Subterranean Fundamental Glue Holding Humanity Together Instilled Via Education

Internalizing a ‘reliable compass’ was one metaphor and the desired ‘New Golden Rule’ was another. Today’s metaphor comes from a Mindshift article called “Why Empathy Holds the Key to Transforming 21st Century Learning” that came out last November and has been cited since then in numerous articles on a “new vision for education that emphasizes mastery of critical knowledge and skills” rather than traditional factual, subject knowledge. It is education aimed at assessing and altering the “complex mix of other meaningful emotions and attitudes that fuel human personality,” which is why the Faux Narrative about social and emotional learning standards being about creating a student database of PII is so laughably wrong. No one gets to keep their emotions, beliefs, and values just because they like them and they work anymore than they got to keep their Doctor under Obamacare.

That’s just sales rhetoric to keep the attention in the wrong place. Why? Well, if the same people pushing the False Narrative are also very vocal about the central role of a certain Faiths in their lives and the leaders of those various faiths (including Progressivism as a secular but guiding force of values and beliefs) are also quite vocal about the desire to use education to create a Revolution of the Heart; a New Golden Rule; the Good, True, and Beautifu; or World Happiness and Human Flourishing (just a few examples), we seem to have our answer. An ability to use the psychological tools provided by a new vision of education without the altered goals, techniques, and practices really being appreciated by parents and taxpayers would make perfect sense. Get the desired alteration that guides future behaviors as Habits of Mind with no outcry.

Outcries require recognition, which means reading this blog and having read my book Credentialed to Destroy. No wonder the Faux Narrative crowd prefers to simply mine selective proven facts to appear authoritative while hiding  or misleading about the true aim of this new vision. Let’s poke at it some more today using some of the sources cited in the footnotes of papers mentioned in the last two posts. Both the Jubilee Centre papers and conferences and the Special Rome Edition to the 2016 UN-issued World Happiness Report called “Human Flourishing, the Common Good, and Catholic Social Teaching” kept mentioning an Alasdair MacIntyre. He turned out to be a retired Prof at Notre Dame and I tracked down the constantly cited book After Virtue.

Remember too that this is not just a template for Catholic schools. The Jubilee Centre materials, the Science of Virtues curriculum, and a Templeton-funded Toolkit on Character and Self-Control (link in the previous post comments) are all examples of an emphasis for all schools–public, private, parochial, and every religion. It explains why the Islamic Tarbiyah Project reminded me so much of the Tranzi OBE template I had laid out in CtD. They are all new visions of education that seek to shift to goals and purposes of student work so that education can create a desired shift “between man-as-he-happens-to-be and man-as-he-could-be-if-he-realized-his-essential-nature.” One thing too all these visions agree on. The school will provide the “precepts” to be internalized through practices and learning activities.

They will mandate the required Virtues, Ethics, or Character Traits. Back to After Virtue then where he described what Classical Education initiatives now call the ‘well-ordered soul’ that is to be the goal of this new vision of education.

“The desires and emotions which we possess are to be put in order and educated by use of such precepts and by the cultivation of those habits of action which the study of ethics prescribes; reason instructs us both as to what our true end is and as to how to reach it.”

I am pretty sure there are plenty of people out there who truly wish they could convince me that my true end is to stop writing, but I was always a much worse student on conduct grades than book knowledge. I did pull out my dictionary though to determine what the difference is between a concept and a precept. Concepts are a category for grouping ideas or experiences, but precepts are even more relevant to aspirations of internalizing a reliable compass. A Precept is “a rule or principle prescribing a particular course of action or conduct.” In other words, Precepts are just the thing if someone is interested in fundamental cultural transformation or simply invisible steering of people and their likely daily activities with each other.

Professor MacIntyre and all these documents quoting him really do want to combine “thought and action,” which certainly sounds like Competency-based education to me. “Abstract changes in moral concepts are always embodied in real, particular events.” Sounds like a reason for performance standards and Project-Based Learning in real world, authentic contexts, doesn’t it? If anyone is still unclear as to precisely how the neural alteration occurs, we thankfully had the Instapundit blog on June 10, 2017 plugging the book Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence. Since I grasp the connections between that blog and the School Choice narrative, I found that particular plug revealing to my Faux Narrative balloon popping.

Not news to me, but hopefully helpful to everyone trying to grasp the real aims of this new vision of education. Happiness is about having the right “neural traits” (think about those Graduate Profiles now!) and “what you pay attention to–what you rest your mind on–is the primary shaper of your brain…This means you can deliberately prolong and even create the experiences that will shape your brain for the better.” With the new school year dawning too early in too many places, notice if that phone call from the District Super or letter from the principal or headmaster this year does not mention hopes for your child’s learning experiences during the upcoming school year. They are not referring to lectures and those experiences will be dictated by the desired outcomes to be instilled at a neural level in the student.

Hardwiring Happiness then indisputably defined the word ‘learning’ as the “conversion of fleeting mental events into lasting neural structures.” That means that learning standards like the Common Core are really about what type of neural structures each student is to have per governmental edict. Does it really matter what level of government imposes it when it is without effective notice or consent and it is surrounded by coordinated deceit? It turns out the reason SEL standards are required for this new vision of education has to do with getting the desired neural transformation. Think about this quote as the shift to role playing and Global Challenges where Justice and Equity are not yet universal becomes the focus of so much educational activities.

“Often we see a good fact but don’t have any feelings about it. This seemingly small step–from idea to embodied experience–is critically important, for without it, there’s not much to install in your brain. In terms of building neural structures, what matters is not the event or circumstance or condition itself but your experience of it. Knowing without feeling is like a menu without a meal.”

On that provocative note, I need to end this post without getting to all I wanted to cover. My real life is calling and I need to take off my writing/analyst hat and switch to my Nursemaid role.

33 thoughts on “Subterranean Fundamental Glue Holding Humanity Together Instilled Via Education

  1. BGC
    Robin I just received my second degree from a prominent Georgia university.
    As usual, you are beyond ‘up to date’ on Education. I am writing a book on my first hand experiences with Marxist indoctrination in our university system. You may be interested to know that several new books sharply criticizing higher education in the US, have been recently published; ” Wackos, Thugs, and Perverts,” by Robert Lopez, PHD, professor at a California university, and another, featured on Fox news concerning higher education, recently, can’t recall the name, but searching.

  2. Amitai Etzioni’s communitarianism is supposedly a superior form of social consciousness — superior to social conservatism or social liberalism. Values alone are not enough; they have to be developed and embedded through membership in a community. Thus, the individual acquires a “community moral voice”.

    This is what “norming” is about. In his book, “The Monochrome Society, 2001” he says: “The major goal of education (as distinct from teaching) is to foster internalization of social norms by children and thus to affect their preferences.” He wrote an essay long ago in 1986, “McJobs are bad for Kids” saying that youth employment undermines school attendance. Of course, that makes sense, if steadfast preferences of the communitarian flavor are to be secured.

    The one good thing arising from that essay in the Washington Post, Aug 24 ’86, was that numbers of good counter arguments were produced, hopefully from High School students. This one is particularly good, IMO —

    What started me on this tack is today’s news that Washington University is paying students $11/hr to promote social justice and diversity

    My guess is that students who’ve had their preferences already slanted will flock to these opportunities. The 53 comments so far are not amused by this student employment opportunity!

    • Is this something you have posted elsewhere too?

      Remember I am the person who read the Monochrome Society and has read virtually every book he has written.

      Where exactly are you going here?

      • No, not posted anywhere else. I may have written this as some kind of essay, but it’s just my way of reinforcing what I’m learning from this blog. My readings have expanded enormously from your suggestions and Etzioni is certainly proving to be a biggie in these mindshifts and transformations that have been thrust upon us!

        I was trying to add to, and advance your theme above by decrying Washington University’s plan to seduce students, via wages, to train and then teach their peers about social justice issues. I could see the direct continuity between K-12 SEL projects and university experiences. Sorry if this is off-topic.

        • Fine. I let it through, but it did seem off topic and seeing the referral to a book that ISC originally directed people to in the context of Robert George’s work as well (given APP’s misdirection efforts on what so many of these terms actually mean) was jarring. I am also sensitive recently with people mining ISC for accurate info, disseminating it without attribution to make themselves seem authoritative, and then misinterpreting what they are looking at because they are missing all the collateral foundational materials that allows me to find this stuff in the first place. It’s not like it is laying on a sidewalk waiting for someone to come along. It’s more under a rock along a pathway no one else is aware is there, much less that it’s a useful way to go next.

          Everybody loses when that kind of activity goes on. Most importantly when this MH template is confused with Cold War Communism, as everyone seems to want to do, the real dangers remain in place for us and our children. was at the end of the comments to the previous post but it is clearly relevant to what the Jubilee Centre, Knowledge Works with Inside Out, and our NIH-funded Science of Virtues is doing. It’s clearly what the Catholic Church at the level of the Vatican wants and other major religions are also pushing this template. Mediating Structures all coordinating around a single misunderstood vision surrounded by False Narratives.

          Can you blame me for worrying about an off-topic discussion?

    • Insanity. Heteronormative as something to be corrected. We would not have civilization if not for families of heteronormatives. Do these unhinged and bred for western civ destruction ideologues understand the eugenics operation they are helping to carry out ? Gah. It’s all madness.

      • Actually, it is madness. It is caused by a repudiation of the notion of objective reality. This is what allows me to “identify” as a six-year-old six-foot-tall male Chinese grandmother and get away with it on college campuses. (I am small, Caucasian, and I’m not six years old.)
        Once there is no more objective reality, the utopians can reconfigure it to their own specs, which as you note, involve the dismantling of western civ and its norms and creating a “new normal.”

        Edward Feser, an Aristotelian/Thomistic philosopher, posted this on his blog seven years ago, arguing that this is the inevitable result of abandoning certain philosophical positions. Here he quotes a Catholic philosopher who is challenging the naturalist position that there is no intentionality (in the Aristotelian sense) in the created universe:

        “As Spaemann puts it, such theories “systematically misinterpret themselves”; in this case, they present themselves as “scientific,” as “rational,” as best “supported” by the “evidence,” etc. – even though these very concepts too must be abandoned if we deny intentionality. Indeed (as Spaemann also notes, following Nietzsche) truth itself must be abandoned, and we are left with “new myths” – for instance, myths about “successor concepts” [Big Ideas?] that will replace “truth,” “meaning,” “mind,” etc. in some glorious neuroscientific future that the eliminativist [those who claim that people’s common-sense understanding of the mind (or folk psychology) is false and that certain classes of mental states that most people believe in do not exist] himself does not claim to be able to describe. This is even less plausible than Marxist tosh about how new communist man will “hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, and criticize after dinner” – and even more intellectually and morally corrupting.”

        If human reproduction does not involve a directedness, ie intentionality, toward the creation of a new human being of a specific and immutable sex, then we are free to assign any sex we like to that new creature.

        Interesting, too, that Feser recognizes that this inevitable unfolding of Marxist humanism is more corrupt than classic economic Marxism, a point emphasized recently by Robin.

        • That’s why the term Guiding Fictions was created as we have covered here at ISC and why sociologist Anthony Giddens wrote that CAGW theory is not premised on whether actual temperatures are rising. Believing in the theory and acting on it creates the desired behaviors. Those desired behaviors are the point and the actual discrepancies with the real world get written off as mere obstacles in the way of a world pf planning grounded in data.

          Do you remember when I wrote that Kenneth Boulding, systems thinker extraordinaire and architect of so much of this behavioral science transformation template, stated that “A world of unseen dictatorship is conceivable, still using the forms of democratic government”?

          When government and various mediating structures of society like schools and universities, churches and religions generally, think tanks, and workplaces have all decided to target our internalized models, while simultaneously lying to parents, taxpayers, congregants, supporters, etc about what they are really doing and why, we remain unprotected as long as the discussion remains around PII databases, Student Unit Records, whether the Common Core’s algebra standards are sufficiently high for college prep, the federal government’s role, and other Faux Narratives. If the MH template is not recognized as distinct from the Cold war and always operating primarily in the West, we are at huge risk.

          I am reading a translated book from Russian from the 70s this morning referred to in some footnotes and it completely aligns with what it called personalized, student-centered, standards based learning now. The author was imprisoned after he became a dissident after the Soviets sent the military into Prague in 1968. In other words, what the book does not say, but other books on Marxism have is that he was a disillusioned adherent to the MH template being where the East and West were to be heading for.

          It takes so much research and synthesis to be able to go across sources like that and see the whole picture. No wonder there is so much push now to control what the mind internalizes and that it be grounded in emotion. The truth is the Progs love the MH vision, but so do a lot of people who supposedly ground their life in their faith. What caused so many to believe that Heaven on Earth was in reach with the right laws and a different kind of education?

        • So then if i am pregnant, give birth to what i perceive as a hamster and put it in a cage, i am unapproachable by social services/police etc because it is my reality. A murderer kills a person who they identified as a zombie, ergo All Good!
          Total unending chaos, oh except it wont work that way. The elite will decide what perceptions are correct.

      • Does this look like it’s about a PII database?

        Rockefeller F funded originally back when it was at Yale and grounded in James Comer’s work. That wasn’t about PII either. I believe it is Eileen Rockefeller that is on the board still. doesn’t look like it’s about workforce readiness either. Notice the deceit is always about limiting the recognition on the bullseye of what student is internalizing to govern how they behave.

        Let’s not let the awful stories make us think that apart from the social agenda school is still about traditional subjects.

    • Notice this confession today that the Skills Agenda and Career Pathways are a rejection of the “free market”. It’s all a matter of government planning. Upravleniye indeed.

      On your link, these kids are being trained to be empathetic to every alternative agenda, except one of traditional morals. Then upset parents believe that something like Classical Education is actually synonymous with traditional, knowledge-focused, education when it is not.

    • Notice now that the techniques of Positive Psychology in the classroom are being treated as synonymous with “evidence-based policymaking” in education.

      That would be the relevant standard for funding under ESSA and the methods create ‘success’ as in the title.

      Of course we would like people not to get into this condition in the first place, so there is also the huge public health issue of promoting good mental health and preventing bad mental health which in particular takes you into schools. I think we have to have a very different philosophy of education in which schools are trying to help develop the character of children as much as their competence, and there are evident ways of doing that which are being developed and will have to be further developed. There are many ways in which our society could be improved which would lead to lower levels of mental illness. Less of this excessive emphasis on competition between people and more on cooperation, and so on. Some old causes are very relevant to the mental health question, as to other dimensions of human wellbeing.

      This too is special. If it works it virtual reality, the kids are being trained to try it out in real life.

    • Remember Flyvbjerg is from Denmark. It has been on my radar as the seminal research center for transformative learning it actually is. This is from the Danish Act of General Education of 1975, as updated in 1997. Clearly Denmark was ready to shift to the New Intl Economic Order ASAP soon after it was proclaimed by the UN in 73 or so.

      “The school must:
      –further the pupils’ acquisition and knowledge, skills, working methods and ways of expressing themselves and thus contribute to the all-round personal development of the individual pupil;

      –endeavour to create such opportunities for experience, industry and absorption that the pupils develop awareness, imagination and an urge to learn, so that they acquire confidence in their own possibilities and a background for forming independent judgements and for taking personal action;

      –prepare the pupils for active participation, joint responsibility, rights and duties in a society based on freedom and democracy.”

      That latter is their euphemism for the Marxian Human Development Society as “historic materialism must maintain that these very structures [human structures of experience–action, thought, feelings,perception] must be seen as dependent on history, on the encounter of humans with external nature, as it is here and now.”

      I really do have an extraordinary library at this point. Both of those quotes were from the same book and it is something I started as I tied it to what is being called High-Quality PBL here and what it traces to. See why we must have transformative education?

      After I wrote this post, another of my kids was hit by an irresponsible driver (her insurance company accepted liability almost immediately) and I have been dealing with the logistics of wrecked car, getting her into doctors, etc. Please keep us in mind.

  3. Across the miles, if there was anything I could do to help, I would. At this stage, however, the best is my prayers and encouragement to stay strong and committed. One big reason why educators can get away with intrusions into parental domain is the reality that parent priorities lie with their own children first. Vigilance about schools is often shunted aside. Stay strong and know that your dedication is assuredly going to result in positive results.

    • I had not seen that article, but I had been paying attention to the legislation. Dr Effrem is simply wrong to treat ‘student level’ data and PII as synonymous. That doesn’t make this information gathering OK, but I have worked with this enough to recognize that much of the PII Narrative is a Red Herring to take parents’ attention away from Tranzi OBE. We covered that some in the previous post about the deceit surrounding the Student Data Privacy Toolkit.

      This is from yesterday on Personalized Learning. It doesn’t need PII to work, but it does need student level data. Also notice the confession and the graphic that Caro; Dweck’s Growth Mindset and Angela Duckworth’s Grit are simply updates of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development. Relevant to this post, this is when neurobiological changes within the student occur that amount to rewiring the brain in desired ways. We can see why the narrative prefers to talk about PII since they want that rewired brain too. It doesn’t strike me as a very Godly way to get faithful congregants.

      It turns out the Bradley Foundation funded a New Citizenship Project back in the 90s and I have been reading the books that came out of that while sitting in various waiting rooms. It certainly puts the links to the Jubilee Centre now and all this PII deceit into perspective. Given our conversations around HIAP (Health in All Policies) and AISP (Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy), yesterday another related acronym came my way. The EPA turns out to have a Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program, first enacted in 1995, to address environmental and human health problems. Once again science is more social and behavioral than chemistry. In fact the feds turn out to use an acronym SBS because of their fondness for trying to use the social and behavioral sciences to steer us. laid out an RFI currently outstanding on making SBS more ‘scientific’. Did you know all that the term ‘civil society’ is the 21st century update to what was previously called the ‘welfare state’? Did you realize all these books insist it’s not totalitarian for governments to use schools and churches to psychologically manipulate and rearrange the internalized perceptions of ‘citizens’ so we recognize our communitarian responsibilities to each other?

      Or that the new purpose of higher education is to be “establishing the connection of engagement in the development of an integrated self, capable of agency, serving both self-interest and the public good; expressed in flourishing, persistence and identity formation”? With a Civic Purpose defined as “a reciprocal relationship with human and natural community that respects and values the integrity and maintenance of the ‘other'”.

      Gee, hopefully people are not borrowing to cover THAT. Hopefully today will be the day there are no logistics for me to handle so I can get back in the frame of mind to write. I certainly understand better though why there is such a push to make PII the point of parents’ concern and student unit records. It keeps the real points of interest throughout education and the coordinated complicity described in these books off parents’ radars. They are certainly on mine though. I have also found why I have had no choice but to confront the repeated appearance of institutions of faith in this story. A U-Penn prof who had worked for Bush 43 told me in his book yesterday and then I tracked it back to just before Bush 41 became the Republican nominee and then I found a full copy of the document including all the signatures uploaded in January 2015 in case anyone wants to question its continued pertinence.

      We will talk about that next as it is a Who’s Who and was clearly drafted by someone who knew the MH template and that the Berlin Wall would be magically coming down the following year. Big puzzle piece in other words that fits with the Harlan Cleveland work from the same time described in CtD.

      • ARG!!!!

        ” Did you know all that the term ‘civil society’ is the 21st century update to what was previously called the ‘welfare state’?”

        The ( new, redefined) Civil Society as a term has been tossed around willy nilly for close to a decade now by erstwhile intellectuals and academics .The way they use the term has always sounded so Orwellian to me and when I press for clarification not a one of them is ever able to define the meaning adequately. Or perhaps until now each has simply chosen to obfuscate.

        • Then aren’t we glad I have this fine library now of what gets cited in the footnotes of the pertinent documents? Don Eberly, who wrote Building a Community of Citizens which also has an essay by Mr Cooperative Commonwealth and President Obama’s favorite community organizer, Harry Boyte, wrote the first essay “The Quest for a Civil Society”. He also worked for Bush 43.

          He says “chief among the objectives of this [civil society] movement will be forging a new consensus on the basic values upon which a free society rests. Citizens and leaders from all sectors of society will be needed to rebuild American greatness around the tripod of character, community, and culture.” No wonder Amitai Etzioni’s work popped up when I first encountered a Positive School Climate mandate back in 2012.

          Eberly also insists that “The objective of ethical renewal is the renewal of people and their social institutions, not just government.” Sponsored by people who have been lying to us about what they are up to in the name of education and frequently investing in the designated providers of the new vision.

          One last quote: “The citizen in a liberal society is one who can rise above purely private calculation that comes with competitive individualism and can dwell cooperatively in community.”

          I bolded the adverbs used in another passage to point out what this balance of ordered freedom and society really mean. We get to be subordinated but not wholly or entirely submerged nor totally subjugated.

          If you notice Coretta Scott King and Ted Kennedy were both signatories. I don’t think this is what “Free at Last” actually meant, nor do I want mandatory values and character lectures from someone who left a poor girl to drown rather than admit he was a playboy. The heads of both the Dem and Rep party. Dukakis just before he was nominated when he still headed NGA. Bill Bennett who still did not mention the existence of Project Education Reform : Time for Results. The heads of Cato, Heritage, and AEI.

          I was afraid if I provided a hot link it would be down in a heart beat. Even authors of the charter fail to mention it in subsequent writing.

          • I, too, am grateful for the insight that “civil society” is being used as an alternative term for “welfare state”. How less threatening that sounds!

            I think this news story in my local paper yesterday illustrates how the welfare state grows. The story starts out humorously, but . . .

            “As there is only one sun in the sky, perhaps there should be only a single trash collector in the City of North Vancouver.” The story continues that the councillors voted unanimously to investigate the city’s take over of garbage collection from condos and apartments as they do now for single-family dwellings. As the story goes, this is all in the name of alleviating noise and traffic from these multi-unit buildings, which contract privately for services. Isn’t that how the growth of the state happens — for the common good, for civil society?

    • Notice how much the revised definition of federalism and emphasis on the local actually plays into the UN’s 2030 agenda. This just took place.

      Also notice the reference to ‘spheres of government’. The term ‘sphere sovereignty’ is a huge component of relying on faith=based institutions as a partial, but essential, component of achieving the MH vision. It all also starts at the internalized, biological level of the human being.

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