I really wish there was still some doubt on what Learning Standards or Competency actually mean or what they intend to alter. No one is openly admitting to us that in the future all that is desired are ‘existential competencies’, a ‘natural science worldview’, or a mind that can be easily read via Knewton adaptive software. We may find the aims sickening, but apparently the planning locations have been glorious. Can you believe our invite to the April 1-3, 2015 Global Education Futures-Forum California: Toward Learner-Centered Lifelong Learning never arrived? We could have stayed at the Five-Star Rosewood Sands Hill Luxury Hotel in Menlo Park and planned the future of learning globally while hanging out with tech titans there for the Global Technology Symposium. With rooms starting at $600 a night, we too could have lived the Jet Set Life while planning how to meet people’s ‘needs’.
Since we were not invited and did not get to nestle our heads in high-thread count linens, who was there and how did this catch my eye? In early August ISSS-the International Systems Science Society-had its annual meeting in Berlin. Speaking on education were Alexander Laszlo, Ervin’s son and like him a former ISSS President, and a Pavel Luksha. Luksha is Russian but is involved with a project with MIT called Re-Engineering Futures. The California Forum was part of that work getting ready for a Kazan World Skills conference in May, the global World Skills conference in Brazil in early August, and then on to Singapore this fall. The final vision gets presented in Davos in January once again amidst the private jets, luxury linens, and foie gras This is all apparently how global plans can get marketed as local or even as something called the North Carolina Plan laid out in the comments with links on the previous post.
http://www.edu2035.org/ is not a hot link because something is screwy with my computer this morning, but it is the site for the Global Education Futures Forum. What I am describing can be found there. Please pay special attention to the GEFF Advisory Board since it is linked to the Center for Curriculum Redesign because Charles Fadel is a listed member as is an Under Secretary of the OECD. Knewton has a representative which is why this week’s Wired article on the ability to read student’s minds is timely. Another listed member of the GEFF Advisory Board is Alexander Laszlo, who undoubtedly learned about collectivism’s need for a subjective mode of consciousness from his dad instead of the Grimm fairy tales most of us heard as children.
Finally, we have former Gates Foundation exec Tom VanderArk listed, which means that the Brookhaven Innovation Charter just approved in Georgia (links in comments on previous post) that says it is based on VanderArk’s White Paper and the Hewlett Foundation push around Deeper Learning is tied to the GEFF vision. So are school districts like Fulton and other League of Innovative Schools districts that we have covered as bringing him in to consult and train. The entire state of Utah and the concept of Competency (just the means to stealthily impose that subjective mode) get implicated because next Tuesday and Wednesday, September 2 and 3, 2015 there is a Statewide Joint Conference there on Competency-Based education with VanderArk as the speaker on both days. Also speaking is Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy so we also have the Common Core being shoved away as we get back to NCEE’s New Standards Project from the 90s, renamed now as Competency-Based Education.
All of this fits perfectly with what my book Credentialed to Destroy foresaw. Chapter 4 on Competency is even more timely now than when it was written. One of the themes of the California Forum apart from the death of the Gutenberg Era and divvying up the billion dollar EdTech market was “How will educational ecosystems for emerging social practices be created?” Now I can scream all day long that the new forms of assessment are not in fact tests and are looking to create and monitor desired behaviors, but there is nothing like the concept of virtual reality prisons to make the point. This is from a GEFF 2014 report called Future Agendas for Global Education .
In following up on all the intended uses of gamification and virtual reality in education of the future, the report mentions that “Besides that, gamification can be efficiently used to redesign the penitentiary system.” Now when we read the following quote, we need to appreciate that if these adaptive software and virtual reality worlds are powerful enough to remediate dysfunctional behavior, what is the effect of constant embedding over K-12 on normal minds?
“application of maturing virtual simulations can allow (within the coming decade) to create realistic virtual worlds, ‘virtual jails’ that help delinquents correct their dysfunctional behavior and acquire socially acceptable ways of conduct–for instance, re-living the criminal action from different positions (of a violator, of a victim, of a police officer who searches for an offender, etc.) and their mastering the proper way of acting [Mastery Learning?]. Such educational solutions could become a more humane way to rehabilitate criminals–and similar solutions can be applied to help re-qualify ‘accidentally alienated’ citizens, e.g. those dismissed from jobs due to skill mismatch. We believe that, since early 2020s, virtual reality worlds will be used as temporary holding places for unemployed and as a cheap alternative for vocational education & training. Also, virtual worlds that help replace dysfunctional behavior patterns with functional ones can be used to deal with traumatic experiences and improve lives of ‘clinically normal’ people that suffer from dependencies, bad habits or fears. ‘Psychodrama worlds’ where people play together and live lief stories of each other could gain wide popularity as an alternative to group therapy by mid-2020s, not only (and not so much) as a clinical psychotherapy, but as part of standard educational trajectory for a majority of population.”
Now in a world where following the misleading phrase Career Ready Practices as the new purpose of K-12 leads us straight to a communitarian obligation to others and so does the now obligatory Positive School Climate, do we really think ‘dysfunctional behaviors’ will be cigarette smoking and eating disorders? No because the next paragraph states that “any gamified practice has an educational dimension, because the game clearly defines desirable and undesirable behaviors.” That is what makes it educational in this Brave New World that is no longer a work of fiction at all. Educational Dimension=altering human behaviors. No wonder the ESEA Rewrite the US Senate passed binds all states to use performance assessments to examine academic results. All behavioral too.
Honestly I think the life of Five Star luxury being pursued to foist this education and Future Transformation vision must addle the brain at some level. How else to explain an insistence that “we now know too much” and that we need only “adequate science and technologies to be maintained and developed going forward.” No wonder we have repeated proclamations that the Gutenberg Era is over. It created the concept of the individual and liberated the human mind. Our wannabe political Overlords want to take all that away and the tech companies want to sell public officials the means to do just that.
What parent when they opt for a Charter School for their child that hypes 21st Century Learning or who wishes for vouchers to escape bad neighborhood schools understands that they are really tapping into a GEFF plan to “reorganize the institutions of cognition and knowledge management.”? Now given the sorts of facts I turn up and papers and confessional books through the decades I can appreciate why this collectivist vision needs Mind Arson and knowledge management.
Repeat after me: We will NOT acquiesce.
Please take the blinders OFF about what formative assessments and a Whole Child focus around digital learning really mean. Otherwise, these planners want to create a Neuroweb of manipulated collective consciousness that is reminiscent of what Star Trek called the Borg. When people in positions of power with access to taxpayer money at the global, national, state, and local levels write of a desire to transform K-12 education and the very concept of learning and wish to “create semantic Internet and supporting artificial intelligence solutions that will structure human knowledge, and scientific knowledge in particular,” we need to listen.
Now we know why digital learning is so crucial to all these future models of education. It’s not a better way to teach math or reading or about making backpacks lighter. It’s about rewiring the brain for collectivist political purposes and it is a Bipartisan pursuit going on all over the globe.
Thankfully we know about the agenda and the links into our local classrooms. Will accurate knowledge reach enough parents and taxpayers in time or will the manufactured hype surrounding the Common Core continue to obscure the actual story?