Capturing Every Thought Captive and Sculpting Students as Systems: Driver of Perfidy?

Sometimes trains that appear to be running on parallel tracks or away from each other actually may be planning to meet up somewhere if we only had a more elaborate and long term map of the real train routes. That appears to me to be the case in two recent initiatives that on their faces could not be more opposite. The first is the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development–NCSEAD–issuing a so-called “Evidence-Base for How We Learn” https://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/evidence-base-learn/ and stressing that integrated social, emotional and academic development is not a database of personal attributes as the False Narrative keeps wanting to emphasize. It treats the student, their mind, and personality as a system that can be consciously manipulated via education to “appeal to our higher angels. The goal really is to lead all of us on the pathway to a better life, a good life.”

No one mentioned that “you will simply love it Comrade,” but that is a bit how the papers and discussions read. Like the Portrait of a Graduate visions, the personal traits of the student/system are front and center as a desire to “graduate young adults who are self-directed, intellectually engaged, and possess a commitment to personal and civic responsibility.” The vision is supposedly “consistent with how brains take in and process information.” Now I would add a caveat to that since I have been tracking CHAT-Cultural Historical Activity Theory–across the decades and from the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to New York City with Rockefeller Foundation financing, to San Diego when Carnegie seems to have taken over, to Rome, Italy and the 2013 ISCAR Summit. In the middle we have the original Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) mandates in the 80s (now in ESSA as an annual mandate for all students) and what was called the New Standards Project in the 90s that would morph into the Common Core we know now.

That was long-winded but the point is these ideas are trackable with a clear lineage and related tangents that have been covered at ISC through the years. I hereby declare myself a sufficient authority from all this tracking that statements about how this is how the brain DOES work are not true. The truth is that this is how the brain CAN be made to work if certain educational practices become required. The pithy expression is that “nerves that fire together, wire together”. If curricula highlights interpreting through supplied concepts, principles, and themes; forces an inquiry approach and ‘productive struggle’; or as with HOTS assessments, requires questions with no single answer but which deal with ‘ambiguity, empathy, and problem-solving,’ a certain part of the brain tied to emotion in the Prefrontal Cortex is what is being used.

My second train is the newly launched Child Abuse in the Classroom site which issued what is either an intentionally manipulative narrative on the the role of social and emotional learning and its ubiquity over the decades, or it is just ignorant of the entire push to make the student into a system. Perhaps it is a mixture depending on the person involved.Targeting certain parts of the brain has always been crucial to this manipulation, which you would never know from articles like this one.  http://www.capitolhilloutsider.com/congress-passes-psychological-manipulation-in-an-education-bill/ The logic is not emotional manipulation on top of academics. The purpose of academics in this ‘Make a System via Neural Wiring’ scenario is to create the activities that allow the desired neural rewiring. Reading the CAC press release caused me to get my hands on Phyllis Schlafly’s original Child Abuse in the Classroom book from 1984.

Whatever Mrs Schlafly’s intentions in publishing that testimony from hearings around the country, the book’s mere existence seems to provide an evidence-base for using social and emotional techniques in the classroom without any real statutory protection. Here’s why: the so-called Protection of Pupils does not let us use our dictionary meaning of “research or experimentation program or project”. Instead it defined it as “any applicable program designed to explore or develop new or unproven teaching methods or techniques.” We have a book with testimony on how many years these techniques had been in use in certain school systems and just how effective the curricula and practices were in changing who the student was at an internalized level–what they valued and believed.

See the problem? The book created a paper trail that disqualified the described techniques from its definition of “research or experimentation program or project.” No wonder an SEL emphasis keeps recurring. It’s impossible to read the book and not recognize that the described techniques are still in use today with no effective remedy because their true role has not been accurately appreciated. They all go to the same part of the brain’s Prefrontal Cortex as the new ESSA HOTS mandate. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Plenty of testimony on the Facing History and Ourselves curriculum in those 1984 hearings. Lo and behold, FHAO is also what the Aspen Institute recommends in NCSEAD’s August 2017 report “Putting It All Together.”

When I was following up on a recent National Academy of Sciences publication touting a synonym for SEL called Character, it led me to a Notre Dame professor, Darcia Narvaez, who also turned out to be a fellow at that Jubilee Centre that has issued the Framework for Moral Development and the Knightly Virtues curriculum. She has a book that explained precisely how learning standards like the Common Core or Competencies really are to work so let me quote her. Remember standards and curricula now are all about experiences and activity-oriented practices like Project-Based Learning. Members of the Aspen Task Force are also tied to the Jubilee Centre.

“Experience shapes which neuronal systems become more habitually deployed. Because it is dynamic, the theory is helpful for understanding how early experience can shape personality, including moral personality…Neuronal circuitry is formed by what is activated most frequently based on experience…resulting in the favoring of some neural circuits (value systems) over others.”

Narvaez also laid out how “intention and affection generate ‘narratives of vitality,’ regulating internally generated motives and the awareness of self and other in relationship. Such narratives not only structure the psyche but may contribute to the development of language.” A very powerful tool in other words and if the admitted Progressive Left is not the only one wishing to restructure culture and control the psyche, that’s a great deal of incentive for False Narratives about the Common Core, competency-based learning, and the actual purpose of SEL. No wonder we keep encountering the Personally Identifiable Information database explanation. It gets parents outraged and looking for a remedy. Meanwhile the neural rewiring tool remains a part of the supposed educational options we keep having offered up as our supposed choice to escape “government schools.”

Who needs a database of personal characteristics when the desired bullseye is neural rewiring invisibly installed in the brain and nervous system? Meanwhile, every group with transformational intentions in the here and now world, whether open Marxists, naive do-gooders, or religiously driven adherents wanting to impose a Heaven on Earth somehow knows this fact about this new view of education:

“Enduring states become traits…In a dynamic system, once the system is stabilized around a particular interpretation, expectancies are formed for future pattern recognition and action…A behavior at any given point in time is a function of the interaction of person with context, with its history and trajectory. Prior experiences and habits constrain present configurations and options. Prior experience constrains real-time interpretation and activations of connectivity across systems.

Learning in developmental time constrains learning in real time.That is, affective-cognitive structures that developed from emotionally laden situations form units of personality that limit future cognitive appraisals.”

Those ’emotionally laden situations’ were precisely what drove so many parents to testify back in 1984 and seek a federal remedy against these type of educational practices. We never will get an effective remedy against these intentional neural intrusions against ANY LEVEL of government until we grasp the aims of the student as a manipulable system. It’s no secret that many who seem to be active in weaving a deceptive interpretation of these education initiatives also like to wear their religious convictions on their sleeves. Nothing wrong with that except when the reason for the deceit is to allow religious groups to invisibly impose their vision using these powerful tools of behavioral science. The work of one of the more high-profile writers, Gary DeMar who created the Biblical Worldview Library, was cited in a footnote so I located Volume 3 of God and Government: The Restoration of the Republic.

DeMar was very hostile to what he called ‘autonomous reason’ and wanted to “bring into captivity all our thinking.” My noncompliant Axemaker Mind recognizes how he and those who agree with his vision for developing “an education program for dominion purposes that would cover the world. This means applying what we learn from the Bible to every area of thought” would just love the behavioral science/neural rewiring/systems science template that everyone but the parents seems to now know about. The purposes for manipulation now differ, but the planned techniques really do not. Again that’s a huge incentive to mislead parents about the nature of education reforms or to declare curricula “Common Core-free” even though it clearly aims at such neural manipulation when accurately evaluated. I want to close with DeMar’s definition of ‘self-government’ since that euphemism comes up so much, as well as the rationale for Classical Education since it sounds like such an alluring remedy.

“Notice the ethical dimension to education. It was not enough to teach the technical skills. For godly dominion to be extended, self-government had to prevail. Self-government is nothing more than keeping the commandments of God with a willing heart.”

Does ever parent and taxpayer appreciate that or do they still think classical education is about the transmission of knowledge? Hyping the Good, True, and Beautiful sounds so much better than matter-of-factly having the school vision state: “All teaching is goal-oriented. The Christian’s goal is not merely to fill students’ minds with facts that have no meaning, purpose or relationship to all the other facts in the universe; Christian education develops its goals from Scripture. While tests and degrees might be a part of all education, learning with a definite purpose is certainly the main element.”

That ‘definite purpose,’ to be internalized at a neural level to guide perception and motivate behavior, is what makes even religious education now about turning the student into a system. Maybe it is for his or her own good, but it’s not out in the open. Parents cannot have the much vaunted ‘say’ in their children’s education until they appreciate this neural aim and its consequences.

Hopefully it can be out in the open now because that is truly the only way to stop Child Abuse in the Classroom or, in front of a computer delivering virtual reality.

Best way to control those all important learning experiences and assess their impact in real time.

Orchestrating an All-Encompassing Conception of the Legitimate Domains of Government Control over Individuals

If anyone managed to avoid the fury over this past weekend over the Obama Administration’s Transgender Bathroom decrees http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201605-title-ix-transgender.pdf and this http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oshs/emergingpractices.pdf , you either have a set of headphones we would all like to acquire or you had a loved one just graduate. Most of the coverage and outrage is directed at imagining the physical intrusiveness of this edict. Occasionally we will get someone stating that this is not the role of the federal government. Reading both those releases though makes it quite clear that we have governments insisting they can command ‘citizens’ to defer to personal perceptions that disregard physical reality.

Let’s take a look at how useful that command ability is for those who have long sought to bring fundamental transformation to human societies, targeting what people value and how they must behave. Anyone think it is a coincidence that the sacred point for deference–personal perception–is precisely the point that the cyberneticists have wanted to control going back to those Macy conferences in the 40s? I just happened to have an essay from 1973 from Heinz Von Foerster (who edited the conference reports) telling researchers that “Since there are only 100 million sensory receptors, and about 10,000 billion synapses in our nervous system, we are 100 thousand times more receptive to changes in our internal than in our external environment.”

Is it any wonder governments have decided to target that internal ‘Simplex’ at a biological, neural level to gain the compliant citizens they (and their donor class like the Chambers of Commerce) want for the 21st Century? Refuse to believe me because it seems too horrible to contemplate? Let’s go looking for well-connected confessions from people at two places that have been ringleaders in these plans for us going back decades–MIT and Harvard. When I found out that in 1987 Stewart Brand wrote a book called The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT, I got a copy.  The last chapter has a fascinating, matter-of-fact conversation with Peter Schwartz that called attention to something I warned about in the early days of the blog. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-the-world-makes-far-more-sense-if-you-add-dirigisiste-to-the-things-you-understand/

“Schwartz: No, I think most of the world still believes it is appropriate for the government to control what the people will know. It’s really quite amazing–to me at least, having grown up in the United States. Regimes everywhere are–a term that is not well known in the United States–dirigiste. French word. Literally, it means state direction. It isn’t socialism, it isn’t fascism, it’s essentially the idea that part of the central role of the state is to direct society–as opposed to take care of a few things and let everybody else take care of themselves, which is [was?] the US philosophy. Most every country in the world is in some sense dirigiste.”

Now even if I had not explained recently what Upravleniye meant or the Science of the Individual or the required state and local economic planning now in WIOA or the change and then monitor the mental models of each student laid out in ESSA–the new federal education legislation, anyone want to venture a guess as to which direction global education reforms emanating from the UN would be taking the US on the dirigiste template? But the MIT conversation was not over and the other speaker was Jay Ogilvy, formerly director of research of the Values and Lifestyles Program at SRI International. Now I know SRI used to stand for Stanford Research and was involved in a hugely troubling task force called Changing Images of Man among lots of other things. Let’s listen in decades later to what Ogilvy said to Brand:

“Ogilvy added: What gets me is how utterly inappropriate our basic economic categories are. We need to recast the concept of property for one thing, because in Marx’s terms property is by definition alienable: that is, unlike your elbow which is you and not yours, property must be transferable to another (alia equals other). I sell you the cow. You got the cow. I don’t have the cow anymore. I sell you information. You got the information. I still have the information. That’s one anomaly.

Another anomaly: intrinsic in information is the ‘difference that makes a difference’–to a receiver. So the condition of the receiver is an important part of whether a given signal is or is not information. Is it news or isn’t it news? Well, that depends on the receiver and the receiver’s ability to understand it. That’s not true of a ton of steel. It’s not true of a ton of wheat.”

Where else do we get such a chance to eavesdrop on insiders so we can recognize that we, and especially students with still malleable minds, are the receivers (author’s italics but my bolding) whose ability to understand needs to be manipulated at the internalized (see ratios above), neurological level. Still resisting? When I kept encountering references to the book Harvard and the Unabomber and the social science experiments it laid out going on at Harvard in the 50s involving some of the Macy Cybernetics conference participants, I decided I should read it too. Turns out the author Alston Chase had also graduated from Harvard in the 1950s and he was rather matter-of-fact as well about how “Psychology came to be seen as a powerful tool that could be used for good (when employed by an enlightened elite) or for evil (when used by Hitler).”

On the list of things the Enlightened forgot to mention was the “rise of psychology in public policy” because “the masses could not be trusted, or, as the historian Ellen Herman put it, summarizing the thinking of this time, ‘mass opinion was dangerous as well as fickle…[It] was a real threat to rational planning.” Another word for such planning is dirigiste and the most effective and hard to observe place to enact such planning would be to go after what the so-called receiver has internalized to guide their perceptions and then interpretations of daily experiences.

Still want more quotes as to intentions? “Yet in their heart of hearts they had lost faith in people and embraced a new paternalism. They became what historian Brett Gary calls ‘nervous liberals,’ beset by ‘propaganda anxieties.’ Saving democracy, these scholars concluded, required new psychological techniques that would point public opinion in ‘correct’ directions. Social science was seen as not just a way to understand man, but to control him as well.”

Well, I am ready to leave Cambridge and whatever is in that air along the Charles River beyond world-class hubris. Let’s get back to why all this is clearly relevant to what the planners want to achieve with these Transgender Edicts. When I wrote my book Credentialed to Destroy , a professor–Ernst Von Glasersfeld and his theory of radical constructivism–figured prominently in what was known in the 90s as the Math Wars and what is really being changed via math classes now. What I learned recently was that Glasersfeld’s theories were a part of cybernetics aspirations and that he had written for a 1984 book called The Invented Reality.

Now if governments wish to guide societies and control citizens at a neural level without that really being appreciated, how useful is a theory of education or philosophy (depending on the department of the advocating professor) that preaches to students and future doctorates and administrators that:

“it does not matter what an object might be like in ‘reality’ or from an ‘objective’ point of view; what matters is exclusively whether or not it performs or behaves in the way that is expected of it, that is, whether or not it fits.”

Getting at perception and controlling it gives a means to literally change how students will act in the future to alter reality and how they will insist on interacting with others. That’s why the physical reality of anatomical parts and other ways to protect privacy and feelings are not enough for the Civil Rights Advocates. They know, and we should to, that all these theories on how to turn students, principals, and people in general into Marx’s Makers of History ride on using education to control perception. People may not like the bathroom edicts, but is anyone questioning the legitimacy of legally compelling how the world must work simply on the basis of a student’s declared perception of being transgender?

In 1979 Glasersfeld and a Viennese prof, John Richards, published a paper called “The Control of Perception and the Construction of Reality.” I am really not speculating here on how crucial controlling individual perception has always been to transformational plans to a planned society that meets all human needs. The transformationalists, showing their fondness for italics, want to shift the purpose of education away from What is the structure of the real world? to a cognitive, internalized emphasis on What is the structure of our experiential world? That is precisely the point of emphasis in the Transgender Edicts: Does the student perceive themselves to be a different gender? No need for psychiatric or medical evidence. A personal declaration will do and must be accepted at face value.

This is simply a furthering of the governments’ desire for to be dirigiste and to plan using psychological techniques. As that 1979 article in Dialectica stated, that desired shift simply needed that “We thus redefine ‘knowledge’ as pertaining to invariances [like how they subjectively perceive gender or racism or White Privilege]  in the living organism’s experience rather than to entities, structures, and events in an independently existing world. Correspondingly, we redefine ‘perception.’ It is not the reception or duplication of information that is coming in from the outside, but rather the construction of the invariances by which the organism can assimilate and organize its experience.”

Anyone beginning to see why all mandates now push a concept-based, activity-oriented [project-based learning] focus for education for everyone? We need to recognize that the theorists are using education to enact their observation that “the brain’s model of reality, as far as consciousness is concerned, is reality–there is nothing else to perceive.” By manipulating that model of reality through educational practices and then insisting that we must all defer to that manipulated perception of reality, the Transgender Edicts are not just about bathrooms and privacy. The government is continuing to insist that individual perception is a legitimate area for it to manipulate. Then we must all accept the results of the consciousness that was intentionally fostered to believe in the need for change.

A Haverford philosophy professor cited in a footnote concluded that ” today [writing in 1988] the type of dialogical communities that are required for its flourishing are being distorted, undermined, and systematically blocked from coming into existence.” The Transgender Edicts with their deference to personal perception over actual reality, the Science of Virtues and other pushes of Character and values first, and the ubiquity now of a Whole Child emphasis and emotions as an integral component of learning are all means to remove the barriers to the desired communities that promote the desired “solidarity with our fellow human beings.”

I am not the one who throughout the 80s in elite higher ed kept quoting from Marx on what must be done to change history. This is how Richard J Bernstein concluded his book on Beyond Objectivism and Relativism:

“Marx’s second thesis on Feuerbach, especially his claim that ‘man must prove the truth, the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in practice,’ is a fitting conclusion to this study. We can no longer share Marx’s theoretical certainty or revolutionary self-confidence. There is no guarantee, there is no necessity, no ‘logic of history’ that must inevitably lead to dialogical communities that embrace all of humanity and in which reciprocal judgment, practical discourse, and rational persuasion flourish.”

So ‘standards-based education reforms’ were called on to alter perception to force what was never inevitable at all. Now we get legal decrees to further that same actual mandate and restart the hoped-for transformation.

See how this is not really about locker rooms and bathrooms?

Being Thankful We Know About the New Mandate of Student Success to Create and then Sway a Group Mind

Most years since I started this blog I have published a particular post originally called “Being Thankful for What We Know and Appreciating Why It Matters.” That message remains timely, especially given the gravity of everything I have laid out in recent posts. First though I want to provide a few updates since the last post. I had an opportunity last week to speak with Security Policy expert Frank Gaffney in a recorded conference call about the implications of what I had found in the Tarbiyah Project and how closely it aligns with the actual, to be mandated, meaning of success or achievement under the new proposed federal legislation. https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/women-on-the-wall-esea-and-the-the-tarbiyah-project

As I wrote in the last post, the alignment between the actual mandated implementation I covered so carefully in my book Credentialed to Destroy and what Tauhidi described was breathtaking and clearly no accident. I covered systems thinking extensively in that book, but although it was created at the troublingly ubiquitous Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), some of its creators were always connected to Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and Research Center for Group Dynamics. http://www.rcgd.isr.umich.edu/history/ Michigan is where Tauhidi received both his Masters and Doctorate and its School of Education has always been a national leader in shifting K-12 education toward the behavioral sciences. To truly make education into a science of human development it certainly helps that the current Dean Deborah Ball also chairs the Spencer Foundation Board of Directors.

That would certainly explain the alignment I found. Establishing the Group Mind and making it influential, then guiding, and finally motivating, as the definition of increasing Proficiency toward being an ‘Expert’ was laid out recently here.  http://www.epiconline.org/essential-skills-and-dispositions-development-frameworks/ Lots of influential entities there and 3 of the essentials are from 21st Century Learning: Creativity, Communication, and Collaboration. The 4th, Critical Thinking, has been renamed as Self-Directed Learning. That would be the same term Tauhidi used in his Tarbiyah Key Outcomes & Indicators. It’s probably not accidental that Tarbiyah’s Essential Learning of Noble Character and Moral Literacy is the Self-Directed Individual, especially since the other 3 Cs are also in various desired new personal character traits with their names in Arabic script.

Finally, Congress just released a Framework for its new ESEA legislation http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=399784 that also aligns with Tarbiyah and the goal of turning the student, at an internal, neurological level, into a designed, predictable system. That’s the ‘success’ within the legislation. I now have everything I need to prove those assertions after the legislation is passed and signed. Here’s the long-standing goal, taken from work on Burmese culture and Buddhist values, attitudes, and motivating beliefs funded by the CASBS with a shout out to Ralph Tyler, the creator of NAEP, the 8 Year Study, and so much more we still encounter today.

“Which brings us to the importance of this symbol for the integration of Burmese society. For it is through their reverence for this common symbol of a shared ego ideal that the Burmese, I believe, come to identify with each other, as Freud puts it, they ‘have put one and the same object in the place of their ego ideal and have consequently identified themselves with one another in their ego.’ [no individualism left as the West knows it] And this is how Burmese society achieves its highest degree of integration. To the extent that members of a social group identify with each other, to that extent is the group characterized by social integration.”

That would be why Black Lives Matter in 2015 and All Lives do not. With that let’s go back in time. Remember all we have covered since forcing a required Group Mind and also the 2014 passage of WIOA, giving all governments unprecedented economic powers for planning society.

I had actually outlined another barnburner story but the day before Thanksgiving is no time to serve up indigestion. So I thought I would write a tale of appreciating why individual liberty has mattered in the past and why Freed Markets resulted in mass prosperity would be a nice tribute. And I do not mean that in a Pollyanish sense. One of the books I am tackling this holiday week is Robert P Moses’ radical equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project. I want every child to learn to the best of their ability. I want to really appreciate the desperation that is driving this Equality for All even if it guts the economy philosophy. It is why I read what attracted Van Jones to the Green Growth Economy as a manifestation of his self-confessed preference for Communism.

I think the history lessons of the Predator State declaring its Goals for People and then using its powers to coerce are too easy to forget. It’s not an ideological preference. It’s a factual story. A repeated pattern once government reaches a certain size of the economy. I think history consistently bears out the truth of what Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek said in his 1945 lecture Individualism: True and False. I give extra credit for people who have first hand experience in what led to most of the great tragedies of the 20th Century. It’s called Walking the Walk and there is great validity to the hard-earned wisdom it imparts.

“There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. While the first is a condition of a free society, the second means, as De Tocqueville described it, ‘a new form of servitude.”

There is just no getting around the fact that government officials and their Business Allies deciding they get to fine tune personalities and reset Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs to guide an Individual’s Future Behavior is a 21st Century form of servitude. Especially when the inappropriately named Positive School Climate is now a tool to retrain each student’s filtering Mindset. The worldview they will use from now on as they encounter daily reality. With their preferred non-Axemaker Mind and habits grounded in emotion. All quite consciously cultivated and monitored.

But we now know all this up front and that really is something to be Thankful for. As an active pursuer of these plans and blueprints this is decidedly unauthorized knowledge that was not supposed to become available. A 2012 Deerstalker Gold Star Award for Me. The most common question I get from frustrated parents especially is Why? What I am saying simply rings too true with their daily reality to discount it. But why the Deliberate Operant Conditioning towards a Future that’s not really about prosperity?

Like I have said, I take great comfort in putting all this in its Historical Context and its real Self-Dealing Context. Because honestly that is where it belongs. So I am going to quote you a passage from Hayek’s 1944 book The Road to Serfdom (page 176 in my 2007 copy). He really nails the drivers behind making education miseducation. Notice he also nails down the frequent unholy alliance between government and the media. Simply refusing to report or cover accurately anything that might caste a poor light on desired government policies. My bolding and snark is in the brackets.

“Facts and theories [Sustainability, Man-made Catastrophic Global Warming, Diversity, Social Justice] must thus become no less the object of an official doctrine than views about values. And the whole apparatus for spreading knowledge–the schools and the press, radio and motion picture–will be used exclusively to spread those views which, whether true or false, will strengthen the belief in the rightness of the decisions taken by the authority; and all information that might cast doubt or hesitation will be withheld. The probable effect on the people’s loyalty to the system [Peter Senge just swooned that we so understand the essence of Systems Thinking and Why It Must Be Pushed] becomes the only criterion for deciding whether a particular piece of information is to be published or suppressed. [Benghazi; Actual Employment Numbers]

The situation in a totalitarian state is permanently and in all fields the same that it is elsewhere in some fields in wartime. Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. [Hard not to think of Candy Crowley and that 2nd Presidential Debate]. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with conditions elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions–all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.”

There you have the incentive of Government officials for using education for merely Competent, Mentally Hobbled Citizens. Especially ones who are being bred to see a Duty to the State. And the Business Angle. They are politically connected and want special privileges and protections from their Cronies. That’s not Capitalism though. It’s Mercantilism where there is no mass prosperity. It is what Adam Smith rejected as he accounted for Britain’s phenomenal 18th century economic growth.

So enjoy your friends and loved ones on this cherished American holiday. Whatever happens in education in 2013, we WILL understand what is really going on and what the likely consequences are actually going to be.

And that really is something to be Thankful for.

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.

 

 

Personalized Learning as a Molding Mechanism and Prime Instrument for Social and Political Control

We have discussed some of the implications of the personalized learning language in the Every Child Achieves Act rewrite of the K-12 federal education legislation, but most of what will guide the classroom practices and data being accumulated (“a data warehouse for every student”) lies in documents other than ECAA. Scouring those, as I am prone to do in my research, in turn sent me scurrying back to a Carnegie-funded book from 1952 called The New Man in Soviet Psychology. Similar language, comparable visions, and the same recommended changes to education generally means the same real goals whether that is being acknowledged up front or not. I want to go back to something Stalin told Party members in 1933, since we are highly unlikely to get a comparable confession from members of Congress in 2015, on the need to solve the ‘human problems’ if the desired transformations were to truly take hold in the USSR. “Even though the industrial and social base of the old society had been largely destroyed, the ‘remnants of capitalism’ still lingered in the minds of men.” Quoting Uncle Joe himself:

“You as Marxists should know that in its development the mentality of man lags behind his actual condition. In status the members of collective farms are no longer individual farmers, but collectivists, but their mentality is still the old one–that of the owner of private property.”

Stalin and the Soviets made no bones about their intention to “bring all possible facilities of society to bear on the problem of training and controlling its individual citizens.” They were especially fond of using the law in such a binding manner. Methinks they would have liked the language of ECAA and its close sibling, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) from last summer, a great deal. What these measures share in common is a desire to create an organized society. Now obviously that was not news to any Soviet in the 1930s, but it is news to many Americans in the 21st Century, which is why so much of what is intended to bind and quietly alter the minds of men is hidden and not being discussed openly.

What is an organized society anyway? It’s the idea that a society can be consciously organized and directed. In the case of the US in the 21st century, the organization is around the concept of Equity and an obligation to meet people’s needs, whoever they are and however they came to the US. In pushing this vision of social justice, or as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calls it–Dignity for All by 2030–the organized society shifts from a place where people make their own choices to a “society in which–insofar as possible–all the parts are coordinated to the service of the whole by the deliberate decisions of persons who are in a position to implement that decision.” Hard to get politicians or public sector employees at any level to back off that kind of decision-making power once they get a whiff of the possibilities.

And the number one “theoretical tool for the coordination of society” in the Soviet Union of the 30s or America in 2015 is education. What the Soviets decided in the 30s and what people pushing all these reforms now know is that if they can train and guide people’s purposeful action, they can control future behaviors reliably without that being apparent. I am pretty sure Carnegie did not fund that book above just because it just loves to spend old Andrew’s steel fortune. It found its vision compatible with where it hoped the US would go as well. That likelihood becomes even more apparent when we look at the Foreword of the book and find Harvard prof and cognitive scientist, Jerome Bruner, wrote it. Bruner, citing John Dewey as having a comparable vision, wrote about:

“the need for a psychology that may support democracy. For man’s image of the nature of man is not only a matter of objective inquiry, it is and has always been a prime instrument of social and political control. He who molds that image does so with enormous consequences for the society in which he lives.”

Words to remember as we delve into personalized learning and so many of the practices and theories we have imported from the Soviet Union. What Bruner knew and what Carnegie knows since it funded the research, we are dealing with a comparable vision of using psychology to mold a consciousness and personality that becomes an activist in remaking the world that exists. Would you like to hazard a guess at the number 1 aspect or trait the Soviets knew they needed to control and mold? Motivation. Would anyone like to hazard a guess as to what the number one feature of ‘personalizing learning’ is in 2015 in the US? That’s right. It’s determining and then accessing student’s at the level of their intrinsic motivation.

I have tracked the meaning of personalizing instruction and learning through a lot of reports, but the most graphic is probably in the January 2015 National Initiative from the School Mental Health Project at UCLA. Given all the references in ECAA to the needs of the students and the communities and ‘learning supports’ it appears to me that the entire 204 page document is intended to be implemented via ECAA without anyone in Congress giving a Heads Up. The report is called “Transforming Student and Learning Supports: Developing a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System” and it tells us upfront it has been created as part of that theme I am asserting is being used to turn us quietly into an organized society. “Equity of opportunity is fundamental to securing civil rights; transforming student and learning supports is fundamental to enabling equity of opportunity.”

Law school was decades ago but there is a trigger threshold in con law once something is deemed a ‘fundamental right’ and that seems to be precisely what this plan wants to trigger. Awfully crucial not to be in the open, isn’t it? Well, it is now so let’s quote what it says about personalization in education:

“personalizing instruction means ensuring conditions for learning are perceived by the learner as good ways to attain goals s/he wants to reach. Thus, a basic intervention concern is eliciting learners’ perceptions of how well what is offered matches both their interests and abilities. This has fundamental implications for all efforts to assess students and manage behavior.”

Manage behavior? Goal-seeking, purposeful actor? Doesn’t this sound precisely like the 30s Soviet shift on how to get at the minds of men to mold a new mentality? Should we be concerned that this 2015 National Initiative says that “From our perspective, the aim of personalizing learning is to enhance stable, positive, intrinsic attitudes that mobilize and maintain engagement in learning.” So all the language about “(a) ensure motivational readiness, (b) enhance motivation during learning, and (c) increase intrinsic motivation as an outcome” seems a bit heavy-handed, but it’s only one document, right? Well, there’s also the ISTE 2014 “Personalized Learning: A Guide for Engaging Students with Technology” that will likely guide what the language of ECAA really means for our students and ultimately all of us.

It helpfully lets us know that “personalized learning is not the digitization of traditional learning” since after all, it is the student’s mind and personality that are the real focus of this digital menu. Showing that unfortunately subject content areas are merely the means to get the desired changes in the students we are told to set goals and then try to achieve those established goals. How purposive! A goal-seeking actor just like Stalin wanted the emphasis to be on. “Progress through subject area content is measured by the demonstration of proficiency in identified skills and understanding.” Those would be the skills and understanding needed not for the world we now have, but that desired future which needs a new kind of citizen and worker.

Now I can say repeatedly that this is not the model of coursework we are all used to and insist how much manipulation is going on, but a vision of “courses built around concepts and learning outcomes” just speaks volumes about how socially engineered this “self-directed learning” will actually be. Let’s look somewhere else since this 2014 Summit on Personalized Learning of the White House-sponsored Digital Promise and League of Innovative Schools was uploaded to the internet about the time this new version of ECAA–1177–became available. http://www.fi.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/TEPLS_report-FINAL-051415.pdf Let’s go to page 18 since it is describing a federal grant to “revolutionize instruction”.

Now how ‘personalized’ does learning in the ordinary dictionary meaning of the term seem if we specify what all students need to know and then want to assess “How will we know they’ve learned it? and “What will we do if they haven’t learned it?” How a student chooses to show their learning is flexible and the activities they engage in to practice the desired learning has lots of options, but what is to be learned does not. Whether the student gets it or not, there’s actually a great deal mandatory to this personalized vision. That’s just not supposed to be apparent to either the students or us, lest we object to the clear coercion at the levels of mind, values, attitudes, and feeling.

This was true in every recent personalized learning paper I found. Here’s another http://www.siia.net/Portals/0/pdf/Education/PerLearnPaper.pdf The quiet mandatory nature makes perfect sense if this is all intended to be a molding mechanism in pursuit of an organized society where Equity is the lode star for decision-making.

If we go back to that 1952 book it will tell us that “The Bolshevik controls man by training his motives and shaping his ideology.” As someone who has read all these reports and ECAA, I am now asserting that personalizing instruction and “personalized rigorous learning experiences” are intended to train student’s motives for future action as well.

And the requirements about annual assessing of “higher order thinking and understanding” are monitoring whether the minds are being suitably molded and trained in “ideological thinking.” Because at its core, that’s where there is no flexibility.

Is the student using the desired concepts? Is she demonstrating desired values and appropriate attitudes?

Will he be motivated to act when and in the way desired? At least Uncle Joe was transparent in his aims, unlike Congress and most legislatures, governors, and city councils.

Eager to benefit from such social and political control over us.

 

 

Commanding Students to Treat Themselves as Manipulable Objects Means Invisible, Ongoing Predation

This post ends what began as a Trilogy but became a Quartet of posts when Senator Lamar Alexander substituted a substantially new version of his K-12 federal legislation rewrite with virtually no attempt to let the voting public know of the switch. As the last post covered in part, as a whole 1177, as the bill is called, reads as if it is the fulfillment of everything the behavioral and social scientists in Palo Alto have ever wanted from education to remake the existing world. It will take the sequel to my book Credentialed to Destroy to lay out all the connections I have documented, but I have them and I get to read 1177 with the informed mind and well-stocked glossary from books and papers going back to its founding in the early 50s. 1177 is also deeply embued with the communitarian ethos and seeks to turn it into collective obligations under federal law. Quite a combo.

I began this Quartet with the Fraud of the Century post because I thought it was important to begin to frame these shifts accurately as a usurpation by governments at all levels of an ability to make decisions that traditionally and legitimately belonged to private individuals. Now please forgive me for what is about to be a graphic metaphor, but it is the best comparison I can come up with and it unfortunately fits. Back in China under Mao or the USSR, the ordinary people knew perfectly well that they were coerced and manipulated by the power of the State. I won’t say imagine because this may be an apt image, but it’s not a pleasant one, that you wake up to someone with a knife to your throat and they insist that if you submit to sex they will not hurt you further. You may not have black eyes, but you were still raped and you would know that.

What the behavioral and social scientists in the East and West have been looking for over decades in a horrifyingly coordinated manner (also documented repeatedly beyond what is in first book) is an ability to gain that physical submission to whatever schemes the public sector decides on without the public appreciating the extent of the sought submission. That of course requires psychological manipulation and a limiting of knowledge, which is precisely what K-12 education in the US has sought to do from the original legislation in 1965 forward. On page 32,  the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECAA) prescribes that  each state “shall include the same knowledge, skills, and levels of achievement expected of all public school students in the state.” The ‘same’ and ‘all’ are deliberate language that limits what can now go on in K-12 public education for every child, regardless of ability.

Accessible to all as a legal requirement means that the focus has to be on emotions, beliefs, and behaviors because those are the only things all children have in common. Usefully those are the areas that the behavioral scientists have always wanted to access and now it’s the only legally acceptable focus. How useful. Now we are going to go back to one of the Big Fish among those behavioral scientists, Benjamin Bloom, to something he wrote back in 1976, where he believed his Mastery Learning techniques (notice how many times ‘mastery’ appears in ECAA) could create equality of learning.

He also wanted to shift the focus of school away from subject-content to affective characteristics, cognitive behaviors, and psychomotor skills. He pointed out that making equality of learning outcomes (italicized just like that) be a goal of education rather than equality of opportunity would mean “teachers and instructional material and procedures should  emphasize acceptable levels of learning for all children.” High standards gets its height from the percentage meeting the goal, not from the height of the goals themselves.

We see that same planned focus in the remake of all high schools project that started in 1998 as the National Urban High School project that the National Governors Association and the federal DoED saw no reason to tell us about. We have already discussed how all secondary schoolwork will meet distressingly low ‘common core goals’ such as the listed low, non-intellectual skills the federal Department of Labor created for its SCANS-Secretary’s Commission on Acquiring Necessary Skills in 1992. Oh, that would be when Alexander was the federal Education Secretary. What are the odds? From the 2008 NUHS “Seeing the Future” report, let me quote two more examples of “Common Core Goals” that would “cut across disciplines, drive the curriculum, and serve as the standards for assessing student work.”

The Six Hoover Learner Outcomes: What All Students Should Know and Be Able to Do on Graduation

1. Demonstrate habits of inquiry

2. Experience high technology

3. Collect, analyze, and organize resources and information

4. Communicate ideas and information

5. Work effectively with others

6. Organize personal resources, plan goals for the future, and show a commitment to lifelong learning

Now try to control your enthusiasm at these generic skills and personal qualities as I list The Five Habits of Mind from Central Park East Secondary, NYC.

Connection: How is it connected to other things?

Perspective: What is the viewpoint?

Evidence: How do we know what we know?

Speculation: How else may it be considered?

Significance: What difference does it make?

With those thresholds, what will now constitute mandated ‘learning for all’ judged as meeting federal law requirements, these very low and largely non-academic ‘common core goals’ asked of high schoolers will make a great deal of difference to where the US and other countries with comparable goals are really headed. Just imagine College and Career Readiness based on those as the high school completion goals and we will see why we found what we covered in this post. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/now-more-than-five-years-into-an-attempt-to-help-organize-a-near-total-revision-of-human-behavior/ , which usefully gets us back to a global focus as we all ask why, why? For that answer we need to go to Uzbekistan to some research Alexander Luria did there in the early 30s to test the effect literacy had on the mind based on a theory he and Lev Vygotsky had developed.

What Luria found was that: “For illiterate peasants speech and reasoning simply echoed practical and situational activity. For somewhat educated people the relationship was reversed: Abstract categories dominated and restructured situational experience.” In other words, illiteracy is problemmatic for pushing theoretical thinking as a reliable guide to altering perception, and thus future behavior, because it simply does not work. It works poorly with an Axemaker Mind that recognizes inapt metaphors and can develop its own concepts from its personal store of facts. So if that Davydov vision of a restructured curriculum and purpose of school we met in the last post and in Chapters 2 and 3 of my book is to work students need to be kept at a Basic Skills and low levels of factual knowledge threshold. Are things making more sense now?

And we have also documented repeatedly that in mandating assessments tied to higher order thinking skills and understanding ECAA mandates that Davydov vision. Now the title came out of reading the following passage in a book from 1981 called Educating because the described vision throughout the book dovetailed so well with the real Common Core implementation I documented in my book and all the references to ‘learning’ now in ECAA. Gowin stated that “voluntary individual learning probably cannot begin until the person can regard the self as an object…One must be able to treat oneself as an object in order to probe one’s self, to see it as an instrument in learning.” What ECAA does is mandate that the student must view themselves that way and accept the school’s right to manipulate his beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, and even the hardwiring of his brain as he wishes.

That’s what that language in the statute translates into when it is run through the behavioral sciences glossary and existing papers and books. Gowin called it  a ‘controlled yielding’ and viewed the reorganization of the mind and personality at a neural level as necessary. All of this is bad enough and quickly leads to all sorts of literature on precisely what Transformational Learning really means that makes me long for that first post where we were angry that “high standards” meant combining college prep and vocational into project-based learning for all students. A reader though has passed on the most aggressive charter language I have ever read from the school district, Clarke County, whose leader was recently named National School Superintendent of the Year. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8U0imqlmoA-alFFRU1aNGxBQjQ/view?pli=1

It was this local school district declaring the right to reorganize its students minds and personalities via required “personalized dynamic learning experiences” that really brought home the level of predatory invasions governments at every level are insisting on. Dynamic means transformative change in the student so I want to close with a quote from the late Professor Jack Mezirow on Transformative Learning Theory that fits with where that charter, the ECAA, and this entire learning focus takes us. Long, but vital.

“Transformative learning is defined as the process by which we transform problemmatic frames of reference (mindsets, habits of mind, meaning perspectives)–sets of assumption and expectation–to make them more inclusive, discriminating, open, reflective and emotionally able to change. Such frames are better because they are more likely to generate beliefs and opinions that will prove more true or justified to guide action.

Frames of reference are the structures of culture and language through which we construe meaning by attributing coherence and significance to our experience. They selectively shape and delimit our perception, cognition and feelings by predisposing our intentions, beliefs, expectations, and purposes. These preconceptions set our ‘line of action’. Once set or programmed, we automatically move from one specific mental or behavioural activity to another, and we have a strong tendency to reject ideas that fail to fit our preconceptions.”

No wonder the behavioural scientists wanted a shift to theoretical instruction (called there frames of reference) as I have repeatedly documented. No wonder the government officials and employees who want all this power are lying to us.

The public sector gets to determine what is problemmatic and decide the desired fix and it’s all out of sight. Except for in the language it is using in laws, regulations, and charters to try to make all these personal intrusions mandatory.

Luckily for us the latter is my playground.

 

Illegitimate Extension: the Stealth Substitution of ECAA and the Dystopian Future Triggered by its Mandates and Lures

ECAA is the acronym for the new federal K-12 legislation–the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. Since Senator Lamar Alexander, assuming unknown to me powers never discussed in Civics in that “How a Bill Becomes a Law” brochure, has pulled what unanimously passed his Senate subcommittee and substituted this more than 200 page longer bill http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-114s1177pcs/pdf/BILLS-114s1177pcs.pdf , we are going to interrupt our trilogy to take a look. Especially since the lack of any genuine public notice of the “Yoohoo, Heads Up” variety makes it appear none of us were supposed to have a chance to notice and object to the switch. I was not fond of the old bill’s language and wrote several posts explaining why back in April.

The new language though requires, as a matter of binding federal law, two revolutionary shifts in American schools. It imposes the UNESCO/OECD Seven Domains (and accompanying subdomains explicitly in numerous instances too often to be coincidental) of Universal Education. I intuited that after I finished the 792 page bill and then located the 3 reports created by the Brookings Institute Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF) and published in February 2013, July 2013, and June 2014. All the reports start with “Toward Universal Learning”. Report 1 is then titled “What Every Child Should Learn” and lays out those 7 domains of Physical wellbeing, social and emotional, culture and the arts, literacy and communication, Learning approaches and cognition, Numeracy and mathematics, and science and technology. Report 2 is “A Global Framework for Measuring Learning” and Report 3 lays out “Implementing Assessment to Improve Learning.”

Report 2 gives the perfect rationale for why ECAA has had such a stealth approach and why the Opt Out movement seems to really be about shifting to formative assessments and a Whole Child approach. Let’s listen in on this useful confession:

“While measurement may have different purposes at different levels, the systems for measuring and improving learning at the classroom, national, and global levels should not be working in isolation. Globally tracked indicators should be aligned with what is measured nationally and in schools or classrooms, while measurement at the national level should be aligned with the competencies measured in classrooms or schools.”

That is why ECAA is so intent on ensuring that all states and local school districts are using “high-quality assessments” and measuring “higher order thinking and understanding.” Now I have written about the meanings of these terms before, most particularly here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/muzzling-minds-all-over-the-globe-while-trumpeting-higher-order-skills/ , but it is time to reveal that second revolutionary shift mandated as a MATTER OF LAW by ECAA. It forces a vision of theoretical learning and “mastering of the technique of theoretical concept formation” developed in the Soviet Union to create ideological thinkers who could be manipulated by state authorities (or anyone else who knew about the methods). This relates to what is described in Chapter 3 of my book and is also why it is so alarming that ECAA has the National Science Foundation providing recommendations on Best Practices in STEM coursework.

After I had finished reading both the new ECAA and those three Universal Education reports, I pulled a 1984 book Psychology in Utopia: Toward a Social History of Soviet Psychology for insights into what was being mandated via ECAA as “personalized, rigorous learning experiences that are supported through technology” and a repeated obligation to “personalize learning”. This is all under the Innovative Technology Expands Children’s Horizon’s (I-Tech) part that begins on page 551. In other words, after normal people have become too frustrated with ECAA to continue. I have known for a while that the phrase “personalized learning” is a quagmire of misunderstandings and psychologically intrusive practices to lock-in, at a neurological level, how the world will be interpreted going forward.

The book’s author did not think much of this theoretical learning and called the project an “outright utopia,” which should not be extended “illegitimately, to the whole of society.” Can’t imagine then why we should enshrine it in 2015 as an obligation under federal law. The book described all the programs that Vasily Davydov and his group created in the 70s that, from my knowledge of the actual Common Core implementation as detailed in my book, is the basis for all those planned learning tasks and literacy instruction now. Oh. Good. Kozulin noted though that by 1981 Davydov’s research showed that “object-oriented activity” alone had no effect on mental development. To have that effect, a “personalized form” of “educational activity” must be found. I am guessing that is what ECAA means with its constant references to “well-rounded educational experiences.”

To be ‘personalized’ according to the research of the Soviet psychologists, the focus “of the psychological program” must get at “problems of motivation and personal reflection and the construction of individualized programs of educational activity.” That would be what ECAA calls data to ‘personalize learning’ and ‘inform instruction’ and specifically calls for the “use of data, data analytics, and information to personalize learning and provide targeted supplementary instruction.” See what I meant by Windows on the Mind from the last post?

I have a lot to cover so here’s why Universal Design for Learning had to be in ECAA and why it is vital to personalizing learning http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/05/19/udl-personalized-939/print/ . Here is the Gates Foundation-funded and tied to OECD work and the Achievement Standards Network we have also covered on the Next Generation Learning Environment and its ties to personalizing learning. https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli3035.pdf

So why really must Learning be personalized and why is what now constitutes ‘content’ under ECAA really behavior or the kind of theoretical concept knowledge or principles we have now tracked to the USSR and its visions for utopia in the future? This is from the 2nd Universal Education LMTF report. I put up a link yesterday from 2013 of Arne Duncan hyping this very global agenda of the UN Secretary-General. It is worth quoting in full, but I am bolding the real stunners. Remember the UN Dignity for All by 2030 Agenda I have covered previously.

“The world faces global challenges, which require global solutions. These interconnected global challenges call for far-reaching changes in how we think and act for the dignity of fellow human beings. It is not enough for education to produce individuals who can read, write, and count. Education must be transformative and bring shared values to life. It must cultivate an active care for the world and for those with whom we share it. Education must be relevant in answering the big questions of the day. Technological solutions, political regulation or financial instruments alone cannot achieve sustainable development. It requires transforming the way people think and act. Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive societies. It must give people the understanding, skills and values they need to cooperate in resolving the interconnected challenges of the 21st century.”

That is precisely what ECAA does when you go through its actual language as I have done. By the way, that quote was from a section of the report titled “An Adaptable, Flexible Skill Set to Meet the Demands of the 21st Century.” In the US and other countries all over the world this gets sold as students having a Growth Mindset. It’s no accident that before hyping that euphemistic term Carol Dweck was a well-known Vygotsky scholar. The 1970s Soviet work is an updating of Vygotsky’s work and what this blog has tagged CHAT-cultural historical activity theory. We have met it all before http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/treating-western-society-and-its-economy-as-a-train-in-need-of-rebuilding-and-central-direction/ and now we know why. These global plans and using education as the vehicle are far more extensive even than what is already alarmingly detailed in my book.

ECAA though is the mother lode because it makes regulating our behavior and personality at a neurological level not just something schools may do, but something they MUST do. As a matter of federal law to further an admitted global agenda. LMTF Report 3 talks about how the countries are to get the global Learning agenda and the Seven Domain emphasis into schools and classrooms as a binding obligation. By the time we trace through the schoolwide PBIS, Positive School Climate, “supporting activities that promote physical and mental health and wellbeing for students and staff,” creating and maintaining “a school environment that is free of weapons and fosters individual responsibility and respect for the rights of others” and other ECAA mandates that the local schools and districts must now provide we can see how Ban Ki-Moon’s transformation through education vision quoted above makes it all the way into each classroom and each child.

I have mentioned the repeated use of “well-rounded educational experiences”. It appears to be an obligation to implement not just a Whole Child emphasis, but also to make up for whatever deficits poverty in the community, a dysfunctional family life, or any other problems like being a migrant that does not speak English may have created. All means all. Physical education language in ECAA turns quietly into a mandate to promote the “social or emotional development of every student” and “opportunities to develop positive social and cooperative skills through physical activity participation.” Again mirroring subdomains laid out in those 3 LMTF reports.

I am going to close with yet more proof that ECAA is all about fostering desired behaviors, emotions, and values as it contains repeated references to meeting students “academic needs”. Now I wouldn’t be much of a lawyer if I did not recognize defined terms left mischieviously undefined. Sure enough here’s a link to a February 2009 statement from the National Association of School Psychologists.   http://www.nasponline.org/about_nasp/positionpapers/AppropriateBehavioralSupports.pdf No wonder there are so many references to school counseling programs and mental health providers in ECAA.

I have notes on everything I have described here. If I could draw a jigsaw puzzle to show how tight the actual fit is with everything I have described, I would. It’s impossible to get this level of fit accidentally or this level of correspondences coincidentally.

I joke about speaking ed. I understand intuitively and from years of practice how the law can be used to bind people and places against what they would wish. I have put both those skills together to bring everyone a heads up.

I only wish I was speculating on any of this. Hopefully this post will reach enough people in time.

Fraud of the Century Via Our Public Sector: the Real Common Core Purpose for Education

Is fraud too strong a word for organized deceit that seeks to override constitutional rights and evade public outcry every time School to Work has reared its unpopular head in the past? Do we have massive, actual, repeated deceit? Check. Are we giving up something of value? Yes, our children’s minds, our tax dollars, plus the foreseeable carnage of all this economic and social planning. Now how many of us upon hearing the now ubiquitous phrase “high standards for all students” understand that this phrase is intended to quietly prescribe project-based learning for all high school students? To marry vocational with academic for all students? To insist that schools be linked with the “adult world of work and learning” and that it is that mandated nexus that constitutes “high standards”?

Before I talk further about the federally-financed, 1998 New Urban High School Project that spun out the High Tech High that is now held up as the exemplar of world-class learning http://zhaolearning.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/WorldClass.pdf or its 2008 Update called “Seeing the Future: A Planning Guide for High Schools” that made it clear that this vision would be applicable to all high schools and every student in each and every community, I want to go back to explaining what is wrong with such a Project-based Learning mandate in the first place. Imagine that we were invited to visit the lovely island of Tortola in the BVI as part of the Social Science Research Council meeting held there in 1989 with so many of the education professors interested in using education for transformational change of the West and its institutions at what was known to be a pivotal time in the world.

Well, we weren’t invited, were we? We will simply have to rely on the book created by participants in that meeting (many of whom already had tags on this blog because of their promotion of Vygotsky and Cultural-Historical Activity Theory) called Distributed cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations. When I was preparing to write this post I discovered an article by an Alex Kozulin called “The Concept of Activity in Soviet Psychology: Vygotsky versus His Disciples” which revealed just how active the deceit has been about the real purpose for pushing these instructional changes. Kozulin tells us that when the first major work of Vygotsky, Thought and Language, was translated into English it eliminated virtually all of the references to Marx, Engels, or Hegel and the philosophical and methodological discussions.

In other words, we in the English speaking world were to get the practices without a heads-up on the purposes. That, of course, would be known to anyone who spoke Russian and many of the behavioral scientists pushing the work. American taxpayers and parents though, if they were even aware of Vygotsky, got referred to the cleansed and much-shrunken (318 pages in Russian to 153 in English with fewer words on each page). Since this blog does not do sound effects I cannot say “we wuz robbed” in an irksome, high-pitched voice, but we were being lied to systematically from the get-go about what was sought for education just like with the “critical thinking” and outcomes-based education we have been covering.

Two of our Tortola-invited profs well-known to ISC readers, Michael Cole and Yrjo Engestrom, were kind enough to tell us what cultural-historical activity theory and its better-known sibling in our curriculum now–project-based learning–was intended to disrupt. They quoted an anthropologist from 1942, Leslie White, describing the capacity that makes human special animals and it is the capacity that transformational education or what I call Radical Ed Reform in my book MUST disrupt, impede, erect an insuperable barrier in front of, etc.:

“man differs from the apes, and indeed all other living creatures so far as we know, in that he is capable of symbolic behavior. With words man creates a new world, a world of ideas and philosophies. In this world man lives just as truly as in the physical world of his senses…This world comes to have a continuity and a permanence that the external world of the senses can never have. It is not made up of the present only but of a past and future as well. Temporally, it is not a succession of disconnected episodes, but a continuum extending to infinity in both directions, from eternity to eternity.”

That capacity reenforces building up from the world as it currently exists in light of what has worked well or poorly in the past. In other words, that capacity is in the way of political power whenever and where ever it seeks to usurp decision-making power away from the individual and bestow it to public officials at the local, state, federal, or UN/OECD global level. As my book made clear those goals had begun in earnest by 1989 in the West, especially the United States. As this blog has repeatedly made clear with cite after cite, similar goals of social, economic, and political transformation are occurring now.

The public sector at every level wants to be in charge of us and what we can become. Rather than be honest with us that they now insist on Overlord Status with no ability to escape, they are using a reimagined type of K-12 education especially to invisibly create the desired barriers. At its core that is what Project-based learning, cooperative learning, required Critical Thinking, mandated assessment of Higher Order Thinking, mental health assessments, social and emotional learning apps for students  http://about.att.com/content/csr/home/blog/2015/05/momentous_institute.html , and constructivism generally are all about: creating minds and personalities amenable to subjugation by the public sector.

And no, subjugation is not too strong a word. I am not sure slavery is either, except this time the chains are to be imposed via formative assessments and classroom activities at a neurobiological level. Cole and Engestrom tell us that the unification of the social and physical sciences like that by changing culture and then locking those changes into place at a neural level was what both John Dewey and the Soviet psychologists always wanted. Why what a wonderful reason to lock those instructional practices into place for all students in every state and then hide those mandates. Cole and Engestrom admit one more time in their own words what must be disrupted if transformational schemes of a different sort of future are to be realized. (my bolding for emphasis)

“only a culture-using human being can ‘reach into’ the cultural past, project it into the future, and then ‘carry’ that (purely conceptual) future ‘back’ into the present in the shape of beliefs that then constrain and organize the present sociocultural environment  ..

The public sector, politicians of both parties at every level, think tanks of every label along the spectrum, foundations, business cronies, self-confessed radicals are all desirous now of using K-12 education to sever that “assumption that the cultural future will be more or less like the cultural past.” Rather than saying so to our faces and dealing with our ire, we get lied to repeatedly. I believe that is why the New Standards Project simply rolled forward in 1998 in many states and six urban districts. That’s why this New Urban High School Project began at the same time and then became updated in 2008 ready to have its covert influence on all US secondary schools without anyone bothering to confess what was up.

I think this is why no one wants to talk about WIOA and its clear determination to force a planned economy in every state.  This playbook released recently http://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/resources/publications/file/2015-04-22-WIOA-playbook_updated-4.pdf makes it quite clear that plans for the entire state’s economy and all the K-12 system should be rolled into  each state’s strategies going forward.

All the active deceit involving the NCLB Rewrite and misportraying its actual language and the clear purposes has the same ultimate goal. Public sector power without confessing as much. This post is running too long to cover all of the stated purposes of the New Urban High School Project. Let’s just call attention for now to the admission that “the great power of School-to-Work is that it situates students in the adult world of work and learning, confronting them with unpredictable situations, new perspectives that cut across subject matters, and invaluable lessons in dealing with people in the world.”

School-to-Work as it is envisioned as part of this Project-based learning remake of US secondary schools severs that historic constraint that linked the cultural future with the cultural past because that cultural past ceases to be the classroom focus. There goes the constraint and no one need be the wiser. Just lots of hype about engagement and the Whole Child and how “exemplary School-to-Work practice puts students—their observations, their actions, their reflections—at the center of learning.” The hype continues without anyone admitting how well the barrier to the cultural past is being created at the level of each student’s mind. Instead we get this salesmanship, “inclusive and democratic [STW] invites students to participate in the creation of new designs for learning.”

The fascinating part for me is that both the 1998 and 2008 reports talk about each student being able to meet their district or school’s “common core goals” such as listed Habits of Mind, Student Learning Objectives, or the skills laid out in the notorious SCANS report of 1991. All of these are examples of listed “common core goals.” That means that the list of desired generic personality traits and skills your school or district is mailing out or creating as a poster on school walls is the real ‘common core’, whatever your state decides to rename its poorly appreciated state ‘standards’.

Anyone else feeling lied to and the object of social engineering to create a new kind of citizen for the future?

See why what is going on in K-12 matters to everyone even if they have no children?

Stealth Prescriptive Reframing Installs the Progressive Collectivist Vision Masked as Deferring to ‘Experts’

In the same way I could look at the vision laid out in the 1991 Learning Society paper from the last post and see the fundamental corners of what Marx and his followers called the Human Development Society, even before the writers mentioned that term without Uncle Karl’s name attached, this week there has been a series of connected reports taking us in the US and globally in the same direction. Education reform and the aims of social, economic, and political transformations always attached to it through the decades, turn out to be an awful lot like learning another language. Once we can speak it, no one needs to translate for us when we are looking at models or aims that seek to get to the same place. Different words or phrases for the same fundamental ideas simply get added to our glossary of understanding.

How many times have we heard that the schools must change in this or that manner because the ‘experts’ say so or in order to make our country ‘internationally competitive’. Going back to the 1991 paper, policymakers needed to address and redo the “evolving relationship between individual and collective needs” in order for us to be that Learning Society. In turn becoming a Learning Society was sold as necessary “in order to attain (or retain) their ability to participate successfully in the global economy.” That’s lots of fundamental shifting towards collectivism coming in and being sold surreptitiously as necessary steps to be competitive in a global economy. At least if the commands from the policymakers were to strip naked and parade in the public square as a group or stand on our head on the baseball field when our number is called, we could better notice where this is going and the utter loss of individual control.

See the Frameworks Institute is not the only one who can come up with a compelling metaphor and at least mine are more apt than blatantly manipulative.  http://frameworksinstitute.org/pubs/mm/ecs/toc.html is the link of where we are going but we need to pick up more confirmations first. A 1967 John Dewey lecture kindly laid out the definition of desired ‘learning’ to be malleable to the desired transformations. (This was before the 60s efforts described in Chapter 6 of my book ran aground). It remained the relevant definition of learning for the 1991 vision as well and it is still pertinent today. Now it tends to be sold as students having a Growth Mindset with Carol Dweck being cited as the ‘expert’ to defer to. Learning will “enable an adult to change his thought and action in response to the changes occurring around him.”

I hate to frame that desired mindset as being as spineless as a jellyfish and as flexible as an Olympic gymnast, but basically those are good metaphors for the kind of attitudes, values, and dispositions amenable to all these planned ‘progressive’ transformations. No need to inflame the public by mentioning Uncle Karl, the Deweyans call themselves progressive in their intentions and so does the Frameworks Institute. Repeatedly. Same for this recent global call to arms on making sharing and meeting human needs the new basis for the global economy.  http://www.sharing.org/sites/default/files/images/Common_Cause_WEB.pdf Must be focus groups somewhere saying ‘progressive’ is almost as cool as having a sleek sports car.

I want to go back to the dangers of this belief that we can simply use education and the ever compliant media to reframe how people perceive the world in order to make wholesale transformations palatable. Reframing allows radical changes to be invisibly put in place without most people being the wiser in time. This is from another famous progressivist education professor and psychologist, Jerome Bruner, who is famous enough to be the ‘expert’ to be deferred to as the reason changes in instruction, curriculum, and assessment must be made. This came from a 1962 book (my bolding so I can duly express appropriate outrage):

“Knowledge is a model we construct to give meaning and structure to regularities in experience. The organizing ideas of any body of knowledge are inventions for rendering experience economical and connected. We invent concepts such as force in physics, the bond in chemistry, motives in psychology, and style in literature as means to the end of comprehension.”

Professor Bruner, we did not invent the concepts of force in physics or bond in chemistry. We simply came up with an agreed upon term in English to describe an observed phenomenon. That phenomenon, and its cause and effect relationships, existed before we knew about them and regardless of what we named it. There is something objective going on that is not in fact ‘socially constructed’. It is a bit Lysenkoesque (see Chapter 3 of my book) and consistent with a desire for ideological thinking to pretend otherwise. Aptly illustrated and adequately explained all these terms do aid in comprehension, but where Professor Bruner wanted to go, and where the Frameworks Institute does go, is a push into using metaphors to enable false perceptions, incorrect interpretations, and inapt analogies. All without a body of facts to correct what is wrong with what is being provided.

“Reframing Education Using a Core Story Approach” with its tremendous support from cited well-known charitable foundations is worthy of Pravda in its declared intent to manipulate adult “internalized narratives” to create support for the type of education reforms that fit Dewey’s template or those laid out in the Learning Society report. “The goal is to produce a powerful story of education with built-in strategic subplots that can reorient and restructure how Americans think” certainly meets my personal definition of an explicit confession. Who gets to determine what Americans are to think beyond the personnel of all those foundations that pay no taxes while they advocate for collectivism for the rest of us? The report says it is “progressive educators and experts.” Like those educated by Professor Bruner or those seeking the next public or foundation grant, promotion, or consulting contract, and shilling as needed?

It’s not just education, climate change is another area where there is a conflict-ridden insistence that the public accept blindly the ‘framing’ that the ‘experts’ put forward. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/tethering-the-logical-rational-mind-via-k-12-education-to-emotionally-grounded-experience/ In both areas we find well-funded think tanks trying to determine how to alter “the dominant patterns of reasoning employed by the public” as if the US were now the Soviet Union and the think tanks had the role of Pravda. There is nothing quite like reading about a bolded “Gaps in Understanding between experts and ordinary Americans [those without Ed.D’s or degrees in public policy, sociology or anthropology, for example]–features that bring into relief the specific locations where translation is needed if expert knowledge is to become accessible to the public in understanding and reasoning about assessment, learning spaces and times, disparities, and the goal of education.”

Now I have mentioned the omission of cites to Uncle Karl in these particular reports even though the Learning Society report does admit to using the concepts of sociology, anthropology, and work with primates as metaphors for what it seeks to experiment with. Theory in Practice and let’s see what happens. My point is that the social science concepts there and the repeated mentions of deferring to experts in these other reports bring in all the tenets of these notorious collectivist political theories and the psychological and cultural research that was carried on in the Soviet Union into our children’s classrooms.Without openly admitting that crucial fact.

What’s the real support? Deferring to expert ‘knowledge’ that is actually nothing but desired theories created to enable social, political, and economic transformations in the future. If our degreed experts do not know that, the creators of the theories trying to gain implementation as ‘expert knowledge to be deferred to’ were more than explicit about what they had in mind. How does that Deferral work beyond school boards being trained to lay down to the whims of the ‘professionals’ in charge of the school districts as schools? We get Frameworks providing “Redirections, research-based recommendations that comprise the Core Story of Education, and represent promising routes for improving public understanding of learning, education and education reform.”

Prevailing cultural models and patterns really are explicitly laid out as the “challenges that the prescriptive reframing research must address.” At least when you put on glasses or put in contacts, you know they are there and how and why your vision is being prescriptively reframed. That kind of open reframing is not what is being ‘prescribed.’ Hence my hauling out the terms stealth, surreptitious, and, honestly, outright deceit, as so many connected insiders (just read the list of who support the Frameworks Institute) seek to alter how “most American make sense of new information.” They could use the motto that Reframing is not just for students or the new AP History courses anymore. It’s apparently been deemed to be a matter of 21st Century citizenship.

I want to close with a couple of the ideological doozies sold as Gaps in Understanding that are non-compliant with what experts know. “Experts understand disparities [among individuals] as a collective concern–because equal opportunity is a moral imperative.” That’s not a matter of ‘knowledge’. It’s a matter of political preference pretending to be knowledge and ignoring the realities that created those disparities. Likewise, “for experts, learning is a process of interaction” is a euphemistic way to describe education under Uncle Karl’s political and social theories and the cultural models they have inspired. Being accurate would require admitting that under the theory of dialectical materialism, education needs to be a process of personal interaction with other people and the environment. That interaction, in turn, creates the desired changes, both internally within the mind and externally within the surrounding physical world, that may enable the desired broader transformations.

Being honest as usual would impede any chance of experimenting with the future on a massive scale involving most of our collective existence. So instead we are told deceitfully we must defer to the ‘experts’.

Who frequently know far less about what is actually meaningful than we ordinary Americans.

 

 

Rejecting Reading to Avoid the Magic Elixir Bolstering of the Independent Human Mind

We are making a pit stop in our discussion of the actual global vision of how to use K-12 education to create revolutionary transformations in our social, economic, and political systems without bothering to get consent. That’s some definition of democracy, huh? We are just going to talk today about reading and why political radicals do not want a widespread ability to read well anymore. If I was a sarcastic sort, I could have called this post “Literacy to Create Malleable Illiterates Via Stealth,” but since I do not have an ironic bone in my body I decided to refrain. Ooops, maybe not. I also want to dedicate the revelations I am about to volunteer to long-time UK Reading Instruction Advocate Mona McNee, who is now 91, ailing, and wondering why authorities there continue to reject her fine work that she has made freely available. This is for you, Mona.

I have explained repeatedly that it is individual perception of reality that K-12 education seeks to attack. Within the last week the World Bank in its 2015 Report was kind enough to admit to us that it is subjective mental models being targeted in case anyone wants to think that the aspirations I am about to lay out were limited to a particular time or place. http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/Publications/WDR/WDR%202015/WDR-2015-Full-Report.pdf Now that we have recent confirmation that this all still matters, let’s go back to the Soviet Union of 1929, the year after John Dewey’s troubling trip there that I described in my book Credentialed to Destroy . Deeply disturbed that what translates into English as Abstract Objectivism and rational views of causality and “a reverence for ‘fact’ understood not in a dialectical sense but as something fixed and stable” are all impeding the revolutions in all spheres envisioned by Marx and Engels, a VN Volosinov decided it was time for Marxism to directly alter the prevailing view of language.

Why? We all want to reasonably ask. Because the traditional dictionary view of print removes words “from the pressures of the social struggle,” which is of course not OK to an ideology that turns out to be more about historical progression through various economic stages than who actually, technically, owns what. Reading instruction, like what could go on in the classroom generally, then became a means in a political struggle with the goal being to alter “the conscious, subjective human psyche” just as the World Bank still admits is its target. Both want to get at human behavior and, then and now, Mental Models are the way in. I want to stop this historical discussion for just a second to link this to our CTE emphasis in the previous post.

http://maxteaching.com/files/Cornell-U-MAX-Teaching-Study.pdf is called “Authentic Literacy Applications in CTE: Helping All Students Learn” and is used by SREB’s High Schools that Work and was created by one of the listed consultants, James Stone. It’s all about paying attention to context and situations as a guide to how words are to be interpreted, just as Volosinov wanted. We could even describe this vision of authentic CTE Literacy as dialectical. Again, this all may seem from far away, but these aims remain current. In fact, the book Marxism and the Philosophy of Language was translated into English in 1973 with Harvard controlling the English copyright. Alert readers will recognize that’s precisely when the World Order Models Project began as well as the Rand Change Agent Study looking into why the 60s radical education reforms described in Chapter 6 of my book did not go as envisioned.

One more fascinating detail setting up the assault of what would be called psycholinguistics or Whole Language in the West initially. In August 1977 Harvard Educational Review published an article by Lauren Resnick (creator of the terms Rigor and Higher Order Thinking Skills 10 years later and also on the Common Core validation committee. See Tag) and Daniel Resnick called “The Nature of Literacy: An Historical Exploration.” The paper states that it was financed by the US National Institute of Education and written during the Resnicks’ stay at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, where so much of the other elements of Radical Ed Reform and Economic Justice theory also took place. The article argues that a goal of mass literacy is unprecedented in US history and that such a goal creates the need for a new way to teach reading.

The article does not fit with my knowledge of reading history, but the mere existence of the article becomes the cite for a new way to teach reading to be imposed on all schools, especially in urban areas. That new way of teaching reading would put the emphasis not on sounds and letters since that would be a static, fixed “concern with the cadavers of written languages,” but on understanding the meaning of words “in a particular, concrete context.” The idea was that this method of teaching reading would allow language to be adaptable and changeable and fit to be a means for altering an individual’s subjective psyche to fit with the beliefs needed for the hoped-for transformations.

It is a view of language grounded in the oral traditions of preliterate or aboriginal people where words are understood to have varying meanings depending on their use to describe real things. That’s what Whole Language hoped to accomplish back in the 70s and it’s what the Common Core’s use of the required Close Reading and the term Literacy seem to mean now. It is what Volosinov said was “understanding in the proper sense of the word, i.e., orientation in the particular given context and in the particular, given situation–orientation in the dynamic process of becoming and not ‘orientation’ in some inert state.”

Dictionaries, textbooks, lectures, traditional algebra not tied to the actual world but as an abstract tool, and systematic phonetic instruction of reading are all treating language as an inert state. None of these are suitable for a world that is supposed to be in the process of guided transformations and historical change along a hoped-for pathway. In other words, none of these instructional changes is about a better way to teach or an argument over content. At its rotten core this is about traditional practices that innoculate the human mind against manipulation from outside. That’s not acceptable anytime political authority insists it has the right to transform the mental models of the masses. That was the aspiration of Power in Russia in 1929. Unfortunately it lays behind the real aspirations in the US and elsewhere in 2014.

Volosinov said that “one of Marxism’s fundamental and most urgent tasks is to construct a genuinely objective psychology, which means a psychology based on sociological [emphasis in original text], not physiological or biological, principles.” Marxism did just that and the Soviets researched precisely how to access and impact the individual, objective psyche and in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, as again I explained in the book and am supplementing here, the US imported and translated that research. It took that Marxian objective psychology and made implementing it in the classroom to alter individual students’ perceptions from the inside-out the emphasis of education degree programs, especially doctorates. It took away the offensive, but accurate, M label and simply declared the practices and policies to be Pedagogy.

Classrooms were to be experiential and those experiences were created to alter subjective perception in prescribed ways. If there was a popular outcry, parents and taxpayers were deceitfully told this was a dispute over how to teach reading and math and that the administrators were the degreed professionals that must be deferred to. Political radicals have long understood that words and vocabulary “constitute the foundation, the skeleton of inner life” and the are absolutely determined this time to irreversibly alter it. Since skeleton has a yucky factor, the same philosophy gets better names like schema, mental models, or Frameworks. The intention is the same.

What was italicized by Volosinov as superficial phonetic empiricism is a view of language that was and is in the way of the (also italicized) unity of the social milieu and the unity of the immediate social event of communication. Must be relevant to a person in a way that engages them and tied to real world problems and active and experiential like projects would be the current update of what Volosinov sought. Language must always be viewed in context just as Literacy-in-CTE lays out now.

Abstract Objectivism as a traditional, rational, content-focused subject matter view of the purpose of education and a dictionary-based phonetic view of language quite simply “exclude any possibility for the speaker’s consciousness to be actively in touch with the process of historical evolution.” Got that? Here, quickly, are the problems with language and academics unless they are playing a role in the “dynamic process” of changing what an individual values and believes.

1) The factor of stable self-identity in linguistic forms takes precedence over their mutability.

2) The abstract takes precedence over the concrete.

3) Abstract systematization takes precedence over historical actuality.

4) The forms of elements take precedence over the form of the whole.

5) Reification of the isolated linguistic element to the neglect of the dynamics of speech.

6) Singularization of word meaning and accent to the neglect of its living multiplicity of meaning and accent.

7) The notion of language as a ready-made artifact handed down from one generation to another.

8) Inability to conceptualize the inner generative process of a language.

That last one really is a confession of the extent to which the ideological focus requires drilling down into all the mental tools any individual is to have access to. This is fascinating, isn’t it, and explains so much that was previously inexplicable.

Good thing for us that the earlier “idea of language as a system of conventional, arbitrary signs of a fundamentally rational nature [as] propounded by representatives of the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century” has not yet been completely decimated by this M view of language and academic knowledge.