If Reality is Ignored or Disregarded, When Do We Become a State Against Its People?

The natural science world is currently abuzz over a paper by Anthony Watts of the website Watts Up With That released Sunday, July 29, that shows that untainted temperature data reveals very little actual global warming. Certainly nothing unusual. The warming cited to justify all this redesigning of education, the economy, and societies all over the West appears to be coming from tainted, poorly located, sites like airports or parking lots. Then NOAA, a US federal science(?) agency, that clearly takes its work on behalf of the US Global Change Research Program  http://library.globalchange.gov/u-s-global-change-research-program-strategic-plan-2012-2021 as a mandate to create global change whatever the actual temperatures or the causes of any increases, skews everything upward again. Making modelling a truly terrible substitute for reality. You see, the Watts paper shows NOAA adjusted the well-sited increases by a factor of about 3 times. Creativity to Create a Sense of Crisis is probably an apt description for these apparent shenanigans.

Now this might just be a scandal among science insiders if we did not also have documented social change transformation aspirations like the Belmont Challenge and the Future Earth Alliance and now that USGCRP 2012-2021 report that looks suspiciously just like the US operating plans and the same time line for implementing the Belmont Challenge in the US. Let’s see,  the definition of “Advance Science” being used in that report says it is to integrate “natural and human components of the Earth system.” Well, being a human component sounds a bit better than being a sociotechnical system from another federal report cited in the July 27 story but it is not much of an improvement. We still have federal agencies and federal funding going to destroy the historic concept of the individual that Western civilization was built on. Quite successfully and prosperously I might add.

USGCRP, according to Mark McCaffrey of CIRES in Boulder, was “known as the Climate Change Research Program or CCSP during the George W. Bush era” when its work was limited to physical science and modelling. Apparently the Obama Administration had much more ambitious plans for climate change and redesigning an economy and American citizens around Sustainability as we have been discussing all summer. So what changed? Well McCaffrey maligns CCSP because it gave “marginal lip service and no funding to social science, education and communication efforts or research.” Instead, the Obama Administration created UNGCRP to be:

“a robust inter-agency effort with international links that now considers social science and effective education and communication to be integral to addressing global change.”

Do you think that’s a typo? It doesn’t say climate change. It says global change. Is that a recognition that AGW was always just a ruse? Well, we know where the international links come from because the Interagency Climate Change task force has the NSF Directorate for Geosciences that is also one of the managing partners of the Belmont Forum. We have the NOAA Climate Program. A desire for a rationale for global social and economic change around Sustainability might explain that determination to find warming no matter what. Finally, the 3rd member of the Global Change triumvirate is listed as the NASA Earth Science Education Science Mission Directorate.I guess someone wanted to reaffirm we are dealing with Capital S Science there. Never a good sign.

All three of these agencies currently report to John Holdren who was a co-author in the past with Paul Ehrlich who wants us to have a new kind of mind. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/how-disabilities-law-is-already-being-used-to-gain-ehrlichs-new-mind-and-the-future-earth-economy/ I am thinking all that new emphasis on the social sciences and education might make handy tools and weapons to gain new, non-Axemaker, minds. As a brief aside, US Senators weighing their vote on that UN Treaty ought to remember the UN now considers education to be their primary policy instrument too.

If the actual measured untainted temperatures show little actual global warming, government officials and the grant seeking professorate class seem to adjust upwards anyway. If a whole word sight dominant reading program shows poor results, you increase the training fees and expand the schools and districts that must use it. If the social and emotional learning emphasis of Outcomes-Based Education has a tragic history since it is deliberate psychological manipulation of pliable minds, you rename it and expand the implementation to a national commitment.

Those are all signs of a political ideology being forced without consent on young minds, businesses, citizens, a whole country. The planet that is supposed to be having an emergency. When you refuse to accept the results of experiments or observations of what works, that is the very definition of political dogma. Pretending it is actually Capital S Science will not change that underlying reality. An ideology systematically rejects empirical evidence. Power seeks to reject or transform reality.  I guess that is where the new robust emphasis on the social sciences and education and communication comes in. Transforming the reality of permitted human behaviors.

We saw the planned vision of consensus creating, managed communication in the July 27 post http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/ . We have been chronicling the manipulation of education all summer and the planned reliance on the regional accreditation agencies to act as the day to day enforcers on K-12 and higher ed of this political vision of education for global change.

That leaves the social sciences. Did you know pedagogy itself ceased to be about teaching the content and became a mixture of Marxist political theory masquerading as learning theory, Soviet psychological practices, and cultural anthropology and sociology theories about 25 years ago? It is the ultimate interdisciplinary social science. In a position to create those new non-Axemaker Minds. Especially in those insisting on being called Doctor or those who are Nationally Board Certified Teachers. Those Credentials really do not indicate what you thought. They were actively designed to gain access to positions for imposing political ideologies via education without constraint.

Education coupled with pedagogy, and a friendly cultivated media amenable to the desired communications to create political consensus, are indeed perfect methods for obtaining global change. To create an ideocracy. A country which determines what ideas are acceptable and what kind of minds are allowed. Subjugating knowledge to power has a long history. But only in countries where there is no actual personal liberty or economic freedom. Even if it still exists on paper and old textbooks.

Are we going to continue to allow education to be used to destroy the independence of the individual mind and other manifestations of liberty like private property and personal genuine excellence in our freely chosen pursuits?

It is still a rewriting of the essence of the US Constitution. Now it is out in the open. Please discuss passionately as the still-free individuals that you are. Without any compulsion to reach a consensus on this issue. You are not a subject under government control yet.

Oh Good Grief Now I Need to Know What a Noetic System is Because it is Under Attack?

Building on the theme of our previous post, the Axemaker’s Mind, that unique human ability to create a symbolic system of conceptual thought, is what enables people, at least some of them, “to transcend the immediate experience of his senses.” And the schemers who would like to rewrite the rules underlying societies and economies and agreed upon political systems do not like that capacity one bit. They want to squelch this “abstract attitude” that can create mental worlds that exist only in the privacy of a person’s imagination. Use education to attack and shut down this capability that:

“can conceive of alternative responses and weigh in his mind alternative consequences and then determine his future action.”

No. No. No. The powers that be may not be comfortable with the individual’s chosen action. It might, after all, be an innovation that destroys the current revenue stream of a most favorite campaign supporter. Since emotions and values drive human behaviors in the absence of a conscious, deliberate decision to mentally engage, those become primary targeted areas to cultivate and change and monitor. As we have been discussing in so many of these posts on Social and Emotional Learning.

How do I know? Have I told you about the importance of playing tiptoe through the supporting footnotes anytime you are tracking political or economic theories? Is there actual support for this or is it merely someone’s ‘druthers hoping for funding and a captive audience to research the theories on? One of my tiptoeing escapades led me to a very interesting book from 1961,  William Kapp’s Toward a Science of Man in Society. Interestingly enough, even though Kapp was an American professor, the book was published in the Netherlands. Perhaps because it laid out a vision for radically altering the structure of Western society. There seems to be quite the proclivity in education and social reform schemes to offshore the actual plans being relied on. Away from most prying eyes I suppose. At least before the days of the Internet.

Professor Kapp saw the noetic system as a key component of the social system along with kinship, production and distribution, and political systems.

“Since these four substructures are connected by a process of continuous interaction, it follows that modifications in one must lead to transformation of the whole.”

So if you are a stealthy politician or crony and do not want to actually push such a transformative scheme at the electoral ballot box or go to the trouble of rewriting fundamental documents like the US Constitution, you can still alter your country’s or the globe’s political systems by targeting kinship or control over economic production and distribution and consumption. That would certainly explain the communitarian push we have been documenting to replace the individual focus. “I am because we are” is certainly a big shift in kinship. Likewise, Sustainability and UNESCO’s Agenda 21 push and the Belmont Challenge are certainly direct attacks on our ability to produce, distribute, and consume.

That leaves the noetic system from the Greek word nous for mind. What makes noetic system an important concept to appreciate is its all-encompassing nature. It’s not just rational thought or the sequential, logical ability we called the Axemaker Mind in the previous post. It gets at beliefs, perceptions, feelings, attitudes, values, instincts, and anything and everything that might impact a person’s decision making and actions.

Anyone want to guess who Kapp credited with coming up with the term “noetic system”? Anybody think it might be important that the primary architect of UNESCO, Julian Huxley, was also credited by Kapp as naming the “shared and transmitted patterns of thought and science, law and morality, art and ritual . . . this pattern of conscious experience, thought, and purpose which provides the integrating bond between the individual members of society, man’s ‘noetic system?”

And they would like to disrupt the noetic system to get people to focus on each other and fixing all of society’s problems. I think UNESCO’s education policies we are seeing all over the globe make more sense once you appreciate this aim to attack the noetic system itself and

“specific capacities to learn and to transmit acquired experience and their ability not merely to adapt passively but to deal with their environment in a novel manner.”

Doesn’t that sound just like the concerns of Paul Ehrlich or John Holdren or James Burke? The limiting mindset to make the Earth a Small Planet of finite resources?  So politicians and accreditation agencies and UN bureaucrats and grant seeking professors in Climate Change or Schools of Education or anyone capable of incorporating Sustainability into their grant proposals and duplicitous school and district charters and Positive School Climate NCLB waivers or recently issued Executive Orders or the constant hyping of bullying are all just current examples of attacks on the noetic system of individual students and society itself.

The expressed political aspiration for all this attacking and reforming is “while social change and social processes may be slow, they are as a rule cumulative. . . Whereever they may originate, their effect will be felt throughout the entire social structure until a more or less radical transformation has taken place in the whole system of institutional arrangements of which human societies consist.”

We have UN agencies actively seeking that transformation using education and the environment as their primary tools. We have a US President who boasted of fundamentally transforming America if elected who seems to be doing everything he can and things he should not to get this Kapp/Huxley social change strategy in place. We have many cities and communities in the US and all over the world now that are thoroughly bound to implement the UN’s Agenda 21 Sustainable programs pushing us all towards urban areas and transit systems. If you think Agenda 21 is just an urban myth read a few UN reports where they actively brag that ICLEI and Agenda 21 initiatives make UN institutions the only entities in the world with both global reach and local reach.

We seem to be on lap 3 of a 4 lap mile race to this desired radical transformation all over the West. And scheming sprinters are breaking away from the pack as we speak. A huge reason policies and practices all over the West have become so warped away from free markets and the concept of the individual has been this inability to appreciate how much of the collectivist attack was created through assaulting our personal and collective noetic system. Like dirigiste and the politically driven centrally designed economy, the noetic system is a nerdy sounding word that hides concepts that we have to appreciate in order to protect them.

In time.

Note to Readers Looking for a Definition of Dirigisme:  If you go back to this May 10 post, you will see how I explain a Dirigiste Economy. I knew that understanding would be important to joining together all the different theories involved in this story. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-the-world-makes-far-more-sense-if-you-add-dirigisiste-to-the-things-you-understand/

The earlier post on May 9 explains how a mercantilist, government directed economy benefits the politically connected throughout history. But not the rest of us picking up the bill for the drinks and the party and the meetings at lovely places we can’t afford to visit at our own expense. At best a dirigiste economy is stagnant, as you can see from earlier posts, we are actually looking at an Industrial Policy trying to get people to accept redefinitions of prosperity around the elusive concept of Wellbeing for All. To reflect the planned lack of it, I suppose.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-adam-smith-write-a-book-explaining-why-this-is-a-bad-idea-back-in-1776/

Blending Sustainability and Education to Gain Arational, Nonlinear Minds and New Behaviors

For me, the US discussion over the Common Core national standards and content feels like a “Look Squirrel!” cry to redirect our attention from what is really going on. That’s partly because I track these education shifts globally and over time so I can see the actual template. More importantly, I think, is all the different subjects I track every day to catch how education fits into a much broader planned transformation. When you are also reading the planned economic and social changes that treat the economy and the environment as a co-dependent Ecosystem in need of governmental redesign around the declaration that “Spaceship Earth faces an ‘all hands on deck’ emergency”, you see the preferred redesign tool of education differently. Plus there are always multiple pages just on how to use education to create the desired values, attitudes, minds, and behaviors.

Likewise it is hard to pretend Common Core is about content when I read yet another report on creating this new Ecosystem. This time it refers to people, that’s you and me and all those captive students, and our behaviors, which ought to be free and based on personal decisions, as “sociotechnical systems.” That’s from this summer’s fun report on using the computer and IT industries to promote “greening through IT.”  It turns out that a different kind of future mind is key to the “massive cultural, social, political, and economic changes” self-interested politicians and bureaucrats and their Big Business allies are relying on for this lucrative for them planned redirection. I guess that gives new meaning to education for future citizenship. Really not about the Bill of Rights or why the Founding Fathers set up a republic and a federal system.

Following Paul Ehrlich’s co-author from the previous post on new mindedness,  I located a 1995 book, The Axemaker’s Gift, laying out the desire to move back to the “primitive” intuitive mind lost when certain humans began creating tools like axes or the phonetic alphabet. Or mathematical symbols and explanations for real-world phenomena. These inventions and innovations can create artificial private mental worlds or a means of artificially changing the environment. They also foster specialist knowledge that is not accessible to everyone. According to the book it is that rational, logical axemaker’s mind that created the modern world. And they do not like it one bit. The sequential, analytical mind that can create innovations like the ax or the printing press or the combustion engine is precisely what has been and is under attack. It certainly puts the so-called Reading Wars and Math Wars in a new light, doesn’t it?

Here’s the kind of thinking that the authors, James Burke and Robert Ornstein, defined as “arational” from our title and want to get us back to. They believe “axemaker gifts” unnaturally alter the environment and would like the developed West to shift back to a more natural relationship with the environment and self-sufficient economies that reject fossil fuels. Since we might not be willing to go along, the decision gets made for us by pushing initiatives like digital literacy and Competency and 21st Century Skills and Learner Outcomes in education, K-12 and higher ed, that have planned aspects the typical person is unlikely to appreciate. At least in time. In this vision “Knowledge would then be the experience of having traveled on the web.”  In case that dramatic statement is not enough, the computer will allow everyone access to information and data and “users’ would not need to ‘know’ anything.” It turns out that interacting with a computer if you have not yet developed an axemaker mind is conducive to never developing one.

I am not going to belabor the point now except to mention that some of the digital literacy advocates are simultaneously doing blurbs touting a successor to capitalism or that this new kind of thinking is for a more pastoral, desired mid-21st century future. Delivery of Common Core is being premised on all this IT technology being a primary platform for the student and their daily interactions at school. Advocates do not get to revel in the revenue potential of education and an economy centered on sustainability principles and then pretend this is just about individualizing education around the student’s interests. A suspect goal from the beginning if you ask me. So we are now aware of the real focus of these education reforms and we know what the consequences of previous attempts to plan economies and alter human minds has been. It’s not good.

The report “Computing Research for Sustainability” seems to assume that the problem with centrally planned and directed economies in the past has been an inability to grapple with all the relevant data for decision making. That computers can fix that problem and then model desired plans and acceptable behaviors. If it sounds Orwellian and delusional, it is. Or at least it is if you are in the Payor/manipulated class and not the Beneficiary or Manipulator class. I am going to quote from these plans for our future. I want you to recognize you are reading this post with an axemaker mind. You are imagining this scenario I am describing and plugging in your own life experiences to understand how disastrous it will be. You have more factual knowledge than virtually any teenager is getting from their education anymore. So imagine this planned approach for an intuitive mind trained to respond from emotion to visuals (that’s my snark in parentheses):

“suppose there was a network supporting online deliberation among scientists concerned with sustainability (So our future planners will be the grantmaking class that brought us ClimateGate) for developing key points, areas of strong consensus, areas of disagreement, and supporting evidence (does anyone recall a degree program that would equip anyone to do a good job at this? These arrogant grantees would not know what they do not know). Those deliberations would produce a sustainability action agenda that could be introduced to the public by means of interesting interactive environments designed to appeal to those of all ages. . . One highlight of this system would be a series of consensus news stories, perhaps on a weekly basis. These stories could be based on agenda items created by scientists and rated by public interest.”

We will only know what we are supposed to know to create a consensus for the already planned social and economic policies. And first and foremost to get to this imagined new future is to create new motivating values and a different mindset to filter experiences. So we get a new curriculum and new ways of measuring learning and different classroom activities in order to try to shift students away from logical, analytical, fact-filled minds that create their own conceptual understandings. That creates independence and really helps define each person’s individuality. If you wonder why these initiatives are going on all over the world now, apart from the UN and OECD and the green economy push, I think yet another report this week has more answers.

It declared that both advanced as well as emerging nations “are developing and pursuing policies and programs that are in many cases less constrained by ideological limitations on the role of government and and the concept of free market economics.

That’s the real reason new minds are needed. It’s the same reason slaves were not to be taught how to read. Our political class and their cronies think we need minds of servitude. There are to be no more axemakers gifts without official permission.

 

How Disabilities Law is Already Being Used To Gain Ehrlich’s New Mind and the Future Earth Economy

Winston Churchill presciently observed that “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” That’s the irony to the argument that the world is now changing so fast that students no longer need actual personal knowledge of what has gone before. What worked well and what led consistently to catastrophe. In fact if the world is in flux to a significant degree, that calls for more factual knowledge, not less. Instead, of the absurd argument now that relevance involves real world problems or concrete situations from a student’s everyday life,  relevant knowledge is best obtained from what has endured over time. Guideposts of personal living that have consistently led to prosperity to be emulated or disaster to be avoided. In either case, familiarity and appreciation for what works, and does not, and why should be the essence of education, K-12 or higher ed, academic or vocational.

When I wrote “Learning to Learn” on July 18 I was relying on the Small Planet book for the discussion of New Minds.  The actual copy of New World New Mind:Moving Toward Conscious Evolution (1989) was in transit though. When it arrived I discovered a book that was far more graphic than I would ever have imagined that tied together so much of the changes in education, the economy, society, culture itself, and US and Western political systems we have been discussing in numerous posts. All in one place. It explained ed reforms in the 90s and the entire Sustainability push over the past 20 years and current efforts in all these areas. For now there are two hugely important aspects of the book we must appreciate immediately.

The first is the repeated assertion (with co-author Robert Ornstein) that the “past is no longer prologue.”  To be more explicit:

“Learning about the past–the knowledge, the ideas, the concerns–is useful only insofar as the past perseveres into the present.” (284)

I guess no child ever again needs to learn about castles, armor or what led to the Fall of the Roman Empire. In fact, the book goes on, with plans for designing and creating “an unprecedented new world,”

“Getting ‘the basics’ is important, but getting a new curriculum is even more so.” (195)

Like the Common Core? 21st Century Skills? Outcomes Based Education? OECD’s Competency? That’s the curriculum to create “new mindedness” which will take “a major worldwide cultural effort.” If only the authors had access to vehicles like UNESCO or the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) or the International Council for Science (ICSU) or the International Social Science Council (ISSC). Why wait. That’s the other key aspect of the book that we really need to talk about now. Listing John P Holdren of the Energy and Resources Group at UC-Berkeley as a person to thank on the Acknowledgments page. Citing the Ehrlich-Holdren book from 1988 on The Cassandra Conference to provide “early warning of humanity’s building population-resource-environment problems.”

If only someone was in a position to implement the alarming aims of New World New Mind we might need to worry. Well John Holdren is the Science Czar for the Obama Administration and the National Science Foundation reports to him. Which would put him in charge of creating the Belmont Forum in 2009 and the Belmont Challenge in 2010 and the Belmont Forum’s activities in launching the Future Earth Alliance (FEA) in 2011.  And when the Future Earth Alliance created its final framework document in February 2012. Holdren remains as FEA prepares to become operational in 2013 with the aim of “achieving a sustainable global society.” Is anyone surprised that the social, economic, human development goals and behavioral changes EFA is seeking mirror the New World New Mind vision?

We need to pivot though because our worldwide cultural effort has latched onto a new vehicle to try to get the US Senate to ratify the UN Disability Treaty this week. Completely unaware of how that will pull in UNESCO’s Learning to Learn, Learning to Be nonacademic education vision for all students in the US. And not through the temporary regulations being stealthily used now but through a ratified treaty that sounds considerate and kind-hearted. Let me explain.

There was a global education conference last week in Cairns, Australia that American educators attended to get ready for Common Core here. They blogged in excitement about the Competency Wheel created by educators from Alberta, Canada. Basically the wheel is a visual of the affective attitudes and values and skills desired for students anywhere in the West. What the already in power want and no more is a valid description of what seems to be in store for our students. Getting them ready and willing to go along with that New World and Future Earth I suppose. Following the wheel back to Alberta by internet brought me the ubiquitous 21st century skills. No surprise. More importantly though it brought me to a 2011 report “Supporting Positive Behaviour in Alberta Schools: A school-wide approach” and a 2005 document “The Heart of the Matter: Character and Citizenship Education in Alberta Schools.” Appendix A to Heart of the Matter even has Nel Noddings’ work that we so recently tracked to student wellbeing in Oz.

These 2 documents not only combine virtually every stealth ed initiative we have mentioned as a key component of the actual implementation of the US Common Core, but they do not pretend it is still about content. That anyone is trying to transmit knowledge anymore beyond the basics of literacy and numeracy and political issues that can be manipulated to create a sense of urgency for social change. No. Thank goodness the Canadians are honest enough to say explicitly the Common Core is desired values. And not the ones that make you grateful for the Maple Leaf or Stars and Stripes.

Positive behavior measures are now being pushed globally (I have the book) as a unobtrusive way to use education to gain desired social change. In the US http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/how-social-and-emotional-learning-as-the-primary-focus-is-coming-in-all-the-windows/ it is now coming in through anti-bullying campaigns and PBIS/RTI for all students. The PBIS continuous improvement troubling curriculum is being required for all students through the disabilities laws and rules. UNESCO has been pushing social and emotional leaning as a primary emphasis all over the world as an equitable focus for schools since not all students are equally able in an academic orientation.

That was my first thought when I heard about the UN Disability Treaty yesterday and anger that Senator Jim DeMint had put a hold on considering it. Then I remembered the work I had done on Universal Design for Learning. Originally designed to give disabled students equal access, UDL was quietly incorporated into how Common Core must be implemented in classrooms. Instead of alternative methods for some, UDL mandates that only universally accessible methods and practices be allowed for any students. It explicitly mentions lectures and textbooks as discriminatory.

I knew that but had forgotten the implications until my brain woke me up early this morning. Reminding me that the metacognitive, learning to know yourself, alternative classroom activities UDL pushes as accessible for all students fit the methods to obtain New Mindedness outlined back in 1989.

I don’t think any of this is coincidental. Do you?

Credential Inflation-How Reforming Higher Ed With Learner Outcomes Can Damage All Degrees

A few days ago I got linked in a conversation on Rampant Credentialism. Readers frustrated that the degree they had paid good money to obtain didn’t really provide the knowledge or skills anyone seemed to want to pay for. Another reader complained that he had been a craftsman for many years and was now being told he had to get a certificate proving his Competency. He had paid for the program and finished it so he could keep making a living with his experience and skills. But that the coursework of the program itself added nothing. If that certificate was all someone without experience had, it would barely be worth the paper it was written on. Yet it was now required to open the door to future employment. Ensuring a nice stream of income for some credentialing institution.  And what if the next degree is just more of the same?

Remember the cliche about the thousand mile journey still requiring that first step? Well the first step in using education as a means for trying to obtain a different utopian tomorrow redesigned around Sustainability and planned and managed through the advances in computer technology needed that first step somewhere. The somewhere has been higher ed. Going on for more than twenty years now. But nobody told the students or parents or taxpayers.

College used to be where you could go and encounter greatness. Great Minds. Great Books. Great Ideas to Build On. And if you weren’t terribly good at negotiating those encounters and felt more shocked than invigorated, you changed your major or muddled along or learned to cultivate different important character traits besides the intellect. The world truly does need all kinds of knowledge and skills. The science nerd capable of invention needs the people person to help her sell it.

We have talked about Outcomes Based Education in the K-12 classroom. Did you know the Regional Accreditors have pushed Learning Outcomes in higher ed? Major by Major? How about new means of measuring progress and activities so that students from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities and genders and races can all obtain degrees and credentials at rates reflecting their percentage of the population? Did you realize that colleges and universities not willing to go along with the Regional Accreditors vision for transforming American education can lose the right to participate in the federal student loan program? Did you realize the vision of education credentials for all is tied to a political vision for a different kind of society and economy that’s not in place yet? And if it ever does occur, we are looking at drastic reductions in economic prosperity for everyone but the politically connected? Does anyone think the typical employee or exec with a Regional Accreditor has any idea what makes an economy grow? Or a recognition from history that degreed, socially reengineered Human Capital without useful knowledge or skills is a path to disaster?

Did you know that other countries pushing Outcomes Based Education in K-12 and higher ed also adopt Qualifications Frameworks to try to force private businesses to accept these credentials? Which means even more regulation and expensive compliance measures from would-be employers? Money that could have gone towards hiring more employees or developing new desired products and services? That Qualifications Frameworks are expensive, controversial, and a quick trip to a dirigiste economy?

This already revised nature of higher ed is integral to the Common Core’s definition of College Ready. Many changes are already in place and more are coming. All assume preparation for a reimagined future. A dangerous act of widespread social engineering largely going on outside the public eye or awareness. Even many insiders know something is changing but not precisely what it is or what is driving it.

With the current use of the term P-20 meaning Preschool through College, Masters, and Doctorate programs based on generic Competency, Common Core is not just about the attitudes, values, emotions, and interpersonal skill shifts we have  been talking about now in post after post. No the student’s job is also to keep showing up year after year to obtain needed credentials that enrich everyone tied into what is the 2nd largest industry in the world after retail.

Students exist so that administrators can have well-paying jobs.  It’s true in K-12 and it’s especially true on campus. When you reorganize undergraduate education around “Improving Student Engagement, Experience, And Learning Outcomes” or “Learning within a Campus Culture of Diversity,” it takes a great deal of administrative monitoring and meddling to ensure professors do not revert to testing on facts and a body of knowledge. That’s not equally accessible to all students. DING goes the not-to-be permitted gong.

Assessment (one of the listed Big A’s in changing higher ed) for all is to be “multidimensional, integrated, and revealed in performance over time.” That should get more students to the finish line of getting a degree. It may also be propelling us towards a world where that credential leaves its holder unprepared for anything but waiting tables. Even worse, some of those with the paper credentials had the creativity and imagination and skills with abstract ideas and sequential logic that were never cultivated. The policies and practices of Education for All in too much of their K-12 and then higher ed means that potential is lost. We are all poorer when we restrict our best minds to basic nutrition needed by anyone.

I mentioned in the July 16 post that if the Earth was not moving toward critical environmental tipping points, the proposed Common Core education theories and practices were a fast train to economic catastrophe. Transforming P-20 to Learner Outcomes accessible for all is an expensive fast train to economic catastrophe. And this train has already left the station and is picking up speed. The accreditors seem to want to keep an ongoing relationship now instead of periodic ten-year reviews.

So the push for transformative change is now virtually constant. Just what you did not want to hear before you wrote that tuition check or took out that loan. But we need better recognition of what is wrong if there’s to be any chance that next year’s tuition is not to be purchasing an even more manipulated degree program. I don’t think we can rely on Accreditation (the 2nd Big A) to recognize what is wrong with the map they are using to direct the higher ed train. You see, there is no one forcing Accountability (the 3rd Big A to Transformation) on the Accreditors. Nice gig if you qualify.

Learning to Learn or How to Replace Old Minds with Sustainable New Ones

I know you are thinking no one would really say that but they did. In fact the book we talked about in our last post Management for A Small Planet even has a chapter called “We Are How We Think” that quotes a 1989 book by Population and Environmental alarmist Paul Ehrlich. Ehrlich wrote “there is now a mismatch between the human mind and the world people inhabit”. To properly deal with the environmental threats he saw everywhere, people “need to replace our old minds with new ones.” How? By changing the learning process itself. Now before I explain how in ways that will build on things like the SEL, values, communitarian ethos, and higher order thinking we have been talking about, I want to talk about Ehrlich’s dispute and bet with economist Julian Simon over the future. And whether to be optimistic or pessimistic.

Now I am not going to explain the wager itself. It is too easy to search the phrase “simon ehrlich wager” and get the details. It is Simon’s vision of humanity and education and the economy I first want to talk about. His vision reflects what most of us think we are getting when we pay property taxes to fund schools or write that tuition check or take out a student loan. If our education spending is based on obtaining Simon’s vision for the future but we are unwittingly buying Ehrlich’s desire for reframed new minds instead, I think it is past time we recognize that difference. Especially if Common Core and the related reforms of higher ed are about to really impose the Ehrlich/Small Planet mental vision.

In 1981 Julian Simon wrote a book The Ultimate Resource that rebutted all the doom and gloom about the scarcity of energy and natural resources and the “perils of overpopulation” that people like Ehrlich or groups like the Club of Rome had been pushing throughout the 1970s. Simon argued that it is the human mind that has made natural resources of value in the first place. He believed and argued persuasively that the ultimate resource on Planet Earth is the human imagination of creative, knowledgeable people when combined with a determined human spirit. That combination is what literally creates civilizations. At least it can when it is combined with a political-social-economic system that provides personal freedom from government coercion.

What Simon points out (pages 11 -13) in the 1996 reissue called The Ultimate Resource 2 is that if you look everywhere in the world where widespread prosperity and human progress has ever appeared you find important commonalities in the story:

“Skilled persons require a framework that provides incentives for working hard and taking risks, enabling their talents to flower and come to fruition. The key elements of such a framework are economic liberty, respect for property, and fair and sensible rules of the market that are enforced equally for all.”

Now Simon’s definition of “skilled” is not the generic 21st century skills designed to be accessible to anyone drawing a breath. He meant education that actually increases the “stock of useful knowledge,” not paper credentalling for all in the name of social justice. As Simon says (I couldn’t help myself but this really is not a child’s game): “minds matter economically as much as, or more than, hands or mouths.” Now here is the critical point where Julian Simon is precisely right but it is diametrically opposed to the Sustainability vision of the future economy:

The essence of wealth is the capacity to control the forces of nature, and the extent of wealth depends upon the level of technology and the ability to create new knowledge.”

That is the opposite of the Small Planet/Sustainability/UNESCO vision of the future. That new knowledge is created from a solid foundation of the transmitted knowledge of the Ages that the Common Core and OBE and the UN’s Education For All generally refuse to allow. With the regional accreditors on board to act as enforcers for this Ehrlich/Small Planet quest for new minds.

So Simon won the wager and Ehrlich paid him. But Ehrlich’s economic and environmental vision is what has been and is being unwittingly adopted globally through Outcomes Based Education grounded in authentic learning and emotionally engaging pedagogies and ecological/cultural approaches to curriculum. A classic example of winning the battle and losing the war. And mostly out of sight as taxpayers believe they are getting consistent content requirements state to state in case they ever need to move. Other countries got similar Bait and Switch programs. The solution to the created problem in education ends up being a more extreme version of what created the problem initially.

Authentic learning (ATLAS) came to Australia officially about 2001. In the US it is a part of the Common Core implementation. The idea is to “investigate real-world topics and solve real-world problems.” Students are to “demonstrate their understanding by applying what they have learned to new and challenging situations.” Ehrlich’s new minds (he has plenty of company from our previous posts) then are supposed to come about through double-loop learning processes. Yes that really is italicized just like that on page 95 of Small Planet just after the new minds quote. I have a feeling all that data and feedback we keep hearing about will be very helpful to this aim of altering mental frameworks.

So basically you take those authentic, challenging real-world topics and complex, largely insoluble, social problems and have the students reflect and inquire.  Teachers and other students examine the underlying assumptions, values, experiences, and social norms that frame each student’s expressed beliefs. The double-loop aspect focuses on the systems structures that supposedly “address the underlying causes of behavior.”

And that fundamental personal reexamination process and inquiry into a real world that the student is unlikely  to have much factual knowledge about (content no longer being the main point of school) is officially called “learning to learn.” And it is regarded as a terrific foundation for modifying how people think. To get them to see the world in terms of dynamic interrelationships.

And only in terms of their own physical interactions and experiences and emotions. How politically useful but so mentally confining. Makes you want to rebel and go read a book just for spite.

 

Real Change will Require New Values and New Ways of Thinking or Social Engineering Is Hard

Well I am combining two different points that aim for the same goal in that title. The latter part is from a March 2012 article in Scientific American explaining that the future science initiatives needed to be in “psychology, sociology, economics and political science” in order to get “species-wide alteration in basic human behavior.” Well how’s that for ambitious? Wouldn’t a deep seated Common human Core of shared values and common attitudes grounded in emotion instead of facts come in handy for such a transformative aspiration? Here’s the premise that all these education reforms in the US, UK, and Australia we have been talking about are based on:

“Human societies must now change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the Earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change. This requires fundamental reorientation and restructuring of national and international institutions toward more effective Earth system governance and planetary stewardship.”

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/03/17/effective-world-government-will-still-be-needed-to-stave-off-climate-catastrophe/

If the assumptions in that article are not correct, then all these education reforms grounded in socio-cultural theory and Ecological Systems Theory are actually a fast train to economic catastrophe.  Shifting education from knowledge and marketable skills and a wide variety of human differences to a “search for self and social meaning” that “authentically integrates affect and cognition” (from Australia’s 2000 protocols based on US initiatives)  is a social recipe for widespread tragedy. Expectations for the future without any reasonable way of achieving them apart from luck or petitioning the government means no widespread prosperity anymore.

And there is a substantial amount of science and documented evidence that indicates we are in fact not near any such tipping point. Except those created by overreaching politicians and bureaucrats.

And, unfortunately, too many large corporations who have been told repeatedly for 20 years now that a sustainable Green Economy is the future and are already to cash in on a managed, redesigned economy that is based on political power and relationships.  The first part of the title comes from a 1996 book,  Management for a Small Planet, that is designed to teach business students and management executives what they need to know to get ready for an economy that better matches the “evolutionary processes of Nature (p 13).” Regular readers of this blog would recognize many of the professors cited for authority and the utopian aspirations for the future involved. The acute problem for us is the typical business student or manager does not have the knowledge of history or economics or the natural sciences to recognize the book is based on repeated assertions that lack any basis in fact apart from wishful thinking.

And the 3rd edition came out in 2009 ready to be used as a business text or just an aid to large multinational corporations making “substantial commitments to the ‘triple bottom line’ of economic success, social responsibility, and environmental protection.” (online book description) Now who could be against that “triple bottom line”?

Here’s the problem for all my readers, whether your interest is education or climate change or economics.  This gets us back to that Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Theory from the previous post as well as a “Caring Economics” from July 9. Everything is premised on using education to change prevailing economic thought and accepted human values so that “the economic system is not viewed as an entity in and of itself but as a subsystem of the larger social system and ecosystem.” That would be an all-encompassing political ideology to put it mildly, but how many of Small Planet‘s readers and listeners in a seminar or workshop are going to recognize that crucial fact? That the ‘Triple bottom line’ has some really troubling and erroneous foundations?

Here are the five basic shifts in human thinking proposed. You can reflect on how handy Common Core and Transformational OBE and Positive School Climate and SEL will  be to such an aspiration in the US. Comparable pushes are already in place in other Western countries.

(1) A shift from focusing on the parts to focusing on the whole in order to more realistically reflect humankind’s position in Nature.

(2) A shift from focusing on structure to focusing on process in order to better understand that “the entire web of relationships is intrinsically dynamic.”

(3) A shift from objective science, which views humankind as a passive observer in the universe, to epistemic science, which views humankind as a participant in the creation of the universe.

(4) A shift in science from an architectural metaphor, in which knowledge is “built” within discreet scientific domains that focus on the differences among things, to a networking metaphor, in which knowledge emerges through cooperative processes that focus on the relationships among things.

(5) A shift from defining truth in terms of absolute dogma to defining truth in terms of approximations of interconnections, reflecting the reality that truth is something humans seek, not something they know.

I disagree even if I have to be loud and obnoxious and disrespectful about it. There are lots of truths we can know. At least until Common Core gains full implementation in a school or university near you soon. But I would agree with the Scientific American author’s point about social engineering being a killer. Except what he sees as salvation I see as ruination.

So Now Common Core Rejects Individual Thinking to Embrace Soviet Psychology & Ecology?

This week was the perfect example of why it is important these days to read everything the federal government publishes touching education. It also serves as a reminder that the Summary up front never reveals the juicy relevant details we need to know. This is especially true when the federal government announces that Common Core is not a Product as in knowledge American students should know but a Process of learning in “culturally relevant contexts.” It rejected the traditional view of cognition as “too narrowly focused on individual thinking and learning” and thereby proved why you really do not want unaccountable federal officials with all that money and power and lobbyists wanting a portion of it establishing local education policy.

The report, called Education for Life and Work and published by the National Research Council, rejected the cognitive perspective that has all the confirming research supporting how and why it worked. Instead it embraced the socio-cultural perspective of learning because it was a theory that met its goal of applying equally to all students. Wow! Here’s precisely what they said:

“In the socio-cultural perspective, learning takes place as individuals participate in the practices of a community, using the tools, language, and other cultural artifacts of the community.”

Just in case you were wondering precisely how online computer gaming had become classified as “learning,” there you go. And the push for IPads or SMART phones in class? Interacting with the everyday technology and each other is now the kind of tool use and community practices that are to constitute Common Core learning for the 21st century. If you, like me, are struck by the fact that it would be difficult to come up with a better strategy for creating mindless drones, don’t worry. There is still the NEA’s Purple America values curriculum and all that Positive School Climate moral and character curriculum to create a sense of well-being that we have been talking about.

You really do want to laugh, don’t you? It seems rather preposterous. But remember that pronouncement on learning “through social interactions in a community” involves many of the same agencies and funding entities involved in that Belmont Challenge restructuring of the US economy and society around sustainability and citizen wellbeing. We talked about that in the June 14 post on the Belmont Challenge and the next post on the Future Earth Alliance http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/the-belmont-challenge-and-the-death-of-the-individual-via-education/ .

If you have not yet read those posts the Future Earth Alliance is not a group of comic book characters in tights with masks. It will not be coming to a movie screen near you soon. It is, however,  a UN affiliated group of bureaucrats and federal employees from various countries and professors seeking research grants operating mostly over in Sweden and trying to restructure Western economies away from fossil fuels into a redesigned and managed economy that will be friendly to Mother Earth and her natural resources. It ignores the fact that human ingenuity is the ultimate natural resource. Probably because ingenious humans have always been such a nightmare for any politician or bureaucrat’s planning schemes. Mustn’t happen in the future.

I am joking a bit about a very unfunny subject because all this reimagining of the world and the economy and education seems so absurd to anyone with a knowledge of history. Plus I still can poke fun at destructive theories and plans that cannot work. The government power to tax and coerce and reward cronies with special benefits has always been a danger to the average person. And really that’s all the socio-cultural perspective and the Belmont Challenge and Future Earth really are when you boil them down to their essence. They are power grabs. Schemes to put the average person in an assigned place, dictate their permitted behavior, and gain financial benefits from that ability to assign and dictate.

That was what the Soviet nomenklatura wanted from socio-cultural psychological research into creating the perfect new citizen. It appears to be what the bureaucrats now have in mind for Common Core when they target the human personality in the classroom and proclaim it to be “malleable” and capable of change. Yes they did say that and yes I made copies.

In fact the updated version of the Soviet socio-cultural perspective is called the Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Theory. It was created in 1979 to target social programs and practices in Western countries. I became familiar with it because it is the learning theory used to justify the Transformational Outcomes Based Education practices in Australia and New Zealand. I will describe in the next post what BEST looks like in the classroom. BEST is all about the process of interactions among people as the measure of learning. Here’s a brief link to an explanation and graphic showing why it is such a perfect theory and education model for government bureaucrats wanting to restructure an economy around sustainability. http://virtual.yosemite.cc.ca.us/childdevelopment/Cheryl/Sp10/EcologicalHandout.pdf

As you can see it’s all encompassing: mind, people, climate, community, Planet Earth. And it is an honest theory. It does not pretend to be factually true. It acknowledges it was created to justify desired political policies. Except many of us do not desire them. Certainly not in our schools. Using our children as social guinea pigs.

I am going to close with an explanation for all this maneuvering that is tucked into that Good Work book we talked about in the previous post. It develops the idea of memes– “units of information that, once mastered, condition–indeed constitute!–the way we think and that can be passed along from person to person.” The book then goes on to say in that chapter on reshaping minds that “memes can then be mobilized to favor, annihilate, or refashion genes.”

That’s the aspiration. Written by prominent professors whose work has been pushed and adopted all over the West through education “reforms.” The definition of Global Competence comes from this group. This is what transformational education change is all about. It turns out the Common Core to be accessed is deeply embedded.

 

What if Higher Order Thinking=Deliberate Confusion?

Raise your hand if you were surprised by that definition of rigor in the previous post. No the challenge does not come from applying previously taught content in difficult ways. And higher order thinking is not synonymous with deep understanding in the fact-based, solid rational analysis, way we traditionally associate with school or university sanctioned understanding. The “deep understanding” being pursued by Common Core’s developers lives “beyond the realm of control and rationality.” It is based in psychological research of “how learners can be moved by things beyond their own intentions and goals.” I think this is a very troubling area for a government or an untaxed “charitable” foundation to be pushing and financing on behalf of citizens and future voters. But then I created the metaphor Invisible Serfs Collar for a multitude of reasons just like this.

ASCD, which used to be the NEA’s curriculum development arm, has an entire approach centered around making Common Core applicable to the Whole Child. If you have not yet had a principal or other administrator use the term “holistic” to describe what makes the Common Core initiative so different you will (or would have before I wrote this post). If you have missed the ‘Must be Engaging to the Child” aspect to Common Core, you probably should have a quiet little chat with your child’s teacher about how she will be evaluated as an Effective Teacher to keep her job.

Western civilization may have been built on the rise and valuing of  human reason as a driving and organizing force, but educators going back to John Dewey have sought to marry reason back into the passionate, instinctive, intuitive aspect that it also an element of the human personality. This is the same goal we discussed back on June 3   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-quality-learning-may-be-the-last-thing-you-want-for-your-child/

And you thought that was what education was supposed to be all about? Moving beyond the caveman approach to interacting with his environment? I am afraid you, dear reader, would never make it through many of these education or sociology or psychology programs credentialing today’s educators, especially at the administrator levels. It can be hard to read this stuff and not wonder if ignorance or greed or a genuine desire for social revolution is the driving force behind these profs and some of the principals, supers, and other administrators they are now credentialing. Whatever guides them, they have our money, our children, and a completely reenvisioned future economy in their hands. At least for the moment.

Higher order thinking and rigor in education in 2012 are trying  to access that beyond reason realm of human consciousness. Actually so is the current emphasis on creativity and critical thinking. That’s why the pushed “problems, uncertainties, questions, or dilemmas” must be “unfamiliar” or “novel.” They are designed to “elicit answers that have not been learned already.” These are the “life skills” that misleading district or school charter authorizes.

The teachers will be encouraged to teach strategies for coping with this type of open-ended problem solving, but not provide either answers or the kind of factual information from history or great literature that allowed earlier generations to successfully plot around life’s uncertainties. We may know that history repeats itself in terms of the broad themes that drive human action. The Outcomes Based Education/ Common Core generation apparently is to get to revisit everything anew without much knowledge from the past for guidance. Hard to imagine how this can possibly work out well.

Why? Well one of the profs most involved with pushing these “flow” marriages of affect and cognition, was a co-author of a book, Good Work:When Excellence and Ethics Meet (2001). His co-authors are Howard Gardner of Multiple Intelligences fame and William Damon who is on the Stanford faculty with Nel Noddings from our previous 2 posts. Like her, he is involved with Moral Education and Character Education. Damon is also mentioned in a recent Psychology Today piece pushing for new Civics Values for American students.  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-moment-youth/201205/no-joking-our-kids-are-failing-democracy-101

That book states unabashedly (pages 51-52 if you want to locate a copy) that all this education reform is “trying to direct the course of the future.”  The alternative, they believe, would unwisely be:

To trust in the benevolent gods or a ubiquitous Gaia, or in an economic system that will miraculously turn waste into well-being.”

Well at least we are getting towards the driving impetus behind all those explanations for Outcomes Based Education that never made much sense given our own everyday reality. That was to be rejected. In fact, in these gentlemen’s view of how the future will unfold, the three critical elements are genes (outside their domain for the moment), the “informational codes of our culture”, and the “code of consciousness” made up by “ideas and ideals invented by individuals and then shared by communities.”

I think we have finally come up with a working definition of radical education reform of the type sought in the 90s and being implemented now in the US as the Common Core. It is targeting the non-genetic means of influencing the future  and modifying, rejecting, or “improving” them.

I think the Ancient Greeks called this kind of undisclosed world altering aspiration: hubris. And it never went well.

 

 

Rigor, Relevance and Relationships, The New 3R’s to Get to a Caring Economics

That precise phrase first came up when I watched a tape from October 2011 of a National Network for Educational Renewal Conference explaining how “this time” we would finally get meaningful educational reform with the prevailing US culture and the whole child to be the focus of the school and curriculum. John Goodlad was quite passionate on the subject of the Good Society and its necessary conditions finally being in reach.

Then there was a controversy when a large metro Atlanta school district that had hired the former Dallas, Texas super was suddenly spending hundreds of thousands from a budget already in deficit for administrators to attend a William Daggett  Model Schools Conference. I recognized Daggett as being one of the primary pushers of Outcomes Based Education (OBE) in the 90s. When I looked at his current work for the International Center for Leadership in Education, there was that phrase again about the New 3 R’s. So all that money was really being spent to make the school district’s Common Core implementation align with OBE. Great. I guess that is what a Gypsy Super does as I first described in a May 25 post.http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/gypsy-principals-gypsy-supers-and-engrenage-3-more-superb-things-to-know/

I have written about Outcomes Based Education before and how its real focus is to change the child  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-standardsoutcomesobjectives-what-is-the-real-common-core/. I stand by that today and would now like to point out that Professor John Goodlad was Ralph Tyler’s student and close friend and colleague. So there are numerous direct connections between that 8 Year Study and desired ed reform today. To really get a handle on what OBE looks like in a classroom and the kinds of explicit intentions I read all the time as I plow through official documents, let’s go Down Under to Australia which actually implemented the education reforms designed in the US and for the US in the 1990s. That’s what makes it a perfect place to see what full implementation of Transformational OBE looks like and what the actual aspirations for culturally transformative change look like. Take a deep breath or pour yourself a drink, whatever has a calming influence. Here goes.

The Australian Council of Deans of Education (2001) argued “old learning, which focused on fixed content knowledge, is now redundant as it fosters a rigid way of thinking which will be counterproductive for the workers, citizens and persons of the new future.”

Instead the Council in Oz insisted in language that fits perfectly with what I am seeing in official but not widely shared documents surrounding the US Common Core now:

“The new learning is less about imparting defined knowledge and skills and more about shaping a kind of person: somebody who knows what they don’t know; knows how to learn what they need to know; knows how to create knowledge through problem solving; knows how to create knowledge by drawing on informational and human resources around them; knows how to make knowledge collaboratively; knows how to nurture, mentor, and teach others; and knows how to document and pass on personal knowledge. In sum, this kind of person is open to autonomous, assisted and collaborative learning.”

Open there does seem to be a synonym for persuadable. Malleable. Ready for transformational, doesn’t it? Now the Rigor in our 3 R’s actually tracks back to the definition for Higher Order Thinking. Both Rigor and Higher Order are synonyms for deliberately confronting students with unfamiliar problems, uncertainties, questions, or dilemmas  that have no fixed or linear solution.

Relevant means not abstract. Tied to real world problems in need of solutions. It allows an emotional response instead of a fact based analysis to be a perfectly valid student perspective. Relevance can also be satisfied by a vocational emphasis such as career pathways for all. A service learning mandate that gets students working in the community to try to solve real problems that they can then reflect upon at school is also a commonly cited means of obtaining relevant and authentic learning.

That gets us to relationships which brings in the Caring Economics of the previous post. That professor and Australian Student Wellbeing advisor, Nel Noddings, who wants to use school to instill competences of care in each student, wrote the Prologue for Riane Eisler’s  2000 book Tomorrow’s Children: A Blueprint for Partnership Education in the 21st Century. Partnership education seeks a radically new integrated approach to learning that changes student values and their filtering mindset for encountering experiences in the future.

Eisler’s point is to live on our Mother Earth in less destructive, more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable ways. It is a hard book for me to read because I think her recommendations will gut everything that does work now  Even if it is not perfect. I think Eisler is guided less by reality than the utopian future she wants to use education to try to create. But factually wrong does not mean a book or concept is not still influential. And most of her readers will not have a working knowledge of history, economics, and political theory to rebut the assertions.

2007 brought The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics which has Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, and Gloria Steinem doing the back cover recommendations to read and embrace its tenets.  Eisler again has many influential educators as endorsers of this alternative approach to restructuring society by fundamentally changing relationships.  Relationships are the essential focus because Eisler says they “define our lives. They are the foundation for all social institutions, from the family and education to politics and economics.”

Partnership education wants to change all those social institutions and not just at the edges. As Eisler says in her advocacy for cultural transformation for the 21st century: “we can’t just focus on economics to change economic systems.”  Either no one has ever told her or she has refused to listen. The economic systems that have worked and brought widespread prosperity were not designed intentionally. They arose spontaneously under certain conditions. Designed economic systems are what brought so much grief to the 20th century. She is misguided but this is the foundation for the new caring economics that is the background goal of so much of this global OBE/SEL ed reform:

“Economic systems are about a form of human relations. It isn’t the goods that relate, it’s the people. Therefore, people and the activities that support and enhance human life and human relationships, need to be the focus of economic analyses.”

She’s not kidding either. She wants to transform “the psychological and social dynamics of relations in all spheres of life.” No wonder we see so much focus on social and emotional learning and affirmative measures to redefine School Climate. And Purple America.

Common Core then is not about content to be taught. It is about the kind of values and attitudes and beliefs a person will need for this reimagined society. If this is a false, potentially tragic pathway, and I think it is, we really are careening towards an abyss if we blindly keep implementing Common Core as it is actually configured for schools and classrooms near you. This fall. 2012.