Metamorphizing the Function of the Human Mind Invisibly through Catchy Slogans and Phrases

The original version of this post used the term School Choice instead of Catchy Slogans and Phrases, but that seemed to imply I was picking on the Dearest Policy Desires of our new federal Secretary of Ed. So I broadened the title to make the same point. I may be able to read the School Choice layout and her AFC reports and see the plans of both Uncle Karl and what is called the systems view of education at play, but hopefully she does not. Like many people Mrs DeVos may falsely believe that her personal intentions and understandings of terms guide what they really mean and how they work in practice. That’s a dangerous belief that those surrounding her will likely encourage so let me explain why I recognize this as the Systems View of Education.

While I am at it, let me lay out a few more Catchy and Melodious slogans that are widely repeated AND headed in a different direction with a specific aim whatever the personal intentions of the advocates–Personalized Learning, Excellence, Reaching a Child’s Full Potential, and Quality Learning are a start. One more clarification as well on what I mean when I write about targeting a person’s decision-making capacity.  Another transformationalist put the importance of understanding subjective experience quite well in his book Global Mind Change. Willis Harman wrote that education and “science should now accommodate consciousness as a causal reality.” So crucial a point to target that Harman even italicized it just like that.

Boulding considered “the primacy of inner conscious awareness as a causal reality” to be so crucial if Man was to Become a Maker of History and a Driver of the Future that he gave this internalized realm of core values, concepts, and guiding perspectives the nerdiest phrase ever–noogenetics. The odd name though should not distract us from the role Boulding gave this realm in his 1978 book Ecodynamics: A New Theory of Societal Evolution. Boulding wanted to create common “mental structures and images” that would be transmitted as “learned behavior coded in nervous systems.” That’s what noogenetics and full potential means because the “biogenetic structure contributes only potential.” He told us why targeting what is internalized within a student’s mind and personality was so crucial so let’s listen:

“It may well be that biological evolution is approaching its end and that it will be succeeded by an evolutionary process wholly dominated by noogenetic processes directed by human values.”

See how Making Man Moral and Accountability fit right in with these transformational plans unless that aim for education is well disclosed and not shrouded in catchy phrases about Classical Learning, Character, or Virtuous Living? If anyone is tired of me bringing up Uncle Karl like this was a pinball game and I get 50 points for each mention, let’s listen again to what Boulding said was the purpose of what he and all the others I have now tagged to this post called General Systems Theory.

“The evolutionary vision, however, must be seen quite clearly as an alternative to Marxism as a general theory. The general idea of an overall theory of social and historical dynamic processes owes a great deal to Marx, but his particular theories are quite inadequate to describe the complexities of reality and must be relegated to the position of a rather unusual special case.”

I think that statement should have the Slogan “New and Improved” attached to Systems Science covers the relationships among all these education phrases we believe have just an innocuous, common-sense meaning. Following up on the implications of my last post’s citing of both the Right and Left public policy think tanks and academics embracing  Boulding pulled up a relevant paper written by Bela Banathy from the early 90s called “Systems Inquiry and its Application to Education.” The paper was “dedicated to the memory of my dear friend and colleague, Kenneth Boulding, one of the founders of the systems movement and the first president of the Society for General Systems Research.” As an aside, SGSR (created at Stanford) merged into ISSS–International Systems Science Society, so all this ties now too to the Laszlos, GELP, the MIT/Skolkovo 2030/2035 Project, and so much more.

In other words, this is not a history lesson and the goals Banathy laid out are still pertinent. Best then to examine the Systems View of Education since we and our children have been Ground Zero of the systems to be transformed. One more point gets clarified for those of us wondering why Mind Arson has become so common and why relatively few concepts and principles are now to serve as Knowledge, instead of a body of facts. Boulding believed systems science needed people to “develop ‘generalized ears'” that could make for common connections of understanding that would “overcome the ‘specialized deafness’ of the specific disciplines.”

I have encountered this before where what we call reason and logic or the Axemaker Mind is regarded as in the way of revolutionary social change. John Dryzek called for something very similar–communicative rationality–to accommodate the defeat of ‘capitalism’ in favor of a more economically just society he called democracy back in 1996. Last week, the Cooney Center (funded by Sesame Street revenue), the Frameworks Institute, and the New America Foundation released “STEM Starts early” that called for much the same if we read the small print, or in this case, Appendix B. It called for a “two-science approach” because “policies are the product of politics, and politics is the product of culture.” I could add that culture is an aggregate of what gets shifted when education becomes about targeting individual consciousness and what guides it, but let’s get back to quoting.

“Determining the narrative needed to engage the public…requires research. A coherent narrative can only be developed by mapping the cognitive terrain so that communicators know which ‘pictures in people’s heads’ they wish to evoke and which to bypass.”

That intrusive analysis, whether obtained by survey or student assessments looking for Higher Order Thinking Skills, is in either case carried out so that politicians, academics, think tanks (the paper keeps quoting the head of Heritage, Jim DeMint), and others “to predict what policy prescriptions are likely to ‘fit’ people’s operative cultural models.” So education operates to manipulate those internalized cultural models and also pushes Generalized Ears and communicative rationality so that “policy science can be coupled with communications science.” Well, that “two-science approach” or “systems science” is indeed a new, not appreciated enough in the least, form of self-governance. Each approach:

“emphasizes using social science to understand where ordinary Americans part way with experts, what this means for public support of [desired] policies, and what kinds of narratives help people engage, reconsider, and endorse meaningful policies.”

It is tempting to add ‘meaningful’ to whom and to wonder how we can get a job as one of those ‘experts’. Let’s get back though to Banathy’s confessions. After all, if my analysis that School Choice, as pushed by all the think tanks we have tied to PEPG and the Atlas Network, is actually a shroud covering what Banathy called GSTE–Guidance System for the Transformation of Education–we need to know its aims and elements. Banathy told us that “working with human systems, we are confronted with problem situations that comprise a system of problems rather than a collection of problems. Problems are embedded in uncertainty and require subjective interpretation…Our main tool in working with human systems is subjectivity: reflection on the sources of knowledge, social practice, community, and interest in and commitment to ideas, especially the moral idea, affectivity, and faith.”

Readers of my book Credentialed to Destroy should recognize that I have boldfaced words that fit with what the phrase Rigor actually means now and also much of what is assessed for in its name. Can we repeat Not. A. Coincidence. before moving on. Banathy did not just want to redesign and transform education, he wanted to redesign all social systems to fit the “new realities of the current era.” People, and especially children, were merely a start and the way to effect the desired change without popular outcry. Anyone implementing the systems view of education template unwittingly because they fail to understand what these catchy phrases really mean is still engaged in:

“systems design in the context of human activity systems is a future-creating disciplined inquiry. People engage in design in order to devise and implement a new system based on their vision of what that system should be.”

With only Generalized Ears and carefully instilled guiding Core Values, Ideas, and Perspectives we can all grasp that few students will be in a position to appreciate what actually cannot be as we are all encouraged to help design better tomorrows. When I was so concerned about that Roadmap for the Next Administration I uncovered before the election, this is precisely the assumption built into that Roadmap. Bela must be so pleased his and Boulding’s work endures so, even if it is dangerously wrong to be pushing via education.

“Social systems are created for attaining purposes that are shared by those in the system [see values, ideas, and perspectives above]. Activities in which people in the system are engaged are guided by those purposes. There are times when there is a discrepancy between what our system actually attains and what we designated as the desired outcome of the system. [Data, especially with respect to what counts as Learning]. Once we sense such discrepancy, we realize that something has gone wrong, and we need to make some changes in the activities or in the way we carry out activities. The focus is changes within the system.  Changes within the system are accomplished by adjustment, modification, or improvement.”

Now Banathy was talking about more than a student and education in that quote on redesigning systems, but both are included in the systems to be purposefully redesigned at the level of what creates purpose, motivates action, and guides perception. That’s what the systems view of education does under whatever catchy slogan it uses in any generation to stay under the radar of public scrutiny. It has been known as Tranzi OBE (covered in my book) and is now more commonly called Competency-Based Education. It is enshrined into the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and how states and localities must redesign education to get its funding. Both Mrs DeVos and President Trump need to accept that reality and decide what kind of a country and polity we will have with this vision of education and the “two-science” approach to managing the public that was funded by American taxpayers via the National Science Foundation.

That’s the beauty of systems science under whatever its current name acting as a cloaking device. Personal intentions can only become the point again when the elements that make education a ‘system’ designed to control what each student has internalized at a neurobiological level are grasped. Remember noogenetics? We have to understand that control over the decision-making capacity of a student so that their future behavior is now predictable and plannable is what gets touted as Evidence-Based Education grounded in science. That aim is what makes a student assessment “high-quality”. Controlling Learning at this level is what gets a charter renewed and access to federal money to expand into new states.

Where’s the Actual choice in any of these visions with this common aim?

Systems Science is really ceasing to be a catchy slogan. Best to grasp its essence before it gets yet another new name.

Making Man Moral through Integrative, Holistic Education Focused on Purpose

Sometimes these days I feel like I am a part of that old musical comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” not because all these machinations via education and deceit are funny, but because suddenly between posts something happens that proves just how correct I am on how this fits together. Last week, the blog Cafe Hayek run by George Mason economic profs mentioned a January 24 piece by “my colleague Peter Boettke on the late economist Kenneth Boulding.” Now that may seem innocuous and even dry, but there cannot be a more seminal person other than John Dewey to the sought transformation of education. Boulding laid out its purpose and how it could be used to control other social systems. Is this further evidence of a Convergence of the Right and Left Pincers we can see so much evidence of? Confessions, after all, are so much nicer.

http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2017/01/kenneth-boulding-on-the-task-of-interpretation.html is the post and it tied in my mind to why everyone suddenly wants education to be about moral values, guiding principles, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Classical Concepts, and other ideas first that can then guide a child’s perception. How they interpret their daily experiences and what they never even notice. This is the end of the Trilogy so let’s pull all this together so we can appreciate How to Invisibly Control Future Personal Decision-making with No Need to Admit It. Bolding (without the ‘u’) is mine.

“Themes without facts may be barren, but facts without theories are meaningless. It is only ‘theory’–i.e., a body of principles–which enables us to approach the bewildering complexity and chaos of fact, select the facts significant for our purposes and interpret the significance.

Indeed, it is hardly too much to claim that without a theory to interpret it there is no such thing as a ‘fact’ at all…what, then, is the ‘fact’ about the wart? [Boulding’s example that should be read in full while thinking about the meaning of Disciplinary Core Ideas or Enduring Understandings] It may be any or all of the above, depending on the particular scheme of interpretation into which it is placed.”

When I was a student, part of what made for A+ work was the ability to develop an appropriate scheme of interpretation by myself, in the privacy of my mind, using what I saw as the pertinent facts. Something that made the prof go “That’s it! Wish I had expressed it that way.” This is something else. These are essentially presupplied ‘constructs’ designed to guide perception and future action in a way that makes a person likely to desire and instigate transformational change in the circumstances we all live under. If they cannot do it, they can organize together so politicians will implement the changes. That’s why I created the term Politicalism. What Boulding was known for was “incorporating the ideas, concepts and tools from the natural sciences into social scientific analysis.” Why?

His good friend Bela Banathy, who also has a tag and was involved in the creation of the concept of charter schools and what now goes by School Choice, told this story that his close friend Boulding shared with him in 1983. In 1954, at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) where so much else was hatched:

“four Center fellows–Bertalanffy (biology), Boulding (economics), Gerard (psychology), and Rappoport (mathematics)–had a discussion  in a meeting room. Another Center Fellow walked in and asked: ‘What’s going on here?’ Ken answered: ‘We were angered about the state of the human condition’ and ask: ‘What can we–what can science–do about improving the human condition‘ Oh!’ their visitor said: ‘This is not my field.’ At that meeting the four scientists felt that in the statement of their visitor they heard the statement of the fragmented disciplines that have little concern for doing anything practical about the fate of humanity. So they asked themselves, ‘What would happen if science would be redefined by crossing disciplinary boundaries and forge a general theory that would bring us together in the service of humanity?'”

That overdone analogy to the ‘outmoded factory model of education’ is actually a cloaking metaphor to mask this complete change in the purpose of education that drove the education reforms in the 60s, 80s, and now covered in my book Credentialed to Destroy. It’s also why Tranzi OBE and Competency needed to be deliberately misdefined as we saw in the last post. Why do we keep coming across an emphasis on Character or Moral Dispositions and Attributes? Because social and political scientists like Boulding came to recognize “that the universe of ethical values is a driving force in human life” and can be altered to drive a transformation in what is acceptable in the future.

If you want to drive cultural change, alter human consciousness by instilling new ‘active principles’ that people must now use to organize their lives and institutions. Then have them practice it in the classroom or workplace or even their church until relying on these principles becomes a Habit of Mind. In his 1969 AEA Presidential Address, Boulding informed those economics professionals that “any system contains the seeds of its own transformation or future genesis, and that this works through a learning process.” See why education had to change away from an emphasis on facts? Economics was just one of the human social systems that interested Boulding and he knew change had to start with the very mental models each person internalized:

“All these social systems are linked together dynamically through the process of human learning which is the main dynamic factor in all social systems.”

That’s such a useful quote for anyone who wonders why I cannot stick to just writing about education. Because it’s a tool to a transformation for a different purpose and a new, unlikely to succeed well for most of us, vision of the future. When should we talk about it? After the carnage is more advanced and even more resources depleted in the name of education? I am going to shift away from Boulding for a moment, but his vision was covered in the Trilogy begun here with his book The Meaning of the 20th Century and its effect on the Commission on the Year 2000 covered in the post that followed. Rereading those yesterday almost took my breath away because it fits so closely with what was in the Roadmap for the Next Administration and the Architecture of Innovation on what data can be made to now do.

http://invisibleserfscollar.com/reimaging-the-nature-of-the-world-in-the-minds-of-students-alters-future-behavior-and-social-events/

This post’s title comes from a book Robert George–Princeton professor, Bradley Foundation board member, well-known spokesperson for Catholicism, and founder of the same American Principles Project that did not want to define certain terms accurately in the last post, wrote in 1993. If ‘common guiding principles’ and shared meanings are in fact what makes people and organizations act as ‘systems’ as Boulding and systems science generally believed, it makes perfect sense not to concede that is what ALL Competency-based education reforms, and what I nicknamed Tranzi OBE, are about. The aims are no different then from the Catholic Curriculum Framework although some of the offered concepts, principles, and the justifications for the changes may differ.

Like Boulding in the quote Boettke chose or in my quotes from his 1969 AEA address, George in his making men moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality wanted education to provide “first principles of practical reason…to guide choice and action.” Fascinating, huh? Everybody seems to want to carve that rudder that will guide future decision-making without being forthright on the connection. All we get are School Choice!, Federal Misedukation, and Autonomy to the Locals and parents. Some autonomy as both education and “laws have a legitimate subsidiary role to play in helping people to make themselves moral.” Then sell it to parents that way and admit Classical Education IS designed to create a steerable rudder both parents and students are not being told about.

Character is a wonderful thing, but not when it operates at an unconscious level as a Habit of Mind and parents are not told that their children are being steered in the name of Goodness. Truth. and Beauty or Equity and Justice or Sustainability or other Guiding Principles to guide practical reason and likely future action. The same Spiritual and Moral Framework that can be used by New Agers like the Ross School from the last post or Social Justice Warriors grounded in Paulo Freire Pedagogy for the Oppressed aligns with the aim of instilled Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions from the Catholic Curriculum Frameworks. They ALL want to provide the ideas, emotional motivations, and values students internalize as their guide to future decision-making. School now wants to provide their purpose for living and the vision of what the future might be.

To truly get the dangers of this personalized, student-centered, transformative vision of education perhaps it will help if we follow those Moral and Spiritual Frameworks (as well as the cited Ron Miller’s “What are Schools For?”) right straight to a School of Education and Psychology in Isfahan, Iran. If “Holistic Education: An Approach for 21st Century” from 2011 is okay with the mullahs and their tyrannical vision of people, we really need to quit using the word ‘autonomy’ to describe the student when this vision of education is through with them. Yes, they have a purpose, but is it really theirs? I will quote from the Abstract because it fits with the vision I have described in this Trilogy. Think of the implications of that.

“Holistic education encompasses a wide range of philosophical orientations and pedagogical practices. Its focus is on wholeness, and it attempts to avoid excluding any significant aspects of the human experience. It is an eclectic and inclusive movement whose main characteristic is that educational experiences foster a less materialistic and more spiritual worldview along with more dynamic and holistic views of reality.

It also proposes that educational experience promote a more balanced development of–and cultivate the relationship among–the different aspects of the individual (intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional, social and Aesthetic), as well as the relationships between the individual and other people, the individual and natural environment, the inner-self of students and external world, emotion and reason, different disciplines of knowledge and forms of knowing, holistic education is concerned with life experience, not with narrowly defined ‘basic skills.'”

Doesn’t that life experience/basic skills distinction sound just like the erroneous definition of Competency from the last post? Isn’t the US goal of College and Career Ready just another euphemism for this holistic life experience vision that seeks to control what gets internalized to guide the adults our children will become?

How is it not authoritarian for any government at any level to make education holistic or integrative using those aims?

How on Earth can this really be “education for humanity” when the type of human we become is subject to undisclosed political control?

Fracturing the Personal and Social Failsafes and Omitting the Most Pertinent Parts of the Plans

Now don’t visualize Failsafe in the sense of Peter Sellers in Dr Strangelove unless those graphics help with a proper sense of urgency at what we are facing in the name of ‘education’ for ‘our children.’ I actually am using failsafe in the dictionary meaning of “compensating automatically and safely for a failure, as of a mechanism or power source.” I would add people as well as we can adjust ourselves to thwart the reality of what is happening unless the offered narrative is false. Our ability to adjust our outrage is also offline if education has been changed to deliberately manipulate our emotions so certain responses and likely interpretations are neurally locked in in advance.

In the recent ACES post, I finished by saying we would turn to emotions and here we are. Carefully documenting the media manipulation and the parts of the story being ably omitted lest we become informed and outraged. If anyone thinks it is conspiratorial to imagine active coordination around deceit, last week the National PTA in a letter to fed ED on regulations on required parental engagement under ESSA, requested the use of “Leading by Convening: A Blueprint for Authentic Engagement.”  http://www.ideapartnership.org/documents/NovUploads/Blueprint%20USB/NASDSE%20Leading%20by%20Convening%20Book.pdf That way parents could be Delphied into useful beliefs about what ESSA does that have actually nothing to do with its mandates or shifts.

Remember sociologist Anthony Giddens telling us that behavioral scientists know that what guides and motivates behavior is not what is actually true, but what is personally and emotionally believed to be true? Let’s take a look at the organized media juggernaut on hyping emotion as the key to learning. On April 27, 2016 Education Week wrote a story called “Emotions Help Steer Students’ Learning, Studies Find: Scholar sees passion as mind’s rudder” which hyped the work of Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and her new book Emotions, Learning, and the Brain. Here’s the lead quote that should probably be read with a reminder that one of the definitions of using cybernetics in education is to create a steerable keel with a student’s mind and personality. One that is locked in neurally that the student is largely unaware of.

“People think of emotion getting in the way of cognition, but it doesn’t. Emotion steers our thinking; it’s the rudder that directs our mind and organizes what we need to do.”

Gives new meaning certainly to a declared goal of ‘standards-based reforms’ and competency-based education that seek to create Habits of Mind and desired Dispositions and Attributes to be deemed College, Career and Citizenship Ready, doesn’t it? That hyping article was followed by a May 4 New York Times piece called “To Help Students Learn, Engage the Emotions.” It also hyped the same professor’s work exclusively with more quotes that resonate with initiatives like Hewlett’s Deeper Learning (omitted from article) where “It is literally neurobiologically impossible to think deeply about things that you don’t care about.” Really? How about the insistence that it is the:

“emotional connection that can result when teachers make learning personally relevant to students is what differentiates superficial, rote, topical assimilation of material from a superlative education marked by deep mastery and durable learning.”

In other words, it is experiences carefully crafted for the classroom so that what will guide and motivate future student behavior gets practiced and then locked in at an unconscious level. Talk about bypassing any personal failsafe. And this is the kind of ‘meaningful learning’ that CCSSO, Linda Darling-Hammond and groups connected to her are calling for as the new form of accountability under ESSA. Oh the things that get left out when the article also hyped “the best, most durable learning happens when content sparks interest, when it is relevant to a child’s life, and when the students form an emotional bond with either the subject at hand or the teacher in front of them. Meaningful learning happens when teachers are able to create an emotional connection to what might otherwise remain abstract concepts.”

How did I ever pass the bar exam without this kind of instruction? Now before we get back to what else is being left out, let me assure you I have the 1979 book created from the February 1977 symposium titled “Toward the Human Use of Human Beings: A Cybernetic Approach to the Assessment of Children” held in Denver. I may be able to recognize a cybernetic focus by how it functions, but that is no where close to the end of my proof. I also have open declarations on this “interdisciplinary attempt to apply the principles of cybernetics, the science of control and communication, to certain issues of child development” via American education and needed reforms.

Also in my library of research for the sequel to Credentialed to Destroy was a 1994 book by a USC neurobiologist, Antonio Damasio, called Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. Query: do Immordano-Yang and Damasio work together? Just imagine if the writers of these hyping articles had mentioned that Prof I-Y wrote the journal for the International Mind, Body, and Education Society (IMBES) I have alarmingly covered. What if the Brain Creativity Institute is involved in all this sudden BRAIN Initiative NSF and NIH gushes of federal money? Just a little digging an up came this joint published article “We Feel, Therefore We Learn: The Relevance of Affective and Social Neuroscience to Education” from 2007.

Now the first line of the abstract “highlighting connections between emotion, social functioning, and decision-making” should remind all of us that ACES theorizes that people are now to be Anticipatory Cognitive Embodied Systems and thus easily manipulable via education. Our transformative systems thinkers like Kenneth Boulding also wanted us to be reconceptualized as ‘goal-seeking, purposeful systems.” Is that also the vein of all this sudden hyping of the role of emotions in learning. Even if I did not have Damasio’s books, there are hints just in that article that all these pushes are consistent with professors who also want to see Values as the Drivers of Human History and education to create a new Science of Virtues because the article opens with a mention on:

“how culture shapes learning, and ultimately the development of morality and human ethics. These are all topics of eminent importance to educators as they work to prepare skilled, informed and ethical students who can navigate the world’s social, moral, and cognitive challenges as citizens.”

I always want to insert ‘comrade’ as an adjective in front of that kind of vision of the purpose of education to be a ‘citizen,’ but then gallows humor is a part of how I deal with all the open declarations I uncover. The GSV San Diego conference did not just tout the increased annual spending for the BRAIN Initiative. It also called explicitly for the Acceleration of Ideas that Address the Integration of Mind, Body, and Soul.” Sounds like values and emotions are to be neurally integrated via K-12 education practices is required federal policy and investors want to pile into tech companies with a means to do just that. Still all omitted from the official narrative unless we monitor these meetings and recognize co-partners of who is being officially touted.

Federally funded brain research and required education practices to foster and invisibly manipulate a hope that “our brains still bear evidence of their original purpose: to manage our bodies and minds in the service of living, and living happily, in the world with other people.” Now I would start to get nervous if I was constantly encountering attempts to enshrine a communitarian ethos in Positive School Climate Presidential Executive Orders or the actual definition of what Career Ready really meant. Now I would really get nervous if that 2007 article had a graphic of what it hyped as the desired Emotional Thought with this subheading:

“The evolutionary shadow cast by emotion over cognition influences the modern mind. In the diagram, the solid ellipse represents emotion, the dashed ellipse represents cognition. The extensive overlap between the two represents the domain of emotional thought. Emotional thought can be conscious or nonconscious and is the means by which bodily sensations come into our conscious awareness. High reason is a small section of the diagram and requires consciousness.”

No declarations that the small area of high reason needs to be smothered further via education reforms and required practices, but there is a hope to “produce the sort of automatic moral decision making that underlies intuitive notions of good and evil” that appears more social and political than “lying is bad and murder is wrong.” Let’s turn to Descartes’ Error and see what it tells us on why hyping and controlling emotion via education is so crucial. Well, consisting with taking the failsafes away from the steering of the student we have Damasio telling us that “emotion and feeling, central aspects of biological regulation,…provide the bridge between rational and nonrational processes, between cortical and subcortical structures.”

Just the thing, in other words, to be the openly declared object of required education practices and declared federal research priorities that then get deceitfully explained or not covered at all when talking to students and their parents. Damasio’s book laid out use of emotion to create what he called somatic markers and even italicized. Nary a mention though in either those Times or Ed Week stories. Now what happens when these carefully cultivated, emotionally-laden, nonconscious somatic markers neurally embedded and part of what is being assessed as Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understanding or Meaningful Learning was created to quietly acheive the declared goals of affirming ” a new level of being in which one can invent new artifacts and forge more just ways of existing”?

Now who would have suspected such nice stories could involve so much more? That the ‘learning experiences’ being loaded into the cloud or instilled in an adaptive, digital learning virtual reality game were created by developers hoping to create nonconscious somatic markers. That the developers and research profs knew that “most somatic markers we use for rational decision making were created in our brains during the process of education and socialization, by connecting specific classes of stimuli with specific classes of somatic state. In other words, they are based on the process of secondary emotions.”

All of this psychological and neuroscience research is being forced into required educational practices and no one is accurately telling us unless we dig as I do. Then we get to discover that those ‘secondary emotions’ being carefully hyped and manipulated are “those emotions and feelings [that] have been connected, by learning, to predicted future outcomes of certain scenarios.” Those were professor Damasio’s italics for emphasis in his book. Can the student know the future? No but they are being trained with Guiding Fictions ‘as if’ certain possibilities could be made true. Then the tasks are repeated until the emotionally-embued perception becomes a nonconscious Habit of Mind.

Just imagine making the definition of ‘success’ under the new federal education law or competency as about successfully planning and making decisions without adding that the decision making will be guided by instilled somatic markers. Those nonconscious emotions then become the ‘criteria…which express, at any given time, the cumulative preferences we have both received and acquired.”

Gives a whole new conception as to choice about what is ‘received and acquired’, doesn’t it?

Does ‘student-centered learning’ that is relevant and engaging still seem like a good goal to be blindly implementing for ALL students?

 

Straddling the Worlds of Action and Knowledge: Values as the Driving Force of History

Let’s go back to that aspiration for “Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge” from the last post since what has been admitted as being ‘controversial departures from the Western traditions’ is laid out in documents we were never supposed to see. We were to simply accept vague terms like ‘standards-based reforms’ being mandated for the classroom as within the unquestionable domain of anyone with an education degree. Even if the implementers and school and district leaders are totally unaware that there is an underlying controversy or that the real purpose of a required practice is that: “we are perhaps ready now to apply Marx’s dictum–that the point was not to understand history, but to change it–in a way quite different from what he intended.”

Now, shouldn’t that aim be accurately understood and not simply rolled into standards, pedagogy, and practices like Project-Based Learning or formative assessment via virtual reality gaming? Now the author of that quote, who also saw people as merely the steerable “individual elements of a complex system” went on to state a view of education and its new transformative aims at a neural level that we must pay attention to if we are to have any hope of avoiding the “leveling the playing field” plans for us. Seriously that is a quote from the Global Silicon Valley ed tech investment bankers and their 2020 Vision: A History of the Future publication that coincided with their well-attended summit in San Diego a few weeks ago. They even paid a stipend to make sure leaders from all the Congressionally sanctioned and White House favorite League  of Innovative Schools districts were all in attendance.

The conclusion laid out the vision of “initiatives to create equal access for all Americans to participate in the future.” I have covered the federal BRAIN Initiative before that began in 2013, but this document announced that the funding had been increased “from $100 million to $500 million per year, aiming to create a dynamic understanding of brain function in a decade–doing for neuroscience what the Human Genome Project did for genomics. Importantly, we narrowed the program’s focus to two key objectives; mapping the circuitry of the brain, and then applying this knowledge to improving the design of education models/product and curing cognitive disorders.”

We have to wonder if being insufficiently communitarian will become classified as a ‘cognitive disorder’ in the future given how that ethos has made it into everything from Career Ready Standards to what constitutes a Positive School Climate and unappareciated obligations now in Student Handbooks. Mapping the human genome though did not alter what had been mapped. The whole purpose of the BRAIN Initiative though is to develop education models, products, curriculum, and ed tech software to rewire that brain circuitry to create the citizens amenable to political planning of economies and societies in the name of Equity. I quoted equal access above as the intent. The document reiterated the point of the “Mapping of the Mind” yet again by pointing out that the point of “optimizing the way we learn” was “to level the playing field and create a more productive workforce.”

Productive to whose benefit is a fair question, but let’s go back to the “A New Logic of Human Studies” essay from 1988 that our title and the Marxian quote above came from where Frederick Turner said “our hardwiring–whose proper development we neglect in our education at great peril–is designed to make us infinitely inventive.” Inventive as in not bound by what has worked well in the past and with the “Rethinking of Patterns of Knowledge” emphasis, no likely knowledge of what has factually led to the great nightmares of history when political power had no check on what it could force people to do.

If that seems melodramatic, my tiptoeing through the cited footnotes regularly forces me to encounter passages like how transformative social and political theories always also need new concepts, ideas, and categories to mentally guide perception in desired ways. Then I see the shout out to someone notorious like a Marx or a Hegel and then I get to see the same concepts whitewashed and introduced as Understandings of Consequence that must have applications to the real world. The philosophers will write about the need to ‘control meaning’ so that ” a rational consensus on the part of citizens concerning the practical control of their destiny” can be ‘attained.’ The educators simply take the same aims and goals and enact it blindly and under coercion of job loss in the name of authentic learning and a New Civics.

We know that the National Institutes of Health is pushing a Science of Virtues with help from the Templeton Foundation because I covered that here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/locating-the-internalized-information-guiding-human-behavior-so-it-can-be-controlled-and-transformed/
in March. We know Character is being added as a requisite component next fall for assessment in California. Now take that reality and tie it to this aspiration from Turner:

“The real forces at work on the stage of history are values. And values are uniquely qualified for a role both as tools to understand history and as forces at work in it. One qualification is just that: they straddle the worlds of action and knowledge, they admit candidly our involvement, our partisanship, our partiality and our power. Objectivity in a historian is an impossible goal in any case. Another qualification of values is that they give a kind of direction to history, the possibility of progress, which as we have seen is the logical precondition of any inquiry. [bolded because this is the entire focus of Project-Based Learning] Values are essentially dynamic, readjusting, contested, vigorous, as the word’s derivation from the Latin for ‘health,’ and its cognate ‘valor’ imply.”

So if we change values in students and the public at large we can change what motivates people to act to transform the world as it is. Transform the categories and prevailing concepts and ideas of thought and we can change people’s perceptions of the need to act. A powerful combination together in other words when both of those things become the focus of education, especially when locking in the changes at a neural biological level is the true goal. Now lets come back to the future and this terribly well connected report https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Pathways_New-Accountability_Through_Every_Student_Succeeds_Act_04202016.pdf tied to Stanford and Linda Darling-Hammond and the call for “achieving an equitable school system that leads to meaningful, relevant, and engaging learning opportunities for all students.”

If that vision sounds like it has the makings for the very type of straddling called for in Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge, there’s more even beyond a conclusion calling for “evidence-based interventions that support deeper learning in contexts that further equity goals.” The report list three pillars for this new system states and local districts are to create and one of them is the undefined term–‘meaningful learning.’ Except it was not undefined to me because I knew it was a term tied to cognitive scientist Joseph Novak who helped develop all the theories of concept mapping and internalized mental models in the first place. Remember the useful partner to transformed values laid out above?

Meaningful Learning is actually a global phrase for Novak’s transformative theory of education he has been writing about since the 60s. This article from Brazil http://www.if.ufrgs.br/asr/artigos/Artigo_ID7/v1_n2_a2011.pdf explains that “Meaningful Learning underlies the Constructive Integration of Thinking, Feeling, and Acting Leading to Empowerment for Commitment and Responsibility.” How’s that for the desired straddle? And conveniently locked into the legal obligation under federal and state laws as a new concept of accountability where no one is likely to notice the true nature of the required shift. Who would ever track this all back to being a Marxian Maker of History other than Robin who reads too much (and who notices even more) now that we are so fully on the right track.

How useful is this to seeing people as goal-seeking systems who can be redesigned at a neural level as needed for the hoped-for transformation? That paper was presented at Porto Allegre, which is known as the city that first developed the concept of ‘participatory budgeting.’ That’s the idea that the poor and various ethnic groups have a stake and the right to a say in determining how much, and for what, government budgets are to be spent. Just this morning one of my newsletters wrote about how participatory budgeting is catching on at the local levels of cities in the US as a means to promote Equity.

Use government spending to promote Equity and education to transform values and the internalized categories and conceptions of thought to “level the playing field” as the GSV report put it. Accountability needs ‘meaningful learning’ because insiders who create these policies and who wrote the Every Student Succeeds Act know quite well that “knowledge stored during meaningful learning is fundamentally organized differently than knowledge learned by rote, and affective associations are also different” as Novak put it in 2011. He also wrote that as “we learn new concepts and propositions, we are really learning the meanings of the concepts and the relationships between them. Through the process of meaningful learning, concepts and propositions are organized into the cognitive structure of our brains.”

That cognitive structure and what education can do to alter it is precisely what the US federal government admits it is now spending $500 million per year to map for the purposes of Equity and leveling the playing field via education.

In the next post I will cover the ‘affective’ component of meaningful learning using numerous examples from just the last few weeks. With a few trips back in time of course so we can have an accurate narrative of what is being attempted here instead of the Faux Narrative the Powers-that-Be had planned for us to simply accept.

Futuribles: Seeking the Levers of History by Focusing on the Types of Individuals In Societies to be Governed

Please try not to get whiplash as we move back and forth through the decades. Just this week the OECD conceded openly that instead of focusing on structures and incentives, which both traditional government approaches and New Public Management theory (arose in the 1980s and 90s and tied to what is also called the Third Way) “are prone to do, it is more important and fruitful to focus on the type of individuals, particularly their competences and skills, which are populating these governance structures.” Explains so much, doesn’t it? That’s why education now targets what the Paris-based Futuribles initiative funded by the Ford Foundation in the early 60s called the ‘inner self’.

http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2016/04/governing-complex-education-systems.html is the truly stunning confessional document on ‘steering’ people and places to fit with desired theories of change in the “socials sciences, it [complexity theory, which the OECD itself states is akin to the Dynamic Systems Theory fiction we met in the last post] offers a metaphor, or a lens, through which we might better understand what it takes to initiate and sustain systemic change.” All of our recent encounters with various members of the Atlas Network and their frequent teaming now with either the Brookings Institute or Center for American Progress makes much more sense when we recognize that the official OECD position on how to achieve “socio-historical change in human society” is through “policy making” and changes in consciousness.

This is also why it matters so much that, unbeknownst to us, the behavioral sciences have been thoroughly embedded in education ‘reforms.’  They now define students as ‘goal-seeking systems’ as Boulding laid it out. Competency-based education and ‘evidence-based policy in education’ are simply the newest obscuring euphemisms for what the Futuribles contemplated as the way to use education to ensure that the “social sciences should orient themselves toward the future.” Futuribles wanted “to instigate or stimulate efforts of social and especially political forecasting.” It would be based on using the human imagination, unrestrained by fact-based moorings to the present or the past, to speculate on different futures and then to motivate personal action to make it so.

Quoting Destutt de Tracy who was declared to have “said very well: ‘It is the constant march of the human mind. First it acts, then it reflects on what is has done, and by so doing learns to do it still better.'” That’s the theory of education being espoused now when we hear a Principal or Super declare that a school or district no longer embraces a ‘deficit view of the child.’ For any readers who are unaware, the same Ford Foundation funding the Futuribles research organization and the translation of The Art of Conjecture into English in 1967 also financed the creation of our often-encountered Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in the 50s. That would also be the place where Kenneth Boulding and others created systems theory.

A chapter of that book is called “The Project” and seeks to use mental images “that do not represent any reality past or present” to become a person’s goals for acting in the future. Here is the vision for the Project (italics in original).

“There is no volition without object, and the object of a volition is that a fiction of the mind become a ‘fact’. This fact is the goal of action (in the sense of ‘action’ defined below). When we retain a fiction as something to be enacted, it serves as the source of systematic action. This fiction–a non-fact–can be situated only in the future, which is necessary as a receptacle for a fiction accompanied by an injunction to become real.”

I am going to stop for a moment to come back to the present. Just this week I got an announcement from a company called ProExam of a new product called Tessera that could be used by schools to assess non-cognitive attributes and qualities of students using what it called Forced Choice and Situational Judgment scenarios. It also reminded educators that these social and emotional learning attributes were now a statutory mandate for measuring and monitoring under federal law. Now we can go back to what was laid out in 1967 in the intro to the next chapter called ‘The Conditional’:

“I have formed a representation that does not correspond to observable reality and placed it in a domain suited to receive it; now my activity tends toward validation of what my imagination has constructed. [Anyone tying this aim then to the rise of Project-Based Learning and the Maker Movement now?] For the event to comply with my design, the moral force of my intention must hold and push me on the road to the goal. But the road must really lead to the goal; and this implies that the appropriate road has been discerned (an intellectual operation). Hobbes put it all like this: ‘For the thoughts are to the desires as scouts, and spies to range abroad, and find the way to the things desired.'”

The goal then is “like a beacon beckoning me.” Those of you who have read my book know how much research I laid out showing that the real Common Core implementation targets ‘values, attitudes, and beliefs’ as a means to change behavior in the future. On top of those disclosures, let’s now overlay this Futuribles recognition from that same chapter:

“Any power, whether social or political, is maintained by people’s attitudes; any project, short or long, shallow or profound, is founded on their attitudes and behavior. Now each of us is capable of changing his attitude and behavior…Concerning the individuals of a society, we cannot doubt that they have received a code of behavior from their family and from society, that they are subject to pressure from their fellow men, and that they are pushed into particular roles.

But we also know that they are able to form and pursue projects. And each project is the germ of a shoot which may or may not be propitious for the maintenance of the general form of the society. Lesage once made use of a Lame Demon who unroofed houses to reveal what was going on inside. Let us suppose that this diable boiteux could reveal people’s minds in the same way, enabling us to surprise the projects each member of society forms in his inner self.

We could then apprehend, at their origin, those shoots which as they grow will deform the familiar social surface and produce swellings, fractures, and cracks. What will these changes be? How can they be foreseen? Here lies the subject that preoccupies us.”

And I would add that this is the subject that has preoccupied all so-called K-12 education reforms globally from the 60s forward under a variety of names. It absolutely is the lodestar of what is mandated under ESSA and what practices are required to merit federal funding and expansion of charter schools. It also is what drives the social and economic steering visions laid out in that graphic OECD report that is part of its New Approaches to Economic Challenges(NAEC)  initiative. Given that the acknowledged target of all these education reforms is the inner self, which is why I bolded it, we should read carefully that a key component to “building the systemic capacity of the government to improve policy design, steering, and implementation” is Trust.

I am sure that it is entirely coincidental that the same theme of Trust was a major component of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s recent speech on public policy. As the OECD laid out as the requisite means for Governing Complex Systems that includes people and their inner selves (their competences and skills, remember?), “the public’s trust in government must be reenforced, and efforts must be made to strengthen institutions and build capacity across different dimensions of trust (e.g. reliability, fairness and impartiality, integrity and honesty, and inclusiveness).”

That VA Scandal and the lack of actual consequences is just so darn inconvenient to this trust demand, isn’t it? All of our encounters with think tanks and what I call the Faux Common Core narrative, as well as deceit surrounding the nature of federalism and the Constitutional Convention calls, makes much more sense when we throw in this quote:

“Which outcome is realised in the social sciences is a question of intervention at as many levels as possible: for example, at the macro-structural level [WIOA] and at the intentional human agency level [ESSA], so that sufficient momentum is generated in a particular direction to displace the inertial momentum of the current dispensation and to create a dominant inertial momentum for the desired changes.”

Not the desired changes you or I might seek, but the changes desired by political and economic power to secure the futures they seek. DST from the last post, and complexity theory to the OECD oligarchs and their allies, is “first and last, about reaching critical mass among the diverse range of factors, elements and agents that constitute a particular environment.” In other words, complexity theory sounds more scientific that simply citing to the infamous Uncle Karl, but still allows political power to guide the so-called Scientific Management of Society he and the USSR dreamed of.

Instead of openly decreeing the institution of his Human Development Society that is also known as little ‘c’ communism to political theorists, we get the same ends approached through ‘complexity theory.’ We are all to still be the Governed with our inner selves measured and manipulated as “new properties and behaviors in the education system, emerges from the interaction of a myriad factors in the economic, political, social, and cultural environments in which education is situated.” Those would be the same environments currently targeted for steering via legislation that starts with Congress and the federal agencies and goes straight through to all of our local communities. All targeted for steering in the 21st Century.

If this sounds like we are to have sovereigns and be ruled, like it or not, the OECD paper actually used that word when it stated that “complex societies cannot be ruled rationally from one centre, if only because the amount of information that needs to be processed to make that possible far outstrips what any central government can achieve.” I guess that means that we are guided by oligarchs who believe there is nothing wrong with ruling per se. Governance is just a matter of finding better methods, starting again with that inner self.

Next time a think tank or politician hypes the ‘local’ or a private provider as the “Conservative’ position, remember that the OECD said that “privatisation and decentralization are not just about raising efficiency. They can be interpreted as ways in which national governments are moving power to places better able to handle the complexities of global, liquid, and interdependent societies.”

If governance in the 21st century and the Levers of History really have decreed the Inner Self as the key to sustainable change, it certainly does explain why there has been so much deceit surrounding what is really going on in education.

“We are creating the citizens who will be amenable to being governed” is certainly not why we send our kids to school and pay all the taxes that support this industry.

Frankly admitting that the true global aim after the Fall of the Berlin Wall was that “Power has moved away from central governments in different directions: upwards, toward international organizations, sideways to private institutions and non-governmental organizations, and downwards toward local governments and public enterprises such as schools and hospitals” would have each of us reexamining the load of deceit doled out by politicians of both parties over the last thirty years.

Mustn’t have us accurately reexamining the provided narrative of the past. History, after all, is now about imagining what the future could be and what must be done to act to achieve those goals.

The beauty of theorizing that we are all now just goal-setting systems and subject to manipulation by political power.

 

Statutorily Stipulating a Science of the Individual Driven by Useful Internalized Guiding Fictions

The first question then is “Useful to Whom”? Not the students themselves or the adults they will become, but useful to anyone seeking to benefit from this collectivist, steerable, scientifically-managed society and economy we just keep encountering. Useful to the decision-making oligarchs in this hoped for Upravleniye vision. The entire basis of the steerability must get at what each person has internalized at the level of the human mind and personality. Taking comfort that I am probably just exaggerating to drive sales of my book Credentialed to Destroy? Here is the link to the 2013 Harvard Ed School paper called “The Science of the Individual”  https://www.gse.harvard.edu/~ddl/articlesCopy/FischerGroundwork.MBE2009.3.1.pdf

There is a lot in that paper about the “new capacity based on technological innovation to collect and analyze massive amounts of data on individuals…for building realistic models of individual behavior, learning, and development.” What I want to talk about in this post is the confession about the “invention of a framework that can sustain a science of the individual.” In other words, the offered up theory–Dynamic Systems Theory–need not be factually true if enacting its practices through federal and state law mandates and required classroom implementations that get promotions for Principals and lucrative administrative jobs in central offices like being a District Super. Not true but useful to the Politically Connected.

Am I being mean here? No, DST grew out of NIH-funded research at Indiana University and its creators in 1994 classified this learning theory as “consistent with theories of the social construction of knowledge and in fact offers a biologically plausible mechanism for such a process.” Translated into English, the researchers want it to be true because advocating for the theory earns grants. Implementing the theory in school classrooms can have useful effects on guiding and motivating students to behave in desired ways that will ultimately be grounded, if the ‘research’ goes as hoped, into the students’ neural synapses. To quote again, “a dynamic systems approach to cognition and action provides a biological ground for cultural and contextual accounts of human cognition.”

Why am I hyping on these confessions? Because these are the theories adopted for the classroom in the famous 2012 federal “Education for Life and Work” report covered here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/so-now-common-core-rejects-individual-thinking-to-embrace-soviet-psychology-ecology/ It is the theory guiding both the new federal education Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and its companion 2014 federal Upravleniye legislation WIOA. That 2013 Harvard paper above is part of the IMBES–International Mind, Behavior, Education Society work and this 2014 meeting in Ft Worth, Texas shows just how thoroughly what ought to be off-limits in a free society and what used to be known as cybernetics research is rolling right into Texas classrooms, especially, with nary a barrier to entry.

http://www.imbes.org/Resources/Documents/2014%20IMBES%20Program%20FINAL%20for%20web%20%281%29.pdf They even have state legislators there describing how to get these theories and practices into effect. David Rose, the creator of that very same Universal Design for Learning covered in my book as incorporated into the Common Core required implementation, and now mandated in ESSA, was a speaker. Did you know he is a co-author of the US Educational Technology Plan? Another speaker, Fumiko Hoeft, is described as “interested in ‘understanding interaction between academic achievement, cognitive abilities, external environment, and [the student’s] ‘internal environment’ such as resiliency, self-esteem, grit and motivation.”

In other words, all the hype about instilling grit, resilience, and perseverence is not about creating those qualities. It’s simply as excuse to assess and collect data on what yet another speaker there, Paul van Geert (a name I recognized from systems theorizing) referred to as the simplex system. In a 2014 paper called “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? The Dynamic Interplay Between Educational Practice, Policy and Research” defined what he meant by  a simplex system. He was referring to people and what they have internalized. He used italics for emphasis so so shall I.

“We define such a simplex system as a connected whole of beliefs, representations, values, emotions, habits, practices and material tools that serves as a simplifying representation of the overarching complex system in which a person participates and that organizes the participants’ actions.”

When the Faux anti-Common Core Narrative makes protecting Personally Identifiable Information the focus of their False Flag coordination it leaves no obstacle to manipulating each student’s simplex system as needed so they are amenable to the Upravleniye vision of the 21st Century. When the same groups keep hyping ‘standardized testing’ they create popular support for a switch to the formative assessments (covered in detail in my book) that are far more effective at altering this individual simplex system than anything that can be put on a multiple-choice test of knowledge.

When I was following up on the implications of Kenneth Boulding’s definition of people as purposeful, goal-seeking systems and what that really meant ‘student achievement’ and ‘success’ were now about (my child can meet the behavioral goals prescribed by government officials who want to steer!!Hallelujah, indeed), I kept encountering references to a 1976 book Ego Development where I encountered this alarming passage: “The drives, including the sex drive, are subordinated to a person’s goal or purpose in life, his guiding fiction. The philosophical concept of the fiction was developed by Vaihinger (1911). Fictions are not fantasies but predictive schemes necessary to orient oneself in the world; they are subjective, created by the person, and unconscious in some sense.”

Now by the time I encountered that passage I had read The Scientific Management of Society and recognized the deliberate targeting via assessment and data collection of what we are now calling that internalized simplex. I knew that was what personalized learning was really getting at. I recognized, in other words, the Upravleniye implications if all the mind arson we are encountering and Inapt Metaphors being pushed was actually about Our Steering Keelsmen, in political office or public policy, wanting to create Guiding Fictions because they would be useful in creating that invisible noetic keel. Turned out Vaihinger’s book had recently been brought back into print.

A German, writing before the Great War and very concerned about the warlike, aggressive nature of the German people since the 1871 Franco-Prussian War, Vaihinger wanted to dictate and control “those ideas, associations of ideas, and conceptual constructs” which guide an individual’s perception. As if that’s not enough, given the current HOTS mandate in ESSA for annual assessment and the stipulation of CDIs–Core Disciplinary Ideas and CCCs–Cross-Cutting Concepts and Themes in Common Core and its state successors–Vaihinger also wished to limit thought to what was needed for practical action. Sounds just like Competency to me!

Here is his theory of Guiding Fiction (and his italics). Think about the Planning Potential of  inaccurate concepts and categorization prescribed by political power, to be instilled by education, under a government mandate. A potentially useful policy to the Steerers, if not to the Steered Student. Just “because such constructs are devoid of reality they are not to be regarded as devoid of utility…Any true insight into the psychological setting and origin of knowledge proves that many things may be theoretically wrong and yet from a practical standpoint be fruitful in results, taking the term ‘practical,’ of course, in a wide sense.”

Let’s go back to that fictional framework Dynamic Systems Theory that can be the foundation of useful classroom practices for guiding, limiting, and predicting thought itself. For motivating desired behaviors in an Upravleniye society where we have become the Governed. The DST authors insisted that there are “compelling theoretical reasons for not putting the cause of developmental change in the frontal lobe.” What if the reasons are that such factually-informed, personally-sculpted Axemaker Minds are simply not amenable to being Governed and will certainly notice all the hoped-for steering and desired false guiding narratives?

DST wants to make the individual-in-context the focus because that theory is useful for Social Engineering purposes, not because it is true. It stresses Perceive. Act. Think. as the desired order because it too wants to limit the nature of thought to what is “emergent from the activities of everyday life.” Just like John Goodlad and UNESCO in the 70s for those of you who have read my book. I will end this post with a story told by another prof who wants to use Guiding Fictions and history as about creating scenarios of the future to guide perceptions of what ought to be done now.

“A Hungarian detachment was lost in the Alps for three days before finally returning to their camp. ‘We considered ourselves lost and waited for the end,’ said the soldiers, ‘but then one of us found a map in his pocket. That calmed us down. We pitched camp, lasted out the snow storm, and then with the map we found our bearings. And here we are.’ Their lieutenant looked at the map and discovered to his surprise that it was a map of the Pyrenees, not the Alps.”

The belief that the map was accurate caused the soldiers to act and action was the way out. Both in the 90s version of standards-based reforms and now, the very word ‘standards’ is yet another misunderstood, ambivalent term that actually is a euphemism for goals. The 90s New Standards Project and the Common Core now are actually efforts by political power to use a fiction that students and people are merely purposeful organisms. To insist that governments now get to monitor and prescribe what our acceptable Goals can and must be. Just a goal-seeking system whose internalized simplex is subject to tracking and manipulation via education. Why? Because that is what political power and its financial cronies believe will benefit them.

They want to prescribe “those ideas, associations of ideas, and conceptual constructs” that they find useful “as a guide to thought and action in the present. The map in the above example was clearly not accurate, and yet ‘by taking some action, the soldiers started to obtain new feedback about their environment, and they entered a new learning loop’ which gradually built up their own understanding and mental map.’ That is, the map facilitated the process by which the soldiers could manage and navigate uncertainty.”

When Congress enacted ESSA it required states to annually assess  Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understandings for each student in most years. I typically summarize HOTS as the categories and ideas students use to decide what they should do when there is no single correct answer. How they will choose to act in a given situation when faced with uncertainty as to how to best proceed. Anyone think this is coincidental?

How about if I add that the author of the 1987 HOTS report, Lauren Resnick, was also co-director of the 90s New Standards Project and on the panel  for the Common Core set of student behavioral goals.

The real aim is so much clearer when ‘standards’ are described more accurately by their explicit purpose.

 

Subjugating the Subjective Factor Via Public Policy Cloaking Upravleniye–Another Useful Term

In his book The Flight from Truth, Jean-Francois Revel noted that most people are indifferent to knowledge. It appears that the so-called ‘conservative’ public policy think tanks have been relying on that truism in constructing their narratives about what is actually going on in education. Only “a tiny minority of human beings,” he wrote, are willing “humbly to explore reality and to expose ourselves to unknown information.” All these redefinitions pushed by public policy entities like Freedom, School Choice, Liberty, Limited Government, Standards, etc. all seem to rely on the truth that “the ideas that interest us most are not new ideas, they are ideas we are accustomed to.” We believe we know what all these terms mean and do not recognize they have become tools of a new political ideology.

Revel pointed out that a young Latin scholar, Georg Friedrich Grotefend, achieved the ability to decipher the Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions at Persepolis. The scholars in Germany were apathetic to the news this 2000 year old secret had been unlocked by someone Not of Their Set of Insiders. There was Henry C. Rawlinson, “an amateur researcher who finally succeeded in deciphering Mesopotamian script,” despite a background in military service for the East India Tea Company. Academic Hellenists also did not welcome the twentieth century’s cracking of the so-called ‘linear B’ script of Crete by an architect. Revel noted that all three men: “even though their main activities did not make them part of the university world, were by no means dilettantes. They simply lacked academic degrees. Well prepared for the tasks they tackled, they had personally undertaken serious and even more exhaustive studies than those of the professionals of their discipline.”

Needless to say I can relate to all three men and even more to this follow-up statement that “If their cases merit attention, it is because an amateur, by definition, is not backed by any power, by any network of alliances and friendships in the social milieu of the scientists and the university bureaucracy.” Now if Revel were still alive and in the US instead of France, he would obviously now need to add public policy think tanks and especially those tied to the Atlas Network to his list of what it takes to get recognized. I thought about Revel this past week when this paper came out by two researchers determined to make their university degrees front and center. http://www.moagainstcommoncore.com/Patience,Privacy,Power,Politics&PensionsBehindESSA_4JRedits.pdf I wouldn’t say the report is wrong so much as irrelevant to the true purpose of ESSA.

The Russian word upravleniye does not have an “entirely satisfactory one-word translation” in English. It follows my mention of ESSA because the word essentially means steering or control of society, the economy, and the people themselves down to the so-called necessary ‘subjective factor’ of human psychology. It seeks to regulate likely activities and the scale of values that motivate and guide likely behavior. The 1976 book from the last post mentioned a 1971 Russian book The Scientific Management of Society that was almost instantaneously translated into English. Having covered a 1976 book by Turchenko in my Credentialed to Destroy, I recognized what such an immediate translation meant. The book arrived Saturday and, just as I feared, it is also the blueprint for ‘steering’ Western countries and their citizens, down to the level of their minds and personalities.

ESSA, and its companion legislation WIOA, are the statutory enactments of a comparable scheme for the Scientific Management of Society using data. It’s what the Open Data Initiatives being pursued all over the world (President Obama’s first Executive Order on the day of his inauguration in 2009) are also about. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/circumscribing-knowledgepart-2-of-imposing-mindsets-to-fit-a-new-political-philosophy/ gets at that as well as covering the intentions of the same Boulding we covered in the last post. It is vitally important for us to understand that in order to treat cities, society, the economy, or other aggregates of people as ‘systems:’

“not only are man’s production activities necessarily subject to control, to regulation, but so is his social behaviour.

As for man’s intellectual activities, they, too, are organized and controlled by society, which moulds its members’ thinking in its own image.”

Clearly the effect of controlling values, attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and any other driver of behavior is not news to me. I wrote a book laying precisely that out. What is so unnerving is how closely the 1971 vision fits with what the public policy think tanks are pushing politicians to enact at every level of society today. Let me relate just a few of my personal experiences with think tank deceit so we can appreciate the true impact of what we are dealing with. I thought about it recently as that public policy major and fan of ‘data-driven decision-making’ by governments, House Speaker Paul Ryan, was lecturing Americans and Trump about ‘violence having no place in a campaign,’ while misportraying what was actually said. Ryan immediately made some comment about the rhetoric being a distraction from Republicans pursuing ‘their Agenda.’ He sounded precisely like someone who regards all of us as the Governed and himself as a ruler.

Interesting, isn’t it, that the consistent term in English used in that 1971 book for the people in a society that was scientifically managed by governments at all levels was ‘the Governed.’ It turned out to be a necessary component of the shift from capitalism to socialism and finally to communism. Another odd moment for me recently was listening to ‘conservative’ think tank employees insisting that a Hillary Presidency would be preferable to a Trump Presidency and looking at the attendees (especially from the tech companies) at the AEI Sea Island event. Is Trump the wildcard who might not be on board for this planned steering process of Upravleniye and that’s why he must be stopped? Was that why Jeb was the preferred candidate for 2016?

Last week I attended a breakfast called “At the Intersection of Education & Aging” that featured Dr Matthew Ladner, of the education-focused think tank and Atlas member, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, that Jeb Bush created in 2008. The presentation hyped the dangers to the state budget from an aging population if the state did not adopt the recommended education changes. Now I have to admit I went partly to hear Dr Ladner who had once responded to my point on Jay Greene’s blog that it was important to actually read a school or district’s charter and not simply to assume that the language was about academic quality. Dr Ladner commented back with a drawing of someone wearing a Tin Foil hat. I am a lawyer. Charters are legal documents intended to bind people to a vision they might not appreciate and when I point out that factual concern, Dr Ladner’s response was that I must be a kook. No interest in facts.

Likewise, the recommendations being pushed for K-12 education actually add up to Mind Arson given my knowledge of how they work as an avid amateur researcher with neither an education nor a political science degree like him. The legislators present at the breakfast would not know that, however. They were told x is a problem and y was the solution and that is what they will enact. The whole purpose of the public policy think tanks appears to be to control the narrative while politicians, blindly or not, adopt statutes that fit with all the details laid out in The Scientific Management of Society for the desired steering of people, places, and things.

Is that why Jeb created FEE two years after he began the Bipartisan, supposedly ‘state-led’ process, that just happens to use K-12 education to impose “a programme for standardizing men’s behaviour”? The Atlas Network needed an affiliate at that precise time that would focus on the crucial Subjective Factor needed for social control under the old Soviet-created blueprints?  In the last post I mentioned Boulding’s 5th grade Systems Analysis curriculum created in 1973 that “paves the way both for tighter scientific analysis of human and social behavior and for important moves in the direction of unified science.” Doesn’t that sound like Boulding and the Social Science Education Consortium sought to use the classroom in the US to also lay the groundwork for the Scientific Management of Society?

If anyone feels the natural desire to be apathetic to this new information, remember that we now know that in 1976 another well-connected think tank, the Aspen Institute, pushed interdependence going forward and systems thinking. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/pivoting-from-the-joy-of-the-us-bicentennial-to-the-planetary-bargain-dictate-yet-another-lost-invite-so-long-ago/  If planning and regulation are desired how useful is it to create a belief in malleable children’s minds that a “system is composed of two or more interacting parts.” Well, that pretty much covers most things that exist in reality. Now Boulding wanted young minds examining if these omnipresent ‘systems’ were “goal oriented or non-goal oriented; that is, there are systems that act in order to fulfill certain objectives, while others exist without any particular purpose or goal.”

A business that wanted to make a profit would be a ‘purposeful system’ then and a pond was the given example of parts that interact but “they do not interact together to achieve a common goal or purpose.” Now getting students to begin to analyze the world like this does a number of useful things for anyone wanting to encourage collectivism and social planning as a new norm. It focuses attention on dialectical processes so the student sees adaptation and change as normal and desirable. It creates the belief that people working together in any organization are not supposed to retain differing purposes or goals. By focusing the student on seeing a “city, for example, is not itself a goal-oriented supersystem,” the students are primed to believe that politicians will need to adopt goals on their behalf.

To do that, of course, politicians will not have direct knowledge and will need to rely on public policy think tank employees to tell them what the goals should be and how to best enact them. See why WIOA requires systems thinking in all students to be workforce ready? If Upravleniye needs an alliance of government employees and non-governmental actors to push the vision of Scientific management of Society as the 1971 book said, don’t we now have the rationale for the sudden proliferation of public policy think tanks starting in the 1980s and in earnest since 1990? Telling teachers to raise the question with students of “what must the system ‘know’ if it wants to reach its goals effectively?” prepares students to believe that society and an economy can be successfully managed and should be.

Telling them that people are poor because they ‘lack power’ and that “to bring about the desired result, the poor must communicate to the candidate that they are a bloc and that they have particular wants” encourages students to come to believe that all social and personal problems are solvable via political processes. Laying out classroom activities so that students will ‘relate system concepts’ directly to their daily lives really explains why people seem to have changed so much in what they can do and what they expect. It wasn’t accidental cultural change. With WIOA, ESSA, and Open Data Initiatives, we are all at risk of being governed in the sense sought by Soviet totalitarians unless we recognize how all these elements function together.

These false narratives pushed in the name of ‘public policy’ have a common direction and it was laid out in 1971, originally in Russian. Please do not continue to fall for the conflicts of interest surrounding these think tanks and what they or their employees push.

Better tell elected pols at all levels too where the phrase ‘the Governed’ really comes from as well.

And it is not Our Founding Fathers being quoted.

Triggers of Action: Carving the Noetic Keels Needed for Politics to Steer Society and People

Serendipity has always been one of my favorite words. I used to tell my children that a great vocabulary word has a sentence full of meaning in a single word. Several weeks ago I was out of town and catching up on emails when an investment newsletter just happened to use the following quote to make a point:

“A world of unseen dictatorship is conceivable, still using the forms of democratic government.”–Kenneth Boulding, University of Michigan

Yes, that is a troubling quote, but I recognized the name as being the professor I had cited in my book Credentialed to Destroy. He was behind the push that began in the 1970s to force ‘systems thinking’ into the classrooms. The quote was credited to a 1957 bestseller I had never heard of called The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard. Getting that book zoomed to the top of my To Do list even before I knew that the quote introduced a section of the book called “Persuading Us as Citizens.” It covered how the motivational research the PR and marketing firms were using to sell products and services had been introduced into politics in order to “influence the state of our mind and to channel our behavior as citizens.”

What was then at least understood by its dispensers as ‘depth psychology,’ and controversial enough to drive a bestselling tell-all explaining it, is precisely what is now known as Whole Child Education and Deep Learning. It must be used by teachers and principals, who may never have encountered anyone explaining the true background of these practices and techniques. Why? To be deemed Effective. This is why I created the term Inadvertent Change Agent in my book. It is also tied to what the new K-12 federal legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), mandates as the means of establishing ‘success’.

“Forced ideological homogenization” and “equitable economic development” have long been regarded as necessary components of an attempt by systems thinkers to reorganize society and individuals and redefine what constitutes ‘self-reliance.’ I am really getting tired of all these non-asterisked redefinitions, aren’t you? There was a February 1976 annual meeting of Boulding’s General Systems Research Group followed the next day by a meeting at Harvard of virtually every group we have ever covered on this blog or in the book including representatives from the Club of Rome and the World Order Models Project. I located the minutes of the meetings in a book which was kind enough to tell us this:

“in order to carry out the program proposed by the model, one really has to carry out very deep structural and attitudinal changes. This is why we say that the main problem is a sociopolitical, not a material, resource kind of problem, in the sense that there are paths and strategies which can take us to the satisfaction of basic needs. But the main problem remains of a sociopolitical nature.”

Good thing, huh, that systems thinkers specialize in a remaking of education and the creation of think tanks and a public policy network that will cause politicians to believe that they need to mandate and plan all these areas in the name of Equitable Economic Development? In fact, that is what the 2014 federal legislation–WIOA–now has all states and localities on record as planning. Since all the legislation to force the needed sociopolitical changes is now in place in the US, let’s go back to see what motivational research already knew in the 50s. After all the Congressionally created and White House visiting League of Innovative Schools was created to obtain desired research into what ‘motivates’ students.

Boulding, in a 1973 paper he wrote for the Social Science Education Consortium, laid out his interest in viewing the “whole human being as a system” whose “concepts and perceptions are often strongly influenced by our motives.” Is it any wonder then that motives have been officially targeted for research and that ‘concepts and perceptions’ are officially required for annual assessment via ESSA? Vance Packard shorthanded Motivational Research and its goals and techniques as MR in his book The Hidden Persuaders so we will too as we access some of its insights as to why education is now taking the same techniques and forcing them deceitfully on classrooms and students everywhere.

Packard quoted the magazine Advertising Age as stating the wide use of MR in politics–“This is all to the good.” What was not good, however, was the “growing public discussion of the importance of advertising in politics.” If public awareness that politicians were seeking to influence them emotionally and at subconscious and unconscious levels was problematic in the 50s, by all means let me continue to try to force a discussion of these same MR methods into K-12 education now. After all, if ‘role playing’ is a ‘psychological technique’ used to ‘modify the behavior and attitudes’ when it is used on ‘key personnel’ in large industrial organizations, it still has that same function when it becomes a required classroom practice for students.

If an insurance exec admitted role playing was used widely because “we needed a motivational device…[that] at the same time teaches at the emotional level,” that remains true when the methods are transferred from adults to the far more malleable minds of students. When Packard quoted the book The Engineering of Consent on how the MR methods are of “considerable value…to those who wish to modify society” and that “People must be controlled by manipulating their [instincts and emotions] rather than by changing their reasonings,” we get to remember that quote when the Davos crowd suddenly this month calls for  https://www.weforum.org/reports/new-vision-for-education-fostering-social-and-emotional-learning-through-technology .

That’s even more true once we realize that MR users in the 50s knew already that “if you are engineering consent, then I think the social sciences would like to warn you that you should begin with a basic analysis of three levels upon which consent moves in a society like ours.” Try not to get ill when we recognize that education now is all about manipulating level two and public policy think tanks and many pundits from every spectrum and announced party affiliation are all about targeting level three. The man being quoted above and below is a social anthropologist Lyman Bryson describing 1953 seminars on the social sciences held at Teachers College, Columbia for PR firms. My bolding.

“The first level, he said, is human nature. He added that little really could be done here to ‘manipulate’ people. The second level was cultural change, which is where you must operate, he said, if you want to influence people’s ideas. The third level is the region of choice. Here is where an impulse is running in a particular direction, and some sort of choice will be made regardless, ‘as when a choice between similar products [think tank or media deceit functions here] is made.’ At this level, he said, ‘it is relatively easy to manipulate people.’ On the other hand, if you are trying to change their ideas, ‘you work on the second level,’ where different ‘psychological pressures, techniques, and devices from those successful on the third level’ must be used.”

Think of that quote and the ubiquity of the School Choice mantra that the think tanks push as their solution to education and the needs of public policy. Suddenly the imperviousness of the phrase to facts that show there is actually no choice becomes clearer. Likewise, Packard quoted a Dr Samuel Stouffer, director of Harvard’s Laboratory of Social Relations telling his listeners that “it was a good working rule that people’s attitudes are more easily reached through their emotions than through their intellects.” Back to role playing and a Whole Child emphasis and that Science of Virtues, then, huh?

It should bother us a great deal that Dr Stouffer considered that to be ‘learning theory’ research. Looking for ‘triggers of action’ in the form of words or visuals, learning theory even in the 50s knew that “behaviors can be changed by changing ‘the motivational forces working upon them.'” Think about that when you reread Chapter 7 of my book about how the Common Core and Competency-based education really target values, attitudes, and beliefs. If people are systems as Boulding and others hoped, then those are the areas that must be changed in order for personal behavioral goals to change as well. Once again the redefinitions kick in as the socially reengineered student, and then adult, gets described as ‘autonomous.’ It’s called Hidden Persuaders for a reason as the MR techniques “can create wants in people that they still didn’t realize existed.”

Trained through learning tasks and classroom experiences to act. Requiring ‘performance standards’ precisely to force daily practice with engineered mental models and manipulated emotions. Meanwhile no one planned to disclose the engineered existence of an internalized noetic keel consciously carved during years of preschool-high school ‘student-centered’ education. Carved precisely so that politicians and agency planners can steer society as they wish and reward cronies as they want. Packard ended his book with this worry:

“The most serious offense many of the depth manipulators commit, it seems to me, is that they try to invade the privacy of our minds. It is this right to privacy in our minds–privacy to be either rational or irrational–that I believe we must strive to protect.”

Federal law now requires, and states and schools, public and private, everywhere are happy to go along with, a now mandated invasion of the privacy of our minds. That’s the purpose of education research and the mandated databases. Longitudinal is another word for what used to be called more clearly ‘time series data’. The point is not what is personally identifiable, but the changes over time to allow this desired steering process. Packard was lucky. He was able to get the word out to enough people that MR became notorious. So it went underground and got new names and is now mandated for all of our children. To ultimately control enough of us for this steering to guide all institutions, but installed through deceitful false narratives and K-12 education.

Let me end with the remaining purpose that I believe has motivated who has been  deemed acceptable for the Presidency and other political offices by either party since at least 1988. I think it is why ESSA and WIOA were “Bipartisan and Bicameral” as necessary components of the mostly invisible steering process. It’s 2016 and the oligarchs think it has taken far too long for what was planned in earnest from the 1950s on. Removing all obstacles, down to the level of the mental models of our minds, that might block the planned:

“most important social engineering role of them all–the gradual reorganization of human society, piece by piece and structure by structure.”

Person by person, starting with the children and euphemised as being about Learning, Student Growth, and Success for All.

 

 

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.

 

 

Developing Dispositions/Character Traits as the New Global Focus: Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness, Reciprocity

The idea of deliberately fostering muddled minds via K-12 education that we encountered in the last post and the overall disdain for Axemaker Minds in the 21st Century that is practically a theme for this blog makes perfect sense when we remember all the entities and people we have encountered, in either my new book or this blog, who have openly proclaimed a desire to use education to drive radical political and socioeconomic change. From John Dewey and Karl Marx as I describe in the book to the OECD’s current admission of The Great Transition or the UN’s related The World We Want 2015 campaign, we are just being overwhelmed by people generally living at taxpayer expense who want wholesale transformation. The US Common Core Initiative and 21st Century Learning globally are simply methods to stealthily get US schools, teachers, and students “in transition” without being honest with parents or taxpayers as to what is going on.

To truly appreciate how so much change could be attempted in plain sight without being properly understood, it is important for us to take a look at the new RSA report that came out this week. http://www.thersa.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/1536844/J1530_RSA_climate_change_report_16.12_V51.pdf The so-called “New Agenda on Climate Change” described in that graphic report is to cease debating the reality of manmade climate change and to turn it into a “social fact.” Widely believed and therefore influencing behavior whatever the actual facts. Needless to say, K-12 education that is no longer fact based but instead focuses on key concepts usefully presupplied will come in awfully handy to such a “social fact” aspiration. Not to mention a muddled mind and a trained willingness to act in the face of ambiguity and “persist in the face of difficulty” as we encountered in the last post’s mention of those desired learning dispositions.

Called the 4 Rs by Claxton and UK documents, these Learning-Power Dispositions of Resilience (Feeling or the emotional aspects of learning), Resourcefulness (Thinking or the cognitive aspects of learning), Reflectiveness (Managing or the strategic aspects of learning), and Reciprocity (Relating or the social aspects of learning)   http://www.buildinglearningpower.co.uk/images/blpia_extract.pdf make perfect sense as a focus of the classroom if change to and in the student is what is sought. As an invisible means to broader transformation. Claxton even said that the 4 Rs are part of a needed  Epistemic Climate Change in the schools. So let’s go back to what Jonathan Rowson wrote is now desired to appreciate why it is the student, and ultimately voting adults, whose values and guiding beliefs and personality need to all change.

Rowson and the Social Brain Project and its work are not interested in dealing with an environmental problem. He wants to “refocus the debate away from the existence of the problem towards competing ideas about solutions.” Which again is very useful if the problem does not actually exist and was always just an excuse for social, political, and economic transformation in a desired collectivist direction which is precisely what we have discovered on this blog going back to the early 60s. RSA is simply going to assume away the dispute. It knows about the governmental monopoly over education that allows a radicalizing focus on bringing students on board with the desired changes while erroneously believing they are essential. Rowson acknowledges the extent of RSA’s goals on behalf of the UK and actually the rest of the world by announcing:

“we have to connect with the root causes of the climate problem, which is partly about using way too much energy to fullfil socially and culturally needs and desires, but is more profoundly about the price of fossil fuels [what was that quote from candidate Obama about necessarily skyrocketing?] that produce that energy, and political and economic structures that keep us addicted to them.”

So it is the political and economic structures that need changing. Rowson concedes why getting at individual values, attitudes, and beliefs is so essential in all these radical change efforts as the agenda seeks to get at “how the behaviours of consumers and citizens serves to perpetuate the economic and political basis of the energy production and consumption that drive climate change.”

Or don’t drive climate change at all but are useful to social, political, and economic change. Those 4 Rs as the student and classroom focus instead of knowledge would certainly help if the solution to be pushed is some kind of Universal Love or obligation to care for others. Rowson mentions Robert Kegan in the paper and we know Kegan spoke at RSA this past year so Kegan’s Stages that are in turn based on Lawrence Kohlberg’s globally influential Stages of Moral Development are very much on the mind of the RSA, the OECD (remember this is what their Key Competences are built around?), US implementers of the Common Core, and new Hong Kong definitions of Citizenship traits to be fostered in school. Such global commonality around what is basically the same set of desired personal dispositions and moral beliefs at the same time can hardly be coincidental.

Especially when the Rowson paper explicitly mentions that what President Obama (no insertion of ‘US’ there as if Rowson considers him everyone’s President Obama) did with the climate change discussion that was so crucial was to frame it in “distinctly moral terms.” We keep coming back to the same goal to be encouraged in students and ultimately everyone: “the ethical responsibility to safeguard the welfare of people we care about as well as those we are never likely to meet.” Necessitating our need to take someone else’s word for what those unknown people want and need from us.

Now if this is the change you want in the future, how useful is an official Learning Quality Framework   http://learningqualityframework.co.uk/index.php/using-the-framework/ that has a New Vision for Learning? That the school should now be “investigating social, economic, moral and personal reasons for revising the school’s vision of and for learning.” To make the new focus of school how “teachers now plan lessons around the learning capacities they are trying to help students to build.” And the “development of learning capacities is planned to ensure progression.”  That’s not knowledge folks and this view of the focus is not confined to the UK either. It fits perfectly with descriptions of how the College and Career Ready Index and Student Growth are being touted in US school districts too. Elsewhere the Framework makes it clear teachers are to be “drawing students attention to learning behaviours they are using” so that the students will be “progressing in developing learning habits.”

The purpose of content under this vision is merely to “drive learning opportunities and stretch and progress learning capacities” although it of course remains terribly useful to taking an unknown and getting students to know regard something as a social fact. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Guy Claxton talks about meeting with David Perkins of Harvard who we have encountered in connection with the NSF-funded Understandings of Consequence approach to science and social studies learning under the Common Core. Nor his mention of working with one of the best known Whole Language advocates Shirley Brice Heath or fuzzy math advocates-Jo Boaler. All of these education so-called wars makes much more sense if affecting what the student believes is the actual goal of all these controversial philosophies.

So many of us still hear the word assessment and simply erroneously assume we are still talking about measurements of knowledge. The Learning Quality Framework makes it clear that assessing for learning is about “tracking and authenticating the growth of learning dispositions (with regard to when, where, and how they are used)” and insists that such tracking, likely to be revealed to parents using opaque terms like data and feedback, “builds learners’ motivation and informs learning design.” Which of course gets sold under the euphemistic term “personalized learning for all students” but sounds rather like BF Skinner’s operant conditioning.

Again having such intimate data and detail about the essence of each student is very useful if the goal is “challenge the values, structures and processes that led to this case of overconsumption and resource depletion, and which otherwise leads to more.” And that is precisely what Rowson says the new goal is. He also proclaims the need to shift mindsets and must be excited about the prominence in the UK of Guy Claxton’s Learning Power work.

Does anyone doubt that a ‘learner-centred classroom” in the UK and the US and elsewhere will really come in handy if you believe we as a society need a “broader cultural shift that reframes ‘prosperity’ as something with social, relational and experiential dimensions”?

How about if it is your intention to challenge “the structure of the macroeconomy and the logic of capitalism”?

Stay tuned as I drop yet another related disclosure bomb next time.