actual mandate. Michael Horn has been pushing that as if Competency is a new concept.

      Enough typing for me.

    • I did not see that Amplify had bought the rights to the Core Knowledge Foundation’s work but it sure explains that blogs dogged advocacy now of CC.

      Basically a potential critic that people would have heard if they spoke up and said “this is not the implementation we were expecting” has been sidelined. I read an interview with Klein last week where he said the Institute of Play’s games would also be on those tablets. Guess which one trumps?

      Don’t you love “it’s not about the actual curriculum” when the Gates Foundation or Amplify are creating the actual curriculum consistent with what benefits tech companies and a Computing for Sustainability world and the various UN goals for the 21st century. Literally as we know from how often Fernando Reimers pops up when we are not looking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.