Shaped and Sculpted Young People Ready to be Governable Participants in a New Future

Remember that catchy Peter Paul and Mary song “Leaving on a Jet Plane”? Well, I am practically humming it in my head this afternoon. After reading revelations in the last few months that have me feeling like I have been staring at a supernova without my comrade-approved conceptual goggles, I am taking a little break. Because things have been breaking so fast and furiously just in the last week though, I want to talk first about what is happening and also to bring back a group of posts that bears directly on interpreting the intentions of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.

Now I am known for liking a good Grab the Attention metaphor in my titles, but this one is an actual quote of the intentions involving students, education, data, and experimenting to create new kinds of people and societies via public policy. First, we get a declaration of giving the public bogus reasons on why children need to learn to code as a basic new educational skill. Meanwhile admitting that the required practices will reorient students into the new ways of thinking “required to participate in the digital governance of the state” [and thus them, whether our ‘new thinkers’ ever grasp that real goal]. Later, ‘digital making’ activities are acknowledged as “a way of seeking to shape citizen subjectivities and capacities”, which certainly fits with my insistence that K-12 education globally is now intent on molding future likely behaviors and the student’s personality at a biological level. will take you to the journal to download this Mother of all Confessions. The title actually comes from this doozy on page 267 where we are told “learning to code is itself a form of digital policy instrumentation–a technical means of operationalizing a particular set of policy ideas and exercising specific effects in terms of the governance and control of the population. It is a channel through which young people are to be shaped and sculpted with both the civic capacities and expertise to become governable participants in emerging strategies, techniques, and methods of digital governance.”

Elsewhere that report announces that these well-connected public and social innovation labs show the “spread of experimentalism as an ideology for how we shape the future.” In case that’s not graphic enough and showing why I had to get one more post up before my Great Adventure, we have adaptive learning, data science in education, and these psi labs generally declared to be seen “unambiguously as part of an ideological project of designing the future.” Now pay attention also because the Next Generation Science Standards put out an advisory on assessment this week that fits with the following as a desirable Practice to be Measured: “based on the assumption that design can envision desirable realities and develop ways to make those futures realities.”

I will deal with NGSS when I return so wish me a safe trip. In the meantime we also have philanthropies and governments at all levels admitting their coordinated efforts with each other to redesign society around place-based initiatives. Of course that report further confesses all the particular federal programs we are funding with all this deficit spending and the ties to fed Ed and then the need to transform the broader social and economic systems. We are told excitedly that this is not an ‘Either/Or” situation, but calls for an Integrated Framework that they intend to keep practicing on us with.

Maybe I should find a cave somewhere and just hide in the wilderness. If I did that though, who else would look at a paper like “Driving the skills agenda: Preparing students for the future” from Google [who is really psyched about this data emphasis by the way] and notice all the undisclosed connections. Instead of reading it as major employer speaks about what all employers need, I remembered our recent post where Google called for changes in public policy to redesign society. Maybe Google is once again speaking as someone with a Stake in this Game of Experimentalism with Data and less as an Employer.

I noticed Google hired the Economist Intelligence Unit to prepare the report, but no one ever mentioned that Pearson, with its global Ed Unit headed by Sir Michael Barber of ISC tag fame himself, owns The Economist. Many of the experts involved with the report are also involved with ATC21S, the global 21st century skills initiative backed by Microsoft, Cisco, and Intel, but that is omitted from the paper as well. Since I covered ATC21S in my book Credentialed to Destroy, I got to call on that knowledge in reading the report. It also allowed me to notice that the very skills “employers need” are the same skills being touted as necessary to be a 21st Century ATC21S Learner. Now since Pearson is officially part of ATC21S and so are UNESCO, the OECD, and the World Bank we are getting what will satisfy the desires of the transformative Learning Metrics Task Force now being pitched as necessary to satisfy what employers need.

I can practically see every county, state, or country bidding to be the next recipient of a jobs-creating data center for Google being presented with that very document. Then the eager-to-please and plan ‘business development’ mayor, council members, governors, legislators, and Congress critters will cry in unison that “this is what our schools must do or there will be no jobs.” That’s how what is openly acknowledged to be Experimentalism and social theories looking for implementation to produce data to see if they work makes it all the way to your local school to start that Shaped and Sculpted Process.

Beyond those links that should probably be read with an adult beverage or your blood pressure medicine nearby, I am providing the links to a series of posts I wrote originally in January 2014. I called it the Obuchenie Trilogy, but there were four of them as it turned out. Obuchenie is a Russian word that does not translate smoothly into English, but understanding it as a goal is crucial for translating the Every Child Achieves Act’s aspirations for our children into the actual goals. In order here are the posts so we can get ready to deal with ECAA when I get back.

Finally, we have this

Reading the language of the new form of ECAA, 1177, made me think of what Benjamin Bloom really intended Mastery Learning to become because that seemed to be a driver behind the 1177 language’s clear intent to fundamentally change our children. When I went back to the early 70s, I found Bloom writing alarmingly about changing the nature of the task in order to change the student in order to get at Cognitive Behaviors and Affective Characteristics. Well, that’s clearly not just another way to teach math or reading so it becomes accessible to all. There was something else noticeable though in the 1974 book schools, society, and mastery learning that wrote up presentations from an AERA annual conference.

Remember what the typeface created by the old typewriters looked like and how much trouble it would be to hyphenate ‘teaching-learning process’ just like that for more than 100 pages of typing. Sometimes it appears several times on a single page. Someone wanted that hyphenation because it helped stipulate the meaning of the phrase. In my mind, that much trouble consistently gone to in the early 70s means we are right about the phrase being a translated Russian word for a psychological and pedagogical practice created over there. Being brought over here and in 2015 it’s about to make it into a federal law when accurately understood.

Don’t expect a thank you from me for THAT importation into our classrooms.

Russian psych research, federal law, and Experimentalism via data as an ideological project of designing the future.

Leaving everyone with lots of relevant reading so no one needs to Miss Me While I’m Gone.

Now humming “Sure Gonna Miss Me While I’m Gone” as I pack. See ya.

28 thoughts on “Shaped and Sculpted Young People Ready to be Governable Participants in a New Future

  1. Have a great trip with your family, Robin, but be ready to hit the computer when you get back! The earth could have shifted on its axis while you’re gone. Who knows where S1177 will be by then. Thanks for the keep-us-busy reading. Hair will be a little whiter, I’m sure, by the time I finish.
    Have fun!

    • Thanks. Just part of the family is going and I have been getting lots of advice from Californians on driving the Pacific Coast Highway. Using my research skills for something other than appalling plans was fun and I have scored tickets to Alcatraz.

      I think I will stay away from Mountain View in case anyone there wishes me ill.

      • There used to be a really good brew pub in Mountain View called the Tied House. Haven’t been there in years, but might be worth the risk.

        Safe Travels!

  2. Alcatraz is soecial. Three men who escaped , the ANGLIN Brothers and another surnamed MORRIS. My last name is Anglin. My sister married a MORRIS. Obviously we married UP. .Enjoy your trip.

  3. If you are going north its a roller coaster ride of amazing spectacle. Seriously like scary road! If going south the coast is breathtaking, either way you go, drink lots of wine and
    Enjoy your companions. stop buy Rudd if you go near Oakville, they have an amazing cave. Also get your head out of the game for as long as you can and when you cannot,
    Read this. But make sure you are drinking some Rudd.! Have fun….!

  4. Have a fun trip Robin!

    I am used to mapping words to things or concrete examples. Whenever I read this edu-drivel that you have to wade through I have a hard time reading it all. How do you do it?

    Alcatraz? Many many years ago I was sent to SF for a one month project and flew my then GF out on a frequent flyer coupon. We went to Alcatraz. They locked our group in solitary confinement to show us hard dark it was when the steel door shut. You could not see your hand in front of your face. No one could see anything.

    So, being in my 20s and impish I used the opportunity to inappropriately touch my GF. She said “pervert!” in a very loud voice. After a pause some voice in the dark asked “Who’s a pervert?”. When the door opened everyone was looking at each other and I was trying so hard to hold in the laughter I thought I would split open. ….A fond memory now.

    Be good. Unlike me.

    • Did you catch this from the Christensen Institute while I was gone?

      I always wondered why the supposedly conservative state think tanks featured Michael Horn’s work so prominently. Hearing him I could tell his vision was transformative and we know he was featured at the Gates/ Carnegie competency-based summit with fedED in 2011. He really takes off any attempt to hide it with this vision. This is also classic systems thinking of the Marxist variety even if the M word is missing.

      Slowly making it through my emails and confused as to the time.

        • Did you notice the mention of lessons on annotation and critical reading? I had this discussion with my kids when they took IB classes and the annotation interfered with the reading of the book and was the grade. They all hated it. Now I recognize it is looking for metaphors and DCIs–Disciplinary Core Ideas. If you cannot read fluently you can still annotate to drive what you gather from print. If you are fluent, it disrupts what is gathered from print.

          And they want upper el to annotate so that reading too becomes like a sluice where no one gets to make their own pathway or derive their own understandings.

          • Just when you think you have seen it all. In addition to the Bats we now have ‘Bernies Teachers’ group.

          • Advocating for what?

            Did you know that as early as 1960 Harvard ed profs had recognized that the way to disguise the needed shift to targeting the social and psychological development of students was to use definitions in a stipulated and programmatic way, while the typical reader would assume the definition was descriptive and still tied to prior uses?

            Doesn’t that sound precisely like what is going on with the ESEA reauthorization Lamar has foisted on us or the way ‘integrated math’ worked in my state or ‘competency’ works now?

          • I am going to discuss the implications of the Remake Learning vision piloted in Pittsburgh and the Playbook released last week that is stated to be the template for Digital Promise and the League of Innovative Schools. This suggests it is going statewide in Pennsylvania. This PBL will work like a bespoke glove with the sel initiatives Anita Hoge has described as still going on there.

            Essentially adopting the entire purposeful behavior, activity, target social and psychological development templates, as if PA were Moscow in the 1930s. This time it is our politicians determined to make sure we can be exploited in the future. Will gulags be next or is the whole point of ‘personalized learning’ under ECAA to make gulags unnecessary? reliable, predictable future behavior and unlikely to even be capable of rocking the boat if they wanted to–the new 21st century American citizen produced in a Bipartisan manner by the US Congress.

          • From what I can find Bernie’s teachers are connected to the Progressive Democrats party, and the people for Bernie Coalition. Seem to be farther left than Bats. Anti test, anti corporation, profit etc. Active mostly on east coast but interacting with west coast bats.

          • Boy, talk about yet another announcement of the active coordination around competency based education and the global agenda.

            NCTAF is yet another initiative Richard Riley is involved with.

            Speaking of Riley, yet another new paper from KnowledgeWorks.

          • You said:
            Did you notice the mention of lessons on annotation and critical reading? I had this discussion with my kids when they took IB classes and the annotation interfered with the reading of the book and was the grade.

            I know nothing of this. Who annotates what and why? The students have to write annotations as they are reading? Not everyone is familiar with current horrid ed. practices.

          • I was not familiar with it until my kids started at a high school that was part of an IB Diploma Program. It angered the smart kids because it was a brain dead activity and the teachers seem to glance at two or three pages looking for whether something in particular was noticed. It can take longer to annotate a book than to read it. Truthfully you can annotate without reading. It was not until I began to truly recognize conceptual understandings and disciplinary ideas and how they were intended to guide perception and influence future behavior that the true purpose of annotation became clear. I also bought a book on Close Reading under the Common Core and recognized that it was looking for ‘lenses’.

            For a student who is not a fluent reader they seize on that vocabulary as an interpretive filter. That link though shows the sorry practice guiding the students from the get-go. When coupled to Literacy Design Collaboratives as I described in Chapter 7 of my book, it means that the entire language available for thought is being rationed and deliberately manipulated for most students.

            Honestly my older kids and their friends who got IB diplomas would threaten hysterics or want to break out in hives at the very mention of the phrase “Are you an IB Learner?” It matters because IB is a stalking horse or what is to be mainstreamed. Now it is.

  5. Clear your mind and enjoy your family. Hope it’s a wonderful trip. And as always, thanks for the homework. Not serfs yet…

  6. Do you have a supporter in Brendan O’Neill?:

    I am only an infrequent visitor here – the truth is, I find the intensity of your column a bit frightening! However: Mr O’Neill’s article is obviously about neo-feminism, but he does include a section on knowledge which seems to cohere with your own observations. My own belief is that one can best reclaim power from tyranny by attacking it from many sides at once, so it is really important to join up people of good intent, even if their starting points are frankly dissimilar. I’d be interested in your response.

    • Thanks Stuart. I enjoyed that link even though it took until this morning for me to get a chance to read it. I had noticed that when my alma mater excitedly appointed its first female President, who prided herself as a feminist scholar, one of her first acts was to shift the name of the History department to Historical Thought. English became Rhetoric and Literary Perspectives overnight. I forget what Religion got renamed as, but it was a classic admission that the new purpose was shaping and sculpting mindsets.

      Then when the Boston marathon bombings took place, alums got an email that there had been a gathering of students and profs and admin because no one could understand how this could happen. Really? No one at a top tier college is aware of the fervor of hate nursed against the West or that it can lead to murderous rage? Only mindsets disconnected to the world as it exists in favor of what might be could say that. These are not illiterates or Valley girls.

      I do try to use humor to lighten the intensity of my book or this blog, but truthfully we have a global oligarchy intent on using education to create exploitable citizens without our consent. As frightening as that reality is, leaving these clear intentions undisclosed and operational is even more alarming. So I write and talk and take occasional breaks as I did last week.

      Eclectic should know that those doors are now bolted with padlocks to prevent visitors from closing them at Alcatraz in the maximum security D block.

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