Key to shifting the dominant Social World-view away from the fruits of the Enlightenment. Apparently modern-day Schemers who prefer to do our planning for us in the name of a theoretical Ecological Cultural Worldview they have been writing about, and speaking at conferences about, now want to jettison the:
“dominant techno-scientific worldview which influences us all, is essentially positivist, objectivist and reductionist, and based upon the root metaphor of mechanism.”
In plain English, mechanism means Cause and Effect which seems to be a dangerous thing to try to jettison. Bet it really won’t leave. Reality is always out there whatever our manufactured, perhaps false, perceptions or ignorance of it.
My scheming prof from the UK whose Systems Thinking dissertation was widely cited in the run-up to last March’s Planet under Pressure confab in London says we need a new way of thinking. Sounds much like Paul Ehrlich, doesn’t he? Or “reperception.” Whatever is necessary to “allow us to transcend the limits of thinking that appear to have led to the current global predicament.” I am tempted to ask what global predicament and what really caused it. I can also smell Hayek’s “the fatal conceit” coming where professors or bureaucrats are redesigning complex social systems that were never intentionally designed in the first place.
First note to Social Engineers–“Remember, Piecemeal is Your Friend!!” But no one invited me to participate in the Caviar and Champagne confab so I will have to tell you my thoughts instead. Then track this through to the All Important How. We deviated to discuss Spirituality as a Target and a desire to manipulate the human desire for inspiring motivational beliefs for a reason.
My scheming Ecology Prof says Perception is “informed by the inspirational, the affective, the imaginal, and the experiential domains.” I think we can now agree that radicals with plans for fundamental transformation via education are targeting all those areas. That’s what the last 3 posts especially have been about plus everything all summer on social and emotional learning. Check Box 1. Moreover, the perceptual filter each of us has, whether we are aware of it or not, is “colored by:
1)Our spiritual grounding and awareness;
2) Our Belief System;
3) Our creative imagination; and
4) Our experiential histories.
So education targeting any of those goes after Perception. This is especially critical to reforms like Outcomes Based Education and Systems Thinking that are really targeting all of the above. Why? Want a refresher?
Before murderer Che Guevara became venerated as a pop art icon suitable for mass apparel, he wrote a book called Man and Socialism in Cuba. In it he wrote that (my bold):
“The vanguard group is ideologically more advanced than the mass; the latter is acquainted with the new values but insufficiently.”
If you want a revolution or a paradigm change or a rejection of the dominant world-view, especially one that did bring unprecedented levels of global prosperity to the masses, you need New Values. It’s apparently part of the Overthrow 101 Syllabus. And that is consistent with what we are seeing throughout the real Common Core implementation and what we are seeing all over the world.
Now for the how. On November 30 Ed Week had a small story called “Multiple Perspectives in an International Classroom.” This paragraph jumped out at me. The Multiple Perspectives Instructional Design:
“compels students to analyze the past not through a textbook, but through various primary-source documents. The aim is to integrate the stories of conquered groups with the opinions of the conquerors, thereby enriching the classroom discussion. By incorporating these new perspectives, students develop a clearer understanding of how historical events have shaped society today.”
Misunderstandings building on emotion and ignorance and perhaps valid frustrations is far more likely. Then there is the alarming passage that “teaching with student perspectives refines students’ identities and beliefs.” Well, how fragile those must be then. I wasn’t quite hyperventilating yet but this is a painful strategy to read about. Especially when something called a four-corners discussion got thrown into the Bubbling Cauldron of Emotion. This technique pushed by the cited group “Facing History” is meant to “illustrate how political statements draw upon personal experience to articulate a viewpoint.”
The question asked was–“Those who make more money should be taxed more money.” Students go to corners based on Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree. Then they try to persuade each other to switch corners. Two points come to Mind. First, this is not History whatever the name of the class and it is only Social Studies in the Deweyan sense of Social Engagement and Interaction as the purpose of the classroom. Secondly, what a tremendous exercise in priming students to yield to the herd instinct. To the primacy of the Group. All alone in your corner? What do you think you know that we don’t? Or what selfish interest are you trying to protect?
I am also tempted to tell you what I think of seeing former colonies as about having been conquered when it was the only time some ever had a rule of law and some protection against predation by the Ruler over the Ruled. And yes there should be a special ring in Hell for what the Belgian King did to the Congo. This is a curriculum that builds on Ignorance and plays to Stereotypes and then lards on Grievances and then Builds up Personal Identities from that Bubbling Brew? I had enough false lenses in that new C3–College, Career, and Civic Life Framework.
To make sure I was fair though I went to the “Facing History” website to take a further look at what was being pushed. I knew it had famous patrons now living in DC but I had never systematically looked at it. My analysis so far from looking at the website and reading both “Margot’s Journey” about founder Margot Stern Strom and her “A Work in Progress” is this is not a history course in any traditional sense of the term. In fact, it appears to be a fair amount of Bad History. Why? It is a combo of creating New Moral Values and a Sense of Identity from the “lessons” and a Personal Behavior Intervention program. All to create a Mindset for Social Justice.
And not to be elitist about History but Totalitarianism and its causes is a dangerous thing to misapprehend. Pushing emotional false beliefs for political gain is playing with fire. Especially when using the Holocaust and talking about a regime that itself rejected reason in favor of cultivated emotional beliefs. What gave rise to the Nazis was not individual hate so much as using education in the 19th century to create a widespread unconscious motivating belief that the Group and the Race and the Country had Primacy. There was no room for the individual in that Belief System. It was not a place where individuals and their personal choices were the prevailing drivers.
So I am worried that horrific events are being used to create false Beliefs and erroneous but Useful (to a Political Schemer intent on Transformation) Values. We seem to be back to a curriculum similar to the one Robert Hutchins laid out in 1968 without being honest that is what is being pushed. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/using-education-to-shut-down-free-choices-and-then-redefining-as-personal-autonomy-orwell-lives/ I picked that post for a reason. Carol Gilligan and Kohlberg a la Stages of Moral Development are both involved with “Facing History.” So is esr, Educators for Social Responsibility, with its PBIS/ Social and Emotional Curriculum for Middle and High Schoolers, that we saw in our Responsive Classroom post. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/locusts-of-the-mind-boring-gaping-holes-altering-wiring-and-living-on-our-dime/ And honestly too many other people we have encountered in this blog. All pushing changing values and mindsets and morals to change society. Selling the Vision that 21st Century Utopias could be a Reality.
I think it is dangerous to teach students, especially those whose misperceptions are unlikely to be corrected at home that “history is largely manmade.” History is a lot of accidents and unintended consequences. Intentions are not the viable reality. Going on to tell students that “what civilization is and what it may become is directly related to each one of us” is misguided and downright dangerous. It’s woefully not true and leaves students unguided by accurate lessons from the past. It leaves them prone to jettisoning what is flawed but fixable in favor of a Dream that is unworkable.
So how do you get to a new Paradigm or Prevailing World-view? In the name of history you teach false but Transformative Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs utilizing the power of the Group and encourage each student to use them “in our lives, take it in, and make it a part of our identity, individually or as a community” as the recommended way of “dealing with ourselves.”
Then you make the definitions of Growth or Student Achievement measuring each Student’s developing Competencies about what a curriculum like “Facing History” is pushing. How is it changing the student? With that Change being defined as Learning.
Orwellian redefinition being another part of the Overthrow 101 Syllabus.