Chocolate Cities Strangled by White Nooses: Hacking Out the Rights of the Citizen

Isn’t that the most graphic metaphor you have ever read? I would say it has nothing to do with last night’s riots in Charlotte, but since I am quoting from a 2007 biography of Martin Luther King on his sentiments about urban areas and the suburbs, I am not sure that is true. What I do know is that the post title was already written up before last night’s events because I was struck by the anger in the statement. The sentiment there reveals a huge disconnect between what most Whites have been told about what King stood for and what Blacks and other minorities believe they are entitled to and have waited for too long. The book is From Civil Rights to Human Rights and it was cited in a footnote recently as I continue to piece together precisely what the synthesis is that public policy think tanks across the spectrum are coordinating around.

If the synthesis is actually what King called a Third Way where governments at all levels “would sponsor poor people’s activism for social and economic rights guaranteed by government,” everything that is going on now begins to fall into its true role. Interesting isn’t it that it was MLK who wanted “metropolitan wide-planning in housing and economic development [that] would break down city-suburb divisions of power and privilege.” In other words what is going on now under the Obama Administration is less his overreach in many people’s minds than finally fulfilling “King’s decision to build a nationwide coalition capable of empowering all poor people and moving the nation toward democratic socialism” as the book’s author, history professor Thomas F. Jackson put it.

Fascinating biography, but the point of this post is how much of a difference powerful images created by words can make in guiding perception about a person or an issue. That’s probably why that quote is not better known. It would have upset the narrative. Here’s another quote from someone at that Oxford Conference we covered in the last post, Eldar Shafir, writing to support a new book by Cass Sunstein called The Ethics of Influence: Government in the Age of Behavioral Science.

“We typically consider ourselves rational actors, whose dignity derives from our autonomy. In fact, our behavior is easily shaped by other actors and by external factors, often outside our awareness and control. When government intervenes to influence our behaviors, often to improve our lives, we recoil. But if government remains uninvolved while other interests are free to shape our world, how autonomous are we then? Sunstein confronts our naivete with a penetrating discussion about how to balance government influence against personal dignity, manipulation against autonomy, and behavioral facts against political ideals. The book is an engrossing read.”

I’ll bet it is, but like our lost invite to Oxford in May, how many of us know this book exists or that Ivy league professors are busy creating degree holders in public policy and other areas ready to impose these visions into what now constitutes education in the 21st century or the ‘rights’ written into laws and agency edicts? Beyond being a prof at Princeton and Harvard, Shafir has been tapped to serve as the first director of the Daniel Kahneman and Anne Treisman Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy at Princeton. It was created with an anonymous $10 million gift in 2015 by someone who particularly admired Anne Treisman’s work in psychology. I found a bio on her at The History of Neuroscience site so let’s look at a shift she noted that is very important to governments wanting to control each student’s internalized capacities.

“Ulric Neisser’s book Cognitive Psychology was about to be published in 1967, definitively marking the end of behaviorism and its taboo on concepts such as imagery, mental representations, and cognitive models. Contrary to the behaviorist idea that stimuli activate responses to produce behavior, the cognitive revolution saw stimuli as conveying information-reducing the uncertainty about possible states of the world by modifying mental representations–a major conceptual change. Attention [think of the ubiquity now of the word engagement] was central to cognitive psychology from the beginning, in part because it involved a purely mental event that changed what people perceived.” Daniel Kahneman is Ms Treisman’s husband and the winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics.

http://www.gametheory.net/news/Items/088.html   is a good link explaining why the Economics Committee decided psychology had become an important element of the discipline. Kahneman was and is a psychologist known for creating a means for calculating the way in which “irrational actions can be predicted and quantified.” Very useful, in other words, for governments wanting to control and predict just that. Predicting and quantifying that, it turns out, makes it important to know what Values people have and what Concepts and Principles frame their perception. If that sounds vaguely familiar now it’s probably because it is another way of restating what the new federal education legislation–the Every Student Succeeds Act–requires every school in every state to assess regularly using the euphemism Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understandings.

That would also probably be why Getting Smart’s Tom VanderArk on May 27, 2015 reviewed Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow: How We Process and Respond to the World. When we find a report “Words that Change Minds” on what phrases, concepts, and framing should be used to push public policy issues http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/PDF/chroniclephilanthropy_wordsthatchangeminds_2016.pdf   that is using Kahneman’s insights. When the Common Core Social Studies C3 Framework wants students to practice with the provided ‘lenses’ in role playing classroom exercises, that’s again Kahneman’s work. When we are curious about precisely what lawyers are being trained to do in seminars that blend Law and Economics, it is important to know that the Nobel Committee thought it important to recognize psychology work that gives insights into decision-making in ambiguous situations where there is no single correct answer.

If that also sounds familiar it is what P-12 education now calls rigorous coursework and assessments. Interestingly Dr Kahneman thanked DARPA for helping fund his work and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, where he and Professor Treisman were fellows in 1976-77, for its role in these theories. Yes, that’s the same CASBS where all these other still guiding us templates were developed, including charters, General Systems Theory, Amitai Etzioni’s Active Society, and School Choice just to name a very few. I sometimes wonder if anyone has started selling “Behavioral Science Can Rule the World!” t-shirts yet. After all, this new Princeton Center expects “that the research conducted at the center will directly influence local, national and global public policy, identifying new approaches to address social problems and improve lives.”

Now, knowing what is really going on in K-12 education with personalized learning, virtual reality, HOTS mandates, social emotional learning standards, and authentic assessments embedded in real-world problems, let’s read about the behavioral “approach pioneered at Princeton, [where] policies are developed with a focus on what really drives people in decision making–the idiosyncratic and sometimes surprising ways in which they view their choices, perceive the social, economic and political world around them, and decide whether or not, and how, to act.” In other words, the behavioral approach the Center intends to build its public policy insights on and then recommend using the law as the means to force implementation in real world settings is precisely the same psychological arena, perception, that ESSA in the US and student-centered learning generally and globally has decided is the focus of 21st Century education.

What are the odds? Notice just how much more clearly we could recognize the aims of Martin Luther King once biographers quit filtering his quotes to prevent us from recognizing precisely where he wanted to take the US to achieve his vision of economic justice.

Time to truly appreciate the power of frames and conceptual lenses to guide future behavior and make it very predictable.

Just like no one is inviting us to these conferences where these plans are hatched, no one is asking our input into the frames to be fostered in our children as internalized mental models and cultivated via emotions. I have seen many of the lists though and the real MLK and his vision of democratic socialism would approve.

Did I mention that his biographer noted that the vision looked precisely like Marxist humanism? See that phrase is a real aspiration and not just some fetish I keep wanting to bring up. I see it because it fits even though now it has new names like Opportunity Society or Innovations in Poverty Alleviation.

Maybe the t-shirts should read “Framing: What Works to Create Sturdy Houses and Manipulable Minds.”

Invisible Designed Neural Coercion: Controlling Guided Missiles and Misguided Men

Since it is summertime and the living is supposed to be easy, I wish I was off on vacation or taking a break from the blog. Instead, I have been dealing with a tsunami of corroborating research materials from all over the world on this neural emphasis in education. When I was writing my book Credentialed to Destroy and documenting what the required classroom practices would be under a Competency-focus, the Common Core, or any performance ‘standard’, I came to accept that what was being mandated would have a clear neural effect. It would alter how students’ brains functioned going forward. More research assembled in various places subsequently on this blog has made it clear that those neural effects are both known and desired. It is easier to rule people with little recognition they are being coerced.

The age demographics of who voted for BREXIT seem to show that as well as a desire to be coddled. As Bandura put it in our last post, the young people in the UK believe in proxy agency and institutions instead of individual achievement. What I have now had to come to grips with though is that the neural manipulation is the purpose of education reforms and standards-based education. It is the goal precisely because it makes a person amenable to manipulation without either recognition, resistance, or protest. Surely I am exaggerating, right? On Friday, the OECD linked to this paper  http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2016/06/understanding-how-brain-processes-maths.html on “The Neuroscience of Mathematical Cognition and Learning.” It has pictures and graphs of the targeted areas as it is now clear that education intends to use “the scientific study of the biological substrates underlying cognition, specifically the neural basis of mental processes.”

Oh, c’mon, lighten up with seeing bad motives when all anyone really wants to do is help everyone learn to read fluently and be good at algebra, I can hear a few of my readers whispering. Except that is not the purpose and it is more than what is detailed at length in Credentialed to Destroy. The desire is to get everyone to ‘on-level performance’ and only to there. The hope is simply to get everyone to literacy and numeracy so they can understand and work with print, visual images, and numbers in ‘everyday life’. Prescribe a theory of classroom practices that creates “changes in neural pathways and synapses due to changes in environment and behavior.” Now are we beginning to understand the real implications of the federal ESSA law stipulating that all states must have ‘challenging academic content standards’ where behavior is the means to show ‘achievement’?

Please remember what I explained about Constructivism in Chapters 2 and 3 when you read this passage from that OECD paper’s conclusion (my italics and bolding):

“Research in cognitive neuroscience has allowed the possibility of exploring the neural basis of complex and sophisticated cognitive processes such as numerical cognition. Using an expanding range of tools from single-cell recording to brain stimulation, progress is being made in not only localising brain regions involved in overall functions, but also mapping the complexity of networks engaged in mathematical learning.

Overall, advances in cognitive neuroscience research is beginning to shed light on the ontogeny [physiology or neural formations are synonyms for that $100 word] of mathematical cognition, how cognition and behavioral performance can be modulated based on the knowledge of neuroplasticity, and how such findings can be used to understand the workings of the brain as a whole. Collaborations between scientists and educators and professionals relevant to the field of mathematics learning promises further advances in the understanding of not only mathematical cognition, but also learning in general, with long-term implications to enrich the mental wealth of mankind.”

That blog link also cites a 2007 OECD paper that came to my attention earlier in the week–“Understanding the Brain: The Birth of a Learning Science.” It outlined with numerous graphics precisely what the term Transdisciplinary is to alter and should be viewed through what UNESCO had in mind when it piloted this curriculum shift in Queensland, Australia covered here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/opting-out-as-the-remedy-may-mean-accidentally-accelerating-nonconsensual-transformations/ Since what is going on in education in the name of brain-based learning was not news to me, I went quickly to the chapter called “The Ethics and Organisation of Educational Neuroscience” with its cover quotes that “Science without conscience is but the ruin of the soul” and HG Wells’ belief that “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”

The chapter opens with a Martin Luther King Jr quote that–“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” Anyone detecting a theme among these quotes on the need to force internalized shared beliefs and values via education? How about if I further quote the authors acknowledgment that “traditionally, the ethical rules concerning biomedical research on human beings follow the Nuremburg Code of 1949 and the Declaration of Helsinki of 1964.”  See what I mean about purpose and aim? The bi-directional exchange between Trans-disciplinary Research on Learning and Mandated Classroom Practices and Required Assessments of what a Student has Internalized at a Neural Level are not the only reason I linked to that Queensland post.

When I first located that 2007 paper, I followed up on the Bibliography telling me that the US NSF had established Science of Learning Centers in 2003. I pulled up those materials and presentations and recognized numerous relevant professors and institutions. We have the creator of the 1987 HOTS report and the co-director of the New Standards project in the 90s–Lauren Resnick and Roy Pea of Stanford who is also now tied to NSF’s Cyber learning initiative and Charles Fadel’s Center for Curriculum Redesign at Harvard. http://invisibleserfscollar.com/drawing-back-the-standards-curtain-to-discover-the-global-coordination-to-redesign-the-very-nature-of-curriculum/ I knew back then these machinations were global, but not yet that we were looking at education research involving the physiology of real students in actual classrooms to “integrate insights about ‘micro-level’ mechanisms with evidence about aggregate, ‘macro-level’ outcomes that emerge from processes of implementing these mechanisms.”

In less stilted English (which I am capable of when I don’t have to quote for accuracy about indisputable aims), that would translate into monitoring the student’s neural network and which brain regions fire on prescribed tasks and how all that fits their shown behavior and how it changes. Data, data, data. Personal Identifiability is so NOT the needed area of focus in the Era of Sought Educational Neuroscience. I also wanted to go back to Queensland because there is a new Journal called the Science of Learning there and the Director of the SLC program at NSF wrote a letter to the Editor about two weeks ago. http://www.nature.com/articles/npjscilearn20169 See how real time we are here at ISC in tracking what is planned for us?

I started to write that Soo-Siang Lim was with the US NSF or the US SLC Centers with their declared emphasis on the “internal world of mind and brain” since so much of the prescribed emphasis has made it to all US classrooms in the name of the Common Core standards, but yesterday when I put her name into a search engine, I found out NSF has an office in Beijing and does Science of Learning work with jetsetting PIs at the University of Hong Kong. I found out Dr Lim sued for gender discrimination after she did not get tenure for an Anatomy Professorship at Indiana before joining the NSF and beginning her tour of the world. Found videos of interviews in Rio and dubbing into other languages. Perhaps most crucially though I found a January 23-24, 2012 OECD/NSF SLC conference in Paris called “Innovation in Education: Connecting How we Learn to Educational Policy and Practice.” http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/49382960.pdf

Notice the presence of Dirk Van Damme. We met him when I wrote about Global Education Futures Forum and Redesigning the Future and the presence of Alexander and Kathia Laszlo as Co-chairs of the Silicon Valley event.  http://edu2035.org/pdf/what_is_GEF.pdf  I could be sarcastic and say that coincidences abound but none of this is coincidental. The neural transformations being sought are the common glue that allows control without effective opposition and every wanna-be planner in the world seems to know it. It’s time we all knew it too. Also remember the quote from the head of the OECD in the Conclusion to my book that all of the OECD’s education policies are to pursue their desired plans of social, political, and economic transformations.

I must admit these last several weeks have produced many “Oh. Wow” moments in my research so I decided to go back to earlier works from decades ago, as well as now, where these aims were both clearly hoped for and sought. Turned out that in 1989 Paul Ehrlich and Robert Ornstein in New World New Mind called for governments to “make new ways of thinking and new ways of handling our problems immediately available to society’s decision-makers. And while changing the form and content of education would be a major step toward conscious evolution..” They go on to state that “there is a new understanding of the human mind, developed from modern brain research and studies of thought processes.” I have never thought it was just coincidental that under President Obama the NSF and all these education initiatives like the League of Innovative Schools report at the White House to a close Ehrlich associate–John Holdren.

Could have the motto: “Finally in a position to make it so.” Let’s come back to the present and Rebecca Costas’ 2010 book The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson wrote the Foreword and is quoted as saying in 2009 that “the real problem of humanity is the following: We have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.” Sounds just like the quotes prefacing the OECD’s Chapter on the Ethics surrounding Educational Neuroscience and its potential, doesn’t it? It should make us all very nervous that the well-connected Ms Costas thought that the way to avoid civilizational collapse was to reject thought involving “analytical processing [and] deliberate application of strategies and operations to gradually approach a solution.”

My last quote confirms just how often the phrase ‘evidence-based policy’ in education or ‘best practices’ is obscuring a sought neural transformation in the parts of the brain trained to respond and the very nature of the student’s brain itself. Frequently the sales pitch is also put out in the name of Equity as in a 2014 paper called “Neuroscience and Education: Prime Time to Build the Bridge.” It stated that “rising education inequality is among the gravest of the world’s problems.” Now, education inequality is a natural condition of humanity throughout history. Only by interfering with people’s brains and how they process is Equity possible and that very interference is totalitarian, especially when the nature of what is being targeted is the subject of so much organized deceit.

Anyone else chilled to the bones by all this global coordination with known and Proud-of-It Authoritarian or Communist States? As I mentioned to someone yesterday, individual liberty is precious and rare in the annals of history. In the era of unrecognized Educational Neuroscience it is about to become extinct within the current generation.

In the name of obscuring slogans like Choice, Higher Standards, Personalized Learning, and Brain-Based Instruction.

I’d like to Opt Out Please.

Rewiring Student’s Brains at a Neural Level to Constrain, Guide, and Motivate Desired Future Behaviors

Part of the reason for the time gap between the last post and this one is my youngest child has now officially graduated. Hallelujah! Knowing what is really going on in American and global education in the name of euphemisms like standards, competencies, Whole Child, Positive School Climate, and Higher Order Thinking Skills I am afraid I think of schools now as psychological Auschwitzes. That is not a phrase I use lightly, but unfortunately, there will be no respite from this deliberate neurological assault on minds and personalities until we parents and funding taxpayers recognize what is really targeted for change and why. Also we need to grasp just how experimental all these sought shifts actually are.

During the last two weeks documentable, official confessions of just how much our children’s very synapses and whether the regions used in thinking are rational or tied to emotions have come out on an almost daily basis. Originally I thought all the reports I have read and downloaded since May 1 were tied to desired teacher training over the summer for a rollout next fall. That was before I came across the Human Brain Project’s announcement that it had shifted to the active, operational stage in April 2016 after being in the planning stage since 2013. Then I discovered that USC, the employer of Professors Immordino-Yang and Damasio from the last post, was one of the US partners of HBP. So are the entire U-California university system, Yale, and the University of Tennessee as well.

The US BRAIN Initiative (which began in 2013 too) coordinates actively with HBP and goes to its programmes in Europe. Turns out part of that initiative included a Bioethics Commission http://bioethics.gov/ where we can locate the BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision report as well as the two Gray Matters reports that leave our government’s desire to interfere with internalized mental processes for political purposes in no doubt. It is also chaired by Penn Pres Amy Gutmann who was probably chosen by President Obama precisely because her 1987 book Democratic Education called on schools to shift away from the ‘well-intentioned misperception’ that schools have an “obligation to impart information.” Instead, Gutmann wanted teachers to develop the moral character of students so that they “feel the force of right reason” to reshape society.

There’s that ‘feeling’ hype again. I know it is not coincidental because I have a few additional writings we can survey. I have Damasio’s 2010 book Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain where he stated that “emotions are the dutiful executors and servants of the value principle.” A useful target for emphasis for planners hoping to alter the drivers of future behavior. Since Professor Damasio elsewhere mentioned “the need to manage the behaviors of humans,” forcing student thinking to be grounded in emotion would appear to be an excellent place to start. UNESCO agrees too since I located an August 2015 paper stating that the new purpose of ‘curriculum’ in the 21st century is to make sure there is no “contradiction or dissociation between the cognitive and the ethical dimension in learning.”

In order to advance the ‘concept of social justice’ and the new UN “guidelines on the meaning of education based on the ideal of building more just societies,” educational experiences must be created so that each student’s commitment to the ideals of social justice is not “an adherence that is purely rhetorical or cut off from how people actually behave.” Rounding out our support is this paper that I-Y coauthored   http://iesteulada.edu.gva.es/portal/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Neuroscience-and-learning.pdf which ended with a diagram that makes it clear it is Emotional Thought, and not High Reason/ Rational Thought, that 21st century education wants to cultivate. Why? Because of its useful role in desired ” moral decision-making.”

Now all these reports have a great deal of aspirational goals for a changed society pretending to be how the mind works or how education must now be changed. Educationists cite Damasio as “neuroscience research says…” Ed Week cites I-Y for how emotions must now guide educational practices and no one seems to bring up Professor Gutmann’s earlier book. The truth is though this is not how the brain or education must now work, but rather how it needs to be altered if people are to be changed at a neurological level. Guided and motivated then by new values and images of how the world might be. Now you may be saying rightfully that I am not a neuroscientist, although I have read a great deal of their writings, and one of them, Zenon W. Pylyshin, helpfully told us back in 1980 precisely why the rational/High Reason brain is so targeted now by K-12 education.

In a published paper “Computation and Cognition” created while he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Pylyshin laid out precisely how the human mind was thought then to work with nary a mention of these now omnipresent emotions or feelings. Here is a quote from the end that tells me precisely what had to be suffocated for the social transformation use of the mind to prevail. The mentioned George Miller is another famous behavioral scientist.

“we ought to be far more impressed with the extreme flexibility that thought can exhibit. For example, we ought to take seriously the fact that there seems to be no specifiable limit to what the human mind can imagine or think. As George Miller recently remarked to me, the salient property of mental life is surely that we can will it to do practically anything we wish: given the appropriate goals and beliefs, we can alter our behavior and thoughts to a remarkable extent by a mere act of will.”

Feels a bit like eavesdropping from decades away, doesn’t it? We now know that picking our own goals, beliefs, and values is precisely what K-12 education intends to make sure no longer happens. In fact, now we can shift back to that BRAIN 2025 vision since it too envisioned mapping the brain because of its ‘special province’ as the “interior terrain of thinking, feeling, perceiving, learning, deciding, and acting to achieve our goals.” If anyone has any doubt that this initiative is about a transformative, social justice agenda this quote should obliterate all doubt: “our brains make us who we are, enabling us to perceive beauty, teach our children, remember loved ones, react against injustice, learn from history, and imagine a different future.”

Our Founding Fathers may have seen our beliefs as a form of property not to be subject to government interference http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-the-system-seeks-to-destroy-the-ability-to-think-can-james-madison-save-us/ but we get no such deference in the 21st century. To quote again  from an initiative we are now spending $500 Million per year to pursue: “In advanced organisms our concept of ‘behavior’ must be extended to include sophisticated internal cognitive processes in addition to externally observable actions.” The Bioethics Commission may hype neurological and psychiatric disorders so that the full extent of the neurological manipulation is obscured but BRAIN 2025 states explicitly that the “primary goal of the BRAIN Initiative is to understand healthy brain function.”

The purpose of the Bioethics Commission is not to examine if this emphasis and research is ethical, but to make sure everyone at all levels of education believes that such research is necessary and ethical. In fact, all we get is a question as to whether “inner desires, psychological states, or motivations…deserve more privacy protection than externally observable clues about the mind.” Consistent with my concern that all this agenda is about quietly forcing a shift to the Human Development Society Uncle Karl envisioned without saying that is the actual goal, we have the Gray Matters volume on the Integration of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society insisting that “the potential of science to improve human welfare grounds a societal obligation to undertake and support” this type of research.

Leaving no doubt as to why we have to discuss these initiatives to grasp why I now call schools psychological Auschwitzes being used to force a transformational political agenda at a neural level, we have that same volume stating “one desirable goal for ethics education is ‘transformational learning,’ which goes beyond cultivating cognitive learning or critical thinking to inculcate ‘habits of mind, attitudes, and dispositions.'” That’s neural change and designed to motivate future behavior from a level unconscious to the neurologically reengineered student. It certainly explains the odd affect and unfocused eyes in this video of high school students hyping personalized learning. http://www.cio.com/article/3002698/cio-role/how-one-cio-leverages-technology-to-transform-education.html .

Volume 2 of Gray Matters opened with a tribute to a now deceased commission member who was described as a “seeker of justice for all.” That certainly fits with the actual intention of all this neuroscience research and the stress on emotions as an integral part. So does this quote that “ethics education has a better chance of informing action when it is continually reenforced and connected to practical experience.” Showing us once again how a certain vision for education going forward is key to this entire transformation of people and institutions, the Bioethics Commission lets us know that Equity is such a focus of this new vision. that “if safe and effective novel forms of cognitive enhancement become available, they will present an opportunity to insist on a distribution that is fair and just.”

Oh. Good. Grief. Once again Gray Matters made it clear that it is not just education being called on to reengineer society at the level of the biological neural mind. The rule of law gets redefined to be a social reengineering tool as well. As a lawyer and student of Anglo-American history and the function of the common law, it is hard to read a federally-financed call “ensuring the progress and responsible application to neuroscience to the legal system and policymaking.”

The report may insist that “today, and in the foreseeable future, neuroscience does not enable us to read minds. Technology remains extremely limited and cannot reveal the inner desires, psychological states, or motivations that are worthy of the term ‘mind-reading.'” The problem is that covering, Nothing to Worry About Here, statement is not true. Those things are precisely what adaptive learning digital virtual reality platforms, formative assessments, wicked, open-ended problem solving and other now required educational practices turn up. That is a big part of what all the data gathering is about. It’s also why the Personally Identifiable Information hype is such a Red Herring that obscures what is really at risk.

Watching the students on that video, do we really want Presidential Commission’s questioning “whether ‘inner mental or neural processes’ deserve more privacy protection than external or behavioral elements such as words and actions”?

What does ethics actually mean if all these neurological planned interferences can be pursued in the 21st century in the name of education?

 

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.

 

Niti, Nyaya, Government by Think Tanks, and Every Student Succeeds

Hope everyone had a great holiday season. I took an unplanned break from writing, but not researching, since the last post. With the statutory language of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) now in place, the plans for the future I recognized when I read my state’s (Georgia) WIOA Plan, and other shenanigans offline surrounding false narratives, I decided to get to the bottom of all the interrelated parts. Let’s just say if my understanding was 20/20 on the real agenda behind all these education ‘reforms’ by the time I finished my first book Credentialed to Destroy, the acuity now can best be described as X-ray vision with the capacity to cut through metal when called for.

Since the fundamental transformation of each of us, our society, and the economy has been decreed federally via Bicameral and Bipartisan fiats like ESSA and WIOA to be imposed locally by elected officials, let’s keep following the trail in 2016. After all, some of you may get the chance to quiz the candidates about why they supported these measures or simply offered ineffective opposition. “Why did you vote to bring Fascism to America?” is such a conversation grabber. To be ready for such an exploration let’s add a few more words and phrases to our arsenal of explanations.

In December I saw this announcement  https://www.atlasnetwork.org/news/article/entrepreneurship-center-of-easterlys-hayek-lecture-on-poverty-alleviation and decided to get Easterly’s book. After all, I had spent much of 2015 arriving at the conclusion that many of the members of the Atlas Network like Heritage, Cato, and AEI seemed fully on board with a planned economy and education that focused on changing the student at a social and emotional level. I found the promotion of both Easterly’s work and that of Human Capability theorist Amartya Sen to be both troubling in its implications of a true agenda and fascinating at the same time. After all, if the so-called Left and Right have arrived at a synthesis and are not planning to tell us lest it interfere with fundraising, then our answers are located in who gets promoted.

First of all, when the Acknowledgments page thanks Larry Summers and Joseph Stiglitz we have just tied Easterly’s vision to the Inclusive Prosperity Commission   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/dwelling-in-a-void-of-unknowing-within-a-sculpted-narrative-designed-to-manipulate/ and the UN’s Post-2015 Road to Dignity for All Plans. Easterly argued that the “cause of poverty is the absence of political and economic rights, the absence of a free political and economic system that would find the technical solutions to the poor’s problems.” If anyone else is having a Say What? moment, let’s skip to the conclusion of The Tyranny of Experts, where our tenured NYU prof decreed that “It is time at last for the silence on unequal rights for rich and poor to end. It is time at last for all men and women to be equally free.”

Now before any of us also request unicorn rides with that declaration and perhaps the waistline we had at eighteen, I want to transition to a paper released back in November that shows how such economic and social rights get created via education. http://static.politico.com/bf/c2/26608bc644989d5f5225e2eae861/educating-for-democracy-a-concept-paper-on-youth-civic-engagement.pdf We are not really having a philosophical discussion here. I am citing the relevant philosophers to explain what is to be happening in those train cars we call schools. This train has left the station and it appears to be an Express Bullet fit for Japan. When we declare substantive rights for all, someone else has the duty to provide and that paper and its well-funded vision for education teaches that “the best way to make positive changes in society is…by being active in or through engagement with government.”

If you do not want to confront this wholesale shift, let’s go back a page to where “this paper argues that young people must learn how to use the political system, and existing governmental institutions, to effect the change they wish to see in their communities.” This is the world of ESSA, WIOA, and the Left/Right synthesis of the future unfortunately where:

“it is not just economic inequality that affects the American experience. We have also seen increasing political inequality, as measured by the clout and power of different groups, often along lines of wealth, income, gender, and/or race. Educational inequality, measured by variance in the quality and access to educational opportunities, has also increased in recent years, leaving behind the country’s most vulnerable populations, and weakening America’s overall democracy. In turn, it has become our collective responsibility to work towards a system in which these inequalities do not exist.”

If these so-called rights and responsibilities are taught as factual entitlements in our schools with a vision of governments as the enforcer as a matter of law, these expectations fundamentally change our society. It’s 2016 and an election year, if this is the vision our schools and think tanks across the spectrum are pushing, we need to be aware. Back to our philosophers again, in this case Nobel-Prize winning economist Amartya Sen. He uses the Indian words niti and nyaya to describe the nature of the desired shift and even italicizes them for emphasis. Niti is identified as a theory of justice that is about having the right institutions and rules. That is not good enough anymore. A nyaya vision of what is to be required focuses on “actual realizations and accomplishments.”

If this discussion seems esoteric and a bit like an odd vocabulary lesson, all the language in ESSA about ‘evidence-based’ is simply another way to describe a nyaya vision of entitled intrusion and tracking of what the student has internalized to guide and motivate their behavior. ESSA didn’t make that a permissible activity for the schools. It created a mandate. When the Georgia WIOA Plan called for “immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners” to acquire “an understanding of the American system of government, individual freedom, and the responsibilities of citizenship,” it is that concept paper above’s vision, not what James Madison had in mind. The individual freedom is again straight out of Sen’s famous book Development as Freedom.

In fact, it is as if the Hewlett and Ford Foundations and Generation Citizen all knew Sen’s work where “different sections of society (and not just the socially privileged) should be able to be active in the decisions of what to preserve and what to let go.” If governments and think tanks have declared that we are transitioning to “an accomplishment-based understanding of justice” because in the 21st Century “justice cannot be indifferent to the lives that people can actually lead” and this nyaya view of an entitled justice is to be sculpted in the “minds of men” [and boys and girls] via formative assessments and the real meaning of assessing annually for Higher Order Thinking and Understanding, we need to recognize this reality and the nature of the shift. When Bloomberg expands the metro areas participating in What Works Cities, this is the nyaya theory of justice in play as well.

It is ironic that the Atlas Network seems to regard all these affirmative initiatives as what Hayek would have supported as part of his spontaneous order vision. As my book pointed out, Hayek took a dim view of trying to achieve conscious direction invisibly via internalizing the desired values, attitudes, and beliefs to guide wanted behaviors. I was pretty sure I had something directly on point to refute this odious vision of the future as Hayekian. Since I have a depth of knowledge that is anything other than just sound bytes and a very large library of resources, I found what I was looking for in Volume 2 of Law Legislation and Liberty. That volume has the subtitle The Mirage of Social Justice.

Hayek didn’t just write a chapter on ‘Social’ or Distributive Justice where he presciently recognized that such social goals and governmental initiatives “means a progressive displacement of private by public law” whereby the law “subordinates the citizens to authority.” A pithier description of either WIOA or ESSA may never be found. Nothing like an escapee from Fascism to recognize its characteristics and dangers. Hayek then wrote an Appendix to that Chapter called “Justice and Individual Rights” of what he believed would happen in a society that tried to enact the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in practice as UNESCO has declared it is now doing. It was also about what would happen in a society which engenders “a feeling that they have a claim on ‘society’ for the provision of particular things which it is the duty of society to provide.”

Anyone else get the feeling that which books or even chapters of Hayek’s get assigned or quoted is now greatly circumscribed? Censorship by omission we can call it. Hayek knew what we all need to know as well now that the plans for conscious direction are to be developed in students,’ and apparently immigrants,’ personalities.

“It is meaningless to speak of a right to a condition that nobody has the duty, or perhaps even the power, to bring about. It is equally meaningless to speak of right in the sense of a claim on a spontaneous order, such as society, unless this is meant to imply that somebody has the duty of transforming that cosmos into an organization and thereby to assume the power to control its results.”

Organization is a more anachronistic term for what today just gets called a system. It starts with student-centered learning and systems thinking is a requirement for every student to be Workforce Ready under WIOA. Not a coincidence. Hayek knew what we all must know recognize so I am calling on this unassigned Appendix:

“If such claims are to be met, the spontaneous order which we call society must be replaced by a deliberately directed organization…[members] could not be allowed to use their knowledge for their own purposes but would have to carry out the plan which their rulers have designed to meet the needs to be satisfied.”

Have I explained yet that in countries like Scotland that are further along this road of social transformation via education ‘reforms,’ the very Experiences and Outcomes for each student are specified? The “Es” and “Os” they are called in what is the best example of the intended deliberate reorganization.

Welcome to 2016 as the Year of Epiphanies.

Scientizing Public Policy: Implementing Orwellian Tyranny by Statute Via the Mind and Personality

I have spent the last several days since President Obama signed the “bicameral and bipartisan” Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on December 9 reading the false and misleading statements from various think tanks and reporters, supposedly representing a wide spectrum of political visions. Probably the most intrusive and impactful federal legislation ever and hardly anyone writing about it seems to feel compelled to actually read the legislation before explaining what it will do. In school a false Cliff Notes explanation of a book is likely to get a failing grade and an inquiry into cheating. In public policy and journalism now, creating false beliefs about transformative legislation seems to be all the rage. I guess it is to be expected that legislation seeking to physically reengineer the human psyche using behavioral science research would also use a bit of that research to create these false, or simply incomplete, talking points being used to describe the legislation.

If that other “bicameral and bipartisan,” fundamentally transformative legislation from summer 2014-WIOA-was the federal legislation that no one who enacted it wanted to even speak of, its partner-ESSA-is the transformative statute that no one intends to describe accurately. Unfortunately though, the actual statutory language and its real purpose control what must now occur in P-12 classrooms. It lays out what has really been authorized for meaningful change at the level of our children’s minds and personalities. Remember that. Talking points and articles may influence how ESSA is regarded by parents and the voting public, but it has nothing to do with the actual required implementation. Because the points raised and language ignored have so much commonality article to article, I shifted the actual quote I pilfered for the title from ‘scientizing politics’, which is what I believe ESSA was designed to do, to ‘scientizing public policy.’

The reference to Orwell is not me being a clever wordsmith and trying to hype attention. There really was a conference in August 1984 (like his book title) in Cambridge, UK on George Orwell and the “potential for tyranny if the enterprise of politics is interpreted as being analogous to that of science.” I believe that is precisely what ESSA is designed to do. A huge number of reports I have read from the US as well as from all over the globe back that up. Recognizing that makes me want to at call attention to what is at risk and why it matters. This, I believe, is the true reason politicians of both parties and public policy types across the spectrum refuse to accurately describe ESSA. No one seems to want anyone to have much of a chance to recognize the purpose of all those euphemisms used in its language or the Red Herrings designed to be a cited focus.

What does it mean if politics is being falsely analogized to science? Instead of politics being about competing interests within a set of rules that values the individual, scientizing politics uses education and the law as its primary tools. These allow coercive implementation without consent from those actually bound and treat politics as a truth-discovery process. What’s the truth to be compelled for belief? I have warned before that there really is such a thing in political science as the Human Development Society. Karl Marx wrote about it and all its tenets are being put into place now legislatively via all those unread, except by me, provisions of WIOA and ESSA. That is not an ideological smear, but a factual recognition of the background of these ideas.

Whether widely known or not http://buildinitiative.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Four_Ovals_paper.pdf   lays out the federal/states framework of using federal money to intervene in meeting ‘needs’ from birth on. The two think tanks, AEI and Brookings, have recently published definitive plans called “Opportunity, Responsibility, and Security: A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream” that would also please Uncle Karl immensely. Notice that as much as certain groups have capitalized on criticizing that video of Congressman Tim Ryan saying social and emotional learning is to be the primary focus now of education, that cited paper calls for the same focus. Since I have already read that paper, I know that it makes it clear that the primary reason to have funding follow the student and vary in amounts based on categories of ‘needs’ at federal and state levels is a desire to force socioeconomic integration on all public schools.

I mentioned that goal last week at a program on Student-Based Budgeting and having it be portable like a backpack that was being put on by two Atlas Network members–the Reason Foundation and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. Both acknowledged that was the goal, but it was a long way away. I pointed out that parents and taxpayers were not being told that was even the long-term goal in all the public programs around changing the nature of student funding. Following up on that discussion, I discovered that both Reason and the Cato Institute had published papers urging a shift in welfare policy to Universal Basic Income. In other words, the so-called Left and Right public policy makers seem to have agreed on implementing Uncle Karl’s vision with the only question marks being how much should be publicly provided vs merely publicly funded and provided under stipulated standards.

Since that apparent reality would probably not be politically popular in a world where a majority of Americans do want to close the borders and not work as a beast of burden for everyone who can physically make it here and then start having children, we get the very lies and misstatements about WIOA and ESSA and what they are really intended to accomplish that I have been noticing. As always when confronted with any attempt to politically install a false picture of reality in the minds of boys and girls and the adults around them, I turned  to a 1988 French book by Jean-Francois Revel that was translated into English in 1991 as The Flight from Truth.

Revel noted just how unusual it is to find people “who possess a taste for facts and an interest in truth.” He called it the “anomaly of intellectual curiosity” and since I have definitely been driven by that curiosity all my life, his descriptions seemed like a good way to describe what ESSA, its required Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understandings (HOTS), the embedded Competency-based education, the required behaviorally-oriented performance standards and assessments, etc. are all hoping to foster in the minds and personalities of the students who will be tomorrow’s voters.

“The power of ideology is rooted in a human lack of curiosity about facts. When a new piece of information reaches us, we react first by wondering if it is going to reinforce or weaken our habitual mode of thought…The ideas that interest us the most are not new ideas, they are ideas we are accustomed to. [or which preschool through higher ed intends to make us used to as Relevant, Engaging, and Culturally Responsive]. The prodigious progress of science since the seventeenth century prompts us to invest human nature with a congenital appetite for knowledge and an insatiable appetite for facts.

But what history teaches us is that if Man does indeed display an intense intellectual activity, it is above all to construct vast explanatory systems as verbose as they are ingenious-systems that induce mental calm by providing an illusion of global comprehension, rather than by encouraging us humbly to explore reality and to expose ourselves to unknown information. To grow and develop, science has always had to struggle against this primordial human tendency which surrounds it and combats it from within: indifference to knowledge.”

The refusal to describe WIOA and the deliberate inaccuracies surrounding ESSA build on that recognized general indifference to knowledge most people possess. As Revel recognized and so does every behavioral scientist and educator seeking to ‘scientize politics’ in the 21st Century: “Man’s major foe is deep within him. But the enemy is no longer the same. Formerly it was ignorance; today it is falsehood.” Those mental systems that can induce calm or motivate action from a deep, emotional level must be created by education under ESSA in each and every student.

Looking for that presence, and manipulating what is found as needed to create the desired dispositions and generalized knowledge and skills to be the future citizen a Human Development Society needs, is precisely what ESSA prescribes. It is what assessing for HOTS, personalized learning based on data, and ‘well-rounded learning experiences’ are all about. The entire concept of 21st Century Schools required to receive all that funding under ESSA goes back to another reason why education and the law are being used now to Scientize Politics without permission and with organized, active deceit from the public sector and its public policy advocates. We are being forcibly shifted from our historic emphasis in the West of a community organized around moral order to a moral community organized around shared common purposes.

ESSA, WIOA, and those reports I provided as examples above, all assume a shift to an “overriding community interest” where everyone’s designated needs must be met. Individual rights to pursue our own interests and, apparently, our own knowledge of actual facts, get trumped by the desire to plan people, places, the economy, and supposedly ensure economic justice for all, regardless of background or personal productivity. Again, since being honest about this shift and a widespread recognition of what the consequences are likely to be is simply not good for a political career or even fundraising prospects for the typical think tank, we get lies and descriptions of legislation based on talking points with no actual curiosity for the facts.

Education necessarily has to be altered at all levels to support this clear, but unheralded shift, because a society that locates its sources of social cohesion in moral community is “necessarily more vulnerable to shifts in attitudes and behavior patterns that might reflect individual departures from the shared purposes of the community.” At least we know now why a communitarian ethos and shared understandings just keep popping up in the required implementation of a Positive and Safe School Climate.

Everything from the Career Pathways requirements to the new descriptions of K-12 as Workforce Development to the mandate that all educational practices promote Equity and meet needs actually trace back to this shift to a moral community where:

“Persons are tied, one to another, by their common identification to the collective, with their shared sense of nationhood, race, class, or ideology.”

As an anomalous seeker of facts with an insatiable curiosity about the likely effects in the reality where we all dwell, let me be the first to point out that this has historically been a tragic path for any society to actively cultivate.

Just because our elected public officials have arrogantly voted to impose this vision on us using education and the law, with an assist on the falsehoods part from the media, doesn’t mean we have to acquiesce.

The way out, as usual, is the recognition of what is really going on.

Even is it is not a politically approved pathway anymore under federal law.

 

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.

 

 

Legally Imposing Mental Strait Jackets Touted as Student Success or Achievement While Paralyzing Mass Consciousness

This post was a bit delayed after the House narrowly passed its ESEA Rewrite last Thursday–called the Student Success Act–when so many of the Republican Reps were sending out false affirmations of what they had done and who they had protected. I wondered where so much inaccurate info could come. I was told repeatedly that these Pols refused to listen or even look at the statutory language that contradicted their preferred talking points. In other words, they want the binding effect against their constituents and our childrens’ minds of federal legislation while ultimately keeping deniability that “they didn’t know.” There goes any entitlement to the Honorific of “Honorable” when referring to any of these deceitful Pols who choose to remain ignorant while the US gets shoved nonconsensually into long-designed collectivism, becoming a partner in all the UN’s current mischief against the masses.

Long-planned, huh, how long? As my book Credentialed to Destroy details, the 1960s effort ignited by the original ESEA and the 90s version did not go as planned. Think of the deceit surrounding this ESEA Rewrite as simply in line with the Oligarchs and their political and corporate cronies refusing to wait any longer for mass submission. Let’s go back then to 1963 and Ervin Laszlo’s Blueprint for transitioning the West to his Essential Society where the “full satisfaction of individual demands is the main characteristic.” No mention at that time of an Obamaphone or Broadband for All, but we are all getting used to the current entitled demands. Laszlo wrote this crucial obligation that fits with his Government by Idea:

“the ultimate task of a government is to close the gap between the actual situation in the nation and this [Essential Society] Ideal.

The scheme must be built on the individual [student-centered; personalized learning]; it is to provide for his freedom and his fulfillment. Now the individual needs (i) to live, and (ii) to live satisfactorily. The first need makes a demand on the private economy to supply goods and skills for subsistence, the second on culture to provide comprehension and a solution to the problemmatic aspects of experience.”

When I keep hyping why the language in these rewrites about Competency and Higher Order Understanding and Skills is so crucial and indicates such a transformation of the historic purpose of schools that is why.  I want us to remember all the deceit from the Pols surrounding this Rewrite when I give you the name of the book these next quotes are coming from: Individualism Collectivism and Political Power. Political Power, Laszlo recognized back in 1963, before the original ESEA, could advance collectivism in those countries that has historically reverenced and protected the Individual if K-12 education could be altered for the purpose of “preventing individuals from evaluating and comprehending societal and general reality in unbiased, objective terms.” Boy, does that add further spin to all the revelations in my book.

Aspirational Collectivists, be they UN officials, Congress members, school supers, or profs, need citizens that “view reality from the subjective context of need,” even when they are dealing with objective matters. That filter needs to become the prevailing mode of comprehension of the masses and it needs to be practiced repeatedly from preschool on so it becomes a Habit of Mind and mental strait jacket. Laszlo gives the needed frame of mind or Worldview that once again fits right in to that Young Adult Success Framework linked two posts ago. It also fits with what Harvard called ‘performances of understanding’ and what is more commonly called now Formative Assessment. In other words, this is where Opt Out is really going:

” In a Communist climate, on the other hand, all things and all relations are evaluated subjectively, following the Marxian formulation of practice as the proof of knowledge, and the good of man as the criterion for the desirability of political activity. It follows then that knowledge in a Communist society represents the comprehension of the environment in the context of its effect upon man, more precisely upon the collectivity.”

And we wonder why we keep being told school must now be experiential and the experiences must be relevant and successful students are those who are “meaning makers.” Now I am switching to what it is clear both versions of the ESEA Rewrite intend to force as a matter of law. It’s why it is so atrocious for Pols to be touting this all as a return of power to the states and local schools when the feds are actually requiring by law that every other governmental entity and charters track and manipulate what Norbert Weiner called, in italics, a change in taping. That’s what he wrote that Cybernetics is all about. When that change in taping is educational and involves a student at a neurological level, as in “There is no Maginot Line of the brain,” that is called Learning.

It could be physiologically put into place and would work in human beings in a manner akin to an anti-aircraft gun’s taping of the internal calibrating mechanism: “which alters not so much the numerical data, as the process by which they are interpreted.” The feds are saying that the student’s internal taping is what must be focused on. It is disingenuous to then say that what the states and schools do is up to them. Not in the essence of what truly matters to our children and our future it is not. This Weiner explanation of cybernetic feedback, I am stating here, fits with what the House is calling Student Success and the Senate calls Every Child Achieves. Maybe this is a good time to remind also Laszlo’s point that most minds are inferior and only capable of a subjective mode of comprehension of experiences. If the same standards are required for all and the achievement gaps must be closed and Universal Design for Learning is enshrined in the legislation, this is what school becomes by default.

“feedback is a method of controlling a system by reinserting into it the results of its past performance…If the information which proceeds backward from the performance is able to change the general method and pattern of performance, we have a success which we may well be called learning.”

That’s also why it matters so much that the Senate version prescribed that the states must allow ‘performances’ to be the means of showing that its ‘content standards’ were met. Before I give the next quote from Weiner, who actually was troubled by the possibilities for governmental control of the masses all this entailed once computers truly came into their own, [Remember ECAA’ s digital mandate] let’s look at a quote from Weiner on what happens when the human mind’s ‘taping’ is being targeted for political or other purposes (italics in original):

“I have spoken of machines, but not only machines having brains of brass and thews of iron. When human atoms are knit into an organization in which they are used, not in their full right as responsible human beings, but as cogs and levers and rods [Career Pathways!], it matters little that the raw material is flesh and blood. What is used as an element in a machine, is in fact an element in the machine.”

A machine then is the person, manipulated by political power via education, but the machine extends to the workplace, society, the economy and all those other areas governments are now proclaiming as their turf. And one savvy reviewer in 1948 when Cybernetics was originally published saw the potential for governmental mischief and manipulation of human processes for political gain from the beginning. A Dominican friar, Pere Dubarle, wrote in Le Monde that these theories would tempt Pols to set up what he called machines a gouverner . I am asserting in this post that this is precisely what is occurring and why we have so much deceit surrounding this Rewrite.

“the human processes which constitute the object of government may be assimilated into [probability] games…Even though these games have an incomplete set of rules, there are other games with a very large number of players, where the data are extremely complex. The machines a gouverner will define the State as the best-informed player at each particular level [city, state, nation, global], and the State is the only supreme co-ordinator of all partial decisions. These are the enormous privileges; if they are acquired scientifically, they will permit the State under all circumstances to beat every player of a human game other than itself by offering this dilemma: either immediate ruin, or planned co-operation.”

A sobering quote, but DuBarle felt better that the computers then available lacked the capacity to determine and control the “system of psychological reactions of the players in the face of the results obtained at each instant.” That is no longer the case and the Common Core and all the other State learning standards for students the Rewrite will require are to produce exactly the mounds of data adaptive learning has always needed to change the taping at the level of the mind.

Now, given what we know (see Chapter 7 of my book especially) about the actual implementation in the classroom, we clearly are looking at education being used as a tool by Political Power at all levels for “mechanical manipulation of human situations” as DuBarle worried about. It allows Pols now and their administrative co-participants to “plan a method of paralyzing the consciousness of the masses.” Crucial since both Weiner and Laszlo admitted that is necessary for collectivism to be possible.

DuBarle said this cybernetic vision would create “a world worse than hell for every clear mind.” The Pols and their cronies thus intend, or are choosing to remain ignorant of, the use of K-12 education, enabled and mandated by federal legislation, to make sure there are no longer enough clear minds to alter the needed, prevailing subjective comprehension in enough of the masses of voters.

They may prevail, but this Clear Mind will keep telling the story of what is really transpiring in our schools and universities.

And why.

 

Congressionally Mandating Dialectical Thinking and then Forcing States to Annually Measure and Manipulate It

In the past week there has been a dust up on several blogs as to whether assertions about the purposes of language in the Bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act–ECAA, that has now unanimously passed out of Senate Committee, amounts to conspiracy theories. Now I cannot speak for others, but I too have read every page of ECAA. I recognize what certain terms mean and what other synonyms for the same phrases have been over the decades. We get to talk about those terms and that history without being accused of theorizing when we are having a fact-based discussion with sources. Moreover, the ECAA, whatever the intent of the Senators approving it or those who drafted it, has language that forces all states to abandon the “didactic purpose” of K-12 education because of how it defines “Challenging State Academic Standards” in the legislation.

Likewise, by mandating that states must use assessments that target ‘higher order thinking skills’ Congress adopts what that term has come to mean in education. Lauren Resnick laid it out in a 1987 National Academy of Sciences report explained here.   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/muzzling-minds-all-over-the-globe-while-trumpeting-higher-order-skills/ Marc Tucker, her co-director of the New Standards Project and its performance standards, explained it here in 1988 while he was at the National Center for Education and the Economy. http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_198802_tucker.pdf Tucker also linked it to the fulfillment of Peter Drucker’s social vision that I explained here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/fostering-faithful-followers-for-anticipatory-democracy-created-by-reinventing-governments/ The 1968 book The Age of Discontinuity book from Drucker I wrote about is the same one Tucker cited in 1988 as necessitating a new vision of K-12 and the shift from basic skills to “higher order thinking.’

Now I will admit that I have always thought HOTS, as I abbreviate it, functioned like dialectical thinking, but I am a precise person. I do not theorize as to what is going on except in the privacy of my own mind or in speculations with a cat sitting in my lap as I research. We get to tie HOTS in ECAA to the term ‘dialectical thinking’ like we are all back at U of Moscow in the 60s because Educational Leadership published a series of essays in the 80s by Richard Paul where he explained that HOTS, and his concept of critical thinking that was equivalent to it, were also known as dialectical thinking. He cited Resnick and Tucker as I linked to above. Paul also made it clear that all these terms are designed around participation in a new, different kind of ‘democracy’ going forward.This is from an essay called “McPeck’s Mistakes: Why Critical Thinking Applies Across Disciplines and Domains”.

“If you believe in democracy you must believe that citizens have the potential to judge. If you believe that one primary function is to prepare students for participation in democracy, you must agree that helping students refine their ability to judge social, political, and economic questions (and questions to which these subjects apply) as clearmindedly, fairly, and rationally as possible is among the most important and useful functions of education. Use of ‘common sense’ is not inborn, but developed.”

And monitoring that development, and manipulating it as needed, through learning tasks, student learning objectives, prescribed activities, formative assessments, etc is precisely what the ECAA calls for once we track the language in it through to its actual meaning. http://www.nciea.org/publication_PDFs/CADRE%20CFA-StudentGrowthReport-Final.pdf is an April 2015 report called “Using a Learning Progression Framework to Assess and Evaluate Student Growth.” It is from the Center of Assessment involved in the pilot greenlighted under ECAA except those materials and the Student Learning Objectives Toolkit are in use in districts and states far beyond New Hampshire. The Cognitive Rigor Matrix described also relates to dialectical thinking and HOTS. That is what creates the cognitive complexity being called for.

All the references to “careful study of student reasoning” or “understand student reasoning” or “based on student reasoning” are all trying to monitor the extent to which the student has moved beyond what Ralph Tyler called the ‘right answer’ syndrome into dialectical thinking. The desire to shift the Learning Progression (described in depth in my book) to “cultivating formative practices” comes from the desire to ensure that the student is using the supplied ideas, principles, and concepts desired in their everyday interpretations since that is what guides and prompts behavior. The same reason is also why there is a determination to get at motivation. Thinking and emotions must be integrated and that must control action. Again, thanks to Richard Paul for being explicit and all these intentions attach to these words and practices mandated or allowed by ECAA regardless of the intentions of any politician that votes for it.

Before I go back to the 1960s to show once again just how long this desire to use the bribery power of the federal purse and its regulatory power to change the nature of K-12 education, let’s remember that virtually everyone involved confessed their transformative reasons. That’s why my book has so many footnotes. No need to speculate or theorize. If people say they are coordinating around a particular purpose, they do not get excused from scrutiny because someone yells ‘conspiracy.’ Anyone here ever hear of Guy Fawkes and the 1605 Gunpowder Plot? People conspire around the desire to get or keep political and economic power and to impose their pet belief systems on others. Anyone ever hear of Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley? Who a 16th Century Monarch married mattered if the ruler was a she because it affected political and economic power. Who had it and who wanted it.

Only someone being disingenuous or acting as a historical simpleton can look at something like ECAA and not recognize its potential to have a transformative, permanent effect on what individual citizens believe, know, or can do. That’s a great deal of power and if my book and this blog do anything it is track down confessions of using education for transformative purposes, whether “We the People’ acting as individuals would consent or not. Certainly no parent would consent to formative assessment if it were accurately described and understood. To get at what makes assessment of thinking now different I want to go back to the description of Science: A Process Approach created to be an innovative curriculum in the 1960s that would be accessible to all “economic, ethnic, educational, social, geographical” groups without any “marked effects on student achievement.”

Does that sound like an obligation to close the achievement gap and have Equity in learning to anyone else? The Process Approach was not really about facts or concepts and that shift was controversial at the time. It too had a Learning Progression designed to practice specified behaviors. The whole point was to “develop in students the intellectual and investigative skills of the scientist, and hopefully these skills will provide a generalized method of defining and solving problems which can be applied in other subject areas as well.” So in the 1960s there was a desire to look for Transfer to New, Untaught situations and different contexts. A Process Approach called it ‘Generalizing Experience’ instead of Rigor, but it too had what it called ‘Competency Measures’ that employed “content and materials different from those used in the exercises so the student must apply what he has learned in a new situation.”

I bolded those terms because the Common Core has the same stated goals in what it is assessing for. That Learning Progression link and what Student Learning Outcomes means wants the same. Between the early 60s and the 1998 publication of the Assessing Science Understanding and now, the behavioral scientists discovered practicing behaviors was not enough. Students needed to be guided by principles and concepts they acted on arationally. That is what proficiency and competency actually now mean as this post made clear http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/police-power-to-compel-adult-beliefs-meanwhile-values-manipulation-captures-young-minds-forever/ This federal manipulation apparently began with unappreciated language in the 2002 No Child Left Behind that ECAA would double down on.

Cognitive science does not just want to practice behaviors. It needs inside the black box and it needs the ‘thinking’ to be grounded in emotion and dialectical in the sense of HOTS and rigor. Quoting a definition of ‘learning science’ that dovetails with what I call cybernetics, let’s go back to 1998 in what must have been created as part of that New Standards Project that is now the renamed Common Core:

“in the constructivist view, learning science is a process of making connections: connections among experiences with the natural world and mental representations of those experiences; and connections among concepts that result in the generation of principles new to the learner. These concepts and principles, in turn, are connected to events and experiences in the natural world.”

Monitoring and manipulating those mental representations that guide perception of reality and everyday behavior and likely actions is precisely what SLOs, a high quality assessment, Competency-based education, and formative assessment are all about. It’s what led to the Math and Reading Wars as my book makes clear. It’s why Outcomes-based education never goes away. It just gets renamed.

It’s why this post’s title does not impugn anyone or allege a ‘conspiracy’. It simply understands ECAA in terms of the language used and the history of those terms. That statute and the educational activities and assessments to be carried out by states and school districts under its terms has a clear trajectory and purpose, whatever the personal intentions of anyone involved is.

All of these aims are simply too tied to facts with clear purposes of social engineering. We cannot allow the mind and personality to be manipulated into an invisible prison by using the C word to bar rational discussion.

Politicians wanting to expand their authority without either consent or publicity. That’s not a conspiracy. It’s just history properly understood. In a didactic, fact-based, soon to be forbidden, old-fashioned way.

 

 

Harnessing the Meaning Making Capacities of the Human Mind and then Assessing for the Tightness of the Fit

We talked about NAEP in the last post so we could begin to appreciate its real purpose as both a driver and a monitor of using education to mentally deconstruct any concept of learning as the transmission of factual knowledge. In fact, whenever we see the phrase “meaningful learning” from now on, let’s just be upfront that it means changes in a student’s mind or personality intended to reliably guide future behavior as desired. The quote at the beginning of that title comes from a 2000 book Assessing Science Understanding: A Human Constructivist View that asserted that science is no longer about a body of facts and information about how the world works transmitted from a textbook or a teacher. No, “science is best understood as a formalized and highly adaptive way of harnessing the meaning making capacities of the human mind.”

To ‘Understand’ then in math, science, history, or while reading a book is to interpret in the manner someone else has stipulated so that students will practice perceiving and behaving as desired until these behaviors become unconscious habits. Locked in at a physical level in the brain’s neural pathways. That is what is being assessed and why we keep coming back to an insistence that the ‘performances’ or ‘achievements’ be action-based. It’s why we are getting such a push for Project-based Learning. When I went through the activities in that book, they were not about learning a body of knowledge. They were training students to view the world in a certain way. Did you know back in the mid-80s as these reforms were being dreamed up there was even a term invented for what would be sought-observational competence? Is the student noticing the themes or aspects desired in a given situation and ignoring the elements we would rather not be the focus of attention?

When I called attention to the idea of that ‘proficiency’ under NAEP and state standards after the adoption of NCLB in 2002 was about Proficiency Standards for Reasoning, I found this document   http://www.mathleadership.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/standardsofpracticematrix.pdf assuring me that the Common Core would meet these action-based concepts of the desired proficiency. The students may not know much, but they will have been trained and primed over years to act in certain ways based on stipulated prompts. And look, there are 3 levels of achievement just like what the Every Child Achieves Act requires each state to have as its “aligned academic achievement standards” that will constitute how the ‘content standards’ will be met. Prescribed behaviors. Harness the mind and then ‘assess’ to see if the harness fits properly and guides behavior as desired. If so, herald the student as performing ‘proficiently’ or ‘competently’ and thus being College and Career Ready.

http://www.heinemann.com/fountasandpinnell/supportingMaterials/lli/AlignmentWithNAEP.pdf is not Math or ‘science’ but it is the vision for learning to read and write and then what will be the ELA activities using the Fountas & Pinnell curriculum so beloved by the Common Core (described in Chapter 7 of my book on the Learning Progression). Isn’t it good to know these prescribed literacy activities involve “very specific behaviors and understandings are written for each level and built into every individual lesson?” How very harness-like. Get each student used to the jerk of the tether while they are still young and their minds are oh-so-malleable to manipulation. That link also makes it clear that NAEP after 2000 was being used to quietly implement the performance and proficiency standards from the New Standards Project that grew out of that National Education Goals Panel we met in the last post.

No wonder the National Center for Education and the Economy reuploaded the entire NSP body of work back in December 2010. Just in time to pretend it is actually something new called the Common Core and in time for an ESEA reauthorization like ECAA. NSP’s Performance Standards simply get euphemised as ECAA’s “aligned achievement standards” that quickly gets defined away as just “challenging state academic standards” for the rest of the Act. As if we are still talking about the transmission of knowledge brought to us by the Greatest Minds Who Have Ever Lived. No, instead we get ‘sense-making’ from our prescribed activities using the supplied ideas, themes, principles, and concepts intended to function as a politically transformative mental and emotional harness.

I think it is hard for readers of this blog to fully appreciate how confining this manipulative vision of reading, math, and science will be since we all have Axemaker Minds of some type or another. Some minds may be better stocked than others with accurate facts and abilities to infer, but all of us still had some kind of a knowledge orientation to our K-12 and college experiences. That Heinemann language and the fact we are talking about 6 year olds being manipulated should give some idea of just how constraining and invisible this behavioral harness can become. ECAA though wants to push preschool for all as a basic right so we are actually going back even younger than 5 or 6. We also do not have to speculate about what the “early childhood care and education” vision that fits with this competency/proficiency approach looks like.

New Zealand–tied to the Innovation Lab Network and Competency through the GELP-Global Education Leaders Program that we have discussed on this blog (see tag) adopted Te Whariki–the National Early Childhood Curriculum in the 90s to go along with what was then called Transformational Outcomes Based Education (detailed in Chapter 4 of my book explaining Competency and its history). We know that in 1998 the US-based ERIC asked that the Te Whariki papers be submitted to its database. Te Whariki pushes a developmental approach that rejects the old “focus on the learner as an individual, and learning as furniture in the mind.” Instead, learning is the change brought about in the student as a result of “responsive and reciprocal relationships with people places and things.”

Someone obviously hates commas, but they like hyphens as they see the student as an “individual-in-action” interacting in social, cultural  and purposeful contexts. I mentioned Urie Bronfenbrenner and the Great Experiment in the last post. Te Whariki is explicitly grounded in his Ecological Systems Theory that is concisely explained here.  https://www.uncg.edu/hdf/facultystaff/Tudge/Bronfenbrenner%202005.pdf So are competency and proficiency-based concepts of learning. They all intend to create ‘dispositions’ or “habits of mind, tendencies to respond to situations in certain ways.” And if those dispositions start being baked in and turned into a harness back in early childhood programs (the quote came from the Te Whariki paper) the adolescent and then young adult voter need not even know the harness and guiding bit are there at all.

Te Whariki gives a definition of assessment that fits with where formative assessments intend to go in the US and elsewhere: “the primary purpose of assessment should be to provide information which can be used to identify strengths and guide improvement.” All that is based on what people with political power decide they want to see in the citizens of tomorrow, not what parents or the children themselves want. This harness view of education also gets marketed as a thinking curriculum and it was laid out, before the 90s controversies, in a 1991 book by Edward Fiske called Smart Schools, Smart Kids: Why Do Some Schools Work? once again financed by the Carnegie Corporation that now sponsors Competency-based Education.

I keep hearing news reports wrongly describing what are now performance assessments or other means of checking for the presence and efficacy of the mental harness as ‘standardized tests’. Fiske’s book complained that “the most damaging aspect of standardized tests, though, is their impact  on the curriculum. Since states test reading and math, this is what schools emphasize. [Horrors!! Let’s revise the NAEP.] But in doing so they focus on basic skills and factual knowledge that such tests measure and direct schools’ attention from the new agenda of teaching students to think.”  The book then quoted Lauren Resnick (who will go on to co-direct the New Standards Project and be on the Common Core validation committee. She also chaired the 1987 committee that produced the report on Higher Order Thinking Skills a/k/a Teaching Students to Think in a Way that Serves as a Harness) and her husband Daniel.

“Current tests are tuned to a curriculum of the past, one that is not suited to today’s social and economic conditions…[The Resnicks advocate transitioning all students to tests grounded in] Goals such as interpreting unfamiliar texts, constructing convincing arguments, understanding complex systems, developing approaches to problems, or negotiating problem resolutions in a group” that sounds just like the learning tasks and means for assessment being touted as part of the Common Core classroom or a competency/proficiency-based classroom. Fiske’s book also pointed out that powerful tests like the NAEP are a “high-stakes game in itself” and that “whoever controls those powerful tests will control a large measure of what is taught and learned in American schools.”

Once again, that’s why the mandate of ‘aligned achievement standards’ in ECAA that forces a behavioral or performance-based, consistent with Universal Design for Learning, approach in every school in every state matters so very much. It’s a way the federal government mandates the construction of a harness while pretending to return control to states and localities.  Specifying the hows of testing is controlling those tests and the curriculum itself. I want to close with what Linda Darling-Hammond said in Fiske’s book since she is the author of the New Paradigm being pushed for what will constitute meaningful learning. https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/accountability-college-and-career-readiness-developing-new-paradigm.pdf Standardized testing back when it was still fact-based and right-answer oriented was supposedly based on the “dubious assumption that there is a single right answer to any question worth asking.”

LDH viewed the old-fashioned standardized test as the “triumph of passive learning. It is testing for the TV generation. We don’t ask if students can synthesize information, solve problems, or think independently. We measure what they recognize.” So back in 1991, when she was still a professor at the Teachers College at Columbia, Hammond, like Lauren Resnick, was very involved in advocating for a thinking kind of curriculum that fits with a Harness Function.

No wonder both professors remain so involved now in guiding the actual classroom implementations both in the US and globally through the OECD.