Resistance-Proof Biosocial Revolution Undisclosed at the Neural Level of Students’ Minds

Let’s start off with a quote I have had since I did the ACES post on April 30. “In social cognitive theory, sociostructural factors operate through psychological mechanisms of the self system to produce behavioral effects.” Now that may sound like a mouthful, but if we substitute ‘a person’ or ‘the student’ for ‘self system’ the meaning is clearer. Now we have discussed that Karl Marx is widely recognized now as having been a lousy economist. Less recognized though is how his related sales pitch that social revolution could be achieved if ‘Man’ would simply become a Maker of History is still wildly reverenced, especially in education. So let’s now add in another quote from the same 2001 Annual Review of Psychology article by Albert Bandura to shake out that other mouthful–’sociostructural factors.’

“The self system is not merely a conduit for sociostructural influences. Although the self is socially constituted, by exercising self-influence human agents operate generatively and proactively, not just reactively, to shape the character of their social systems. In these agentic transactions, people are producers [Making History!] as well as products of social systems. Personal agency and social structure operate interdependently. Social structures are created by human activity [and especially laws and other legal vehicles like charters] and sociostructural practices [here comes the law again which is why we now have edicts about Positive School Climate and required proactive approaches to bullying and Restorative Justice], in turn, impose constraints and provide enabling resources and opportunity structures for personal development and functioning.”

I learned a new word this week that is typically used in a military context–Schwerpunkt–but which fits even better in the human and behavioral sciences, which is what education and even the law have now become tools for. It means “weight (or focus) of effort” and the weight or focus of effort in education ‘reforms’, as we finally began to confront in earnest in the last post, involves trying to lock-in desired “psychosocial changes and levels of functioning” at a biological, neural level because, quite simply, genetic social engineering by governments would take too long.

Anyone else fascinated to learn that “social efforts to change lives for the better require merging diverse self-interests in support of common core values and goals.” There’s that phrase again so I decided to bold it for emphasis. The real common core operates at an internalized, psychological, neural level and another word for those internalized goals practiced repeatedly through prescribed educational activities would be ‘standards’ as in standards-based, student-centered ‘reforms’.

Now just to provide some hint of just why I decided to add Schwerpunkt to our quiver of useful vocabulary terms to capture the essence of the desired transformational changes, let’s cover just a few of the confirming revelations that have popped out in just the last week. I recognized, for example, that Professor Damasio’s 2010 book Self Comes to Mind was actually restating Bandura’s work without mentioning him so I did a search to see if others had recognized the link. Out the connections spewed across the globe in languages I did not speak and had to translate, but our Google overlords kindly told me that both men’s work deal with the psychological means for the “self-regulation of thought and moral conduct.” Goes better than a slice of bacon then with those needed “common core values and goals.”

We have Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains recommended for summer reading http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/publications/books/Teaching-Students-to-Drive-Their-Brains-sample-chapters.pdf complete with not-so-amusing graphics of Upper Elementary Students being taught to visualize using their Brain Cars. That fits though with our learning that there was a K-12 component to the Pacific Northwest Neuroscience Neighborhood part of the BRAIN Initiative. It is called Noggin and there are numerous detailed links in the comments to the last post with pictures as well as the revelation that Fulton’s new Super as of June 1, Jeff Rose, came from one of the Noggin districts. What are the odds?

http://rise.huffingtonpost.com/watch/scientists-are-using-psychology-nudge-us-right-direction from What Works Cities (and what precisely ‘evidence-based’ policymaking turns out to mean) admits that changing behavior is official government policy across US federal agencies and also globally. Finally we have http://knowledgeworks.org/worldoflearning/2016/06/cunningham-elementary-school/ showing a Texas school that is pushing an emotionally-grounded moral thinking of the kind Professors Damasio and Bandura promote as what a new kind of 21st century learning grounded in Equity should look like. All this makes sense though if we go back to what Bandura wrote in 2001 and recognize that when charters (like Fulton’s) refer obliquely to a euphemism like ‘life skills’ as the new focus of schools they are actually incorporating Bandura’s work. I am nothing if not a good researcher after all so of course I can prove it.

Since what that charter really intended to lock in for a particular school district, and what ESSA has now done to every school district, is grounded in Bandura’s work and he said it was to drive Biosocial Coevolution, let’s tear away the shroud of euphemisms and look at these intentions in the sunlight. Now if I give a hot link to the article it will be off the server within the hour so I will just continue to make reference to it. When located, however, just go to page 18 to the section called “Emerging Primacy of Human Agency in Biosocial Coevolution” and think about how lucrative it is for the lawyers, administrators, and consultants working to change education because “psychology is the one discipline that uniquely encompasses the complex interplay between intrapersonal, biological, interpersonal, and sociostructural determinants of human functioning.”

I am going to interrupt the quote to point out that this is the reason all these learning theories of education want to dethrone the rational Prefrontal Cortex from being a primary driver of human behavior. It’s an obstacle to what Bandura will momentarily call the desired Collective Efficacy. Back to the next line of the quote now: “Psychology is, therefore, best suited to advance understanding of the integrated biopsychosocial nature of humans and how they manage and shape the everyday world around them.” Beginning to finally see the clear reason for all the deceit, euphemisms, and use of misdescribed legal mandates to force these political uses of psychological theories invisibly imposed via education? Recognize now why school board members are trained to defer to anyone with an education degree? They are deferring to a revolutionary shift in the conception of what human beings can be, imposed while most are led to believe we are still talking about academics.

Charters, legislation, and reinterpretations of civil rights laws are simply not being accurately presented as mechanisms for the ‘biologizing of psychology,” even though that is the decades-long  Schwerpunkt focus of all K-12 education reforms. It’s also why my book Credentialed to Destroy is even more relevant now than when it was written. It recognized the required focus of efforts long before I grasped that everything laid out actually had an intended biological component of desired neural effects. Bandura was stunningly revelatory so let’s keep listening. He told us that the “selection pressures of social and technological innovations on biological evolution get ignored,” which may be the most succinct rationale for the digital learning mandates we will find. After all, “human evolution provides bodily structures and biological potentialities, not behavioral dictates. Psychosocial influences operate through these biological resources to fashion adaptive forms of behavior.”

Prescribed adaptations and forms of behavior with no need to admit the manipulation out loud. Tuck it into charters or statutes no one else reads or required instructional practices no one explains accurately and suddenly education and the law can be tools taking advantage of the known, but usually undisclosed, “malleability of evolved dispositions.” Seeing the avenue of unimpeded social change as being through the manipulation of the known plasticity of the human brain and nervous system and then refusing to openly declare that actual intent. Recognizing that the real aim of Competency, the Common Core, and what were misleadingly called the Reading and Math Wars was about deliberate targeting of the “specialized neurophysiological structures and mechanisms that had evolved over time.”

Targeting “these advanced neural systems [that] are specialized for channeling attention, detecting the causal structure of the outside world, transforming that information into abstract representations, and integrating and using them for adaptive purposes,” except due to undisclosed neural manipulation the goals and purposes are no longer really your own. Think of the desired History Maker to Change Existing Systems while once again listening to what Bandura aimed at: “These evolved information processing systems provide the capacity for the very agentic characteristics that are distinctly human–generative symbolization, forethought, evaluative self-regulation, reflective self-consciousness, and symbolic communication.”   Just what Noggin and Brain Car Lessons train students to be comfortable allowing others to manipulate instead of holding sacred. What Professors Immordino-Yang and Damasio block off access to with their hype of learning grounded in emotion.

We didn’t really think all these reforms would be disclosed accurately as the “psychosocial side of coevolution gains ascendancy,” did we? Good thing I can recognize what I am looking at by now even when no one actually meant for such a confession to come out. This was how Bandura ended so let me quote and then translate.

“What is technologically possible eventually gets applied. As previously noted, the genetic factors provide only potentialities, not the finished psychosocial attributes. However, there is no shortage of individuals with the resources and belief in genetic determinism to underwrite attempts at genetic engineering of human nature. The values to which we subscribe and the social systems we devise to oversee the uses to which our powerful technologies are put will play a vital role in what we become and how we shape our destiny.”

What Bandura proposed, and what education and the law have now locked in, is that those values and social systems are no longer a matter of personal choice. The choices have been made for us. The social engineering of human nature is now being attempted at a biological and neural level and we are all literally in the midst of what Soviet Psychologist Leontiev called the Great Experiment back in the 60s. Political power wants to dictate what those ‘psychosocial attributes’ will be and circumscribe what regions of the brain are likely to be used by the typical student when they become an adult.

And the euphemism for that latter neural manipulation is College and Career Ready.

I really do need to create an ISC Dictionary of True Meanings for 21st Century Guidance to Avoid Psychological Manipulation, don’t I?

 

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?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACES: Individual Psychological Change as an Effective but Hidden Route to Ameliorate the Whole Society

Anyone wondering if we are about to play an exciting game of cards here at ISC? ACES is an acronym I just created because the phrase Anticipatory Cognitive Embodied Systems is simply too long to keep typing over and over again. Now every time we see the phrases ‘learner-centric education,’ ‘competency-based,’ ‘personalized learning to meet needs and achieve success and full potential,’ or ‘continuous improvement’ as the world’s largest education accreditor used recently http://www.advanc-ed.org/sites/default/files/ESSA%20Call%20to%20Action%20Whitepaper.pdf , we can accurately recognize that political power–local, state governors and legislatures, Congress and the White Houses led by both parties, and international groups–has decreed that students are simply systems to be measured, monitored and manipulated.

ACES is a defined-term globally and I hope you have as much fun seeing what it pulls up as I did when I first came across it and recognized the implications. I cannot summarize all those papers on this blog although reading many of them did cause me to put this blog into hiatus as I dealt with the implications. Then I pulled a book I have discussing what were known as the Macy Cybernetic Conferences or Feedback Mechanisms and Circular Causal Systems in Biology and the Social Sciences back in the 1940s into the early 50s. That is when what is now known as brain-based learning was first discussed. Here’s a quote for an aim that gets obscured now under all these euphemisms and more:

“Granted that personality and culture could be viewed as a cybernetic system with purposes, feedbacks, and communication links, which if analyzed [think of all that glorious data now being gathered under various mandates] might lend credence to the notion that individual psychological change could be an effective route toward ameliorating the whole society…By individuals changing their ways, the culture is changed.”

This is supposedly the ‘gentle’ approach to social change. Use education as a means to alter “styles of personal relations [Positive School Climate], child rearing [mandatory parent involvement at school], family and sexual patterns [transgender bathroom edicts], and promoting mental health [now usually called student wellbeing]. However gentle, it contained a strong element of the managerial, the manipulative, and the controlling.” Those aims still do and they are now everywhere in 21st century schooling. These aims now go back to a view that “human nature is not fixed but adaptable and changeable. Human nature, i.e., personality structure, is contingent on social patterns prevailing in a culture…and can be altered by changing these cultural patterns.”

When that AdvancED White Paper above writes about “a personalized journey of continuous improvement” where the student can be improved by schools “using evidence to pinpoint what must happen in the areas of need identified through the continuous improvement process,” we are back using education and the social sciences to achieve the aims laid out so long ago at those Macy conferences. When the paper talks about social and emotional factors and the “type of additional measures it will use” so that a “school or district must support the development of its students in ways not identified in test scores, but that directly impact student learning and development,” we are actually back to the goals for the future a Macy participant, Larry Frank, laid out in 1951.

In his book Nature and Human Nature, Frank wrote that that cybernetic notions could create a revolution where:

“Today we can assert with full conviction that culture is a human creation, man’s attempt to order and pattern his personal life and to provide for orderly group or social living…This indicates that culture is not a superhuman system, final and unchanging, beyond man’s reach and control; also it shows that we can and do change culture by modifying what we think and do and feel and what we teach and how we rear our children. Again, this new viewpoint, when once grasped, brings an immense relief and a feeling of freedom we have never had before under the older beliefs in a supernaturally imposed culture, sanctioned by immemorial tradition.”

Now, if we parents and taxpayers were presented with that graphic intention for today’s ‘education reforms’ we could accurately perceive what is intended for us and appropriately rebel in time. So we get all these euphemisms instead that still utterly reek of a cybernetic viewpoint for controlling individuals and planning a society once we recognize the terminology. Here’s AdvancED again on when ‘a system is considered effective’:

* Various processes and components of the system are connected and aligned so that they work together as part of a complex whole in support of a common purpose.

* System improvements are driven by a process of continuous measurement and feedback with a focus on collecting and sharing data that informs and transforms.”

I am going to interrupt my quoting of AdvancED talking about both students and schools in such cybernetic language using systems metaphors to point out what is wrong with so much of the Faux Narrative and outrage over Student Privacy that wants to make the conversation about Personally Identifiable Information. That is a static database emphasis regarding student data that has been openly declared to be interested in constantly changing students from the inside-out to the specifications sought by political power as if they were just a ‘system.’ And the point of concern is only PII and whether it is the feds imposing it as opposed to what is really going on here? Back to quoting again:

“* System actors understand and engage each other and the system successfully.

* System outputs are of the desired quality and produced within the desired time frame.”

The system is the student in many cases and what is being tracked and manipulated is the internalized Simplex I covered in the April 4 post. http://www.inacol.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CW_ChugachSchoolDistrict_APersonalizedPerformanceBasedSystem.pdf is another recently released paper from another group driving what must go on in the classrooms under the synonym of competency-based education. It is also targeting students as if they were simply ACES–Anticipatory Cognitive Embodied Systems–rearrangeable in a “Continuous Improvement (TQM) Process” just as the Macy Conference social engineers always wanted. This is how we measure, monitor, and manipulate the ACES providing whatever learning experiences data shows to be needed until political power and its Business Cronies have the malleable adult they want “upon exiting the education system in 2025.”

I have more recent declarations by connected groups with the power to mandate what must occur in classrooms that fits with what was laid out by those Macy Conferences, but I want us to go back to a 1988 conference that supplements what is laid out in my book Credentialed to Destroy and that fits with both the Macy Conferences and what we are seeing now. Locating it tumbled out of my research on ACES as I played Tiptoe Through the Footnotes once again. In May 1987 Ohio State hosted a conference called “the Educated Citizen and the University of the Future.” It led to the 1989 publication of a book I found on ERIC (indicating current fedED interest) called “Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge,” edited by Richard Bjornson and Marilyn Waldman. Its Introduction complained first about the following:

“The dominant patterns of knowledge in the present educational and social climate are based on linear thinking, rationalistic analysis, and the quest for generalizable simplicity. Under such circumstances, individual success generally results from the competency with which these patterns of knowledge are mastered and then utilized to bring about expected or predictable outcomes.”

Now not only is such individual success not Equitable, but that individual will be using what I am going to call his or her Do-It-Yourself internalized Simplex to decide what to do and how to do it. To perceive what it notices and what guides and motivates its actions and that is thoroughly unacceptable. Saying that forthrightly in the way that Larry Frank did above so long ago might doom all these plans to finally succeed at using education for brain-based social engineering so we get the euphemisms AdvancED and iNacol used or this from 1989 that resonates today in the required ‘systems thinking’ in the Common Core C3 Social Studies Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and the WIOA economic planning legislation I have covered.

“Alternative views of reality, whether they originate in our culture or outside of it, tend to be resisted or rejected out of hand. Each contributor to the volume challenges the unquestioning acceptance of these patterns and suggests that our creativity, our capacity to understand complex phenomena, and even the future wellbeing of our society depend on our willingness to embrace new patterns of knowledge and not allow ourselves to be defined solely in terms of what has been taught in the past.”

A few pages later and consistent with my insistence that it is that internalized Simplex and a desire for individual psychological change to quietly engineer a planned Upravleniye (March 22 post) society that is and has been for decades the real driver of all these reforms, the editors complain that we need to Rethink Patterns of Knowledge in preschool and K-12 because most college students “have already internalized their guiding beliefs and assumptions by the time they enter college.” Try not to faint in horror out there upon reading that statement.

So if the purpose of education is now to create minds amenable to political coercion without complaint or even noticing and to lock that in invisibly at a neural level, is there a level of government in a free society where such aims can be regarded as lawful and permissible?

Should the accreditors be able to require it working with school boards and their lawyers? Legislatures? Trade groups like the Chamber of Commerce? Is this violation really abhorrent if imposed by the feds but A-OK at a local or state level?

See why it is absolutely necessary to confront what is really being targeted for change and why?

 

 

Forcing Equality of Communicative Competence as an Expedient Way to Promote Mental Time Travel

One of the benefits of now having an extensive research library documenting what I write about is being able to recognize what I am looking at now and then going back in time to when the hoped for means of transformation was first laid out. That’s what we did with Futuribles. Looking at that OECD paper from last week from the previous post as well as the aspirations from the Third Way Global Progress summit held by the Center for American Progress (CAP) in March reminded me I should go back and look at sociologist Anthony Giddens’ 2001 book called The Global Third Way Debate. Fitting right in with the Ford Foundation’s financing of both the behavioral sciences by founding CASBS in Palo Alto in the 50s and then Futuribles research in the 60s we have their Director of the Program of Governance and Civil Society, Michael Edwards insisting in writing that:

“So we are left with the task of humanising capitalism, that is, preserving the dynamism of markets, trade and entrepreneurial energy while finding better ways to distribute the surplus they create and reshape the processes that produce it…[I think we are included in the processes to be reshaped, but here's more] Inequalities result from political decisions about the distribution of gains from economic activity. What is allocated to private consumption, public spending, and social responsibilities is never fixed, and it is democracy’s job–not the role of the markets–to determine our collective goals and common interests.”

Now since ‘markets’ are actually just lots of individuals making their own choices with the information they havebased on their own values, what Edwards was really saying was that, in the Third Way vision, political power will determine what ‘our collective goals and common interests’ must now be. Needless to say, education to alter consciousness in prescribed and unappreciated ways is Tool Para Excellence. Especially if it can be sold as helpful brain-based learning http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/04/14/how-to-get-past-negativity-bias-and-hardwire-positive-experiences/

Another speaker, Simon Szreter, stressed the need for ‘moral principles and priorities’, which could be “practically related to the workings of ‘the real world’, real people and their relationships to each other and to the economy; a specification of the practical policies and measures which are required in order to change the economy and society towards the desirable model of social and economic relationships that has been elaborated.” Now we could simply surmise education would once again be a handy tool for such deliberate change by political process, except barely two pages later we have the confession for “enabling us to focus on the crucial issue of the means by which the capacities of individuals to process information are distributed across an economy. In particular it can show how the politics of a society and its institutions critically influences the information-processing capacities of its citizens.”

Now wanting to control that information-processing capacity at the level of the mind is precisely what redefining people as simply ‘goal-seeking systems’ actually does. We have covered that in some depth on this blog and in far more detail in my book Credentialed to Destroy. Here’s the tragic element beyond the tyrannical control issues of such aspirations: “it is a crucial goal to maximise and equalise the the social and cultural scope of information exchange among the economy’s workers. Through generating the capacity to process information effectively–the promotion of communicative competence–on the part of the greatest proportion and diversity of citizens…One of the most significant and powerful sources of disruption of the possibility that citizens might enjoy a state of equality of communicative competence with each other is a dramatically unequal distribution of wealth and income in society.”

Well we know that’s on the OECD’s To Do list. With the US and CAP also having a Larry Summers-led Inclusive Prosperity Commission and the UN announcing Dignity for All by 2030, income and wealth distribution are supposedly on the current global Must Change through PolicyMaking and Think Tanks To Do List. What’s the other pincer per Szreter and out Third Way Fabians in 2001? This is a long quote, but very useful as a long term explanation of why education always comes up as a tool and where it fits in with the broader collectivist scheme (as usual, my bolding).

“The national education system is the other principal general influence, after income and wealth distribution, upon the formation of social capital, and the possibilities for equality of communicative competence. This is because it is simultaneously producing not just one economic product, as previously understood by economists, but two: both human capital and social capital. And it is only a good overall education system, in which all can have pride in their schools and from which all can derive a sense of personal achievement and worth, which can lay the necessary foundations for the proliferation of social capital all across the economy, by providing its basis in common communicative competence and mutual respect. [Anyone thinking Positive School Climate is just practice for these relationships of justice?] The argument from social capital holds in principle for a range of other important social policies which affect the equality of citizens’ capacities, such as health, housing and social security.”

Now that common communicative competence to be required would also be what guides perception, interprets experience, and motivates future behavior and it is to be common and predictable. Very useful for that social and individual steering capacity governments at all levels are now seeking. A useful paper on all this came out of Europe in 2009 and it’s called “Thinking as the control of imagination: a conceptual framework for goal-directed systems.” That’s us, remember? And the common communicative competence means comparable goals that are invisibly manipulated via educational ‘standards,’ desired competencies that are targeted for ‘testing,’ and other statutory or regulatory mandates.

Before I offer up the following quote that is pertinent to all the reimagining of the future and the offering of guiding fictions from the last two posts, it leaves out what phonetically fluent readers have always been able to do. Get a handle on the nature of the world and people historically and consistently through massive amounts of diverse reading. Common communicative competence rules that obstacle to mental reengineering out. The researchers in that article stated that “behavior consists in the control of perceptions.” Yet, we know the whole purpose of using standards to prescribe the categories and concepts all are now to learn as the Framework of a Discipline is to control perception. Now let’s move forward to the quote of what is desired in our ‘goal-seeking system’ as the students and eventually us are being called.

“when a comparison is done not between sensed and desired states, but between internally simulated and desired states, the architecture acquires control over its own imagination: this makes it able to interactively set its goals and plans, and ultimately to think by mentally simulating actions.”

Now I offered that long quote from Szreter because it’s not just the common communicative competence guiding what will be internally simulated in most people. With his definition of social capital and how it was to be obtained, the Third Way made it quite clear the desired states were also to be the focus of manipulation via education. That is what policymakers mean when they insist what they lay out is a normative vision for how the future should change. Robert Heilbroner, a well-known Marxist professor wrote Visions of the Future in 1995. He started the chapter on Visions of Tomorrow by acknowledging he did not wish to predict the shape of tomorrow, but he did want to guide what was imaginable. As he wrote, “I stress this crucial word–to exercise effective control over the future-shaping forces of Today…leaves us with the somewhat less futile effort of inquiring into the possibilities of changing or controlling the trends of the present.”

Now let’s leave aside the enormous potential of digital learning and the simulations of virtual reality assessments to reconfigure what a mind will soon be internalizing as imaginable. Let’s just get back to all the role-playing assignments that now form such a tremendous part of history and social studies classes. The ubiquity making more sense now? Now let’s go back to David J Staley’s History and Future book to see how common communicative competence in the name of Equity and controlling the Imagination come together.

“The result of these imagination leadership thought exercises is a mental map of a future business space. The goal of these scenario exercises is to, first, clarify or otherwise expose preexisting mental maps, and to especially reveal unarticulated assumptions. Second, these scenario exercises help the group to refine their mental maps by suggesting new or unforeseen opportunities and threats. Third, the goal is to create many of these mental maps in the maps of audience members, to replace the monolithic mental map of the future with a ‘diversified portfolio’ of mental maps, to allow us to better cope with change. This is related to the fourth goal of these thought experiments: to help us order our perceptions, to create effective mental filters that allow us to make sense of all the data and information that bombards our senses. As we take data and information, we have a better way to categorize and organize the data.”

Now with that last quote, I think I will stop and let everyone contemplate the implications of education allowing political power to now create those mental filters for whatever transformational purposes politicians or their cronies find expedient.

All going on without telling the students, their parents, or the taxpayers accurately what is being targeted and why.

Mental time travel using these parameters is likely to leave us all Lost in Space, except the space is not Outer anymore.

 

 

Strange Bedfellows but All Seeking to Build Unmarked Bridges Between Matter and Spirit

Since the last post I have really dug in to figure out why Classical Education as described by the books I have quoted in the previous two posts functioned so similarly to the educational vision I shorthand as cybernetic. I have those answers now, but before we get to that discussion I want to quote something from another book in the same series called Freedom, Justice, and Hope: Toward a Strategy for the Poor and Oppressed:

“Pulling a utopian vision into practice does little harm if the people involved participate voluntarily in the experiment and always have the right to opt out.”

I bolded that because I am not picking on Classical Education, Christian education, or those with a worldview that “Biblical categories of thought” should provide the framework for understanding all of Life and transforming culture. My problem is when this change in emphasis in education is not accurately explained and parents or taxpayers remain unaware. That’s why we are talking about this. To borrow one more quote from that book: “Ignorance is not harmless; in the real world our illusions can have awful consequences.” Consider me to be the Illusion Disperser. I am not disparaging anyone wishing that “Christians should use their God-given intellects to structure society along Biblical lines.” I am insisting though that if that’s the aim, say so when you are pitching your new view of school, education, and the learning philosophy.

Do not hide an aim to circumscribe mental activity and create action guided by religious faith so that a person’s thoughts are bound by the “use of reason within revelation” by pitching such actual goals as some kind of Classical education, the Trivium, or a return to the Medieval Mind. I cover both John Dewey’s real goals via education as well as what were called the Social Reconstructionists in depth in my book Credentialed to Destroy. Recognizing the essential template made perfect sense then when I get to the last chapter of Herbert Schlossberg’s Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture and it laid out a “strategy for action” whereby “we must consider further how to move toward bringing political, economic, and social life into conformity with the gospel.”

I bolded the latter because the basis for the vision varies from the Social Reconstructionists laid out in my book or any of the Marxist Humanists or humanist psychologists we have covered on this blog, but the institutional aims are the same. So is the belief that the place to start with societal transformation in reality is by targeting what the individual has internalized as his or her values and belief system. Again, the visions vary but every time I track these new philosophies of education that are currently hyped as Common Core or competency-based education, invariably I find someone wanting to provide a normative vision that will guide and motivate future behavior.

That vision again is to serve as the source from which each targeted student will “draw the understanding of the nature of humanity, the meaning of history, the legitimate values of society, and the place of biological creatures in the creation.” That was not the only Schlossberg book I read. I also read Turning Point: A Christian Worldview Declaration that he wrote with Marvin Olasky so there is a consistency as to what is being asserted that has nothing to do with me inferring anything or taking quotes out of context. What is so fascinating to me is the consistent misstatements of what has actually been going on in educational psychology. In both books education is stuck on Behaviorism and Marxism on materialism, even though factually that was absolutely no longer true when any of these books was written.

It is simply not true that Marxism still failed to emphasize that “what people desire and purpose will have any bearing on the future.” Neither was it true that “We are part of an intellectual world that has judged there to be an unbridgeable gulf between matter and spirit.” Fusing those without consent so that “faith and action” become combined and targeting mental models has absolutely been a major occupation of researchers in educational psychology from the 70s forward as Schlossberg could have easily found out instead of erecting these False Narratives. My concerns over what the goals of Classical Education actually were when it hypes Ideas first, instead of facts, makes far more sense as an alluring sales pitch for School Choice dollars instead of confessing:

“anyone wanting to systematize knowledge on the basis of revelation will have to do it within a framework completely different from the common ones that have come to dominate Western philosophy…We must not accept any formulation that erects an impermeable barrier between the sensible and rational, object and subject, matter and mind.”

Dewey could have said that, except pithy expression was never his forte. Sounds precisely like all our so-called systems thinkers as well. Norbert Weiner, who created the term cybernetics back in the 40s, thought so highly of its potential to neurologically unite mind and matter that he equated it to breathing life into a clay Golem in a 1964 book. He also wanted to expand cybernetic controls using data and control via communication in remaking those very same economic and social institutions Schlossberg intended to target for transformation. First though Weiner wanted to start applying the theories in engineering and biology. Biologically–that’s us folks.

Same aim but with a different description might sound like this if you were writing a book you only expected fellow acolytes to read. “For the disciple of Christ is to bring every thought and every action in obedience to Christ.” Substitute Marx for Christ and you will see why we have a problem. If that sounds blasphemous, it is simply the reverse of a point made regularly in these books. Systems thinking exists though because even mentioning Uncle Karl is risky to any PR or sales campaign. Much better to describe such aims to control thought and action in terms about ‘interdependence and systems and mutuality” as both Schlossberg and the Marxist Humanists who call themselves systems thinkers do. “Brain-based learning” sounds better as well.

Here is how another proponent of Classical Education describes its ‘philosophy of education’ to “enable us to make progress in the life-long endeavor of self-rule.” The euphemism the OECD uses now for cybernetic control over what a student has internalized to guide thought and motivate action is “self-regulation.” Awfully close to self-rule, isn’t it? How about curricula that “is conducive to liberating the mind and heart” so that the student can make the ‘vital connection’ between “acknowledging the truth with one’s mind and choosing the good through the exercise of one’s will. Knowing the truth, willing the good, and apprehending the beautiful lead to true human happiness.”

I am not saying parents or adult students may not choose such neurological, normative, and emotional emphases in education as helpful to living one’s life. My problem is when anyone buys into this programming vision without understanding they or their children are being programmed. Too often now ‘classical education’ is simply a euphemism for cybernetic programming. People need to appreciate what is in that breath and that their child is being treated as a Golem. Best to fully understand what ‘spirit’ is being biologically fused. If the goal of these Christian Worldview Reconstructionists is to create a worldview that will guide all of life and change culture then that’s the same goal again of Dewey and the Social Reconstructionists.

What does differ is how it will work, not what is targeted or how via education. Here is the Turning Point again: “There is nothing really secular, out of reach of God’s dominion. Therefore, everything is of legitimate interest to God’s people. Biblically, we are charged with making disciples of all nations and with working toward bringing all things into conformity with God’s revealed will.” I bolded that again because I have been reading Alexander Christakis’ plans for Structured Design Dialogue and the new concept of ‘planning’ hatched in Bellagio in 1968 and the belief that a normative vision of What Ought to Be can be laid out and then willed into being. How? By changing prevailing values, attitudes, and beliefs at an internalized level. Let’s substitute the ‘Vision of Society and the Economy as It Ought to Be’ for what I bolded. See the reason for the interchangeability of aims and reasons?

In all these cases it’s not a matter of individual control anymore. Idols for Destruction tells us why. “Calls for the reformation of society that do not insist upon both orthodoxy and orthopraxy, therefore, are futile.” Must target both what is thought, believed, and valued as well as action in other words. Something all reconstructionists apparently recognize. It also fits with the definition of the kind of standards states must adopt under the Every Student Succeeds Act, what they must assess for, and why everyone must adhere to Universal Design for Learning.

We have noted the rampant Communitarianism required as part of the actual Common Core/Positive School Climate edicts. Schlossberg too was officially hostile to the ‘outdated’ Enlightenment ideal of individual autonomy. It is a vision he believed provides an “amazing answer in the sphere of human relations to the ancient conundrum of the One and the Many. It shows why we are not required to be either the isolated atoms of individualism, nor links in the great collectivist chain that is enslaving the world.” I will interrupt this quote to ask that it also be read as consistent with being a part of a system and a member of an interdependent society. Here we go again where I stopped:

“If each of us is related to the whole of the community as, say, the eyes to the body, then the reason we cannot exist alone is clear; our needs, purposes, and functions must be related to those of the other members of the body. At the same time, the eye performs a vital function for the body and cannot be written off as unimportant or peripheral.”

This autonomous individual with non-circumscribed reason says yuck to that vision whether it is put out in the name of Christianity, Buddhism, or by an acknowledged systems thinker. I have no patience for any of these desires to insist we individuals can only find our meaning “within the context of a larger society.”

Anyone else getting the idea that a whole lot of people want to be the Oligarchs in charge of us? If all these people want to apply for that job they can be forthright about it and quit hiding behind euphemistic terms of education and definitions too few understand.

 

Greed as the Driver to Force Education to Create Socially Engineered Human Beings under Federal Law

The only good thing about the huge Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) dropped on Monday, November 30 that sailed through the House Wednesday evening, December 2, to move on to the Senate is that we finally have a truly fixed body of language to analyze. After writing my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon back in 2012 examining the actual implementation and what its true effects would be, and now this blog dealing with real time subsequent confessions, I have joked that ESSA read to me as smoothly as if it were written in Latin and I was Cicero.

Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that my reference to greed is merely the Pay for Success language that is unmistakably there, let me say the Greed I am talking about is not just for Success or Social Impact Bonds. It is Greed for Compliance that permeates ESSA. What local school districts and governments as well as states must agree to do, in schools and to children, in return for those luscious federal dollars. First though here is a news release from a well-connected organization bragging that just the Pay for Success components of ESSA add up to $2 billion a year. http://results4america.org/press-room/press-release-michele-jolin-evidence-based-policy-provisions-essa-game-changer-federal-education-funding/

Results for America with its ties to President Obama’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Engagement and Cass Sunstein’s Nudging initiatives along with the UK Behavioural Sciences Unit and its interest in cities (Remember my Learning Regions post November 11, 2015) http://www.bloomberg.org/press/releases/bloomberg-philanthropies-announces-first-cities-selected-to-join-what-works-cities-initiative/ . They also created a relevant vision back in March with Atlas Network member AEI. http://www.results4america.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-3-18-Moneyball-for-Education-Report.pdf

The co-author of that report, Bethany Little, is a partner at the same Education Counsel that is tied to Clinton’s Ed Secretary Richard Riley. It was hired by the Common Core’s sponsor, CCSSO, to create the competency-based education successor for the Next Generation States pushing innovative practices. Not a surprise then to see that paying for Success or just Compliance with the same reading, civics, or math constructivism that political radicals who call themselves Social Reconstructionists have fought for decades to impose on K-12 (Chapters 2-4 of my book, which is how I recognized what ESSA described)  features so prominently in what ESSA really forces. The local school district, charter school or any eligible entity, wanting those luscious federal dollars to flow to their local economy (think of students as just the excuse), agree to do whatever is specified. Is that really returning ‘control’ to the states and local schools with just federal ‘guardrails’?

The answer of course is it depends on what those requirements are. In addition to the insights only my book covers that are now more pertinent than ever because of what is in ESSA, I think the best summary of what schools must do in return for federal dollars is contained in Title IV–21st Century Schools. Of course every state and school wants those funds so let’s see what they must agree to do. First, provide “access to, and opportunities for, a well-rounded education for all students.” Secondly, create “school conditions for student learning in order to create a healthy and safe school environment.” Lastly, provide “access to personalized learning experiences supported by technology and professional development for the effective use of data and technology.”

Anyone out there saying, “what’s wrong with that? Next thing she’ll be complaining about apple pie.” Here’s the problem. ESSA was trying very hard not to have any damnable sound bytes that might have stopped passage. Most of the egregious language in what passed the House or Senate originally is gone. Instead we get euphemisms. Fortunately for us Tyranny Busters with Axemaker Minds my research is like a glossary of euphemisms. Part 1 on well-rounded education is the UNESCO term used all over the world now to denote non-transmissive or examination type education. Instead education must now be geared to develop the human personality as a harmonious integrated being. (Tarbiyah calls this education for shakhsiyah (personality/identity) for anyone craving an explicit link to the previous post.)

Maybe not such a good euphemism then to fend off scrutiny from what is really being promised in return for federal dollars. Part 2′s promises also sound glorious and vague. Apart from implicating all the Positive School Climate and that nesting a la Matrushka doll model from the previous post, what do I really have against Part 2? Well, in researching that last post I spent time researching what is going on the UK. The madrassas there are terribly pleased about legislation adopted since 2000 imposing obligations of social cohesion and racial equality on every school and community. Ofsted is the inspector to check for school compliance in the UK and in 2009 they defined the legally required community cohesion that schools must also demonstrate as follows:

“…working towards a society in which there is a common vision and sense of belonging in all communities; a society in which the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued; a society in which similar life opportunities are available for all; and a society in which strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools, and the wider community.”

I know everyone reading will be shocked that this also fits with Intercultural obligations UNESCO adopted in 2004 and has now moved to force globally as part of its Rapprochement of Cultures decade and the initiatives from the last post. There goes the supposed ambiguity attached to complying with Part II’s obligations. How about Personalized Learning and that data obligation? That of course is where the true manipulation and reengineering of each student at a neurological level comes into play. I have written about this some and it is what my second book’s research covers in depth.

Luckily for us this  http://www.educationdive.com/news/new-measurements-promote-efficacy-of-personalized-learning/409798/ states Gates has spent $5 billion promoting personalized learning. Part 3 is not terribly ambiguous either in its intentions. This is especially true when the chosen evaluator Rand is also who the White House chose to create the Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies it wishes to make the new focus of education. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/confessions-of-a-coordinated-cabal-intent-on-psychological-rape-with-impunity/

Rand was also the chosen evaluator for the federally-financed Change Agent Study in the 70s that was used to create strategies for effective implementations of the behavioral sciences in schools going forward. I am sure none of their Effective Schools template is embodied in ESSA.That would be why the new chosen statutory phrase is ‘evidence-based.’ It is how the compliance of the local schools is to be judged. Literally as in “is the school or district providing programs, activities, and experiences that comply with these listed objectives for 21st Century Schools?” Compliance and greed is how the Social Reengineering gets forced with hardly anyone, I suppose, truly aware of what Congress is mandating.

The real problem is the total reimagining of economies in the 21st Century by think tanks supposedly on the Right and Left, by governments at every level, and on a Bipartisan and Bicameral basis (as Congress is describing its support for both ESSA and 2014′s related WIOA (see tag)).  In a 2014 report called “Impact Investment: the Invisible Heart of Markets” the true vision of the 21st century global economy is laid out. This is what both WIOA and ESSA (as well as other legislation and programs) intend to quietly force on the US. It is to be quite lucrative as well for the insiders, foundations, and investment banks cited in the report. Would anyone be shocked to know Gates and Soros are both involved and all the UN entities and the OECD?

As former Obama Treasury Secretary Larry Summers is quoted as saying “This is ground zero of a big deal.” Under Paying for Outcomes, we learn that “impact-driven organizations need access to markets in order to generate income from the products and services they offer.” Me too, please. It’s thus not people creating a market for things they want. It is governments creating markets by mandating that every person in the world has a right to have their needs met. Think of impact investing as trying to monetize poverty for the benefit of politicians wanting political and social control and high-net worth individuals looking for a certain return. To quote:

“the largest markets, however, could be provided by governments paying for impact. There is an urgent need for a revolution in government purchasing, with paying for the successful delivery of specific outcomes at its core.”

Precisely what Ofsted looks for or Rand. What impact investing or as it is now called in the US–Moneyball for Government–needs is specific standards or measures of ‘success’ or when objectives have been ‘achieved.’  Can anyone say Common Core or Competencies? In fact, it was the constant recurrence of words used in both the House and Senate ESEA Reauthorization drafts that first caught my eye. This is also how charters, and whether they get renewed or the lucrative ability to expand at taxpayer expense, really work. Fascinatingly enough though the well-connected KnowledgeWorks that is tied to Education Counsel and thus Moneyball issued a frightening Forecast 4.0 this week. It not only made reference to Impact Investing as the “New Civic Funding,” it also mentioned under ‘Educating for Impact’ that “What if School Social Impact Scores became critical metrics for attracting funding, partnerships, and community engagement?”

It would also go well with a forced community cohesion mandate a la UK or all the communitarian obligations in Positive School Climate and Democratic Education too. There is a lot of information in this post so let me close with another document that came out today as the UN announced a “Global Alliance to Monitor Learning.” Interesting timing, huh? With ESSA just passing the House, but there is a mention of A4L. Not a lot of new acronyms in my world at this point, but that was one. When I looked it up http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/assessment-for-learning.pdf , it showed me a Theory of Change that fits completely with what ESSA has just set up to send money to local communities in return for compliance with the UNESCO vision. The one no one locally has to even now about.

Quality Learning for all children and youth turns out to be first about Activities, then Intermediate Outcomes, Outcomes, and finally Impact. All in a document tied to the Brookings Institute and its sunsetting Learning Metrics Task Force. I wrote about LMTF and its use of Competencies and the nice Rockefeller Foundation letting them use its Bellagio retreat. That would be the same foundation that coined the very term ‘impact investment’ back in 2007.

How coincidental, huh? Behind a push globally along with others about using tax dollars to force “measurable social outcomes” including reengineered human personalities. Each to be primed and motivated for fundamentally transforming existing social, political, and economic structures.

Perhaps to a motto of Not Serfs Yet, we should add “And No Ambiguity Left as to True Intentions.”

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that really is something to be Thankful for.

Minds, Souls, & Attitudes: Whistleblowing the Tarbiyah Project for Islamic Education Imposed for ALL Students

The multiple tragedies in Paris on Friday in Paris did not change the topic of the Conclusion of this Trilogy. The ramifications of a document that came out of my UNESCO Lifelong Learning research, written by two Malaysian profs and presented at a 2011 Computing and Informatics Conference in Indonesia,  http://www.icoci.cms.net.my/proceedings/2011/papers/86.pdf is what has flushed out the other Ideology that fits 100% with the actual implementation I tracked first in my book Credentialed to Destroy, and now as additional details come into place, through this blog. By Ideology I mean in the cultural model sense used in the last post, but essentially it is the values, beliefs, and concepts a person sees the world through–the personal and social belief system or Worldview that guides individual and collective behavior.

The Arabic word for this is tarbiyah and it means education for Total Human Development, which is why its mandated practices and tenets dovetail so closely with that other M word that grew out of the political and human philosophy of Uncle Karl. I had never heard the word before yesterday. I had planned to write about the still troubling hijacking of acceptable religious belief systems using the secular K-12 classroom as laid out in an atrocious UNESCO/ UNICEF report sponsored by the Arigatou Foundation called “Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Programme for Ethics Education.” Looking at that long document and its recommended activities and project-based learning and role-playing experiences, it was obvious this global targeting of each student’s values and beliefs, whatever their religion or lack of it, was already in place in various mandates I have covered.

I had pulled that ICOCI “Visionary Model of an Islamic Learning Community” in part because it had a nesting graphic that worked like a Russian Matrushka doll with the student at the center just like the Aspen Institute wanted in that “Students at the Center of a Networked World” report created by a Task Force Jeb Bush disturbingly chaired. It extends outwards to classroom, school, community, and workplace, and then global, so it also fits with something a psychologist named Urie Bronfenbrenner developed. The C3 Social Studies Common Core Framework already hypes BEST (see tags), which also fits with the Learning Cities/ Regions emphasis from the last post. So not only did the push not seem limited to Islamic communities and countries, the link mentioned that Learning Communities, which we already know are to be required in US schools under the definition of what constitutes being an Effective Principal (see FCL tag), are based on a concept created by the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1943.

Saturday morning then, I decided to reread that link carefully, and it said that the late Hassan Albanna used usrah as an education medium laying down its three components of knowing each other, understanding each other, and helping and caring for each other. I am leaving out the particular Arabic terms although these, and usually the symbol from Arabic script and a verse from the Quran, are consistently provided throughout every component of anything involved with this Tarbiyah Project.

Before anyone thinks I have to go to the other side of the world to track this, Tarbiyah was created by a native of Philadelphia, Dawud Tauhidi, who “embraced Islam in 1972. He studied at Lehigh University and later studied Arabic” at U-Penn. In 1980, he graduated from the famous al-Azhar University in Cairo where President Obama chose to go to address the Muslim World. His degree was in Usul ad-Din and Tauhidi’s masters and PhD in Islamic Studies are from U-Michigan. The Tarbiyah Project materials frequently cite to Michigan ed standards said to reflect the Project.

Now we could stick with that 2011 link which tells us “ICT will play a role in helping the democratization of the usrah system” so we can keep its tenets in mind as we look at various digital learning initiatives. I can look at the various prescribed features of the Tarbiyah Project and recognize the complete alignment with what is being mandated for US classrooms in NCLB waivers, Positive School Climate XO’s, civil rights laws, etc. Most of my regular readers and anyone who has read my book will be able to as well. Phrases like ‘continuous improvement’ that are what every administrator and anyone involved in student and school accountability track verbatim.

I have also tried to explain the focus on concepts and the desire to internalize what students will then use to guide perceptions and interpret daily experiences. Not only is that a component of Islamic education for holistic development of the Whole Child so they will learn to “be Muslim,” there was even a reference to the term ‘Enduring Understandings’. It has a tag as does its creator Lynn Erickson. Tarbiyah and Tawhid state that the heart and its transformation are to be the ‘core of education.” Anyone remember the subtitle of Erickson’s book on Concept-driven education? Stirring the Head, Heart and Soul. Did the Georgia Social Studies teachers down at the State DoE in 2009 receiving Conceptual Development training under a Bill Crenshaw know they were being trained to provide Islamic Education consistent with Tawhid (Spiritual Literacy) and Tarbiyah? Probably not and I doubt if the overpaid administrator knew either. That’s the beauty of K-12 globally now. People are pushing concepts they do not know the background of because there’s a lucrative job there, promotions, pensions, and frequently being a Change Agent through curriculum was the whole basis of the education doctorate.

And in it comes with virtually no one having the knowledge or incentives to look further. Did you know the Tarbiyah Project also likes to use that tired metaphor about education needing to move beyond the ‘factory-model’? With the name of the creator and project it will be easy to pull up lots of reports now, but this is too important to have to take Robin’s word for the alignment. Would you believe that in 2014 the US-China Education Review, perhaps excited about the implications of the 2013 Beijing Declaration and Learning Cities from the last post, published an article called “Revisiting the Concept of an Integrated Curriculum and its Implications for Contemporary Islamic Schools.” Again we have Malaysian profs who probably assumed they were talking among like-minded insiders.

It cited to the ‘Tarbiyah Project’ of Tauhidi and how it is an “entire curriculum approach” that can become embedded through standards and “involves integrating Islamic knowledge into every subject of the curriculum and, hence, the inevitable need to rewrite the curriculum.” This integration, which deplores self-contained subjects like algebra or chemistry, also goes by the name ‘Islamization of knowledge’. It “mainly involves integrating all subject disciplines into the Islamic Weltanschauung.” The German phrase for Worldview as the new focus of education.

So when you look at the Tabiyah Framework and its Universal Concepts, remember that the Next Generation Science Standards, with its CDIs-Core Disciplinary Ideas and CCCs-Cross-Cutting Concepts and themes, fits fully with what Tauhidi laid out. Maybe just in time for Bush 43 to allow the US to rejoin UNESCO. Anyway, evaluating Tarbiyah against the Common Core and competency-based education is so much easier with the boast that the Tarbiyah Project:

“promotes the inspiration and transformation of students through the process of teaching and learning in order to transform the world in the future. It has integrated the national curriculum with Islamic principles and output of a ‘brain-based research’. Hence, it avoids pure rote learning and makes learning more meaningful using students’ ability to think and comprehend.”

So the so-called Thinking Curriculum is consistent with Tarbiyah as are all the SEL and Whole Child Initiatives. Anyone reading the Overview should also remember the New 3 Rs of Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships because all are mentioned repeatedly as well. They even make it into Essential Learnings and Key Outcomes and Indicators that formative and summative assessments will be looking for and creating through Project-based Learning and cooperative projects.

Unless the pending reconciliation of the House-passed Student Success Act and the Senate-passed Every Child Achieves Act no longer reflects the language of either bill, the forthcoming ESEA Rewrite will be enshrining the fundamental concepts, values, beliefs, and attitudes of what it means to act as a Muslim per the Tarbiyah Project into federal law. Making the implementation point the states and local schools means nothing as Tarbiyah also fits so well with the Learning Cities/Regions focus that first brought it on my radar screen. Remember Chapter 7 of my book where I made the title about the Common Core always being about changing Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs? Here’s an enlightening quote:

“The ultimate aim of this Islamic education is closely related to character building, i.e. producing an integrated Islamic personality that requires Islamic values as its foundation. Hence, these two elements, i.e., beliefs and values, should be considered as key elements in the implementation of the Islamic integrated curriculum.”

What are those values? Well, the ubiquitous communitarianism we have located everywhere from what makes a Positive School Climate to what are Career Ready Practices is a key component. Tarbiyah is noted in footnotes as being consistent with Bloom’s Taxonomy and Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Tarbiyah was not mentioned in any of the Rapprochement of Cultures materials I read or in the Learning to Live Together required practices and activities for the classrooms, but they all fit like puzzle pieces assembling a photo vista once we know about the other initiatives. Remember how the purpose of the creator of a theory or practice comes in even if the implementer is unaware?

Islamic values and beliefs, Tauhidi and these cited others say, thoroughly permeate what is being required and implemented in the US and globally under a myriad of names. I have used tags and Proper Nouns for phrases to bring some of these out. In a world where people can be shot for drawing cartoons or anything maligning, I am reluctant to quote all of the references in the Tarbiyah Project documents and appendices to the Prophet, Quran, quotes from verses, or further Arabic names for what is desired to act as a Muslim instead of knowing about Islam. The Tarbiyah Project aligns with what is already being imposed, including the kind of dramatic change in pedagogy and instructional practices laid out by the Ultimate in American insiders here last week.  http://www.gtlcenter.org/sites/default/files/Using_New_Assessments_Educator_Evaluation.pdf We can all wish that a focus on Student Growth and the required Effective Teaching did not align so well with Tawhid and Tarbiyah.

How can free people survive in a world where the required practices all trace back to either Marxist theory for an ‘all needs met’ society or Islamic theory? In the Learning to Live Together report that was to be the basis for this post, the UNICEF/UNESCO writers make it clear just how regulated people are now to be to fulfill the UN’s agenda. No deviations or amendments allowed and they even said that.

It’s a one-way street though where the beliefs and perspectives of some groups and religions must be respected, while K-12 education deceitfully wipes out any religion, beliefs, or values that venerates the individual.

At least now we do not have to wonder why strange stories about required Mosque field trips and forced studies of Islamic pillars just keep cropping up.

Now let’s see what sunlight can do to this planned transformation without consent. It should trouble us all greatly that Tauhidi cited Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote about whoever controls school curriculum being in charge of the forms of government in the next generation.

Hopefully not, for all of our sakes.