Tethering the Logical Rational Mind Via K-12 Education to Emotionally Grounded Experience

The language from the ESEA Rewrite on closing the achievement gaps between groups that objectively have had very different life experiences basically limits what can now go on in a K-12 classroom in any state or locality. Some local control, huh? Interestingly the only kind of education that will now suffice is precisely the same as what political and social transformationalists intent on social justice also want. It’s the same kind of K-12 education that members of the Chamber of Commerce also endorse since it makes genuine, shift the paradigm invention and technology far less likely.

To illustrate how once again all roads lead to the same place and how it does not benefit ordinary, non-politically connected, people at all, let me turn to an essay “Educating the Rainbow: Authentic Assessment and Authentic Practice for Diverse Classrooms” from a 1997 UK book Assessment for Equity and Inclusion: Embracing All Our Children. What that paper calls authentic assessment that is activity-based, group-oriented, real world problem-based, and designed to get at the motivating emotions, values, and attitudes that get hidden now in the phrase “high-quality” are called formative assessment or assessment for learning most often in 2015. Whatever the name, what’s the real purpose? That would be to create shared beliefs among all the participants in the classroom and eventually the school so that the students can also embrace shared meanings from interpreting their experiences and ultimately develop shared language to describe them.

Now won’t those things come in handy if the goal of K-12 education globally has shifted to “Introducing a new way to think, talk, and act”? http://www.thersa.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1550609/The-Seven-Dimensions-of-Climate-Change.pdf came out last week on basically the same day that the President of the Rockefeller Foundation went to the RSA to speak about building Better, More Resilient Cities. Hmm, wouldn’t authentic or formative assessment then be helpful to the Rockefeller-funded Communication for Social Change they are pushing all charities to guide their funding by? Talk about tethering. That paper seeks to skip over the entire debate over whether 2014 was the hottest year on record and whether we are warming, cooling, or the physical climate is simply behaving like a ‘climate’. “Changing climate” must become what “social scientists call ‘a social fact’.”

The great thing about ‘social facts’ in sociology theory (which is after all a huge component of education theory and pedagogy in degree programs) is that they are designed to ultimately change us, from the inside-out. Hmm, just like authentic or formative assessments? Why yes and won’t those be so useful if people now need to have a “new sense of collective purpose that embraces the diverse elements of human experience–without new vocabulary and cultural currency that allows us to overcome climate fatigue, a social silence, and stealth denial.” Not to mention actual documentable facts about the reality of scientific principles that must now be excluded because such abstractions are not equally accessible to all people. Equity excludes what builds up the analytical and intellectually-oriented Left Hemisphere of the brain from acceptable classroom practices. Equity does, however, provide education with a means for developing shared beliefs, meanings, and language.

How convenient, huh? Especially with the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) that is part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University (where so many of the authors listed in the above book are profs at the Teacher’s College) creating reports on how to frame climate communication so that it can “Speak to the Two Parts of the Brain.”  http://guide.cred.columbia.edu/pdfs/CREDguide_full-res.pdf   That’s, first of all, the Analytic Processing System that concerns about Equity, social justice, and civil rights now insists must be starved of everything but pre-approved,  politically useful ‘concepts’, Enduring Understandings [see tag], or disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting issues. The second side, what Marshall McLuhan called the visual-aural, holistic Right Hemisphere, is referred to as the “Experiential Processing System.” Fascinating, huh, since “learning experiences” are now to be the focus of K-12 classrooms since only they meet the Equity Gateway that allows Success for All.

That “Psychology of Climate Change Communication” paper helpfully tells us what a Mental Model is. Since that’s precisely what Rigor and authentic or formative assessment is designed to shape and alter and what concerns over Equity and Opting Out of ‘tests’ are forcing on all students, lets quote the report:

“A mental model represents a person’s thought process for how something works (i.e., a person’s understanding of the surrounding world). Mental models, which are based on often-incomplete facts [especially in a K-12 world where lectures and textbooks are treated as inequitable], past experiences [which will now include experiences of virtual reality created as gaming for the very purpose of manipulating mental models. See Jane McGonigal tag], and even intuitive perceptions, help shape actions and behavior, influence what people pay attention to in complicated situations, and define how people approach and solve problems. Perhaps most important to climate change communicators, mental models serve as the framework into which people fit new information.”

That very mental model is precisely what so much of the K-12 classroom implementation described in my book Credentialed to Destroy is designed to influence and control. It’s also the focus of so much of the required emphasis on digital learning. Everything being pushed in K-12 education now tethers that Analytic Processing System and forces and then manipulates the Experiential Processing part of the student’s physical brain. Gives new meaning to “brain-based curriculum”, doesn’t it? To be effective on any issue targeted for transformational change or political control, communication (one of the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning) needs to “make use of the following experiential tools”:

“Vivid imagery, in the form of film footage, metaphors, personal accounts, real-world analogies, and concrete comparisons;

Messages designed to create, recall, and highlight relevant personal experience and to elicit an emotional response.”

We see the latter tool in the omnipresent journaling that seems to be a part of every class now, including math. The former tool is not just brought in through computer gaming and the Common Core’s media literacy and relevancy requirements, but also group-based Problem-Based Learning and the Maker Movement. After all that CRED paper explains “How to Tap into Group Identity to Create a Sense of Affiliation and Increase Cooperation.” Very useful if a New Way to Think, Talk, and Act has become the entire point of education and much of the focus of media outlets of all kinds.

In the last post I mentioned Antonio Gramsci’s famous March Through the Institutions as a way to describe the actual effect of what Congress seems prepared to mandate, but RSA actually came right out and called for new societal institutions. All the more reason then to have the law mandate the Orwellian “high-quality education” we covered in the last post. After all, RSA (like the Club of Rome and ValuesQuest in the January 11 post) views “democracy” as a “mechanism for making collective decisions” and the “web of legislation” and the the “comprehensive system of law” as methods for “meaningfully constraining …the global economic engine.” Boy, that was not on the Bar Exam back when I took it.

These new societal institutions created then by a web of legislation like that ESEA Rewrite or your local city council’s edicts will “not be designed to make an economic case, communicate scientific facts or win an argument.” I guess that explains why the Analytical Processing part of the human brain that can do those things well is being tethered and starved of the kind of facts K-12 education traditionally provided. Instead, the experiential, social and emotional learning focus fits with the desire for new societal institutions that “allow people to express and discuss their concerns, fears, dreams, and hopes for the future. They would embed scientific inquiry into the nature of the problem and how it could be solved, in more complex debates about how we should live in a climate-changed world. And in that way, they would likely offer fertile place to explore the links between Science and the other six dimensions of climate change.”

That’s the vision of the future the authentic assessment, student engagement, digital learning shifts in K-12 education are all preparing students for, without anyone trying to tether students to the actually existing physical reality or what works or never has. Students who have a craving for unicorn rides in this socially just future will have nothing to prompt them this is not a realistic goal. Those seven dimensions, by the way, that plan to alter the present reality, like it or not, are:

1. Science: Forging a new social contract

2. Law: Constraining extraction

3. Economy: Investing in the Future

4. Technology: Scaling up deep decarbonisation

5. Democracy: Escaping the governance trap

6. Culture: Breaking stealth denial

7. Behaviour: Overcoming stealth denial

How binding in every way that matters would be one way to describe that list. Now, as a well-read adult in my 50s I can tell that paper is a fantasy. Nothing, however, in the planned K-12 implementation would create that kind of “Danger, Will Robinson!!” prompt. In fact, K-12 education is deliberately priming the mind and personality to prompt just such an urge to plan and act as the Seven Dimensions paper laid out. CRED even came up with an additional paper called “Connecting to Climate” in December that appears both tied to the planned transformations of mental models from K-12 education as well as a cronyistic politically planned economy being sold as ecoAmerica.

Once again this post is a heads up about what social, economic, and political visions are tied to the K-12 transformations everyone with any power is forcing on our children. This is not just about education, but education as a means for broader transformations. It is intended to affect all of us, whether we have children or not, and whatever our ages.

It needs to be on everyone’s radar screen where ever we live. Because no one in education administration is being honest in my experience and we are not likely to be among the cronies invited to an RSA program or an ecoAmerica annual invitation-only summit.

Thank goodness we can still read and our Analytic Processing Systems remain tethered to facts and likely actual consequences.

Fulfilling the Long Ago Prophecy and Boast on Conquering the West Quietly Thanks to the US Senate

Antonio Gramsci definitely claimed that the way to subdue the West was through changing its culture and manipulating its institutions. My recollection is that Nikita Khrushchev said something similar about subduing the US while making us love what we were ignorantly advocating for. Hard for me not to view the proposed Bipartisan rewrite of the No Child Left Behind federal K-12 authorization statute as anything but the great enabler with this as its new stated purpose (I bolded the especially troubling code words and phrases):

“to ensure that all children have a fair, equitable, and significant opportunity to receive a high-quality education that prepares them for postsecondary education or the workforce, without the need for remediation, and to close the achievement gap between high-and low-performing children, especially the achievement gaps between minority and nonminority children, and between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers.”

Elsewhere, the ESEA Rewrite being called the “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015″ states explicitly that the advantages and disadvantages to be focused on are economic. In other words, factual differences in parenting like a family’s vocabulary, willingness to let a 2 year old play videogames in the grocery store cart, children’s travel opportunities, and other toddler experiences that affect whether a child is low-performing or high in traditional academics can no longer affect academic outcomes. It means that K-12 education in the US can no longer be about academics in the traditional sense or that purpose cannot be met. Not exactly a huge revelation to anyone who has read the details laid out in my book and the explanations why, but about to be enshrined in federal law.

Seeing everything through results in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and class used to be acknowledged as using a Marxian analysis. Now it is to guide the results of what can occur in K-12 education. I want to go back though to another Term  of Art used in that purpose: quality education. That term has a very special defined meaning in the world of the UN System that we just keep running into that ties to its vision of a sustainable global Human Development society. How did an analysis grounded Karl Marx’s vision of categories that would guide consciousness to see the need for transformational change end up in that ESEA Rewrite Statement of Purpose? I think I’ll abbreviate it NCGA–No Child Gets Ahead. No matter how talented they are or how much care and time their parents offered them.

The UN’s vision of quality is grounded in John Dewey’s work http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-quality-learning-may-be-the-last-thing-you-want-for-your-child/ and thus fits with this emphasis on pushing the intuitive, holistic Right Hemisphere while hobbling the analytical Left that we keep encountering. Creating a search around “UNESCO quality education” will pull up a great many consistent powerpoints and reports. The one in particular I am quoting from is from the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2005 and was called “Education for All: The Quality Imperative.” It explains precisely how those pesky achievement gaps will be made to go away. Schooling concentrates on helping “children develop creatively and emotionally and acquire the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes necessary for responsible, active and productive citizenship.”

Think of it as practical knowledge for what the Institute for the Future calls our “new participatory economy” and the UN CIFAL Network calls a sustainable society and the UN System calls its Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development. In every case quality education is viewed as a “prerequisite for achieving the fundamental goal of equity.” Equity is yet another explicit term in that new purpose of US K-12 education, which makes sense since the unacceptable differences that rewrite mentions are precisely those laid out by the UN for understanding, monitoring and improving education quality–learner characteristics like “socio-economic background, health, place of residence, cultural and religious background and the amount and nature of prior learning” are all to be noted and monitored. No wonder we are hearing about “testing in preschool.”

So Quality Learning is experiential, social and emotional, relevant, constructivist, and is to fit the criteria of “Quality in the critical tradition” like Paulo Freire that “equates education that prompts social change,” encourages “critical analysis of social power,” and lets learners design their own experiences. Precisely what we keep noticing in the required implementation and had been hoping were out-of-line administrators just trying to get a promotion. Not enshrined into the federal definition of what K-12 must now become, like it or not, with virtually no recourse.

Rather than dwell on quality education per the UN and its declared intentions, let’s pivot to the five witnesses scheduled to appear at the first committee hearing on the rewrite on Wednesday, January 21. Several are names we recognize. There is civil rights advocate Wade Henderson whose vivid statement became the title of this post. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/not-going-to-let-the-us-constitution-stop-us-from-using-schools-to-enshrine-global-social-justice-and-human-rights/ We also have Jia Lee, a teacher at the Earth School in NYC who shows up in links as wanting to Opt Out of standardized testing because it interferes with the progressive education vision. That would be the one created by John Dewey as my book also detailed extensively so let’s give Jia a check for on board with quality education in the UN vision.

Next is the Denver School Super Tom Boasberg whose School Performance Framework   is being touted http://spf.dpsk12.org/ as a model for other districts and states to use. Make that another check. Then there is Paul Leathers from New Hampshire that is piloting the Competency focus for high school that is also mentioned in the language of the rewrite. We met him here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/listening-in-on-the-confessional-drumbeat-of-the-common-cores-true-purpose-jettisoning-traditional-high-school/ Now, the last listed witness is a Marty West, listed as a professor at Harvard ed school. He also teaches though at the Harvard School of Government and was an advisor to Mitt Romney in 2012 and Lamar Alexander, the Republican committee Chairman, now.

Looking into his education writings I found this “Global Lessons for Improving US Education” http://issues.org/28-3/west/ that so fully misrepresents the nature of the OECD PISA and its emphasis on pushing a Competency focus (it’s described in Chapter 4 of my book with plenty of cites on intentions) that Professor West is either a sloppy researcher or interested in pushing the global quality education agenda via stealth. Asking myself what his connection was to Quality Education pulled up this Gates Foundation-financed 2014 vision for putting the K-12 emphasis on “non-cognitive skills” as a means for closing the achievement gap. http://cepr.harvard.edu/cepr-resources/files/news-events/cepr-promise-paradox.pdf

Those “non-cognitive skills” also go by the names of “social and emotional learning” or “21st century skills” says the paper. They are important traits “for success in school and in life.” They are “more amenable to direct intervention than cognitive ability, particularly beyond infancy and early childhood.” Sounds like quality education so far, doesn’t it? The paper’s intro that “disparities in so-called non-cognitive skills appear to contribute to the academic achievement gap separating wealthy from disadvantaged students.” Sounds just like that new purpose again. It’s not then just the use of the term “quality education” and its well-documented purpose that is the problem, but the declared interests of those first chosen to testify.

But it’s actually worse than that. Remember when the federal DoED issued that awful “Grit Tenacity and Perseverance” report and critics were told it had no connection to the Common Core? The psychologist known for pushing the Grit and Perseverence sociocultural emphasis, Angela Duckworth, is a co-author of that cepr paper. When you follow a different co-author, Amy Finn, http://languagemagazine.com/?page_id=78313 on how to turn off “effortful learning” and the adult “prefrontal cortex using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation.” I have warned that there is a real interest in locking in psychological transformations at a physiological level. Following another co-author, Rebecca Martin, turned up that in 2008 SANS–the SocioAffective Neuroscience Society– Lab Network was set up globally to trade research. More checks for Quality Education globally then.

Another author, John Gabrieli of MIT, turned up the McGovern Institute for Brain Research with a goal to “understand the organization of memory, thought, and emotions in the human brain. By combining brain imaging with behavioral tests, he studies the neural basis of these abilities in human subjects.” Gulp. Another co-author, Christopher Gabrieli is the Director of the National Center on Time and Learning, where 90s Outcomes-Based Education primary architect Marc Tucker is an advisor.

It’s all back. It is the UN’s workforce and change the child’s values and personality vision and it is about to be quietly enshrined again into federal law like WIOA. But nobody is hitting their shoe against a UN lectern trying to get everyone’s attention on these intentions in time. Writing is the closest I can get in this Paul Revere effort of mine announcing that the transformation is planned, coming, and hiding in laws, charters, executive orders, and regulations no one is supposed to read.Well, I have and we all need to sound the alarm or we will be encased into a vassals and fiefdoms view of citizenship primed for a collectivist future.

On that note, I did get a timely kick this morning when an article quoted Benjamin Franklin as noting “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

Quality education and the purposes of this NCLB rewrite and the entire actual Common Core implementation should be seen as government officials at all levels insisting that the lamb must come to lunch unarmed. Armed lambs will be checked via benchmarks and then forcibly disarmed.

Just say no. To every politician you know and everyone they hire or appoint.

Remember our motto–Not Serfs Yet.

 

 

Bogus Excuses to Always Hype What Extinguishes or Controls the Analytical, Rational Mind

In the ancient world, if all roads did in fact lead to Rome, it would not be much of a stretch to decide that Rome was the place where those who took the time and expense to travel likely needed to go to. Likewise, if every K-12 education reform that I know is part of the mandatory classroom vision has the same actual or intended effect on the human mind and a student’s personality, we can conclude that the global transformationalists we met in the first two posts of this trilogy need a certain mindset for their success. In fact, I considered naming this post “Becoming a Plant” after the video game Reach for the Sun where students will be “challenged to ‘become a plant’ and balance resources like starch and water. “Extend your roots, sprout leaves, and make your flowers bloom before winter hits.’”

Now if I had described that “learning activity” before Christmas and linked it to the Arational Mind push we have been noticing going back to this post http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/ , I would have had the makings of a good freestanding post. Knowing the goals of the global CIFAL Network, the desire to use ICT to extinguish the Left Hemisphere’s historic dominance per that Global Village book, plus the explicit goals transformational goals laid out by ValuesQuest and the Institute for the Future, and the new vision of the role of the law globally, just make it so much easier to grasp why fact-filled, analytical minds would be regarded as barriers to all that planning and collective transitioning.

We have been having a discussion in the comments about the federally required MPOs–Metropolitan Planning Organizations–that push metro-wide transportation projects and how they are now being urged to explicitly get into economic and workforce development. I have noted that one of the things WIOA requires is that all students be trained in ‘systems thinking.’ At a DC conference this week the federal Transportation Secretary Foxx proclaimed transportation plans as the ultimate “system of systems” that merited a 30-year lay-out of plans. Into all this planning about us, our future, and using our money, I believe it’s no accident that videogames and digital learning are being pushed into classrooms. http://www.kqed.org/assets/pdf/news/MindShift-GuidetoDigitalGamesandLearning.pdf

Paul Ehrlich’s co-author of that 1989 New World New Mind book discussed in the linked post above, Robert Ornstein, wrote a 1974 book The Psychology of Consciousness pushing a desire to move away from the rational, analytical mind fostered by phonetic reading and traditional math, science, or grammar to a holistic right brain orientation that would perceive the world in interdependent, relational ways. Very helpfully he tied the ability and need for such a shift to the world now being in a position to meet everyone’s ‘biological needs.’ Time then for a more collaborative, communitarian focus to global problem-solving. Needless to say, K-12 education would need to shift and Ornstein saw great possibilities once “computer-assisted instruction” was able to “take the ‘state’ of the learner into account.”

What would such instruction, maybe called ‘personalized learning,’ look like? How about the Mindshift confession that “When it comes to assessment, many games have robust back ends that provide assessment data about the students who play them. That data can be extremely useful, providing information about your students that is applicable well beyond the game itself.” Information the students themselves may very well not be aware of. Data that adaptive learning ICT platforms need if they are to have the desired effects of changing the child’s perceptions, values, beliefs, and attitudes as the new focus of student-centered K-12 education.

Fits the Ornstein desire for educational activity with the student “embedded in the environment” perfectly, except most people would not be familiar with the Ornstein or Marshall McLuhan work we have looked at. They would simply accept the sales pitch that games-based learning would “replace a points-based extrinsic motivation system with a contextualized hands-on learning experience.” Not being in the habit of reading federal statutes like WIOA or federal agency plans, they probably would not appreciate the significance of the confession:

“Keep in mind: The common attribute of all effective learning games is that they simulate systems [or real-world social structures the trasfomationalists want students to believe are systems comparable to how the heart and lungs reliably interact]. They teach students how to understand academic concepts in relationship to the world around them. Certainly this increases engagement [what Ornstein called Being in the Moment that he tracked to ancient Asian religious practices] and retention, but what really matters is about using knowledge in interdisciplinary ways. [Don't feel under control just because your personal use of knowledge is being prescribed in advance].

Digital or analog, game-based or not, good teaching and learning [Remember obuchenie?] is also about building social awareness, considering the individual’s impact on the wider world.”

Now won’t that latter effect work well with the Sustainability aspirations for the future laid out by the UN CIFAL Network, ValuesQuest, and that Institute for the Future Toolkit to prepare students for new forms of governance? We covered all the proposed role-playing in history classes as part of my AP US History Trilogy, but MindQuest proposes teaching American Government by having a student “role play a member of Congress.” A new form of Governance in utter disregard of the US Constitution is highly likely once curriculum is an “immersive experience” where “students sponsor bills, trade in influence, awareness, and approval. The game simulates meeting with lobbyists, donors, and volunteers. The object is to get reelected to office.”  Now that certainly suffices as allowing “teachers to present academic concepts in a contextualized, experiential way.”

Interestingly enough, precisely what Ornstein said a Right-Brain oriented curriculum should be doing if it intends to shift the focus from intellectual content to personal knowledge. Oh, our joy at effective school reforms that will raise student achievement in meaningful, authentic ways knows no bounds. Why did I start this post’s title with Bogus Excuses? Well, should we buy that games-based learning is OK for the classroom because “a generation of gamers has grown up without a civilization collapsing”? Someone was not listening when their English teacher covered the dangers of hyperbole. How about this rationale? “Positive mood states” or empathy “toward people from another country.” I am also afraid that being told “the way corporations, foundations, and research organizations are thinking about games and learning” is no justification when they are all on record seeking transformational social change using K-12 education.

That’s it, isn’t it? K-12 education globally must be shifted to producing a mind and personality suitable for a collectivist orientation. The simulation will prime the students to act in predictable ways without being in a position to recognize that real world consequences do not follow the prearranged instructions of the software developer. It’s no accident that Jane McGonnigal of Institute for the Future is quoted on this point of how students will come to see the real world, without noting her IFTF affiliation. Only that she wrote a book called Reality is Broken that I covered here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/when-gaming-intends-to-shape-and-distort-our-perceptions-of-everything-around-us-viva-la-revolution/

If you want a transformed economy, then push education based on “connected, networked ways of knowing that will dominate the digital future. Sharing and collaboration go hand-in-hand with integrating non-competitive and non-commodified ways of playing games.” Will that lead to a shareable economy? Maybe but it will be necessary since so few graduates in such a vision will have the mind or skills that have always been necessary for wealth to arise outside of war and just taking.

Is it true that “The way students play and learn today is the way they will work tomorrow”? Maybe, but they will be quite poor in such a world unless they can get elected or appointed to office or get a tax-free job in the UN System. Mostly the gaming is prepping for the student to be a participating member of a planned and controlled system, blindly accepting from a deep emotional level that increasing levels of material deprivation are inevitable and not a result of predation by the public sector.

Instead of declaring war on another country for wealth this is a system of predation on citizens. For those of us with a base of history knowledge not grounded in role play, it’s what the nobility did when they imposed serfdom. People exist for the use and benefit of those with power and are not free to make their own choices. No thanks. Another bogus excuse is that “the distinction between STEM and ELA is an arbitrary and superficial one” since they are each “simply forms of expression.” That really is someone determined to extinguish the analytical, rational mind for reasons laid out in Chapters 2 and 3 of my book. “All good games offer challenges in intuitive ways.” Want to guess which side of the brain acts intuitively and which does not?

Another bogus excuse? Gaming needs to be a part of early childhood education because it “teaches those students to associate screens with refined cognitive skills.” In other words, those children are to never know what rational, non-designed, grounded in facts, spinning out of various scenarios and likely consequences actually feels like. And won’t that be helpful to all our self-confessed transformationalists and futurists?

I am going to close this with an update to what has been one of the most controversial Values Clarification exercises for decades. It is called the Lifeboat but gaming lets a similar scenario, and obligation to reach a consensus, be visual so that the body’s physiology gets pulled into the plight. It will respond as if it is actually in a Life or Death situation as Willis Harman recognized in the 80s in his Global Mind Change book. Carried out as part of a Zombie Apocalypse in Norway classrooms, MindQuest ends on that example of a “sociocultural view of learning” where students and teachers “believe in sharing and constructing knowledge together.”

So they and others can build a new kind of economy and society together. Never appreciating in time that none of these things actually are ‘systems’ ready to fall into place like a game.

Stipulating Without Our Consent that Post-Literate Right Brained Man is Necessary for Workforce Development

Welcome to 2015 everyone and buckle up. The year end solicitations and reports since my last post truly had the effect of tying up all loose ends and missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle of what is truly going on around us. The intention is for this to be a seminal year in transformations in the US and globally and anyone who has read my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon and reads this blog regularly will be in a position to immediately recognize what is happening to us. I honestly wish I was not correct about what is going on, but I am. Here we go again so we can all be ready to turn spotlights on what were intended to be stealth transformations at a local level that have been laid out clearly at the global level.

The United Nations has an Institute for Training and Research–UNITAR–that has existed for about 50 years. Knowing, I suppose, that UN cronycrats are simply not people we are likely to willingly and knowingly take marching orders from, UNITAR has (per Chadwick Alger) a Decentralized Cooperation Program (DCP) that “trains local actors in order to enhance their capacity to implement international conventions and the MDGs.” Let me interrupt Alger here, MDGS stands for Millennium Development Goals and those UN intentions for all of us expire in 2015 so this is the year that the UN and its apparatus must come up with their post-2015 plans for all of us. Having 12 CIFALs–Centres International de Formation des Autorites et Leaders–Training Centers for Local Authorities/Actors–training mayors, school supers, influential legislators involved with economic development, city council members, etc. to implement the UN’s agenda quietly using their powers of coercion, regulation, taxation, and control over K-12 and higher education is certainly the mother of all confessions in my mind.

Let’s see what Sally Fegan-Wyles said about CIFAL and its intentions to turn local actors into key change agents in its agenda in a 2014 brochure.  http://www.unitar.org/dcp/sites/unitar.org.dcp/files/2014_cifal_brochure_compressed.pdf It fits in perfectly with what Alger said what UNITAR’s purpose in creating the stealth DCP program in the first place–”DCP is a hub for information, communication, and training between UN Agencies and local actors such as local authorities, public and private companies, civil society and academia.” That, of course, is the Turchenko vision from the USSR on how to quietly take over Western societies and economies for those of you who have read my book. It’s officially here, in operation, impacting all our lives, and basically invisible until this post.

UNITAR and the DCP vision know now that “local governments have a crucial role in addressing global challenges. It is the local authorities who are the most closely in touch with the needs of their communities. On issues as diverse as urban planning, roads and public transport, energy, climate change, water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction, local leaders are increasingly leading the march towards lasting solutions. Local governments are also essential partners of the international community in implementing global agreements and advancing sustainable development.” Now, if we read the rest of that cited brochure, the fact that the Orwellian phrase “sustainable development” is actually a euphemism for Uncle Karl’s public-sector controlled, little c, Human Development Society, is quite obvious as meeting the ‘needs’ of everyone and ‘inclusion’ becomes the focus of society and the economy in the 21st century.

We can see now why economic justice political theorists like Benjamin Barber have switched their approach to touting the gridlock in DC and wanting mayors and cities to be the new focus in government decision-making. It’s no wonder then that the Ed Leader 21 school districts have formed a Consortium to lobby Congress for a return to ‘local’ control of the school districts. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/deliberate-cultural-evolution-via-developmental-psychology-to-force-social-change-or-gypsy-supers-lobby-dc/ Remember our Curricular Redesign Global Change Agent Charles Fadel even coined the phrase ‘glocal’ to capture the real essence that what is being imposed locally and by what may technically be elected officials or appointees of elected politicians is actually global in the coordinated vision being put in place.

That’s where I want to pivot to explain how the CIFAL Global Network came on my radar over the holidays and how it ties indisputably into absolutely every aspect of K-12 education from classroom and school instructional practices to who can get and now keep their teaching license. It is also tied to the WIOA implementation with each US state’s plan due by July as well as politically directed economic development UNITAR is describing and the workforce development new purpose of high school we have been talking about. When I first encountered the Atlanta Regional Commission’s plans for economic development in the 10 county metro area and its binding of all local school districts to ‘innovative learning’ using technology, I came across the name “Pendleton Group” as in charge of the vision.  Lots of elected officials, school district employees, Chamber of Commerce reps, lawyers representing school districts and cities all involved with this vision.

Two names of listed Pendleton  partners stuck in my brain–Phil Jacobs and Craig Lesser. Phil Jacobs because he is now the Chair of the world’s largest education accreditor–AdvancED whose 2012 Quality Standards I described so alarmingly in my book. He is also on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission in charge of the new teacher licensing criteria. He also showed up as a listed name on a 2008 commission that in my opinion stripped Georgia elected school board members of their powers to object to what a district school super chooses to do concerning schools, curriculum, and instructional practices. When the various radical groups wanting me to give a year-end gift were bragging about their planned 2015 activities, I kept thinking about how much power WIOA had given them that would kick into gear this year.

So I decided to look into whether the Pendleton Group had mentioned WIOA recently. No, but its head, Craig Lesser, had listed his leadership of something called CIFAL Atlanta that I had never heard of. Well, I have now and so have each of you. One of the 12 UNITAR centers in the Global Network and headquartered in Atlanta. No wonder I have been feeling accidentally immersed in all this collectivist nonsense with a deadly past. https://web.kennesaw.edu/news/stories/kennesaw-state-officials-take-part-americas-competitiveness-forum says that CIFAL Atlanta is now headquartered at Kennesaw State and is a “public-private partnership between UNITAR and the City of Atlanta.” Lesser, by the way, used to be in charge of state economic development for the previous Governor. The one so deeply involved in creating and advocating for the Common Core.

But Lesser is not listed as the creator of CIFAL Atlanta. That honor goes to an Axel Leblois, whose cv http://siteresources.worldbank.org/TURKEYEXTN/Resources/361711-1328710573908/8427363-1329990588229/AxelLEBLOIS-en.pdf  and all his ties to the UN system just happened to be on a World Bank site.  LeBlois is also listed as behind another UN entity, backed by lots of tech companies, called G3ict, that is also headquartered in Atlanta. Must be the convenience of the airport and access to the King Center and the new Civil Rights Museum. G3ict is technically about advocacy for those with disabilities and a universal entitlement to ICT for All, but a document called The Accessibility Imperative makes it perfectly clear that the emphasis on those with Disabilities is about shifting all the “nations of the world to meet the challenge that history has put before us to become a society in which all members, including the most vulnerable, can integrate and make a significant contribution.”

That would be Uncle Karl’s “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” vision that is also the crucial component of the sustainable development vision above. The one that relied on capitalism producing a necessary level of technology that ICT–Interactive Communications Technology (computers and cable and satellite communication that allows instantaneous sound and visual communication) is viewed as fulfilling. Remember my “Peeking into the Behavioral Programming Blueprints” post from December 14 where I wrote about Marshall McLuhan? He had another book that came out after his death called The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century that described that that instantaneous sound and visual communication would create a different kind of mind than print. A Post-Literate, Right Brained Person who would be more amenable to propaganda and the pressures of the group.

That troubling 1989 book announced that “AT&T cooperating with the Bell Systems will be instrumental in producing the new man precisely because they are on the cutting edge of the future, due to the hybrid power being released by the merger of the digital computer and high-speed transmission equipment, will be reenforced by the fact that AT&T/Bell regionals will still be taken as an associative whole, one of the largest socioeconomic groups on the North American continent.”  Phil Jacobs’ bio states he was an Exec with BellSouth before they were bought out by AT&T. CIFAL Atlanta has AT&T shown as its major sponsor. The book also points out AT&T is “hiring executives from its opposition, particularly IBM and Honeywell.”

I describe the role of IBM’s PTech initiative and its System of Systems global vision in my book, but the operating system of that IBM computer is what created the Microsoft fortune that funds all of the Gates funding of all these education initiatives tied to the Common Core. Axel LeBlois’ bio says he was President of Honeywell Information Systems. He also founded the Wireless Internet Institute. All the education initiatives the Gates Foundation is funding and all the education reforms being mandated by the education organizations Phil Jacobs is listed as being involved with have the effect of minimizing the Left-Hemisphere Man created by logic and phonetic print and heightening the “right-hemisphere man” that Marshall McLuhan wrote about and wanted so badly.

Fascinating, huh? And precisely how the Gramscian March Through the Institutions of the West was supposed to work. None of the people involved in all this public sector advocacy even has to know all the elements I have just laid out. They can have the best personal intentions for these shifts and reforms. These laid out pieces though work like gears and are engaging us all in a clear vision that may well not be familiar to any of those actually imposing all of this on us.

It is past time for everyone to know what the assembled gear plan looks like before it moves us over a fiscal, social, and economic cliff.

Quietly Coercing a Vassals and Fiefdoms Future for All of Us While Hyping Economic Development

I actually am not nostalgic for the castles, moats, or medieval armor. For one thing I like to cook, but not without centralized plumbing or over an open hearth. No, I keep thinking of terms from the Middle Ages because public policies being quietly enacted in the United States as well as other countries via K-12 education remind me a great deal of the previously accepted relationships between ordinary people and political power that was the hallmark of those times. Political authorities dictated what we could be, know, and what we must do while promising to take care of us and to meet our basic needs. It’s always fascinating to me to listen to an elected politician, their advisors, or college professors laying out a ‘new’ view of 21st century ‘rights’ and responsibilities and never quite grasping this is all a reversion back to a much earlier view of citizenship and the entitled prerogatives of those who hold political and economic power.

Stated simply, throughout history, people with power will collude to keep it and expand it using the coercive power of the public sector over people, their behavior, and their property. They do it for their own personal benefit as well as the benefit of those who empowered them. Either by electing them, appointing them, or simply bankrolling them. I am actually not philosophizing here without a purpose. This was one of those rare weeks when I got a chance to ask the kind of legislators who get invited to Education Commission of the States meetings (see last post) if the Common Core was really about Workforce Readiness and didn’t various non-hyped state and federal initiatives tie K-12 as now about career preparation for all students in a politically-driven view of economic development in the future?

I got a yes answer from some rather shocked people who probably wish I had stayed home with my documents. I suspect each of you would get a similar answer if you get to quiz legislators, mayors, or representatives from the Governor’s office in your state. The difference is I had the chance, used it respectfully, but against the background of the kind of documentation of the openly-laid out vision I am going to lay out here today. Just in case any of us get a chance to buttonhole someone during the holiday parties or as legislatures or city councils reconvene after the New Year. Because I understand how all this fits into a dirigiste 21st Century economy (the French term for such political direction), I am paying attentions to sites and sources that are probably not on your radar. We are about to remedy that.

I explained that Congress had nationalized the K-12 education vision back in July 2014 and tied it tight to a Workforce vision for all students and states in this post http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/priority-economic-citizenship-for-some-officially-sanctioned-status-as-prey-for-most-of-us/ . On November 20, 2014 a webinar on “Realizing Innovation and Opportunity in WIOA: A Playbook for Creating Effective State National Skills Coalition Plans” went over this detailed report. http://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/resources/publications/file/2014-11-NSC-WIOA-state-report.pdf WIOA remains news to most people because an announcement that Congress has laid out a detailed plan to “improve the nation’s workforce development system” would have poor PR value, especially with the open embrace and advocacy for cronyistic “sector partnerships” of industry and the related Career Pathways in a given state.

I have a lot more to lay out and we need to keep moving. This past week, CCSSO, one of the formal sponsors of the Common Core so it can tout itself as the more politically palatable “state-led initiative” released its Opportunities and Options: Making Career Preparation Work for Students. The Task Force made 3 recommendations in this detailed report. First, “Enlist the employer community as a lead partner in defining the pathways and skills most essential in today’s economy.” In my book, I explained the 1976 Turchenko vision of how to take control of Western economies while still appearing capitalistic and this CCSSO document fits right in. Secondly, “Set a higher bar for the quality of career preparation programs, enabling all students to earn a meaningful postsecondary degree or credential.”

I am the last person who thinks college is appropriate for all people, but politicians skip over the part of this vision that now sees a 6th grade level of math and literacy skills as all anyone will need in the 21st Century. The third recommendation is to “Make career readiness matter to schools and students by prioritizing it in accountability systems.” Accountability is much like accreditation. It is a largely invisible means to make something mandatory in the classroom without adequately disclosing the changed reality to students, parents, or taxpayers. Now in reading that report, there is no inkling that any of these ideas are anything other than state employees trying to meet industry needs and satisfy that much-hyped skills gap.

We know better though. We are not just aware of WIOA, but also all the federal programs at Labor and Education mandating this shift to a reenvisioned Career Technical Education for all students. I laid out all the federal mandates here.   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/banishing-any-distinction-between-academic-technical-and-lifeemployability-skills-active-deceit-everywhere/ Even more fascinating in all the calculated deceit going on to prevent a widespread accurate perception of the true nature of the shifts involved is a mention that the Southern Regional Education Board had a Commission on Career and Technical Education also pursuing this agenda. Now that got my attention since I have been following Gene Bottoms’ work since he first developed his K-12 vision of Techademics while working for the Georgia Department of Education in the 70s.

I knew from my research of the background for Everyday Math that the Soviet Union had adopted the same general idea for its typical student at the same time in the 70s. (The story and cite are in Chapter 3 of my book in the interview with Isaak Wirszup). Now we have a CCSSO document wanting to “align education and the economy” in precisely the treatment of people as “human capital” that governments have the power to dictate to and manipulate as what the USSR envisioned. Needless to say, the phrase “gotta find that” aptly described my thought process. Sure enough, I found “Career Pathways Connecting High School, Work-Based Learning and Postsecondary Education.” Here’s a link, complete with a futile command “Do Not Disseminate.” I can see why given who is listed as involved. http://publications.sreb.org/2014/FINAL_CTEReportExecSumSREBBd061914.pdf

Why, there’s Texas, confirming it did not need the Common Core. June Atkinson from North Carolina is also on board, which would rather explain why she chose to protect the College Board this week over APUSH. That makes more sense if you have a document connecting the revised AP courses to this CTE vision. http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/CTE-AP_FINAL.pdf From my state of Georgia, there is the head of the State Board of Education, which is fascinating since a legislative committee after months of hearings decided recently that K-12 curriculum supervision should be the jurisdiction of that Board, not the elected legislature. No effective recourse for rebellion is one way to put it. Also, two-time Broad Foundation winning school district Super, Alvin Wilbanks, who was the first to tell us that the Common Core was really about remaking the nature of the traditional high school. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/listening-in-on-the-confessional-drumbeat-of-the-common-cores-true-purpose-jettisoning-traditional-high-school/

If you live in a southern state from Texas to Virginia, including Oklahoma, you will want to check that list for the officials listed. I want to make sure though that the presence as consultants of people like Marc Tucker, who headed the controversial national standards/ School to Work attempt in the 90s and Anthony Carnevale, who were both with the Carnegie-created National Center on Education and the Economy to align the US to the Soviet vision of education, are not missed. Before his current perch at Georgetown, Carnevale has been pursuing this vision for decades as I laid out here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/anesthetizing-any-ability-to-blow-up-or-contaminate-a-chosen-politically-useful-narrative/ The listed David Stern is a subsequent director of the same center polytech visionary Robert Beck (Chapter 4 in the book) previously led.

We have also met Aneesh Chopra before in his previous capacity as this country’s first Chief Technology Officer. Remember I explained his alarming new book Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government? http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/journey-to-the-center-of-the-core-yields-the-yoke-of-citizen-centric-governance-to-force-a-shared-vision/ All of this hyping of STEM learning and using computers as an essential component of classwork makes more sense once we appreciate that STEM is simply a more politically palatable description to obscure the shift away from subject content to CTE embedded in group academic tasks for all. http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/CTEYourSTEMStrategy-FINAL.pdf is the federally sanctioned revelation from a year ago.

In case someone really wants one more smoking gun firmly linking the Common Core to this CTE vision, here’s a 2 page solid confession for us. http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/IntegratingCTE-CCSS-Mar2012.pdf

This was a link heavy post because all of this is quite documentable. Most of the people involved in all these reforms have no incentive to connect these dots. We parents and taxpayers though have no choice if we want to escape a future of us and our children functioning as vassals living in a dirigiste fiefdom. All planned around an illusory utopian vision of changing people’s personalities and mental models to voluntarily accept a far more collectivist vision where we each exist to meet other people’s needs.

The extent to which all of this comes together with a Bespoke Fit makes much more sense once we are aware that the global name for this type of K-12 education for this kind of directed economy and society has a name. Productive Learning.

Next time we will exercise our still existing privilege to deny any obligation to accept this vision with fealty, bowing, or general homage.

No wonder there is such an intense desire to limit the capacity to read fluently.

Guardians of Democracy or Hatcheries for Revolutionary Change Agents of Carefully Cultivated Consciences?

Suffice it to say if someone was hoping that releasing a hugely troubling new transformative paradigm for P-20 during a holiday week would allow it to go unnoticed, the phrase “Not. Going. To. Happen.” would be my response. Changing the formal sponsors to other connected entities did not allow the “P-20 Schoolhouse for 21st Century Democracy” to avoid being tied, as it was intended to function, as actual components of what the Common Core looks like in the typical classroom. Even worse for those wanting to avoid scrutiny, the links to the global agenda being pushed particularly by UNESCO are what we could slangily refer to as Easy-Peasy to prove.

Welcome back in other words from our respective Turkey and Dressing Binges to the “STATE Civic Education Policy Framework” http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/01/16/12/11612.pdf . Now before any of us do precisely what it is hoped we will do and dismiss this as simply another attempt to make sure the next generation is familiar with the 3 branches of government at the federal level in the US, let’s look at the curious new definition of Civic Education. I’ll put it this way. Lenin could have worked with this definition and as we will see the communist Chinese are currently on board as well. My bolding.

“The term civic learning is used to emphasize the civic significance of preparing students with knowledge and for action. Today’s education for democracy needs to be informed by deep engagement with the values of liberty, equality, individual worth, open-mindedness and the willingness to collaborate with people of differing views and backgrounds toward common solutions for the public good. These qualities are not automatically transmitted to the next generation–they must be passed down through schools. Ultimately, schools are the guardians of democracy.”

Now, this is, of course, a much different definition of democracy than what we have traditionally reverenced in the US or anywhere else in the Anglosphere. We traditionally viewed the individual and the right to make our own choices about the future and live with the consequences. That Civic Framework is all about nurturing a collectivist instinct and an obligation to put the community and group interests first. As usual, I scampered over to my bookshelf for some insights into previous comparable attempts to use institutions to force such a collectivist mindset and obligatory new values on an unsuspecting free society. Economist Ludwig Von Mises in his Human Action book first published in 1949 when these visions were previously all the rage noted that when people are allowed to pursue their own ideas without permission:

“No dullness and clumsiness on the part of the masses can stop the pioneers of improvement. There is no need for them to win the approval of inert people [that is SO my new phrase since my college kid says mental midget is no longer an acceptable description] beforehand. They are free to embark upon their projects even if everyone else laughs at them. Later, when the new, better and cheaper products appear on the market, these scoffers will scramble for them. However dull a man may be, he knows how to tell the difference between a cheaper shoe and a more expensive one, and to appreciate the usefulness of new products.”

I am going to interrupt this excellent point by showing all the crony capitalist/We Just Adore Public-Private Partnerships companies who have ponied up to be formal sponsors of the Education Commission of the States. http://www.ecs.org/html/Sponsors/WebsiteForumSponsors.asp Notice how they say they want the business community to be actively involved in creating the new paradigm for education. Business executives at these companies hate Von Mises vision for new products and competition for that consumer dollar like what I just quoted. They love public sector contracts.

Now, if you are not familiar with ECS, they have meetings where the top legislator from the education committee of both chambers in each state plus someone from the Governor’s office all come to hear their pitches. It’s thus the perfect way to get coordination in each state that fits a national or global template. Meanwhile, the politicians can insist “it’s state led” or “this is what business says they want.” It’s what politically connected businesses who prefer cultivating lobbyists to satisfying consumers desire. The schools make a great vehicle for pushing changes in values because, as Von Mises noted in the next paragraph:

“it is different in the field of social organization and economic policies. Here the best theories are useless if not supported by public opinion. They cannot work if not accepted by a majority of the people.”

As we saw a few posts ago, the churches were originally seen as the avenue to get a shift in the prevailing public opinion to support a communitarian, non-individualistic vision of the future. Now it is the schools, universities, and the media which are to be the Handmaidens to this New Vision of Democracy grounded supposedly in economic justice. Let’s borrow one more insight from Von Mises that goes precisely to the reason for all this deliberate mind arson of our most talented minds in K-12. “Everything that is thought, done and accomplished is a performance of individuals. New ideas and innovations are always an achievement of uncommon men [and women too!!]. But these great men cannot succeed in adjusting social conditions to their plans if they do not convince public opinion.”

Now just imagine the dangers when we have active manipulation by the media, professors in certain departments, and K-12 administrators to push an entirely new paradigm for education precisely to shift that prevailing public opinion. http://www.humiliationstudies.org/documents/QuisumbingCitizenship.pdf is the link I promised to the global vision that ECS vision fits into. ECS is not going to be so careless as to pitch the Framework as “Citizenship Education for Better World Societies: A Holistic Approach” or hype the development of Conscience, Commitment, and Compassion for a “total ‘reeducation of humankind” but the language of that ECS Framework still fits with the UNESCO framework. It fits with the to be required “Sensitivities, Attitudes, Values, and Action Competencies” that are “Key Attributes of Individuals as Possessors of Intrinsic Worth and as Key Agents in the Creation of Better Worlds.”

Here is one more link http://www.didactics.eu/fileadmin/pdf/1670.pdf that understanding how everything fits from my book as well as this blog lets me locate. UNESCO calls what is being touted in the US as College, Career and Civic Ready skills as Life Skills. They tie them to a global remake of high school that was outlined in a meeting in Peking we were not invited to back in 2001. If anyone thinks I like throwing out accusations of collectivism as if I am hurling insults instead of describing intentions, I am not the one claiming a desire for education in the 21st Century to emphasize “the need for collective rather than individual intelligence that supports the position that all are capable rather than a few; multiple perspectives rather than ability to solve problems with only one right answer, imagination and emotional engagement are as important as technical expertise, intelligence should include the ability to envisage alternative futures, to resolve open-ended problems as well as to exercise sound interpersonal skills.”

All these links I provided are about reengineering a personality that will act to bring about and then tolerate living in precisely that kind of “socialistic, communist society” that Soviet psychologist AN Leontiev wrote was the purpose for this type of education. Notice in any of these links that there is a stated obligation of everyone to meet anyone’s basic needs–a right of being human. That seems to be what Leontiev had in mind as ‘socialistic,’ when he always linked these two terms that we tend to view as synonyms or milder versions of the same basic political theory. The reference to communist is not just a tie to Uncle Karl’s ultimate vision although it is that. All of these frameworks seek to cultivate an obligation to, and responsibility for, the community. They say so repeatedly and we need to notice it.

Finally, there are multiple references to being a “member of society,” a “member of the community,” or “cultivating students’ care and concern for their communities.” We are not educating the individual to make their own decisions anymore. If they are able to do that, it is from a set of emotions, values, and beliefs that have primed a person to act in a certain way.  Policymakers and their corporate cronies are prescribing a mandate of “inquiry-based instruction that results in informed action and demonstration of learning.” The action is not ‘informed’ by the individual except via the presupplied beliefs and concepts. The ‘learning’ being ‘demonstrated’ is someone else’s conception of what must now be valued, believed, or new behaviors to be shown.

When oligarchs outline the “shared beliefs that should undergird the educational system, its institutions, practices and outcomes,” it should not be slipped through during a holiday week to be imposed, like it or not, with no genuine notice of what is changing. Insisting that all students must now exhibit a skill to “plan strategically for civic change” with less notice to parents than what used to be required for a Field Trip permission slip simply reenforces the appearance that all these education reforms are really a Political Coup.

The fundamental fact behind true liberties is that they are not bestowed by government and they are not governments to take away. Yet that is precisely what all these education reforms amount to. No university should be able to grant a degree in any area, even a doctorate in Educational Leadership or Curriculum, that amounts to a license to be a taxpayer funded nonconsensual Change Agent. The idea that numerous sources openly decree that the students will be consciously turned into cultivated change agents is horrific.

As usual, there is actually not a dispute about the accuracy of what I am laying out. Calling attention to it is the only remedy I know of for what is being attempted.

Consider this post our Red Alert Notice. Flashing lights and sirens please.

 

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.

 

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?

 

Advances in Neuroscience Redefine Notions of Performance and Cognition, Allowing Social Justice in Learning

If the last two posts have made anyone feel like they are on a roller coaster with a sickening feeling in the pit of their stomach, I am genuinely petrified about all the references to using K-12 education to try to physiologically redesign the brain. The OECD really did state in a report issued just this week on Metacognition that ‘we’ need to “control cognition”. We cannot ask anyone if their meddling knows no bounds if we are not aware of what is being targeted or why. I was detailed on this in my book. What has shifted since I wrote it is how often images of the physical brain are showing up in Learning Presentations to administrators. http://www.lbusd.k12.ca.us/Main_Offices/High_Schools/Linked_Learning/videos.cfm gives a High School PLC Institute example on the new 3 Rs–Rigor/Relevance Framework.

Someone who runs a hugely followed Internet site on the Common Core said to me in person at a hearing and then via email that the psychological emphasis of my work scared her so she would make no effort to let her readers know what was in the offing. A lapel pin with an Apple Core with a Red Line through it shows valid concern, but it will do nothing to protect the children from this actual psychological focus. http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/IS%20Project_Conference%20Brochure_FINAL.pdf states that the OECD (remember DeSeCo from the book and the transformations outlined in the conclusion?) has a new project to “further develop and refine a framework and prototype formative assessment tool for 21st century skills.” Do you live in a district where the children will be used as guinea pigs to develop those “Behavioral and social skills (character)” and “Skills in thinking and creativity” that are conducive to the OECD’s idea of innovation?

That would be entirely new institutions, a transformed ‘grassroots’ society centered on subjective wellbeing, and a sharing economy centered on cities and laid out here. http://newclimateeconomy.report/ That’s the actual vision attached now to being “internationally competitive” when we follow the facts. Today I want to take us (maybe want is not the right word). Let me rephrase. Today we are going to look at what the KnowledgeWorks Foundation calls “Recombinant Education” and its partner, the Institute for the Future, that brags about having developed the manipulative Delphi Technique, calls Future Work Skills 2020. The latter report by the way   http://www.iftf.org/uploads/media/SR-1382A_UPRI_future_work_skills_sm.pdf was created with the University of Phoenix in case anyone wants to believe these shocking statements will not influence degrees and online programs.

Why did I put Neuroscience in the title beyond the fact that I am using a literal quote? Because we are dealing with a futurist mentality that insists on changing K-12 and higher ed around the assumption that “Massive increases in sensors and processing make the world a programmable system” all the way down to a micro-level. The micro-level is a euphemism for ‘people’–you and me folks, and especially our still malleable children. We are in big trouble if the children believe what these reports state–that we can “use data to design for desired outcomes.” Someone else’s desires, not ours, especially given the number of references to “collective intelligence.”

Somebody really needs to go read Harvard history prof Richard Pipes’ book called Property and Freedom and remember that all these education schemes ignore the Western tradition, particularly in the US:

“we ‘own ourselves,’ that is, are our own ‘property’…that is tantamount to saying that we are free to dispose of ourselves, which is the meaning of freedom.”

Pipes, an expert on Russia, communism, and the Soviet Union, recognizes a utopian scheme that accepts no boundaries on the control of the State when he sees it. He was reminded of the philosophy of the English social historian RH Tawney who wrote the following in 1920:

“The individual has no absolute rights…all rights…are conditional and derivative…they are derived from the end or purpose of the society in which they exist…this means in practice that if a society is to be healthy, men must regard themselves not as the owners of rights, but as trustees for the discharge of functions and the instruments of a social purpose.”

When someone of Richard Pipes’ eminence follows up that quote with an observation that “Hitler held the same view of rights, including property rights”, please do not retort anything about Godwin’s Law. It’s a warning pertinent to where this is all going as we encounter those 15 Constructs from the last past and formative assessments to make sure individuals are ‘guided’ by the desired concepts in how they interpret their daily experiences. That  WorkSkills report even mentioned the Key Skill of Transdisciplinarity as needed for the Future Workforce. Precisely what those 15 Constructs from the last post said they were creating from the inside-out.

The Future Workforce report assumed that “immersive and visually stimulating presentations of information [will] become the norm.” That will replace print for most people, which will mean the loss of the one thing known to create the rational, logical, independent mind. It is certainly ironic that John Holdren’s Digital Promise federal initiative is being used to bring about the precise Arational Newmindedness Paul Ehrlich longed for back in the late 80s. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/ Give the long time colleague a Gold Star for effort!

IFTF insists that we can “plan our environments so that they are conducive to the outcomes that we are most interested in.” That is known as a sociological wish, not a fact, that has a notorious past. Nevertheless, we get to hear about neurogenesis research (the creation of new neurons), where it is hoped that “change the environment, change the brain, change the behavior.” All without any need to give notice or get consent from the individuals being targeted for a new “Design Mindset.” IFTF wants government policymakers to make “education a national priority” and “consider the full range of skills citizens will require.” No need to consult the individual citizens or respect their or their parents’ desire not to have a New Kind of Mind grounded in emotion and Arational.

We actually do not need to speculate about the broader transformations KnowledgeWorks and IFTF are assuming. Beyond all the Strive Together links to a needs based communitarian economy based in urban areas and the Recombinant Education document I mentioned, there was an earlier joint 2020 Forecast that laid out their Map of the Future Affecting Education that called for Altered Bodies: experimenting at the intersection of environment and performance.” Again, not what we expect when we put our kid on a school bus. Are we sending them to schools to “develop new capacities” consistent with a collectivist vision someone else created and did not mean for us to find out about? Should schools “become focal points for interventions focused not only on educating resilient students, but also on promoting resilience in their communities.”

Resilience is one of the listed IFTF categories and it is designed to prevent individual or community responses that focus on “resisting disruption or maintaining the status quo.” In other words, whatever happens in the future K-12 education is trying to take the likely response out of the hands of individual citizens. They get instead “A New Civic Discourse–Rearticulating Identity and Community in a Global Society” that does not care one bit what the US Constitution established so long ago. Another category–”Pattern of Recognition–An Extremely Visible World demands New Sensemaking” discusses the impact of data a great deal and calls for fostering “collective sensemaking.” No wonder the need for classrooms to develop a shared understanding of everyone after Discourse keeps coming up when we look close. Remember the Rockefeller Funded Communication for Social Change?

Here’s the link to the subsequent Recombinant Education vision http://www.knowledgeworks.org/sites/default/files/Forecast3_0_0.pdf. You may want to read that on an empty stomach or with a Hot Toddy. It is enough to chill the bones. Here’s a sample from the High-Fidelity Living category:

“Deeper insights into brain processes and into cognition and motivation under varying conditions [likely discovered from real children without parental consent] will inform both the design of cognitive assistants and our [whose precisely?] understanding of how to structure learning and work environments to maximize focus, intrinsic motivation, and creativity.”

If that seems troubling, there’s a break-out later that admits that data will monitor a student’s “social and emotional conditions, to predict performance and suggest personalized strategies for success.” Still excited about Personalized Learning and what the League of Innovative Schools is pushing with its federal mandate? How about the admitted ability for “Reading Your Mind”? There’s no indication the student will actually be informed of the results of the ‘reading.’ How is a futurist or policymaker in education different from the typical Palm Reader or Clairvoyent could be the new question given these admitted aims with students.

I am running out of time so I want to alert everyone to one more thing that such a Learning Ecosystem will be designed to do to supposedly Create the Future. How often are we hearing about the need for Equity in education? The last bullet point in the vision states: *”Track and address any new inequities that emerge within the learning ecosystem.”

How will the inequities be addressed? Building up the learners who have not yet shown “what learners will need to know”?

Or using Complex, Unknown, and Nonroutine Problem-solving to try to scramble the rational brains of the more able students? To try to force them to respond from emotion instead of logic and facts.

And if you wonder why I keep remembering Uncle Karl’s vision for all this, let’s get a dime for every time we encounter a reference to meeting ‘needs’ in this vision of the future.

Notice the reference under Shareable Cities to “open governance” and remember my warning over the e-Republic and e-Democracy.

Time to pull more open nefarious declarations into the sunlight of public scrutiny. There is still time, but not if we continue to make this simply a Debate about the Common Core.

It is So. Much. More.