Triune Consciousness-A $100 Phrase We Need to Grasp Why Every Wrong Leads to the Same Remedy

For those of you excited to hear your State may be reconsidering the Common Core, my research has always shown that CCSSI is a Bait and Switch tactic. So I am going to continue my focus on the real change coming to a classroom near you soon. US or elsewhere. Public or private. The consistency across decades and geography is amazing. So we are going to keep our focus on the wealth of confessional riches that looking into that odd word–conative–turned up. Because the vision everywhere seems to be a 21st Century “form of education that provides universal principles from which inner-awakening, self-transformation and self awareness can be enhanced.”

Why is that necessary? Because “without inner transformation, it is not possible to bring about true change as true change in the thinking, must occur at the spiritual level.” (“Towards Self-Sustainability in Education”, 2007, New Zealand) Spiritual as in “the convergence of religions into a universal form of ethics.” That’s supposedly how we get to a cooperative commonwealth or all the other visions of a reorganized collectivist, sustainable economy and society we have looked at that is always attached to these ed reform visions. If the vision of the society or economy of the future makes no sense for most of us, we need to reconsider where the League of Innovative Schools and 21st Century Skills and a Competency focus and social and emotional learning are really taking us. But today we are focusing on how changes this dramatic can manage to make it all the way into a local classroom despite the wishes of parents, taxpayers, a Governor, or a local school board.

Apart from money to bribe compliance at the local level and accreditation (which is so poorly understood), this time the Executive branch through both White House edicts and very busy agencies is really working the interpretations of both the federal civil rights laws and the federal disabilities laws into pretzels only a contortionist or a stealth Social Change Agent could love. We already noted a similar previous attempt here.

Well, the feds were at it again this week using the Civil Rights Division of DoEd’s Special Ed Division to issue a Dear Colleague letter on the Bullying of Students with Disabilities. But the remedy as we have seen before involves a Positive School Climate (PSC) and required policies and psychological practices and curricula for ALL students. Everybody bound and coming from somewhere few are likely to see. Likewise, the Alliance for Excellent Education just released a paper called Climate Change: Creating an Integrated Framework for Improving School Climate. It’s in the name of the poor and minorities and the tragedy of too many schools being drop-out factories. Since much of that is deliberately created, basically we have a case of problems being created so a desired solution can be offered. And framed in terms of Civil Rights since most people never aced Con Law in order to be able to be skeptical about the words “the law requires.”

Beyond the ever present PSC pursuit that gives a reason to require that ALL students in ALL schools “receive the same academic, social, and emotional experience.” PSC gets defined as “an environment that reflects a commitment to meeting and developing the academic, social, and emotional needs of every student.” And collecting Civil Rights Data (CRDC) to make sure that is happening for ALL students. Which will certainly go a long way toward the OECD’s interest in overseeing everyone’s Subjective Well-being.

It also goes a long way towards achieving Education for Sustainability towards this end of the UN’s decade since the data gets at “the driver of intentional change in one’s behaviour, emotions, perceptions and attitudes.” Those changes achieved via federal collection of personal data as a matter of supposed law then is supposed to lead to a greater ability to fuse the needed “shared vision at collective levels.” And all mostly out of sight.

I want to borrow an insight Ludwig Von Mises had on the page before the quote I used in the previous post. If politicians and connected insiders want to call the shots in the 21st century, genuine innovation is an obstacle since it can and has literally changed the world and the course of civilization before. All this PSC emphasis beyond the usefulness of knowing people’s Personal Motivational Profile obtained without their knowledge via digital learning and assessments we cannot see has another important goal. Here is the insight:

“Most people are common men. They do not have thoughts of their own; they are only receptive. They do not create new ideas; they repeat what they have heard and imitate what they have seen. If the world were peopled only by such as these, there would not be any change and any history. What produces change is new ideas and actions guided by them…It is always an individual who starts a new method of doing things, and then other people imitate his example.”

PSC and the resistance to lectures and textbooks and systems thinking now are all fundamentally rationales to prevent uncommon individuals who might create new ideas and fully appreciate and explain the value and necessity  of old ones. But politicians and tech companies wanting to preserve future revenue against competition or media companies aghast at what happened to the profitability of newspapers can’t be honest with us. Money, power, and control may be the real reason but it cannot be the public explanation so we get all these bogus talking points. But in the footnotes that go with the PSC research or holistic learning or Whole Child Initiative or what is wanted from a Conative emphasis is the real story. It will take me several posts as we continue through it but there is tremendous consistency now at the deep level I am. Through place and time and names you might say but never a variance in the function.

Today I want to lay the foundation of why we have encountered so many reasons to switch school to activity and social and emotional learning and the PSC mandate. The 1997 book Head and Heart: Affection, Cognition, Volition as Triune Consciousness by Andrew Tallon laid out the sought vision of a “spontaneous nonconceptual knowing and loving” that will be manifested in “performances.” Yes, indeed, won’t that fit well with ‘performance standards’ and ‘learning tasks’ and projects as the classroom emphasis. That way students can physically practice: “feeling is the way our being resonates with our doing” until it becomes a matter of habit. No wonder ‘engagement’ has become the order of the day. Good thing 21st Century Skills are not interested in fostering habits of mind or deep learning which would start to sound precisely like what Triune Consciousness is getting at.

Think of how useful the PSC mandate and that CRDC data will be if a student’s “capacity to learn means acquiring habits as (re)structuring malleable; it is essential becoming.” Sounds a lot like Peter Senge’s Presencing. And “[t]he goal of learning, at its most personal and interpersonal peak, is to develop triune consciousness. The Developed structures of adult personality and character form the unique constellation of dispositions to act spontaneously and with a directness and immediacy that needs neither thought nor will, primarily in face-to-face relations.” And that Dear Readers fits almost precisely with the vision of the intrapersonal and interpersonal laid out in the Crucible Moment report that launched the American Commonwealth Partnership at a White House ceremony in January 2012.

Triune consciousness is a fancy phrase for a deliberate official pursuit via education to create behaviors and a desire to act that does NOT flow from “discursive reasoning or deliberative will.” Take your pick of reflex or habit or spontaneous or unconscious response. They will all work  as education seeks to join affection, cognition, and volition so that the response comes from internal values, beliefs, and attitudes. School consciously seeks “to sublate [think of anesthesia or other sedation] either or both ‘normal’ discursive reasoning and the deliberations of the will.”

What do we call governments and officials who want to do that?

Who gather personal data to ensure ‘continuous progress’ towards such a goal?

Who frame such a pursuit in terms of disabilities rights or civil rights?

Who call such intentions “innovative school practices”?


3 thoughts on “Triune Consciousness-A $100 Phrase We Need to Grasp Why Every Wrong Leads to the Same Remedy

  1. BAIT & SWITCH — So Perfect !

    Such a perfect strategy uncovered ! Propose “better”, “more costly”, “radically different” solutions — test them out in public opinion — still proceed with general direction. I think digging deeper will yield more of the grand design. Thanks for the insights so far.

    I got really worried about Jay Greene’s effort in promoting his students’ theory about promoting and measuring non-cognitive skills. I wrote my analysis and concern and was going to post to that earlier thread, but I think it also fits in with today’s post.

    HARM PREVENTION — Are There Safeguards In Education Experiments?

    As another fad takes off — promoting and measuring non-cognitive skills — are there safeguards in place? Should we as a society even allow human experimentation on school children? Where are the parents in all this?

    In this discussion led by Jay P Greene on his blog about “Brilliant New Measure of Non-Cognitive Skills” I’m gratified that someone at last has mentioned the possibility that harm might occur.

    Greg, in the comments on this story, says: “Remember that Daniel Willingham paper on how much damage it does when we try to teach things that are not skills as if they were skills?” (See Internet — Daniel Willingham damage)

    It was in 1972 when I was shocked that the term “iatrogenic” was being applied to education in public schools. Ivan Illich in Mexico was expounding on “deschooling” and said that just as there can be unintended harm from medical procedures, so could there be harm induced by schooling.

    From this blog post by Jay Greene I was really surprised to learn that he is a professor — of education reform no less — and is promoting discussion of his students’ work on this tentative theory.

    Why are people trying to play God? There are quite a number of questionable proposals, policies and efforts — all in the guise of “needed” 21st Century Learning — that are really aimed at changing human nature through the medium of public schools.

    Now, we have this human capital proposal by Greene’s students to develop wholesale “conscientiousness”!

    Both Jay P Greene and the student authors of this paper should become more aware, as Willingham no doubt has, of the Biblical caution: James 3:1 — For you know that he who teaches will be judged with greater strictness.

    On other blogs I’ve seen a few rare teachers comment about the seriousness they place on embracing their profession — and the James 3:1 stricture — acknowledging the harm they might do from teaching (or failure to teach) far beyond, say, engineering, law or medical missteps.

    We need a lot more information about what is being discussed in the name of education reform. There is a lot of activity, which is largely hidden from public view. And, we should also get to know, why is the “effective schools movement”— so promising for consumers (parents, students and taxpayers) — being sabotaged or abandoned by the producers (the education establishment)?

    Please review the Effective Schools Checklist. Would you (as parent, teacher, taxpayer, employer) be satisfied with this model today? I like it.

    PS: I have just received a 1000 pg, 2 vol report (Int. Handbook on School Effectiveness and Improvement) and see already what some of the “establishment’s” griefs are. Too much individualism, for example. Will report later.

    BTW: My post similar to above was published on Greene’s blog. Wonder if anyone cares about “harm prevention”.

    • Tunya-Glad you brought up the Effective Schools Checklist. So much of that like Positive School climate is unchanged since it was sought in the 80s and 90s.

      This morning I went through the Noxious Nineties Chapter of Charlotte Iserbyt’s book to crosscheck against what I was seeing in the name of motivation and humanistic psychology where I am going next to show its connection.

      On page 430 is a reference to the 16th Annual Effective Schools Conference in March 4-7, 1999 in Phoenix. How’s this for a title? “Learning for All–Whatever It Takes.”

      There was Spence Rogers from the last post and his PEAK. No Bill Spady though. Douglas Reeves who I remember Atlanta Public Schools bringing in to look into alleged cheating while everyone was still protecting Bev Hall. Willard Daggett who is pushing the new 3 Rs now “Rogor, Relevance and Relationships” that’s just a new name for this old vision. And Michael Fullan who pushed Toronto and the rest of Canada so hard on making this change to social and emotional learning.

      Under Douglas Reeves’ presentation on Educational Accountability in Complex School Systems “, Number 4 is “Creating Positive School Climate.”

  2. Harm Reduction Doesn’t Cut It

    My post above about harm reduction in the public education field — a field with tons of fads and experiments — a field with young children as subjects — was deleted after a half-day’s existence on Jay P Greene’s blog.

    Guess his circle won’t be talking about this topic in public — maybe not at all.

    Guess there was some sensitivity triggered by my post.

    Even Diane Ravitch doesn’t delete my posts. I disagree substantially with her views and projects, but she does allow dissent when it does appear.

    The last time something similar happened to me was a few years back. A Dean of Education in my province had written in an academic paper that he thought phonics was “educational malpractice.” I wrote critically about this position and also took him to task for taking a political position as a Dean. I provided a link to his article on the Internet. It wasn’t long before this item was deleted from the Internet though the article remains in an academic journal.

    Defensiveness is a great signal to watch for concerning establishment sensitivities.

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