Mindful Agency & Futuribles Enabled via Dispositional Learning Analytics and New Forms of Testing

I just had to change that title slightly when I realized I had deduced the relevance of the 1967 book The Art of Conjecture before in an April 14, 2016 post, but today it goes to the relevance of targeting a student’s Purpose laid out in the previous post. I believe it also goes to the push now for new forms of assessment that hype role playing and gaming simulations as shown here https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/53071/how-schools-spark-excitement-for-learning-with-role-playing-games . That came out after the mention of Georgia’s shift in the last post. An emphasis on Indeterminate Situations, Productive Struggle, or Wicked Problem Solving as ‘rigorous instruction’ makes sense when we are aware of the Ford Foundation-financed global interest (my bolding):

beyond the domain of the true and false, and this ‘beyond’ constitutes another domain, where I can place images that do not correspond to any historical reality. An image of this kind is not a mere fantasy if I have the will and feel I have the capacity to bring about at some later time a state of affairs that corresponds to the image. The image represents a possibility because of my power to validate it in this way, and represents a project because of my will to do so.

Testing about facts, or with right and wrong, algorithmic answers, does not get to this desired “domain in which one can act” in an imagined different world. Purpose matters so much because it goes to that will or motivation to act in a given context.  One more quote from the Futuribles because it fits my assertion that the idea now of assessments as a learning journey from Purpose to Performance or Product is consistent with what that above quote called an italicized project. Futuribles was all about a declared goal to “instigate or stimulate efforts of social and especially political forecasting” and these new forms of testing and use of Dispositional Learning Analytics get at the “inside-out basis” for the desired changes. Education is a ‘social science’ as is psychology and Futuribles insisted that the “social sciences should orient themselves toward the future.” Nothing like role-playing games then to practice a vision:

For man in his role as an active agent the future is a field of liberty and power, but for man as a cognizant being the future is a field of uncertainty. It is a field of liberty because I am free to conceive that something which does not now exist will exist in the future; it is a field of power because I have some power to validate my conception…

Now let’s leave those quotes from the past on the desired transformation in the basis of education and the social sciences and pivot to this recent post https://www.gettingsmart.com/2019/02/preparing-all-learners-for-an-uncertain-future-of-work/ that gives a different rationale but the same aim. We have encountered the formalized False Narrative about an SEL focus as about a database of PII on each student, but let’s quote the Institute for the Future’s employee who authored that piece. She is the source of the “inside-out basis” quote used above.

Putting social-emotional skill development at the center of learning promises to help individuals develop the foundation necessary to navigate uncertainty throughout their lives. The new foundation for readiness shown below illustrates how redefining readiness from the inside out–focusing on human development rather than attempting to prepare learners for any particular future of work–can provide a platform for future success. This new foundation for readiness is grounded in the human qualities that are most central to our relationships with one another and which are most difficult to code.

When I debunked the Database of PII narrative about SEL, many of its advocates moved along to hype ‘Workforce Readiness’ as the purpose of the Common Core and Competency learning standards. That alternative purpose though, as the Getting Smart graphic makes clear, is also a False Narrative. The aim is ‘inside-out’ alteration of the student at the level of their personality and Identity, using Purpose and Project-Based Learning as a main means. The shown common core of each student is Individual Awareness (Emotional Regulation), Social Awareness (Empathy and Perspective-Taking), and Self-Discovery (Deep Self-Knowledge).

That same core gets targeted by the Dispositional Learning Analytics (DLA) work being built into these gaming platforms being used for formative assessment and misportrayed as testing. That readiness foundation gets created at a neural level as described in a 2015 paper by the author of that Chapter 25 covered in the last post.  The paper is called “Developing Resilient Agency in Learning: The Internal Structure of Learning Power.” It states that it is concerned with “the establishment of dispositions, attitudes and values associated with being an effective learner,” but it is the same changed vision of Knowledge and Learning we encountered back in 2014 here http://invisibleserfscollar.com/identifying-education-globally-as-the-crucial-lever-for-nonconsensual-behavior-and-societal-change/ Being an ‘effective learner’ then simply translates to a willingness to alter “dispositions, attitudes, and values”, along with ultimately behavior.

See if this quote reminds you of the Futuribles one from decades ago as well as the New Readiness Foundations from last week:

the concern with learning power was to develop a range of competencies crucial for success in the complex, information-rich and radically uncertain world of the emerging twenty-first century. These competencies are now to the forefront- forming the outcomes focus for institutions and organizations the world over…assessment data included aspects of a person’s learning that were both ‘internal’ and ‘social’–influenced by a person’s sense of ‘self’ in a sociocultural and historical context. Feedback was in the form of an immediate visual image of an individual’s learning ‘profile’ as a spider diagram. This provided a framework for a coaching conversation which moved between the coachee’s [aka the student or child] identity as a learner and his or her learning experiences and purposes. The ELLI instrument [acronym for Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory] was designed to identify and strengthen an individual’s learning dispositions, attitudes and values and provide a starting point for self-directed learning and teacher-facilitated pedagogical change.

Any of those sought changes of a student’s internalized core at the level of his mind, personality, and motivations is Learning. We also hear the same aim euphemized as Student Growth, Mastery, Success, or Achievement. The student’s mind and personality, depicted via a Spider Diagram profile to show the changes created by curricula and learning experience,s gets treated as a “complex systems architecture…that sets out the key parts of a system, what they do and how they fit and work together.” A student’s Identity and Purpose get mapped and targeted for change [Learning] because:

effective learning requires the identification of personal desire or purpose, in response to first identifying a need or a problem that requires a solution of some sort. Learning that begins from this point in lived, concrete experience is ‘bottom up’ and usually both interdisciplinary and interdomain–in other words it transgresses traditional subject boundaries. Articulating a purpose in learning requires that I or we know something about ourselves, our story and what is of value to us, and it is thus associated with identity as well as a particular time and place.

The authors go on to point out that 21 C learning outcomes require “learners who can persist in learning, responding effectively to open-ended and complex problem spaces.” Any parent who has ever wondered why math became about ‘productive struggle’ in Indeterminate Situations instead of taught algorithms can take that quote to the bank for enlightenment. It’s not about teaching math any longer. It’s using activities in a class labelled as math to develop  Mindful Agency from the ‘inside-out’ in the student. What goals to set and how to go about achieving those goals or purpose is called meta-cognition. The needed metacognition to act on the future in the present using Mindful Agency are “products of nonanalytic, nonconscious inferential processes particularly when there are conditions that do not allow full analysis of the situation such as under conditions of uncertainty.”

It’s now pretty clear that it will take a Trilogy to finish this discussion so let me finish with these online platforms providing trace data that allow formative assessment, usually mislabeled as ‘testing’ for public relations purposes, to get at and profile a student’s internalized “tripartite structure for mindful agency, which is about the self as agent of his or her own learning, able to take responsibility for the process, as well as managing feelings in learning (such as feeling confused) and being able to judge how long something may take and how to go about it (meta-cognitive strategy). This serves to integrate three distinct strands in the research literature: metacognition, the role of affect in self-regulation (emotional intelligence) and self-efficacy of agency.”

We are back in the sought domain of Futuribles so let me close with a quote from it on the role of purpose, planning, imagining, and training to act in uncertainty on the basis of:

fabrications of the mind…that do not represent any reality past or present…these fictions are of major importance in our life. Although we discard the vast majority as fantasies, we value a small number of them, and these can serve as the cause of future realities. There is no volition without object, and the object of a volition is that a fiction of the mind become a ‘fact’. This fact is the goal of the action…When we retain a fiction as something to be enacted, it serves as the source of systematic action. This fiction–a non-fact–can be situated only in the future, which is necessary as a receptacle for a fiction accompanied by an injunction to become real.

Learning standards grounded in performances, projects, and activities are creating the needed internalized cores for future action. Whether called ‘bottom up’ describing Mindful Agency, or ‘inside-out’ in the new Foundations for Readiness, we are dealing with the same, poorly understood basis for transformation in the student.

All as needed to guide future action is reliable, predictable ways. Which that 2014 post established as the new 21st Century definition of Knowledge.

 

 

 

 

Jumping from the Skillet into the Fire by Misunderstanding the True Common Core

Last week there was a great deal of coverage by many of the same sites that have no interest in truthfully describing competency-based education, the purpose of student data collection, what Outcomes  Based Education is really about, or how learning standards really work hyping Governor DeSantis’ decision to take Florida from the Common Core. I read the articles in between my real life appointments these days and continue to see an alarming pattern of deceit. Let’s talk a bit about what the seemingly well-intentioned governor should know apart from his need to quickly read Credentialed to Destroy cover to cover. First, if the new goals for what the students in Florida are to Know and be Able to Do are still aligned to CEDS–the Common Education Data Standards, then Florida remains tied to the Common Core. It simply misunderstands its true nature.

Since Florida, like Texas, was one of the early states that transitioned to outcomes-based education several decades ago it is hard to see it going backwards into a true traditional content emphasis. My second word to the wise in any state or other countries is that if the teacher is using direct instruction to teach DCIs–Disciplinary Core Ideas– that then serve as ‘lenses’ for how to perceive the world, interpret experiences, and evaluate contexts, that explicit instruction is NOT, in fact, traditional subject-matter instruction. Don’t be fooled by some Type 1 vs Type 2 metaphor that also insists that Constructivism is about Discovery Learning. Let me quote an absolute authority on the subject, UNESCO, which stated that the Lev Vygotsky Learning and Development approach to create a new internalized basis for viewing the world is:

“the revolutionary approach to these issues pioneered by Vygotsky has linked these two processes together in a way that was never before considered. According to Vygotsky, some of the developmental outcomes and processes that were typically thought of as occurring ‘naturally’ or ‘spontaneously’ were, in fact, substantially influenced by children’s own learning or ‘constructed’. Learning, in turn, was shaped by the social-historical context in which it took place. This dual emphasis–on children’s active engagement in their own mental development and on the role of the social context–determined the name used to describe the Vygotskyian approach in the West–‘social constructivism.'”

So so-called Type 1 direct instruction can be used to instill what John Hattie called ‘visible learning’ that is designed to implement this Vygotskyian approach to get at the desired Constructs, Principles, and Concepts that guide a student’s thinking going forward. I bolded a few terms in that quote so we could specifically address them so we can each avoid this desired individual, ‘personalized’, fire that is to promote collective transformation at an internal, neurological level. Did you know that back in April 2018 the Council of Europe formally adopted “Competences for Democratic Culture: living together as equals in culturally diverse democratic societies.” It created a CDC framework on “how we nurture a set of common values around which to organise,’ which could usefully be nicknamed a ‘common core’. The framework creates 3 sets of values, 6 attitudes, 8 skills, and 3 bodies of knowledge and critical understanding that all students must now be able to demonstrate.

So if what Florida implements instead fits with what that CDC Framework lays out as its concept of ‘competence’, then Florida still has a common core and it’s a global, transformative template.

“Democratic and intercultural competence is defined as the ability to mobilise and deploy relevant values, attitudes, skills, knowledge and/or understanding in order to respond appropriately and effectively to the demands, challenges and opportunities that are presented by democratic and intercultural situations [aka social contexts]. Competence is treated as a dynamic process in which a competent individual mobilises and deploys clusters of psychological resources in an active and adaptive manner in order to respond to new circumstances as these arise.”

Pretty sure that active and adaptive manner for a given social context in that last sentence is what we in the West now call a Growth Mindset, which makes sense since Carol Dweck was a Vygotsky scholar before she came up with that particular euphonious euphemism for his Soviet theories. Anyway, we need Governor DeSantis and his advisors to appreciate something else I picked up from a 2017 presentation on the CDC Framework in Moscow, Russia where the slide laid out what it called Descriptors that ties in with what I know about how the referenced CEDS mentioned above or UNESCO’s standards actually work globally. There are Sets of Descriptors for each competence specified by the model. “A descriptor is a statement or description of what a person is able to do if they have mastered a particular competence, These descriptors have been formulated using the language of learning outcomes, and they were validated through a survey that involved over 1,200 teachers who were drawn from across Europe.”  The slide goes on to note that there are Descriptors for the various levels of education (e.g.- preschool, primary, secondary, higher) and to proficiency levels (e.g.- basic, intermediate, advanced).

So if Florida is going to use some type of Descriptors for the Desired Outcomes of the type we see in Learner Profiles and Portrait of a Graduate that we see public and private schools using all over this nation now, then we still have a common core being instilled. It still has the purpose mentioned in a different slide where the answer to “What Kind of Education do we need?” is answered by another question–“What kind of society do we want to live in?” That DeSantis is guided by the latter suggestion is indicated by his stated desire for civics instruction to be emphasized. Want to know who else wants to emphasize civics instruction? Thorbjorn Jagland, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe that published that CDC Framework. In a 2015 speech to the UN that is quoted in another one of those Moscow slides, he said: “While most states have some form of civic education, we don’t–as standard practice–teach our children what it means–explicitly–to be a democratic citizen.”

If you remember, I quoted a Howard Gardner book Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, Reframed in the last post. His vision of an instilled set of virtues that would guide each of us as we “navigate the shoals of work and citizenship in a highly complex and interconnected world” is all about the “need to evolve models of citizenship that can be embraced by the diverse populations of the world.” Just like that CDC Framework. Just like a Yuval Levin quote from the promotion for a February 12, 2019 Hoover/ Fordham Speaker Series where “he will make the case for reasserting the role of education in character formation…conservatives should reassert education’s vital role in molding the souls of rising citizens, not just future workers. While many institutions–family, religion and civic life–are under stress, schools remain an essential pillar of American life. Civic and character education deserve a place of honor alongside more utilitarian considerations.”

Is Yuval Levin’s vision one of those Governor DeSantis is listening to in promoting his civic instruction for Florida schools? If so, we still have a common core being instilled of the same kind Vygotsky had in mind years ago and what the CDC framework promotes now. The Governor also made a statement about moving away from ‘standardized assessments,’ which suggested to me someone is shifting him towards the Learner-centered, Transformative-based, Context-oriented vision laid out last week here https://education-reimagined.org/how-to-shift-from-education-as-content-to-education-as-context/ that fits with all the quotes I have used in this post so far. That author from Iowa BIG uses the term Universal Constructs to mean what is laid out in the CDC Framework. If someone is providing and reenforcing something akin to these Universal Constructs tied to something like CEDS and its Descriptors, then we still have a common core, instilled character and citizenship, vision.

Reading, math, and science are no longer valued as a body of knowledge useful for its own sake and an individual’s own purposes. Let me close with a quote to illustrate the difference and hope that February will not throw up as many personal roadblocks to my writing as January did.

“inside contextually-rich environments and experiences, we are able to help students ‘see’ the knowledge and skills required for diverse contexts and to learn and practice them in unique contexts. Being competent at the Universal Constructs enables a person to effectively navigate and succeed across a myriad of ever-changing contexts. My staff and I cannot know what any of our learners will ‘need to know’ in terms of content or standards in the future. What we can do is ensure our learners are effective at reading context and having the skill set to know how to access and use the content and concepts necessary for their success in that environment.”

I boldfaced all the euphemisms used to obscure the intentional creation of a common core that will purposely guide future decision-making and motivations to act. If there is still any doubt how deliberate, transformative, and global this all is let me close with a link a 2018 Update to IB’s Primary Years Programme called Action. https://drive.google.com/file/d/166FvIsUHIBKEYASa6MWd9Hn1MdLmEFC2/view Notice all the references in it to Learner Profile Attributes. That would be another name for Descriptors. Connecting action and the learner profile tells us that “Through developing attributes of the learner profile, students grow in their ability to make informed, reasoned, ethical judgments and to exercise the flexibility, perseverance and confidence they need to bring about positive change in the community and beyond.”

Those students have an instilled common core at the level of their mind and personality designed so that they act and are motivated to act in a certain way that is designed to ultimately transform how both American society and the world function in the future. It could not be more centrally planned, but because the planned implementation is local and neurological, it can be hard to see. All the deceit surrounding the Common Core simply made that harder.

But as my writing continues to demonstrate, difficult does not mean impossible once we discern the true actual template and need for a common core. It’s essential to all these plans for transformative change without effective opposition.

And there is nothing Conservative about deceit to effect intentional social, political, and economic transformations using education. It reminds me of something one of the Integral Theorists wrote where he said the admitted Progressives could focus on transforming the external, material world, while declared ‘Conservatives’ could maneuver to transform the internal rudders guiding personal behavior.

That really does describe what is going on and why I see such a Convergence behind the scenes. Let’s talk about that next.

Systematizing Human Nature Via Internalized Marxian Standards of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty

Welcome to 2019 as we continue to watch where all the education reforms converge under a variety of names and rationales. We get to watch where various narratives that appear coordinated misinform and whether we can draw a useful picture of omission that we are supposed to be unaware of, while we lobby in outrage for remedies that simply make the neural enslavement worse. Time for some specifics then that I kept track of amidst the wrapping, cooking, and decorating that dominated last month’s activities. A 2003 book by Georgetown law professor Robin West called Re-imagining Justice: Progressive Interpretations of Formal Equality, Rights, and the Rule of Law is being brought back into print later this month so let’s look at what it sought to make operational and how it pertains to education. West explained in her conclusion that:

the idea that subjecting human behavior to governance by rule is, all things, considered, a morally good thing to do–is gaining adherents, worldwide, as the force of positive, international law extends its reach around the globe, and domestic law, both here and elsewhere, deepens and broadens its penetration into social life…law is gaining momentum as the preferred vehicle for control of social relations between nations, entities, or individuals.

Professor West then cited the ubiquitous Positive School Climate mandates as an example of how “the schoolyard playground, once a sphere of insulated political sovereignty dominated, Lord of the Flies style, by bullies, has been tamed by the intrusion of positive law.” Now, I am not as optimistic as Professor West on the ability of new rules, learning standards, and Graduate Profiles to remake human nature, but there is no question whatsoever that the schools intend to try and do just that. Nor is there any question that this admitted Progressive desire to remake human nature, with frank admissions like “the goodness of law lies in its paternalistic capacity” or “subjection of human behavior to the governance of rules, at times, better promotes human wellbeing than does the sovereignty of choice” also hides behind banners about School Choice, Classical Education, Conservatism, Founding Principles, holistic education, and learner agency.

It can even be found, most alarmingly, as Chapter 1–“Character Development and a Culture of Connectedness” of the Final Report of the Federal Commission on School Safety released December 18, 2018. It’s no secret I believe that there is a correlation in both timing and locations between the push to use schools to neurally install a new code of ethics and morality to drive a cultural evolution, and school shootings, where the shooter clearly sought mass murder on the school grounds. It is horrific therefore to follow the cited materials in the Chapter 1 bibliography to people who make no pretense of wanting to turn the human mind and emotions into a system that can be manipulated for purposes of political transformation. I guess that’s what we get for a federal Ed Department staffed with Jeb Bush lackeys.

If the federal Commission cited this paper called “Towards a Science of Character Education” https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/e9b8fc57/files/uploaded/berkowitz_bier_mccauley_jce_2017.pdf , which they did, then all the aims of what is in its bibliography come in as well. I have read many of those books and articles over the years. I know where all this is going. I know precisely what Professor West means by using the law as a positive force to remake social relations and that is exactly what that Federal Commission intends to have done, at a local level, to be binding on people and places and easier to monitor. Insisting that the answer to school shootings is to use the PRIMED character education program so that schools can “help youth internalize ethical and performance values. Effective programs focus on integrating activities that promote self-growth, such as personal goal setting” is to make schools the vehicles for the Marxian moral revolution at a subjective level that both Uncle Karl, and his acolyte John Dewey, said would be necessary for the desired transformation.

See what I mean about how the remedies touted actually bring in more of the poisons that created these problems in the first place? Professor West and other admitted progressives would like nothing more than to make school about character development as “key to a successful society.” They are all on board with the transformative potential at an individual and collective level of “intentional efforts to foster both the academic advancement and the moral, ethical, and social-emotional development of students.” Communitarians of every creed and political party love the idea of school being centered around “the promotion of core ethical values such as fairness, respect, and personal responsibility can create a caring community that fosters students’ self-motivation and positive interactions.”

The idea that the Commission pitched “practices to help students develop a growth mindset” as a solution to school shootings when its creator, Carol Dweck, was originally a Vygotsky scholar seeking to implement his theories on using new classroom practices to create the transformed mindset needed for a new kind of Soviet Man, would be funny in an ironic way if it was not so ridiculously ignorant of these practices. Tragedies like Parkland and the rule of law get used to force poisonous collectivist ideas down this nation’s throats and into our children’s minds and hearts. https://www.learningandthebrain.com/blog/we-can-no-longer-ignore-evidence-about-human-development/ from November 29, 2018 from Professor Immordino-Yang involved in both the US and UNESCO’s neural redevelopment efforts via education is at least honest about the intentions to use new practices to”support the development of our full humanity.”

Do you believe the purpose of education is for students “to question and rethink their ideals, to build their deep desire for inventing themselves“? If not, wouldn’t you want to know if the remedy of a new kind of education to supposedly avoid mere workforce training actually used the techniques of transformative learning? Wouldn’t you want to know the documentable transformative aims of the practices being recommended as the remedy?

I covered Harvard education professor Howard Gardner’s books and goals for a reimagined vision of education and its ties to Lev Vygotsky in my book Credentialed to Destroy so I was quite taken aback to learn that he had a new book come out in 2011 called Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed since it essentially tied the motto of the remedy–Classical Education–as a solution to the hyped concerns over the Common Core to Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory. It turns out to be Integral Theory’s motto too. How’s that for a convergence? In the book Gardner talked about his work on Ethics with Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi without noting that it was Csik and the General Evolution Research Group’s Achieving Excellence transformative template being piloted in certain Colorado districts (introduced in the 80s) that had been used in the Columbine district for years before that 1998 tragedy.

Let’s see what Gardner wanted, since it reminds me so much of what Professor West and that Federal Commission report also seek:

we reserve the term moral for these interactions that exist between or among human beings by virtue of their common humanity, their mutual recognition of this fact…socialization by the community–whether carried out in a harsh or benign fashion–entails broadening and leavening the sense of the good so that it becomes less self-centered, less egocentric, more cognizant of the welfare of other members of the group, and more alert to the ‘common good’. I contrast morality, a neighborly concept, with ethics, a concept appropriate to complex societies…[where] one thinks of oneself in terms of roles. The ethics of roles entails a crucial additional component…that feature is the concept of responsibility.

That quote is long enough for us to catch the drift that the moral transformative revolution Marx said was necessary for his Human Development Society once a certain level of wealth and technological development was achieved, and what John Dewey sought in the name of Democracy, is what Gardner seeks in the name of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. It’s the Character Development the Federal Commission on School Safety seeks even if it’s unaware of what its admitted bibliography really ties to. What Gardner wants, just like where I have documented the phrase School Choice consistently leads us to, is for Young Americans to have “an ethical compass that governs their own behavior.” It is for curricula and classroom practices that create “a new, truly universal belief system, which could be religious or spiritual in tone, to emerge and to help individuals carry out various roles in a more ethical manner.”

When Gardner mentioned responsibility in italics he wanted students to assess “what is ‘good’ (or ‘not good’)” by applying these abstract notions to “human relations: the relations that govern how we human beings act toward one another, locally and globally.” That would be the same as Professor West’s belief that human behavior can now be governed by positive law. I guess Professor Gardner would add “and student-centered learning via prescribed standards and goals of what is to be learned as the basis for future behaviors and motivations to act.” I want to end with this recent essay https://www.lawliberty.org/2018/12/11/civility-and-the-challenge-of-ordered-liberty/ because it illustrates well how the same Progressive concepts and ends can be pitched with different terms by someone with ties to supposedly Conservative publications and think tanks.

The author, Alexandra Hudson, came on my radar yesterday after Politico reported she was leaving her job as an advisor to Betsy DeVos to work on a book with the working title of Redeeming Civility: How the death of true civility threatens America’s future.” Civility struck me as another euphemism for what Gardner called Goodness and Professor West called positive law. I had to wonder if she was leaving because the Federal Commission report was now out, especially with its emphasis on Character Development as its first remedy, so I looked up the author and found that essay. I eventually also found out she has a Masters in “comparative social policy” from the London School of Economics. Perhaps she stood there below the Fabian window thinking that if only she could be an advisor to a US Education Secretary she would in fact be in a position to advocate global policy to in fact fit the motto at the window’s top to “Remould it nearer to the heart’s desire.”

Hudson is reviewing a 20-year old book by a Yale law prof called Civility because she thinks it “could just as aptly describe today. Civility adds a moral dimension to the way we interact with our fellow citizens–our ‘fellow travelers’ as Carter calls them. He makes two distinct but related moral arguments for civility. First, our shared humanity gives us all a duty to respect one another. Second, life of our republic requires us to show regard for one another through our actions, great and small.”

See what I mean about the banners varying, but how the remedies, destinations, and aims do not? If you read the whole essay, notice her citing of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation as an exemplar and remember we covered the Rockefeller Foundation-funded NCDD when we covered their advocacy of Communication for Social Change.

Small world, isn’t it? Also, notice how Ms Hudson uses the terms democracy and republic interchangeably. Let’s finish with a piece of history I learned from Professor West’s book on Re-imagining Justice because it fits so well with what Professor Gardner wants–people working together to achieve desirable goals.

Whether or not a government is republican, [Thomas] Paine urged, is entirely independent of the form it takes: a democracy, monarchy, or aristocracy all might be, or attempt to be, a republican government. Rather, a republican government is defined by its purpose, which is to serve the well-being of its citizens.

Just like Professor West said was the purpose of Positive Law and where Professor Gardner wanted new notions of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness to lead. Do you know another word for something that is guided by purpose, whether italicized or not?

A human system. All it needs apart from instilled purpose is shared sense and meaning-making. Precisely what all these visions of standards-based, student-centered education hope to instill.

 

True Norths, Steerable Rudders, Heuristics Control, and Circumscribed Minds

Now that we have finished that Trilogy, let’s put the parts together since I happen to have https://democracylab.de/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Democracy-Lab_Anthology-on-Democratic-Innovation_final-1.pdf explaining that this vision of ‘education and action learning’ can generate ‘shared understandings’ that will become the “building blocks for a new DNA of thriving democracy” and the “conscious evolution of our social systems.” That’s why Learn Liberty from the last post and its “Heuristics” video call for “Intellectual Humility” euphemized the same type of sought change. Instead, we are instructed to  begin “recognizing the flawed nature of [our] thinking [as] a bold first step to challenging it” and “be humble about our views.” Yet those of us paying attention will recognize this aim as functioning just like Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset as something all 21st century students globally should now have.

The part the admitted transformationalists via ed, and the purported “How to Think” School Choice ‘conservatives’, leave out is that they are both interested in creating what that Democratic Innovation blueprint called “Inner Work, self and meta-reflection as core competencies for a new OS.” If OS is not yet a recognized acronym in your busy life, it stands for Operating System just like your computer. That’s right. In the name of social and political change, your child’s very hardware and operating software, also known as their mind and personality, along with the biological brain and the central nervous system that embody both, are being targeted. Why? Because “we need to grow as human beings” and “develop a vision and an understanding of who we are and how we can internally host the rapid changes and become self-aware participants in the current transformation process.”

Hard not to visualize some of those marching Parkland or other high school students reading that passage, isn’t it? That blueprint included a quote from a name, Roberto Unger, who I recognized as a Harvard law prof [see tag] and it turned out he had written his vision of education in a book called The Religion of the Future. I think he is interested in a new Operating System as well, see what you think:

“In a free society, the individual has the educational equipment, as well as the economic and political occasion, to cross the frontier between the activities that take the framework for granted and those that bring it into question. He has been educated in a way that enables the mind as imagination to become ascendent over the mind as machine. He has learned to philosophize by acting [Parkland again and ‘action learning’ generally], in the sense that he recognizes in every project the seed of some great or small reformation. The practices of society and of culture multiply opportunities for the affirmation of this preeminence of the mind as imagination over the mind as a formulaic device.”

The “mind as imagination” is likely humble in its views and that ‘formulaic device’ slur sounds much like the Fixed Mindset insult or the supposedly discredited Axemaker Mind, doesn’t it? There turns out to be quite the consistence between the admitted Left and the supposed Right in the new kind of thinking and internalized OS each is pushing in the name of K-12 education. The better to get to a dialectical Convergence apparently. It all aligns with the Idea-centric vision we saw with History Matters, Thinking Like a Historian, and the News Literacy Project. All these curricula create internalized “shared understandings” that can be used to “design impactful projects and policies” so that “the political system can be transformed in such a way that we can adequately deal with our current environmental, social and ethical challenges and create the kind of world we want to live in.”

That willingness to transform needs new values and Ideas. Unger called it–“our vision of who we are and what we can hope for.” It also requires a willingness to be malleable in our dealings with other people–Intellectual Humility. All of these can be accomplished stealthily by what gets euphemistically hyped as “personalized learning,” or High Quality Project-Based Learning, to use just two current examples of what gets billed as “educational innovation”. Underneath though is what Unger confessed was a needed “reorientation of personal experience…and reconstruction of institutional arrangements, as well as with the radical changes of conception, attitude, and practice that such a combination requires.”

Values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors need to be targeted for change to create the sought new OS for each individual, not because they are the basis for an existing OS’s database of PII. Ideas are a useful vehicle to be the new definition of 21st century knowledge because, as Unger admitted, what is really being sought is a “revolution in human affairs”. That, in turn, requires “both change in consciousness and change in institutions…[where] no simple division exists between the religious and the political spheres of life.”

That quote certainly explains why every type of K-12 education now pushes a Tranzi OBE vision, doesn’t it? At stake are “attempts to influence our ideas about the possible and desirable forms of human association in each domain of social life.” Action learning instead of lectures makes sense for a change in classroom practice in this transformative vision when it is “the ideas we act out in our relations to one another [that] must, more than the ones we profess, be the object of concern.” Weigel was calling for much the same change when he emphasized that religion and education should create a properly cathected individual obedient to instilled values and Ideals. We have also seen this same aim pitched by creativity advocate John Raven as creating a ‘steerable rudder’ at the level of the mind and heart.

Without using the “M” word as I did in the last post, when Unger wrote of the need to “rely on institutional arrangements, established in law [good thing he is at Harvard Law, huh?], that restrain governmental or private oppression even as they secure a universal minimum of endowments to everyone,” it is still Uncle Karl’s ultimate vision he is describing. In the 21st century, preschool to higher ed are all being restructured to target the values and Ideas that guide an individual’s decisions and motivate his actions. This is all hidden for the most part and lied about by so many in the employ of think tanks and the media on all sides because we are no longer free NOT to “change our enacted beliefs about the possible and desirable forms of human association.” Education targets that internalized OS, as a government mandate from all levels enacted as a matter of law, precisely because this “effort to envisage and to establish a greater life for the common man” requires a new purpose for education.

That purpose necessitates new Ideas, practices, and arrangements that will, at a neural level, “bridge the gap between the personal and the political.” Hard to see though under euphemisms like Intellectual Humility, Excellence, or Quality Learning. All of these ultimately target what Unger said would be needed to get what he called Deep Freedom, a much more alluring phrase than that M word.

Having a Growth Mindset or Intellectual Humility as a prescribed goal makes sense if a vision of the future needs “many minds and many wills.” A focus on Ideas and Reading and Thinking like a Historian make sense if a desired transformation “evolves in historical, not in biographical, time.” Criticizing the “imperious, autonomous self” or insisting that students become “Hardwired to Connect” makes sense if one has a vision that “it is not within the purview of the individual, no matter how powerful, to direct.” Making the internalized changes to the student the goal of K-12 education makes sense, as so many of the Portrait of a Graduate or Positive School Climate visions now do, if the political and religious vision of the future relies on:

“a change in the conduct of life: a change of heart, a change of consciousness, a change in the orientation of existence.”

In other words, a new internalized OS. a/k/a student-centered learning.

 

Locating the Internalized Information Guiding Human Behavior So It Can Be Controlled and Transformed

Dictating such a transformation via preschool through high school, students would then essentially have a common core of prescribed values, attitudes and beliefs. For our Want-to-Be social and economic planning set that means future actions of most people would be both predictable and manipulable. The Planning Set, as I will call them, that we now know contains many different groups intent on fundamentally transforming the world that exists whether anyone consents or not, will know precisely what Values and Beliefs have been internalized and what visual Images, Words, and Phrases instilled. All become unconscious triggers available to command action.

To better appreciate why, let me quote Alexander N Christakis from a 2006 book How People Harness their Collective Wisdom and Power to Construct the Future in Co-Laboratories of Democracy (my bolding to show what Planners take for granted):

“Different people in different situations cooperatively develop different interpretations of realities, especially social realities. In our efforts to understand social realities and design better futures, therefore, we must not assume commonly agreed upon linguistic domains. People come from different cultures and have different cultural sensitivities. They see things differently; have opposing ambitions; prize different values. The first priority, then, in a designing effort is to create a consensual linguistic domain among many diverse voices.”

Students, adults, cities, economies, and societies have each been designated by the Planning Set as subject to their designing efforts. We may start with differing values, beliefs, and experiences, but the new vision of education puts all these things on the table for change. Keeping us lulled as to what is being done to us and our children we get euphemisms like Classical Education as we have just covered, OBE, or Competency-based education to describe the new techniques. Stated goals of ‘Learning’ and ‘Student Growth’ make the changes seem salutary. As I mentioned in a comment to the previous post, that internalized set of Images, Ideas, Principles, Concepts, Values, and Beliefs gets assessed via initial Benchmarks, and then changed and monitored through assessments. Can you say Continuous Improvement?

Some Planners and educators call what is targeted–‘Worldview,’ as we just saw in the last 3 posts. Others use the phrases ‘Mental Models’ or ‘Cognitive Maps’. All are phrases with the same Target and the same aim of where the Bullseye is. To show just how long this has been a target of official Global Policy Planning, I was even able to chase these to the Oval Office of Bush 41 in May 1989.   https://bush41library.tamu.edu/files/memcons-telcons/1989-05-23–Finnbogadottir.pdf To prove that this still matters, here is the recent NSF letter announcing the Brain Observatory to develop a research infrastructure for neuroscience with the same target, techniques, and bullseye.  http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16047/nsf16047.jsp

In all my posts from 2016 I have been building up from a theme of what is wrong with an Ideas or Concepts first curricula that are not built up from facts. Instead, the purpose of the provided Concepts and Categories is to interpret experiences in a classroom emphasizing activity. Sometimes the activity is physical as in group projects or role-playing. Sometimes it is virtual reality where only the software designer controls the Cognitive Map being created or shifted, mostly out of sight of the student, the parents, and maybe even the teacher. https://libertymuseum.org/in-the-news/groundbreaking-evaluation-study-released/ is a new curricula and assessment designed for building character and civic purpose by “exploring the concept of liberty as a living moral construct in contemporary society.”

Everyone ready to sign their kids up for one of the bedrock principles underlying the American heritage? Not so fast if we read the report and discover that Liberty has been reconceptualized to be “grounded in the notion that liberty must be just and must serve the common good…liberty [must be] reciprocal and responsible…[Otherwise] when liberty is de-coupled from one’s responsibilities as a citizen, it threatens to become selfish and divisive.” I have linked to the report and know both American and English history and, unfortunately, the fundamental tenets of the Marxist Humanist political philosophy. I get to recognize when Liberty as a guiding concept has been completely redefined to mask committing the student to a notorious normative vision for how the world might operate.

Students and parents though do not get that opportunity. They are not likely to recognize that Liberty “as conceptualized by the Museum and this study…becomes the bedrock for societal flourishing and ethical growth of both individuals and society” just turned into a tool for achieving Marx’s famed Human Development Society. Like the Classical Education we just examined the web-based curricula and interactive exhibits with Young Heroes is designed to create “pro-social changes in student behaviors” grounded in the stipulated virtues.

Most parents though will just think of Liberty in its historic meaning and not know that on top of the above redefinitions students also get experiences designed to change their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors with regard to “the liberty of society as a collective (collective liberty), as well as the liberty of each individual within society (relational liberty).” Think of this then as a Comrade Reinterpretation of the Concept of Liberty, which gets even more troubling because part of the assessment is looking for signs that the Young Heroes Outreach Program “participants consistently evidenced greater retention of all five pillar virtues associated with liberty…lasting at least three months after their involvement with the program ended.”

Why is that post-program search for continued changes in behavior so crucial? Because it is looking for proof the learning experiences created a change at a neural level in each of those student’s Cognitive Map, Worldview, or Mental Model. When researchers found “increased action-oriented civic and social engagement, identifying a number of social issues, upon which to focus their community projects,” they found that the changes in what was believed and valued were driving a change in behavior in desired directions. Desired first, of course, by the Planning Set and now by the students themselves, if they are even aware of why they are now interested in things they may have previously never noticed, much less acted to change.

Anyone else noticing that Liberty has been quietly redefined in much the same way and for the same purpose as how Amartya Sen defined Freedom? Yes, the nuisance of people who actually read the small print and footnotes. That Torchbearers Report and the redefinition of Liberty was supported by the John Templeton Foundation and the Jubilee Center on Character and Virtues in the UK. When the Report used this quote from Sir John Templeton: “perhaps true freedom is not the freedom to do but rather the freedom to become all we can be,” I recognized the sentiment. Since I found a treasure trove back in January when I searched for the connections between Sen’s philosophy and the Atlas Network members, this time I searched for “Templeton Foundation Amartya Sen.”

http://scienceofvirtues.org/ came up as the Templeton-funded Project at U-Chicago to create a New Science of Virtues. If that sounds like an excellent way to get at the values part of the Cognitive Map, I thought so too. There were conferences in 2010 and 2011. Perusing the Virtues Project Abstracts I discovered that the Divinity School was involved since Virtues were seen as a means to achieving ‘new spiritual knowledge.’ Chicago’s Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience administers the Project. Now would probably be a good time to remember Chapter 6 of my book and how the Planning Set wants to use education to gain a cultural evolution since biological change takes too long.

In the last post we talked about the sudden ubiquity of phrases like self-rule, self-regulation, and self-government. We can now add the Virtue of Self-Control where one of the members of the team of investigators is psychologist Angela Duckworth of Grit and Perseverence fame. More importantly she is involved through her Character Lab with the national Growth Mindset study being pushed by the White House Behavioral and Social Sciences ‘Nudge’ Team. That means this Science of Virtues is involved too. That certainly puts new meaning to this expressed goal:

“The proposed research will produce a comprehensive framework for formulating and evaluating economic and social policy with deeper psychological and ethical foundations than are traditional in economic analyses. It will develop a more comprehensive understanding of the origins and consequences of human differences.”

Very exciting then for the Planning Set! Another investigator on that same team is a Philosophy prof with a focus on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. That’s a useful link to what we saw as we examined Classical Ed which somehow also loves to name drop Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates while making the point about enacting their ‘virtue-ethics.’ More rationale for transforming the internalized cognitive maps controlling behavior. Another part of the Project seeks “The Transformation of Virtues: Imagination, Vision and Dreams and Sources of Human Excellence and Practical Knowledge.” Sounds good even though it intends to prescribe and create an internalized Worldview of guiding values and beliefs to help students “understand the virtue of being able to face up to a collapse of the virtues when a culture is collapsing or being destroyed-as well as the virtue of living well in the aftermath of such catastrophe.”

Oh, Joy. The Planning Set creates the catastrophe while prescribing the beliefs and values to supposedly adjust to what is now broken. The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development again defines “virtues, then, are psychological and behavioral characteristics that guide a person towards integrative and positive, or even noble, purposes for self and the world. In short, virtues are understood to play a key role in a person’s positive life trajectory and in the quality of civil society.”

But those characteristics are being prescribed and instilled via education without notice or even consent. Like the experiences obtained though the reconceptualization of Liberty, the curriculum is designed to guide and motivate certain behavior from a subconscious or even unconscious level.

Cool for the Planning Set who get power, grants, and promotions for pushing this transformation of the purposes of education.

Not cool at all for parents and students unaware of what ‘brain-based learning’ now really means or the taxpayers being asked to fund all these transformations.

Before anyone thinks that the answer is just to monitor what philanthropies or the NSF are funding in the name of education, please appreciate the National Institutes of Health is also launching research with the same Target and Bullseye. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DA-16-009.html

Theories about Mental Models or Computational Neuroscience are not innocuous terms for research either.

 

 

 

Foiling False Narratives Amidst Unsupported Cries of Balderdash!

The last post was not designed to ruffle feathers so much as continue to warn that words like Classical or Christian when applied to education, much like what we have already seen with Critical Thinking and Rigor, may not have the actual meaning assumed. I am genuinely worried about the extent to which Classical Education is modeling a psychological template that came out of the Soviet Union to bind the mind and personality. A reader in the comments put up this slideshow http://slideplayer.com/slide/695610/ that reveals a troubling and intentional use of cybernetic techniques via education to mentally and emotionally bind a person for religious purposes. Please scrutinize what on-line vendors or actual charters or privates have in mind when they use these terms.

Today we will continue to explore the broader template of what is being pushed under the Classical label and its very troubling bedfellows that were turbocharged in December with the language in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A reader contacted a well-known education writer known for being anti-Common Core and pro-Classical Education asking for a rebuttal of what I wrote in the last post. We are going to go through the various responses because they illustrate so well what a muddle these Great Ideas centric educations can actually create. Response 1 was that the post was “Balderdash.” Since that descriptive word would mean writing that is contrary to facts and nonsensical, the natural question became “what is not true?” That provoked a link http://www.nationalreview.com/article/431182/donald-trump-bernie-sanders-gnostic-campaigns  that the frustrated reader forwarded to me.

I pointed out I never theorize in writing about conspiracies, but that I do get to quote people who declare they are involved in a coordinated effort to use education to achieve some declared transformation of society. Secondly, that article basically insults certain political supporters as acting like people who use a Gnostic simplistic analysis to view the world around them. Well, that was a new criticism and not particularly consistent with the facts. Maybe I was supposed to be horrified, but I did wonder whether someone needed my Inapt Metaphor lesson on lousy analogizing. A few days later I got the final response from the reader who really wanted there not to be some kind of misuse of the phrase ‘Classical Christian education’ for purposes unappreciated by parents. Here is the final criticism of that post and apparently the reason for trying to protect people from either my book Credentialed to Destroy or this blog. I have a few responses in brackets.

“My point is addressing it does nothing because verifying people’s intentions is impossible. [What’s to verify if I am quoting what they write as to intentions?] And there is no high volume of readers. [Of course that has nothing to do with any coordination to hijack what can be said or written about the Common Core by certain well-funded think tanks] Because global warming crazies say the earth is round I need to wonder if the earth is flat. Absurd. And Robin’s assertion that we need to prioritize facts but not their connections is a non-starter to thinking people. [Someone skipped the class day devoted to the Strawman Fallacy] She does that herself. There are not demons under every doily that she has not herself made.”

That last part about “demons under every doily” was too alliterative to have been original. You too may want to put it in quotes and see the results of the search. The real question though is what makes me write about something on this blog at any given time? Usually I  am responding to something that appears to be hidden by a wall of deceit. That type of factual investigation may be annoying and inconvenient, but it’s not nonsensical.  Let’s get back to why I am so concerned and right to be so. Another book, Classical Education: Towards the Revival of American Schooling by Gene Edward Veith, Jr. and Andrew Kern, came and only heightened my concern. They do a chapter on Douglas Wilson’s model, then Mortimer Adler’s Paideia Proposal as an example of Democratic Classicism, and then David Hicks’ Moral Classism and its emphasis on the “importance of character development and the full flowering of the human personality.”

No, I don’t want the human personality to be allowed to wilt and I also want to develop character. There is an alignment here though of what everyone from Charles Fadel and his well-connected Center for Curriculum Redesign is now pushing as Four-Dimensional Education, what the Dewey acolytes want, and what is being pushed as Classical Education. Every single one is targeting the same areas of what the student is to have internalized and how they are to work together to guide the vision of the future and motivate likely behavior. Common Core talks about its purpose as being College and Career Ready and the Classicist aim is said to be “to form the adult-to-be”? Does that sound like a similar destination to anyone else?

I have written before about Carol Dweck, what is called the Growth Mindset, and even that the White House Behavioral and Social Sciences Team has now commenced a national Growth Mindset study. Tell me if that aim fits with the following passage from the Moral Classicism template (my bolding). Notice this is not about the transmission of factual knowledge.

“…classical learning is neither doctrinaire religious instruction nor analytical scientific positivism. Even though the classical student begins by accepting dogma (i.e, ‘that which seems good’,) he personalizes it by questioning it –that is, by employing dialectic. As the student refines his understanding, his insight grows, ‘ascending a dialectical staircase to an upper room of fragile truths and intangible beliefs.’ Challenges and contradictions arise to dogma and within it by the process of dialectic, and this leads to dogma’s reformulation. Using his conscience and the process of dialectic, and guided by the universal vision of the ideal type, the student grows toward the Ideal. Commitment to dialectic is thus the first principle in Hicks’ version of classical education: the conscious development of the internal dialogue guides us to the fulfillment of our natures.”

Well, someone is specifying those Ideals and creating an education intended to internalize them. I am not sure the student gets much say. Neither will the parents unless they scrutinize what comes in now under the banner of ‘classical’ education. Now I honestly do not know how much those pushing this template as ‘classical education’ appreciate why Evald Ilyenkov created the New Dialectics in the USSR to advance the Human Development Society vision of Marxism that commenced in earnest globally around 1962. I do, however, know an institution that has had a very good handle on this integration of East and West using education. If Harvard’s Project Zero classifies Hicks’ Interdisciplinary  Humanities Program as a Pre-Collegiate Program conducive to bringing about “an all-encompassing framework of meaning,” we need to take them at their word on the links to the IB Theory of Knowledge coursework and the notorious constructivist Math and Science programs.

http://www.interdisciplinarystudiespz.org/pdf/Nikitina_Strategies_2002.pdf If all of these are cited as means to teach contextualizing or context-building, conceptualization, and problem-solving so that inquiry-oriented coursework becomes a means of teaching social responsibility, the need for social change, and the “primary goal of finding causes and cures for human calamities,” we can assume that the Change Agent Licensors understand where Classical Education is actually going, even if its proponents do not. At this point, I was thoroughly concerned that we once again have Inadvertent Change Agents pushing a remedy to the Common Core they have repeatedly deplored that amounts to jumping from the frying pan into the fire, I went back to who Douglas Wilson cited as his source for his Trivium.

He put Dorothy Sayers’ 1947 essay The Lost Tools of Learning as an Appendix to the book covered in the last post. I found her emphasis on the “medieval scheme of education” to be a little odd as that was a preliterate society. To quote historian William Manchester in his fine A World Lit Only By Fire, the Middle Ages was a time when “literacy was scorned” and Holy Roman Emperors themselves would respond to a correction of their Latin as being ‘above grammar.’ It was a time when the “devout scorned reason…Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), the most influential Christian of his time, bore a deep distrust of the intellect and declared that the pursuit of knowledge, unless sanctified by a holy mission, was a pagan act and therefore vile.”

Anyone else beginning to question whether the whole Trivium and Quadrivium hype is just a narrative manufactured by someone wanting to hide the clear connections to cybernetic psychological theory and systems thinking? Then the narrative gets repeated until it seems true. Back to Manchester, who pointed out that “there was no room in the medieval mind for doubt, the possibility of skepticism simply did not exist.” He also pointed out “medieval man’s total lack of ego. Even those with creative powers had no sense of self” and “an almost total indifference to privacy. In summertime peasants went about naked.” Aren’t we glad this post is written and not a multimedia presentation? See why I am so suspicious we have yet another false narrative.

The “rediscovery of Aristotelian learning–in dialectic, logic, natural science, and metaphysics” did happen during the 1198-1216 pontificate of Innocent III. It was “synthesized with traditional Church doctrine,” beginning a shattering process known in Italy as the Rinascimento. I bet we are all more familiar with the French term. There is no question that Dorothy Sayers hyped the medieval mind and going back to her essay I think she was making ahistorical assertions looking for a remedy via education against the just lived through horrors of World War II. Under the heading “Unarmed and Unequipped,” she wrote this:

“For we let our young men and women go out unarmed in a day when armor was never so necessary. By teaching them to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words. They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects. We who were scandalized in 1940 when men were sent to fight armored tanks with rifles, are not scandalized when young men and women are sent into the world to fight mass propaganda with a smattering of ‘subjects’; and when whole classes and whole nations become hypnotized by the arts of the spellbinder, we have the impudence to be astonished.

We dole out lip-service to the importance of education–lip-service and, just occasionally, a little grant of money; we postpone the school leaving-age, and plan to build bigger and better schools; the teachers slave conscientiously in and out of school hours, till responsibility becomes a burden and a nightmare; and yet, as I believe, all this devoted effort is largely frustrated, because we have lost the tools of learning, and in their absence can only make a botched and piecemeal effort of it.”

Can’t you still hear the anguish decades later? Sayers thought she had a very good reason for using education to mandate a worldview.

Maybe she did. Our problem is that so many now have the same intentions, but obscure the real new purpose and focus of education behind terms we believe still have their dictionary meanings.

Dragging this documented reality into the sunlight should not result in cries of Balderdash.

Pitching Personality Predation But Redefining It as Student Success, Achievement, and Learning

Nothing like a little mental break to help clear out the cobwebs and blow away the fog impeding clarity of thought. As is typical for me when I recognize the connectedness of initiatives that have been announced since my last post, I went back to my bookshelf for a little perspective. In this case it was to a short story Ayn Rand published in 1970 called “The Comprachicos,” where she wrote about the effects of the progressive education in the 60s grounded in John Dewey’s philosophies. This was education designed to cripple the mind and undermine its ability to accurately deal with reality. Sound familiar? Rand created a superb metaphor for what this type of Competency/Ideas first, instead of facts, education could do to the mind of a high school graduate by comparing it to the faculty of sight.

“Try to project what you would feel if your eyesight were damaged in such a way that you were left with nothing but peripheral vision. You would sense vague, unidentifiable shapes floating around you, which would vanish when you tried to focus on them, then would reappear on the periphery and swim and switch and multiply.”

Now that is a good example except this type of manipulation of Ideas, beliefs, values, and emotions starts in preschool now so there would be no memory of any other way to see. Peripheral vision would become each student’s idea of what it meant to “see”. Likewise, a mind taught to use ideas first to filter experiences is being trained “to use concepts, but he uses concepts by a child’s perceptual method. He uses them as concretes, as the immediately given.” [Italics in original]

It is a bit unnerving, isn’t it, to know that Rand was worried about where the behavioral sciences wanted to go with the mind even back in 1970? She even had a term for it–the student’s “psycho-epistemology.” So our student would be trained to use words and concepts like a parrot and believe they had ‘understanding’. To be willing to transfer those ideas and concepts to new situations where an expert would know their use was inappropriate–the Inapt Analogy we can call it. Without facts though, the student will not.

In the Trilogy I just finished I argued that it appears to me to be a consensus about what education should be in the future and that politicians and think tanks from the so-called Right and Left, admittedly Progressive or declaratively conservative or “for limited government and markets,” seem to be describing a common vision. That vision again takes us back to John Dewey as Steven Rockefeller described his vision of Democratic Humanism. It would act as a religious faith best implemented through the schools and other social institutions. So when someone pitches education grounded in Conceptual Understandings, Guiding Ideas, Cross-Cutting Themes and Concepts, or other ways to describe the same general instructional practice, remember why John Dewey wanted this technique to become the core of education. This is true even if the pitch person insists this technique is actually a form of classical education or intended to mold character in desirable ways.

Dewey “proposes that ideas are guides to action in concrete problemmatic situations, that is, ‘plans of operations to be performed or already performed.'” The antipathy we have found towards lectures and textbooks makes far more sense as we switch to education where “ideas are not correctly conceived as reproductions of what already exists, but as plans of something to be done and anticipations of some result to follow. They are tools, instrumentalities.” Fits with the Maker Movement and Project-Based Learning now, doesn’t it? Especially when we add on this quote: “The validity or truth of an idea can only be determined empirically by putting the idea to use and observing the consequences of the actions to which the idea leads.”

Remember all the current emphasis on relevance and real world problems? Evidence-based policy making using data? In Dewey’s vision for an education that can lead to a reconstruction of society, emphasizing moral issues plays a crucial role. Students are expected to regularly identify “the causes of moral and social problems in concrete situations and on framing ideals with reference to the available means for overcoming such problems.” So ideals need to be connected to real world action. Otherwise, “ideals that are framed apart from the study of problems and possibilities in concrete situations are dreams, wish-fantasies, and useless as instrumentalities in directing practical affairs.” Anyone unclear as to why the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires not tests per se, but that states use performance assessments that involve activities and tasks to see if the stipulated learning is occurring can simply reread those two sentences.

If it’s not action-oriented it may not guide or motivate future behavior. Likewise, if school is merely intellectual, the desired future behaviors may not occur. Social and emotional learning, whatever the given rationale, a Whole Child emphasis, Head, Heart, and Hand, as well as soft skills, are all consistent with what Dewey also recognized–the Role of the Heart in Moral Life. That way “prizing and appraising unite in the direction of action.” Dewey and every other progressive since culminating now in where Deeper Learning (pushed by the Hewlett Foundation as part of 21st Century Learning) is going recognizes that “Reason divorced from emotional involvement has no moving power.” Can you say student engagement as a necessary 21st century classroom practice to be an effective teacher?

Dewey’s conception of education and learning fits perfectly with what ESSA now requires and Competency education generally. It fits with the kind of effectiveness that will get a school charter renewed and allow a CMO (Charter Management Company) to expand. It fits with what will make online learning an example of Best Practices for Student Growth. In none of these instances though is the Learning about the transmission of knowledge in a traditional sense. No, it’s about what kind of person the classroom activities are helping to create. “Growth means reinforcing those habits that contribute to human well-being and reconstructing those habits that do not.” Since none of us can even get an honest answer from most of the advocates for the Common Core as well as against it as to what they really envision for 21st century education, do not expect to be the arbiter of what constitutes your own or your child’s well-being.

For Dewey then and for any school or other education provider wanting access to taxpayer money now (federal, state, or local), “learning means an increased perception of the meaning of things that leads to a modification of character (i.e., of basic dispositions and attitudes). In short, growing and learning involve the reconstruction and transformation of the self leading to an improved capacity of the self to adjust to its environment and to control and direct subsequent experience.

The concept of habit is the fundamental idea in Dewey’s psychology of the development of the self or character. Dewey insists that the self is essentially identical with its active interests, purposes, and choices. There is no self apart from these activities. The core of the self is formed and defined by the concrete things about which it cares and by the choices it makes in pursuit of these things.”

Guess what? If, like me, you are an expert on the actual implementation it is easy to read that biography of Dewey and recognize the actual current significance. For those of you with more of a life than I have managed since I started researching and writing on all this, first of all I congratulate you. Secondly, let me call everyone’s attention to two examples in just the past week quietly putting Dewey’s vision into widespread effect without even using his name.

First, many of the elite institutions of higher education have joined together to redefine what they intend to look for in an admitted student. The initiative is called Making Caring Common and it looks for non-minority students for whom acting on behalf of others and for the common good and to transform existing institutions and local environments has been shown to be a way of life. http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/16/01/turning-tide-inspiring-concern-others-and-common-good-through-college-admissions

How’s that for an effective means to change the behaviors and practices at every high school with aspirations of of Ivy League admissions? Anyone reading that report can recognize it will result in a change in emphasis to what Dewey wanted for the schools. The creation of a “free person who is able to form his or her purposes intelligently, evaluating desires and goals by the consequences which will result from acting on them, and one who is able to select and order the means necessary to realize chosen ends.”

A similar end result comes from this paper http://asiasociety.org/files/A_Rosetta_Stone_for_Noncognitive_Skills.pdf except it admits it wants to restructure the emphasis in primary and secondary schools. The omnipresent rationale, as usual, is that this personality and psychological emphasis is necessary for future success in college, career, and life. The real reason, as is true of anything emanating from a Rockefeller-funded philanthropy like the Asia Society, is to advance the vision of the future Dewey called Democratic Humanism and others call Marxist Humanism. As Dewey, Ayn Rand, and Uncle Karl all knew and we need to recognize to protect ourselves and our children, collectivists need to target the emotions and personality to realize their plans for us.

Why? Dewey insisted that “unrest, impatience, irritation, and hurry that are so marked in life are inevitable accompaniments of a situation in which individuals do not find support and contentment in the fact that they are sustaining and sustained members of a social whole.” That’s what education that targets the personality and forces regular practices of altruism and actions grounded in provided ideas can all be manipulated to do. That’s why we have such a coordinated push now.

We have a sustained push from the Left and the Right, from the religious and atheists, from the global bureaucrat or ex-politician to the local mayor or city council member. All pushing practices that, whatever their personal beliefs and expectations in advocating for them, were nevertheless developed to “generate the sense of shared values and organic interconnection needed to harmonize society and to integrate and set free the personalities of contemporary men and women.”

If terms like Marxist Humanism seem off-putting, let’s just translate it as Dewey and his biographer Steven Rockefeller did and ask “Can a material, industrial civilization be converted into a distinctive agency for liberating the minds and refining the emotions of all who take part in it?” If a politician claims to want Quality Education for All Students, you might want to inform him or her as to what that actually entails.

When I get upset about the 2014 Bipartisan and Bicameral piece of federal legislation known as WIOA that all the candidates running for President who are US Senators voted for, it is because it fits perfectly with Dewey’s insistence that a planned economy would be needed for democratic socialism to be achieved and it was best implemented at the local level. After all, what is WIOA but legislation with the effect of controlling the ends of education as well as allowing for “social control of industry and the use of government agencies for constructive social ends” just as Dewey sought.

Let me close by pointing out that those of us not employed by the public sector or businesses getting taxpayer dollars are unlikely to find any of these desired ends particularly constructive.

 

 

 

 

Rapprochemont or Civilization Surrender? How to Force Global Solidarity Starting with Preschool Education

In case anyone wonders how that UNESCO Roadmap to the Global Action Programme even came up in a discussion of what might be applicable in your neck of the woods, the just-ended Connected Educators Month touted that Youth Summit in Paris last week. Anyone unaware of CEM might want to know it ties to fed ED, virtually all the ed trade and professional groups, and the tech companies involved closely with the to-be-required digital learning. Poking through that Youth Summit and its materials taught me quickly that there is an EDC/HRE global initiative. That stands for Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education and it declares the “decisive role of school in shaping the young generation, transmitting cultural, moral and civic values and creating the premises for new social change.”

Initially I had written “wanted us to know” but let’s face it, none of these planners, summit attenders, UNESCO or OECD employees, etc, actually plan to tell us anything. We were certainly not going to be told that preschool through high school needs to provide a “shift in mindset and social responsibility” to deal with the peoples and cultures of the world and that this “holistic approach to rebuilding and reconciliation” and “integral human development”  cannot “be achieved effectively without unhinging the idea of nations and cultural communities from the nation-state.” And we wonder why APUSH does not want to glorify American exceptionalism or our Founding Fathers and is now promoting the concept of Dialogue around an Interactive Constitution.

Those were quotes taken from something else being kept quiet from us that was promoted in a session at the Youth Summit called “Mobile Cultures for Dialogue” that announced that in 2013 the International Decade of the Rapprochement of Cultures commenced. Think of that name as you look at the hordes now from Syria or North Africa in Europe or the arrivals in the US from Central America or the resettlements of Somalis and others from certain parts of Africa. Yes, all those migrations/invasions, depending on your perspective, do appear to be a part of the UN’s Post-2015 plans for all of us. UNESCO has now put up a Summary from its first Expert Meeting held March 24-25, 2015 in Paris to create a framework to implement the RoC agenda.

I know everyone will be shocked, shocked, not that there is gambling going on in Casablanca, but that UNESCO views “Citizenship education in a plural and interconnected world” as the means to implement this agenda. “Key message to be instilled: Human values drive a dynamic process to develop responsible citizens.” Apparently citizens who have divorced themselves from fealty to that evil nation-state. Before we examine what is coming at us unbeknownst and without our approval in the present, let’s go back to an interview Amitai Etzioni gave in 1999 that was uploaded by the University of Goettingen in 2013. Not only is Germany the destination of choice for these Migrants in search of a cohesive society to meet their needs, it, like the US, also appears to be Ground Zero for finally bringing the Active Society into fulfillment.

Since we all love a good confession from the politically connected, let’s just listen now to these past declarations of intent and methods of choice. “I was very connected to cybernetics. So the social cybernetics [science of control, remember?] which I tried to develop stated that one of the four conditions for successful social change is the support of the people. Therefore it was not a top-down concept. [or must not be perceived to be since we have tracked to the UN and the OECD]… Because the good society is communitarian [people] believe in shared virtues…you need true participation to set new mores…eight months is not a very long time for reaching shared understandings.”

Although media can help and UNESCO and Etzioni both have called on it to do so, education remains the primary tool for creating these values of solidarity and all this must be done at the local level as early as possible. Last week two papers came out in the US seeking to accomplish precisely what the Active Society needs and the UN entities and the OECD all want. https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/30051800/StandardsAlignment.pdf is tied to Etzioni as one of its co-authors is a JD/ Masters in Ed Policy candidate from GWU. Now that’s how you get to both recommend transformative practices for education and also create the legal mandate to make it bindingly so. Just what the Active Society and UNESCO recommend.

Doesn’t everyone want Standards for Nonacademic Skills that cover Preschool through Third Grade and start with Sharing, then “self-control, and then “building relationships with peers and adults.” Fits well if the community and collective action, instead of the individual, is to be the required means of political action. Notice too that the Early Learning Outcomes Framework was changed in June 2015 to add ‘perceptual development’ for the little tykes and to delete ‘general knowledge’. Might get in the way of pitching all these false narratives.

The Achievement Gap Institute at Harvard wants to move “Beyond Standardized Test Scores: Engagement, Mindsets, and Agency” http://www.agi.harvard.edu/projects/TeachingandAgency.pdf that in the name of Excellence, Effective Teaching and what will be measured to keep jobs, and Equity manages to make the new classroom focus creating the very kind of personal characteristics needed so that everyone feels their responsibility to others.

Since not everyone is as click happy as I am when I see a link, please notice that the cited mindset scholars network combines Growth Mindset, Grit, Perseverence, and Civil Rights expectations as a matter of law into what is slipping in there. Clicking further we find the National Mindset Study that is funded by Carnegie and is involved with the “brain’s ability to restructure itself” and for the students “to internalize those messages [provided] via writing exercises.” Ding. Ding. Ding. So the human brain will neurologically restructure itself over time in response to manipulative reading and writing exercises. This is thus a known way to create false beliefs and acceptance of carefully cultivated narratives that promote social and political transformation.

Etzioni wrote about the need for ‘authentic consensus’ and spoke of the need for the bottom-up support of the people and this is how it gets created. Early Learning Standards wanting to target Perception and social and emotional learning. That Harvard study seeks to focus on developing student’s ‘purposeful initiative’, Why does that matter? Because that bridges the gap between what the students have internalized as values and beliefs about the world and motivating them to act to change the world. That’s what now constitutes Effective Teaching. It’s not about knowledge. It’s about cultivating the beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors needed to either push for, or go along with, transformative social change.

Now we can go back to the Rapprochement of Cultures, which oddly enough is being financially sponsored by the same Saudi Arabia with no desire to take in any of the North Africa or Syrian refugees. It is formally sponsored by Kazakhstan, one of the world’s most notorious dictatorships, which is rather a tip off that this agenda is actually not about a goal to “enhance dialogue between cultures based on dignity, tolerance, and respect.” It’s only certain cultures, religions, and beliefs systems entitled to such deference and respect. For an idea who, we can look at the backgrounds and previous initiatives of the invited experts listed at the back of the summary or we can see what President Obama, Jeh Johnson, and a Merkel spokewoman said here http://linkis.com/dailycaller.com/2015/de8UL

When I originally outlined this post I actually mentioned a Tripod of needed false beliefs and narratives that this Rapprochement plans to push that refuses to listen to any facts, no matter how provable they are. Before I knew the background of the ‘experts,’ it was clear this initiative intended to impose a one way Affirmative Claim against the West to protect certain cultures and religions and to provide endlessly for any adherents that managed to physically make it within the borders. If you wonder why I went back to the Etzioni quote on not being top down, Recommendation # 6 calls for “ensuring civil society [Etzioni’s preferred term] is paramount in recognition of their pivotal role in transforming social norms, attitudes, and behavior, as well as nurturing peace from the ground up through promoting positive principles and ideals.”

That’s what those two cited papers do from just this week. It’s what the new required PBIS, Positive School Climates, and Restorative Justice practices do. Since Harvard and the state of Massachusetts are listed partners, and the location of, the UNESCO/OECD Center for Curriculum Redesign created by Charles Fadel, it is very unlikely that the paper is not part of the RoC vision for the “creation of a sustainable, socially-cohesive society.” If anyone thinks I am somehow just trying to pull at the heart strings by tying terrible visuals of the hordes in Europe or crossing the Mexican border to the education agenda, Common Core, and competency based education, let me close with a few more quotes. Not my bolding.

” 7. Promote the respect for the inherent human dignity of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers and enhance societal understanding of their value and contribution [to, sic] the impalpable dynamics of ideas and in enabling the rapprochement of cultures. Achieving a better balance between migrant rights and duties could result in peaceful coexistence and cultural diversity.”

Notice that ‘could’ because UNESCO is granting a human right to come anyway and an obligation for us to provide and change our existing culture via ‘quality education’ to change prevailing beliefs and values. Notice that the Rapprochment, said to be the biggest initiative UNESCO has ever undertaken, is intimately tied to that physical presence in nation-states that are no longer to have border or cultural primacy themselves. Now as I finish think of the NEA and their CARE Guide and the Southern Poverty Law Center and its Teaching Tolerance initiative that teachers are being taught to implement as part of the Common Core training.

” 8. Strengthen existing and nurture new forms of global solidarity, including through the media, which foster mutual understanding and tolerance, and counter hate speech, racism, xenophobia, radicalization, violent extremism and genocide. Voices of tolerance must be stronger and they must be better supported to maximize impact and reach.”

Education under RoC, that is in fact coming to your local schools with the force of law, “can be a means to resist and overcome political forces, in particular, identity politics that seek to counter pluralism within self and society.” Got that? Only a bigot would refuse this RoC agenda. If you think the hostility to existing nation-states is just in one place this is how Rec #2 ended:

“Social responsibility with respect to safeguarding and promoting culture also needs to be extended beyond the realm of the nation state in favour of its universal value for humanity.”

I am not jingoistic nor bigoted, and I did not go looking for this agenda of Rapprochement. It has a trail that leads to fed Ed and others involved in what goes on locally.

We no more have an obligation to ignore this Suicide of the West by Menticide than most of us would ignore the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife if we could stop it by speaking up.

So I am.

Confessions of a Coordinated Cabal Intent on Psychological Rape with Impunity

Does that title sound too strong? I wish it did not fit the facts so well. From open admissions stating an intent to rewire students’ brains http//www.educationdive.com:/news/districts-turning-to-neuroscience-for-new-instruction-strategies/402553/ what is clearly coming seeks to fundamentally change who we are as people–from the inside-out. Before I start with the next mind-blowing revelations, let’s once again look to historian and political thinker, Kenneth Minogue, to help us make sense of what is no longer in dispute. In his chapter called “The Project of Equalizing the World” from his 2010 book The Servile Mind, Minogue reminds us that goals of Equity and economic justice turn “the vast majority of the population” into “materials to be transformed.”

Making the satisfaction of needs and mental health and well-being the new purposes of governments at every level turns the public sector, its employees, and their cronies into “a voracious octopus forever extending its tentacles into civil society and talking about partnership when the reality is unmistakably domination.” As Minogue concludes, and I agree wholeheartedly, “human history is very largely the story of despotic elites.” The ESEA Rewrites passed by the House and the Senate and the language in them seeking to manipulate the human mind, control likely future behavior, and track and alter emotions and the fundamentals of personality would amount to rape if it was sexual and accurately understood. These nonconsensual invasions do amount to psychological rape. That’s why there are so many lies and misstatements surrounding the legislation.

Politicians of both parties are dismayed by the character and values of people they believe they rule. They are keen to change us, but do not want to get caught out. So they either lie about the nature of what they are doing or simply do not bother to locate the truth. Either way we are supposed to be bound, ignorant of who and what is binding us. No one who has read my book Credentialed to Destroy remains unaware, even if the truth is painful. This blog now has several years worth of subsequent disclosures of the intent to use education to socially engineer the mind and collectivize society in the US and globally. Let’s expand on that now and all the deceit about “returning education to the states and local school districts” when all those involved keep openly discussing their coordination.

On February 3, 2014 the White House held a Workshop on what it called “Hard-to-Measure 21st-Century Skills” where a “select group of researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and funders gathered in the White House Conference Center to discuss the assessment of academic mind-sets, collaboration, oral communication, learning to learn, and other hard-to-measure 21st-century competencies.” Obviously none of us were invited nor do we work for the Rand Corporation, which has now been hired to develop such Intrapersonal and Interpersonal assessments. Unfortunately, Rand was very clear I had to get their permission to even link to their report so we will have to settle for me telling you about it. Hilary Rhodes of the Wallace Foundation was there though, which explains why their Young Adult Success Framework (July 1, 2015 post) fits with what I call developing the right kind of mind, personality, and behaviors as if people were Ervin Laszlo’s cybernetic systems.

AIR and ETS were there and Angela Duckworth of Grit and Perseverence fame along with Growth Mindset’s Carol Dweck and the OECD and UNESCO-sponsored Center for Curriculum Redesign’s Charles Fadel. David Conley was there–Mr Champion of the inclusion of Non-Cognitive Skills that did make it into the Every Child Achieves Act language and Creator of the misleading phrase College Ready for the Gates Foundation. They were there too as were the Spencer, Hewlett, and Ford Foundations.

I am afraid I do not know what anyone had for lunch or whether it was even provided, but everything else calling for “the development of student learning profiles and other methods that allow students to demonstrate proficiency in ways that are meaningful for them” was laid out in Appendix A of the Rand Report. Come to think of it that meaningful quote from the Appendix on the policy desired sounds like what Laszlo called the “subjective mode of comprehension” needed to turn people into engineered cybernetic systems suited for collectivism.

On July 30, 2015 in DC the National Academy of Science is having an open hearing on Assessing Intrapersonal (internalized in the brain and personality) and Interpersonal (how we get along with others and interact with our physical environment) Competencies. Discovering that is what led me to the Rand report and that White House workshop and the fact that on January 5, 2015 the National Science Foundation (#1460028) funded a study “to determine the best available methods to assess student skills in teamwork, communication, self-regulation of behavior, academic tenacity, and grit. These skills, also known as interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies…” Now if we go back in time to how the systems thinkers and cybernetic aspirants described their model of how education could be used to reengineer people from the inside-out, the phrase most commonly used in books from the 60s was “self-regulation of behavior.”

No wonder I see the cybernetic model thoroughly permeating how the Every Child Achieves Act will affect students. Now with the confessions from the language used in that NSF Behavioral Sciences grant and our knowledge of that White House Workshop, we can see the White House actively coordinating with everyone likely to fund or direct assessment in every state and school district to make sure everyone is on the same page in their vision. That’s NOT letting states and local schools decide. It’s forcing everyone to implement the same Reengineer the Mind and Personality to Control Future Behavior Model.

We got more proof of active coordination last week and a concern to make sure all layers of government are using all the “levers” of control they have to force a common vision in another federally-funded report on “Transforming Educator Preparation to Better Serve a Diverse Range of Learners.” http://ceedar.education.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Promises-to-Keep.pdf Nothing like trying to use federal civil rights laws and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to force states and schools to use “developmental learning progressions” for ALL students and that teachers understand “the role of self-determination and self-regulation in learning.” There’s that phrase again and if we go further into the underlying 2012 report, we get to read about the two sponsors of the Common Core, the CCSSO and NGA-the National Governors Association (governors appoint state school chiefs now in most states), agreeing to use all their authority to force chiefs, teachers, local school districts, and anyone else they can bind to implement the 21st Century competencies vision.

After citing the Holmes Group Report from 1986, the Carnegie Task force from the 80s, and John Goodlad’s work, all of which I covered in my book explaining what the foundations for the real implementation were, the CCSSO report Our Responsibility, Our Promise: Transforming Educator Preparation and Entry into the Profession stated explicitly that “If we put aside our turf protection, find ways to collaborate effectively, and focus on what we must do for students to make good on our promise, this time we can be successful.” This time we will finally impose the cybernetic model of reengineering our students at the level of their minds and personalities. Any teacher not on board with that model or principal will no longer get licensed to enter the profession. Those who refuse to change will not be able to keep their licenses. “Student cognitive development” must be the new focus of the classroom and using “data to drive instruction” to change the students in the ways desired.

Backward mapping in the desired traits, beliefs, dispositions, and behaviors and then ultimately assessing them as Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies or Higher-Order Thinking and Understanding. Assessments now for teachers or students are seen as tools to drive behavioral change. No variation among states or types of schools is ultimately where all this is going. The next post will also cover this theme of all the active coordination going on to push the same cybernetic vision and to cooperate with the global collectivist vision pushed now by UNESCO and the OECD. Before I close I want to point to a recent IBM paper “The future of learning: Enabling economic growth” being pushed by the Center for Digital Education. Now that entity is a subsidiary that takes us straight to mayors and local government officials pushing an expanded view of what their roles should be in building the society of the future.

More coordination, in other words, around the same politically-directed at the local level reimagined society and economy. That’s the real reason and context for “adopting analytics and promoting vision of personalized learning.” It creates the needed citizen suitable for a collectivist society. After the IBM disclosures of their vision of education and the world as a “system of systems” in my book, it is so exciting IBM is touting that “social analytics can provide insights from the interaction of students with social media sites, resources and peers to gauge levels of engagement in learning.” Because let’s face it, the ‘engaged’ student is easier to reengineer from the inside-out. How exciting that companies and public officials wanting to maximize political control will also have access to “Integrated student processes [that] will transcend individual institutions and allow for the exchange of student data, learning programs and outcome metrics.”

All that exchanging by the way and results of mind reengineering would be fully authorized under the Student Privacy Act introduced in a Bipartisan manner last week in the US House because such mental and psychological manipulation qualifies as being for “educational purposes.” The ‘purposes’ of K-12 education have just drastically changed. No need to tell parents or taxpayers since they might rebel.

Does psychological rape still seem too strong a term?

The impunity comes from writing this into federal laws and misdescribed required measures of student success, achievement, and growth. The impunity also comes from making this model the foundation of graduate degrees and teaching and principal licensure.

Only widespread recognition of what is really going on can revoke the impunity. That’s precisely what I am trying to do.

 

Liberating the Sought Generalized Ears Primed in Advance for Plannified Collectivist Societies

Generalized Ears have nothing whatsoever to do with Dumbo and they will not allow us to fly. In fact, I would argue that the phrase ‘generalized ears’, like the hyped Competency or K-12 education built around Equity and Essential Skills for All, is designed to make sure NONE of us is likely to go off the provided script for our future predictable behavior. Maybe instead of the ‘script’ metaphor we should use ‘prescribed path’ since the current K-12 rhetoric is all about Career Pathways and Multiple Pathways to a Degree. Before we get to the whats and whys again, I want to give everyone reading this hope despite these dark designs. Even though Pols refuse to listen as enabling legislation at every level comes up for a vote, as has happened this past week in Congress on the ESEA Rewrites.

Congress has made the fundamental blueprint and points and implementation detailed in my book Credentialed to Destroy an even more crucial set of revelations than it was when I published it in 2013. That remains the foundation. Serendipitously it seems, but not really because of the actual connections of cybernetics to constructivism, I happened to be researching a sequel when I saw the language of these intended federal mandates. I have been able to call on some of that research and my Axemaker clear understanding of what is being sought to sound the alarm. It did not prevent passage, but we know for sure what we are dealing with. In light of my revelation in the last post of the alarming machines a gouverner , I want to first add more confirmation that the minds of men and their underlying personalities have long been viewed as the way to invisible social control over the masses of voters in Western countries. Quoting Karl Mannheim summing up Fascist Ideology:

“The superior person, the leader, knows that all political and social ideas are myths. He himself is entirely emancipated from them, but he values them…because they…stimulate enthusiastic feelings…and are the only forces that lead to (the desired) political activity.”

If you want to fundamentally transform and have a database in place to do just that  http://nypost.com/2015/07/18/obama-has-been-collecting-personal-data-for-a-secret-race-database/ and you have been using federal grants and contracts to lure state and local politicians of both parties into supporting the various needed component parts, you also need the K-12 and higher ed systems on the same page. That’s what these ESEA Rewrites were designed to do and it’s why the outrage of We the People is being ignored. Let me tell a little secret all the Social Control advocates know that they do not want us to know. It’s why I write this blog sounding the alarm and determinedly wrote the first book. To quote E.A. Ross from a 1953 essay by Professor Roger Nett published in Ethics with the Orwellian title “Conformity-Deviation and the Social Control Concept”:

“[E. A. Ross] concluded that ‘one who learns why society is urging him into the straight and narrow will resist its pressure. One who sees clearly how he is controlled will thenceforth be emancipated. To betray the secrets of ascendancy is to forearm the individual in his struggle with society.”

I would add politicians at every level to that struggle given what we are now seeing. To the progressive polyphonic federalism and Metropolitanism this blog has already laid out,  this week came http://www.spatialcomplexity.info/files/2015/07/Making-Sense-of-the-New-Science-of-Cities-FINAL-2015.7.7.pdf . Won’t that go nicely with the above database and required federal education policy that is all about social and emotional learning, internalizing desired Generalized Ears, and then monitoring to check on action in the real world (Mastery)? http://gettingsmart.com/2015/07/personalization-new-frame/ shows how dramatic the confessions are now that there will be desired federal legislation.

So what are Generalized Ears? It’s the idea that what a person is likely to perceive from a given experience or provided information “depends upon anticipatory sets.” What has already been cultivated in a student’s, or anyone’s, mind and personality. In cybernetic schooling those anticipatory sets or Lenses are carefully manipulated, monitored, and rearranged when needed for desired political purposes. See Karl Mannheim again above. The same Kenneth Boulding I discussed in my book and we met here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/reimaging-the-nature-of-the-world-in-the-minds-of-students-alters-future-behavior-and-social-events/ is the one who said that “one of the main objectives of General Systems Theory is to develop these generalized ears.” Boulding wanted a theory that would reliably predict “the dynamics of action and interaction” and Axemaker Minds get in the way.

To quote Ervin Laszlo again on how to shift away from Individualism to Collectivism, planners and politicians must NOT leave the “individual free to think of general reality as he pleases.” He further noted, echoing Mannheim and predicting what we now are calling Understanding By Design or Core Disciplinary Ideas or Cross-Cutting Themes, in 1963  that “unlike previous ages, plain force is [not] the most effective means of winning people today; ideas prove to be the most efficient tools for that end.” Is the bias in the new AP US History conceptual framework making more sense now? It’s not about facts, but criteria to guide what is noticed and ignored. This brain-based instruction article even admits to using a  “perception-action” emphasis in the classroom to physically rewire the brain. http://www.districtadministration.com/article/neuroscience-builds-students-brain-power The motto this week after ECAA passage in the Senate seems to be Go Ahead and Admit It Now, no one can stop us.

Back to Boulding because his view of Knowledge is everywhere in the Common Core and any subsequent state learning standards that will fit the ESEA Rewrite’s mandates.

“Knowledge is not something that exists and grows in the abstract. It is a function of human organisms and social organization…Knowledge however grows by the receipt of meaningful information–that is, by the intake of messages by a knower which are capable of reorganizing his knowledge.” That would be what the ESEA Rewrite and Tom VanderArk above called personalized learning and what gets hyped also as a Growth Mindset. It is why Ervin Laszlo in Essential Society knew a social philosophy stressing the fulfillment of individual needs was necessary to push a more collectivist orientation and that “ideas act on individual minds.” His italics–remember that italization for emphasis every time you hear ‘student-centered learning’ being hyped.

What’s wrong with the use of the words Success or Achieve in the ESEA Rewrite or in the Parent Checklist the federal DoED issued Friday, July 17, which talked about ‘development’ and Success in Life as the purpose of K-12? They all reek of the behavioral scientist and system science social engineering goal with its “strongly felt need to get inside the ‘black box'” of the human mind of young people. They treat students as “homeostatic biological organisms with purposive, adaptive psychological properties.” Now when the school or teacher manipulates those properties, they get acclaimed as ‘effective’ and Growth, Achievement, Learning, or Success are all proclaimed. The actual result of psychological manipulation for collectivist, fundamental transformation purposes is obscured.

Laszlo openly laid out how the needed all-encompassing belief and value system needed for a transition to collectivism would work. He saw the desired model as what “reigned in the Middle Ages, during the prime of Christian influence on thought. The individual had only to believe in a doctrine which was offered everywhere, among the learned as among the simple [a precursor to Equity for All], to obtain what was held to be the full truth. He then received a fully comprehensible, satisfactory picture of the world, with God as the supreme ruler and source of all things, and man as the centre and finest example of his creation. As we are dealing here with social, and not with absolute values, we are not interested in the analytical truth of any statement, but merely in its effect if taken at face value.”

Axemaker Minds, clear and rational, well-stocked with their own personally selected store of facts, specialist minds instead of Generalized Ears, are notorious at not taking the Narrative as provided or the Sound Bytes on offer. If an individual’s perception of reality must be controlled so must curriculum and the concepts to be used to make “intuited experience” comprehensible. If all this seems still too far away in time or too abstract in principle, let’s once again bring this down to the classroom in the here and now. This week an article called “Geocaching is Catching Students’ Attention in the Classroom” was being hyped to illustrate the new need for “active learning as when students engage in developing projects in a more meaningful way than when concepts were simply presented using traditional methods by teachers.” The old way stressed the mental and the rational instead of activity and may not have involved emotionally charged content, triggering that all-important subjective mode of comprehension.

Building on the discussions of constructivism in reading and math and science in Chapters 2 and 3 of my book, we learn that engaging instruction and teacher professional development focus now on “ways that constructivist learning environments can help create active, reflective, student-centered learning that is socially relevant and personally meaningful to learners.” Triggering Laszlo’s sought subjective mode of comprehension that cannot see reality clearly and now to be mandated by Congress AND the states AND the school districts AND the accreditors AND generally in a charter school’s agreement for renewal that nobody but me seems to bother to read.

I will close with the best example of the now to be required Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understanding once again from Laszlo. Keep in mind its acknowledged purpose too.

“Consequently he will attempt to know his experience by an emotionally determined concept, provided by the aesthetic experience.[ Visual and grounded in activity]. He will still comprehend through concepts, but on a subjective, instinctive level and not through conscious reason.”

And after years of practicing this, the student will now be declared to be College and Career Ready.

Because with these aims of collectivism and social engineering, the planners know that euphemisms and odd, little known, real definitions, are their friends.