Shaping a Mind is More Important than Stuffing It: Grasping the Psychosocial Key to Fundamental Transformations

In fact, after that essay “An Education for Humanity” was written in the early 60s, psychological research began to show that a fact-filled mind was hard to reshape. The excuses for making education about mind arson would vary from then on, but never the aim: “a new organized system of thought and belief” that “would provide a new vision of human destiny.” This is the same intentional cultural evolution I explain in my book, except I was missing the precise term Julian Huxley created for this new type of evolution–‘psychosocial’. Now doesn’t that intention make all the focus now on the Whole Child and a Positive School Climate and Positive Behavior Interventions for all students and Pearson owning the rights to BASC, Behavior Assessment System for Children, and desired utopian Character Traits hiding in a new Student Code of Conduct so much clearer?

If that “inside the student’s mind and personality” target was always the change arena of this revised vision of an education that could supposedly bridge the gap between the cultures on both sides of the Cold War (according again to UNESCO’s first Director General Julian Huxley), what were the actual goals? First, to create a “strong moral bond” between each student and the “wider community” where he lives. Secondly, to foster a belief in the “oneness of mankind.” OK, you say, that does sound a lot like a communitarian emphasis we found when we followed the actual definition of Career Ready in the 21st Century back to the actual guidelines as well as the definition of Global Citizenship the Common Core is pushing through affiliates.

Third should really begin to sound familiar. Definitely not a goal for education that got stuck in the 60s with the Bay of Pigs or the Cuban Missile Crisis. To “give the rising generation a ‘world view.'” Now Elvin acknowledged this would likely be controversial so, then as now, it is simply to be made into the domain of professional deference of what it means to be an educator. And not just a right to dictate the acceptable world view–defined as “a view of man and his nature, of the earth and its history, and of the universe of which it is a minute part” to be enforced by adminstrators and Edudoctorates who mostly have no individual knowledge of any of those particulars. This was, and is, not to be just an intellectual understanding. No, the idea is for the world view to create “a total response” that encompasses the imagination, morality, and the sciences all at the same time.

This all encompassing vision of what education should do to a student, literally described as “should fuse in a total personal synthesis” may sound like the realm traditionally associated with religion. Elvin appreciated that and said this:

“I should make it clear that I mean a type of response that for some people takes place in association with their religious beliefs but that per se is not dependent on any religious creed or dogma and is felt equally by those who are in this sense without religion.”

Before I move on to the current CARE Guide from the NEA and that Teaching Diverse Students Initiative being imposed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a component of Equity and Excellence under the Common Core, I want to juxtapose that admitted new goal for education as a means for finally achieving what was then called the Fulfillment Society. Its new names of course are now a Subjective Well Being focus as part of the Great Transition.

In 1943 the US Supreme Court reversed previous case law to hold that students could not be punished for failing to perform the Pledge of Allegiance if it violated their religious creed. Justice Jackson wrote the majority opinion where he decried any “compulsory unification of opinion.” He wrote a passage I want us all to reflect on in a time when every education degree is now apparently coming with a compulsory unification permission slip in a country where that ought to be unconstitutional: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not know occur to us.”

That SCOTUS opinion was about the classic clash between the “power of the majority to command conformity from the individual” which is unfortunately the lode star of the 21st century even though it could only command a dissent in 1943. Back then the belief that the US Bill of Rights was created to be a bulwark to curtail Majority Mischief was still firmly in place. The CARE Guide and the Diversity Kit takes all these traditions and throws them out the 3rd story window into a bonfire below. Under it, education becomes the means to “prepare students for their responsibilities in an interdependent world.” The Guide takes on with excitement  “the role schools play in developing the attitudes and values necessary for a democratic society.” In case we have any illusions about what is to constitute such a society, the Guide wants public schools to challenge “all forms of discrimination in schools and society through the promotion of social justice.”

Public schools are explicitly to push the idea that this new vision of education and “appreciation of diverse cultures” as long as they are not White or grounded in traditional Judeo-Christianity or Asian American, is built on the supposed “American ideals of freedom, justice, equality, equity, and human dignity. This is acknowledged in documents as varied as the US Declaration of Independence and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.” No, actually those are not American ideals and they are frequently in opposition to what is laid out in that Declaration of Independence. The US refused to ratify that UN  Declaration that is now to be imposed via education affirmation anyway.

Wondering why I pulled out Asian Americans? Because they are listed in the Power Relationships Activity for Educator Reflection as a ‘voluntary minority’ who ‘freely’ immigrated to the US. Involuntary minorities “are those who have been conquered, colonized, or subjugated by the US, such as Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, African Americans, and American Indian/Alaska Natives.” So much for the 2008 Presidential election being about putting race behind us. No, students are to learn that “all people share basic needs” and that “each of us learns a set of behaviors and beliefs from the people we grow up with.” Some of those are now to be deemed unacceptable and slated for an extinguishing process via education and others will be glorified for intact preservation. Guess which?

Also slated for discussion as a new value is that a student should ‘achieve her potential’ in order to contribute to the social whole. If that holistic orientation instead of an individual one is not clear enough, how about a statement that “positive feedback should be stated in terms of student’s ability to help family or community?” If that servant function on behalf of the supposed greater good is still not bearing down on our sense of where this is all going, how about “student should be helpful and cooperate with his peers, giving assistance when needed. Helping is not considered cheating?” All can learn in the 21st century, but for the bright kids most of the learning will be social.

The Guide really does expect all schools to be having constant discussions of race and to simply accept that “people of color are more likely to perceive prejudice than others. Not surprisingly then, there will be intergroup tensions in many schools, especially when students live in separate, racially homogeneous neighborhoods.” Which is of course now to be regarded as unacceptable. No longer free to live where we wish or believe as we wish or to value what we wish, courtesy of the Whole Child reeducation process to create a new kind of guiding common core. Does this sound totally toxic all the time for every student to anyone else?

I am going to close this post with the declaration that “one of the primary roles of educational leaders is to give voice to shared values.” It is thus quite clear that education degrees now are to be all about enacting Elvin’s vision of Education for Humanity and not Justice Jackson’s holding of what is an acceptable purview for any official relying on the coercive power of government.

If the intended level of personal coercion via education to create responses from an unconscious level is not already crystal clear, let me end with the purpose of Positive School Climate per the explanation of questions in the Student Survey:

“Repeated articulation of these values, backed by relevant action, can increase consensus and motivate others to act accordingly.”

That’s a great deal of incentive to insist that real differences among students must be addressed by making joint activity the classroom focus to allow “modeling behaviors, thinking processes, and procedures.”

With this vision in place some of us really need to update the Declaration of Independence so that these Educrats can grasp its real significance.

It may take a multimedia powerpoint though to get through. Maybe role playing through the inevitable toxic consequences of these to be required activities and behaviors and discussions.

29 thoughts on “Shaping a Mind is More Important than Stuffing It: Grasping the Psychosocial Key to Fundamental Transformations

  1. Britons now do not have representatives in parliament. Education was wrecked from 1931. Invasion (called immigration) started in 1948 and has never stopped. Ted heath gave away our sovereignty to Brussels, and the promised 2nd referendum never happened. We need a new, patriotic party, but the British National Party is just left out of summaries of 4 parties! Who could have dreamed we would be controlled by traitors?

    • Mona-look what is launching in the UK in June?

      This says that Journey to Justice is working on this with US-based Facing History and Ourselves so this is clearly tied in with these US efforts to use the schools to create the desired belief and value systems for transformational change.

      Facing History even admits it is actually a Character Education program that is designed to create erroneous beliefs to cause students to act for change. This old post on FH just keeps getting more prescient.

      With the psychosocial intentions we understand why. The essay writer by the way was at U of London when he wrote that essay.

      • Each day more is revealed of the machinations of statists; I’m flabbergasted! I’m British born and have great love for the gifts of tremendous advancements the English-speaking people (to hark Winston Churchill) spread throughout the world. Granted, no one “likes” to be colonized, but I think the child-brides and widows of India would beg to differ.
        What non-whites need to understand is that it was the dynamic economic systems in the European old world which created the growth and brought people out of serfdom! Most non-white cultures perpetuated the “strong man” system of social organization which prevents rights and freedoms of the populace as their bondage is to the strong-man’s or war-lord’s advantage.

        I don’t understand the defective thinking on the part of people, where instead of uplifting and speaking to the gifts and merits of each peoples’ contributions to the tapestry of Humanity, that divisions and resentments are sown and magnified. Divide and conquer, I suppose!

        Oh, dear Robin, thank you for your work! As a Baha’i, though, I understand that the world is now a small place, and that it is crucial that people see that we ARE one people, meaning one race, one species. This way, what I desire for myself I desire for another, and I am severely averse to attempts at being controlled by our self-proclaimed “betters”.

        Thank you for your work; I just received your book in the mail.

        Fariba Kashef

        • In Nigeria I worked for 2 years before independence as a civil servant. My typist one day said to me that only since the British took over could her family go to sleep safe in the knowledge that their home would not be attacked, roof burnt and people enslaved! I was there as a mother 2 years AFTER, and the attitude of the locals changed, sort of cocky, to me unpleasant. I had treated them as equals! I think for its last 50 years the British Empire, run on a shoestring was the greatest blessing (for the ordinary Joe) the world has ever seen. And the UK parliament destroyed it.
          Mona McNee

  2. It used to be that the favored flavors of hispanic in education were Mexicans and Cubans. Now it seems Cubans are out but Puerto Ricans are in.

    Cubans are often Republicans after all.

    • Remember the definition of Excellence is conjoining thought, feeling, and what is wished for per Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi. Since he is also part of GERG-the General Evolution Research Group with Laszlo and Bela Banathy and Riane Eisler, I suspect that is why his definition of excellence is all through the federal and state reports on what is to be required under federal civil rights laws. A sense of grievance is handy for wanting action grounded in emotion that is likely to motivate action. The concept of total response described in this post reminds me of Csik’s definition of Excellence.

      Cubans are now quite aware that governments are not their friend and levelling can give rise to tragically locked up economies.

      My college roommate was from Rhode Island and I was shocked by her animosity towards Puerto Ricans. That quote came from Ogbu so we can also appreciate which groups make a good inner city voting coalition is influencing this work. Hard also not the think back to Alliance’s Alinskyite community organizing work throughout the cities in Texas

      I worry about Texas as too many there feel protected by the non-participation in the Common Core. OBE was so far along in Texas and this Alliance vision is so entrenched and Houston especially is already using Appreciative Inquiry in its schools, Texas does not need CC to kick the psychosocial emphasis into the overriding function of the schools. Especially with that STAAR assessment.

      • A very good friend here in Texas, who has been involved heavily fighting against CSCOPE (CC in curricular form, basically, purchased by smaller school districts) has cautioned me, as we move from a diocesan Catholic school to a public school, that if there is ANY chance of our children failing the STAAR test, to pull them out and declare them homeschooled, then just re-enroll the next year (assuming we wish to stay in the typical public school, which we don’t – this is just a stop gap for 1 year until one of two options – classical charter school + home-based religious education or classical Catholic home school – presents as the better solution to our growing disdain of progressive ed pedagogy). My friend said that the process after failing the STAAR is a rat maze, and to avoid it at all possible costs.

        Texans are very complacent, for multiple reasons. CC being banned is one part. Ignorance is another reason. (I suspect many of the insurrectionists here are inadvertent). Another reason – I’ve been told that the Hispanic Catholics here (maybe this is just in San Antonio/South Texas) are used to looking to the clergy for leadership, not taking the initiative, so this likely extends to not questioning school leadership as well. But why other demographics are so complacent, I dunno. It’s frightening, though. Merrill Hope at Breitbart Texas is doing a great job of exposing the underbelly, I just hope people start paying attention. Alice Linehan also.

        I am very worried about Texas also. I will have more frontline reporting when we are in the San Antonio public school system next year. Assuming I don’t quit my job sooner and pull them out to homeschool.

        • Molly-

          We look forward to your reporting. I explain rigor and Higher Order Thinking Skills and what Lauren Resnick is looking for in the book.

          Have you ever seen this post that is explicitly about STAAR and the use of the Indeterminate Situation to essentially change how children perceive the world around them?

          In Georgia we have same problem parents are being told that their children are failing the math EOCTs and CRCTs because it is integrated math and the focus in certain schools and districts is nominally still single subjects like Geometry or Algebra. Parents think it’s the integration and harder content as ‘rigor’ while the administrators admit to themselves, at least when I am in the audience and allowed to ask questions, that the rigor is due to the ambiguity of problem or its untaught nature or the lack of a single answer, right or wrong.

          Fulton County parents and Georgians generally would do well to read that post and begin to really understand what Norman Webb’s DOK is being used to do to their children. It’s a form of brainwashing and social engineering and that’s what it was created by behavioral scientists to do. It’s not just end of year either. I have seen it as a core component of each math unit in elementary common core curriculum prepared by the State of Georgia. The K-12 state math director also mentioned pushing students to train in solving problems or tasks where there is no single correct answer.

          As I point out when I speak, that info is hugely valuable as a behavioral predictor.

 is the second Texas specific post, but the purpose of promoting tech so hard is the same everywhere

          • Robin –

            I have read these posts and pass them to people in Texas regularly. As for the supers – I don’t doubt that they are deliberate insurrectionists, as you say. For the average teacher – I suspect they may be more inadvertent. At least, this is my hope.

            But regardless of deliberate or inadvertent insurrection – the fact remains that it is brainwashing and that the term “rigor” is, as the villain in The Princess Bride would say, does not mean what parents think it means.

          • Rigor is brainwashing precisely because it is attempting to prime students for adaptive responses in the future. It is straight out of behavioral science theory and research on how to engineer the “capacity of an entity (a person or a city) to sense and respond to a perturbation. An effective adaptive response anticipates a threat and leads to action rather than reaction.” It is the same kind of preemptive personality transformation that the most recent IPCC report called for as a means of ensuring Climate Resilient Pathways.

            I got distracted this morning by a report I was not expecting that laid out the alarming concept of Biosoma, basically integrating biological components (that would be us), social components (that would be a city or economy), and machine domains into harmony and balance. That’s a lot of planning and data and computing power. No wonder I kept coming across IBM’s System of Systems vision when I was researching my book.

            Won’t this initiative in preschools be helpful?

            Gathers data from the get-go, while shaping what the child can ever be in ways that fit with the vision of the future.

          • Speaking of rigor as the posts noted and presentations from Willard Daggett to Tony Wagner hyping the new 3 Rs of Rigor, Relevance, Relationships make clear, it needs to be relevant to children’s lives and interests to have the desired internal changing effect. This is more of McArthur’s Connected Learning initiative, but it also has clear ties to Texas and the National Writing Project.

            Speaking of Biosoma as a vision of the future and education embedded in more comprehensive systems and behavioral planning, notice the remark towards the end of “In 10 years, I’m hoping our cities are our classrooms.” Again, as the book explains, in Uncle Karl’s model of human development all learning needs to be active and in context, not mental or abstract or centered on facts.

  3. My 96 year old father, a Dunkirk veteran, passed away on 3 May 2014. I wonder why he had to suffer in the second world war and why he lost so many comrades. What were they fighting for?

    In the UK, we have seen a take-over by the European Union – by stealth. Surely, Hitler`s dream come true. Now our children are to be re-educated.
    I must admit that I strongly object to being manipulated by these globalist elites.

    • Alice-

      So sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful opportunity to have lived with someone who was there for such a seminal event. The COO of the company I was General Counsel of was British and he told my kids, then 7 and 10, of his personal experiences of being sent to Canada to be safe during the war and returning after the war. He was also a decorated veteran of the Korean conflict and believed freedom is worth dying for.

      Here freedom is supposedly other’s obligations to meet your needs. It is very odd to read a book that is the framework for what is going on now, but it is more than 50 years old. Begins with Julian and ends with Aldous. Aldous kept writing about the need for first hand experiences instead of knowing the world through symbols and literature. He would have loved activity theory in ed.

      This article on the use of history to change what South Africans believe should really let you appreciate how we are all dealing with curriculum as a propaganda tool to fuel a shift in everyone’s inner core of values, beliefs, and attitudes.

  4. Thanks Robin and for your platform which allowed me to say something I normally would not.

    I treasure what my father recounted to me although it differs somewhat from the mainstream views. It`s history as passed on from one generation to the other, naturally, and in passing. I`ll leave it at that, for the moment.

    • Alice-this relates to what you are seeing in UK and elsewhere in Europe and your frustrations with the EU. The ed initiatives are all tied into the EU’s collaborative consumption economy vision that I have talked about some since it came on my radar at (co)lab.

      NESTA keeps coming up with that troubling Up from the Swamp ed report I wrote about or the Oceans of Innovation global ed vision report they did with Pearson and Sir Michael Barber. According to the actual report, the just confirmed US Ed UnderSecretary Ted Mitchell also cooperated while he was still at New Venture Schools Fund.

      We are all at various points on a common trajectory headed towards a common goal that is all about collectivism. As the 2012 Symposium report that I worked on already this morning put it after revealing the Biosoma concept:

      “He [George Bugliarello] was confident of this country’s ability to confront and resolve conflicts arising from competition between individual liberties and collective needs…”

      One can be sure that Bugliarello’s belief in such a conflict and what should prevail has something to do with all the commentators mentioning how he was a ‘humanist’ and a ‘world citizen’ in the Julian Huxley sense of the word apparently.

      • See recent comments and then see today, election for E.U. in UK. There were 11 candidates. For a long time I have supported the BNP, against immigration, but their party political broadcast last week was for a “white Britain”. Until then the BNP had not been racist. A white immigrant displaces us just as much as a non-white. If ever there were an instant vote-loser, it is this “white Britain”. So I just wonder, has the BNP been infiltrated by someone who wants them to lose? I look in vain for hope in Britain, once a fine country – once a fine empire!.

        • Mona-you should find this admission that the Common Core writers are interested in targeting a feeling of White Privilege interesting.,187389

          I find racism deplorable from anyone, but I also think it is racist to tell people they owe you in perpetuity because of your skin color vs theirs.

          I am going to address this today in connection with Facing History, but it’s early dismissal because of finals so it will be this afternoon before it gets written. I hate to have to run out in middle of writing. Plus I tend to be distracted so that is not good for other drivers either. I did already write the title though.

  5. still going strong on the equity and diversity here this week. Primary election this week so we will see what shifts. Several BAT teachers running for office here with large ties representing unions.

    Pdx is like another world from where I live, this was an interesting read considering all the training going on here.

    • LL-that was my instinct and the parent trigger advocates admitted it was a means for community organizing. Now your link does the same.

      All needs are to be met via political process apparently. Too bad we are consuming our seed corn at the same time.

      • Oh. My. Once again leaves me with the distinct impression the NW is an experiment in social engineering and has been for years. The truly scary thing is that few see this creeping problem coming.

        Today, may just be the weakest voter turn out in a primary history. Perhaps most think that their vote does not matter any more. Especially since the marriage vote was overturned yesterday by a gay judge. A vote is not a vote anymore, or so it seems.

        • The extent to which this vision and the described links from the 90s fits what we are seeing now as well as Alice in the UK and the mindfulness agenda is not coincidental.

          Yet someone else who sees Muller’s World Core Curriculum as tied to this actual implementation vision even if there is not a formal line to CCSSI. Of course I would argue there is via UNESCO and Quality Assurance, but still worth looking at.

          • Reviewing the key texts list really gives away the myth of this change being about Education. The location of the article is interesting. Did you notice the soul centered learning ? Blech..

          • Well it is Julian Huxley’s vision of what he called Humanist education. There is no mention of Baha’i but there is a constant reference to a new kind of religion and Baha’is philosophy fits to a T.

            I am off thinking about HG Wells today since I noticed a connection to WOMP. Wells’ World Brain reminds me of the noosphere and my concern that the MOOCs act as a circumcription of what is to be knowledge. Just what Wells saw as necessary to get to a collectivist orientation.

  6. Robin,
    Just got finished reading your book. Fantastic. I taught for 23 years at both Catholic and then Public Schools. What I had concluded, but wasn’t able to prove, was spelled out magnificently in your book. I was one of those teachers you mentioned that closed their doors and taught content (actual History and not as much Social Studies) instead of “cooperative learning” that was pushed by the Principal and Superintendent. I was sent to many “teacher training” workshops and seminars at their insistence, but refused to give up my traditional teaching methods which consisted of assigned reading and writing for homework, daily quizzes, lectures and tests that I created rather than using the highly biased ones that came from textbook publishers. I was never allowed to teach the higher intelligence students who were “secretly tracked” and given to the loyal change agent teachers who were in the clique. I lasted 15 years in the public school system, much to the dismay of the administration, since I refused to give up my methods, however, they couldn’t get over the fact that I never had a student fail the State Regents Exam in US History and Government (11th Grade) the whole time I taught there. This increased the schools State rankings, so they put up with me. I must admit though that I used many power point presentations that accompanied my lectures as a focus tool to help students understand what I was taking about. I made each one myself from scratch, complete with all the bells and whistles, which took considerable amounts of time. They contained the content, especially the facts, figures and photographs which I pulled off the net. I took personal pride in trying to teach my lower intelligence students (the only ones I had) “how” to think for themselves as opposed to many of my colleagues who primarily taught their students “what” to think. Sadly, I was one of the few exceptions to the rule, as so many of the teachers I worked with believed all the crapola that their textbooks contained. Keep up the great research, you’ve hit the nail on the head…

    • Thank you Gordy. As you know I thanked teachers like you who have kept these long sought transformations at bay for long enough for a parent like me to come along and tell the rest of the story.

      Bless you and all the adults who were once your students who know far more than anyone in charge wanted them to know and be able to do.

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