Curriculum Now Needs to Become an Itinerary of Transformative Experiences of Participation

Mulling over the Transdisciplinary, Intrapsychological themes we have been looking at beginning with the October 28 “Opting Out” post, I decided to hit my bookshelves to find some guidance to put these declared initiatives for our children and all of our futures into context. In my book Credentialed to Destroy, I cited Harvard Historian Richard Pipes’ Survival is Not Enough to share insights from behind the Iron Curtain on why collectivists always target consciousness. Today I want to go back to a different point he made about the need to control language and communication. Remember please that communication is one of the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning and is now being used as a euphemism to insist that students need to negotiate and come to a ‘shared understanding.’  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/experimenting-on-people-and-places-via-the-rockefeller-process-of-communication-for-social-change/ is just one example of the latter use.

“Just as the private initiative of ordinary people, with its ‘second economy’ [the Black Market], has broken the state’s hold on the production and distribution of goods, so the courage of its intellectuals has given Russia a ‘second reality.’ This restoration to language of its proper function as a means of communication instead of domination is an act of revolutionary significance. In the words of Alain Besancon:

The Communist regime was, in effect, inaugurated by the public (state’s) appropriation of the means not of production but of communication. Well before the factories and fields were seized, it had been the newspapers, the printing establishments, the media…Much more directly fatal than the restoration of the market is the restoration of the human word, the privatization of the organs of speech, individual ownership of the throat…The writer breaks the compact of lies on which the entire equilibrium of ideological power rests. He gives words their meaning. He redresses the ideological inversion of language. He restores reality in its capacity as the unique reality and vaporizes surreality.”

Professor Pipes follows that Besancon quote from 1980 with this recognition: “Once the spell has been broken, the regime may never again be able to reassert its control over human perceptions and means of communication, a control that in some respects constitutes the irreducible essence of Communist power.” I think the Transdisciplinary agenda UNESCO is pushing and the rest of the education agenda centered on constructivism in reading and math it and so many other global entities are pushing in a coordinated manner are simply another way to get back that control. “We’ve found another way!” could be the theme of that Cooperation Agreement with Microsoft that Bill Gates signed.

I want to go back to the 1998 book cited in the Appendix of that Agreement because that’s where the title quote came from. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity ‘s last chapter is on Education. This is the lead-in on its new purpose: “Education, in its deepest sense and at whatever age it takes place, concerns the opening of identities–exploring new ways of being that lie beyond our current state.” Now when governments, and their allies in foundations or accreditation, decree that the negotiation of Identity is the purpose of K-12 education and they intend to prescribe, guide, and then assess for what that Identity can be, we are back beyond the scope of domination and control that Pipes and Besancon wrote about.

When education is now required to be “a mutual developmental process between communities and individuals, one that goes beyond mere socialization. It is an investment of a community in its own future, not as a reproduction of the past through cultural transmission, but as the formation of new identities that can take it history of learning forward,” we actually are back to a little c vision of the future of the kind Uncle Karl wrote about. This time though it is far more surreptitious. It definitely has a better PR campaign and a more alluring set of names.

I have stated repeatedly that Common Core is not about the transmission of knowledge and subject content in the traditional sense, no matter how much certain people now hype their reviews of textbooks and other instructional materials. Why? Because under the Transdisciplinary vision of education that is coming (even to Texas), “delivery of codified knowledge takes place away from actual practice, with a focus on instructional structure and pedagogical authority that discourages negotiation.” Negotiation–remember that obligation to come to a shared understanding I mentioned above? How many times have you heard that under the Common Core learning must be relevant and involve real world applications? Here’s the next line: “As a form of educational design, the reification of knowledge is thus not itself a guarantee that relevant or applicable learning will take place.”

That would be coursework that makes a student feel compelled to act to change the world. Remember we have encountered what Transdisciplinary means before and its explicit links to Agenda 21. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/inventing-the-education-of-the-future-by-insuring-planet-wide-activity-to-produce-unified-outlooks/
I have tried repeatedly to explain what the new assessments are really aiming to do, but let’s look to what UNESCO, Etienne Wenger, and, we must assume Mr Gates with all his sponsorship of new forms of assessment, have in mind.

“Students with a literal relation to a subject matter [like a traditional Algebra textbook, Geometry proofs, or that famous Catherine the Great World History lecture] can reproduce reified knowledge [or not and accept that C-] without attempting to gain some ownership of its meaning [in the sense of how it can impact their daily lives]. An evaluation process will become more informative regarding the learning that has actually taken place to the extent that its structure does not parallel that of instruction too closely, but instead conforms to the structure of engagement in actual practice and the forms of competence inherent in it.”

Oooh, I know. I know. Let’s call those latter types of evaluations High Quality Assessments or formative assessments. Then we can tell relieved parents there will be no more high stakes testing, just embedded learning tasks. We can all be certain the parents will not be told that school is now to be a place for “experiments of identity that students can engage in while there.” Keep that in mind though next time you hear of an assignment that basically amounts to role-playing. I want to close with Six Transdisciplinary Primary School Curriculum Themes so that students, parents, and teachers can better recognize when they have actually embarked on a UNESCO/Microsoft approved transformational educational experience. http://inquiryblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/td-themes.png is the source.

Six Sided Figure Going Clockwise from the Top

Who we are: An exploration of the nature of the self; of our beliefs and values; of personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; of our families,

Where we are in space and time: An exploration of our orientation in space and time; of our personal histories; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind.

How we express ourselves: An exploration of the way which we discover and express our nature, ideas, feelings, beliefs and values through language and the arts.

How we organise ourselves: An exploration of human systems and communities; the structure and function of organisations; societal decision making; economic activities and their impact.

How the world works: An exploration of the physical and material world; of natural and human-made phenomena; of the world of science and technology.

Sharing the planet: An exploration of rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people; access to equal opportunities, peace and conflict resolution.

Yes, I too would classify that last one as Social Justice at 10 o’clock. The ultimate tragedy is that if we are in fact looking at a future of ‘finite resources,’ the ultimate cause is this officially endorsed Mind Arson view of Education to create Transformative Change Agents. This push to circumscribe the human mind to lock in the kind of control over individuals and their likely behaviors that the Soviets could only dream of.

The late Julian Simon knew that “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.” All over the world that open-ended source of future wealth is being extinguished via K-12 education precisely, and almost solely, to once again gain the kind of control over the sources of production and communication that the Soviets lost and the Chinese wish to preserve and now extend. Globally.

Using the help of politically connected friends and corporations. There’s nothing unprecedented about what is being sought. The Internet and digital learning are just new means of communication. Plus the research the behavioral scientists documented in the 20th century has them itching for some real-time research across the globe.

So instead of being glum this holiday season that what is being attempted is so ugly, let’s be thankful for All We Now Know and Our Increasing Recognition of How Very Much this all matters.

Julian Simon knew that “minds matter economically as much as, or more than, hands or mouths.” Now, we do too. No more accepting the declared PR pitches at face value.

 

Structuring Minds and Hearts to Quietly Gain Power to Act Directly on the Individual Citizen

You may have noticed that first I figure out what is really planned for K-12 classrooms and then I figure out why. It helps when I discover that certain foundations, like Rockefeller or Carnegie, have been financing specific education visions for decades. Hard not to intuit “So you believe this fits in with your other work and gets to the same ends as initiatives that now go by different names?” It’s almost like a Treasure Hunt except what drives me is a recognition that if this continues there will cease to be much treasure outside of political connections or a tax-free endowment. Being a dedicated researcher though I was recently reading Michael Cole’s  1989 The Construction Zone: Working for Cognitive Change in School laying out how to use classroom activity, especially via computer interactions, to create the desired ‘intrapsychological’ changes that would guide perception and likely behavior going forward. That precise word kept being used.

Now before you exclaim that I am not going to be in the running for How to Have Fun on a Weekend, let me say in my defense I knew I was going to be stuck somewhere for several hours and wanted a few options on what to focus on. So I was also reading Martin Erdman’s Building the Kingdom of God on Earth as suggested by a blog reader. Maybe that simultaneous pondering first of how, made the proclaimed why jump out at me. Back when the Protestant churches were far more influential than they are today, there was a pre-World War II global vision that they could be the institutions that to create the “state of mind which must precede any genuine progress toward world order.” That quote was by future Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in 1944 to the graduating class of the Princeton Theological Seminary.

It is precisely the same view of changing hearts and minds we now see in the schools, especially K-12 education. Education became the social vehicle for transformations in prevailing beliefs in a collectivist direction. Beyond this constant theme over the last 100 years that the way to change the nature of the real world, politically and socially going forward, “consists no longer in physical obstacles but only in the minds of men. The difficulty of so changing the minds of men, even in commonwealths so advanced, is hard to exaggerate…The work of effecting that change is essentially work for the churches; but they cannot begin it till political thinkers have clearly said what the change should be.”

Now substitute the word ‘schools’ there for ‘churches’ as the far more effective long term influence now. Also recognize from the last post that Uncle Karl is absolutely one of those political thinkers and that the principals and administrators dictating required classroom practices, and psychologists creating the measuring assessments, are all now actually looking to force and then monitor precisely just those sought changes in students’ minds and hearts. Now one more quote is crucial to what I really think is now intended under euphemistically phrased practices and policies like Competency-Based Education, digital learning, formative assessment or assessment for learning (notice next time you see that phrase that for is italicized just like that for emphasis).

In England before World War I, a politically influential group called the Round Table laid out its 20th Century international vision. It had ties to both the famous Rhodes Trust and to what is now the well-known Council on Foreign Relations. Deep pockets, influential, in a position to maneuver any agreed upon plans into place over time is a succinct way to describe any of these types of groups. What I care about, because I believe it was the goal that led these people to want to use both the churches then and the schools now, was a desired “power to act directly on the individual citizen.” That’s not the view of the role of governments in common law countries like the UK, the US, Canada, or Australia. Being upfront about these intentions and goals is a great way to prevent their ever happening.

Remember that 2004 Cooperation Agreement between UNESCO and Microsoft that global ed reform advocate and financier Bill Gates signed personally (November 6 post)? It explicitly mentioned Etienne Wenger and his concept of Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Needless to say, I got a copy of that 1998 book so we know that to Gates, Microsoft, and the UN entities:

“knowing is not just a matter of information. In practice, understanding is always straddling the known and the unknown in a subtle dance of the self. It is a delicate balance. Whoever we are, understanding in practice is the art of choosing what to know and what to ignore in order to proceed with our lives.”

Except all this insider talk of intrapsychological structuring, mental maps, and cognitive change is actually about someone else designating in advance what is likely to be noticed and ignored. All those references to ‘lenses’ with no optometrist in sight. How’s THAT for the ultimate power to act directly? On the importance of guiding available vocabulary, limiting the genuine ability to read fluently, and moving away from a personal store of factual knowledge, here’s Wenger again:

“An adequate vocabulary is important because the concepts we use to make sense of the world direct both our perception and our actions. We pay attention to what we expect to see, we hear what we can place in our understanding, and we act according to our worldviews.”

That’s why we have a quiet but coordinated global effort per Wenger to mandate a shift in K-12 education so that the “focus [is] not on knowledge as an accumulated commodity–as the ability to repeat the past–but on learning as a social system productive of new meanings.”

Now we can infer that John Foster and friends and the Round Table would be pleased if they were still around, but we can in fact know what UNESCO, the Gates Foundation, and Microsoft have in store for us via this 2012 Video (23 minutes and well worth it) on the New Classroom Experience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG6PVCMb3tE Now this Learning Without Frontiers vision is linked by UNESCO http://www.unesco.org/education/lwf/ to the same troubling transdisciplinary vision of changing the student we examined in detail here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/opting-out-as-the-remedy-may-mean-accidentally-accelerating-nonconsensual-transformations/

Maybe Queenstown was picked to be the global Transdisciplinary pilot because it’s just so much fun to travel to the Barrier Reef in Australia at someone else’s expense. Let’s not let that non-updated website fool us since Learning Without Frontiers global conferences ran annually from 2005 to that one in 2012. Now those same aims are lurking in Charles Fadel’s Curriculum Redesign Project, GELP, ATC21S (17:42 mark in that video), and especially in KnowledgeWorks’ High Tech High and the work now of the League of Innovative Schools.

Since we have already examined all those entities previously on this blog, let’s briefly look at what confessions Anthony Salcito made in that video. Consistent with Wenger’s vision, Salcito is annoyed that “what we’re learning hasn’t changed.” He, and his employer we may presume, want to “fundamentally change what we are teaching and assessing” and “get ready for the workplace.” There’s that controversial School to Work vision again coming in by stealth this time. He is excited that it will be a different kind of workplace. I suppose that’s because Microsoft says so.  In what may be my favorite confession of the social engineering intent behind all these sought ‘immersive experiences’ that combine ‘visual representations and emotional connections,’ Salcito explains the “technology advances the emotional response.”

Not your desired emotional response, silly. The emotional response at an intrapsychological level that Planners have decided students need to have to prime that perception and those future actions. Beyond that confession, listen at 18:02 to hear that History is no longer about content, but rather a means to “learn leadership.” Algebra is now a means to learn holistic abstract thinking. Apparently the Planners would like to specify all those internal structures of mental interconnections, instead of having whiz kids develop their own. Neither controlled or equitable I guess. We might be troubled by what Institute for the Future’s Jane MacGonnigal declared as the intentions for Game Based Learning, but Salcito embraces it (19:26).  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/when-gaming-intends-to-shape-and-distort-our-perceptions-of-everything-around-us-viva-la-revolution/

Notice Salcito admits a desire to use Game-based Theory to “reenforce positive behavior.” Their definition of it, not ours. Likewise, he recommends Service Based Learning as a way to get students “fully away from content” in order to apply this theory of learning. This experimental theory of transformative political change created at the intrapsychological level in the minds and hearts of unsuspecting students.

There’s a much shorter Learning Without Frontiers video, also from 2012,  http://vimeo.com/50438579 that says that “if we get it wrong, we will jeopardize an entire generation” of students.

I am asserting that if this vision of learning goes as intended and planned, we will lose more than a generation of students. Education for transformation at an intrapsychological level is a superb way to generate economic famine for virtually everyone.

Real economic wealth lies in the human mind. And too many are currently determined to extinguish that believing falsely that this mind arson creates willing subjects and more for others.

You can see why I have so little patience for Opt Out as the final parental remedy and solution for what is being changed in the K-12 classroom.

With all these trackable declarations, it may turn out to be a “Look Squirrel!” misdirection while the intrapsychological structural changes are rolling along.

 

Locking in Marx’s Dream: Psychophysiological Means Precisely What We Fear as the Real Goal of Education

I always feel odd writing down that infamous name, but as I learned when I was researching my book, Uncle Karl is never very far away from the theories behind the actual classroom implementation. Sometimes the link is too direct and too huge in its implications for me to use a cute euphemism either. Especially when Marx is cited directly as the support that leads to all the current hyping of Neuroscience and Brain-based instruction. How direct? Well, Etienne Wenger from our last post wrote a book Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity that I found deeply troubling. Diving into the relevant footnotes pulled up a book I had never heard of that turned out to be $800 used on Amazon when I looked.

Not wanting to eat PB& J sandwiches for the next 6 months to secure a copy of The Concept of Activity in Soviet Psychology, I decided to go internet surfing to see what cited Soviet psychologist AN Leontiev actually wrote about “The problem of activity in psychology.” In case you haven’t noticed, the requirement of active learning and a shift away from print, lectures, and textbooks is what I would call omnipresent in the real Common Core implementation. Knowing how crucial learning tasks are I thought I would gain some more useful insights. What I was not anticipating was for Leontiev to lay out aims and practices I recognized from all my research and then cite repeatedly to pages from Marx and Engels or from some of Marx’s other works.

Suddenly euphemisms won’t do, not with stated aims like using education and carefully crafted classroom or digital virtual activities to literally “lead to a reconstruction of the ensemble of brain psychophysiological functions.” If the aim becomes analyzing which kinds of student activities produce what types of physical changes in their brains, it sure would explain all the interest now in functional MRI, adaptive software, and longitudinal data. When I read those words and others being attributed by Leontiev to what Marx and Engels really desired that are as provocative as stating:

“This convenient formula [of separating psychology and physiology] leads into a greater sin, the sin of isolating the psyche from the work of the brain”

Waiting until the next book could be published simply will not do. Just last week, independent of this research, someone asked me if I was familiar with the White House’s new Fattah Neuoroscience Initiative. The answer was no, but it did not take much insight to guess that it would be linked to John Holdren, which turned out to be quite correct. http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP19/20140227/101775/HHRG-113-AP19-Wstate-HoldrenJ-20140227.PDF is some recent testimony from him on all that federal activity involving the physical structure of the human brain. Notice though that Holdren leaves out that Digital Promise and the League of Innovative Schools also report to him and they happen to be carrying out precisely the kind of education activity that Leontiev wrote about.

Holdren also leaves out his long time ties to Paul Ehrlich and his stated desire for Newmindedness no longer grounded in a logical, rational mind. Just think of the implications of all this Neuroscience and Grit, Perseverence research for Ehrlich’s current global research project–MAHB–the Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior. Now that I have reminded everyone of the real current links to where K-12 in the US and globally is going, let me add one more thing. I found this graphic Leontiev book on servers at the Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition at UC-San Diego. The place where Michael Cole and Yrjo Engestrom [see tags] have created the global base for Cultural Historical Activity Theory in the years since the Berlin Wall fell.

Happy 25th anniversary for that Happy Event by the way. Let’s commemorate that Death of Tyranny by continuing to expose that so much of the ideology we thought we were leaving behind in 1989 came on into the West invisibly through a new kind of psychology and a new vision for K-12 education. To bury such destructive required collectivism once and for all we have to know it is there. If you have not yet read my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon, get it.

The findings on this blog are not a substitute for it. They are the icing, cherries, and birthday candles. It simply keeps getting more pertinent with time. Given Leontiev’s disclosures though, we simply cannot escape the fact that everything now envisioned for the K-12 classroom globally in the 21st century is based on  a decision “at the beginning of the 1920s” in the Soviet Union to “consciously structure psychology on the basis of Marxism.”

Specific cites and everything. That psychology is sensory in its base, not mental as we have historically assumed, which really does explain all the links in the previous post. It is a view of psychology and education that “in the modern world psychology fulfills an ideological function.” Yes, which is why Leontiev keeps mentioning its use to create a consciousness in people suitable for a “socialistic, communistic society.” All three words, just like that. Apparently all our encounters with communitarianism and the references to meeting needs are part of this vision linked now directly to Uncle Karl. There’s that softening euphemism again. I guess I just cannot quite adjust to open proclamations of intent of the sort Leontiev uses:

“It must not be said that psychology has exhausted the treasure chest of Marxist-Leninist ideas. For this reason we turn again and again to the works of Karl Marx, which resolve even the most profound and complex theoretical problems of psychological science.”

What do we do when the actual and only support for what a charter or Principal or District Office or foundation grant are mandating for a K-12 classroom turns out to be Karl Marx’s social theories for how to gain the kind of brain and personality that would fit his vision for the future? Here again is what Leontiev wrote, the old view of psychology and education:

“isolated cognition from sensory activity, from the living practical ties of man with the world that surrounded him…Introducing the concept of activity into the theory of cognition, Marx gave it a strictly materialistic sense: For Marx, activity in its primary and basic form was sensory, practical activity in which people enter into a practical contact with objects of the surrounding world, test their resistance, and act on them, acknowledging their objective properties.”

What happens when doing all that as a physical, sensory activity involving group participation becomes the very assessment of student ‘achievement’ or Growth?

What happens when the purpose of digital learning is to access a student’s internal “picture of the world” so that learning tasks, virtual reality gaming, and adaptive software can provide virtual and physical experiences to alter that picture in desired ways? Ways that are chosen by others for their intended effects on the student at a physical level.

What happens when, having cited to Marx and Engels on the effect of vocabulary and words generally on consciousness and perception, educators then do everything they can to limit vocabulary, manipulate the words and concepts that are supplied, and minimize the historic role of print on the mind?

What if K-12 education seeks to circumscribe human thought in the 21st century so that it is “nothing else but a derivative of practical activity”? With the stated goal being a “true solution to this problem of the origin and essence of human thought.” And why is human thought problematic?

Because independent rational human thought with access to a store of facts does not submit to Overlordship easily. All these required practices hiding now as pedagogy and Effective Teaching are all actually about subjugation of the mind.

And personality too. Leontiev’s Chapter 5 has with a lead-in header of “Personality as a Subject of Psychological Investigation.” How’s that for aspirational? Do free societies do that nonconsensually using deceit? That analysis, by the way, has to get to the relationship of “motives and needs” just like innovative education seeks to do.

Let’s end with an aspiration that does explain all the intended use of social and emotional learning and an emphasis on the Whole Child. It fits with all the current UN hype of the post-2015 Sustainable World that will meet the needs of all. It fits with the goals we have encountered that we become a “Spirit Society”. This is how Leontiev ended his vision of a new kind of education arising from a scientific, materialistic psychology grounded, he declared, in Marxism:

“Lost from view here is the fact that it is necessary also to go through a transformation of material consumption, that the possibility for everyone to satisfy these needs does away with the intrinsic value of things that satisfy them and eliminates that unnatural function that they fulfill in private ownership society…”

Lost no more and just in time. Historian Richard Pipes in the book mentioned in the two previous posts pointed out that even animals show repeatedly that acquisitivesness is innate. Trying to dislodge what is innate via K-12 Whole Child education premised on practical activity and social participation is simply not going to end well.

Now would be a great time to start recognizing the ancestry of all these required changes in the nature of education.

No more euphemisms. Not with the stakes this high or the aims so personally intrusive.

Tyranny Over the Mind: Constraining the Egocentric ‘I the Knower’ Approach in Favor of Participation

Let’s go back and look at the priceless historical value of what is being quietly taken away. Then I will show more of the ways this stealth robbery is occurring through K-12 education. How it both hides under legal mandates most are unaware of and in known initiatives that have unappreciated aspects. You know how I explain in my book and on this blog that Radical Ed Reform is like a giant jigsaw puzzle where the pieces fit so the gears can then engage as designed? Turns out that aspect has a name no one bothered to tell us about. “Plug-and-Play” is the new phrase I stumbled across. We may be the players on the proverbial chessboard of this game we are funding, but no one intends to let us plan our own moves anymore.

The book Property and Freedom: The Story of How Through the Centuries Private Ownership has Promoted Liberty and the Rule of Law reminds us that when governments at all levels decide to “seek not just freedom but opportunity…not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and as a result,” those aims of social equality require actual coercion. Lack of consent is not an option. Professor Pipes, after quoting President Johnson, points out that “once the elimination of poverty becomes a state objective, the state is bound to treat property not as a fundamental right, which it is its supreme obligation to protect, but [my emphasis] as an obstacle to social justice.”

What I want to add is if that is true of physical things, property in the form of personal knowledge, values, attributes, and beliefs is even more at risk as an obstacle. Those personal characteristics of each of us, so targeted now through a Whole Child social and emotional learning emphasis, are precisely what can recognize the loss of what is being taken away. Those are the qualities that allow an individual to stand before a stampeding herd and try to turn it in time. Those are also forms of personal property in the sense recognized by Pipes when he wrote:

“The right to property in and of itself does not guarantee civil rights and liberties. But historically speaking, it has been the single most effective device for ensuring both, because it creates an autonomous sphere, in which by mutual consent, neither the state or society can encroach; by drawing a line between the public and the private, it makes the owner co-sovereign, as it were.”

Since I am neither “oblivious to the consequences” of what these reforms in K-12 education are actually intended to transform, nor as yet unable to “even speak my mind” on the effects of “subordinating individual rights to group rights,” here are some specifics that abrogate any inkling of that personal sovereignty. If you took your solace from the vision of the last post  from a belief that that particular view of the future would not happen, I am guessing KnowledgeWorks failed to send you a copy of the blueprint it created for remaking the traditional high school. Let me fix that omission. http://www.knowledgeworks.org/sites/default/files/High%20School%20Race%20to%20the%20Top.pdf

Does anyone have a personally autonomous sphere when governments decide to partner with the “local workforce system” to prescribe what students are now to know and be able to do? All students are to achieve the stipulated “competencies and learning objectives.” If that sounds innocent enough, with only some overtones of social engineering, how about a requirement that the “knowledge and skills” be suitable for being “applied to complex situations regardless of content area.” That’s sounding quite preprogrammed isn’t it? How about learning objectives that “provide the specific tasks a student must complete to demonstrate proficiency.” Should governments be dictating that the “days of direct instruction are numbered,” while stipulating a requirement for “engaged learning that ignites students’ intrinsic motivation”?

That will require a great deal of personal probing, won’t it? Hard to respect the integrity of the person though in a blueprint that actually has an Element 3 calling for “public-private partnerships” with community organizations and businesses. Whose needs will be met in creating “customized learning pathways for all students”? Pathways for those of us who avoid the woods at all costs and hate looking at maps basically decide where we may tread without being arrested or maybe stepping on a snake. Whose interests are determining these Pathways and how do students get to move beyond the stipulated “essential skills such as collaboration, initiative, global awareness, creativity, critical thinking, and perseverance”?

The federal government’s partner in many of these workforce readiness visions for K-12 education is an entity called Jobs for the Future. They have created an initiative that is also probably off your radar called Students at the Center. It guides the actual classroom implementation while staying hidden to the typical parent, school board member, or taxpayer. An excellent strategy for getting your way without messy controversy. Tracking through those footnotes though pulled up this vision of education in 2020 where education globally now expects less disabling curricula than the historic emphasis on print. http://aim.cast.org/w/resources/indira/text/2020LearningLandscape.pdf;jsessionid=2418E9C0A6ADC89C46B5764CE1F45E0D

Yes, you did read that right since apparently we belong to the last generation that need worry about reading instead of “multimedia experiences” we are immersed in. A print emphasis in school is to be seen as a matter of injustice. Since I covered why print is so liberating to the human mind in Chapter 2: “The Danger of the Fluent Reader”, I will simply refer blog readers there. Please also note that this vision where by 2020, “the basic platform for education is no longer print media” is being pushed by the same group that forced the pernicious Universal Design For Learning into the Common Core in the first place (see Chapter 7 on that). The repeated insistence now in education globally to proclaim the Death of the Gutenberg Era is nothing more than an attempt to constrain the independence of the human mind when it can access books and other information without restraint.

Has anyone noticed an accelerating push around IB programs? Did you know that when people like Linda Darling-Hammond describe their dream type of assessment for the future IB is the one they point to? Did you know IB has revised its required Theory of Knowledge course for its Diploma Programme? It has already been rolled out with the first schedules assessment in 2015.The IBO Guidelines added religion as a New Area of Knowledge since Religious Knowledge Systems have “a major impact on how they understand the world, permeating their thinking and influencing their understanding of other AOKs ..for many, religion provides a backdrop to all the other knowledge they have.”

I do believe that new found reverence for religious belief only extends to certain beliefs since the New TOK officially wants to cross out the following:

* Unsustainable absolutist conception of knowledge

*Black and white thinking: no perspectives (objectivism) or just perspectives (subjectivism)

*Egocentric, “I the knower” approach

* Naked, monolithic, quantitative Ways of Knowing

That last one certainly explains all the fascination for non-linear problem-solving based on instinct instead of logic or known algorithms. As I explained in Chapter 4 of my book “The Danger of the Analytical Thinker”, none of these ‘reforms’ is really about a better way to teach a subject. It’s always a means to change the student at a psychological level. It also tries to train the student in a reverence for the collective and shared knowledge instead of personal knowledge.

Speaking of cronyistic public-private partnerships and a shared knowledge push, others have pointed out that on November 17, 2004 Bill Gates personally signed a Cooperation Agreement between UNESCO and Microsoft. My chief concern was laid out in Appendix 3 on creating “communities of practice” and students becoming merely “a participant of a community,” instead of the autonomous individuals they have historically been in the Western tradition of the always related individualism, property, and freedom. Requiring “shared practice” in education and the classroom is not free. Neither is having UNESCO or Microsoft or Mr Gates developing a required “perspective on knowing and learning that informs efforts to create learning systems in various sectors and at various levels of scale, from local communities, to single organizations, partnerships, cities, regions, and the entire world.”

Well, that’s an ambitious vision of shared knowledge. Rather authoritarian too. Will you or your children adapt well to a sense of ‘empowerment’ no longer coming from what you can do on your own or who you choose to work with? Instead, CoPs “facilitate ‘empowerment’ through their members’ ability to participate in a community and allow the participants to drive the community.” There’s apparently no scheduled Opt Out if we simply want to escape being a required participant in the community or a ‘mere’ member of society.

Come on Robin, you say, quit sounding like you’d prefer the option of being a hermit. Well, OK, let’s look quickly at what the cited creator of these CoPs has in mind in education. No need to speculate    http://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/09-10-27-CoPs-and-systems-v2.01.pdf Wenger wants to see the student as a “social participant, as a meaning-making entity for whom the social world is a resource for constituting an identity.”

Oh. Good. Grief. First Prescribed Pathways and now Preformed Molds for fostering a Desired Identity in order to “organize our participation.”

And people keep wondering why the actual focus is so psychological.

See where requiring Equity is taking us?

 

Authoritarian FantasyLand: A Place With Required Habits of Mind but Disdain for Facts

Back from my jaunt this week to Orange County, California to talk about all the things coming into K-12 classrooms under the cloaking banner of the Common Core. Since I was taking notes on Monday night and the pro-CC side zealously conceded a great deal in their prepared presentations, I thought we would talk about what was admitted upfront and what the implications are for all of us. It is safe to say that California is further along than many states so this will fit with what is or will soon be going on everywhere. If authoritarian seems awfully strong, it is partly a reaction to the number of speakers who insisted that the Common Core was now “the law” and there was thus no reason for further discussion. Now no one actually uttered the phrase “resistance is futile” or “submission is mandatory,” but that was the drift of the arguments.

Gone is any concept that the United States is a country conceived on a premise that the individual is ultimately so sacrosanct that even a king needs to ask permission to cross his threshold. No, if a school board, legislature, or city or regional council adopts a law or enacts a regulation, apparently obedience is now mandatory without further discussion. That crucial shift is one reason the authoritarian description seems apt. The other is the number of times I heard speakers, especially one who was a former California 4th District PTA President and a current Huntington Beach school board member utter phrases in support of the Common Core like “its purpose is to create habits of mind” and dictate “concepts to be absorbed” by the student. Another speaker spoke of “internalizing” knowledge.

All of those references, whether the speakers know this or not, are to what Soviet psychologist Piotr Galperin called theoretical instruction to guide future behavior. We covered it here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/transcending-the-individual-mind-as-the-analytical-unit-of-learning-while-still-guiding-how-we-will-act/ . My dictionary defines authoritarian as “unquestioning obedience to authority rather than individual freedom of judgment and action.” Now let’s face it, if concepts have been implanted in student’s psyche at an unconscious level, which all these speakers are admitting and I have been warning about, there’s not even any opportunity to question. Is there anybody out there that denies our definition is being more than met with these openly declared intentions?

One of the Board members read two passages from my book. One is that we are looking at the “Marxist theory of education.” I suppose he was trying to paint me as some kind of 21st Century McCarthy threatening to name names. As the book lays out in detail, Uncle Karl wanted education to be all about controlling consciousness. Let’s face it, the pro-CC speakers themselves admitted that aim several times. If educational theorists and professors use the M word among themselves for what they advocate, we get to use the term as well. That’s me–factual, not raving. The 2nd quote had to do with the assertion in the book that Common Core actually wants to limit knowledge. I explained quickly about how a concept-based education worked, but I have a better example to actually quote now that I am home with access to all my materials.

The term “rigor” and “cognitively demanding” both got used a lot as reasons for the shift to the Common Core. No one mentioned though that the purpose of this kind of classroom work was to foster a “tolerance for ambiguity” in the student. More psyche in the classroom crosshairs then. I mentioned in my testimony that to work the problem MUST be ambiguous, be previously untaught, or have no single correct answer.  http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/Rigor-Redefined.aspx is a 2008 article by Harvard prof Tony Wagner elaborating just that–”a complex, multi-step problem that is different from any they’ve seen in the past.”

The pro-side did not care for my pointing out that when they stated that CC were “learning standards” they were saying it was about “social and emotional changes in the student” and “goals” for changing a student’s values, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors.  That came out on rebuttal even though our former PTA President and Board member had cited “engaging experiences” as one of her reasons to support the CC transformation of the classroom. What precisely does she believe the “experiences” are getting at? Plus, I now have access to the standard definition of ‘rigor’ which is “the goal of helping all students develop the capacity to understand content that is complex, ambiguous, provocative, and personally or emotionally challenging.” I took that from an SREB powerpoint, but plenty of school districts use that quoted definition verbatim too.

Another reason cited in support of CC was it “promotes Equity.” As we say in the South “Yeehaw.” Dissimilar treatment of students in order to get them to the same outcomes is not likely to be a popular selling point, at least until we get a generation trained with those Anti-bias Standards from the last post. So we get Equity imposed invisibly by Supers and Civil Rights edicts and local city councils. Alarmingly, Brookings’ Metropolitanism guru, Bruce Katz (see tags)  announced this week http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2014/10/22-metro-growth-uk-us-katz  that  “it’s time we rewrote our own federalist contract [that would be the US Constitution] and realign power and responsibility for the modern era in which cities and metropolitan areas, rather than nations and states, drive economies and progress.”

Right into a ditch in all likelihood, but this is the political vision all these education reforms embodied in the full CC implementation are relying on as the future they are preparing our students for. In that link, you will find a link to a UK report that makes it clear that geography is being used to disguise the shift to the needs-based, economic justice vision that Uncle Karl lusted about achieving at some point in the future. As the report said “the scale of metros means they are best placed to drive the strategic integration of public services and economic development.”

That’s the vision for Manchester in the UK and the greater LA area, my neck of the woods in Georgia, and everywhere else as well. Everything I have read suggests a Folly of monumental proportions is planned, but it will be quite lucrative for a while to those connected vendors who form public-private partnerships to receive taxpayer money for meeting ‘needs’ like housing, education, or healthcare.

I want to close this discussion with a Keynote Address noted Change Agent Shirley McCune gave back in 1981 called “The Future of Educational Equity.” She saw “struggles for equity” as the “whole rationale for the formation of the United States” which tells us what can happen when we let graduate degrees in social work dictate how we educate our kids. What I found fascinating since I had always seen the Reagan Block Grants to state and local governments as a ‘conservative’ shift was how A-OK she was with this plan. So someone who wanted to see comparable economic and social outcomes among groups and “groups of people represented throughout society in proportion to their representation in the population” viewed state and local governments as the place to achieve that.

Something to think about as commentators assume that the Common Core is an acceptable dictate if a local school board requires it. That the only problem with the Common Core is the federal fingerprints all over it from Arne Duncan’s actions. Really? Authoritarianism that goes so far as to dictate personality traits at an unconscious level to drive future behavior is not a problem now as long as it is not federal authorities mandating it? McCune believed that the “only way that persons would be willing to ‘buy equity concerns’ is if it is demonstrated that it is an innate part of quality education.” That of course is precisely what embedding Racial Equity Outcomes in coursework or those Anti-Bias Framework do.

It’s McCune and others view of how to use a misleading term like quality education for “building a new consensus on equity.” She also viewed quality education for equity as about equipping students with the “highest level basic verbal and mathematical skills consistent with their individual ability.” The only way to read that language is that slower students will get a variety of ways to show their skills, but able students still cannot go beyond basic. They can just go faster through the basics.

Just as we are seeing with all the current emphasis on Career Pathways, where California is one of the lead pilots http://www.clasp.org/resources-and-publications/files/aqcp-framework-version-1-0/AQCP-Framework.pdf McCune’s plan for equity relied on ALL students now receiving a combined academic and vocational education where everyone would obtain “the skills and attitudes necessary for working cooperatively with both the same sex and opposite sex in the paid workforce and in the home.”

Finally McCune’s version of quality education “would equip students with the flexibility and self-confidence that would enable them to cope with the rapidly changing society through continuing adult learning and growth.” Doesn’t that sound just like what the Common Core is touting as having a Growth Mindset? Everything old is new again apparently until total transformation is finally achieved.

Apparently the products of a “quality education” grounded in ‘rigor’ will not object to the fundamental rewrite of our “federalist contract” and in the mean time, governments at all levels seem to be pursuing this Equity vision without any genuine disclosure or consent. Leaving it to the lady who reads too much and has for a very long time to lay it all out.

Hopefully Just In Time as the slogan goes.

Backward Mapping: Bundling Human and Social Engineering While Trumpeting International Competition

Sometimes people feel deeply shaken by the things I write about. Me too, except there is no ambiguity in what is being sought by the time I am willing to discuss it in public. If the declarations appear to be Tragic or even just a horrifically wasteful idea, someone needs to be bringing these intentions into the sunlight of public scrutiny in time. So after an admittedly needed rest to watch the sand and surf and mull over the enormity of the materials I have, here we go again.

I must say though I was relieved to learn as I pondered the implications of today’s disclosures that the late UK economist, Kenneth Minogue, had also been distressed by what was being intentionally done to the minds and personalities of people in order to force the acceptance of the welfare state and equality for all. His 2010 book The Servile Mind noted that in the 21st century “large areas of what were previously of private concern have become subject to political regulation.” Amen to that from this side of the Atlantic pond. He pointed out that “new pieties have arisen according to which individuals are able to demonstrate their decency by the political attitudes they adopt.”

Having just finished reading http://www.competencyworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/CW-An-International-Study-in-Competency-Education-Postcards-from-Abroad-October-2014.pdf released two days ago, I would word that much more strongly than Minogue did. Globally those desired attitudes are simply being declared a necessary Competency or disposition. Then learning experiences are created to make sure the desired changes in personal outlooks occur. Minogue noted a “coercive centralism of attitude and policy.” I agree, but how few recognize that has become the new purpose of K-12 curriculum and what is actually being assessed? Minogue reminded us that historically in the US and the elsewhere in the West individuals “constructed their own identity in terms of personally chosen commitments.”

Not in the Competency vision. It is purely grounded in a belief that in the 21st Century, all over the world, government officials at all levels get to pick out the desired “sentiment and belief [that] can be adequately entrenched in the human mind” in order to “determine conduct” in the manner desired for the new vision of society and the economy laid out. Political power is now mandating in advance what is to be acceptable individual behavior, beliefs, and values. Since that sounds unabashedly authoritarian to anyone with a modicum of history knowledge, the same goals get hidden under an invisibility cloak with terms like standards, learning, or Competency.

Or ‘entrepreneurship’ in UNESCO’s recent report called Toward an Entrepreneurial Culture for the Twenty-First Century. Backward Mapping is a term used to describe the desired quality, attribute, sentiment, or behavior to be instilled through school experiences in a student. It sounds much better than political engineering of a person’s personality and behavior, but those are the true aims if we can just be blunt and honest. Saves time and wasteful use of taxpayer dollars. Here’s a sample of what I mean from that UNESCO report:

“Across nations, what is needed [in K-12 and all approaches to economic and social development] are programmes that show young people how they can directly contribute to raising levels of well-being and prosperity in their communities. Preparation starts in the classroom where students, future workers, business owners and community members must learn how to be responsible citizens.”

That’s the vision that K-12 education must now engineer, which would certainly explain the need for a student-centered behavioral approach instead of the traditional subject-matter emphasis. It also explains why we just keep running into a required communitarian orientation that students are to demonstrate daily. Again UNESCO reminds us that “education is not only acquiring academic knowledge but the way to prepare young people for work and living in the society.” Of course that would be the new view of society so we are Backward Mapping twice. Desired Society needs a certain kind of citizen with a stipulated Outlook on what is desirable for the future. That type of citizen then gets sculpted via K-12 Whole Child focused education. No intention though to confess all this to the parents or taxpayers.

What’s important is the Goal of Equity and “a decent quality of growth for all.” Now I think all this is delusional, but this is in fact what Competency globally is tied to as well as those Common Core standards when rightfully understood in the supporters’ own words. If this social and economic vision is deranged, then we are implementing a tragic form of behavioral engineering for ridiculous ends in our schools, and nobody is supposed to have a veto power to stop the shift in time. Please read the End Game while mentally humming “To Dream the Impossible Dream” to add to the context. To give our mayors, city councils, and community organizers, not to mention district School Supers, ever more power over people and places, this is all to occur at the level of “local governments.”

“…rests on finding a balance between economic, social and environmental goals. This requires dialogue and partnerships through which different stakeholders work together for their broad range of concerns. [Won't the new real world problem-based focus for high school come in handy?] And while this may not always be as effective as desired [that's OK because taxpayer dollars can always be levied again since they come from a magic tree surrounded by unicorns], there are at least greater civil society inputs into strategies to maintain social cohesion to protect cultural identity and to promote environmentally friendly behaviours in local communities. Putting the future of the community in the hands of its own members reduces dependency on outside forces and rejuvenates the economic and social fabric.”

Now would be a good time to transition to the song “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows” because, as I said, that’s a ridiculous vision. A rational mind filled with facts and attuned to making its own decisions and setting its own goals would grasp that easily, which is precisely why such minds are being disallowed all over the globe. They are in the way of the desired all-encompassing exercise of political power in the 21st Century. That reality again would never be something most people would voluntarily acquiesce to so we get namby-pamby visions for 21st century education like this from the same document:

“We learn from a young age that the development of positive, engaging and equitable relationships is critical to our success as human beings. Basic social skills enable us to interact in the community, as well as to understand the meaning of citizenship. Sound social skills allow us to understand both social rights and claims, as well as obligations and responsibilities. But imagination and emotional engagement are as important as social skills. More than ever, there is a need to engage young people in finding creative solutions to improving the welfare of their communities, while contributing to collective prosperity in ways that do not damage natural resources. Intelligence should include the ability to envisage alternative futures, to resolve open-ended problems with more than one way of doing things.”

That’s the vision of society and the economy and our new future that all the education reforms going on globally in both public and private schools are driving towards. There is absolutely no ambiguity whatsoever in what is being sought and why. The only fluctuation seems to be where in the progression  a given school, district, or country is.

I am going to close this post with the open declaration of one of the insiders who brags about her access and tutoring of Fortune 100 CEOs and Pentagon officials and her desire to use education to gain new kinds of nonlinear minds to get a new kind of society. In her 2010 book Rebecca Costa wrote that “we have to challenge [the human brain] in very specific ways. And we are getting very close to understanding exactly what those ways are. Word by word, we are now constructing a user’s manual to the human brain–ground zero for everything we do, know, think, and feel–and the sustainability of human progress.”

Told you there was no ambiguity and no, we are apparently not supposed to get a copy of that user’s manual. Fortunately for all of us, I found it anyway and laid it out in my book originally. I continue to explore it on this blog.

We can only stop what we know exists. The creators of that user’s manual and these visions of the future never wanted us to link K-12 reforms to what was really the End Game in time.

Tough luck I say.

 

 

Censorship Before the Fact: Prescribing What the Child Does and Believes Invisibly but Reliably Binds the Adult

The problem with censorship, apart from the loss of personal liberty not to have governments intervene in what we think and how we must act, is two-fold if you are a wanna-be Steerer of Human Keels in the 21st Century. Some information always gets through and everyone knows that their flow of information is being regulated and manipulated. By using K-12 education globally in the 21st Century to “control learning experiences” or creating behavioral goals for what students are to “think and do” and then euphemistically labelling those aims as “standards” or “outcomes,” our Steersmen get to create what I am going to call Censorship Before the Fact.  They intend to rule and they get to control what most of us will pay attention to, or ignore, in our daily lives. Plus we will not try to resist what we do not even recognize is there.

Win, Win if the 21st Century continues in the existing desired direction globally where those who are elected at any level of government are being told repeatedly they get to govern, in the literal sense of the word, those who elected them. We cannot resist what we are unaware of and my job on this blog now and in my book previously has been to point out the things that are intended to bind us without our active knowledge or genuine consent. Yesterday this story caught my eye http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/09/is-hong-kong-on-brink-of-its-own-version-of-tiananmen-square/. I knew at least the Hong Kong people could see how the same education reforms being adopted in K-12 globally have been designed to change what their young people value, believe, know, and perceive.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/using-education-to-shut-down-free-choices-and-then-redefining-as-personal-autonomy-orwell-lives/

I want to go back to the 2014 book The Fourth Revolution that I first mentioned in the September 21 post (2 back).

“China is doing more than promoting a web of connections: It is deliberately promoting a model. When foreign officials come to China [Heads Up!! This means our mayors and state Governors and Chambers of Commerce on 'Trade Missions'], their tutors at places like CELAP [China Executive Leadership Academy at Pudong. It is elsewhere described as the 'cadre training school' that is "an organization bent on world domination"] now emphasize the virtues of the Chinese model–the way the state can focus on national champions or attract foreign investment into special economic zones or ensure the entrepreneurs join the Communist Party [substitute believe and act on the desired Big Ideas and it will fit the era here of new SATs and formative assessments] and thereby contribute to political stability as well as economic dynamism. They also compare China’s sleek government [no visits then to their troubling Ghost Cities] with America’s gridlock and India’s chaos. The government has seeded Confucius Institutes in universities across the world and is trying to use the Boao Forum for Asia as an ideological counterweight to Davos.”

We can just imagine how joyful the veterans of these trade junkets to China are to have had the US Congress enact that Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in July now requiring all states and localities to create state and local economic development plans tied to education.http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/priority-economic-citizenship-for-some-officially-sanctioned-status-as-prey-for-most-of-us/ I just want to point out that the Confucius Institutes mentioned are the same ones the College Board announced a formal alliance with this summer. Common Core Chief Architect David Coleman even made a very odd servile comment about “They are the Sun and we are the Moon.” The Boao Forum mentioned left Asia for the first time for a meeting and decided Seattle, Washington with Microsoft support and Bill Gates keynoting was a good place to meet. Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who presided over the taxpayer bailout of political favorites during the financial meltdown in 2008, also is deeply involved with Boao.

All of that is relevant to what is coming to the US, Canada, UK, and Australia, but those are connections no one is supposed to be making. Since I have the planned template and blueprints, I know where to look and what counts as connected that would be off most people’s radar screens. We know though from Michael Barber’s Oceans of Innovation report for Pearson covered here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/descending-to-a-connected-kleptocracy-via-the-digital-learning-and-climate-change-ruses/ that he, the US Department of Education, and Pearson all see China and a collectivist future as where K-12 education reforms are going globally. I am sure it is totally coincidental that the book was published by a Pearson entity and the authors write for a different Pearson entity–The Economist.

Pearson, Microsoft, Intel, and a new entity headquartered in Washington State which has gathered actors from all over the world–Collaborative Impact–have developed a partnership designed to promote a new consistent vision for K-12 education globally. This lays out their vision  http://www.newpedagogies.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/New_Pedagogies_for_Deep%20Learning_Whitepaper.pdf You may have noticed that today’s post is less about the how of K-12 ‘reforms’ and more about turning a spotlight on the mostly invisible end game. Before We are Bound and while the Necessary Keels are still being laid in the young people who are the voters of tomorrow.

Point Number 1 is that the report acknowledges these are all experimental practices based on behavioral theories. Students are guinea pigs because it is the desired change that is important, not the people being changed by fiat. Secondly, the list of organizations involved includes the federally-created Digital Promise and thus the White House sponsored League of Innovative Schools. Please do not tell me there’s no connection to the Common Core. Yes, because it has already passed Go, collected $200, and gone straight to the Competency-Based Next Generation learning all these entities are pushing globally. Third and most crucially, the wholesale changes are explicitly about “What kind of learning work prepares [students] to be healthy, happy, productive members of our new societies?”

Participants in a Collective in other words. Ruled and Governed. Although Michael Barber is a key component of this partnership, the Lead Global Change Agent is Canadian Michael Fullan. In his 2001 book The New Meaning of Educational Change, Fullan cited personal communication to him from Barber, who was then heading up the equivalent large-scale reform in the UK for Tony Blair. Usefully for us, is the statement that for governments to be successful in the long term requires “creating frameworks for the accountability of public services including education.” Remember in our new “joined-up capitalism” we have private vendors but public regulation of what they do and how they do it. The mirage of free enterprise. Corporatist Enterprise as I have seen it called. Anyone surprised to learn that last week the Center for Reinventing Public Education and Fordham released those very accountability standards to go along with the Common Core?

Secondly, Barber acknowledged K-12 reforms are only a means to a transformative end. Getting there requires “placing education at the heart of a wider approach to social and economic renewal.” Elsewhere Fullan wrote that schools and adults needed to leave “Nostalgia behind” them and focus on the “knowledge and skills your children will need as they become citizens and workers in the future.” Notice that order and the assumption education is about fitting future life roles, not equipping anyone for independent. rational personal decision-making. One more time, Fullan made it clear that this new type of learning that is about changing, prescribing, and then monitoring students’ thoughts and behaviors and ‘reculturing’ the schools to require just that was to “enable the present generation to adapt to this radically new and demanding world.”

Adapt means change. Adapt means transform. Legally imposing this via K-12 education is the kind of Censorship Before the Fact that would be resisted if done visibly or to adults with Axemaker Minds.

I want to stop here so next time we can tie everything we know is coming to our schools and classrooms to the latest vision (2008) to come out of WOMP apart from that Richard Falk essay cited in the previous post. It’s called cosmopolitan democracy and it ties to everything in this post and the previous ones on e-Governance and Deliberative Democracy grounded in Dialogue. It also fits with the Sharing Economy so many of our mayors and cities are signing on to.

Since no one else is willing to admit that all these global K-12 education reforms are about “moving from the polis, founded on borders, to that of the cosmopolis, founded on sharing,” I will keep at it until Epiphanies Abound.

I guess we have also found yet another reason why traditional American History is becoming forbidden. Did I mention the former Head of the Gates Foundation, Tom VanderArk, started pushing the Gates-funded/Russian-created Big History last week as well?

Or as I like to call it, History Suitable for a Collectivist Future anywhere in the World.

Journey to the Center of the Core Yields the Yoke of Citizen-Centric Governance to Force a Shared Vision

I still remember my shock that so many famous and powerful Americans endorsed the view in the March 2013 book by Moises Naim that simply assumed that the American people were now to be Governed as if they were collectively a ship in need of steering by politicians.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/using-education-to-make-giving-more-power-to-those-who-govern-us-the-common-vision/ Silly me. Turns out there was just a delay in the people at those conferences committing the planned vision to writing. It also turns out, in a carryover from the previous post, that managing the public’s perceptions, expectations, and beliefs about the proper role of government in the 21st Century is a crucial component of the ‘emerging governance relationship.’

Nothing quite as useful as a globally connected consulting firm explicitly committing these new relationships to writing. This is from a 2009 Accenture paper called “From e-Government to e-Governance” as well a letter from their Public Service Managing Director Sean Shine, explaining the new relationship between citizens and their government “that is all about genuine engagement of people in their own governance.” So much for those of us who think we are engaged in our own governance when we pay taxes from hard-earned money or set unpopular curfews for precocious teenagers. No, ‘citizen-centric governance’ may sound good, but it assumes without consulting any of us that:

“It falls to government to balance the demand for increased choice and flexibility with fairness and the common good. Governments can achieve that balance by striving for equality of outcomes for all constituents–that is, by ensuring that everyone has the chance to experience the same social and economic conditions, or at least similar improvements in these conditions.”

Does anyone else appreciate that is where all the hyping of ICT portals and building “social networking and community sites [that] also enable citizens to participate in their governance as never before.” No incentive to infantilize a population with these aspirations for the future. Not when the entire government apparatus is to be about meeting citizen needs and guiding what “citizens expect and want from government.” Now won’t the actual Common Core implementation come in handy here? The Digital Learning emphasis? Anyone think there is a reason to sculpt a misleading but politically powerful conception of what the future might be if consultants from meetings we were not invited to state that:

“Web 2.0 technologies present governments with an unprecedented opportunity to bypass the media [not to mention parents and local school boards] and directly engage citizens in a more mature, reasoned and productive discussion about the strengths and shortcomings of government. [No danger of bias or omissions here.] In this way, public service organizations can, for the first time, play an active role in shaping citizens’ perceptions of government by providing the public with instantly accessible, intelligible information and analysis–enabling a more balanced and objective debate in which citizens are able to consider governments’ perspective.”

Now if that’s the intended propaganda to be launched at adults with taxpayer funding, we can just imagine what will make it to the still malleable minds in the classroom. Completely lost for anyone will be any perspective grounded in the history of what comparable social justice aspirations did in Europe in the 20th century. That led Friedrich Hayek to write in “The Mirage of Social Justice” that:

“the more dependent the position of the individuals or groups is seen to become on the actions of government, the more they will insist that the governments aim at some recognizable scheme of distributive justice; and the more governments try to realize some preconceived pattern of desirable distribution, the more they must subject the position of the different individuals and groups to their control. So long as the belief in ‘social justice’ governs political action, this process must progressively approach nearer and nearer to a totalitarian system.”

Now before anyone accuses me of introducing the T word without sufficiently laying a proper foundation let’s remember that Hayek was writing from personal experience of One Thing Leading to Another. Secondly, if I had a dollar for every time the books or papers I read now used phrases like “shared vision,” “collective aspirations,” “consensus essential for democracy must be built,” or “unified social purpose,” I could head to the beach for some R&R. We saw it embodied in the goals of both the Rockefeller-funded Communication for Social Change and the Club of Rome-created Structured Design Dialogue to produce common political will.

If you would like to believe I am simply collecting injudicious comments made for paying customers, Accenture’s vision fits with the 2014 book Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government written by the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States Aneesh Chopra. He points out that as a candidate Obama “had mandated that his staff insert a default paragraph about the importance of harnessing technology into every speech.” The idea laid out repeatedly is that “government could be a platform.” Government becomes “a way to engage the public and let them tell us what was important and then support them in accelerating their consensus to a common solution.”

We have open admissions of trying to manage those citizen beliefs and perspectives that go into the now to be required consensus and common solution. If the guiding hand does seem to be getting quite heavy in the direction Hayek had seen before, how is this quote for the naivete on what government is. “When the relationship is participatory, when the relationship is open, it really does foster a sense that the government is not a thing; it’s what we do together.” [Italics in original passage]

Some people have the legal power to coerce. Others generate taxes to the public sector while some live off those taxes. Those are not balanced, equal relationships even if government was not trying to rig how it is perceived in the 21st Century. All while singing the joys of the Big Data being collected on its citizens and the need to minimize any distinction between the public and private sectors. This is Chopra’s vision towards the end of the book. He makes Pollyanna seem like a sourpuss by comparison:

“Today, we need to explore new frontiers not only in terms of the problems we try to solve but in the manner in which we attempt to solve them. Collectively and creatively. Much more is possible, if the government makes the populace part of the process so the greater number of people can assemble and share their ideas and gifts for the greater good.”

Lighting dollar bills afire is one way to describe the likely consequences of that vision or an excuse for borrowing more from the Chinese. Speaking of which, the second book I mentioned enthusiastically advocates that the West adopt the Chinese vision of state-directed capitalism. Anyone think there might be a connection to the Chinese willingness to fund US deficit spending to push an ICT-centered vision for meeting citizen needs and achieving social justice for all? The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State also came out in 2014 and it’s laying out a comparable blueprint to Chopra and Accenture. If we could shift government by acclamation anymore, we would be close to a global fait accompli.

Alarmingly the book tells us that the current leadership of our primary deficit financier believes that “Western democracy is no longer efficient; that both capitalism and society need to be directed; and that getting government right is the key” to the future. Something to remember as we have trillion-dollar deficit plans in the US as far as the eye can see. It would be wrong to assume it’s just an another interest-bearing investment for the Chinese. It’s also probably good to know that Accenture has a long-term formal relationship with the World Economic Forum when we read that “the one thing that the world’s tycoons agree upon when they meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos is that the Chinese state is a paragon of efficiency–especially compared with the fevered gridlock of Washington or the panicky incompetence of Brussels.”

I think we have a Convergence of visions here around what the purpose of citizenship will be going forward globally. I think we Americans are taking too much solace in the protections of the US Constitution when it’s obviously seen as just another old document that can be bypassed now by many powerful decision-makers, here and globally.

I think we are dangerously assuming the world will continue as it has been despite so many open proclamations. If enough people had simply read what I have documented, they would immediately see how much danger we are in if we continue unaware.

It usually takes three taps for me to write about a painful topic. I listed two 2014 books here and I found the Accenture materials later. The third book is called The Double Helix: Technology and Democracy in the American Future. Unfortunately, it fits with the later books even though it came out in 1999.

Fortunately, I am aware of its aspirations for us as well and we will cover that in the next post. The non-science types like me though should appreciate that the reference to the Double Helix is all about how to force cultural change.

Wenk thinks government “serves as a steering system to set goals arrived at by consensus.”

Really starting to hate that word.

History as Psychological Reality-Transformation Tool Must Begin Well Before High School

We may never have thought of history as a means for altering our Identity–how we see ourselves and what guides how we are likely to behave in the future-but everyone with fundamental transformations on the mind seems to. The previous post’s steering through how all education pathways now seek to push communitarianism was a reminder that in the 21st century, the nation is no longer supposed to be “the community that defines history and political identity.” That quote was from the keynoter at the La Pietra Conference, Professor Prasenjit Duara. Thomas Bender in his Introductory essay to the 2002 Rethinking American History in a Global Age says that the “aim is to contextualize the nation” to avoid the “danger of complicity, conscious or not, in a triumphialism that justifies the current phase of capitalism.”

So if you ever wonder why I regularly see the need on this blog or in my book to discuss the economic transformation intentions, whose theories they are tied to, and why dramatically changing education to minimize anything that bolsters the continued validity of individualism, it is not because I am the One with the proverbial Bee in my Bonnet on this issue. Education may be the means to fundamental revolutionary transformations, hopefully without violence, but it is especially the purpose of subject-matter content that had to shift. Otherwise, traditional knowledge of any sort nurtures a reverence for the world as it is and provides hard factual info that prevents fully imagining a world as it might become. What reality supposedly should look like. When all coursework quietly turns into an examination of current social conditions, it becomes important to see the past in ways that justify and help ignite the passions to change today.

History not grounded to facts, but tied now to experiences, makes an important mechanism for student role-playing in alternative social worlds. Instead, of treating history and anthropology as separate subjects, that division is to be dissolved per Bender’s proposed new framework so that “peoples organized into nations, with literatures and archives” no longer have primacy over “all differently organized peoples.” There’s a good reason, in other words, why the NAACP and La Raza are so excited by the Common Core as a vehicle for transformative broader social change. Now let’s dive into elementary, middle, and high school classrooms to see precisely how classroom activities get reimagined to guide perceptions, nurture current grievances, heighten emotions, and shape Student Identity as if it were an overcoat to be taken on and off whenever cold winds shift.

These examples are all from a 2002 book called The Parallel Curriculum that caught my eye because I knew how involved one of the authors had been in developing the new Teacher and Classroom evaluations. See why factual knowledge is such a nuisance for those who view one of the “key goals of education itself–helping people understand the past in order to invent a future“? Again that would be a reenvisioned K-12 education that can create students with “a greater capacity to adapt to change.” Apparently having students with solid textbook knowledge who can tell a grasping mayor or legislator that “we fired King George for less overreaching than that” is in the way of our acceptance of being ‘governed’. So is any coursework that nurtures reverence for what social planners have long referred to derisively as the “distinctive organization of law in the United States” or the dreaded obstacle of the “practically cast-iron Constitution.”

In pursuit of not being the last Generation that Remembers, let’s delve into precisely what is planned. Think about how these activities and areas of emphasis play into the intention we are now aware of to inspire, or at least tolerate, fundamental transformations of current realities most of us take for granted. This is from a planned middle school history unit: “Throughout the year, three concepts are used to organize the curriculum: culture, continuity, and diversity. At the end of the second quarter all students will work with projects that ask them to use these concepts to compare their own culture with that of Russia. Many students will select or develop a family that is similar to theirs but that lives in Russia.”

Raise your hand if you think the unit will stress commonalities, not differences. One of my most frequent observations when reviewing planned activities is to recognize all the deliberate encouragement of inapt analogies. Here’s another example from 4th Grade Science: the class examines the weather ‘systems’ and “other systems (e.g. family systems, the school as a system and body systems.” Notice how natural systems that respond based on physical principles, that are not impacted at all by our intentions or understanding of how they work, are being married to social systems that supposedly involve the decisions of free individuals. This is a recurring theme and, in my opinion, why ‘systems thinking’ as a required component of Radical Ed Reform goes back decades and is now featured prominently in that July 2014 federal legislation, WIOA, defining workforce readiness for every student in every state in the US.

The 4th grade teacher is supposed to “help her students look at it through a conceptual lens, stressing the key concept, ‘system.’” What is ‘it’ referring to there, you ask? Why that would be the goal to have students “generate and test principles that would show the relationship between weather systems and ecosystems in general–and between weather systems and particular elements in ecosystems (animals, plants, rocks, and food chains.)  ” As we can see the ecosystem assignment does leave out at this point the most dominant participant in ecosystems–real people–but it does a nice job of completely muddling in the child’s mind physical systems with natural laws and social systems that some people now hope to socially engineer. What nice preparation from an early age to simply accept such plans with nary a second thought.

That’s the advantage when K-12 education becomes about creating behaviors through “guided experience.” Where the student is to “understand [in that phronetic sense of the last post] the nature of the discipline in a real world manner” and then “assume a role as a means of studying the discipline.” Common Core would certainly have a greater PR hurdle, wouldn’t it, if it owned up to its real purpose of role playing various future behaviors until “what it feels like” becomes a “habit of mind.” So history, for example, becomes a “means of looking and making sense of the world” so that students can begin “escaping the rut of certainty about knowledge.” There is more in the book involving this Curriculum of Practice that can be used for all coursework that still has a content-oriented name. It is all anything other than the Transmission of Knowledge.

How about an elementary social studies class that uses the topic of the American Revolution as a reason to scan newspapers and news magazines “for the purpose of identifying contemporary revolutions.” Anyone else think Inapt Analogies are supposed to become a practiced habit of mind? So the topic of the American Revolution becomes “a means of thinking about causes of, reactions to, and potential effects of a contemporary cultural change.”

How about the new planned use of the Civil War in a 5th grade classroom? Instead of the past emphasis on  “the events related to the Civil War…addressed in chronological fashion, moving from the causes…to the events and people involved in the battles and the war,” the teacher, “equipped with  new knowledge about the importance of big ideas and concept-based teaching,” will have students spend four weeks looking at the livelihoods and economies of various people and groups. The book bold faces those big ideas like nation and federation and especially the plan to have 5th grade students examine “various perspectives within the emerging nation [notice this not-so-subtle intention to time bound the concept of the nation. Forged by the Civil War really and thus expendable as conditions change in the 21st] about state and civil rights issues.”

Next thing the Civil War becomes a vehicle for discussing “perspectives, viewpoints, balance, conflicts, compromise, consensus, and resolution” generally, which is certainly going to be handy since we have already encountered numerous explicit intentions to push shared understanding as the new required norm. Remember the posts on the Rockefeller-funded Communication For Social Change, the participatory governance push of Structured Design Dialogue, or the Discourse Classroom Courtney Cazden envisioned while on a Cold War trip to the USSR? Now the concept of civil itself becomes a means for the students to practice being “thinkers and analyzers.”

Want to guess what the exemplar of an ‘expert’ of the concept would be? Why that is described as the student belief that “People have civil wars when they can’t resolve their conflicts or achieve their rights peaceably.”  Peace is always the answer then. At least until we discover actual evidence in illegal tunnels leading to day care centers of plans to kidnap children during Jewish holidays or, more likely, the actual terrorist event like the World Trade Center occurs. The listed example of an expert acquisition of the desired Principles and Rules is that “Empathy, compromise, and consensus, can be used to resolve conflicts peacefully because they honor individual perspectives and values.”

That’s what Chamberlain naively thought in 1938 because he lacked Churchill’s deep grounding in actual history of events. Destined to repeat itself is a lousy way to face the future just because it is conducive to social planning and engineering by the politically-connected few against the many. To end with that Civil War quilt I mentioned, an individual interpretation of the scenes depicted on the quilt and whether their “conclusions are well supported in information they had studied” is simply an excuse for All Propaganda All the Time.

Now to all this, let’s add on being able to depict any scenario desired in the virtual reality brought in through the laptop or IPad.

Will the next generation know anything that is true?

Or will everything be guided by what is influential in building support for fundamental transformations?

Framing, then Refining Lasting Webs of Mutual Social Understanding to Fulfill Aspirations Grounded in Infamy

Since I do not want to be accused of a Godwin’s Law violation, I will not tell precisely who uttered this sentiment that still lurks behind all of the current rhetoric of priming students to act for the Common Good. True idealism is nothing but subjecting the individual’s interests and life to the community. I will note though that when Governors and Mayors are now being instructed by multiple federal agencies to make workforce preparation the goal of K-12 and teachers and principals plan to target the Whole Child for monitoring and manipulation, everyone is thinking like a collectivist even if no one involved is really familiar with the crucial distinctions anymore. Luckily for us though, I have a copy of E. Merrill Root’s 1955 book Collectivism on the Campus so we can revisit these vital concepts during a previous heyday when people still recognized what was at risk.

Root goes back to people like the famous 19th century poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and reminds us that this struggle with the coercive potential of the State has a long history:

“collectivism would reduce unique persons to efficient functions of a dominant mass; and individualism, that would exalt the status of the persons who freely constitute it… By nature, individualism sees society as the means and the individual as the end. Man does not exist to serve society, as among the bees and the ants; society exists to serve unique, individual persons…collectivism by its very nature and by its efficient practice regulates, prohibits, and compels.”

As we keep encountering the principle that democracy is suddenly to mean an ability by the majority in number to bind the minority to its wishes and perceived needs, which, I believe, is why this statistic has been getting so much recent hype  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/education/white-students-aren-t-going-be-majority-schools, let’s look at all the swirling intentions of fundamental transformations in so many areas by remembering: “all collectivisms, no matter how they differ in mood or means, are united in the socialist principle of control by the people collectively, or the state.”

Now let’s come forward a bit, but not yet all the way to the present. One of the contributors to The Great Adventure book from the last several posts was a creator of the 1970 document The Predicament of Mankind that sought to lay the seeds for using the theories of the social sciences and the research from the behavioral sciences to begin designing social systems in the West. It was to be the foundation of the Club of Rome. Now the CoR chose then instead, as the UN does now, to mask that actual intention in physical science models that understandably never work very well. They are an excuse to alter reality and existing human behaviors, not a means of reliably modelling what exists and predict what probably will be.

So Alexander N. Christakis, who we will now shorthand as Christo, resigned from the CoR and took his Structured Dialogue Design Process with him. It never went away though and it came to my attention in Chapter 6 of the book: “Technology to Liberate Rather Than Imprison Consciousness.” Now if that catches your attention as more and more ‘coursework’ to get ‘degrees’ or ‘workplace credentials’ shifts to online methods, it should. First though let’s see what Christo actually said were his intentions. He opens with this quote from fellow systems thinker and GERG social engineer Bela Banathy [see his tag on blog. We have met him before]. Remember what Dialogue means from the last post:

“Dialogue facilitates the development of a common language and collective mental models. Thus, the ability to engage in dialogue becomes one of the most fundamental and most needed human capabilities. Dialogue becomes a central component of any model of evolutionary transformation.”

Communication For Social Change as the Rockefeller Foundation called it. As the FrameWorks Institute seeks to prepare common mental maps to reliably guide the perceptions of the masses, so too SDD “brings the lack of a commonly shared metanarrative into focus and encourages creative adaptations among participants.” Change within the person in other words just like the shift to student-centered learning. If this all seems a bit Egg-Heady to you and not a real threat to the way of life we all take for granted, http://obamavision.wikispaces.com/file/view/Figure_1-_Amended_Classification_of_59_Inhibitors_to_Bottom-up_Democracy.pdf/50379547/Figure_1-_Amended_Classification_of_59_Inhibitors_to_Bottom-up_Democracy.pdf makes it clear the Obama campaign in 2008 used SDD by name to gather input into the vision that fundamental transformation must be alluding to: “Obama’s vision for engaging stakeholders from all walks of life in a bottom-up democracy employing Internet technology.”

The National Center for Dialogue and Deliberation that we just keep encountering http://ncdd.org/806 announced the giveaway of the SDD software to help encourage the dissemination of the participatory democracy model. Remember the one that lies at the heart of how urban metro areas are to operate politically in the future? The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and sector strategies and Career Pathways with Big Business are such drivers towards a reality of collectivism precisely because they intersect with these declared goals of Metropolitanism and the determination of so many mayors that they are the place for achieving Economic Justice.

Now added to that we get Christo declaring in a 2012 Training Workshop on Why and How We Ought to Reinvent Democracy that SDD is the means “for building capacity internationally for addressing highly complex problems using the science of dialogue.” We also see in this 2012 published paper the intentions to use online coursework delivered internationally to allow broad interaction to reach common understandings of what are called Continuous Critical Problems. Dialogue via the Internet and the virtual realities it can deliver to create common experiences become a means for “Striving for Sustainable Global Democracy Through A Group Decision-Making Process: A Critical Review of an Online Course to Model Transformative Praxis.” http://www.sociostudies.org/journal/files/jogs/2012_1/135-151.pdf

From now on every time we hear the word Sustainable, we need to remember that article’s lead-in quote that “Sustainability is not simply about changing practices but more centrally about agreeing to change practices together.” Think of it as creating a mass perception of consensual collectivism via dialogue and deliberation. SDD trains participants, including K-12 students where it is much more likely to be called Guided Dialogue or the Discourse Classroom (unless we are in Finland where as we saw the required practice over years is a component now of what Global Citizenship is to come to mean). Think of how handy the rejection of facts, logic, lectures, and textbooks will be, as  SDD uses ‘triggering questions’ (or what the related Understanding By Design or Backward Mapping call Essential Questions)  to supposedly examine the roots and ‘deep drivers’ of messy, real world situations.

This allows the question to “frame the context of the dialogue” where “participants articulate their ideas in their own words to the full attention of the other participants.” Now one can see why a new affirmative Student Code of Conduct would be necessary as the clarifying and dialogue is to “authenticate each person irrespective of his or her education level or position of power.” No more ability to engage in that former educational pasttime at all levels of rolling eyes or otherwise indicating when something is clearly ignorant or absurd. It’s a perspective and disrespect, even if deserved to puncture the continued survival of patently BAD Ideas, would interfere with the desire to “build a sense of shared competence within the group.”

The better to build a sense of entitlement to collective decision-making and the use of something like that POWER Model Anthony Carnevale considered a New Workplace Basic 2 posts ago. Whether dealing with captive students in the classroom or adults on retreat or showing up for community input meetings, the idea consistently is to get “participants to rank the clusters of gathered observations according to their relative importance. This step brings into sharp relief the different priorities and values within the group. In the ensuing discussion, parties come to understand where their coparticipants are coming from, which leads to a respectful working relationship, based on defined mutual interest.”

Now common sense and a knowledge of history would reveal this method for “greatly enhanced decision-making and action-planning” is a global prescription for disaster. That would be why this reality of the ultimate goals is so shrouded in deceit and the need to make common sense and actual knowledge of history uncommon indeed. Since I am nothing if not a Deceit Shroud Buster and just drowning in what used to be called Horse Sense, lets end with what Christo said was intended. As you know, the purposes of the creators run with their techniques, theories, and practices, even when all those things are unknown to whomever is actually using or requiring their use.

SDD under its variety of names is a “method for gaining shared meaning, unified goals, and the systemic wisdom needed for effective conscious evolution…We mimic the webs of interdependence that exist in lively, livable communities and the buoyant activity these webs foster. We catalyze and nurture the qualities of Mutualism (or egalitarian give and take), Integration, Distributed Intelligence, Emotional Ties that Bind, Values and Wisdom (or the knowledge web).”

It seems silly, doesn’t it when the actual intentions are spelled out that way? That would be why such declarations are in books and reports we masses are not supposed to see. Discussed in conferences we may fund, but are not invited to.

Instead we get explanations for changes that may be plausible on their face, but never fit the facts. We get euphemisms like Quality Learning that are factually true but never accurately understood.

It is past time to remedy that. Maybe a shared understanding is a good thing when it is about the reality and methods for transformational cultural change.