We are going to do a travelogue today using quotes from a UNESCO institute in India with a vision written by American education profs, hen a May conference at the Vatican we were not invited to, on to Washington, DC and a think tank tied to Betsy DeVos, and an upcoming August 8 conference at UN HQ right there along the East River. Then we get to visit the Silicon Valley to finish up. All of these initiatives are pushing the exact same visions and many are tied to the same institutions and people who worked so hard to misportray the Common Core and competency-based education in the US. None of these conferences though are mentioning each other unless you recognize common attendees and funding.
I don’t think the ties to the False Narrative are an accident and if I, and my book Credentialed to Destroy, are going to be an irritant to that vision, I might as well be highly effective and revelatory in precisely what we are really jousting against here at ISC. In fact, it was following up on things that were put into print that were provably untrue that led me to the Humanity 2.0 conference so let’s start there. https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2019/05/11/humanity-2-0-answers-popes-call-for-entrepreneurs-with-a-conscience/
The full name of the Vatican’s new initiative, now with co-sponsorship from Google, is “Humanity 2.0: A Shared Horizon for Humanity” that quotes its CEO, a Canadian tech entrepreneur, as stating that:
All that is required to change our destiny is prudence and the will to act. If history has taught us anything, it’s that humans rarely rise to the occasion unless they’re inspired by what ‘should be’, and this is why Humanity 2.0 is committed to articulating a common vision.
And then using education and the news media and social media platforms to impose that ‘common vision’ and create a “shared horizon to unite humankind.” Humanity 2.0 also intends to facilitate “collaborative ventures between the public, private, and faith-based sectors.” That convergence of every institution with the ability to forge policy probably explains why the website headlines with a quote from Thomas Aquinas that sounded eerily reminiscent of the Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi definition of Excellence in education we tracked to the General Evolution Research Group from the 1980s–education should tie together in the student what is wanted, known, and felt. These ties make sense since both GERG and Humanity 2.0 see education as the primary tool to create “the kind of human civilization we should be striving to build” in the internalized attitudes, values, and beliefs of the students.
Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.
Now, let’s switch to India to MGIEP–the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Education for Peace and Sustainable Development which has its first ever World Youth Conference on Kindness coming up on August 20-23 in New Delhi and its second TECH–Transforming Education Conference for Humanity in December. MGIEP:
employs the whole-brain approach to education, with programmes that are designed to mainstream social and emotional learning in education systems, innovate digital pedagogies, and put youth as global citizens at the centre of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development…In addition to giving youth the agency to lead the process of societal transformation, we need to rethink how they are educated…We should not [be] continuing with the same modality of preaching and instructing. This prevailing practice of making an intellectual case for peace is not sufficient. The seat of human behavior, including hatred and violence, is the emotional brain. Understanding this seat and the emotional stress of violence at individual-societal levels, and aligning education accordingly is, therefore, the first step in the pursuit of peace.
Let’s switch to that invite https://peaceandthebrain.eventbrite.com/ so that I can point out it aligns with MGIEP’s push that as so important that it bolded the following statement just like this: “There is a need for education not as the usual intellectual exercise of regurgitation but a journey through self–of building peace first with the self, before the society. Education that is aligned with neurobiological development [my italics] and aimed at nourishing the whole person.” See what I mean about rebooting the internalized neural wetware we humans use to process our experiences, set goals, and make decisions? That August 8 meeting in NYC for “Brain-based Holistic Education for Peace” intends to:
discuss how violence happens in the brain, and ways to work towards creating peace in our brains and project that peace onto society.
That UN agenda fits right in with what Humanity 2.0 describes as its “Faith and Integral Human Development” vision where the Catholic Church, which the CEO described in the Crux linked above, as “the largest and most influential institution in human history,” [Ideas and Institutions are how we change public policy in the 21st Century, remember?],
intends to propose a humanism that is up to the standards of God’s plan of love in history, an integral and solidary humanism capable of creating a new social, economic, and political order, founded on the dignity and freedom of every human person, to be brought about in peace, justice, and solidarity.
Achieving that vision will be a lot easier if we access the Working Paper “How Mindful Compassion Practices [more WTPs!] can Cultivate Social and Emotional Learning” from this site https://mgiep.unesco.org/academic-publications that is also grounded in achieving neurobiological change.
The good news is that the brain is highly plastic and as such, the brain develops from experience. In other words, what one pays attention to and focuses upon changes certain portions of the brain and thus, the related primary functions also change…of specific interest is the notion of cultivating humane or compassionate behavior.
Another word for that desired behavior used elsewhere in the “manuscript” reminds us that “the way SEL is defined allowed us to introduce a specific set of SEL skills and then illustrate how they align with Mindful Compassion outcomes.” Those outcomes fit with many a school’s Graduate Profile now or what the US think tank (where Betsy DeVos was on the Board) pitches as a desire for “connecting moral and religious instruction to SEL.” http://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/The-Moral-and-Religious-Roots-of-Social-and-Emotional-Learning.pdf Talk about removing silos between public, private, and faith-based! Also, its ‘character’ and “cardinal virtues of Greek and Christian thought” are just the euphemisms for what MGIEP calls “Mindful Compassion Practices”. The last week we had a followup paper http://www.aei.org/publication/the-f-word-of-social-and-emotional-learning-faith/ , which really caught my eye since I was familiar with UNESCO wanting to use whole child education to target each student’s internalized KBVAF–Knowledge, Beliefs, Values, Attitudes, and Faith.
The latter paper even urged that “education leaders should explore ways to partner with communities of faith.” I guess AEI was afraid someone would notice if that silo analogy was used yet again, but the aim is clearly the same. While it sells the idea of interjecting faith and character practices into public schools, MGIEP is qualifying its observation that:
Mindful compassion practices (MCPs) are not new to many world cultures. However, they are new to many schools that are exploring how to best integrate them into existing curriculum in a secular manner.
Whatever argument gets the desired results in the student at a neurobiological level, right? Now, if you do pull up that paper, make sure you look at Figure 3 on page 11 called “Map of Executive Function and Related Terms to Intra-and Inter-Personal Skills” because it is the final proof that we are looking at the same global template. The last stop in our Travelogue is a Jesuit institution in California called Santa Clara University. Its Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is involved with Humanity 2.0 and its Trust Project involving the Future of the Internet. It also has Lesson Plans to incorporate SEL into academic curricula practices just like MGIEP advocated. https://www.scu.edu/character/lesson-plans/ I also watched the video found there “What is Character Education?” and took verbatim notes. That is why I am so certain I am looking at precisely the same vision as to what must be changed, where, and why all over the world.
What gets sold at MGIEP as Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education, which needs MCPs, and Humanity 2.0, which does too, gets pitched by Markkula (fitting well with that MGIEP Figure 3) as:
Character development impacts three key domains: moral behavior, personal performance, and civic engagement. Virtues ethics, one of the prominent ethical frameworks, sees moral behavior as the way to live the good life. Through the enactment of virtues such as honesty, kindness, forgiveness, and respect we can flourish while behaving responsibly within family and society. Performance virtues, such as perseverance, resourcefulness, open-mindedness and determination, enable us to maintain healthy life habits, work toward personal goals, and adapt to life changes and demands.
Civic engagement virtues such as justice, leadership, sense of duty, and environmental consciousness are important for becoming contributing and lawful citizens in a democratic and thriving society and a sustainable environment. Character development requires that all three components of virtue–affective, cognitive, and behavior–will grow through social interaction and personal reflection.
I am going to stop there for now, except to say that I have no doubt the commonality I am seeing and have documented (this post is just the tip of the connections) is due to the need for what Uncle Karl called a Moral Revolution once a certain stage of technological development was available to the world. Rather than pitch infamous political theories accurately so that their attendant baggage from history can be examined in time, we get illusory sales pitches that nevertheless get to the same realm that must be changed. Closing once again with MGIEP:
Social-emotional skills and abilities are important because they affect how and what we learn, and the way in which we apply that knowledge to our relationships, our work, and our navigation through our world.
This is a fine summation, Robin. Of late, I seem to gravitate back to a thought I had only recently. That the nexus of humanism and scientism is probabilism. This simple idea, for me, encapsulates in a nutshell everything I’ve learned about “our common future” as imagined by the socio-economists in a communitarian world undergirded by communitarian law. It describes the sophisticated level of social engineering and perception management Americans have been subjected to.
“Enculturation” is the process of learning your own group’s culture, and “enculturate” is a transitive verb. So, when an American mother teaches her child to use a fork, she is enculturating him. “Acculturation” is the process of taking on ANOTHER group’s culture.
An example of just how much we’ve been acculturated is captured in these quotes I stumbled upon while reading from the late Howard Raiffa’s entry at the Wikipedia website, in References. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Raiffa
“I think of myself as a decision analyst who believes in using subjective probabilities. I would prefer being called a “subjectivist” than a “Bayesian.””
“I got an idea: call it applied systems analysis, because nobody will know what it means. We had a clean slate.”
Discussions surrounding cybernetics and game theory were integral to those Macy Conferences back in the 40’s and 50’s. One of my best buds back in high school recently retired as a Professor Emeritus from an Illinois university, from the College of Marketing. His focus was on “Marketing Scales” and he proudly describes himself still… as a psychometrician.
Robin, the world we are leaving our progeny is a brave new world, indeed!
I think your point about the difference between enculturation and acculturation is right on point. After I wrote this post, but while I was still following up on some of the connections for which these links are the tip of the iceberg I discovered that there were numerous links to the Templeton Foundation. It in turn is pushing ‘cultural evolution’ in earnest with its grants. We will talk about those implications more in the next post, but it would also explain another aspect of what was laid out accurately in Credentialed to Destroy that angered the so-called conservative think tanks. They are major drivers of that cultural evolution while hiding it under seemingly innocuous terms like School Choice or Whole Child.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/07/we-need-new-science-progress/594946/ came out this week, which fits with the idea of using educational institutions to create a Science of Cultural Evolution. As usual it gives a name to what is already in play and the shift to a normative emphasis. Marx’s moral revolution indeed.
The article in the Atlantic starts out:
“In 1861, the American scientist and educator William Barton Rogers published a manifesto calling for a new kind of research institution. Recognizing the “daily increasing proofs of the happy influence of scientific culture on the industry and the civilization of the nations,” and the growing importance of what he called “Industrial Arts,” he proposed a new organization dedicated to practical knowledge. He named it the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
This is not quite accurate. It started out as Boston Tech, in Boston. In the early 1900’s a US land grant (not a state land grant, as in the old Morrill Act state universities) was given and it moved into its new riverfront campus on the Cambridge side of the Charles River. But this isn’t the important way that the article is misleading.
The important thing is that, while MIT has had many great and broad minded people in its history, it really came to prominence during and after WW2 by its close associations with the Manhattan Project and other wartime technologies. It was, probably more than anywhere else, the heart of the military-industrial complex.
And to be perfectly honest, most great technology is developed for wartime. The internet started as DARPANet. DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Great technology does not tend to come from utopianism, genuine nor fake. It comes from a concrete engineering challenge: win the war, drill oil in the deep seabed, orbit the earth, etc. It uses science (physics, chemistry, biotech) not political bs. like Al Gore’s “climate science”, and not idealism.
But will the graduates of these types of programs for high school. https://www.gettingsmart.com/2019/08/four-mega-trends-reshaping-global-learning/ be able to do the mit level work you describe (and I am familiar with as an uncle graduated from there) without the institution and higher ed also changing radically?
XO described in the article is the vision financed by Steve Jobs’ widow. I get their publications so none of this is news to me. Good thing I covered Competency as the endgame in CtD.
Plus more proof here of the neuroscience focus https://www.gettingsmart.com/2019/08/exploring-the-future-of-education-through-neuroscience-edtech-and-literacy/ I keep warning about while others mislead with the “workforce training” red herring.
All that “active learning” would dull most people who might have been interested in a place like MIT. MIT is dumbing its undergrad curriculum down a little bit also, smoothing the rough edges off some undergrad programs that department probably liked as quality hurdles (math, physics, chemistry, EE that I know of) but the admin made them take out. But probably not to anywhere near the same extent. Now they can admit more foreigners, or maybe there will be some exclusive private schools that won’t follow this nonsense, and so those rich private school kids will be easier to admit over the dumbed down middle class public school kids.
In case you are looking for a fun read, Matthew Pearl wrote an excellent historical mystery called The Technologists set around the founding of MIT and the Boston of that time.
Read it when it first came out as I have most of his books, but that one was especially fun and clever.
Breaking news from MIT.
You may have heard that the head of the MIT Media Lab resigned, having covered up some of the gifts from Jeffrey Epstein.
Now it turns out that the current MIT President, Rafael Reif, signed off an acknowledgement letter for one of those gifts from Epstein, which was after his conviction. Also he had discussions about the Epstein gifts at MIT senior management meetings at least once. And he doesn’t remember any of it. Or maybe he remembers the meeting and just chose not to disclose it until now.
I don’t know what he’s referring to when he says “Of course they did not know what we all know about Epstein now.” The damning stuff was known then. It’s just that the reaction is different now.
I had an offline discussion with someone about Joi Ito and his involvement in digital learning. Think a bit about the reality when those who push so hard for experiential education turn out to have a thirst for aberrant experiences. Then marry that to the ability to manipulate virtual reality via the software design as Jane MacGonnigal trumpeted several years ago in her ISTE keynote.
Trying to wade back in to what I was working on before I got distracted by family medical emergencies and I found this. http://jubileecentre.tiarc-staging.co.uk/userfiles/jubileecentre/pdf/other-centre-papers/EpiphanicMoralConversionsAME2016.pdf
Plus that link led me straight back to MIT, which clearly has similar aspirations. http://www.mit.edu/~shaslang/mprg/WongHAMCP.pdf — “How are Moral Conversions Possible?”
https://www.brainfutures.org/brainfitnessinschools/ was released yesterday if someone is looking for some light reading while I am distracted with other matters.
http://invisibleserfscollar.com/naming-educators-as-the-levers-shifting-the-human-personality-to-marxs-moral-revolution/ is the post from 2013 where I tracked that explicit goal that is at the heart of the MH vision that is the essence of the Convergence.
I understand now how much ALL public policy think tanks get used to push the Ideas and Institutions to carry out the vision. It also explains why Harold D. Lasswell’s vision of political and other social sciences is suddenly being explicit pushed again. This quote of his also explains why education and changes in its emphasis to ‘student-centered’ around a Science of the Individual have now been institutionalized.
Those decisions are being made for us now, mostly behind our back or hidden by euphonious euphemisms. My job, as usual, is to pierce that veil and call a spade a spade. At least now I know it was Lasswell that shifted the nature of the law at elite law schools from “legal realism to policy science in the world community.” That was not on the bar exam when I took it.
No wonder the lawyers are regularly crazy leftists these days.
Would you happen to know if that stuff is on the bar exam now in some form — international law from a civil rights perspective, or some such?
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