Creating New Minds, Different Values, Equity in Credentials: Can this Really Lead Us to Prosperity?

Contrary to the slogans Prosperity really is not available by government fiat but it sure can torpedo it. Beyond regulation, poor choices by politicians and other officials with the power to distribute other people’s money (like School Supers or the accreditors or even “private” businesses like Amplify or IBM or AT&T or other tech companies) who push harmful education ideas while capturing taxpayer money can destroy value. Poof! Take those dollar bills and light them afire! No you say. It was paid in salary or revenue to a connected company, it did not go poof.

But what happens when the resources confiscated from the taxpayer through property taxes or an ESPLOST or their federal or state income taxes buys less than the value that would have been created in the private sector? Where it would have been spent by a purchaser who cared about whether he was getting actual value for what he was spending. We are all poorer because that money was taxed away from private hands to a less efficient spender. So it needs to be spent for a good purpose.

That’s problem No 1 anytime the government decides to take money. That is true of all government but it is especially acute with school districts. Especially now. Why? Education reform now is heavily “influenced by the writings of Vico, Spinoza, and Hegel, Marx, and Engels [who] developed a theory of society now described as historical or dialectical materialism.” I mentioned that here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/so-now-common-core-rejects-individual-thinking-to-embrace-soviet-psychology-ecology/ but the book I mentioned in the last post, Computers as Cognitive Tools, and an article cited there “Beyond Amplification: Using the Computer to Reorganize Mental Functioning” make it crystal clear that the Skill Dominant Initiative and the Digital Learning Mandates and the No Transmission of Knowledge are ALL driven by political ideology. That really is taxpayer money spent poorly. A bonfire in fact, not just a Poof.

Collectivist, Remake Minds and Values Ideology. No ifs, ands, or buts about it even if a particular pushing administrator or Principal is unaware of the tainted past and Horrific Intentions of what they are implementing. That’s the beauty of Government Coercive Power. Do it or find another job. There are always people wanting to do business via political favors rather than crafting a superior product or service and taking real risk of capital.

This is the new view of education sought in the reforms in the 90s and now through the CCSSI ruse we have talked about http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-the-president-just-admit-ccssi-was-a-ruse-to-change-classroom-interactions/. This is not a dispute then about what to teach or how. Stripped of the rhetoric designed to obscure the reality of sought Political Transformation, we are in the midst of a dispute about what kind of country we will be in the future. Will the individual be free and have real personal autonomy? Or do politicians get to use operant conditioning techniques in K-12 education to change values and make curriculum choices to limit permissable knowledge? Is a student merely a lump of clay to be molded by the state to fit its needs and especially the needs of those employed by or seeking revenue from the government? That’s what the real CCSSI implementation assumes. That’s what Digital Literacy and Mandated Sight Reading Methods are all about.

Symbolic cultural tools identified by Soviet psychologists Vygotsky and Luria as strengthening individual mental capacity like written language must be weakened. Tools with the innate capacity, like the computer, to weaken mental function by becoming a substitute for it, must be pushed. It is desired cultural evolution where we are under attack to STOP “our nature-transcendent innovation as a species.” Just like Paul Ehrlich wanted when he pushed his Newmindedness and James Burke wrote about as the Axemakers Gift that must be stopped. Here’s the political vision being pushed by our ed schools and the accreditation agencies all over the world. It is the essence of what CCSSI is seeking and why Arne Duncan wants all curriculum to be digitized by 2017 at the latest.

“Human nature, on this view [reference to Marx and others listed above], rather than being a product of environmental forces, is of our own making and continually ‘becoming.’ Humankind is reshaped through a dialectic of reciprocal influences: Our productive activities change the world, thereby changing the ways in which the world can change us. By shaping nature and how our interactions with it are mediated, we change ourselves.”

So the computer and digitizing content and making the visual dominant instead of relying on symbolic transformation and haranguing any teacher pushing factual content each become a means of “cultural redefinition”. The dialectic just outlined of “shaping who we are by changing, not just amplifying, what we do.” Together these initiatives being imposed all at once are designed to actually pummel the individual student mentally and psychologically. No wonder there is a tragic history to these mandated social and emotional learning coupled with limits to knowledge shifts.

Over this past weekend, a Canadian education site pushed this Open Letter to Educators. Not complaining mind you but wanting these thoughts to gain widespread attention. Without the paying public even knowing.

“Education isn’t about teaching facts. It is about stoking creativity and new ideas. It is not about teaching students to conform to the world as it is. It is about empowering students to change the world for the better.”

Now how can someone without knowledge of history and what has gone tragically wrong and why, or economics with its built-in appreciation for unintended consequences, actually be in a position to change the world for the better? Changing the world for the better has always grown from the ascendancy of the individual and freedom of choices. Now realistically how can education reform designed to gut all that change the world for the better? This is education reform that destroys value instead of enabling its future production. There is no future prosperity here no matter what Amplify’s press releases say. Just prosperity for connected businesses that hire former School District Supers that can rely on doing business with taxpayer money with their former associates.

Now is wholesale social change an appropriate decision for educators or computer or broadband vendors or accreditors to be making? Especially in a country like the US with the US Constitution protecting the mind as property and the primacy of the individual instead of government? http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-the-system-seeks-to-destroy-the-ability-to-think-can-james-madison-save-us/

Instead of knowledge the computer becomes a means of collaboration and testing hypotheses against the computer’s prepackaged scenarios (where the Earth will be frying itself whatever the actual temps or facts) and solving complex problems that may actually be insoluble (at least by a central planner but the computer will not tell you that. And the teacher may now be forbidden to) and making plans and setting goals. That’s knowledge in our new Digital world. I may have been horrified by the educational vision of Mooresville, NC http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/mind-thieves-everyday-examples-that-add-up-to-a-cultural-and-political-tsunami/ but Amplify’s website saw it as the August 10 featured story.

Likewise, I find the vision of graphic novels centered around a pretend Zombie Apocalypse for middle schoolers to be horrid. See for yourself and decide http://www.zombiebased.com/blog/2012/09/30/zbl-featured-on-amplify-com/. Amplify sees it as an innovation to be touted on its website and celebrates that ZBL “appeals to kids the same way a videogame does.” Yes, at an emotional, visual, non-rational level.

Let’s end with what its creator says he intends the students to be learning from ZBL: It is supposed to be a framework for teaching middle school geography (in a way most of us would associate with Cultural Anthropology and Sociology).

“The story has several parts: Students prepare for the impending outbreak, then they have to survive the chaos, find a new settlement, build a new community, and plan for the future of their new home. Instead of just studying existing maps, for example, they have to design their own to track the spread of the zombies. In the end, students have to use higher-order thinking to solve real-world problems, or almost real world that is.”

So students are being taught virtually nothing about the world where they actually dwell and must ultimately get by in. They are immersed in imaginary scenarios that encourage them to trash the world as it exists and aspire to a different future.

Only in a sector of the economy used to living off OPM, Other People’s Money, could such ludicrous ideas as remaking education to fit Marxian political theory gain widespread currency. And I am afraid it will be up to those of us without the magical Education Indoctrination degrees to put a stop to it.

What would we do if medical schools reverted back to bleeding as the remedy for all ailments? This is not dissimilar.

 

 

Ridiculing the 1860s Mind as Unsuitable for the 21st Century: Cui Bono?

Sometimes these days my life feels a bit like that Broadway farce A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Yet another official power grabbing, crony rewarding, and individual subjugating report will come out that I catch and know I need to tell you about.  Then as I continue my snooping into what is going on out in the real world, I get the perfect illustration of why this all matters. Even if you don’t currently have a child in K-12 or in higher ed.

I was going to explain this week’s release of the troubling “Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy” from our politicized National Academy of Sciences (again! John Holdren is VERY busy) where the “Science” is the Social Sciences, not Chemistry or Physics. Shades of what we detailed here.http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-reality-is-ignored-or-disregarded-when-do-we-become-a-state-against-its-people/ And Evidence is Needed because of the official belief and desire that our economy and society, an Ecosystem according to the Planners, needs to be managed by decisionmakers with the proper credentials instead of people themselves.

So I attended an “Innovation in Education Conference” on October 24 put on by the State Chamber of Commerce with official support from businesses likely to benefit from the new emphasis on digital literacy and technology and  Sustainability and Soft Skills and a new Culture as the focus of the classroom. In the sought Mercantile post-Consumer 21st Century Communitarian world we have discussed numerous times http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-adam-smith-write-a-book-explaining-why-this-is-a-bad-idea-back-in-1776/ this is not a shocking concept anymore. I do wish though these vendors seeking government contracts and political protection from competition for their current products would quit pretending their education advocacy efforts were all “for the children.” Philanthropic endeavors where they just wanted to give a heads up for future workforce hiring purposes.

But I am a tough, old, experienced corporate negotiator who has seen a great deal of what makes a business work and recommended walking away from deals that do not. When your audience is politicians and public and private sector bureaucrats, they can be fine, well-intentioned people. But you get a bobbing heads agreement to social policy talking points where the individual with his or her own money on the line in a free market would say ” Wait a minute. What are you really urging?”

The dangers of the herd and trying to manage and rearrange an economy at the political level are even more acute when the policies sought go to changing personality traits of children and limiting their ability to think rationally at all. While locking in the policies as a taxpayer paid contract with a district Super or School Principal or even the state. As a Student of History, let me just say that Benito in the 20s and 30s had a name for that kind of Corporatism trying to squelch the individual in favor of the collective while profiting from the lucrative connections. And no it was not a movement of the Right. It was collectivist socialism with the revenues of the economy being split among political favorites in addition to government officials. Jonah Goldberg wrote an excellent book about it.

Back to the Luncheon. The talking point was the supposed need for a new kind of education for the 21st century centered around the student (let’s all chime in snarkily “to actually change their values, attitudes, and beliefs”) through making school about using computers and digital technology. Missing was the fact that Soviet Psychologist Lev Vygotsky recognized that these external cognitive tools would change  people mentally once you made use of the device the focus. The known and desired hobbling effects on the human mind were conveniently left out of the presentation.

So whatever the convenience of the computer as a tool,  Totalitarian governments have also rejoiced that it can become an Individualism Extraction Device. The repeated rhetoric about lecturing by the best prof or teacher you ever met is mostly an illusion to sell the devices and broadband and get it to the classroom. And education conferences in the US were giddily calling this digital tech initiative a Trojan Horse and a subversion technique to finally get John Dewey’s vision of democracy by 1990. Yes, I do have a copy of the book. And rereading it yesterday did delay this post.

So politically connected Joel Klein who is now heading up the company Amplify  http://www.newscorp.com/news/news_536.html was the Keynote Luncheon Speaker. A state politician did the introduction and emphasized the constantly pitched need to change education for the 21st century economy. The intro made a reference to not needing the kind of education suitable for the 1960s. That was an odd decade to use since that is when the onslaught via federal government money coercing changes via behavioral and social sciences really began in earnest. It was also when SAT scores stopped advancing. Plus economists have noted it is when real per capita growth in the economy began to slow down dramatically.

So I am thinking a 1960s mind would probably be darn useful for a genuinely innovative 21st Century economy that really was about mass prosperity. And here is where I believe Joel Klein went off his prepared normal presentation based on quotes I recognized and reports I have actually read celebrating education that is visual and Tablet-based instead of intellectual. He got up and said, probably to emphasize the need for dramatic change, that traditional education was actually promoting an 1860s mind. Horrors was the desired reaction Joel wanted from his audience and nodding and bobbing heads in agreement is what he got. Not surprising as every experienced trial lawyer I know can play an audience.

But let’s think about this for a minute as I think this is an important herd lesson on precisely why you do not want the government using education to monitor and plan people’s personalities so they develop a communitarian mindset. Selling contracts with taxpayer funds to put devices in place that consciously seek to shut down the ability to think abstractly and independently. Manipulating emotions of 5 Year Olds via chosen vendors in the name of Soft Skills and Positive School Culture.

The 1860s mind being belittled and scorned was the Age of the Individual with almost universal genuine literacy. Did you know coal mining camps in the 1870s put on Shakespeare plays with widespread participation from the miners? The 1860s Mind fought the bloodiest war in US history because it so valued the individual that slavery became unacceptable. The 1860s Mind hatched the Industrial Revolution and the great inventions of the 20th century. And the greatest mass prosperity the world has ever known. And if bad things happened in the 20th century, they were never launched in a society or a culture that cherished the individual. They were always launched in societies that pushed the collective.

There is a mention in that Amplify press release above about Digital Learning leading to an “equitable society” which sounds like John Dewey’s little “d” democracy to me.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-quality-learning-may-be-the-last-thing-you-want-for-your-child/ . I think taxpayers have a right to know that is what is being sought and what the likely costs are even if they have already stupidly approved the revenues to be delivered up in an ESPLOST referendum. Taxpayers and parents should know that the real assault is on Axemaker Minds  in suburban schools created at home by attentive parents. Now to be under organized assault at school. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/

I am going to close with a point from the Computers as Cognitive Tools book  I mentioned above coupled with a point from a book on Ecological Literacy to get to a new Postmodern World that came out about the same time. The 1990 conference focused on the ability of the computer to be a pedagogical tool that would reshape the student’s mental processing. The computer can also be used to instruct and transmit knowledge but that is expressly not the function educators want. Recognizing that reality lurking behind the lovely videos or Powerpoint speeches, lets go back to  Professor David Orr who we have met before.

As always the whole point of Ecology Policy Making has to do with “changing the way we think and what we think about” to shift away from the Modern World’s emphasis on the “I’, the interiorized ego” capable of rational thought.

“I think it is time to ask about the software of sustainability as well, and thus about the qualities people will need to build and maintain a durable civilization. . . [One with] people motivated by a sense that their wellbeing is linked to that of others and to other life forms.”

We have nodding heads about matters with unappreciated actual stakes and likely tragic consequences. We have a current federal desire for Policy Making via Social Sciences being sought in the name of implementing Peter Senge’s Systems Thinking and destroying lingering Climate Skepticism. Once again we see why the schemers do not want Axemaker Minds with knowledge of history coming out of classrooms or sitting in the audience.

Ooops.

Comparing the Real Common Core to Notorious Authoritarian Social Engineering Disasters

Soviet collectivization of agriculture. The Tanzanian Ujamaa Villagization Plan. Brasilia. Le Corbusier. Lenin’s Plans for Revolutionary Submission. Clearing away Old Growth Forests for a Single Type Of Timber Planted in Rows.

Last week the newly formed Career Readiness Partner Council issued its Building Blocks for Change: What It Means to Be Career Ready    http://careerreadynow.org/docs/CRPC_4pagerB.pdf. Try not to be overwhelmed by the vision for all that is geared to plugging into that state directed redesigned Mercantile planned economy of the future. Another fiat statement with platitudes like “goal setting and planning” and “effective communication skills” that ends with “ethical decision-making and social responsibility” that could only be developed by bureaucrats who have no idea how free markets work or what produces wealth and prosperity. It really is reminiscent of the mentality of the Soviet Union where higher ed credentials were the means of differentiating salaries so they had the highest percentage of college degrees in the world at one time. Did NOT help the economy. Created a great deal of dashed expectations.

But I have already given you a heads up on what Career Ready Practices as used in “The Goal of Common Core is . . .” really means.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/birth-to-career-finally-and-quietly-creating-the-soviet-mindset-but-here-in-the-usa/ And I have explained from a myriad of directions why generic knowledge, collectivist values, habituated feelings, and a cultivated non-Axemaker Mind is not in fact the “Pathway to Prosperity” no matter how many times politicians use that phrase to bolster support. Magic credentials without marketable knowledge and skills do not build wealth or create products and services people freely wish to buy. You know all that now. Being deemed to be Competent or Proficient under criteria designed to be accessible to all is celebrating a 2-inch bunny hop and pretending you are suddenly a world-class high jumper.

No, that’s all important but that’s not today’s angle to illuminate the planned destruction. It’s history time. And I read the textbooks so I can tell you a good, relevant story. Today’s is based on a book Yale Political Science Prof James C Scott wrote in 1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed lays out the “pernicious combination of four elements” that together have been the consistent culprit “in the most tragic episodes of state-initiated social engineering.”

One of the reasons we need to talk about these unpleasant realities up front, Right Now, is because the actual Common Core implementation (the one I have painfully detailed for months now, not the only marginally related PR campaign) is a classic social engineering scheme. In fact as you know it loves to call itself a comprehensive System. Must be adopted fully in every aspect. Not Piecemeal.And yes it does tell the teachers how they must teach. That denial is just a publicity stunt.

We know that Effective Teacher Evals and PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) and Data collection on the Student are all compliance devices to get desired behaviors. Here’s the problem though with all these wholesale “Let’s get the Theory  into Practice” schemes or Plans or especially Five Year Strategic Plans: A Vision for the District in 2017 that I read last week (Hint: Do not read except with an empty stomach or an adult beverage. Or several). They jettison “essential features of any real, functioning social order.” Frequently unappreciated aspects or even critical details no one even knew were present. In the planned timber forest example Scott cites that ceased to have debris and clutter on the forest floor, it took declining yields to appreciate how much of the soil’s richness came from the insects attracted by the debris.

But students are not trees. If the school is largely psychological and emotional manipulation in an attempt to alter values and dispositions for political purposes, that is a real, current, tangible loss. As I have detailed already, potentially physically tragic.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/how-much-innocent-blood-will-it-take-to-stop-sel-manipulation-for-political-gain/ . More likely, a potentially great mind simply learns to check their mind at the door of the school and daydreams time that could have been used to nurture contact with the Greatness of the Ages. All that time spent in middle and high school and then the now revised higher ed with so little to show for it. Except Adult Jobs. Once we gut the transmission of knowledge as this ed model most assuredly does–”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”–that useful, not appreciated but still needed knowledge is gone.

And like the debris in the forest it was needed. And it will not be the life span of timber to learn our mistake. We likely will discover quickly and catastrophically how thin the veneer of civilization actually was once a majority cease to have its fundamental earmarks. You know the ones that were jettisoned because they were not part of the Plan and were not equitably distributed.

All those plans I started this post with have one thing in common with each other and with that quoted reason for rejecting content knowledge. The Future. The reimagined Vision for Society. The New Human Nature. Since that has never worked before and will not now, let’s get back to detailing and examining how applicable those four elements are. While we still have some time left even if it is not much.Because as Scott noted when all four are present, we are on track for a “full-fledged disaster.”

Element number 1 is the “administrative ordering of nature and society.” Now I would argue that with the UN driven Education for Sustainable Development and ICLEI Agenda 21 and Bioregionalism and the related Regional Equity Movement and all the Systems Thinking designed to get to a Green Economy based on Ecology and Paul Ehrlich’s Newmindedness that we have detailed, and that’s just of the top of my head, no one since Lenin or Stalin or that infamous dictator in Germany (whose name is considered to diminish an argument so I won’t) has so ambitiously sought to administratively order nature and society. In an unprecedented fashion with global aspirations. Make that an emphatic check.

Second is what Scott called “high modernist ideology.” It fundamentally means a false belief that the social order as it currently exists was consciously created and thus can be redesigned. Which again is met in spades. Whether it is the omnipresent through the decades vision of John Dewey or Ecology or Caring Economics or Communitarianism or Systems Thinking or Transformational Outcomes Based Education itself. They are all social ordering ideologies around a different future. Like 21st Century Learning for another example.

Scott notes that these two elements become lethal when joined to a third–”an authoritarian state that is willing and able to use the full weight of its coercive power to bring these high-modernist designs into being.” Now I am not arguing that educators have such physically coercive powers although I will note that resulting violence has not deterred continued attempts to implement this vision. But all the oversight capacity over educators have been systematically turned off. The accreditation agencies coerce school boards and threaten property value catastrophe if they fail to get the board’s cooperation. Education degrees have been largely grounded in Marxist political theory and Soviet psychological practices since the late 1980s (with more palatable names of course). Now we have the Teacher Evals and PLCs and Educational Leadership degrees that are based on willingness to push this political vision.

The final element is a “prostrate civil society that lacks the capacity to resist these plans.” We are not prostrate you say. Well, with the Orwellian language being used to mask actual intentions yes we are. With duplicitous charters and accreditation standards designed to lock in compliance out of sight with no effective means of protest, yes we are. Everything about this implementation has been designed to try to predict and preemptively thwart all resistance. To what is unabashedly a political coup.

I am going to close with architect Le Corbusier’s vision for the planned city that failed to appreciate people and their needs and what makes an economy and a society work.

“We must build places where mankind will be reborn. When the collective functions of the urban community have been organized, then there will be individual liberty for all. Each man will live in an ordered relation to the whole.”

Le Corbusier’s utopian cities never functioned very well because he didn’t think the individual or personal freedom were important. He was wrong. The actual Common Core implementation I have been detailing is based on a comparable Future vision. Except it is NOT a blueprint being shopped to dictators around the world with deep pockets. We do not have time for an unofficial Brasilia to spring up to cover the Plan omissions.

Hugely Consequential. Imminent. A Hands-On Mass Experiment to Revert to Non-Axemaker Minds. Too important to Just Stick with the Slogans Anymore.

 

Squelching Climate Skepticism While Employing Operant Conditioning Tactics Against Schoolchildren

For those of you who never took a psychology course and never helped turn BF Skinner’s troubling books into bestsellers, operant conditioning was his idea on training people so that their behavior would be as programmed and predictable as a homing pigeon. Skinner always thought K-12 education had great potential as a social programming device. In the 80s the systems theorists decided that systems thinking would make a stealthier, more effective and lasting, means for operant conditioning. Simply target values, attitudes, and beliefs via the classroom and you impact future behavior decisively.

That targeting was what was going on in the Outcomes Based Education (OBE) controversies in the 90s. Looking at the 2012 Camp Snowball presentations and the flyers for the Summer 2012 Teaching for Excellence training sessions it appears to me to be updated operant conditioning techniques under new names from people like Spence Rogers and Peter Senge with ties to OBE. Engage even the most resistant student!

Plus this week the US Department of Ed announced that it would award 10 bonus points to any district applying for the $400 million of your tax dollars or future indebtedness in the so-called Race to the Top district competition that included “plans to work with public and private partners to help improve the social, emotional and behavioral needs of students.” Ah, comrade, may I suggest the unbelievably well-connected Responsive Classroom we profiled here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/locusts-of-the-mind-boring-gaping-holes-altering-wiring-and-living-on-our-dime/ .

The Ed Week article dated October 19, 2012 (after the national Presidential Polls began to suggest that Arne Duncan may be out of a job in January and unable to continue to shepherd these mind and personality altering plans in person. Best to award grants so the dedicated political minions in the respective district central offices can continue the practices whoever wins on November 6. I mean who will know?) states that these bonus points could make all the difference. Apparently 900 school districts applied already and only 15 to 25 grants will be awarded. Applications are due October 30, the week before the election. So there is still time for a scheming Super to file that amendment and sell future voters into mental servitude. Part of the democratic purposes of schooling indeed.

Now I have been warning you all summer about the dominance of social and emotional learning in the real Common Core implementation and PBIS coming in through federal disabilities law mandates and the ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative and the NEA’s Purple America/Project Love. I have also been trumpeting the unappreciated psychological components of new state definitions of student Growth (especially CO, NC and NV) and Student Achievement. The district Race to the Top requirements give a perfect example of what has really been the rationale for all these so-called reforms.   Mandate SEL or measures designed to destroy the Axemaker Mind and fund alternative means of measuring the outcomes of what is to be going on in these classrooms to gain the desired future political mindset and likely behaviors. Here’s a quote from the Ed Week article again:

“Districts must pay some attention to students’ physical and mental health regardless of whether they shoot for the bonus points. Districts must propose measures of age-appropriate growth in other areas, including at least one health or social-emotional indicator for students in 4th through 8th grades as well as a similar indicator for high school students. For its youngest students, a district must propose at least one age appropriate non-cognitive indicator of growth–for which the department offers physical well-being and motor development or social-emotional development as hypotheticals.”

So the same administrators intent on stopping lecturing of facts and who insist that reading be taught inefficiently through a whole word sight approach will get to pick what social and emotional characteristics children will need for the future. You know that collectivist future where the economy has been designated an ecosystem and redesigned around Sustainability and the Common Good we have been profiling? Because that is what is going on in those professional development sessions we are not invited to.

I know because every day a certain portion of mystified teachers leave those meetings and do online searches of the terms and concepts they found most troubling or mystifying. Or both. Guess whose doorstep the searches gravitate to? There is evil afoot and the teachers seem to have a greater radar detector for the mischief than the administrators. Their bosses. Perhaps because too many are drawn to administration after they proved to not be very good at teaching subjects. Now they have power and our tax money and a federal government and its cronies intent on using education to mount a political coup. For Equality!! One that is supposed to survive a change in White House occupancy or a shift in a state’s governor or a loss of control of Congress.

This week the horrifically politicized National Academy of Sciences continued its efforts to make Lysenko seem like a scheming piker when it comes to using political power to destroy the natural sciences for political reasons.  This report, called “Climate Change Education, Formal Settings, K-14″ announced the intention to use education to stamp out widespread skepticism over Climate Change. Our modern-day political officers have determined that a belief in catastrophic man-made temperature increases is in the best interests of their future plans for transforming the US away from free market capitalism and individualism.

And by golly they intend to use the monopoly over education to inculcate that widespread belief in impressionable children. The report was based on a workshop that took place on August 31 and September 1, 2011 and seems to have been part of the effort to use education and the social sciences to bolster  the Future Earth Alliance vision whatever the actual temps as we profiled here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-reality-is-ignored-or-disregarded-when-do-we-become-a-state-against-its-people/

The report contemplates that the new Science Standards issued in the name of Common Core will be very controversial. That would be consistent with what we have already discussed in our systems thinking stories that the West and the US especially is being pushed away from the science of the Enlightenment and a distinction between the natural sciences and the social sciences. In their place we are to get the UN pushed (and Marxist belief) in a Unified Science as well as what the Chinese call Experience Science grounded in a Confucianist belief that there should not be such a distinction between people and nature. Which sounds a great deal like what Thomas Berry and the ecologists are pushing that we profiled here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/we-need-a-radical-change-in-our-mode-of-consciousness-even-a-new-sense-of-being-human/

So we are to get a new definition of Science no matter the controversy from those with the proper ed credentials and we must believe in Man-made Catastrophic Climate Change whatever the actual temperature trends or real causes. But since that might become the source of controversy if it was a discrete segment of a particular school subject, the report suggests using Systems Thinking to instill the desired beliefs and to make Systems Thinking a part of all academic coursework.

Now I keep flashing back to visions of the Marxist-Leninist political officer in the movie The Hunt for Red October. “Comrades! First it was my job to make sure the schoolchildren and future voters had the desired political beliefs we find conducive to ruling over you and dictating what you are to do and what you may become. In case all those years of Soviet schooling did not take as we wanted, people like me are put in places of power to monitor adult decision-making that contradicts our glorious empowering ideology.”

No, that was not part of the movie but those political officers were a very real part of how the Soviet Union or Mao’s China operated. And how different really is this planned social and emotional and psychological assault and data gathering to gain desired political beliefs via our schools in the West and Paul Ehrlich’s Newmindedness and the collectivist belief in the Common Good from the last post?

Our schools. Our children. Our tax dollars. Are we really defenseless to stop this blatant assault on our individual freedom and the economic system that brought unprecedented prosperity to the average person? Unsurpassed in the history of humanity?

Is it really to be punted in the name of Education?

Using Education to Shut Down Free Choices and then Redefining as Personal Autonomy: Orwell Lives!

George Orwell that is and the Newspeak he warned about in 1984 where thought is  confused because none of the official terms being used means what is commonly assumed. We have talked about that before in education with terms like Quality Learning or Excellence. But what about when personal autonomy means the choices made after primary education is used to monitor personal behaviors and interactions with others to make sure that a person is putting the needs of the group first? Or that the person is building their self-identity during those crucial adolescent years around being a member of a Group?

You think you see where this is going? Yet more insistence on the primacy of the Common Good? You would be correct Sir. Ten Points in the Bonus Round of Diminishing Personal Freedoms as THE 21st Century Goal for All Learning. Everywhere apparently. This is from the controversial Moral and National Education Project that went live for Hong Kong primary children last month and for the remainder of secondary schoolchildren in September 2013. And before anyone says “That’s the other side of the Globe. It will not impact US or Canadian schoolchildren.” The sources cited are American profs. Ontario profs.

This is a global political coup being mounted through our K-12 schools. At least the Hong Kong parents, students, and politicians knew enough to be outraged. They aptly called it brainwashing but to no avail. We in the US still have comparable obligations being imposed in classrooms but it is hiding behind Positive School Climate mandates and the actual Orwellian definitions of College and Career Ready or Deep Learning Strategies or Higher Order, Level 4, Thinking.

“As far as altruism is concerned, children should be taught to extend their love and sacrifices to their parents and significant others to include acquaintances, neighbors, strangers in one’s country and people in other countries.”

How useful to anyone in power to redefine personal autonomy as the choices of someone AFTER they have been indoctrinated through K-12 education to have such a sense of mandated altruism. Isn’t this all the Kremlin or Mao and every tyrant in history ever wanted? To have educators instill this so-called Universal Love Principle so that young people believe:

“They are expected to sacrifice their personal needs, benefits and even their basic rights for the sake of the stability and prosperity of the country. Betraying one’s country is not only immoral but also evil and sinful.”

Betraying one’s country is selling state secrets, not refusing to defer to the majority consensus! Seriously. Moral education is being defined as teaching that the “majority’s opinion and interests precede individual’s opinions and interests.” Now won’t this come in handy with the promotion of Systems Thinking and telling each student they are merely a part of the much broader Whole?

US Constitution be damned if the Colleges of Education decide to remove the primacy of the individual emotionally. Through their monopoly over what happens in the Classroom. And if you think again this is Hong Kong, search out Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development/Universal Principle and see how influential it is in teacher education for the classroom. Or here, about two weeks ago, Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Theory as the basis for Child Development activities in Pennsylvania classrooms. http://imaginepennsylvania.com/2012/10/expanding-views-of-child-development-urie-bronfenbrenner/

So yes I am lifting these quotes from Hing-keung Ma’s work but she in turn is quoting the Western education profs and feminist profs like Carol Gilligan and we have the same names for the same interpersonal and mandated social altruism as we are seeing in the West. The highest stage of Ma’s world social altruism in preparation for a desired sense of world citizenship is called Global Perspectives. That just happens to be the name of the  company with its affective inventory (Global Perspectives Inventory) of desired personal traits in college students created to implement the radical new vision for US colleges and universities.http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/college-ready-as-a-goal-of-k-12-is-not-helpful-if-first-you-gut-the-historic-purpose-of-college/

The way to foster world citizenship then is using the concept of moral education to push these ideas of universal love and universal justice on schoolchildren. What a dream for parasitical UN bureaucrats and their tax free salaries to have students all over the West being taught these ideas as Systems Thinking and Education for Wellbeing as we saw in this post on what Australia is mandating with US advisors.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-education-transforms-values-and-feelings-and-beliefs-to-control-behaviors-are-we-free/  In fact the advisors are from the same US college campus where that Global Perspectives Inventory was created. What are the odds?

So self-actualization in this Orwellian world of Newspeak becomes a declared aim “at the greatest happiness of the greatest number.” And woe be us once public employment plus beneficiaries crosses that 51% threshold to be a majority where education says self-actualization means:

“if there is a conflict of interest between an individual and the majority, the individual should be prepared to sacrifice himself/herself for the majority.”

Well this is certainly yet another way to fracture the concept of the Unitary Self as the Regional Equity and Environmental Justice advocates seek.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/distributive-justice-is-not-enough-we-must-break-the-illusion-of-the-unitary-self/ Seriously long term regular readers are thinking. What is going on? This is all clearly related. And global. And a stealth implementation of what are clearly collectivist political and economic theories. Could you please give us a date you say? Somewhere in particular to help us really frame what we are dealing with here?

Well, I have quite a few illuminating choices to answer that one but this week’s Tiptoe through the Footnotes Journey yielded yet another Glittering Gem of an Epiphany. This one is from 1968–an important year because we are at the height of the Cold War and the beginning of the student riots that changed American culture and education so much.

The book, The Learning Society, is by a man, Robert M. Hutchins, who was once the President of the University of Chicago in the 30s and 40s. We have talked before about Ralph Tyler and his Eight Year Study which laid out a way to implement the progressive vision for education originated by John Dewey http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-standardsoutcomesobjectives-what-is-the-real-common-core/ . Hutchins was a close friend and mentor to Ralph Tyler in addition to being his boss. It was Hutchins who put Tyler in the chair positions at Chicago where the entire concept of Behavioral Sciences and Systems Thinking originated. So when one of the scheming Systems Thinkers cited the book, I thought it was time to read it.

Hutchins lays out a new vision for global education that will be applicable to all students–to set their minds free. Education that cultivates the Common Good. What Hutchins called an “education designed to help people become human” by “connecting man with man.” An education that is not about the transmission of information since “why should data be memorized if they can be instantly available by pressing a button?” Education that promotes a “deep understanding” of issues and questions where “there is more than one answer or no answer at all.”

Sound familiar? An education that “introduces all men to the dialogue about the common good of their own country and the world community.” Now Hutchins wanted this education for new values centered around the concept of Humanity to be pushed everywhere. To use education to change the culture to “one in which living wisely and agreeably and well is the object.” Communist China and the Soviet Union and Kuwait and India and Japan and Africa and the US. But these countries differ drastically in the level of influence their students and citizens have over government actions. Or refusals to act.

What we are seeing in 2012 is just a continuation of this previous attempt to snuff out personal liberty and individualism everywhere on this globe where these ideas have ever flourished. And especially in those countries where they are cherished. So in the US we get our assault on freedom wearing Orwellian masks and tucked into little read but still binding regulations. But the assault is no less real.

And the draw bridge is down. And the Armed Guard went into town to fetch some mead for a planned banquet. And the moat has been drained to allow for easy to access organic gardening.

We are wide open and largely unsuspecting. And it is coming.

 

Protected Producers vs Paying Consumers/Taxpayers:Who will Prevail on Education and the Economy?

If we did not already understand just how much the entire legitimacy of individualism and free choices are at stake in what is being sought through education and the Sustainability Economic Transformation, that graphic phrase from the last post’s title “psychological umbilical cord” should be a wakeup call. At a deep emotional level cultivating the fundamental belief that each of us is nothing without the group. That our physical environment and social interactions determine who we are. Not just as a contributing factor.

Now you know part of the impetus for the frequent assertion for the statements that K-12 education cannot be fixed as long as poverty exists. That first we must change the environments so that everyone has comparable opportunities.  Of course we now know that is bogus. That K-12 is being consciously broken to prevent Axemaker Minds and take away the magic mental effects that people gain from the power of symbolic manipulation.

This week was quite the series of confirmations on precisely what is going on. Socially. Economically. Globally. Before I tell the story of the new revelations, I went back to the 1982 book on using Systems Thinking to alter the direction of the future to revisit the whys of what I knew and could prove. It is relevant to why accurate factual knowledge of the past and the enduring drivers of human nature are such a danger for anyone with a futurist orientation. Here’s a telling quote on the motivation behind what became known in the 90s as Transformational Outcomes Based Education or today’s Systems Thinking in the classroom. The core of the Common Core is an apt way to describe the planned classroom dominance of reimagine the future activities for Real World Problems. Solvable of course with just enough taxpayer money, dialoguing, and maybe a Model UN Session or Two.

“Where memory is rooted solely in the past, imagination may be oriented in the past, present, or future. ”

Knowledge of history then or human nature from great literature influences your beliefs about what can be in confining ways. Practical ways that get in the way of anyone with aspirations of Utopia or just a desire for an old-fashioned Power Grab. Here’s more (the next line):

“The subsequent behavior of the living system is governed by the nature of the image, whether of memory or imagination.”

Can you see the value of convincing young students that the polar bears are drowning and clinging to life on ice floes from disintegrating icebergs? Caused by industrialization and fossil fuels and human activity in general? How useful an emotional visual appeal is to creating a deep felt belief that Authorities must intervene and Do Something? Anything to help. ASAP.

What’s the effect of actual knowledge of the past on such a cry? Might the student recognize that power corrupts or that it is foolish to jettison what works for the most part in favor of Something that has never been tried before? Or worse that it is similar to what brought tragedy in the past. And that the Designers of the Plan have no real downside if they screw up. But we taxpayers and ordinary unconnected to the Political Powers-that-be Folks will be left with the consequences of any fiasco. Think about that as we pull up another Systems Thinking futurist quote of precisely the importance of what education, K-12 and higher ed, is shutting down.

“What gives man a significant ‘edge’ over other living systems is not so much his ability to transmit symbols horizontally, to his contemporaries, but vertically, to his successors. It is this vertical capacity that is made possible by the time-binding nature of his symbols . . . This permits us to encapsulate and transmit to our successors a culture embracing our past experiences in a degree far more effective than other creatures, making possible a progress unique to man.”

And that is precisely what the Learner Centered classroom mandated in the CCSSI classroom implementation takes away. And Whole Language. And making regular use of tools like the I-Pad or a laptop or a Smartphone the focus in the classroom. All fundamentally interfere with this Vertical Transmission of Knowledge.  In fact as we have discussed more than once. That Desired Interference is a Feature, not a Bug prompting the mandated use.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/embrace-and-seize-technologys-potential-to-capture-the-hearts-and-minds-of-todays-students/ is from our helpfully explicit  Texas Insurrectionists. And taking out the Vertical Transmission aspect means that actual knowledge need not impede the imagination conjuring up alternative futures.

Except The Powers that Be or Hope-to-Be already have a desired future in mind. They just do not want enough well-informed Axemaker Mind voters to get in the way and alter what seems to them to be a perfectly good and lucrative dirigiste scheme around the notion that Gaia has a temperature and the world’s indutrialized economies need to radically restructure. Now. We have talked in a few posts about the Regional Equity Movement. The seminal conference was actually not the 2011 Building One America. Instead in 1998 the Brookings Institution held a national Regionalism conference. Bruce Katz assembled the results into a series of essays, Reflections on Regionalism, published in 2000 with then VP and Presidential candidate Al Gore writing the book’s Foreword.

That book clarified an unappreciated aspect to both education reform and Regionalism and the racial justice movements in the US: “ensuring that people of color have equal access to jobs, schools, and housing throughout metropolitan regions.”

Now that goal is impossible in an economy based on capitalism and individual achievement and free choice. It is impossible where education is based on academic achievement of the individual. See our real problem? See why the Green Economy is such a lure? As admitted and avowed Communist Van Jones himself acknowledged in 2009 it let’s government bureaucrats and politicians and their connected cronies set the terms of who benefits, where business is located, whose, what kind, etc.

I had seen Bruce Katz’s name attached recently to a national taxpayer funded push known as Regional Innovation Clusters that takes a more Dirigiste/Corporatist approach to Regionalism. It is still not Capitalism as Adam Smith described it that creates mass prosperity. So when I saw that Bruce Katz would be speaking In Atlanta last week at a political breakfast to promote Regionalism, I bought a ticket and went. Relying on my Memory and Big Ears and Eyes to catch a glimpse for us of what Regionalism looks like in 2012.  Still working at Brookings and promoting what is now known as Metropolitanism internationally.

As always Regionalism is about getting us to a new future economy redesigned around Export Manufacturing and Low Carbon Technology. Katz said the New Economy would be “Production driven, not consumption driven.” I wonder if I was the only person there who immediately recognized that is Mercantilism. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-adam-smith-write-a-book-explaining-why-this-is-a-bad-idea-back-in-1776/ And a huge part of where ed is going and the premise behind 21st Century Learning. Katz went on to describe an economy where businesses would “collaborate to compete” which sounds a whole lot like officially endorsing Collusion between Government and Established Businesses. Which they have always loved but it works quite dismally for those of us who pay the bills and do not have a Seat at the Table or a Tee Time with just the right Lobbyist.

I am going to close with the vision in an Education Transformation Plan that I found horrific but that so inspired AT&T that it offered the School District one of the choicest venues in Atlanta, the historic Fox Theatre, to roll it out. Thus emboldening every administrator and principal and politician attending that This Was a Good Plan. The plan insists on using computer technology to get graduation rates up to 90% and then wants 85% of that to go on to colleges already being reorganized in light of this Paper Credentialling Vision http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/constructing-an-alternative-vision-of-either-the-natural-or-human-world-as-the-basis-for-a-college-degree/

So here’s my question to all of you. Is that our future? A take it or live it world where we finance an educational vision and an economic vision where we have no choices. Where students and consumers are merely sources of long-term revenue for politically connected adults? Where there can be no mass prosperity?

Because Systems Thinking and Pedagogy and implemented collectivist political theories may be able to alter our future but none of them can feed any of the billions currently alive who actually rely on Capitalism and the benefits it creates for their Daily Bread. And so much more.

When will we contemplate what is being destroyed in the name of Equity?

 

Using Systems Thinking to Retie the Psychological Umbilical Cord to Our Environment

You know, I am pretty good at language, but I would never think to complain that:

“By substituting visual marks for spoken utterances [that miracle of human ingenuity and the Axemaker Mind reverenced by ordinary folks without systems training as reading], man removed himself even further from directly experiencing his habitat, further severing the psychological umbilical cord tying him to that habitat.”

A different way of making the same point in this early 80s blueprint describing the need for the mental assaults we would come to know under names such as as Transformational Outcomes Based Education and systems thinking and the new 3 R’s, is that the human “psychological separation is made possible  because of the interposing of symbols as a buffer.”

Now for those of you who read “symbols” and are hoping for a secret code that will need to be deciphered with a spray of lemon juice or a special light, we are not talking about a secret code. Although with the way reading is officially reverting back to a whole word or syllable sight approach the fundamental phonetic code is being treated as a secret code. Why? The math wars are grounded in similar reasons. Well I touched on this here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/ where I first introduced everyone’s new favorite metaphor for what is officially under attack–the Axemaker’s Mind.

You see symbol manipulation, where the mark is an artificial representation such as the word “fish” instead of a drawing for a fish promotes the ability to think abstractly. Linearly. Rationally. To begin to link cause and effect. And how probable something is. Symbol use promotes a sense of self-awareness and individuality. When coupled with the printing press that made widespread literacy among the masses possible, it let the magic genie out of the bottle in a way that had never happened before in human history. And those with aspirations of power and control have never forgotten that link and its importance even if most of us have never really thought about it.

Believe me the statist schemers have as this post explains yet again. With new detail. After recognizing that it is the power of symbolic representation and manipulation that is what makes people genuinely unique in the universe and the roughly 3 pounds of the human brain the most fascinating creation in the universe, the plans get laid out to shut down or constrain those capacities. Why?

“Every new source from which man has increased his power on the earth has been used to diminish the prospects of his successors. [So not true but it is the common refrain from those pushing the ecological worldview and its desire for Newmindedness]. All his progress has been made at the expense of damage to his environment which he cannot repair and could not foresee.”

The author goes on to say that the “task of the futurist is to sharpen our focus on just those consequences.”

That basically is what is going on now in school districts all over the world. In the US as Common Core and Canada as the Alberta Wheel of Competency. In Australia it may be called the Core Skills Framework and the Wellbeing initiative http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-education-transforms-values-and-feelings-and-beliefs-to-control-behaviors-are-we-free/ and in the UK Quality Assurance and Qualifications Frameworks. So many of the digital learning initiatives. They are all based on a futurist perspective. They are all based on a desire to shut down the Axemaker Mind to prevent future creation of technology and innovation without official permission. They all are based on the idea that factual knowledge and your own private ability to conceptualize and carry on private conversations with the finest minds of the Ages, humanities, math, or science, is the Genie that must go back in the bottle. Only for authorized use by the politically connected.

They may want a sense of community but it must be based on emotion and new values. We cannot have a return to the power of the printed word [and no one on this planet revers it more than those who are trying to shut down its influence] as demonstrated by Thomas Paine and his pamphlet Common Sense. This illustration is actually in the book on using systems thinking and limiting the power of artificial symbols that so builds up the human intellect.

Common Sense found a disparate collection of mostly English settlers who thought of themselves as Englishmen now living in New Jersey or South Carolina without much in common except their former home country. And in fairly short order it created a sense of common grievance and possibility and gave birth to the emotions that would build a great nation on the Idea of a common, possibly magnificent, destiny. In minds that were physically separated and had never met each other or Thomas Paine.  Nurturing through print the Idea that being an American was about a common belief system that cherished the individual and not a matter of nationality or ethnicity. Another genie that needs to go back in the bottle if the future shift is to be Local and Global only.

To reiterate that these education initiatives and the Regional Equity Movement  are less a claim of CONSPIRACY!!! than a good old-fashioned coordinated power grab using the coercion powers of government, I want to describe a 2006 document from the Club of Rome. No, it’s not a great place for pasta with a lovely view overlooking the Forum and the Colosseum. Look it up if you are not familiar with it. It’s not an urban legend. We have talked about UNESCO more but the Club of Rome matters as well for these power grabs and political and economic power preservations. This is especially important since the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth assumptions, though infamous, have been expressly incorporated into the Systems Thinking/Systems Dynamics training Peter Senge is doing with classroom teachers preparing to implement the Common Core. The authors of Limits to Growth, the Meadows, were members of CoR who now attend some of these teacher systems training workshops.

Isn’t control over K-12 and higher ed such a great way to alter the future? Same is true  of many of the loudest Digital Learning advocates. Many proudly bill themselves as Futurists as well. If you shut down most of the symbol manipulation capacity and train kids to see words as concrete wholes and tell parents that access to a search engine minimizes the need to actually know anything but Skills, you can alter the future. If you add on Social and Emotional Learning and a new Values system grounded in Communitarianism and the evils of profit, you can really alter the future.

The Club of Rome official document touts these Turning Points in the transformation of the Global Scene and the major importance of systems thinking to gaining control over an individual’s and a culture’s noetic system. And the value of such control in Steering [their word] desired human and economic behaviors. “It is so useful Igor and no one ever has to know until it’s too late to stop. Bring more cognac so we can celebrate properly.” It takes great pride in its economic misstatements and scientific nonsense that serve as the rationales on why the global information infrastructure merits a new kind of mind and economic structure. Here’s a little taste to reenforce that we do have an organized international problem on our hands:

“Binary logic contributed of course also to tremendous civilization achievements, the construction of computers and computer networks, but it still biases our way of understanding the world.”

CoR of course recommends feelings and intuition as the proper 21st Century substitute. I will close with how this comes into the classroom without your ever knowing. I was told this week that the Fulton County Georgia school district with the duplicitous charter was gutting those recently purchased expensive Promethean Whiteboards in favor of LCD projectors in every classroom. Aren’t Special Purpose Sales Taxes nifty? The value is the data and info can go straight to the student’s laptop. No need for the student’s brain to intervene. All visual all the time.

I have related that the district is using Spence Rogers’ PEAK training for teachers, Teaching for Excellence, even though as the co-creator of Transformational OBE, Spence Rogers’ work was implicated as a factor in the Columbine tragedy. Some minds do appear to snap and become Evil from such overt psychological manipulation. We have been told that the teachers undergoing the PEAK training will be kept secret so “they will not be afraid to try new techniques.” When I asked a Principal if he was referring to Spence Rogers’ work, the face became transfixed with an unmistakeable reverence and radiance.  The answer was “Yes. Do you know his Work?” You could say that was my response.

We are not dealing with rational interaction here. We are dealing with emotional cultivation to create zealotry in adult educators who likely have no idea what is at stake. They just know a feelings classroom suits them better than what they grew up with.

So please listen up all of us that still have Axemaker Minds and are paying the tab for all these schemes. What the Avengers had to save the earth from was a comic book fantasy. Apparently though we are about to need to fight hard to save the Republic, the legitimacy and primacy of individualism, and economic freedom. And all over the Globe there are citizens who must do the same. Because they really do have plans for all of us. Going into effect Right Now.

Why Make the Long Sought Goal of Anarchists and Socialists the 21st Century Education Ideal?

That quote involving the democratic purposes of schools that emphasized how the “democratic approach creates opportunities for local communities to publicly deliberate and self-govern” that we talked about sarcastically in the last post just kept gnawing at my subconscious from the time I published the post. It was no accident that Equity Pushers put such a place-based participatory democracy and create consensus and majority rules position in an October 2012 Position Paper to guide the CCSSI implementation. It is a shout out to the Bela Banathy and Texas Super position of making education about a New Desired Collective Future. That Future that needs a New Kind of Mind and Heart. Which is precisely what all these reforms we have chronicled seek to create.

That quote not only implies resuscitating John Dewey’s ideal of Participatory Democracy (which would explain all the push around Quality Learning and the Arts inclusion) but also its previous modern incarnation in the 1962 Port Huron Statement that created the Students for a Democratic Society. No wonder so many former SDSers like Bill Ayers or Mike Klonsky were drawn into education. Perfect cultural weapon for mass political, social, and economic Transformation. Go after the noetic system and change beliefs, attitudes, values, and feelings (sound like a familiar goal by various names?) and predictable future behavior will soon follow. People in fact may be easier to program via education than computers are for a developer. One need not be specific and logical to achieve the desired outcome in people.

That quote also reminded me especially of the Regional Equity Movement we have talked about several times that is to be a primary goal of an Obama Second Term.   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/distributive-justice-is-not-enough-we-must-break-the-illusion-of-the-unitary-self/ is the discussion of the Building One America conference and how I see this as relating to education and the Future Earth Alliance.

But the Regional Equity Movement is a political means. The broader movement is called Bioregionalism and it unites systems thinking, new 3 R’s, education with ICLEI and Agenda 21. I have had all the Bioregional implementation books from the early 90s for a while. But when I read the plans they always struck me as so ludicrous to be proposing as 21st Century aspirations that I would get frustrated and put the books away. But the ludicrous aspirations just kept coming up over and over as real goals. Actual intentions. Where Banathy and Peter Senge and Paul Ehrlich and the No More Axemaker Minds and Democratic Purpose of Education were going. So I gathered the books together and took them to my favorite place for systematically taking on a really troubling book or concept–the Beach. I firmly believe lovely vistas help bolster the soul whenever life’s ugliness must be dealt with.

We could describe the last few days research on Bioregionalism as Revelations from the Sand and Surf. Vacationers who did not know me probably wondered why the lady sat scribbling furiously in the margins while sitting under the beach umbrella. The very picture of the Quintessential Nerd in Paradise. Well, in my defense it is not every day that you get so many open declarations and admissions against interest describing a Long Term Political Scheme in detail. With memorable details like “the murderous sociopathology of capitalism” or how:

“Cancer stalks the Earth. Its name is profit, its nature poison. In the name of profit our lakes and rivers die. Our oceans are dying. . .For the sake of profit our food, water and air are poisoned.” It goes on but you get the idea. No wonder so many new college grads think they must work in the nonprofit sector. They have been inundated with a very false view of the world and how it works and they lack enough historical knowledge to reject such foolish propaganda. After all they grew up in an education system that is preaching that process and theory are more important than facts. Guided already by this several decades old Transform the Future vision without bothering to tell the students, parents, or taxpayers.

The Bioregional vision goes on to make the municipality (after being broken up into authentic communities “scaled to human dimensions”) the place (and they do seem to mean this in the sense of physical space and physical activity) where:

“the individual can be transformed from a mere person into an active citizen, from a private being into a public being. Given this crucial arena that literally renders the citizen a functional being who can participate directly in the future of society, we are dealing with a level of human interaction that is more basic (apart from the family itself) than any level that is expressed in representative forms of governance, where collective power is literally transmuted into power embodied by one or a few individuals. The municipality is thus the most authentic arena of public life, however much it may have been distorted over the course of history.”

Now I did warn you civics education and the Civic Mission of Schools can be a dangerous thing to advocate blindly for these days. It is a different view of citizenship and government than what the US Constitution laid out. The mayors, however, are delighted and this explains their enthusiasm for Sustainability and Green Initiatives apart from federal dollars. They think they get to be where the long term action is in a world that really is envisioned to work like a commune with transportation by “collective vehicles.” A world where there ceases to be “independence or dependence.” In its place we are supposed to have “a more richly articulated form of interdependence” after each person has engaged in “a conscious reconstruction of our relationship to each other and the natural world.”

Now, you must be wishing you had a lovely vista to stand up and walk around in and then glance away to the horizon before reading more such nonsense. But when you have monopoly power through government, access to taxpayer money, and little real knowledge of history nonsensical visions can still be very real. Literally be the impetus behind actual education reforms and political policies and regulations and sought economic transformations. Which is precisely what is going on right now in so many areas. It tracks back in the US and globally (yes, the UN is behind this. 1973 was the initiation date days my books) to this Bioregionalist vision. That hits us as nonsensical.

And do you know where this no more Division of Labor or market exchange economy and society starts? The one to be a sharing society “based on the pleasure that is felt in distributing among communities according to their needs”? Why it starts in a new vision for education for the Full Personality. Education to “reflect on what it means to think–yes, to reason–and to live ecologically in the full meaning of the term.” That sure does sound like Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer’s Systems Thinking and the UN’s Education for Sustainable Development.

Education that makes “for more rounded personalities with a rich sense of selfhood and competence” which was a goal “long cherished by the anarchists and socialists of the last century.”

Really? Are we really going to keep implementing K-12 and college education designed to unite us all “in an ecological continuum to feed the spirit as well as the body, sharpening one’s sensitivity to the nonhuman and human world around us.” No wonder it is to be about hands-on science instead of the science in textbooks. No wonder school is now to be about Relationships.

Can we stand up now and look at the full future vision of society that this Equitable Education and democratic purpose of schooling and systems thinking and Competence is taking us to?

Embrace and Seize Technology’s Potential to Capture the Hearts and Minds of Today’s Students

That quote comes again from the Texas Vision Statement that we started talking about in the previous post. “Hearts and Minds”–that unconscious level that motivates and guides human behavior. No wonder one of the listed Participating Insurrectionist Supers has since moved on from Dallas to Cobb County, Georgia (a major suburb of Atlanta) where he is now pushing Digital Learning on middle schoolers despite parent and taxpayer objections. As the Vision Statement makes clear, apart from the fortunes to connected vendors, the digital mandate has a political purpose.

Digital devices like computers are cultural tools that diminish individual mental functioning. The tool does much of the work instead of the mind. Careful then with still developing minds.  And, no, that’s not just my opinion. There is a great deal of research that has now been translated and imported from Soviet psychology explaining which cultural tools aid the mind’s independent functioning. And which ones function like a vacuum cleaner sucking away the ability to conceptualize and think rationally. Guess where anything that kicks up the visual lies? Especially computers?

But before we talk about some of the silly and downright harmful assumptions in that Vision Statement about the Digital Revolution, let’s look at why the Hearts and Minds are being actively targeted. With all the zeal of a sugary cereal maker during Saturday morning cartoons. I am going to give the full quote here because I want you to appreciate how this links up to the planned dominance of social and emotional learning in the classroom and the Positive School Climate and Culture we have been chronicling. It really is about targeting future behavior of what should be independent individuals. Why? Well, consistent with what we have found in the real definitions of what College and Career Ready actually mean, our Insurrectionist Supers want to create “a new sense of community committed to the common good.” See how influential Amitai Etzioni is in education now?

And how do the Credentialled Comrades living (and retiring) at taxpayer expense intend to accomplish that Community-first Goal? Well they have apparently been reading all the Transformational Outcomes Based Education (OBE) work from the 90s because the Vision Statement also announces that “Beliefs create vision and drive action.” Which means if you can just impose OBE, or its more in vogue now sibling–Systems Thinking/ Systems Dynamics, in the classroom early enough, you can get future voters emotionally committed to Sustainability, Biodiversity, the evils of Capitalism, the idea that “Governments Must Facilitate everything.” Whatever. Factual reality ceases to guide perceptions from daily experience once you have captured the Hearts and Minds of the children. And that apparently is exactly what our Supers have in mind and want from the Principals under their command. I mean, employ. (my bolding for emphasis).

“Attention of leaders is focused on the dominant social systems that govern behavior beginning with those that clarify beliefs and direction, develop and transmit knowledge [notice that wording. This knowledge is not the product of the Best Minds of the Ages], and that provide for recruitment and induction of all employees and students into the values and vision.”

Oh, comrades, Employees AND students. No wonder tenure is finally being reformed with the NEA’s blessing. It’s to be part of getting us to a single Purple America instead of Blue States and Red States. Doesn’t that sound more like something that would come out of Moscow in the 30s in connection with Young Pioneers recruitment?

And how do you capture Hearts and Minds? Why you need “engagement-centered schools” where “student engagement is and remains the first focus.” That’s emotional engagement, remember? The whole premise of Second Order Change and Dewey’s Quality Learning. And that Level 4 Thinking on the Webb Depth of Knowledge Florida and Texas, those two gigantic states, both now use.

Willard Daggett, another one of those well-paid facilitators of first OBE and now the CCSSI and STAAR school implementations, has a new saying that “Relevance makes Rigor Possible.”  In other words, like John Dewey, these educators want to use student’s personal interests to get them emotionally engaged with developing possible solutions to the World’s Many Problems. To believe as Bela Banathy asserted in his Nine Dimensions for Human and Social Development that we are all just part of larger social systems that can be redesigned if only you embrace the proper vision.

So instead of using K-12 schooling and then colleges and universities or vocational training to counteract some of the visual input and artificial stimulation and hybrid text messaging that is so dominant now outside of schools, the vision coming at us all over the country is to make school activities and experiences mirror this digital reality. The digital reality that actually weakens mental functioning.  And of course we conveniently have Systems Dynamics computer modelling available so that classes can reenvision what will happen to various sub-systems if only you shift a variable here and an assumption there. Utopia via software Transformation.

There is a dangerous assumption permeating all these documents on ed reform and digital literacy and even the values accreditors want fostered in K-12, colleges, and now even grad schools like law and medicine. That employers and private sector businesses and our economy and professions will all need to change fundamentally to reflect the types of Minds and Values and Beliefs and Feelings the educational institutions intend to produce. (And as a former client I would not pay for lawyers who prefer to do Group Work.) Plus we have been at this long enough to recognize that was the whole point of attacking the Noetic system in the first place through education.

Education is a means of both getting at future voters and targeting the ultimate control and direction of markets and the economy and production and consumption. Processes that work best as individual decisions. Schools were the undefended, already socialized, part of the US and all Western economies. They give easy access to Hearts and Minds and in they come. On our Dime. Lying to our faces if we are prescient enough to discern this is not about how to best teach desired academic content to students.

Everything I have written on this blog to date lays out various ways and means and goals to use education to Transform, in the most radical sense of the word, the US and the rest of the West. Starting at the level of the human mind and motivating Values and Beliefs and Feelings and coming outward. ALL of it. Community, Environment, Economy. All redesigned and subject to the guidance of a cadre of Leaders who are quite sure that this time they will not be among those devoured in pursuit of a Communitarian-first Ideal. Because Leaders who would push such schemes on an unsuspecting, trusting public, will be so much better at creating and guiding the future than independent individuals who get to keep the upside and live with the downside of their personal decisions. Because governments and their coercive powers NEVER get captured by selfish people.

I am going to close with the vision of the values and capabilities to be fostered with digital devices in pursuit of democracy with a small d. Which sure does function like a 21st Century version of Communism with a small “c” unless, I suppose, you work for one of the Connected Businesses or the Government itself.

“Its goal is to provide all students with equitable opportunities to learn, participate in society, and further social change.”

To be a Cog in the redesigned sub-systems. To accept your assigned role. To glory in the dictated Values and Beliefs.

To be a modern day Serf to a 21st Century Nomenklatura. That’s the real vision behind these ed reforms. Everywhere. Not just Texas. They were just arrogant enough to write it up.

Thanks for that by the way.