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.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Heart-Core Learning: Not Left to Chance or Adult Therapy and Thus Reimagining What It Means to Be Human

Recently I have been writing fewer posts and talking more in between in the comments as I am inundated with confirmations in books and articles, going back more than 50 years, laying out a consistent vision. Books are the best means to lay out all the interconnections, but the toxicity of this vision and the clear determination to lock it in now at an undisclosed, and unforeseeable neural level, means I have to post red light alerts in the interim. Anyone else have a habit of watching the network news on a somewhat regular basis just to learn what the Powers-that-Be want us to believe about the world out there? That’s how I feel when I go through these explanations for the planned K-12 reforms hiding conveniently behind the Common Core banner. I believe I need to give everyone a heads up on connections like GEFF from the last post and all the various entities and initiatives that matter that are clearly tied to that Advisory Board.

In the comments to the last post I put up my original Bela Banathy posts from 2012. Those are pertinent to where we are going today that came out of the GEFF and ISSS connections. Before we move on I want to tie a crucial point from my book Credentialed to Destroy and these discussions and the current, actual classroom implementation. Remember the discussion of Transformational Outcomes Based Education and its links to Competency laid out in Chapter 4? Well, Bela Banathy worked under William Spady, the named Tranzi OBE co-creator, at the Far West Ed Lab in the 80s. They knew each other and Spady would have been quite familiar with what I have described in those two posts and what I am going to lay out today. Tranzi OBE in fact dovetails nicely with what are now being called by Rand and the White House as Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies.

In other words, the ultimate social engineering Manipulation of the Brain and its synapses at a neurological level got to go on, despite bloodshed, with no one being the wiser. If someone noticed the fundamental shift it got attributed to Tranzi OBE without the broader agenda being understood. When the Columbine Tragedy occurred, Tranzi OBE and Spady were smeared and implicated. Spady moved out of the country to do similar work in South Africa and Australia and Tranzi OBE got renamed and broken into interconnected parts. The broader agenda went on. Nobody implicated Bela Banathy or the Laszlos or the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences.

This is a quote from a 2003 paper Kathia Castro Laszlo (very involved at the GEFF Menlo Park conference) published called “Systems Science: Creating Transdisciplinary Knowledge for Conscious Evolution.” She talks frequently and forthrightly about the ‘human science’ that K-12 has quietly become in order to nonconsensually transform “social realities.” She excitedly points out that “humans do not need to be the victims of change–change can happen through us not to us” (her emphasis) and that we can “influence the direction of change through our intentions and actions.” Yes, using the guided perceptions created by the Cross-Cutting Concepts, Core Disciplinary Ideas, Enduring Understandings, and Understandings of Consequence, all coupled to cultivated responses grounded in emotions and deliberately created virtual reality images. Some freedom of choice, huh? A false perception of free choice when everything has actually been carefully manipulated, circumscribed, and controlled via the K-12 classroom.

Then, Kathia quotes Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi to say:

“for the first time in human history we can experience joy ‘while working for the most ambitious goal available to the human imagination: To blend our individual voice in the cosmic harmony, to join our unique consciousness with the emerging consciousness of the universe, to fold our momentary center of psychic energy into the current that tends toward complexity and order.’ Indeed, science and spirituality are coming together in the ultimate exploration of the meaning and purpose of human existence: Conscious evolution–the evolutionary phase in which a developing being becomes conscious of itself, aware of the processes of which it is a participant, and begins voluntarily to co-create with evolution.”

Now, I wish we could just consider such intentions to be poppycock, but the definition of Excellence in education as in Schools of Excellence and a civil rights obligation for Excellence and Equity tracks back to Csik’s definition of Excellence as combining what is desired, felt, and thought into action and behavior. Those two posts about Banathy all involve work he did with Csik that is linked to Columbine and Tranzi OBE, but stayed below the radar. We have Aspen Summits where Csik gets invited within the last 5 years and so do people from High Tech High. The 2004 ASCD System Thinking/ Chaos Theory/ ASC newsletter Patterns laid out a comparable quote from Csik about the “need for a new worldview” grounded “not in the traditionally taught evolutionary scenario dominated by competition and selfishness, but an understanding closer to the Darwinian one that sees cooperation and transcendence of the self as the most exciting parts of the story.”

Georgia has renamed what was its Common Core standards as the Standards for Excellence, probably without a politician in this state knowing where Excellence is actually going. The language about becoming conscious of itself is precisely what ‘reflection’ pushed by IB programs means. It is what Metacognition pushed by the OECD and a part of David Conley’s work on what the amorphous mandate “College Ready” actually includes. My point is that what may seem out there in terms of goals is getting written into statutes like the ESEA rewrites that passed Congress this summer or Charters that no one bothers to read. It is incorporated into mandated assessments that are being misleadingly called ‘tests’ to obscure the shift of K-12 education from the assimilation of knowledge into a human science to invisibly force transformational change.

Digging into Alexander and Kathia Laszlo’s work after what I had read that the well-connected GEFF planned to do turned up that about 1980 Bela Banathy began what he called Conversations on the Comprehensive Design of Social Systems. They took place regularly in Austria at a place called Fuschl and from 1988 on, in Pacific Grove, California, and those were called the Asilomar Conversations. At first they were centered on deliberately remaking the educational systems around the world, but gradually the aim became to redesign and transform social systems generally.

I have been digging through those records and all the confessions contained there, including that CASBS was tied to the infamous Tavistock Institute in London as is systems science generally. The 2012 ‘Conversation’, now moved to St Magdalena/Linz and held under the auspices of the now Gates Foundation-funded IFSR, laid out all the Tavistock connections and the desire to use Participative Design Workshops to push the education and social systems redesign agenda.

Now wonder people keep writing about going to a public meeting for discussion and feeling like they have been Delphied. In 2012 a Merrilyn Emery said in a keynote talk we were not invited to at the European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems research that: “There is one other property of human beings and that property created the need for a genuinely open systems science: it is the demonstrable fact of consciousness defined as ‘awareness of awareness.'” So we never get invited to any of these meetings but their confessions, insights, and intentions do get incorporated quietly into the required assessments no one wants students to be able to opt out of, the adaptive software in their digital learning mandates, or the real definition of College Ready.

A paper called “Opportunity Lost: Teacher’s Union Reform-Past, Present & Future” reported that the concept of “Education by Charter” was first presented in 1974 to the same CASBS affiliate-the Society for General Systems Research–that would rename itself as ISSS in 1988. That would be the Tavistock connected entity. I have a copy of the Ray Budde charter paper that was finally published by an ed lab in that busy year of 1988. It’s all about the use of the Charter to lock in a vision of education that few would consent to knowingly and willingly. I was able to locate confirmation  http://www.gbv.de/dms/tib-ub-hannover/509668720.pdf that Budde remained tied to GSRT from this 1982 Annual Meeting in DC. Budde spoke on “Applying New Findings from the Neurosciences to Education” and Bela Banathy on “Perspectives on Education in Systems Methodology.” Both were listed in the part of the program on “The Study of Social Systems.”

Today’s title came from this most alarming K-12 vision http://smartblogs.com/education/2015/09/03/know-that-you-have-it-keys-to-self-driven-self-loving-self-supporting-education/ . I could recognize the ties between its vision and what I recognized as being part of what is being quietly mandated for all classrooms, including Whole Child Initiatives, Positive School Climate mandates, unappreciated definitions of mental health and well-being, and Mindfulness practices. I will come back to this in the next post as once again the extent of the interconnections among the true vision being mandated are hard to cover in a blog.

Getting back to what appears to be an impossible vision being mandated, please click through to the Game Desk website and notice who is funding this Heart-Core vision. When AT&T, the Gates Foundation, and the National Science Foundation are among the listed funders, you do not have to be the author of one well-documented book on education and be in the process of writing another, to conclude this is coming to a classroom near you soon.

This is a vision that already assumes we are “a collective” and “a society that grossly overvalues the mind over the heart.” It fits right in to where Csik, Bela Banathy, and the Laszlos, just for starters, have all said repeatedly they intend to use K-12 education to take us to.

In order to obstruct the use of K-12 education as a nonconsensual Human Science, we have to wake up to the reality of that very deliberate shift going on all around us.

With the United Nations convening on the Post-2015 plans for us building on all this later this month, there is no time to wait.

 

Knitting Binding Fidelities of Consciousness Individually and Globally Because the Test of a Knife is If It Cuts

We already knew the essence of what makes us individuals was being targeted each time the social science profs described us a a ‘system’. Now it appears the social scientists and educators are comparing us to cutlery. Assessing whether we will perform and behave reliably and as expected. That really is a translated quote from Dilthey as to what the Human Studies, or as he also called them–‘the moral sciences,’ were interested in monitoring and measuring. “Dilthey was anxious that his methods should be put to practical use. [Actual quote translated from German] ‘The usefulness of methods emerges from their use, just as the test of the knife is if it cuts.'” Since this is 19th Century Germany and the aspirations for the future, we now know that ultimately the knife could cut and the Germans would march thoughtlessly and emotionally to war.

Now remember all the data being gathered on students, the formative assessments, the open-ended questions on mandated tests, and the soon to be federal requirement to use digital technology to push ‘personalized learning’ and read this quote.

“So, how people think and feel, how they perceive the world and what they strive for, is due to a mental structure which has resulted from the moulding influence of physical, social, and cultural factors upon the innate configuration of the mind.”

Learning standards like the Common Core in the US and a Competency orientation generally seek to grasp the essence of the innate configuration of each student’s mind. Then activities, projects, or group problems can be chosen in a personalized, individualized fashion to manipulate that mind, at a physiological level, to interpret the world as desired. To act in it and on it, reliably. I will let that unfortunate social engineering reality sink in while I tell you where the first part of the title came from. In 1976 Harvard sociology prof Daniel Bell wrote a blueprint for aligning the social, cultural, political, and economic systems in the US away from the focus on individuals. Called The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, it sought to shift the US to what he italicized as state-directed economies and state-managed societies.

To accomplish that shift without a full-scale uproar over coercion and the loss of liberty required a ‘public philosophy.’ I believe that K-12 education, first via what used to be called Tranzi OBE and now going by Competency, Excellence, and a Whole Child emphasis was picked to be the means for shifting the prevailing consciousness of each student away from “an individualist ethos which at best defends the idea of personal liberty, and at worst evades the necessary social responsibilities and social sacrifices which a communal society demands. In sum, we have had no normative commitment to a public household or a public philosophy that would mediate private conflicts.”

Now remember that imperative every time you hear Collaboration as a necessary 21st Century Skill or ponder why the targeting of new values seems to pop into every assignment.  Bell bemoaned that “without a public philosophy, explicitly stated, we lack the fundamental condition whereby a modern polity can live by consensus (and without it there is only continuing conflict) and justice.” By the time Bell wrote the Afterword for the 20th Anniversary Edition of the book, he added another way of describing the needed public philosophy: “the binding fidelities of consciousness, rooted in history and tradition, kinship and race, religion and nationality, that shape the emotional consanguinity, literal or fictive, among individuals and make them one.”

In 2015 we seem to be calling such a still desired mandate Deeper Learning and required Communities of Learners in each classroom and the entire school. Anyone hoping that the plans for economies and societies have gone stale has not read the nature of the proposed  regs under WIOA just issued by the federal government. Between what is required in each state’s plans, sought in each plan, and who must benefit from the various programs, the long-sought vision is unquestionably here. What I am also saying is that the true purpose of the ESEA Rewrite, now in Congressional Conference, is to force schools to inculcate the needed public philosophy in each student, to be instilled via ‘meaningful’ assessments and required state academic goals (misleadingly labeled ‘content standards’ to deceive) grounded in behavior.

Remember my receiver analogy from the last post? Dilthey recognized that the Human Sciences needed to assess each student because “if we wish to know the meaning of behavior we must know the meanings of the behavers.” How’s that for putting student-centered learning into its true context? Dilthey recognized that out of man’s psychological reactions and attitudes to the world (now accessible on each student via all that DATA flowing into state longitudinal data systems) “grew world-views. World-views were the result of the giving of content to the forms of the mind by the historical stream. [now the Learning Registry or SAS, Pearson, Amplify, AIR, etc] They were the primary patterns in which the sensory impressions of the external world were organized. They, therefore, basically determined the thoughts, values, and action of the individual.”

Anyone beginning to get nervous about what personalized, brain-based learning actually means?  And world-views need not be true or factually grounded. Dilthey again: “Worldviews, then, were not universally valid views of the world, but rather systems of values which were widely shared.” Wrong, but commonly believed is simply not going to end well for any of us not currently in public office at the local, state, or federal levels or working for one of the agencies pushing this. Speaking of data, Bell in his 1996 Afterword also reminded us that the essence of the Post-Industrial Society is that “information, not production, became the control system of the economy.” So all the hype about manufacturing is more to aid the transition to state-directed economies and state-managed societies than anything grounded in fact.

The employers concerned with inadequate skills are actually seeing the real effects from the pushes in the 80s and 90s to make instilling a public philosophy the primary purpose of K-12 education. Back in the original 1976 body of the book, Bell explained that the public philosophy was to be “the single overriding principle…to which all persona, as members of the community, must subscribe.” In fact, Bell sought “to find a social cement for the society” in 1976, interestingly enough about the same time as state or national think tanks hyping liberty, freedom, and free enterprise began popping up.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if part of the actual purpose in some funders’ minds was to deceitfully create a means to quietly guide, and shut up, anyone noticing a shift in values and political programs? In the name of School Choice all schools, public, private, or online, could be forced to be institutions that would force the “restatement of what is legitimate (the grounded values) in a society.” That reality sure fits the facts I personally have encountered and what teachers in private schools and charters now tell me. Bell was aware and annoyed at how much the West, and the US especially, reveres the individual. His goals were:

“Where bourgeois society separated the economy from the polity, the public household [and now WIOA] joins the two, not for the fusion of powers, but the necessary coordination of effects. The public household requires a new socio-economic bill of rights [WIOA again!] which redefines for our times the social needs that the polity must try to satisfy. It establishes the public budget (How much do we want to spend, and for whom?) as the mechanism whereby the society seeks to implement ‘the good condition of human beings.'”

We can see why politicians, university profs, and district administrators are being less than forthcoming about what is really going on. All the known facts, statutory language, regulations, and anything else designed to control the classroom implementation and the social and economic consequences dovetails with all these declarations. Our students are living in a world where education is to become a means of human study. The declared intentions are to use the behavioral sciences and data from students to instill the requisite values, behaviors, and beliefs to be the needed social cement. Grounded neurally as the prevailing consciousness among a majority of future voters.

In a February 14, 2015 post I covered the just released America Next Education Reform report and its declared ties to the Heritage Foundation in particular. I just did not equate an acceptance of a welfare state as being a conservative position. Bell also called for what was laid out in that 2015 report except he attributed the same idea to economist Alice Rivlin, with an emphasis “not on public provision, but on public financing of care.” In fact, Bell reiterated his preference by saying that “what some liberals and some New Leftists have rediscovered are the virtues of decentralization and competition.” Maybe, after two failed attempts at fundamental transformation in the US, we can see why everyone with aims to steer public policy might be shouting “Local Control” in the kind of Bipartisan manner we saw with WIOA and now with the ESEA Rewrite.

I know it is quite mean of me to read what no one ever assigned to me and grasp what no one ever intended to tell me. That’s just how language intended to have legal effect works sometimes. That’s why this vision needs Axemaker Minds and to a large degree print itself to go away. Much better to embed the students in a controlled virtual reality that can be made to function in whatever way best produces the desired Public Philosophy.

I have a Public Philosophy too. It is to save as many students as possible and this great nation and other countries from a toxic vision that has already caused too much unappreciated harm.

We are now where Bell hoped to get to back in 1976 and then 1996. We had best all grasp the implications in time. Our Governors, Senators, mayors, and legislators do not intend to tell us.

It is what it is and we must deal with this head-on.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And why.

 

Waging the Essential Battle at the Level of Thought and Using the Law to Compel Compliance

The title comes from a quote used in a 1963 book where Ervin Laszlo quoted J M Bochenski in the context of who would prevail in the Cold War and where the actual battlefields lay. Bochenski had written: “If the free world has any chance to win the spiritual struggle at the level of thought, it needs genuine philosophy.” By ‘philosophy’, Laszlo meant “a scheme of ideas” through which a student or an adult can frame what they perceive or ignore in their day to day life, and then use the supplied ideas to “unflinchingly explore the interpretation of experience in terms of that scheme.”

It turns out the “essential battle is waged at the level of thought” in the fundamental struggle between Individualism and Collectivism. That was the little discussed battle field where way too many professors were apparently looking for a synthesis between Individualism and Communism and creating theories and using pedagogy and never telling the rest of us what was up. It matters now though because I can go back into the books Laszlo published offshore in the Netherlands in the early 60s and read almost verbatim what is being enshrined as a federal mandate in the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 as personalized learning. I can see it in the language used in that Young Adult Success Framework linked in the last post and it goes beyond troubling language like page 13 where:

“The conception of success we use in this report has both an individual and a societal element. It is not simply about meeting one’s own goals; success is also about contributing to the larger good, having a meaningful place within a community, and working toward a positive change in the world.”

Laszlo wanted to come up with a means of “developing a scheme permitting the synthesis of concrete individuality with relational existence” because that would bridge the gap where the “Communist concept of man subordinates the idea of individual being (a ‘rigid, metaphysical view’) to that of social existence (‘socialized man’). As a result their social organization subjects the rights and freedom of individuals to the interest of the social group.” That gap compares to the historic Western emphasis on the individual. Laszlo wanted to bridge that gap by hyping the relational experience of the Individual just like that Young Adult Success Framework does with how it describes the build-up of each child’s sense of Identity and meaning-making. It is as if Laszlo were an adviser on that Framework.

Or maybe this take down of the Individual and the Axemaker Mind and emphasis on subjective experience and “the ways young people are making meaning”  and “effective developmental experience” are straight out of the Blueprint of what Laszlo said would be needed to build a “Society that could be governed by idea…form an idea at the base,  of what was essential in society, and then build a political scheme for the proper adjustment of the ‘superstructure,’ i.e. of social organization (as Communist theory claims to do).” If that sounds like an “I have a better way to get to the same goal of Marx’s Human Development Society where everyone’s needs would be met” that is precisely how Laszlo’s vision for what he called the Essential Society readsIt also fits with where the Young Adult Success Framework, I believe, mirrors the language of what ECAA will mandate as well. “…the framework is about building a society where all children grow up to reach their full potential, regardless of which side of the economic divide they were born.”

I want to quote Laszlo’s Chapter called ‘Government by Idea’ because this entire vision explains why it is so difficult to get politicians of either party, from the Senate and House to state legislatures and local city councils to give up the power bestowed by this vision. It has never created mass prosperity, but it has certainly created lots of prosperous politicians and benefitted their allies and cronies. Here we go:

“the organ of rational guidance for the individual is the mind; for a nation it is its government. A government can guide a nation toward its essential form [and tout it as a ‘fundamental transformation’?] by organizing its institutions in such a way that all individuals are granted equal freedom in the fulfillment of their essential needs. The government must have a clear idea of the nation’s integral economy and then build a political axiology on it, to serve as a basis for its policies.”

That is PRECISELY what is occurring now at all levels of government and precisely why developmentally-oriented learning standards like the Common Core grounded in experience and behavior and the Whole Child have always been viewed as an essential component to the broader transformation. I explained that in my book Credentialed to Destroy but Laszlo’s insights are a nice supplement because they go so fundamentally to where ECAA is taking us by design. If not Lamar Alexander or Patty Murray, then some of their staffers have created a piece of legislation that fulfills the desire for “ideological power-politics [that] may [force] the transformation of a people’s ontological [factual; how they perceive reality] concept of society.”

Laszlo openly admitted “its acceptance [this new kind of society] remains pending upon the shift of emphasis in the individual’s mind concerning the primacy of the ontological concepts of individual being and social existence. (It is one of the aims of this work to inquire into the possibilities of producing such a shift by means of a totalitarian ideological campaign.” A Totalitarian Ideological Campaign confession of intent? Then enshrined into a legal obligation of all schools in all states in the US via federal law? Is Laszlo in DC today doing a victory dance while the Senate considers ECAA? Thought at the level of the individual mind, the appropriate conception of society, and the duties of others toward meeting your needs have to be altered in “every society’s representative majority” so that means schools, the media, politicians, and a majority of the US Supreme Court are needed to jettison the primacy of the Individual. Right now it feels like we are in the same place as this 1963 acknowledgment:

“whereever Soviet power penetrates, however, the second form of interaction is superimposed on the first: The Communist ideology’s ontological structure comes to act on the political thought of the people, and together with the full-scale reconstruction of the social order, helps to emphasize the primacy of social existence over individual being concurrently with the collectivist structure of the ideology.”

Not to be mean but that vision of interaction of the individual as a relational product of social existence is what ed schools teach and award doctorates for parroting. Pedagogy now in these theories fits Laszlo’s definition of the Totalitarian Use of Social Theories where “Upon application the theory will come to bear upon the development of actual conditions in a society [and the minds and personalities of real students]. An applied theory this influences the political philosophy of a nation, and it may even become its ideology.”

Laszlo called for his Essential Society to be achieved by systematic presentations of Ideals and italicized for emphasis just like that. He knew that “ideological use of social theories is almost unanimously rejected in the West.” His answer though still is in use in the ECAA emphasis requiring annual testing by states of Higher Order Thinking and Understanding and in the Harvard Project Zero Teaching for Understanding Framework, which I happen to have a copy of. All of these use the terms ‘understanding’ and comprehension not in the Axemaker mind sense of Objective Knowledge and abstract concepts existing apart from me as a perceiver of experiences. No, Laszlo recognized that political transformation towards Collectivism and away from Individualism  needed an entirely different mode of comprehension.

A mode that ECAA is about to mandate for all students as a matter of federal law to be monitored and manipulated for each student at the level of their mind and personality.  Anita Hoge recently wrote an Open Letter outraged about all the references in ECAA to social and emotional learning and non-cognitive factors and rightly so. https://docs.google.com/document/d/16h1GbMGqDLeqS8QnBnraPqeKuFzMxkqaTygrUU_Izr0/edit What I would add to her letter comes from all the cybernetics research I have done for my second book as well as my Laszlo library. The desired and to be mandated mode of spontaneous, visual, relational comprehension HAS to be grounded in emotion or as Laszlo admitted “we then assign a concept to the cloud which is primarily emotional in nature but which serves as efficiently as the rationally derived concept in transforming the perceptual into conceptual, and thereby making it comprehensible.”

That may be but one mode of comprehension is easy to manipulate, harder to get caught abusing, and is far more likely to be conducive to a systematic presentation of new Ideas to transform a society or economy around. Say like the ideas of Equity, Debt Bondage, Institutional Racism, Climate Change, Social Justice, Democracy, and all those other Enduring Understandings or Core Disciplinary Ideas or Cross-Cutting Themes or other conceptual ‘lenses’ we keep encountering in the actual Common Core classroom implementation. The Young Adult Success Framework called for their development as the Mindset and Worldview that would define Identity, precisely in the manner Laszlo called for as needed for his Essential Society.

I want to remind everyone of what this spontaneous comprehension is designed to do. relevant to Gaming and the Maker Movement and Project-Based Learning, this visual, aesthetic comprehension “does not result in a rational idea, rather it produces a concept with a primarily emotive content.” What did that mean for Laszlo’s vision for transformation away from Reason and Individualism? “The assigned concept has primarily an emotive content; it may be felt as joy, fear, an undescribable elation, a premonition of unknown things, and so on. The fact is that we have an (emotively charged) concept without having employed a reasoning process. This, in short, we hold to be the essence of the spontaneous mode of comprehension.”

I have emotive content too. Horror at how close we are in the US to enshrining this into federal law.

 

 

Fodder for Political Exploitation: When ECAA Removes All Barriers and Adds Required Intrusions

Miss me? ECAA (Every Child Achieves Act of 2015) is the acronym for the latest update to federal K-12 legislation and it is scheduled to come to the Senate floor for debate any day now. Yesterday, as I was getting ready to start trumpeting the truth of the tsunami coming at us again, I read a quote from Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, the Republican sponsor of last summer’s WIOA legislation that I am so horrified by,  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/priority-economic-citizenship-for-some-officially-sanctioned-status-as-prey-for-most-of-us/ . Politico quoted him as hoping for votes from ‘conservatives’ on ECAA because of the provisions allowing parents to Opt Out of testing requirements and also not requiring states to use the Common Core. Having read all 792 pages of that leviathan piece of legislation, a suggestion implying that those voting on it need only look at one or two provisions seemed to me like an excuse to ignore the reality of what the legislation shifts.

Now I have mentioned in previous posts that the practices mandated and theories used track back to Soviet psych research and their 1930s views of the type of citizens they wanted education to create. That’s troubling, but lets leave the S word and its close cousin the M word (as in Uncle Karl) out of today’s concerns. Isakson’s points reminded me that there was language in ECAA that appears to override that Opt Out language since the required ECAA annual assessments are to be “administered to all public elementary school and secondary school students in the state.” I am pretty sure that will be the provision waved in parents faces after the legislation is adopted. Plus the school district can fight parents with litigation expenses funded by the taxpayers. No warm and fuzzy comfort from that page 617 prohibition against federal mandates, direction, and control.

Again what good is that or referencing the Common Core when only certain types of ‘performance standards’ as in desired actions or conduct to be demonstrated by students can meet the criteria already mandated by ECAA under that already noted squirrelly definition of “Challenging State Academic Standards” language.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/congressionally-mandating-dialectical-thinking-and-then-forcing-states-to-annually-measure-and-manipulate-it/ Now to elaborate on the true essence of what is being targeted by ECAA that ought to be Out of Bounds in a free society I am going to quote from a 2014 UN/ILO report book called Transforming Economies–Making Industrial Policy Work for Growth, Jobs and Development . That report talks about the US so we get to pay attention to what is sought since as the song goes “This is My Country, Land that I Love…”

The UN excitedly said that “Industrial Policies shape opportunities for economy-wide learning” not to mention lots of exploitation opportunities for Senators, legislators, mayors, and local council members. And what do future citizens need to learn for this future of the kind of Industrial Policy that WIOA just happens to have foisted on all 50 states? Probably making the UN Oh So Happy and definitely constituting a shift for the US to more of a CME–Coordinated Market Economy like the cited Japan and Germany? Well, we need generic skills, but more importantly what must be controlled are the Concepts that “allow individuals to categorize and structure information and data, to analyze and interpret empirically observed phenomena, to gain understanding and meaning and make choices.”

That target never varies and looking to make sure those desired Concepts are taking hold and are likely to prompt and guide future actions is PRECISELY what the ECAA required annual HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) assessments that cannot be opted out of are looking for. Now we have come across other names for this focus on Concepts before and I have tagged some of them to this post. Showing just how crucial getting into and manipulating how each student’s mind works and how they are likely to behave in the future is to the global vision of K-12 education ‘reform’ that ECAA is a component of, the Next Generation Science Standards last month, in a draft of its “Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria for Alignment” in the classroom assessments, created three new acronyms for us.

SEPs–Science and Engineering Practices to make sure the concepts are tied to ongoing actual student activities and behaviors and are not just the subject of a dreaded test of knowledge, or, Horrors!, Rote Learning. We also have DCIs, which can be used in any area and stand for Disciplinary Core Ideas. Then we also have our last new acronym–CCCs or Cross-Cutting Concepts to provoke some genuine interdisciplinary insights and perceptions that apply across all subject areas. Cool, huh? Just think of what Joe Stalin or Fidel Castro could have done with an education system that pushes everyone to have the same perceptual filters embedded unconsciously within the mind and integrated into practiced behaviors until they are reflexes.

Cannot linger because something else came out this past week–the Remake Learning Playbook that is expanding beyond Pittsburgh and working with the White House and Congressional initiative–Digital Promise and getting funding from the MacArthur Foundation. There is so much of the vision of where we are actually going in that Playbook, but relevant to today’s post in particular, was a mention of adhering to the Economic and Sector strategies created by a Harvard Business School prof by the name of Michael Porter. That got my attention since WIOA is full of Sector Strategies and the National Governors Association has cited it as a reason for needing the Common Core to reform the nature of American high school. (August 4 & 10, 2014 posts).

So that name Michael Porter rang a bell from some connections at Harvard from witnesses Lamar Alexander called to testify at the original hearings on the reauthorization. Ignoring his connection to the Monitor Consulting Group bankruptcy since that should have no bearing on the validity of public policy recommendations, I discover http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/Clusters_and_Economic_Policy_White_Paper_8e844243-aa23-449d-a7c1-5ef76c74236f.pdf that Clusters are to be the new form of approved American Industrial Policy. As a bonus it allows the federal government and its agencies to coordinate with states and localities, which sounds a great deal like progressive polyphonic federalism (Jan 28, 2015 post) to me. Also goes well again with WIOA and those soon to be filed required state plans. Truly, my bliss at the public sector exploitation potentials knows no bounds.

See why they need K-12 policy to line up with these planned manipulations? Now just imagine the potential for all the plans for metro areas to be the economic drivers and to force Equity in Outcomes from having Professor Porter be the founder of ICIC-the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. ICIC, by the way, works with the same Brookings that is in charge of the Rockefeller-funded Metropolitanism initiative and the UNESCO/OECD Learning Metrics Task Force. If I had a white board and we were talking in person all these connections would seem to be a game of Whack-a-Mole, but apparently we are the ones about to get whacked.

Now, not to pat myself on the back or anything, but after a book and 3 years of this blog, I really know this area so reading a 1960 book yesterday by a Harvard philosophy prof, Israel Scheffler, brought there in 1952 by the Rockefeller Foundation, I recognized that he, too, was describing the kind of behavior guided by conceptual understanding that has given us the above three new acronyms. Well, a few searches later of people who ought to be involved if my suspicions were correct pulled up a “Teaching for Understanding” initiative from Harvard in the early 90s that was originally funded by the Spencer Foundation, but later by MacArthur.  http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi/resources/workshops/teachingforunderstanding.html That would be the same MacArthur Foundation now funding the national expansion via the Remake Learning Playbook mentioned above.

That paper explains all about ‘understanding performances’ and how true understanding needs to be demonstrated by behavior and action. Just like what we now know is required under ECAA’s definition of HOTS and what will qualify as the requisite Challenging State Academic Standards. Fascinating, huh? Remember all the references in ECAA to ‘needs’ and ‘personalized learning’? Well, the Playbook talks about that as well and recommends Project-Based Learning and the Maker Movement. How active! Maybe get to practice with all three new acronyms some more and join the “global conversation about learning innovation” while staying “responsive to the real needs and priorities of local communities.” Global and local-what a nice slogan. Probably why the various UN entities keep hyping it.

I will get back to that Playbook in the next post since this one is devoted to all the initiatives ECAA pulls in that we were not supposed to know about. Some of us already know that the White House and various companies have really been hyping the Maker Movement and maker Faires. It’s not just that Playbook. Hint: it also dovetails nicely with Sector Strategy plans for us. When I was updating that Teaching for Understanding work by Harvard’s Project Zero, it pulled up a January 2015 White Paper from them called “Maker-Centered Learning and the Development of Self: Preliminary Findings of the Agency By Design Project” that builds on this desire to redesign our students from the inside-out and then let them practice until the shifts take hold at a neurological level.

I’m afraid that is where the title came from. No boundaries anymore to what the White House, Congress, ed researchers, tax-free ‘philanthropies’ and others apparently plan to do to our students unless we are supposed to be cheered that no one is trying to get authority for sexual exploitation. They want to interfere with, redesign, and then monitor annually each student with mounds of data at the very level of the Self-their Identity.

Mercy me. I think Mao Tse-Tung himself would have lusted after such authority over China’s citizens. Especially if hardly anyone would know of the level of interference and manipulation.

Why, Congress, why?

 

Rip Aside the Mask: Society Becomes an Existential and Experiential Lab for Students to Become Citizens

That title comes from combining two different confessional quotes on the purpose of all these education reforms now hiding as the Common Core, Competency, or 21st Century Learning. We are sticking with Marcus Raskin’s book The Common Good we met in the last post. That initial phrase came as Raskin laid out how to “Reorganize the government for the common good. ” The “first task in a program of governmental reorganization which asserts social reconstruction [just like I described in my book Credentialed to Destroy] and citizen participation [no wonder we keep encountering the National Center for Deliberative Democracy] is to rip aside the mask of concern for efficiency to determine which group or class is being served by a particular way of organizing the governmental process.”

Wondering why all of a sudden the word Equity as an obligation is everywhere? How’s this for an open declaration? –“the criteria which are used to reorganize government should be consistently and deliberately discussed according to specific value standards: equity and caring, egalitarian interdependence and cooperation.” Now before I switch to the other quote and the vision of democratic education to create the necessary citizen to get there, some people may be tempted to ignore these declarations as from decades ago. In one of those serendipitous occurrences that remind us just how thoroughly we are tracking what is really coming at us, since I wrote the last post, Raskin and many others from the Institute for Policy Studies signed on to and published http://thenextsystem.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/NSPReport1_Digital1.pdf .

“The Next System Project: New Political-Economic Possibilities for the 21st Century” features many of the radical names we have already covered on this blog. http://thenextsystem.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/nextsystem_ForWeb.pdf is the list for those who want to play Recognize that Name and Contemplate the Implications. Since everyone can read those for themselves, let’s get back to the source for the second part of the title.  I also want everyone to keep in mind the ubiquity now of CTE for All (last post again) and authentic, real world, active learning for all students.

“For most students a practical, concrete and non-abstract education encourages their productive and imaginative side. [Think of Creativity as one of the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning] If schools pursued this course the society would become an existential and experiential laboratory for students. Schools would become the central place to bring one’s personal experience, other people’s experience and findings together with human needs. The experiences themselves, the way they were described and understood could and should include the ethical ought and the nurturing of the artistic.”

“…the way they were described and understood” sounds precisely like what the Frameworks Institute from our last post does in education and beyond. Minimizing facts makes perfect sense for anyone who believes “the educational process becomes the central way to bring forth value considerations in relation to actual situations in the lives of people and their institutions and in the way human beings relate to nature.” If we did not already know that the phrase Democracy is usually no longer about candidates, voting, and elections, this should do it:

“Democracy’s project is the sharing of responsibility between the citizenry, finding common uses and ownership of property where that benefits the whole [in whose opinion?]–while continuously recognizing the needs of the person…A modern democracy recognizes the need to generate situations and relationships which simultaneously recognize similarity in the Other…it moves beyond individual and group interest to hammer out shared values which can be located in the whole, the group, but which cannot be found in the individual.”

That alarming project, coming at us like pollen on a spring day in Atlanta–fast moving and everywhere–views education as the means for how “skills…where people share their public and private lives and where problems of everyday life and abstract problems are considered.” That sharing and consideration gets masked behind the non-dictionary meaning of yet another 4C–communication. And if that communication is ultimately about “social regulation which needs and demands alternative modes of thinking and living,” values, beliefs, and thinking itself can be changed and molded with few parents being the wiser as long as “the grades are OK.”

I have mentioned that I have learned enough political theory in the last few years to recognize Marxist Humanism whether it uses the M word or simply attributes the change to sociology or brain science. Yet sure enough, there was Raskin quoting “the Marxist philosopher Roger Garaudy” to hype his point that “authentic esthetic education is also the cultivation of the senses that have become atrophied in our Western tradition as a result of the exclusive emphasis of logic and discursive reasoning.” New modes of thinking indeed. Those who wish to dramatically transform society and the economy hate “the cold, abstract madness that parades as reason and ‘objective reality.'” We can each  contemplate where the madness truly is in this vision.

Now Raskin was definitely not afraid to call a spade a spade and used the M word as an apt description of certain beliefs and hopes and the means to get there. Hint: EDUCATION as my book laid out. He did, however, criticize Marxists by name for having “failed in comprehending the ethical dimension to political power and the role it must play.” Raskin saw the role of the “experience and process of democratic education” as a means for transcending the “type of social science that explains passivity from the dominated and control from the dominator as the natural order of things.” Raskin must be in ideological heaven with all the classroom hyping of White Privilege now as he helps roll out the Next System Project.

What happens when education is seen as the means of making some students feel guilty while others are emboldened to feel entitled to “change the political system by integrating procedural rights with political demands. The demands are meant to get the social, legal [Remember progressive, polyphonic federalism and the Constitution in 2020?], and economic systems to change so that the person forges a set of conditions that guarantees his or her egalitarian interdependence in all aspects of society.” ‘Do for me. I am owed’ has never, ever been a basis for mass prosperity. Heaven help us that this vision is to be locked into place invisibly through little known legal shifts binding all of us.

Such as revamping the nature of citizenship “to allow the person to comprehend in concrete terms the way each aspect of life is related and interdependent.” Substituting supplied concepts, core disciplinary ideas in a ‘domain’, and cross-cutting issues for facts plays right into training students to comprehend things that are not so and misattribute causes in ways that will only make the problems worse. For those of us with Axemaker Minds and a factual body of knowledge from history or science it’s hard not to imagine the tragedy from teaching future educators and their administrators and all those public policy degree holders that “social problems can be framed to yield humane and progressive solutions.” Maybe, but probably not.

Enduring Understandings, Understandings of Consequence, Understanding by Design–all huge components of the actual Common Core implementation and especially the new assessments make perfect sense if you believe, as Raskin stated, that “how we categorize can help us organize energies for the common good.”  Social and emotional learning, role playing as a slave to appreciate the Civil War, and a Whole Child emphasis likewise  makes perfect sense as a necessary component if the goal is to “bring the purpose of equity into lived reality.”

In the world of the same curriculum for all from the proverbial dimwit to the Super Nova intellect and the elimination of tracking, I want to close with how Raskin concluded his book’s vision. He saw a “great struggle” although with all these deceitful terms being used to describe the shifts in purpose, policies, and practices, who will know in time to resist?

“People are not prepared to surrender their present comforts or those knowledges which helped them achieve such comforts either for the protection of humanity, the building of a world civilization–let alone egalitarian interdependence.” That’s not just a chilling declaration of purpose.

It reminds us that a huge component of the means to accomplish these admitted transformations is to destroy fine, well-stocked minds. Anywhere they can be discovered.

What a thing to be implementing blindly while hyping the skills gap and the need to be internationally competitive.

Authoritarian FantasyLand: A Place With Required Habits of Mind but Disdain for Facts

Back from my jaunt this week to Orange County, California to talk about all the things coming into K-12 classrooms under the cloaking banner of the Common Core. Since I was taking notes on Monday night and the pro-CC side zealously conceded a great deal in their prepared presentations, I thought we would talk about what was admitted upfront and what the implications are for all of us. It is safe to say that California is further along than many states so this will fit with what is or will soon be going on everywhere. If authoritarian seems awfully strong, it is partly a reaction to the number of speakers who insisted that the Common Core was now “the law” and there was thus no reason for further discussion. Now no one actually uttered the phrase “resistance is futile” or “submission is mandatory,” but that was the drift of the arguments.

Gone is any concept that the United States is a country conceived on a premise that the individual is ultimately so sacrosanct that even a king needs to ask permission to cross his threshold. No, if a school board, legislature, or city or regional council adopts a law or enacts a regulation, apparently obedience is now mandatory without further discussion. That crucial shift is one reason the authoritarian description seems apt. The other is the number of times I heard speakers, especially one who was a former California 4th District PTA President and a current Huntington Beach school board member utter phrases in support of the Common Core like “its purpose is to create habits of mind” and dictate “concepts to be absorbed” by the student. Another speaker spoke of “internalizing” knowledge.

All of those references, whether the speakers know this or not, are to what Soviet psychologist Piotr Galperin called theoretical instruction to guide future behavior. We covered it here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/transcending-the-individual-mind-as-the-analytical-unit-of-learning-while-still-guiding-how-we-will-act/ . My dictionary defines authoritarian as “unquestioning obedience to authority rather than individual freedom of judgment and action.” Now let’s face it, if concepts have been implanted in student’s psyche at an unconscious level, which all these speakers are admitting and I have been warning about, there’s not even any opportunity to question. Is there anybody out there that denies our definition is being more than met with these openly declared intentions?

One of the Board members read two passages from my book. One is that we are looking at the “Marxist theory of education.” I suppose he was trying to paint me as some kind of 21st Century McCarthy threatening to name names. As the book lays out in detail, Uncle Karl wanted education to be all about controlling consciousness. Let’s face it, the pro-CC speakers themselves admitted that aim several times. If educational theorists and professors use the M word among themselves for what they advocate, we get to use the term as well. That’s me–factual, not raving. The 2nd quote had to do with the assertion in the book that Common Core actually wants to limit knowledge. I explained quickly about how a concept-based education worked, but I have a better example to actually quote now that I am home with access to all my materials.

The term “rigor” and “cognitively demanding” both got used a lot as reasons for the shift to the Common Core. No one mentioned though that the purpose of this kind of classroom work was to foster a “tolerance for ambiguity” in the student. More psyche in the classroom crosshairs then. I mentioned in my testimony that to work the problem MUST be ambiguous, be previously untaught, or have no single correct answer.  http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/Rigor-Redefined.aspx is a 2008 article by Harvard prof Tony Wagner elaborating just that–“a complex, multi-step problem that is different from any they’ve seen in the past.”

The pro-side did not care for my pointing out that when they stated that CC were “learning standards” they were saying it was about “social and emotional changes in the student” and “goals” for changing a student’s values, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors.  That came out on rebuttal even though our former PTA President and Board member had cited “engaging experiences” as one of her reasons to support the CC transformation of the classroom. What precisely does she believe the “experiences” are getting at? Plus, I now have access to the standard definition of ‘rigor’ which is “the goal of helping all students develop the capacity to understand content that is complex, ambiguous, provocative, and personally or emotionally challenging.” I took that from an SREB powerpoint, but plenty of school districts use that quoted definition verbatim too.

Another reason cited in support of CC was it “promotes Equity.” As we say in the South “Yeehaw.” Dissimilar treatment of students in order to get them to the same outcomes is not likely to be a popular selling point, at least until we get a generation trained with those Anti-bias Standards from the last post. So we get Equity imposed invisibly by Supers and Civil Rights edicts and local city councils. Alarmingly, Brookings’ Metropolitanism guru, Bruce Katz (see tags)  announced this week http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2014/10/22-metro-growth-uk-us-katz  that  “it’s time we rewrote our own federalist contract [that would be the US Constitution] and realign power and responsibility for the modern era in which cities and metropolitan areas, rather than nations and states, drive economies and progress.”

Right into a ditch in all likelihood, but this is the political vision all these education reforms embodied in the full CC implementation are relying on as the future they are preparing our students for. In that link, you will find a link to a UK report that makes it clear that geography is being used to disguise the shift to the needs-based, economic justice vision that Uncle Karl lusted about achieving at some point in the future. As the report said “the scale of metros means they are best placed to drive the strategic integration of public services and economic development.”

That’s the vision for Manchester in the UK and the greater LA area, my neck of the woods in Georgia, and everywhere else as well. Everything I have read suggests a Folly of monumental proportions is planned, but it will be quite lucrative for a while to those connected vendors who form public-private partnerships to receive taxpayer money for meeting ‘needs’ like housing, education, or healthcare.

I want to close this discussion with a Keynote Address noted Change Agent Shirley McCune gave back in 1981 called “The Future of Educational Equity.” She saw “struggles for equity” as the “whole rationale for the formation of the United States” which tells us what can happen when we let graduate degrees in social work dictate how we educate our kids. What I found fascinating since I had always seen the Reagan Block Grants to state and local governments as a ‘conservative’ shift was how A-OK she was with this plan. So someone who wanted to see comparable economic and social outcomes among groups and “groups of people represented throughout society in proportion to their representation in the population” viewed state and local governments as the place to achieve that.

Something to think about as commentators assume that the Common Core is an acceptable dictate if a local school board requires it. That the only problem with the Common Core is the federal fingerprints all over it from Arne Duncan’s actions. Really? Authoritarianism that goes so far as to dictate personality traits at an unconscious level to drive future behavior is not a problem now as long as it is not federal authorities mandating it? McCune believed that the “only way that persons would be willing to ‘buy equity concerns’ is if it is demonstrated that it is an innate part of quality education.” That of course is precisely what embedding Racial Equity Outcomes in coursework or those Anti-Bias Framework do.

It’s McCune and others view of how to use a misleading term like quality education for “building a new consensus on equity.” She also viewed quality education for equity as about equipping students with the “highest level basic verbal and mathematical skills consistent with their individual ability.” The only way to read that language is that slower students will get a variety of ways to show their skills, but able students still cannot go beyond basic. They can just go faster through the basics.

Just as we are seeing with all the current emphasis on Career Pathways, where California is one of the lead pilots http://www.clasp.org/resources-and-publications/files/aqcp-framework-version-1-0/AQCP-Framework.pdf McCune’s plan for equity relied on ALL students now receiving a combined academic and vocational education where everyone would obtain “the skills and attitudes necessary for working cooperatively with both the same sex and opposite sex in the paid workforce and in the home.”

Finally McCune’s version of quality education “would equip students with the flexibility and self-confidence that would enable them to cope with the rapidly changing society through continuing adult learning and growth.” Doesn’t that sound just like what the Common Core is touting as having a Growth Mindset? Everything old is new again apparently until total transformation is finally achieved.

Apparently the products of a “quality education” grounded in ‘rigor’ will not object to the fundamental rewrite of our “federalist contract” and in the mean time, governments at all levels seem to be pursuing this Equity vision without any genuine disclosure or consent. Leaving it to the lady who reads too much and has for a very long time to lay it all out.

Hopefully Just In Time as the slogan goes.

History as Psychological Reality-Transformation Tool Must Begin Well Before High School

We may never have thought of history as a means for altering our Identity–how we see ourselves and what guides how we are likely to behave in the future-but everyone with fundamental transformations on the mind seems to. The previous post’s steering through how all education pathways now seek to push communitarianism was a reminder that in the 21st century, the nation is no longer supposed to be “the community that defines history and political identity.” That quote was from the keynoter at the La Pietra Conference, Professor Prasenjit Duara. Thomas Bender in his Introductory essay to the 2002 Rethinking American History in a Global Age says that the “aim is to contextualize the nation” to avoid the “danger of complicity, conscious or not, in a triumphialism that justifies the current phase of capitalism.”

So if you ever wonder why I regularly see the need on this blog or in my book to discuss the economic transformation intentions, whose theories they are tied to, and why dramatically changing education to minimize anything that bolsters the continued validity of individualism, it is not because I am the One with the proverbial Bee in my Bonnet on this issue. Education may be the means to fundamental revolutionary transformations, hopefully without violence, but it is especially the purpose of subject-matter content that had to shift. Otherwise, traditional knowledge of any sort nurtures a reverence for the world as it is and provides hard factual info that prevents fully imagining a world as it might become. What reality supposedly should look like. When all coursework quietly turns into an examination of current social conditions, it becomes important to see the past in ways that justify and help ignite the passions to change today.

History not grounded to facts, but tied now to experiences, makes an important mechanism for student role-playing in alternative social worlds. Instead, of treating history and anthropology as separate subjects, that division is to be dissolved per Bender’s proposed new framework so that “peoples organized into nations, with literatures and archives” no longer have primacy over “all differently organized peoples.” There’s a good reason, in other words, why the NAACP and La Raza are so excited by the Common Core as a vehicle for transformative broader social change. Now let’s dive into elementary, middle, and high school classrooms to see precisely how classroom activities get reimagined to guide perceptions, nurture current grievances, heighten emotions, and shape Student Identity as if it were an overcoat to be taken on and off whenever cold winds shift.

These examples are all from a 2002 book called The Parallel Curriculum that caught my eye because I knew how involved one of the authors had been in developing the new Teacher and Classroom evaluations. See why factual knowledge is such a nuisance for those who view one of the “key goals of education itself–helping people understand the past in order to invent a future“? Again that would be a reenvisioned K-12 education that can create students with “a greater capacity to adapt to change.” Apparently having students with solid textbook knowledge who can tell a grasping mayor or legislator that “we fired King George for less overreaching than that” is in the way of our acceptance of being ‘governed’. So is any coursework that nurtures reverence for what social planners have long referred to derisively as the “distinctive organization of law in the United States” or the dreaded obstacle of the “practically cast-iron Constitution.”

In pursuit of not being the last Generation that Remembers, let’s delve into precisely what is planned. Think about how these activities and areas of emphasis play into the intention we are now aware of to inspire, or at least tolerate, fundamental transformations of current realities most of us take for granted. This is from a planned middle school history unit: “Throughout the year, three concepts are used to organize the curriculum: culture, continuity, and diversity. At the end of the second quarter all students will work with projects that ask them to use these concepts to compare their own culture with that of Russia. Many students will select or develop a family that is similar to theirs but that lives in Russia.”

Raise your hand if you think the unit will stress commonalities, not differences. One of my most frequent observations when reviewing planned activities is to recognize all the deliberate encouragement of inapt analogies. Here’s another example from 4th Grade Science: the class examines the weather ‘systems’ and “other systems (e.g. family systems, the school as a system and body systems.” Notice how natural systems that respond based on physical principles, that are not impacted at all by our intentions or understanding of how they work, are being married to social systems that supposedly involve the decisions of free individuals. This is a recurring theme and, in my opinion, why ‘systems thinking’ as a required component of Radical Ed Reform goes back decades and is now featured prominently in that July 2014 federal legislation, WIOA, defining workforce readiness for every student in every state in the US.

The 4th grade teacher is supposed to “help her students look at it through a conceptual lens, stressing the key concept, ‘system.'” What is ‘it’ referring to there, you ask? Why that would be the goal to have students “generate and test principles that would show the relationship between weather systems and ecosystems in general–and between weather systems and particular elements in ecosystems (animals, plants, rocks, and food chains.)  ” As we can see the ecosystem assignment does leave out at this point the most dominant participant in ecosystems–real people–but it does a nice job of completely muddling in the child’s mind physical systems with natural laws and social systems that some people now hope to socially engineer. What nice preparation from an early age to simply accept such plans with nary a second thought.

That’s the advantage when K-12 education becomes about creating behaviors through “guided experience.” Where the student is to “understand [in that phronetic sense of the last post] the nature of the discipline in a real world manner” and then “assume a role as a means of studying the discipline.” Common Core would certainly have a greater PR hurdle, wouldn’t it, if it owned up to its real purpose of role playing various future behaviors until “what it feels like” becomes a “habit of mind.” So history, for example, becomes a “means of looking and making sense of the world” so that students can begin “escaping the rut of certainty about knowledge.” There is more in the book involving this Curriculum of Practice that can be used for all coursework that still has a content-oriented name. It is all anything other than the Transmission of Knowledge.

How about an elementary social studies class that uses the topic of the American Revolution as a reason to scan newspapers and news magazines “for the purpose of identifying contemporary revolutions.” Anyone else think Inapt Analogies are supposed to become a practiced habit of mind? So the topic of the American Revolution becomes “a means of thinking about causes of, reactions to, and potential effects of a contemporary cultural change.”

How about the new planned use of the Civil War in a 5th grade classroom? Instead of the past emphasis on  “the events related to the Civil War…addressed in chronological fashion, moving from the causes…to the events and people involved in the battles and the war,” the teacher, “equipped with  new knowledge about the importance of big ideas and concept-based teaching,” will have students spend four weeks looking at the livelihoods and economies of various people and groups. The book bold faces those big ideas like nation and federation and especially the plan to have 5th grade students examine “various perspectives within the emerging nation [notice this not-so-subtle intention to time bound the concept of the nation. Forged by the Civil War really and thus expendable as conditions change in the 21st] about state and civil rights issues.”

Next thing the Civil War becomes a vehicle for discussing “perspectives, viewpoints, balance, conflicts, compromise, consensus, and resolution” generally, which is certainly going to be handy since we have already encountered numerous explicit intentions to push shared understanding as the new required norm. Remember the posts on the Rockefeller-funded Communication For Social Change, the participatory governance push of Structured Design Dialogue, or the Discourse Classroom Courtney Cazden envisioned while on a Cold War trip to the USSR? Now the concept of civil itself becomes a means for the students to practice being “thinkers and analyzers.”

Want to guess what the exemplar of an ‘expert’ of the concept would be? Why that is described as the student belief that “People have civil wars when they can’t resolve their conflicts or achieve their rights peaceably.”  Peace is always the answer then. At least until we discover actual evidence in illegal tunnels leading to day care centers of plans to kidnap children during Jewish holidays or, more likely, the actual terrorist event like the World Trade Center occurs. The listed example of an expert acquisition of the desired Principles and Rules is that “Empathy, compromise, and consensus, can be used to resolve conflicts peacefully because they honor individual perspectives and values.”

That’s what Chamberlain naively thought in 1938 because he lacked Churchill’s deep grounding in actual history of events. Destined to repeat itself is a lousy way to face the future just because it is conducive to social planning and engineering by the politically-connected few against the many. To end with that Civil War quilt I mentioned, an individual interpretation of the scenes depicted on the quilt and whether their “conclusions are well supported in information they had studied” is simply an excuse for All Propaganda All the Time.

Now to all this, let’s add on being able to depict any scenario desired in the virtual reality brought in through the laptop or IPad.

Will the next generation know anything that is true?

Or will everything be guided by what is influential in building support for fundamental transformations?