Citizen Drones may seem harsh. Honestly though there are a limited number of times you can insist that the desired education reforms are in “preparation for responsible citizenship” while describing a political and economic coup as part of the program and not trigger an image of Student as a Drone. Future Adult as a Drone. Waiting to be told via communication software where it is to go and what it is to do and what it should care about. And what it should be concerned about.
Especially when the Responsible Citizenship as a Comrade, I mean Citizen, with the Right to Vote in its Desired Representative Government, is in the context of shifting to a Government Led Reorganized Economy. A No Growth Economy in a Post-GDP world. Where the Citizenship and Education Plan writers also mention that they do not intend to Fully Prescribe Individual Behavior. That they See a Government Public Sector that Nudges but does not Shove.
How Enlightened of the Government Apparatus. I am quite sure that Government Officials and Employees all over the world who have been told that the State is rightfully in charge of “human agency and social exchange” will undoubtably show that the 21st Century is in fact a time of miraculous change in Human Nature. That with THAT mandate it is perfectly reasonable to expect an “equal partnership between the public and the public sector.” Unicorns will prance in Fields of Gold and official decrees will go out “putting an end to ‘them and us’.” Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows will be available to all at no cost and with a minimum of work so that this “Equal Partnership” can “co-produce well-being for all.”
Now if you sometimes find my posts painful to read, remember I just provide illustrating anecdotes to make my point. I actually read these documents and books. ALL of them. Those quotes above in a recent new economics foundation (nef) report called The Great Transition came from rereading that report while mulling this Laptops for All, Tablets for All Push, that I first described here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/mind-thieves-everyday-examples-that-add-up-to-a-cultural-and-political-tsunami/ . That post has really been on my mind since I discovered that Mooresville, NC super has been featured on the Amplify website and asked to speak on a panel at the Foundation for Excellence in Education conference in DC. So what we might see as a Problem and a Bug, others view as a Change to be Openly Touted.
Which has really been bothering me since last Thursday when I went to hear a Deputy Super speak in the Large Suburban Atlanta School District with the Duplicitous Charter. I went because I wanted to ask about the Tablets to Gain New Minds Presentation that I wrote about here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/ridiculing-the-1860s-mind-as-unsuitable-for-the-21st-century-cui-bono/ . And I did, flustering the Deputy Super who kept insisting that the Amplify/ AT&T contract was not yet in the RFP stage. What a relief! Then he went on to say that Fulton’s Plan was to top what Forsyth County was doing with technology. Well, fully digitized seems hard to top. Anyway, my whole point was supposed to be concern that we would emulate Forsyth.
Making school about using a Tool is making school Vocational. And a computer is a Tool. Even Steve Jobs would recognize that. And nonintellectual if it holds the knowledge to be tapped. That is my concern with the mandated integration of the computer. Apart from the repeated declaration that it hobbles the mind. And intentionally so.
In preparation for writing up my concerns I went back and reread the pertinent UNESCO and nef reports to doublecheck my recollection that they were mandating technology for All precisely because they desired a vocational direction as the primary education experience to be mandated for all. No more Gifted. No more Special Ed. No more English as a Second Language Classroom. Immersive for All with a Vocational Orientation using the Tool of the Computer. Which is precisely what I found but in the Exact Same Documents is this Altered Economy and Society and Political Structure with No Use for the Independent Individual.
That’s a problemmatic Vision to be implementing via education. Especially in the US which still does technically have a Constitution that makes the Individual the Primary Rights holder instead of a Subject looking for the Government’s Permission on what she can do and be. The Thursday meeting actually became more troubling as parents noted that the ESPLOST vote the previous year had been premised on school improvements and rebuilding on a certain schedule because of overcrowding. All of a sudden the plans involving a suburban, affluent, just outside the city limits line of Atlanta Public Schools, elementary and high school were being postponed despite serious overcrowding. All of the desired technology though was still coming. No changes. Despite a decline in estimated taxes to be received.
No, I have not had the heart to tell anyone else at that meeting that all the School Integration and Resegregation Theories have a big Bullseye painted on that Suburb as a Prime Candidate for Interdistrict Transfers. What Idealogues have been craving in Atlanta and other metro areas for decades. Facts aligning so well with Theories are rarely Coincidental. The point was that there was no give on the Tablets and Technology. Verifying what I had long suspected. The Computer Technology and the resulting shift to a vocational orientation was the whole point of the ESPLOST. Hard to get a property tax increase for such a fungible good. Visual and Vocational and new Values was always the Primary Goal.
UNESCO’s vision for fully integrating technology into the classroom, which would be the step beyond Forsyth, would be technology as a tool to foster “student engagement and participation.” Which is certainly not what the taxpayers in that high achieving county had in mind when they were sold on the benefits of becoming a charter system. Unfortunately, the language of that Charter dovetails perfectly with the UNESCO Global Education For All vision that decrees:
“an integral part of everyone’s basic education is the form of initiation to technology, the world of work, and human values and standards for responsible citizenship.” Ugh, that phrase again. By the way, this Vocational/Technical Education for All as both the Floor and the Ceiling for All Students expressly includes the
“harmonious development of personality and character, and foster spiritual and human values, the capacity for understanding, judgement, critical thinking and self-expression.”
But that UNESCO vision of Education for All is also tied to a planned “national and, if possible, regional social and economic requirements of the present and future.” That presumed Citizen as Subject Vision again. Finally, I found a rather succinct version of this education to change “human culture, politics, and values” as part of a New Economics based on moving away from fossil fuels and a No Growth Future based on a new Sense of Well-being. Just what we have outlined in previous posts. Not a shock, the description can be found on the website of nef’s US affliate, New Economics Institute. http://neweconomicsinstitute.org/content/new-economics-21st-century
Written by a Board member, Neva Goodwin, there are already textbooks ready for college students to learn this Economics in Context. A big clue to the hole this fills that was left by Uncle Karl’s bad press and poor results is hinted at by the language translations already-Russian, Vietnamese, and Italian. They don’t call it Red Bologna for nothing.
So if this technology push and Education for All with a vocational orientation and new Values, Communitarian Values, is based on a centrally planned economy with the premise that “we must accept the end of economic growth as we know it,” shouldn’t that be part of the conversation with the future Citizens/Comrades/ Taxpayers?
If we need New Minds to be willing to tolerate a future of Subjugation by the Political Class, can’t we talk about it in advance? Or do we just pay our property taxes and shut up? Deferring to every Edudoctor turned out by a College of Education.
Right now we seem to have a Revolution going on Globally in the Name of Education that will Compromise Tomorrow’s Possibilities for All of us Forever. And all we are getting is Deceit on what is Really Going On. From people whose salaries we pay.
Can we please discuss all this before these Huge Technology Expenditures? In school districts all over the World?