Change Perception, Change Behavior, Change Rules, Change Systems–the Real Common Core/Teacher Coercion Story

Today’s post reenforces my consistent point that what is going on in education ‘reforms’ at all levels is not about the how and what of getting as many students as possible as knowledgeable and able as possible. What most of us view as the historic role of schools. Even something as fundamental as the new teacher evaluations and measures of what constitutes student ‘achievement’ or ‘growth’ are actually bound up in the broader social, economic, and political transformation agenda. And once again the aim is not limited to the US or Canada or the UK or Australia. It truly is global in aim as this short video called ‘Purpose’ show us.

Now the first part of the title comes from that circle chart at the 1:21 mark that the way to achieve this comprehensive vision of global transformation is to Change Perception which causes Individual Behaviors to Change, hopefully along the preselected pathways. That in turn allows Changes in the governing Rules (either explicitly or as we saw with Harold Berman through the concept of evolving law that shifts with needs and new contexts). Finally, all of these shifts over a majority of voters results in a Change in the economic, social, and political Systems.

We could also call that chart a Graphic Organizer illustrating how to accomplish Dialectical Materialism in the real world. Now I still find that to be an off-putting phrase and just using the initials might not alert my readers to what I mean. I am also darn sure we are going to keep needing to refer to this Theory with an Infamous Past so I hereby rechristen it DiaMat for short. Why am I so sure this theory will need a nickname to allow for easy use?

Because I believe that the new teacher evaluations and professional development standards, and even the new definition of professional learning that is coming out of Kentucky, are all about getting DiaMat into everyday practice in our schools and classrooms. DiaMat in the teachers’ daily instructional practices of course allows that Obuchenie mindset to be developed in the students. Then the new alternative assessments being administered by Pearson, even in states like Texas that are not adopters of the Common Core, get to measure whether the desired changes in perception are occurring.

If we look at the inner core of that circle chart, we see Perception changes through new Story Telling, which of course is most vividly accomplished by ditching textbooks and making virtual reality Gaming and Cyberlearning the new focus of the classroom (under the motto that it keeps students engaged and thus keeps them from dropping out). Next, at the inner core under Change Behavior we find ‘Motivator,’ which is precisely what the League of Innovative Schools and the federally promoted Digital Promise hope to use technology in the classroom to determine. Under Change Rules, we find ‘Mobilizer,’ which I believe is a euphemism for the better known–‘community organizer.’ Finally, under Change Systems, we find ‘Platform Builder.’ Like Peter Senge promoting systems thinking or Mark Greenberg pushing positive psychology on schools or Angela Duckworth on Grit and Tenacity as examples in education? Or to take it up a notch, we have Harry Boyte and his concept of the cooperative commonwealth or Gar Alperowitz and his Democracy Collaborative or King’s Beloved Community as only being satisfied via economic democracy.

The point of just those few examples is that the world itself and all the individuals in it may not be interdependent, but the idea behind radical ed reform and the transformation visions that accompany it certainly are. My book and this blog are dedicated to trying to sound the alarm of these connections in time. You may not have read Imagine Living in a Socialist USA that came out about two weeks ago from HarperCollins Publishing, but I have. It is a historically and economically illiterate vision with a devastating conclusion of what a Thanksgiving 2077 could be like in the transformed US. In the middle is an essay from Bill Ayers of Weathermen and “Just another guy in the neighborhood” fame laying out the associated ed vision. Ayers calls it “Teach Freedom!” but the Common Core calls it student-centered deep learning of the desired concepts with application to real world problems. DiaMat again.

Remember how we discovered that the omnipresent around the classroom implementation dual phrase “teaching and learning” was an inexact stealth attempt to bring in the Russian psychology and political theory of obuchenie to alter the student’s perception? Well, we did not dwell on it then but it is the teacher’s perception that is also  under active attack. The students are not the only ones to be asked to Ascend from the Abstract to the Concrete based on preassigned concepts to be understood as desired and acted upon. Teachers must shift too. Think of it as forcing everyone to become a change agent or to find a new job or career.

That’s what the new classroom observations and teacher evaluations are all about according to the developers of the Common Core standards themselves, Student Achievement Partners. Well, they did not mention obuchenie or Ilyenkov’s Ascending theory but they are intimately tied to the new definition of student achievement and how to end educational inequality. You see? This is why radical schemers are so hostile to us having our own personal store of accurate facts about the past. We go beyond the assigned story and interject our own conceptual understandings based on a pertinent solid foundation. Naughty me! Seriously in November 2013 TNTP (yes it is the entity Michelle Rhee started) released an Issue Analysis Report co-developed with Student Achievement Partners called “Fixing Classroom Observations: How Common Core Will Change the Way We Look at Teaching.”

That report itself says that “the implementation of improved teacher evaluation systems in a growing number of states and school districts, and the introduction of Common Core State Standards across the country” are “inextricably linked by their shared goal: better instruction for students.” Once again so much for the talking point about Common Core NOT being about how to teach the content. It is ALL about how to teach the content and in fact greatly limits what the content may be. Common Core and TNTP together ( they are distinct only to minimize the previous public outcries that supposedly derailed outcomes based education) are all about obuchenie instruction. On the circle graph we talked about above it is a certain type of instruction that changes perception so that behavior itself changes. Then the DiaMat process that should result in transformed systems can begin in earnest.

DiaMat is why the TNTP report stresses the need to teach the “right content.” Interpolating again, I believe that means content that will shift perception in politically powerful ways so that “students are learning what they should be learning.” Learning remember has been redefined as a change in values, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, or behaviors. That redefinition then fits well within the Purpose Chart for Change. If you really believe that outcomes-based education went away instead of morphing into new names and a different PR strategy, look at page 6 of that TNTP report under “student outcomes” (the italics are in original) about “Rubrics should draw a clear distinction between the  outcomes teachers are responsible for producing in a successful lesson and the strategies that can help them achieve those outcomes.”

Because I really am trying my best to alert teachers and students and parents in time about what is really going on and where it is all designed to lead, here is one more heads up addressed especially to teachers. It also goes to my certainty that what we are dealing with is in fact obuchenie and DiaMat and that they are integrally interrelated to the actual Common Core implementation and the Competency ultimate fallback. “State Lessons for Transforming Professional Learning” Launched in 2011 from the official CCSSI sponsors and coming from Kentucky, the remainder of the 6 pilot states are Georgia, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Utah, and Washington. It will be going national though and it is tied to what TNTP is developing as well. It also ties into the history of what it means to be an effective teacher that I laid out in my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon.

It is DiaMat that ultimately weaponizes students and teachers and administrators caught up in this tragic vision. They are being credentialed and coerced to be change agents to transform the world. Meanwhile their educations at the K-12, collegiate, and graduate levels are being systematically stripped of anything accurate that might be an obstacle to a willingness to seek transformation–first at the level of perception, then behavior, then reality itself.

While people like me who have studied history and economics and classical lit and science are jumping up and down and screaming like that silly robot in Lost in Space with his “Danger! Danger!”

This has been a week in Atlanta where the dangers perceptible to anyone paying attention were unrecognized, or disregarded, by too many education decision-makers. Expanding the authority of this sector nationally and globally so that it can ignite transformational systems change will create comparable results to what happened Tuesday.

Nowhere to Go. No Way to Get There. Except this time there will be no innate southern kindnesses to keep us and our loved ones and our resources safe.

34 thoughts on “Change Perception, Change Behavior, Change Rules, Change Systems–the Real Common Core/Teacher Coercion Story

  1. “Teachers must shift too. Think of it as forcing everyone to become a change agent or to find a new job or career.”

    Exactly, Robin. I informed my boss that I will not be teaching any students to be global citizens. Period. I have spent this year trying to extend the framework of discussion by bringing up missing facts in literature and government assignments.
    Teachers with a conscience will have to go underground if they stay in the profession. The tragedy is that, all the bureaucratic busywork designed for teachers in the form of meetings, plans, inservices, requirements for additional training, etc. are nothing more than means of distraction and ways of making sure that teachers have no time for a life of the mind. In this way, they have nothing to accidentally impart to the children other than what they’ve been taught themselves. Can’t have teachers gumming up the works, now can we?

    • For those old enough to remember, the singer Harry Chapin had a song called “Flowers are Red” about a boy that started out in school full of fun but was forever changed by the first teacher’s assertion that “flowers are red and green leaves are green. There’s no need to paint flowers any other way than the way they always have been seen”. In the live version, Chapin tells about a note he had received from his son’s teacher that described his son as “following a different drummer”. The note concluded “not to worry as we’ll have him joining the parade before the end of the semester”. In the song, there’s a different teacher in a different town that teaches in a different way and allows the kids to be themselves.

      I’m thinking with Common Core we’ll be getting the first teacher and there won’t be a “different” town.

      • Robin, I’ve tried 6 ot 7 times to pull up the above link and it won’t open. It will say done at the bottom, but there is a blank screen.

        • It pulled it up for me. I found it chilling. There is no comment attached as my keyboard decided to freeze.

          The fact that the teacher is in Ft Walton makes me want to alert everyone I know in Panhandle. It is highly emotional role playing again as how we do literature.

          Good to have keys work again.

          • is the link again or the article is called “using Drama Techniques to Increase Comprehension.” It is a review of Wilhelm’s book on using action strategies to teach the Common Core. That all important experiential component complete with a guiding Essential Question. It’s a review by Allyn Hunt in case you want to do a search the old-fashioned way.

          • This absolutely guts me. Where is the reading in this reading curriculum ? You don’t have to answer that. You have shown me all too well that reading and the natural evolution of our species guided by its own imperatives not by those of a select and controlling minority is not the goal.

            I am weeping at the thought of all the amazing literature that is being buried and neglected because it encourages actual thinking and promotes discourse in the reading audience.

          • Mari-remember in the book where I quoted from the signed off by the feds AND the state NCLB waiver that said essentially an inability to read is to no longer be a barrier to promotion. Or the various means under UDL that students can be deemed to be performing and therefore entitled to be treated as successful?

            Somewhere last week in my readings I saw an ELA grading rubric that only wanted to give two points if project was all in print like a research paper. They wanted video and graphics and sound instead. Reminded me of the Ga DoED rubric in math that came out of the NSF funded PRISM grant. It gave demerits for textbooks that offered explanations and worked examples.

      • Seems like the sort of retarded stuff my son is being put through in seventh grade social studies. I am learning to hate social studies teachers.

        I’ve asked this teacher to explain her grading, where she’s been giving him a hard time, and basically her response was “you don’t trust me (true, because I’ve caught her in lies) so I won’t talk to you.” Looks like I asked one too many good questions.

        This sort of movement-based learning is deadly for students who don’t need it, and it has the side benefit of being unrelated to objective criteria, so grading can be totally arbitrary — and it is!

        • Mind arson is indeed apt.

          Did you see on the previous thread we need a lesson in how to pronounce obuchenie before we have a mispronunciation fully entrenched in our minds?

          I feel especially bad for those with elementary and middle school kids, but the consensus is that knowing what is targeted and why does lead us to be best prepared to protect the child.

  2. Great post. I see it happening Robin. Just last week on the local IB charters FB page a parent shared a video of a student concert where they used music by a A.Smith from 1 world chorus to teach kids how to peacefully protest. Parents expressed excitement about their children learning this. I was looking at the videos with my jaw on the floor thinking parents are excited at this! Oh my. Not exactly what most parents think their child is learning at school. Also glad I did not choose that charter.
    Let’s hope more catch on to the desired changes soon.

    • How about being able to experience a book without any mental activity being necessary?

      MIT Media Lab strikes again.

      My Future Earth book says MIT is a UN partner. That fact would certainly explain Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer’s pursuits while serving as lecturers. I am so tired of the word systems from people who either live off tax money or enormous endowments that protect them from the effects of crashing the functioning systems via mind arson and perspective alteration.

      I have decided this blog and the book are the metaphorical equivalents of a vaccination or wearing a HazMat suit to deal with hazardous materials. This is where parents, teachers, students, and taxpayers can acquire their DiaMat ‘lens’ to perceive accurately precisely what is being manipulated and the ends being sought. Preventing that is the reason for trashing Axemaker Minds and gutting reading, lit, and math.

    • LL-this new report lays out precisely how perception is to be changed and lists associated activities in your area of the country.

      Also Chicago and NYC in particular. The really scary part to me beyond the admitted manipulation of how the world is to be perceived is Item # 6 which focuses on parents and caregivers receiving “consistent messaging.” Really? I am so in need of overlordship guiding my daily perceptions so they will be in sync with the manipulated perspective transformation going on in the schools. So important that we all have a “common understanding.”

      Not about most things apart from how gravity works or what happens when life-threatening force is brought to bear on a mortal body.

      I am likely to go to a Common Core rally today down at the State Capitol. If I don’t get a post up, bonus points for how often you think of Ilyenkov’s Ascending from the Abstract to the Concrete theory as you read the Ecosystem report and how to deliberately force adaptation and evolution via Next Generation Science Standards and new types of assessments to make sure the obuchenie mindset is in place. Maybe we can get David to tell us how to pronounce that so there is not a repeat of how my mind pronounced ‘hors d’ouevres’ all those years it was in books I read silently to myself.

    • Notice how the teacher-trainer uses ‘teaching and learning’ in tandem as a matter of course. And there would be no need to ‘teach to the test’ were Florida not using constructivist math and Whole Language reading techniques in the first place. It is the classic Create the Problem so the solution will be what you wanted all along.

      I am so tired of hearing what the universities want when the Race to the Top application signed them up in advance to commit to rallying around CCSSI as a precondition to being eligible for an RTT grant. And it is Big Business like tech companies again asking for this as part of the Crony planned economy theme.

      It is not good for kids to push such mindless activities and have such disregard for the facts. She should add Propagandist in Chief to her other listed accolades. We would also do well to remember Mihalyi Csiksentmihalyi’s actual definition of what excellence means in education.

    • I have a book AND blog focussed on detailing the legitimate grounds for opposing the Common Core. It’s why I always shift the focus to the mandated implementation by authorities with the ability to bind teachers and the classroom and collect info on students.

      Great link.

      • The tech support people where I work tell me the state requires them to collect lots and lots of data on each teacher as well. I would not be surprised if this includes all teacher files on the school network, as well as emails and web sites visited.

        • Sara,

          I have gotten just an explosion of articles in just the last week touting Minecraft for the classroom. This one uses Daniel Pink’s work to justify. I have read Pink’s books and found them to lack justification for their assertions. That’s when I searched out his history and discovered that he had been Chief Speechwriter for Al Gore from 95 to 97. Not sure why that background makes him an expert on cognition. I can see how it would bolster one’s desire to use education policy to make the country more amenable to transformed systems just like the Purpose graph shows.

          • Thank you, Robin. I bookmarked it so I can go back and take a look. I think the introduction says it’s part 1 of a series, so I will hang out on the site to see the rest.

            Yes, I can see where someone with a political bent might like to ensure future voters (for the Common Good, after all). I mean, according to some people, cited in this article, our children belong to everyone, and that’s why Common Core is needed.


    • Anon-

      Chapter 3 of my book deals with Constructivism in math and science and how it was never a matter of how to best teach math and science. It was a jettisoning of the traditional subjects without saying so. I talk about Professor Jeremy Kilpatrick who was a co-founder of an entity called the Psychology of Mathematics Education. It was based on Soviet research and pushed constructivism internationally. Jeremy was connected to this earlier New Math effort. I did not talk about it because it did not directly affect the story I was telling.

      But yes, the New Math and the related reimagining of science were earlier attempts that tie directly to what we are still dealing with today. It is easy to forget that NSF views the behavioral and social sciences as part of its jurisdiction. In recent years those particular areas of emphasis have been expanding, especially with the formal push to use education to change beliefs about climate change. I explained that shift here back on July 31, 2012.

      Yes, I still remember Base 2 being the source of elementary school math class instead of multiplication. Sequential mathematics carried out at an abstract level without regard to context but as a mental exercise involving symbols for relationships really bolsters mental acuity. Given the nonsense being put forth as rationales for all these transformations, that’s a problem.

      I am working on something this morning that is the subject of programs all over the world this year. The book supporting all these transformative efforts is asinine in its arguments and just plain wrong on its facts. And it too is trumpeting Kurt Lewin’s “Nothing as useful as a good theory”–the new mantra apparently.

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