Totalitarianism or Rightful Regulation? The Reasons for the Redirection of Education Fall into Place

When I wrote Credentialed to Destroy and then later started this blog, I knew I could trace what was actually occurring, even if I did not always understand precisely why or the reason for so much deceit. After all, I am a lawyer and so many of the changes were being enshrined into law so that the tracking was easy and the intended results mandatory. When I wrote about the Social Reconstructionists I did not yet grasp that in the early 1980s, after a series of lectures at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (no wonder it later created a PEPG-Program on Education Policy and Governance to implement its aims), that laid out how Conservatism was now to be redefined in terms of a new role for government that would create institutions and new ideas that would “retrace our cultural steps, and rethink what we think.” That would certainly explain the sudden interest in using the techniques of Tranzi OBE and mandated learning standards, wouldn’t it?

Apparently, after “two centuries of cultivating the physical world, Americans have been prodigies of productivity” so that now it was time to “place the focus of government on the intellectual and moral world within us.” Do tell. I am quoting from a George Will 1983 book called Statecraft as Soulcraft: What Government Does that I found as I was following up on both this push for Cultural Evolution using a so-called Science of Virtue as well as the communitarian push I kept stumbling across as supposedly necessary for ‘citizenship’ in the 21st century in a Republic. Brought to us by the same people who work for think tanks that cannot manage to accurately explain what the Common Core is really about and what competency-based education really entails. Perhaps this is why:

that inner world is what ‘concerns fitness for republican government’…the most important revolution of all is the ‘revolution in sentiments, manners, and moral opinions’. It will be said, instantly and energetically and broadly, that ‘sentiments, manners, and moral opinions’ are none of the government’s business. Are they not ‘private’ and properly beyond the legitimate concern of public agencies? No, they are not…

political order needs to be concerned about the inner lives of the people…and the character of the citizenry…By the legislation of morality I mean the enactment of laws and implementation of policies that will prescribe, mandate, regulate, or subsidize behavior that will, over time, have the predictable effect of nurturing, bolstering, or altering habits, dispositions and values on a broad scale…

Government would do better if it admits what it is doing.

Yes, it would, but since that might create a public outcry, create repercussions at the ballot box, or affect fundraising for think tanks, it is left for me to lay that out. Explains so much, doesn’t it? Especially my documentation of the affirmative, normative use of the law in a revised vision of education. George Will emphasized his point by quoting US Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, in a famous case concerning compulsory flag salutes, as writing that “Law is concerned with the external behavior and not the ‘inner life of man.'” Then Will responded with “The purpose of this book is to explain why that proposition is radically wrong.” I had called attention in my last several posts of the use of Greek philosopher Aristotle as a substitute for a vision that I recognize as Marxist Humanism. Hyping the Claasical roots in antiquity lets the vision escape the infamy of that ‘M’ word.

Will may well be the originator of this substitution as he expounded on how Aristotle was “a founder of:

conservatism, properly understood, because his realism did not preclude a politics that takes its bearings from what ought to be. The United States acutely needs a real conservatism, characterized by a concern to cultivate the best persons and the best in persons…A purpose of politics is to facilitate, as much as is prudent, the existence of worthy passions  and the achievement of worthy aims. It is to help persons want what they ought to want. Politics should share one purpose with religion: the steady emancipation of the individual through the education of his passions.

I keep thinking of the Chinese Social Credit System that so-called ‘conservative’ writers keep calling attention to, and wondering if the real concern is simply that the Chinese are being too overt with their Reeducation or Recrimination Program to get desired Results. What precisely are these ‘worthy passions’ and ‘worthy aims’ in a vision that goes on to describe a vision of education where “true conservatives have a soft spot in their hearts for organic collectivity.” So do admitted progressives and they too have big plans for also using education for “nurturing of the shared ‘national mind’.” Heck, at least the Progs admit that the desired transformation of the individual’s ‘inner life’ is just  a tool to get a desired global consciousness amenable to the desired changes and the “bridling of egoistic motives.”

My accurate tracking all these years using the law makes far more sense now that we have found this reimagining that “we must rethink today’s constricted notion of the legitimate uses of the law…It is time to come up from individualism.” After all, in this new vision of Conservatism, “a function of government is the modification of [citizenry] habits.” The Diversity of this country back in the 1980s, which is nothing compared to what immigration has done in the interim to now, was supposedly a reason that necessitated “law concerned with values as well as actions–with mind as well as body. They necessiate law as a ratifier and stigmatizer, in which role law is a tutor.” In other words, government at all levels and education as its favorite tool committed to realizing a vision where:

what is at issue is not coercion, it is not compelling persons to act against their settled convictions, it is not a collision of wills, the state’s and the citizens. Rather, it is a slow, steady, gentle, educative and persuasive enterprise. Its aim is to dispose citizens toward certain habits, mores and values, and to increase the probability that persons will choose to will certain things.

One of the discussions I have had when I first called attention to Tranzi OBE and commenters I later found to be involved with the False Narrative would treat the problem as simply a wrongful area for the FEDERAL government, while I saw the shift as Totalitarian for ANY level of government, came to mind when I read this passage from Will’s reenvisoning:

…proper conservatives proclaim, as Burke did, the gentling functions of government. Proper conservatism teaches that authority does not form on high, in the clouds, and clatter down, painfully, like Kansas hail stones. Rather, conservatism teaches that authority grows organically from the rich loam of social mores and structures.

…the urgent tasks of government include mending and maintaining the ‘chain of community’…The political system must also incorporate altruistic motives…Altruism–principled regard for others–is not optional.

No wonder we have had such a dance over what social and emotional learning is and whether it can be discussed, if, quietly, the authors of so many books or articles have their income from a source that pushes covertly this reimagining of what Conservatism and a new role for governments actually is. Someone who believes in the following quote needs the tool of Tranzi OBE, whatever they mask it with as a euphemism:

Justice depends, therefore, on a certain disposition, It depends on–in a sense, it is– a state of mind. A society that is organized socially and justified philosophically the way ours is must take special care to supply itself with the rhetoric, institutions and policies that encourage that state of mind.

And try to silence interlopers like me who accurately lay out what education is really altering and who actually benefits from the shift. After all, this may be a vision that wants to use the “skill of disposing persons to think of public as well as private interests,” but if the history of the consistent outcry over Outcomes-Based Education tells us anything it is that no one really wanted this level of forthcomingness to be tied to these education reforms that have functioned the same in terms of the true desired results over the intervening decades. Virtue and Character sound so good as a major goal of ‘student-centered education’ that is holistic and creates agency. Those euphemisms sound so much better, don’t they, than the actual aspiration:

That is why I am so concerned about the shaping of passions and desires in the direction of virtue. By virtue I mean nothing arcane or obscure. I mean good citizenship, whose principal components are moderation, social sympathy and willingness to sacrifice private desires for public ends.

What happens to citizens in a polity where education is being covertly hijacked to “nurture the habit of regarding our fellow citizens as united in a great common enterprise”? Especially one that touts School Choice as a feint to obscure the actual coordination and sought transformations in the student and to the polity?

Good to be back. Hopefully there will be no more unexpected interruptions as there is so much going on now.

30 thoughts on “Totalitarianism or Rightful Regulation? The Reasons for the Redirection of Education Fall into Place

    • Thanks. And I appreciate your supplying me with the link to the Pope’s Education Summit in 2020 to push the New Humanism agenda I warned about before my mom got sick.

      In explanatory note accompanying the Pope’s message, the Congregation said that the May 14 global pact initiative seeks to involve “international organizations” and the “great ones of the earth” in helping to “heal the fracture between man and the Absolute” and the separation between “reality and the transcendent.”

      It also aims to heal the “horizontal fracture” between men of difficult cultures, religions and backgrounds. And it intends to heal the “fracture between man, society, nature and the environment” in the face of an “urgent need” to create an “ecological citizenship” based on sustainability and an “austere responsibility.”

      “The objectives set for the next few decades aim to set up training models that take into account a constantly increasing population, diminishing resources and the fact that climate change places everyone before a serious responsibility: that of developing our planet in a sustainable way, with an eye to the needs of future generations,” the Congregation said.

      “The choice of education as a ground on which to make a global pact is a priority topic in the horizon of current and future scenarios,” it added.

      Conferences and events will be held throughout the coming year to prepare for the May 14 signing of the “Global Pact” on education.

      The reality is that Will is calling for a New Humanism as well in the book I wrote about here. It’s simply harder to see if you have not read his book or are not familiar with Marx’s Human Development Society vision or the Process Theory of Law announced in 1947 at Yale Law School with its transformative cultural vision. I was literally reading that Will book in my mom’s hospital room while she slept and I took notes. Super Nerd!

      • You mentioned George Will. I did not find what I was looking for but finally found a brief video about Vox Day. Not too many people ridicule Will et al..–Z_QxA
        Vox Day is a real piece of work but comes up with good stuff sometimes. He put me onto Michael Hudson. If you want to to find more on Will and his ilk go to his site and click on the tag “cuckservative.”

        This is OT but I hope it is OK. Seattle and woke math. If Robin put this in a book people would think it was satire.

        • There are plenty of people who disagree with George Will. Mark Levin forr example. George Will is a neo-consrvative, elitist, & a Statist. Government as nurturer is not a value that conservatives hold. It has become so apparent that there are many fractures on the right and left . so many labels and also so many inscentuous relationships – people on boards of giant companies pushing agendas; so many motives that are not always clear. Robin does an amazing job of peeling back layers of connectedness. Intellectuals who wear banners of their ideology are not always transparent or easy to understand, as they tend to be elitist and want a special audience to read their work. So much appreciation for this blog.
          With that in mind, so many factions..Vox Day is an alt right guy. Your quoting him using “cuckservative” was the tell. I double checked before replying and I was correct. Be careful of alt right because as you said “he says some good things” exactly! that is how a person falls into their trap. Be careful to measure the entire work of a person and be certain that at it’s core you can agree with all of it.

          I find it frightening that George Will has had such an influence. He has currently lost lots of credibility with consevatives outside the DC sludge of Masters of the Universe.

  1. Will’s a big faker just like his former boss WF Buckley, both pied pipers.

    Important, clarifying article thank you kindly, will share it :).

    • Ben Shapiro seems to be the latest incarnation of the ‘approved opposition.’ He was plucked from obscurity to be the ‘conservative’ we are to listen to. Vox Day discussed this in detail.

      • Yeh, it sounds like Vox Day knew Ben way back when and can see how he was selected and coached to assume this role. I don’t think he is as savvy as Buckley was and has already discredited himself with his BirchGold, and mattress hawking. Seems like a total neo-con.

  2. “By the legislation of morality I mean the enactment of laws and implementation of policies that will prescribe, mandate, regulate, or subsidize behavior that will, over time, have the predictable effect of nurturing, bolstering, or altering habits, dispositions and values on a broad scale…”

    Oh goody! They are going to bring back prayer in school and teach Christian values! Just kidding. Schools and govt used to do things that fall within the quoted text above. Schools cannot even suspend violent students because of disparate impact. A black St. Paul teacher recently won a lawsuit after being fired for advocating consistent anti violence policies. The Parkland FL shooting was a result of failure to enforce school behaviour policies. The former St. Paul gypsy super was forced out after too many teachers ended up in the hospital.

    If schools cannot teach and enforce non-violence what can they teach? Can they teach not getting knocked up in HS as it is wrong? Of course not. Russia now teaches Chrsitianity in public schools to replace the inner rot of communism. China brought back Confucius.

    I recall SCOTUS said something like “traditional morality is no basis for laws” or some such. Robin would know this better than I.

    Heather McDonald wrote The Burden of Bad Ideas, describing how conventional morality was destroyed in the 1960s. Thomas Sowell wrote about how the govt sent social workers with pamphlets to ‘educate’ black people to stop distinguishing between deserving and undeserving welfare recipients. See also the book Coming Apart.

    Prof. Amy Wax was pilloried for saying that bourgeoisie values are beneficial for students. You can bet Chelsea Clinton and her hedge fund husband were taught such values as were most of the faculty and students at Penn. They will not be included in the subject matter of the quoted paragraph.

    What values do these educators propose teaching besides hive mind and group think? I left out LGBTQWERTY values. At least the current Chinese taught values are mostly not economically destructive. Some countries like China have very difficult nationwide college entrance exams that do not give credit for SJW nonsense. If the Chinese schools were dumbed down the middle class parents would riot.

    Sorry, I got angry and carried away after reading the quoted paragraph because it both describes what was destroyed and does not provide examples of what will and will not be taught. I imagine those are surprises to be snuck into schools and kept from parents.

  3. I haven’t spent a lot of time digging into Common Core, but I have spent time looking into Common Core math problem sheets and trying to figure out why it makes me feel so obtuse to try to work them.

    I remember being in fourth grade and being allowed to do all the math assignments at my own pace. The whole class could do them at their own pace. There was a chart on the wall. Each student’s name was on the chart. Every time they completed (passed) an assignment, a star was placed to the right of their name on the chart. One other student and I raced through the assignments. You could tell because our line of stars got longer faster than the others’. I remember being able to sit at home, watching after-school cartoons, working through my math problems.

    At first, Common Core math problems seem pretty squirrelly. Instead of simply letting a student master the basics and do some drill before learning a new concept, they seem to lead the uninitiated (and those who have yet to master the basics) into dancing around the edges of possibility with the numbers.

    I found that if I allowed myself to put on my “playing with numbers” hat that I wear while sitting at a stoplight in traffic, looking at the license plates on the cars near me, I came closer to figuring out what needed to be done. But what young elementary-age student does that? If you don’t even have in your “toolbox” the ability to do addition, subtraction, and multiplication of small numbers, how would you ever know that you have to, say, add 3 to a number before you subtracted it from another number, etc.

    But overall, the main idea that I got from wrangling with them was the idea that they do not want students to be self-sufficient in even a simple skill like doing math problems that aren’t even very complicated. It’s like you won’t be allowed to pass if you can do the math in your head. They prefer that you take actions that can be surveilled.

    You are REQUIRED to write out all your computations according to the rules (goofy rules, IMHO) before you show the answer. They want all the students to work at the same pace as the slowest in the class. I assume they want to be able to use computer surveillance to make sure that everyone is engaged happily in doing their task. I read some years ago that Bill Gates was working on a project where the faces of students could be read by a computer to determine if they were happy, sad, perplexed, angry, etc.

    That’s been my reading of the situation. I would be interested to know if anyone else would agree (or disagree) with my assessment.

    • Hi PG and welcome to ISC. I talk about what is really going on in math and science and what constructivism is really about in Chapter 3 of CtD. It has to do with changing how the student perceives and then thinks and the categories they use in their internalized cognitive structures. It is part of the desired qualities of the ‘citizen of the future’. It ties to Will’s vision or the Pope’s in Humanity 2.0 or Charles Fadel in this recent quote from this link. UNESCO, the OECD, the State of Massachusetts, MIT, Harvard, and Stanford as well as the countries of Australia and Korea are all named partners to CCR. Fadel used to work for some tech billionaire who has created one of the new buildings and schools at MIT. I will recall his name when I am not trying to. Here’s the Fadel quote with that link.

      “The Framework was created at a cumulative investment of approximately $6M over the past 6 years. We are releasing the tip of the iceberg at this stage, and will soon announce other several high-profile partners. The framework was painstakingly developed as an elaborate synthesis of 75+ other frameworks worldwide, with clear design goals of actionability: comprehensiveness, compacity, orthogonality, abstraction and global relevance. This will allow learners to thrive in an innovation-driven yet problem-challenged world, one that is shifting to learning-based societies where fulfilled citizens will not only generate knowledge but also know how to apply it, how to behave and engage in the world, and how to reflect, adapt, and “learn how to learn”.

      Fulfilled citizens and have your very behavior programmed. I am actually not being sensationalistic when I use the ‘T’ word. I wrote a Thesis on Totalitarianism in 1981 as part of a Senior Year Project and how its control over thoughts instead of just actions is what differentiated it from authoritarianism. Will insists that the Western tradition he wants his comunistic vision of Conservatism to replace is grounded in “a disproportionate individualism and an inadequate sense of human beings as social creatures.” I am pointing out this vision of education and Conservatism is creating the very moral trasnformation Marx sought as the prerequisite to little ‘c’ communism and John Dewey also sought as Growth. Now we get a CCR global Framework that also fits with what the originators have always admitted were visions for political, social, and economic transformations using the minds and personalities of the citizens.

      Will is a pundit who won the Bradley Prize precisely because he wants to “judge [society’s] predominant thought and edit its practices” so that ‘society’ can supposedly “formulate purposes that enable persons to live the most eligible lives, harmoniously”. Look at this quote from Will and tell me it doesn’t sound much like what Fadel wrote above and put into that Framework: “Conservative soulcraft has as its aim the perpetuation of free government by nurturing people so they can be comfortable and competent in society…if people think clearly, there are many conclusions to which they will not come.”

      Precisely, which is why circumscribing Knowledge using Learning Standards and Competency Frameworks which have been systematically misexplained by individuals getting money from the same foundations or think tanks that have admitted they aspire to the MH vision or are promulgating its vision without calling it that explicitly matters. If we reimagine the Human Development Society and push its tenets via a new form of education while calling it Classical, Holistic, Catholic, Conservative, or just ‘student-centered,’ it may be hard to detect under the label, but it is still going in a direction we need to be able to talk about.

      If we make Marxism about what Howard Zinn pushed or what went on in China or the USSR, we are missing the ‘cognitive structures’ to recognize what we are looking at when it is hiding behind these euphemisms. There is too much consistency in the mislabeling and the loudness of the sudden proclamations of what is Marxism that disregards what Marx wrote, how it was understood by the very people who created the Process Theory of the Law that Will also clearly wants to use, and what the Eastern Europeans were writing behind the Iron Curtain that got Hungary invaded and later Prague. I own translations of those books and have read them. I am not speculating here. I can just recognize a duck from its waddle and quack, whatever it chooses to call itself and even if it has had some plastic surgery done to its bill for aesthetic purposes.

      • Neither Will’s nor Bergoglio’s personal life bears too close examination (I write as a Catholic). Nor Marx’s, for that matter. Those who wrap themselves in a mantle of moral idealism are frequently suspect. I have established a Rogue’s Gallery of prominent individuals who have invoked the “teaching” of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness as being the object of education.

        • Funny you should mention those buzz words since I was reading James E Zull’s From Brain to Mind: Using Neuroscience to Guide Change in Education this morning before FINALLY making it to a yoga class for stress relief. In the 2nd Chapter called “The Great Transformation: Changing Perception to Action,” which we know cause a physiological change in the structure of the brain, he quotes from Howard Gardner’s book The Disciplined Mind and states that “Gardner has drawn our attention to the central purpose of education: it should be about truth, beauty, and goodness.”

          Now talk about a Convergence when George Will’s writing reflects the MH vision and he names it Conservatism and when the Barney Charter School Initiative Larry Arnn and Hugh Hewitt tout, as does Joy Pullmann from what parents have written to me, ties to Harvard’s Project Zero. Just like IB and David Perkins’ work calling for Cognitive Reorganization. No wonder there’s a False Narrative. It’s simply different labels for the same overall template. I have known that for a while, but Will’s book and his ties to the Bradley Foundation( I believe he was also on their Board at one point) really tie so much together beyond how the education model really functions.

          Plus Zull cites to David Kolb and his experiential learning model as his exemplar and I remember first coming across it as what the charter schools in Colorado were using. IIRC Denver Public Schools embraced it as well. Zull credits Kolb in his Acknowledgments section as “It is his work that continues to provide the foundation for all my thinking about the mind.” I am reading Zull’s book and thinking this morning how well it reflects that new CCR Framework 1.0. It is all coming together, isn’t it?

        • This is concerning, especially given the presence of IMS Global and their links to Project Unicorn and the global use of learning standards tied to UNESCO’s ISCED.

          Interoperability is essential to the success of a system of ILRs . To connect learning gained from many different education and training providers, data must be able to be shared across multiple technology systems and sectors . Interoperability is built on open, common standards for data, both through the human terminology used and the machine-readable information that enables data transfer, linking, and combination of data from different sources . ILRs that use open standards can bridge education, training, and employment, thus helping employers recognize learners’ competencies and allowing learners to exhibit their abilities, to apply their skills, and to advance in their careers . For example, using common standards in an ILR can enable the automatic match of a person’s abilities to a job description or indicate opportunities for targeted upskilling .

 was the original story from today.

          • I have been meditating on the personages of Greta Thunberg and Richard Stallman, and the damage done by contemporary ‘education’. With Greta, her young followers are assured lives of ferocious anxiety, and an inability to connect or collaborate with anyone who deviates one scintilla from their impeccable vision. Stallman’s GNU enthusiasts become simultaneously wedded to his amoral constructs of human sexuality. I have a friend is works as a psych tech in a Boston hospital. This person informs that beds that should be occupied by the truly ill, i.e. shizophrenics, are now taken by very young people who are gripped by Greta-like states of anxiety, or who cannot figure out what gender they are. She is predicting a massive spike in suicides among this demographic. Go figure.

        • Here we have a link to both Templeton and the Bradley Foundations as well as the communitarian vision.

          We need to communicate moral teaching in a manner that rises fully to the need of our time. We need to provide human formation in ethics, conscience, freedom, and worship, all in keeping with a fundamental account of human nature. All the while we must constantly remind ourselves that we are seeking worthwhile lives for ourselves and our fellows.

 The Witherspoon Institutte was also deeply involved as the progenitor of the 2011 False Narrative around the Common Core. I have traced others involved to the Jubilee Centre as well. The False Narrative hides the fact that there is, in reality, a single vision.

          • “We need to communicate moral teaching in a manner that rises fully to the need of our time. We need to provide human formation in ethics, conscience, freedom, and worship, all in keeping with a fundamental account of human nature. All the while we must constantly remind ourselves that we are seeking worthwhile lives for ourselves and our fellows.”

            I think I agree with all that. Not sure what “human formation” means. They get buy in using language like this then sneak in the details. They are likely afraid to provide specific details.

            I often do not understand what these educrats mean because they speak in code words and I do not have a list of the meanings. OBE sounds OK to me until I see the specific examples. The vague phrase does not sound objectionable.

          • It is when the vague phrase is a euphemism for required communitarianism, which is consistent with other Snell articles, Robert George’s book Making Man Moral, some of other writings of men tied to the False Narratives, and other books I have linked to this vision.

            When governments get to decide what KBVAF–Knowledge (Concepts and Categories), Beliefs, Values, Attitudes, and Faith–are to be required and the requirements are based on desired malleability and the word ‘outcomes’ gets substituted for government mandates because it sounds better, that is problemmatic. We have governments and other institutions intervening to control perception, the interpretation of experiences, the very nature of experiences, and what motivates a student to act and their goals–all to make them acquiescent to power from the inside-out, that matters. It especially matters when the people who have developed these blueprints who who take money from its advocates misrepresent consistently what they are doing and how it is intended to work.

          • You might find this essay calling for a Re-Enlightenment Interesting.

            Here’s a quote that goes to the KBVAF being targeted i all these transformation scenarios.

            And that is the lesson that I draw from these experiences. We as a society can only fully address climate change when it is reflected in our deepest values about who we are and how we should live. In short, it must be embedded in our religious and philosophical values—values that organize how we see the world, even if they’re implicit. That will take work and effort, a lot of effort. But anything short of changing our beliefs will fall short of addressing the full scope of the climate challenge.

            This point is not just for those who deny the science. Even the most liberal among us, those who contend most strongly for action on climate change, have lived our entire lives steeped in values that are increasingly at odds with a sustainable world. Building a livable world requires a new understanding of our species’ role on Earth. Reorienting this sense of self is something that all of us must confront. Easier said than done, perhaps. But here’s where it might start.

        • You should take a look at this on Classical Education called “Classical Schools in Modern America”.

          The Bradley Foundation where Will was on the Board (and may still be) is the financial backer of National Affairs and the author of that piece toting Classical Ed and its purpose is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center where Robert George is Chairman of the Board (see my comment of his Making Man Moral and his ties to Witherspoon). George is also on the Board of the Bradley Foundation as well as the Templeton Religious Trust.

          You may have heard radio commenter Hugh Hewitt doing radio broadcasts with Larry Arnn to tout the Barney Charter Initiative laid out here. When Hewitt sat next to me during Common Core testimony out in Orange County, California he mentioned having some kind of financial relationship with the Great Heart Academies also touted in the article.

          Also notice this confession of a fundamental difference you and I had to tease out from listening well and reading mission statements and School Student Pillars carefully:

          These works are usually part of a core curriculum, which all students must engage with to matriculate to the next level. Classical schools tend to think that there is a body of work with which all students should come into contact. This is not the same as a body of knowledge or a set of facts — though some things do simply have to be known. Instead, it may be better to say that students should be familiar with a body of works that suggest certain questions about what it means to be human and the nature of the world. Classical schools tend to hold that human experience is severely truncated when students do not have the opportunity and vocabulary to ask these questions. This comes as a welcome antidote to the notion, commonly held today, that education can impart facts in the hard sciences and give students an “appreciation” of disciplines such as literature and philosophy.

          A corollary of holding that there are certain questions one must ask to be considered an educated person is that students and teachers are open to mystery and transcendence. Students at classical schools tend to be familiar with words like “goodness,” “beauty,” “truth,” “justice,” “virtue.” For many graduates, these are not impenetrable concepts even if they are mysterious. Mysteries excite wonder and elicit inquiry. Graduates of these schools tend to be at home in a disposition of wonder and a mode of inquiry.

          • Tom Vander Ark, a prominent promoter of Common Core, wrote an enthusiastic article about Great Hearts:
            I particularly liked this quote: “’Character is not an outcome – it is a state of being first,’ said Scoggin (in a 2013 interview).”
            I had a conversation yesterday with a friend whose son is a battle-hardened vet going for a degree at Hillsdale. He describes his young, college-age peers as limp-wristed specimens who can prattle on about philosophy and the transcendentals but are clueless. Not exactly what Cardinal Newman had in mind when he described a classical, liberal arts education as equipping men of action for the world in every conceivable field of endeavor.

          • I sat next to some Hillsdale econ grads at a Cato luncheon several years ago and discovered they had a cliff notes understanding of Von Mises’ and Hayek’s work, with no recognition their knowledge was so abbreviated. It was actually before I had heard about the Classical Ed Model or linked it to the False Narrative after some shenanigans out of Texas over appropriation of my insights and then misdirecting people over their documentable implications. It was quite clear from talking to these quite nice young men that only one of us had actually read the Austrians at length and tied their insights into current policy and historical implications.

            Then when the scandal ridden Atlanta Public Schools gave a charter to a school where Terrence Moore (of the Barney Initiative) was the Principal I knew what APS thought of the transmission of knowledge paradigm so I was confused. That’s when I looked into Moore’s background and found the U-Chicago link. For all I know he crossed paths with professor Voglin there. We will get back to her next. So I read the Mission Statement of the Academy and noted all the references to content’s purpose as changing the student from the inside-out. I even raised it in a conversation with Jane Robbins of APP wondering why the language of charters almost always goes to the purpose of the curriculum being to change who the student is, what they value, what their future goals are likely to be, and what they are motivated and able to do. I don’t wonder that anymore, but this has all been a gradual awakening, except now we seem to have a torrent of confessions as with that National Affairsarticle.

            That Scoggin quote you linked to above reminds me of the goals of the Humanist Psychologists like Maslow and Carl Rogers from their 1962 blueprint created in conjunction with the NEA where prescribed Being and Doing could create the desired ‘Becoming’. Isn’t that what Will is calling for as well? And the Pope as part of his Humanity 2.0 initiative and the Chan Zuckerburg Moral Compass template we covered last year among others?

            Arnn’s work reminds me of someone who uses cites to classical philosophers to remold what Kenneth Boulding or Ernest Laszlo would have forthrightly called systems theory. Your quote also reminded me of this Federalistarticle from this summer on the same point quoting Arnn with an attitude of inerrancy I remember from growing up as a Southern Baptist

      • The Catholic Curriculum Standards were drafted as a response to the Common Core and marketed as the “Truth/Beauty/Goodness” alternative to the souless, vocational, and utilitarian thrust of the Common Core. Should I say, the description of the Common Core that was promoted either by those who didn’t study them carefully or by those whose interests were served by representing them this way, rather than the social engineering exercise they truly were. Anyway, the Catholic Curriculum Standards include this:
        “While caution needs to be used when seeking to align assessment to non-cognitive dispositions, it is still possible to design assessments for some of the non-cognitive standards using three primary methods: teacher observations, student-teacher interviews, and student self-reports. Because of the nature of assessing a disposition, it is advisable to use multiple measures to gain a fuller insight into a student’s behaviors and beliefs rather than through the use of only one assessment. Gathering information through the use of multiple types of assessments will result in a better understanding of what the student actually believes and, perhaps, why he or she believes it.”
        Nothing too invasive to see here, is there?
        In an essay excoriating this trend in education which he already detected as the early 1940s, C.S. Lewis referred to this impulse as “dabbing and pawing in the student’s soul.” He didn’t mean it as a compliment.

        • I changed your comment slightly to include bolding on a point I have been working on. It would be the ‘B’ of KBVAF and it goes in the end to the neural rengineering for political purposes that is going on.

          I have known the effect for a long time as CtD laid out and the indifference to those clear effects. I have actually been able to prove the intent to create those effects for a while, but these days my life gets in the way of writing,

          But not in the way of my documenting so I will get back in sync.

          Thanks for commenting on this. It is also important to note the Pioneer Institute insisted that the Catholic Curriculum Framework would also work for Jewish schools. Rather acknowledges what the bullseye is of the curriculum, doesn’t it?

          • Thanks for the bolding. I had actually bolded the second piece of text myself when I wrote the article from which this material was taken. One of a series of articles, never published, that takes the Catholic Curriculum Standards to the woodshed and compares them to Common Core Standards. And sure, it will “work” for Jewish, Buddhist, Theosophist, Marxist, or any other -ist schools you care to name, that is, any school that wishes to peddle ideology.

          • When pushing neuroscience work via the BRAIN Initiative now earns a MacArthur Genius grant we are definitely on the right track.

            Remember too Angela Duckworth won one a few years ago.

            I am going to add this report from the Brookings/UNESCO Center for Universal Education that just came out because the Barney Charter Initiative from Hillsdale and Great Hearts Schools are both examples of the type of innovative networks that this report calls for as the Meso-layer of the needed implementation. Alert readers will likely remember that Meso is a term from Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Systems Theory or BEST. I have listened to Larry Arnn in lectures use BEST without mentioning where it came from.

    • Take a look at this new UNESCO Initiative and what it calls Learning to Become Precisely the language of the Humanist Psychologists launched the same year, 1962, as the global MH template.

      Also notice the presence of a U of Tokyo professor. Also remember UNESCO is a partner in Charles Fadel’s Center for Curriculum Redesign.

      Climate Change is the assumption that requires these long sought changes to consciousness, likely decision-making, and Identity itself. Soulcraft indeed.

      • Also related to ‘Soulcraft’, we have armies of Free Software aficionados rising to the defence of Richard Stallman, who they view as having been “witch-hunted” out of the academy based on his remarks related to Minsky/Epstein.

        In truth, Stallman has been advocating FOR YEARS any manner of sexual activity between consenting persons (age irrelevant), and presumably non-consenting persons (necrophilia), and non-consenting creatures (bestiality)…and, this freedom to act would seem to extend to myriad other realms, as well.

        So, when the object of a massive cult of personality was subjected to a broader social critique, no avenue possible for his acolytes but to defend the indefensible.

        In response to this conundrum, the IT blogger Luke Smith noted that Stallman had been ideologically consistent throughout his career and that, in truth, his belief system was shared by many/most influence peddlers in media and the academy. Stallman was just autistic enough to ‘say it’.

        So this, I think, points as well to the use of celebrities and social icons to drive agendas…and, in so far as their followers are challenged to differentiate between positive contributions (software development, a great performance) and ideological positioning.

        As one who has been researching corporate education, I see a very similar pattern in the modelling after amoral CEO behavior.

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