True Norths, Steerable Rudders, Heuristics Control, and Circumscribed Minds

Now that we have finished that Trilogy, let’s put the parts together since I happen to have explaining that this vision of ‘education and action learning’ can generate ‘shared understandings’ that will become the “building blocks for a new DNA of thriving democracy” and the “conscious evolution of our social systems.” That’s why Learn Liberty from the last post and its “Heuristics” video call for “Intellectual Humility” euphemized the same type of sought change. Instead, we are instructed to  begin “recognizing the flawed nature of [our] thinking [as] a bold first step to challenging it” and “be humble about our views.” Yet those of us paying attention will recognize this aim as functioning just like Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset as something all 21st century students globally should now have.

The part the admitted transformationalists via ed, and the purported “How to Think” School Choice ‘conservatives’, leave out is that they are both interested in creating what that Democratic Innovation blueprint called “Inner Work, self and meta-reflection as core competencies for a new OS.” If OS is not yet a recognized acronym in your busy life, it stands for Operating System just like your computer. That’s right. In the name of social and political change, your child’s very hardware and operating software, also known as their mind and personality, along with the biological brain and the central nervous system that embody both, are being targeted. Why? Because “we need to grow as human beings” and “develop a vision and an understanding of who we are and how we can internally host the rapid changes and become self-aware participants in the current transformation process.”

Hard not to visualize some of those marching Parkland or other high school students reading that passage, isn’t it? That blueprint included a quote from a name, Roberto Unger, who I recognized as a Harvard law prof [see tag] and it turned out he had written his vision of education in a book called The Religion of the Future. I think he is interested in a new Operating System as well, see what you think:

“In a free society, the individual has the educational equipment, as well as the economic and political occasion, to cross the frontier between the activities that take the framework for granted and those that bring it into question. He has been educated in a way that enables the mind as imagination to become ascendent over the mind as machine. He has learned to philosophize by acting [Parkland again and ‘action learning’ generally], in the sense that he recognizes in every project the seed of some great or small reformation. The practices of society and of culture multiply opportunities for the affirmation of this preeminence of the mind as imagination over the mind as a formulaic device.”

The “mind as imagination” is likely humble in its views and that ‘formulaic device’ slur sounds much like the Fixed Mindset insult or the supposedly discredited Axemaker Mind, doesn’t it? There turns out to be quite the consistence between the admitted Left and the supposed Right in the new kind of thinking and internalized OS each is pushing in the name of K-12 education. The better to get to a dialectical Convergence apparently. It all aligns with the Idea-centric vision we saw with History Matters, Thinking Like a Historian, and the News Literacy Project. All these curricula create internalized “shared understandings” that can be used to “design impactful projects and policies” so that “the political system can be transformed in such a way that we can adequately deal with our current environmental, social and ethical challenges and create the kind of world we want to live in.”

That willingness to transform needs new values and Ideas. Unger called it–“our vision of who we are and what we can hope for.” It also requires a willingness to be malleable in our dealings with other people–Intellectual Humility. All of these can be accomplished stealthily by what gets euphemistically hyped as “personalized learning,” or High Quality Project-Based Learning, to use just two current examples of what gets billed as “educational innovation”. Underneath though is what Unger confessed was a needed “reorientation of personal experience…and reconstruction of institutional arrangements, as well as with the radical changes of conception, attitude, and practice that such a combination requires.”

Values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors need to be targeted for change to create the sought new OS for each individual, not because they are the basis for an existing OS’s database of PII. Ideas are a useful vehicle to be the new definition of 21st century knowledge because, as Unger admitted, what is really being sought is a “revolution in human affairs”. That, in turn, requires “both change in consciousness and change in institutions…[where] no simple division exists between the religious and the political spheres of life.”

That quote certainly explains why every type of K-12 education now pushes a Tranzi OBE vision, doesn’t it? At stake are “attempts to influence our ideas about the possible and desirable forms of human association in each domain of social life.” Action learning instead of lectures makes sense for a change in classroom practice in this transformative vision when it is “the ideas we act out in our relations to one another [that] must, more than the ones we profess, be the object of concern.” Weigel was calling for much the same change when he emphasized that religion and education should create a properly cathected individual obedient to instilled values and Ideals. We have also seen this same aim pitched by creativity advocate John Raven as creating a ‘steerable rudder’ at the level of the mind and heart.

Without using the “M” word as I did in the last post, when Unger wrote of the need to “rely on institutional arrangements, established in law [good thing he is at Harvard Law, huh?], that restrain governmental or private oppression even as they secure a universal minimum of endowments to everyone,” it is still Uncle Karl’s ultimate vision he is describing. In the 21st century, preschool to higher ed are all being restructured to target the values and Ideas that guide an individual’s decisions and motivate his actions. This is all hidden for the most part and lied about by so many in the employ of think tanks and the media on all sides because we are no longer free NOT to “change our enacted beliefs about the possible and desirable forms of human association.” Education targets that internalized OS, as a government mandate from all levels enacted as a matter of law, precisely because this “effort to envisage and to establish a greater life for the common man” requires a new purpose for education.

That purpose necessitates new Ideas, practices, and arrangements that will, at a neural level, “bridge the gap between the personal and the political.” Hard to see though under euphemisms like Intellectual Humility, Excellence, or Quality Learning. All of these ultimately target what Unger said would be needed to get what he called Deep Freedom, a much more alluring phrase than that M word.

Having a Growth Mindset or Intellectual Humility as a prescribed goal makes sense if a vision of the future needs “many minds and many wills.” A focus on Ideas and Reading and Thinking like a Historian make sense if a desired transformation “evolves in historical, not in biographical, time.” Criticizing the “imperious, autonomous self” or insisting that students become “Hardwired to Connect” makes sense if one has a vision that “it is not within the purview of the individual, no matter how powerful, to direct.” Making the internalized changes to the student the goal of K-12 education makes sense, as so many of the Portrait of a Graduate or Positive School Climate visions now do, if the political and religious vision of the future relies on:

“a change in the conduct of life: a change of heart, a change of consciousness, a change in the orientation of existence.”

In other words, a new internalized OS. a/k/a student-centered learning.


14 thoughts on “True Norths, Steerable Rudders, Heuristics Control, and Circumscribed Minds

    • Funny as I have come to see think tanks as a vast conspiracy to mislead about the nature of the Ideas being pushed or how the major benefactors benefit.

      Did you see this vision right on cue? Notice the role of Ideas.

      “The coming decades will be critical for steering the global trajectory toward a just and sustainable world. Such an outcome will require a multifaceted global movement capable of driving transformative change in culture and institutions. Although this kind of movement does not yet exist, we can see it stirring in the efforts of myriad activists and organizations fighting for a better world and the ideas that inspire them to take action.”

      Plus, we have that word ‘thrive’ again. “Liberating human potential lies at the core of human rights. When the pioneering 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) speaks of freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from want and insecurity, it reflects a worldview in which blending the unique capacities of individuals into an interdependent whole lies at the heart of thriving societies.” That interdependent whole functioning as a system grounded in goals enshrined in law and a consciousness created via education appears to be what the Right and Left formally agree upon once the meaning of their rhetoric is scrutinized.

    • Did you see this? We covered HQPBL in this post. Notice the attention to setting goals and acting on them.

      Also, given Tom VanderArk’s role in GEFF 2035 and his work as an advisor to school districts like Fulton where I live, this quote of his puts the actual purpose of learning standrds into their true role: “The increasing concentration of income and wealth will make the civics of sharing –how communities and countries decide to share the wealth–the new determining factor for the quality of life of the next generation.”

      It always does come back to ed being the handservant for an infamous theory that cannot begin to imagine what actually created the wealth they intend to redistribute. What would someone like VanderArk know as he sucks his entire adult life from the teats of philanthropies like Gates and Carnegie and taxpayers. Think about that quote when he is touting Pavel Luksha’s work or the new Whittle School.

      This post from two days ago is the MH theory disguised with euphemisms.

    • Look at what FB is hosting this week and won’t this go well with Chan Zuckerburg financing youth finding their True North?

      Have to wonder if the siblings Hogg will be attending.

      Also turns out Ms Grit-Angela Duckworth–is really involved in seeking permanent behavior change.

      Watch this short video The Behavior Change for Good Initiative thinks humanity’s social problems in the 21st century are all solvable via behavior change so that we make better choices instinctually. Of course we are not the ones deciding what is better.

      Remember this is where AISP is located and Seligman with his Positive Neuroscience work. Video also shows this is tied to her Character Lab work. Not news to us here at ISC, but more admissions nonetheless.

      • Jane pilfers a great deal of my work in her public presentations to make herself appear to be an expert and then she uses the deference people pay to her as a supposed expert to lead people astray as she did in the APP/Pioneer reports on Big Data and to garner support for the Catholic Curriculum Frameworks. It’s really tacky when she uses footnoted material from Credentialed to Destroy down to the exact page with no credit to my book and then misinterprets the material to create a false narrative. I am probably the only one who knows the material well enough to see when something is a deliberate lie.

        I am working on this this morning. and if you delete the references to STEM learning and environments and simply note that the false narratives about the Common Core, SEL, or competency-based ed or, in the case of Cheri Kiesecker with Michelle Malkin pimping for her as she once did for Glenn Beck in the work on Project Unicorn, all these think tanks and supposedly conservative media sites want to also fix our ‘cognitive holes’. They want to provide our understanding of an issue and have us trust their spin and not notice when it is wrong and what they are trying to direct us away from. They want to use the cybernetic model without that being perceived and without our recognizing when something is a Guiding Fiction designed to create a Convergence with what the Left at least admits it seeks via education–a New Humanism as unesco calls it.

        That is what I have been working on recently. To make sure I have crossed my ‘i’s and dotted my ‘t’s’ before really getting into what has really been going on.

        Did you know the Bradley Foundation is a huge source of funding for National Review? I looked it up after the deceit of that Malkin piece. No wonder they ran it to misdirect people’s concerns.

        • I’ll never forget the first time I heard of the PROMISE program. It was Robin who quickly brought to our attention how this program may have had shortcomings that might account for this school shooting tragedy of Feb 14, Broward County, Florida (Feb 21 ISC post). The link provided brought information about the program, which was overwhelming!

          I could read a lot of the information at that time, but today am somehow unable to connect. Nonetheless, I made some notes just to remind myself that such mind-boggling programs could exist. This is some of the material that one could read:

          • Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline 10/16
          • PROMISE Flyer
          • Infraction Matrix
          • Juvenile Justice System of Care (JJSC) Flyer
          • Restorative Justice Flyer (Victim Services)PROMISE Flyer
          • Victim Rights Brochure

          The Collaborative Agreement itself was 33 legal pages between 14 agencies. I did read enough of the items about “victims” to realize that offending students were somehow called “victims”. I picked this up from one of the flyers:

          “WHAT SUPPORTS ARE THERE FOR VICTIMS? With the consent and active participation of the student, each victim is referred to on campus/community resources that offer immediate crisis intervention and initial support, as well as information and/or remedy to meet the student’s specific immediate and ongoing needs . . . This approach focuses on the situation as being the problem rather than the individual being the problem. PROMISE also includes components that help to safeguard the rights of victims so their voices may be heard, their choices valued, reconciliation occurs, and further victimization is avoided.”

          How ironic indeed! This student, Kenneth Preston, who is now calling for a full investigation “to uncover factors and individuals who share blame in the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas” is trying to gain some justice for the 17 killed and many wounded victims. It’s really bewildering when the term “victim” is so loosely used in two very opposite ways for the same violent case.

      • The graphic was intended to be the alarming image, yet that same image is typically used by personalized learning advocates to show how competency-based ed eventually gets different learners to a common shared understanding. That’s what all the deceit surrounding the Common Core and SEL and now Project Unicorn all obscure. That’s not an accident and then to turn around a complain that parents have not consented would be laughable if the stakes were not so high.

        It is about changing behavior and personalities as I have documnted fully, but consent and GDPR will not alter that reality in the least. In fact, with MS and SAS, so involved with learning standards, to now be helping schools with their GDPR compliance and offering up their proprietary servers as the solution makes the Upravleniye aspects all the worse. Out of the kettle and into the fire, with parents none the better informed about how learner analytics work or why the Common Core really needed to be copyrighted.

        There is a very strange line in there about “Can they mold students to be passive, uncritical receptors of information–information carefully monitored by the same corporations or government?” That’s precisely what think tanks do as well and the same philanthropies that fund an Encounter Books with its misleading work on ed or APP that employs Jane to write these types of articles or testify before Congress on evidence-based policymaking or write books about the administrative state.

        Then the alternative to the Strawman created in that line is the same inquiry approach that IB pushes and High Tech High and this graphic from New Zealand. Compare think like a scientist to thinking and reading like a historian and the desired categories of thought all sides want to instill as the receiver/transducer becomes clear. It’s how learning standards are designed to work anywhere in the world.

        It also ties into the Freedom Center suddenly pushing the need to teach students how to think critically in their Indoctrination/ Code of Ethics campaign. That’s what Richard Paul and Robert Marzano pushed as well and Arthur Costa as a type of creativity. See the convergence past all the clouds of deceit and varying nomenclature?

        • If Costa is a new name this will help.

          Notice that Robbins and Effrem, while decrying attempts to mold minds and personalities, end up encouraging the manipulation of students and schools to be making Costa’s Level 3, their focus.

          Note a shock as I read that a Koch-funded charter school just opening up was pushing active inquiry learning using projects. It’s the same template, which is why there’s a need to get parents upset so they flee into an alternative that is still, rightfully analyzed in terms of practices required and curriculum used, pushing the same aim. Lied to parents will never recognize that.

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