Truly Effective Teaching Involves the Awakening of All Three: Heart, Mind and the Soul

The graphic levels of personal, psychological, manipulation laid out in the Chapter on “Whole Systems Thinking in Education and Learning” (from the same source as the Change the Filtering Mindset from the last post) sent me scurrying for a way to put what was going on into perspective. It fits too well with what was being pushed in the name of Transformational Outcomes Based Education in the 90s for me to pretend “Oh No, they do not really mean that.” It fits with the actual PBIS/Social and Emotional/Deep Learning Emphasis of the CCSSI classroom implementation I have been profiling for months.

This is the reality, folks, and the prevailing belief is that no one in the US or elsewhere in the West can stop Transformative Noetic Change now–both within individual students and culturally for entire societies. If this were a science fiction movie, this would be the point where the female heroine whispered to the sound of thundering hoofs and gathering clouds of dust that “They are coming.”

Who is they? Why a modern day class of what the Soviets called the Nomenklatura, politicians, bureaucrats, hangers-on, and Crony Businesses all wanting to either live at taxpayer expense or have access to the privileges and protections of an aggressive regulatory state. People, this is the historic norm. The norm of a lack of individual personal freedom that parts of the world for a few hundred years in human history managed to put behind them. Until the uniqueness of this way of living became taken for granted like a Legacy Trust Fund that had always provided and every one ceased to learn the habits of mind that had made it possible in the first place.

That we are looking at a massive act of Global Social Engineering is not news to me but it may be news to you. My scurrying for history though this time took me to 1942 and Anthropologist Margaret Mead and the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion.  There I got an open acknowledgement, decades old, of an intention to use the Social Sciences, what she calls the “recipes of science” and her concern, sort of, over the implications:

“to manipulate people, we shall arrive at a totalitarian rather than a democratic system of life.”

See I am not being hyperboliic in imagining these Aspirations as the essence of what traditionally merited the phrase Totalitarian. Margaret Mead herself said the “plans for altering our present culture” by using the social sciences as “experimental material” commits us “to the manipulation of persons, and therefore to the negation of democracy.”

If it negated it in the perilous times of 1942 when the essence of Totalitarianism was well-known and a daily reality, it still does in 2012. By the way, Mead’s answer was not to reject the manipulation via Social Sciences, like Pedagogy, but rather to stress the Values of  the Means Used rather than the Ends sought in some desired Blueprint of Change. So instead of emphasizing the known Fair Shares Society of Goodwin Liu and Social Citizenship or the Future Earth Alliance as the End, we get the Value of educating every student equally, a Means. No less Manipulation. Still Social Engineering. What we call a Distinction without a Real Difference. Mags, this Means-End distinction given the Totality of the intended Social, Political, and Economic Transformation may have made you feel better in 1942. But we are still dealing with what you recognized  as the “negation of the moral autonomy of the human spirit.”

I am now back in the 90s and the 21st Century with a quote on how to gain Transformative Individual Change in Students in order to drive “the shift in society as a whole” via education. This is a long quote with my snark in brackets to remind you we are already dealing with all these described dimensions. Italics in original quote.

“Learning should involve ‘three awakenings of the mind, the heart and the soul (if) truly effective teaching’ is to take place . . .learning can involve the cognitive dimension (which is traditionally seen as the core of teaching) which involves the intellect; the affective dimension, when intellectual knowing moves to a personal and connected [Relevant as in Willard Daggett’s Relevance makes Rigor Possible] knowing involving the emotions [which is why we hear the term “engaging the student” over and over again now and why Spence Rogers’ PEAK teacher training materials keep mentioning targeting the feelings of the students]; an existential dimension where students are faced with questioning their values and ways of living and with the challenge of the reconstruction of their own sense of self [this is what is meant by the euphemisms of Challenging and Rigorous and Higher-Order Thinking that make parents of Gifted Students falsely believe their Child will get the Academic Knowledge that is fast becoming Forbidden as bolstering the Independent Axemaker logical Mind]; an empowerment dimension, which, if the existential crisis is resolved, involves a sense of responsibility, commitment and direction [College and Career Ready’s Real Definition bound up in Amitai Etzioni’s Communitarianism?]; and an action dimension, [Isn’t that John Dewey’s definition of the religious achieved through education?], which, if the questions raised by the first four dimensions have been resolved, involves the development of informed choices at personal, social, and political levels.”

Programmed via Peter Senge’s Systems Thinking and holistic intervention via the classroom on how to handle yourself politically? An Inculcated Mandate for Altruism and the Common Good with little ability to discern whether the assigned definition really makes Long-Term Sense? I really did go look up brainwashing in two different dictionaries after reading these plans. And the only thing good about having a child in a high school and district seeking to be a leader in this Transformational Educational Change template in the US is I personally recognize hearing the plans for every last one of those dimensions. I am not in the faces of the Gypsy Principal and Super only because I have bigger plans for this information. To tell you, concerned parents and taxpayers (and quite a few teachers who still want to teach real content) all over the world, what is coming and why.

Before I finish with the rest of the quoted plans, the blogosphere started noticing the real Common Core implementation this week in this story Good. They are rightfully concerned with the federal government dictating to schools that a certain percentage of high school reading has to be Nonfiction. The story accurately recognizes that this mandate will lend itself to political propaganda in the classroom. Yes, absolutely, and that’s the whole idea. Especially readings that engage Heart and Soul in a compelling manner so that the instilled Beliefs substitute for Rational, fact-based Thought.

Imagine if the concerned parents and taxpayers outraged over the nonfiction mandate fully appreciated the story we have been uncovering? Or the intention in the next paragraph after the five dimensions I just described to use Joanna Macy’s despair work on students. Now won’t a federal Nonfiction mandate come in handy when you already intend to have students “engage with their feelings and pain for the world in order to reconnect with it“? The official recognition by the Credentialed Transformational Schemers that “a true sense of empowerment must come from both the head and heart.”

Well, they left out the Soul that time in the quote but not because there has been any reconsideration of what we saw in previous posts. Wait until I explain in the next post how the government would just like to have a monopoly on Values and sees the promotion of Religious Pluralism, officially sanctioned now of course, as the best way to get to get there.

If I were a fiction writer with a soaring Imagination, I could never come up with a story that rivals merely reporting the Facts on what is really going on via Education. Well-hidden facts to be sure but Verifiable nevertheless.

12 thoughts on “Truly Effective Teaching Involves the Awakening of All Three: Heart, Mind and the Soul

  1. Here is a clear view from the California “Ed” establishment. Pretty clear Barbara Simpson understands but does the population? Heck no.

    I remember reading, about 3 years ago, still teaching in FL, that our county reps were headed to Tallahassee to fight the RTTT grant $$$ that Gov Rick Scott had his knickers in a wad about. Our county was not thrilled so they went to fight. I never heard anything more about it. They returned quietly, tails between their legs, and onward we went. Things only got worse. The new 3 Rs in place, we marched on to doom. I retired and I hear the requirements, for teachers not students, of course, are only getting worse. The perky new young ones are losing their perk, and others are just planning to get out. Good luck with those job hunts folks. Don’t stop now Robin.

    • One of the reasons for incorporating more reading and writing into math and science comes from the refusal to teach reading properly in the first place.

      Accountable Talk is one name for it but basically the students need to be able to recognize certain designated concepts in print. Usually politically useful ones. And in context.

      Plus it lays the ground work for more interdisciplinary work in the future to move away from particular content areas.

      You can be sure the move will occur long before it is acknowledged with a course name change.

      • Incorporating reading and writing in math is a great idea. It’s been done in the past through word problems, and the way it is now, most kids will tell you they hate word problems and feel uncomfortable tackling them.

        How often in life will you come across a situation where you need to find x if 5x+15=95. Kids can solve this easily, but if given a real-life scenario and asked to explain how to get the answer, their eyes will glaze over. Teaching the skill is necessary and is not neglected in common core, but extending the skill is vital. The reason for the reading/writing emphasis is not to introduce new reading strategies, but to teach math in a way that mimics real life.

        • The math curriculum I have seen for the Common Core does not fit your description.

          We can have a discussion on the Common Core math curriculum. But first what do you mean by extending the skill?

          And why is the extension vital?

          And you are contradicting a lot of authorities I have documented on the purpose of incorporating vocabulary.

          Math is a symbolic system. How do you teach it in a way that mirrors real life? When my kids were little and got to first grade respectively, we would sit on the floor in the foyer with $10 worth of pennies. And work with them and then substitute dimes and dollars. They got that working with ones was a nuisance but the piles of pennies made the substitution for the easier symbol real in terms of what it represented.

          That’s how I taught in a way that mimiced real life.

          I am not disputing you think you have a better way. Can you please be more specific?

          I have not talked much about math on the blog apart from pointing out the discomfort with its promotion of abstract, symbolic, noncontextual, logical, sequential reasoning. It helps create the Axemaker Mind. Which is to no longer be allowed or at least minimized.

          But we can talk about math. I know that story too. Well documented.

  2. “Before I finish with the rest of the quoted plans, the blogosphere started noticing the real Common Core implementation this week in this story Good.”

    It is beginning to filter out into the conservative intellectual movement to a greater extent and make an impact. Heritage has perked their ears up on these issues just as we speak (or post).

    • Thanks Loran.

      Let’s just say it has been a busy week in terms of traffic. In particular the last several posts seem to be resonating with teachers who did not think what they were being asked to do made sense.

      Now it makes sense even if they are horrified about what they are being asked to be a part of.

      Next post should help. I located a document that I knew was important but had not been able to locate. Now I know why it remained under lock and key for so long. It will help us put even more perspective on what is being sought.

      Hint: How would you like knowing that what you are being asked to be part of at your school was precisely the same reforms sought by the North Vietnamese in the early 70s once they gained political control over a geographic area?

      Who says history has to be dull? I think that’s just an attempt to get us to ignore its lessons.

  3. Steiner. That’s the way to go. Intent – to produce free and responsible human beings. Which, in my experience (I have four adult children, 29 to 37) who were, in their phrase, “Steinerised”, it does. Free spirits.

    Great website. I’m in the UK, but we are having much the same manifestations as you write about. Common Core is here too. Agenda 21 has inserted itself into all levels of local government, yet nobody has even heard of it. Tell people that world government is on the way, and they back off, and wonder if you missed your meds.

    • Hi Jeremy-Good to hear from you. Yes, the UK is quite far along. Michael Barber hired the former State School Super and having met and talked to her several times I assumed whoever he was he was looking for a frontperson.

      Looking into what he had been pushing in the UK taught me much about what was going on there and how it ties to the broader UN agenda. Which is also where Agenda 21 comes in.

      Actually they take great pride that as long as there is no world parliament, we will not notice the active coordination around the same blueprints. We noticed though.

      My research says that the higher ed initiative globally is the farthest along in the UK and the Scandinavian countries. We also seem to be going towards a Qualifications Framework approach to who gets jobs in a government centered economy.

      Hope to hear more from you. When Al Gore lost in 2000, the UK went ahead with the type of reforms we are know getting. And in Australia it is called the Core Skills Framework.

      I used to be General Counsel of a company with a UK sub so I have spent much time over there.

      • Robin,

        More to follow. Found you via Chiefio’s immensely erudite website! Just been watching Charlotte Isserbyt on the Dumbing Down of American Education. Spot on. My ex and I sent all our four (now adult – 29 to 37) kidsto Steiner Schools to ensure they remained free spirits. These are crucial times. Also reading Oswald Spengler’s “The Decline of the Western World”, which predicts what is happening – at a very high, philosophical level. A contemporary of Steiner’s, indeed, Steiner stated way back that the end of the 20th Century would see a fearsome onslaught by materialism and humanism.

        Got to go cook supper. Good to hook up. We all have a fight on our hands.

    • I watched and read Charlotte Iserbyt about two years ago right after I heard a district school super in a meeting in the State Board of Education building say something that first tipped me off that the Common Core was outcomes based education all over again with a new name. I started investigating OBE in earnest. I had never heard of Benjamin Bloom or Spady at that point. Charlotte’s documents and primary sources helped me begin to understand what the essence of OBE is whatever it is calling itself. Or despite being broken into dovetailed pieces which is what is going on in the US now.

      Did you know I have chased the term Transformational Outcomes Based education all over the globe and to about the same time? Early 90s. From the Values and Vocational post, I eventually pinned the genesis on that 1989 UNESCO document and now the one from the early 70s I wrote about on Friday.

      Since you came from Chiefio’s blog, you should look into the UN Conference on the Human Environment that took place in Sweden in 1972. It really kicks off what becomes known as Sustainability back when any environmental catastrophe model would do if it provided an excuse for government meddling and crony rent seeking. It is also the conference that created UNEP.

      The systems thinking posts where I talk about what Peter Senge is pushing are important too as he and Otto Scharmer are well connected to what the NGOs and UN are pushing and many of the big corporations pushing things like that Breakthrough Capitalism conference in London last May. They would rather politicians award them revnue and protect their current markets than have to compete with a superior product on price and consumer preference. That’s the difference between real free markets and Crony or Dirigiste Capitalism. It gets rigged for political favorites. is a post you should see along with the next one on appreciating how education and climate and the business cronyism all fit. On that note as an aside, I have written about Mott MacDonald and how its subsidiary, Cambridge Education, is now pushing the you may not teach model all over the world. Also suggest looking at the new economics foundation’s work, especially now that they have Ford Foundation support for the Global Transitions 2012 work.

      The UK Natural Environment Research Council is the co-partner with the US National Science Foundation in the Belmont Forum. The Future Earth Alliance is scheduled to go live in 2013 to actually begin the process of operationally seeking to transform minds and economies. The schedule in the documents says by 2020.

      The Happiness and Wellbeing push globally also ties into this transform the purpose of life and the vision everyone seeks to create focus. I joke FEA sounds like someone should have a cape and tights but that really is the name. It runs out of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme in Sweden. Gosh, the same place as that 1972 conference.

      Sorry I was delayed from getting back to you. Between exams and a kid just home from college, my kids are intent on diverting my attention. Enjoy your holidays as well.

      • Robin,

        Thanks for that. Lots of grist for the mill. I was actually of the Left in the Uk for many years; not a political beast in any sense, rather a 60s hippy – many of my college mates at Oxford were in hard left groups, but frankly it bored the tits off me! I voted Labour as I thought that they best represented the interests of the common man. New Labour, trailing clouds of what I was later to realise to be Cultural Marxism (they were all my generation, Blair, Brown and co.) made me realise how wrong I was, and that Socialism is in fact evil. I’m retired now after a long career in IT working on specialist Library Systems for customers like Oxford Uni and Trinity College Dublin. Loved the work, but a PE takeover of our company, and the first manager in 25 years who clearly did not like me (I would tell him if I thought what he wanted us to do would not work, and he didn’t like it), and just as I was about to walk, I got redundancy and a reasonable pay off.

        So with lots of time on my hands to read, and the blogospher taking off, it was not long before I sussed that I an and was a Libertarian at heart. My years of Steiner education (I was very involved in the school in Bristol) which was the first in the UK that was not a formal private fee-paying school – parents negotiate with the school as to what they could pay, and no child was turned away) gave me a deep interest in education, and a growing horror at what was happening in state education in the UK. We’ve destroyed what was truly a world class state education system in less than fifty years, and it is ideology that has destroyed it.

        So it’s really good to hook up with people fighting the good fight in other countries. One thing the new Conservative govt. has done (and mostly they are hopeless) is to enable what are called Free Schools, started by parents, free of state control, but state funded. Hence we now have three such Steiner Schools in the UK with more in the pipeline. One has just opened where we live, in Frome, Somerset, and I’m happy to have played a part in bringing that about.

        Cheers – will read your links. Great blog – kudos to you.

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