Since it is summertime and the living is supposed to be easy, I wish I was off on vacation or taking a break from the blog. Instead, I have been dealing with a tsunami of corroborating research materials from all over the world on this neural emphasis in education. When I was writing my book Credentialed to Destroy and documenting what the required classroom practices would be under a Competency-focus, the Common Core, or any performance ‘standard’, I came to accept that what was being mandated would have a clear neural effect. It would alter how students’ brains functioned going forward. More research assembled in various places subsequently on this blog has made it clear that those neural effects are both known and desired. It is easier to rule people with little recognition they are being coerced.
The age demographics of who voted for BREXIT seem to show that as well as a desire to be coddled. As Bandura put it in our last post, the young people in the UK believe in proxy agency and institutions instead of individual achievement. What I have now had to come to grips with though is that the neural manipulation is the purpose of education reforms and standards-based education. It is the goal precisely because it makes a person amenable to manipulation without either recognition, resistance, or protest. Surely I am exaggerating, right? On Friday, the OECD linked to this paper http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2016/06/understanding-how-brain-processes-maths.html on “The Neuroscience of Mathematical Cognition and Learning.” It has pictures and graphs of the targeted areas as it is now clear that education intends to use “the scientific study of the biological substrates underlying cognition, specifically the neural basis of mental processes.”
Oh, c’mon, lighten up with seeing bad motives when all anyone really wants to do is help everyone learn to read fluently and be good at algebra, I can hear a few of my readers whispering. Except that is not the purpose and it is more than what is detailed at length in Credentialed to Destroy. The desire is to get everyone to ‘on-level performance’ and only to there. The hope is simply to get everyone to literacy and numeracy so they can understand and work with print, visual images, and numbers in ‘everyday life’. Prescribe a theory of classroom practices that creates “changes in neural pathways and synapses due to changes in environment and behavior.” Now are we beginning to understand the real implications of the federal ESSA law stipulating that all states must have ‘challenging academic content standards’ where behavior is the means to show ‘achievement’?
Please remember what I explained about Constructivism in Chapters 2 and 3 when you read this passage from that OECD paper’s conclusion (my italics and bolding):
“Research in cognitive neuroscience has allowed the possibility of exploring the neural basis of complex and sophisticated cognitive processes such as numerical cognition. Using an expanding range of tools from single-cell recording to brain stimulation, progress is being made in not only localising brain regions involved in overall functions, but also mapping the complexity of networks engaged in mathematical learning.
Overall, advances in cognitive neuroscience research is beginning to shed light on the ontogeny [physiology or neural formations are synonyms for that $100 word] of mathematical cognition, how cognition and behavioral performance can be modulated based on the knowledge of neuroplasticity, and how such findings can be used to understand the workings of the brain as a whole. Collaborations between scientists and educators and professionals relevant to the field of mathematics learning promises further advances in the understanding of not only mathematical cognition, but also learning in general, with long-term implications to enrich the mental wealth of mankind.”
That blog link also cites a 2007 OECD paper that came to my attention earlier in the week–“Understanding the Brain: The Birth of a Learning Science.” It outlined with numerous graphics precisely what the term Transdisciplinary is to alter and should be viewed through what UNESCO had in mind when it piloted this curriculum shift in Queensland, Australia covered here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/opting-out-as-the-remedy-may-mean-accidentally-accelerating-nonconsensual-transformations/ Since what is going on in education in the name of brain-based learning was not news to me, I went quickly to the chapter called “The Ethics and Organisation of Educational Neuroscience” with its cover quotes that “Science without conscience is but the ruin of the soul” and HG Wells’ belief that “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”
The chapter opens with a Martin Luther King Jr quote that–“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” Anyone detecting a theme among these quotes on the need to force internalized shared beliefs and values via education? How about if I further quote the authors acknowledgment that “traditionally, the ethical rules concerning biomedical research on human beings follow the Nuremburg Code of 1949 and the Declaration of Helsinki of 1964.” See what I mean about purpose and aim? The bi-directional exchange between Trans-disciplinary Research on Learning and Mandated Classroom Practices and Required Assessments of what a Student has Internalized at a Neural Level are not the only reason I linked to that Queensland post.
When I first located that 2007 paper, I followed up on the Bibliography telling me that the US NSF had established Science of Learning Centers in 2003. I pulled up those materials and presentations and recognized numerous relevant professors and institutions. We have the creator of the 1987 HOTS report and the co-director of the New Standards project in the 90s–Lauren Resnick and Roy Pea of Stanford who is also now tied to NSF’s Cyber learning initiative and Charles Fadel’s Center for Curriculum Redesign at Harvard. http://invisibleserfscollar.com/drawing-back-the-standards-curtain-to-discover-the-global-coordination-to-redesign-the-very-nature-of-curriculum/ I knew back then these machinations were global, but not yet that we were looking at education research involving the physiology of real students in actual classrooms to “integrate insights about ‘micro-level’ mechanisms with evidence about aggregate, ‘macro-level’ outcomes that emerge from processes of implementing these mechanisms.”
In less stilted English (which I am capable of when I don’t have to quote for accuracy about indisputable aims), that would translate into monitoring the student’s neural network and which brain regions fire on prescribed tasks and how all that fits their shown behavior and how it changes. Data, data, data. Personal Identifiability is so NOT the needed area of focus in the Era of Sought Educational Neuroscience. I also wanted to go back to Queensland because there is a new Journal called the Science of Learning there and the Director of the SLC program at NSF wrote a letter to the Editor about two weeks ago. http://www.nature.com/articles/npjscilearn20169 See how real time we are here at ISC in tracking what is planned for us?
I started to write that Soo-Siang Lim was with the US NSF or the US SLC Centers with their declared emphasis on the “internal world of mind and brain” since so much of the prescribed emphasis has made it to all US classrooms in the name of the Common Core standards, but yesterday when I put her name into a search engine, I found out NSF has an office in Beijing and does Science of Learning work with jetsetting PIs at the University of Hong Kong. I found out Dr Lim sued for gender discrimination after she did not get tenure for an Anatomy Professorship at Indiana before joining the NSF and beginning her tour of the world. Found videos of interviews in Rio and dubbing into other languages. Perhaps most crucially though I found a January 23-24, 2012 OECD/NSF SLC conference in Paris called “Innovation in Education: Connecting How we Learn to Educational Policy and Practice.” http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/49382960.pdf
Notice the presence of Dirk Van Damme. We met him when I wrote about Global Education Futures Forum and Redesigning the Future and the presence of Alexander and Kathia Laszlo as Co-chairs of the Silicon Valley event. http://edu2035.org/pdf/what_is_GEF.pdf I could be sarcastic and say that coincidences abound but none of this is coincidental. The neural transformations being sought are the common glue that allows control without effective opposition and every wanna-be planner in the world seems to know it. It’s time we all knew it too. Also remember the quote from the head of the OECD in the Conclusion to my book that all of the OECD’s education policies are to pursue their desired plans of social, political, and economic transformations.
I must admit these last several weeks have produced many “Oh. Wow” moments in my research so I decided to go back to earlier works from decades ago, as well as now, where these aims were both clearly hoped for and sought. Turned out that in 1989 Paul Ehrlich and Robert Ornstein in New World New Mind called for governments to “make new ways of thinking and new ways of handling our problems immediately available to society’s decision-makers. And while changing the form and content of education would be a major step toward conscious evolution..” They go on to state that “there is a new understanding of the human mind, developed from modern brain research and studies of thought processes.” I have never thought it was just coincidental that under President Obama the NSF and all these education initiatives like the League of Innovative Schools report at the White House to a close Ehrlich associate–John Holdren.
Could have the motto: “Finally in a position to make it so.” Let’s come back to the present and Rebecca Costas’ 2010 book The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson wrote the Foreword and is quoted as saying in 2009 that “the real problem of humanity is the following: We have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.” Sounds just like the quotes prefacing the OECD’s Chapter on the Ethics surrounding Educational Neuroscience and its potential, doesn’t it? It should make us all very nervous that the well-connected Ms Costas thought that the way to avoid civilizational collapse was to reject thought involving “analytical processing [and] deliberate application of strategies and operations to gradually approach a solution.”
My last quote confirms just how often the phrase ‘evidence-based policy’ in education or ‘best practices’ is obscuring a sought neural transformation in the parts of the brain trained to respond and the very nature of the student’s brain itself. Frequently the sales pitch is also put out in the name of Equity as in a 2014 paper called “Neuroscience and Education: Prime Time to Build the Bridge.” It stated that “rising education inequality is among the gravest of the world’s problems.” Now, education inequality is a natural condition of humanity throughout history. Only by interfering with people’s brains and how they process is Equity possible and that very interference is totalitarian, especially when the nature of what is being targeted is the subject of so much organized deceit.
Anyone else chilled to the bones by all this global coordination with known and Proud-of-It Authoritarian or Communist States? As I mentioned to someone yesterday, individual liberty is precious and rare in the annals of history. In the era of unrecognized Educational Neuroscience it is about to become extinct within the current generation.
In the name of obscuring slogans like Choice, Higher Standards, Personalized Learning, and Brain-Based Instruction.
I’d like to Opt Out Please.