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.

Bubonic Plague, Locust Swarms, Collective Values Transformation, or Futures Redesign?

If we were playing Compare and Contrast with that title we would notice that the commonality is clearly horrendously destructive acts or events. Yet the last two are clearly planned and likely to be invisible to most of the people affected by the designed shifts being imposed on them. The first two just happen periodically, but their presence and catastrophic effects are immediately visible. Which is preferable?  Most of the trauma from the last two could be prevented if enough people globally were aware of the declared intentions, the foreseeable likely consequences, and the networks forcing the changes.

That’s why I wrote the book Credentialed to Destroy and why I keep up this blog monitoring the current related shifts in real time. Welcome to Part Two of what I am calling the Treacherously Trying to Trap Us Trilogy. In the last post I laid out the existence of the Global CIFAL Network set up by the UN System starting in 2003 to get local officials on board with its agenda in education, the economy, and society generally. Today we are going to poke around a bit more into things designed to impact all of us, but beyond our line of sight. Since all my research has the effect of providing close to x-ray vision as I read and listen now, let’s pull some more plans into the sunlight while there is still time.

Let’s start with yet another troubling plan created by the well-connected, Palo Alto-based Institute for the Future whose vision for Recombinant Education and Future Work Skills 2020 here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/advances-in-neuroscience-redefine-notions-of-performance-and-cognition-allowing-social-justice-in-learning/ left some readers irate and others feeling like they had endured a stress test. IFTF in 2013 also created http://www.iftf.org/our-work/global-landscape/governance/governance-for-the-future-an-inventors-toolkit/ to “rethink the relationship between citizens and governance. Now is the time to explore the widest range of future possibilities and to reimagine society for an age of planetary challenges and human responsibility.”

Now before anyone says that stated purpose alone is no link to the UN System, let me remind us that the Center for Curriculum Redesign’s Charles Fadel touts IFTF’s work. But I can do better than that. On the last page, IFTF thanks “Dr. James Dator for providing the inspiration and methodological foundation for this toolkit.” Dator, a futurist professor in Hawaii, was Secretary General and then President for a decade of the World Futures Studies Federation, which IS part of the UN System and closely tied to UNESCO and its work in education and multimedia. So when the Kit urges people to “Re-Think: Examine your foundational assumptions about how the world works, how people behave, and what values you would like to see instilled in your society,” this is precisely the kind of Change Agent/social engineering work we also saw the CIFAL Network owning up to.

So out-of-sight but closely tied to what is planned for US K-12 education we have this Toolkit proclaiming that “Government has seen little structural change in 200 years. For example, the US Constitution was created in the 18th century, and while novel and in many cases admirable, it couldn’t have anticipated 21st century social, technological, and political realities. Societies must re-examine the principles upon which governments are based, and think carefully about the values, beliefs, and metrics  upon which to build governance for the future.” Can you say impose without notice or consent? How about jettisoning what is still valuable?

Can you imagine students with precious little knowledge of history being told as part of a high school long-term project that “Values provide a moral compass for the governing systems you will create. Do you want a society that manifests freedom, happiness, justice, harmony, equality, security, well being?” Plus donuts for all that will never compromise your waistline and free internet that will always be serviced promptly, where ever you live. Sarcasm off. Let’s get back to the Toolkit: “Some absolute values may conflict with others. For example, freedom often affects safety or equality. But to thrive, a society must understand and express a vision of its common goals. Your Task: Clearly state the values that will guide the way governing processes and institutions are created. Don’t try to solve the tensions between values at this point.”

Now that last passage vividly illustrates the problem running through all these intentions and declarations. Many are factually untrue. Many societies have thrived without such a vision of common goals. Having such a vision will NOT make a society ‘thrive.’ In fact, believing such nonsense and having little factual knowledge primes people to act based on illusions. That’s good for statists wanting transformational change, but not so good for those of us footing the bill and being told what we must or cannot do in the future. IFTF though is not the only connected entity now pushing transformations of values in order to give “rise to new conceptions of global responsibility and human rights.” It’s not just the Rockefeller-affiliated Club of Rome involved. http://www.clubofrome.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/VALUESQUEST-The-search-for-values-that-will-make-a-world-of-difference.pdf

It’s not just the UN asking the Club of Rome and the ValuesQuest Initiative to “contribute to the creation of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals Programme.” Those are all bad enough for us. The real danger to all of us would be a failure to appreciate the intention to reconceptualize the nature of the purpose of “the law” globally to make these transformations binding. Because details matter when the stated transformational plans are so dangerous, when the Club of Rome or IFTF or anyone else cites a troubling document, I try to find it.   http://eruditio.worldacademy.org/files/Issue_1/reprints/Reprint-The-Global-Values-Discourse-W.Nagan-G.Jacobs.pdf When I notice that Nagan is a law professor at the University of Florida and believes the law can be a tool for “charting a better collective future for humanity based on universal values for sustaining a world order in the common interest,” I sit up and start taking meticulous notes.

When the law is viewed as a means to force “social evolution,” I remember what Julian Huxley and Theodore Brameld wanted UNESCO to do (described in detail in my book) and know precisely what is envisioned for the 21st Century. The law can be used as means if someone wishes to “require fundamental changes in the normative foundations of global society in the 21st century,” but ‘can’ does not mean the results will not be comparable to the plague or a swarm of locusts in what is being destroyed. When that article describes an approach that “targets the institutions that control and regulate the production and distribution of these values,” K-12 education, the higher ed colleges of education, and the powers given to accreditation all fit the bill as such ‘institutions’. That’s why concentrating all those areas in a single person as described in the last post fits the desired template that “No One Can Stop Us This Time” so well.

The fact that his business partner is tied to CIFAL and planned economic development at the state and local levels also fits perfectly in the vision “for providing the normative guidance for the future of political economy of the world community.” Now, I cannot tell you how unexcited I am to see K-12 education, state economic plans created under WIOA by governors, the law as a tool of forcing collective group decision-making and a redefinition of individuality for the 21st century, and all these other declared plans for “economic democracy” and new institutions that replace “faith in impersonal mechanism” with “institutions dedicated to the rights, dignity, welfare and well-being of all humanity.” France has been entranced by this vision for more than two centuries and look what happened there last week.

The law as a “driving force for social activism” and a “powerful instrument for social development” as “New Paradigm for Global Rule of Law” phrased it, coupled to the Mind Arson and Psychological Manipulation I have been chronicling in K-12 education truly is intended to Treacherously Trap Us All, from the inside-out and all around, to the UN vision first laid out by Uncle Karl so long ago. Can we imagine the law and education of malleable minds dedicated to locking in the “Confucian idea of rooting morals and ethics in human interaction and reciprocal relationships” and the “African principle of Ubuntu. In effect, people realize their moral value in relation to other people”? No wonder we keep running into a communitarianism mandate everywhere from what Career-Ready Practices really means to the Positive School Climate mandates.

I continuously warn how invisible these planned shifts are until we know what to look for, but how is this for a confession from the ValuesQuest document? “Values need to be so deeply embedded within a culture that no one recognizes that they are values.” Perhaps, we should add and “chosen by someone else for the purpose of subjugation to someone else’s choices about the future.” See why “values, attitudes, and beliefs,” and whether and at what rate they are changing, is precisely what is being “assessed” by the new measurements? That’s the real reason the radicals do not want to give up a requirement in any rewrite of No Child Left Behind of some kind of annual “testing.”

Given that Milton Rokeach created the word Competency to obscure the presence of values manipulation in the new focus of K-12 education, having that word be the new global goal while the UN system and the Club of Rome write “values are actually what we use to guide our way through the possibilities and problems of life” is a dangerous way to hide in plain sight. It’s no accident values are also the focus of that IFTF Toolkit or the OECD’s Key Competences that PISA measures students in.

ValuesQuest says that “it is our choice whether to have an unequal or equal society.” Factually that is not true, but we may all be sharing poverty as the consequences of these designs are imposed on all of us via education, the law, and the public sector generally.

None of the Change Agents imposing all of this intend to become equal with those they are coercing. They simply recognize there is money to be made and power to be gained from hyping that it is “our value choice which determines whether we live in a world of opportunities for all.”

This is simply a currently connected oligarchy wanting to empower themselves with no way out for most of us.

Knowledge though remains the way out. That’s why there is such a deliberate, coordinated, global  attempt to circumscribe it in the 21st Century.

 

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.

Peeking into the Behavioral Programming Blueprints for Collectivist Subjugation via K-12 Education Deceit

We are going to shift away from the previous post’s concentration on the active refusal to teach reading properly that has been going on for decades. First though we will look at what Marshall McLuhan openly confessed to in his 1962 global bestseller The Gutenberg Galaxy. The entire book bemoaned the analytical habits of mind and sense of individualism created by phonetic literacy and the advent of print as an obstacle to “total human interdependence” and “corporate responsibility and awareness”. In order for the “highly literate and individualist mind…to become more collectively oriented,” a widespread ability to read print fluently and phonetically had to be jettisoned.

We can all agree that that particular scheme has gone quite well for the Collectively-oriented Statist Schemers. Limiting the ability to read well and independently is a necessary condition for a shift to Collectivism because (to quote mcLuhan again):

“Print is the extreme phase of alphabet culture that detribalizes or decollectivizes man in the first instance…Print is the technology of individualism. If men decided to modify this visual technology by an electric technology [Hint: Like Digital Learning as a required 21st Century Skill?], individualism will also be modified. To raise a moral complaint about this is like cussing a buzz-saw for lopping off fingers.”

Since neither education or buzz-saws operate independently, we do reserve every right to complain about the politicians, principals, and other administrators who are lying to us taxpayers and parents about what they are actually up to. At least a lopped off finger leaves a bloody stub so we can immediately take notice of the damage done. It is so much harder when other elements of the collectivization plans are even less visible than a limited ability or inclination to read. Today we will talk about the global push to use Character Education to “define the core ethical and performance values they most wish to instill in their students.” I bolded the ‘they’ because other people now get to decide what your child is to value and believe at an unconscious level so it will predictably guide behavior going forward.

In my book Credentialed to Destroy in the chapter on the real Common Core implementation, I described how everything I had documented pointed to personal values, attitudes, and beliefs being the true new aim of the curriculum. This post is about more than that and it ties into both the Curriculum Redesign Project we looked at here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/drawing-back-the-standards-curtain-to-discover-the-global-coordination-to-redesign-the-very-nature-of-curriculum/ as well as the Global Education Leaders Programme [see tag]. This also fits closely with the disturbing Education Commission of the States and State Farm Civics Education report we examined in December 1, 2014.

http://www.character.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ElevenPrinciples_new2010.pdf was distributed last week to make sure all schools and officials now understand that a “comprehensive approach uses all aspects of school as opportunities for character development” and that all “academic content and instruction” is integrated with character development and moral reasoning through discussions of ethical issues.  The core values to be developed “affirm human dignity, promote the development and welfare of the individual, serve the common good, define our rights and responsibilities in a democratic society, and meet the classical tests of universality (i.e., Would you want all persons  to act this way in a similar situation?) and reversibility (i.e., Would you want to be treated this way?)”

Now those are not the requirements written into the US Constitution which is simply being ignored. They are, however, very similar to Kohlberg’s Moral Development Theory (developed by a Harvard prof) that the Chinese imposed on Hong Kong students as soon as that lease was up. We know then it is a theory that fits in well with collectivist aspirations and desires for “guiding the behavior of all those in the school community.” Those core values are to be “integrated into all aspects of school life” including the hiring of teachers and “non-teaching staff.”

Principle 2 “defines ‘character’ comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and doing.” Yes, that’s why we keep hearing about Whole Child Initiatives as part of the Common Core. How many parents understand that the Growth and Continuous Improvement the schools are hyping as showing improvement in student achievement are actually a shift of definitions to “a holistic approach to character development therefore seeks to develop the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dispositions required to do the right thing and do one’s best work”? Whose definition of the right thing we reasonably ask? Why the definition used by those seeking Social Justice is the real answer.

How do I know that? Beyond the insistence in Principle 4 that a “school committed to character strives to become a microcosm of a civil, caring, and just society,” I happen to know, as the tenacious lawyer that I am, that the federal government under the civil rights laws and most of the major civil rights groups are all insisting on a commitment from schools to Excellence and Equity. I happen to know that in K-12 education, Excellence has a specific meaning http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/excellence-means-education-putting-what-we-feel-wish-for-and-think-in-harmony/ that quietly dovetails with that redefinition of ‘character’ from Principle 2.

Schools that make academic coursework about helping “students form caring attachments to each other” and “a feeling of responsibility for one another” are laying the foundation for a communitarian society in the near future. A school that leads students to believe that they have a human right to have others satisfy their basic needs and that each student, in turn, has the obligation to meet those basic needs is laying the groundwork for what Uncle Karl and his followers called the Human Development Model http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/who-knew-karl-marx-had-a-human-development-model-or-that-it-fit-our-facts-so-well/ That’s not name-calling or a criticism although I do believe it is an unworkable vision. I am simply recognizing as a factual matter the description of what is being advocated for in phrases like

“the school sets aside time for students to assess community needs, create ideas for meeting those needs, plan and coordinate service learning projects, and reflect on the positive consequences of community service.”

The entire vision of what its advocates refer to as Marxist Humanism as a goal for the West’s society and economy is grounded in meeting human ‘needs’. Interestingly, the requirement that all schools must now have “an academic program that helps all students succeed,” even those with what can only charitably be described as inert minds even on a good day, gets expressed in terms of an obligation to meet all students’ needs. Since inert minds are an unfortunate reality, we get the call for “a variety of active teaching and learning strategies” so that participation and projects become the way to deal with inert minds. Quietly and without alerting the parents, social interaction around topics of interest from the real world and ethical issues for the new hoped-for society become the entire point of the classroom and coursework.

We talked about the reasons for wanting to limit reading fluency, but treating words as a whole and doling them out to guide thought ties right into the plan for how the “core values are woven into the literacy curriculum, where students use their reading selections to reflect on the values and on issues of character, such as discrimination, patriotism, and moral courage. In social studies classes, students are expected to act upon the core values as they select and research national or international causes and then work with community members to carry out related service projects.” I do not think it is a stretch to imagine that the reading selections available in the Cloud or put aside as an ELA Task Set will have a deliberate slant to it.

Here, for example, is how elementary school gets reimagined. “Grade-level curriculum guides show how essential questions [from Grant Wiggins' Understanding By Design, See tags] can be tied to ethical issues and specific service learning projects. Students at every level now engage in service as an integral outgrowth of topics they learn in class. In a fifth-grade unit entitled “Let Freedom Ring,” the essential question Why do we have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? leads to assignments researching the background of specific amendments and concluding with an advocacy letter written to members of Congress. [We can all just imagine what was advocated for]. In a second-grade class, students respond to a reading assignment about Haiti by raising enough funds to donate 400 pounds of beans to the people in need there. Leary students learn that service is a vital part of good character and meaningful academics.”

I bolded that aspect about “leary students” since we are talking about 7-year-olds who might know a thing or two about what really makes Haiti so dysfunctional and be pondering the chances that any or how much of the 400 pounds will make to those in need there. Well-informed students don’t get to be leary anymore even when they reasonably ought to be. Given this statement: “the school’s approach to student conduct uses all aspects of behavior management–including rule-setting and rule-enforcement–as opportunities to foster students’ character development, especially their understanding of and commitment to core values,” life in K-12 education is about to become very uncomfortable to any students or adults not aboard the collectivist bandwagon.

Previously I mentioned that there is a term for this type of community focused approach–Productive Learning. It’s not particularly productive to the individual student, but it is very productive to the political class laying out what must be done and what may not happen anymore. If we think of this Character Education vision as using K-12 to prepare students to now be members of a Human Development Society, the other crucial aspect of Productive Learning involves preparation for the new Workforce.

We will deal with that aspect next time as we keep tracking the necessary conditions for a transformation away from Individualism as a legitimate 21st Century focus.

Rejecting Reading to Avoid the Magic Elixir Bolstering of the Independent Human Mind

We are making a pit stop in our discussion of the actual global vision of how to use K-12 education to create revolutionary transformations in our social, economic, and political systems without bothering to get consent. That’s some definition of democracy, huh? We are just going to talk today about reading and why political radicals do not want a widespread ability to read well anymore. If I was a sarcastic sort, I could have called this post “Literacy to Create Malleable Illiterates Via Stealth,” but since I do not have an ironic bone in my body I decided to refrain. Ooops, maybe not. I also want to dedicate the revelations I am about to volunteer to long-time UK Reading Instruction Advocate Mona McNee, who is now 91, ailing, and wondering why authorities there continue to reject her fine work that she has made freely available. This is for you, Mona.

I have explained repeatedly that it is individual perception of reality that K-12 education seeks to attack. Within the last week the World Bank in its 2015 Report was kind enough to admit to us that it is subjective mental models being targeted in case anyone wants to think that the aspirations I am about to lay out were limited to a particular time or place. http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/Publications/WDR/WDR%202015/WDR-2015-Full-Report.pdf Now that we have recent confirmation that this all still matters, let’s go back to the Soviet Union of 1929, the year after John Dewey’s troubling trip there that I described in my book Credentialed to Destroy . Deeply disturbed that what translates into English as Abstract Objectivism and rational views of causality and “a reverence for ‘fact’ understood not in a dialectical sense but as something fixed and stable” are all impeding the revolutions in all spheres envisioned by Marx and Engels, a VN Volosinov decided it was time for Marxism to directly alter the prevailing view of language.

Why? We all want to reasonably ask. Because the traditional dictionary view of print removes words “from the pressures of the social struggle,” which is of course not OK to an ideology that turns out to be more about historical progression through various economic stages than who actually, technically, owns what. Reading instruction, like what could go on in the classroom generally, then became a means in a political struggle with the goal being to alter “the conscious, subjective human psyche” just as the World Bank still admits is its target. Both want to get at human behavior and, then and now, Mental Models are the way in. I want to stop this historical discussion for just a second to link this to our CTE emphasis in the previous post.

http://maxteaching.com/files/Cornell-U-MAX-Teaching-Study.pdf is called “Authentic Literacy Applications in CTE: Helping All Students Learn” and is used by SREB’s High Schools that Work and was created by one of the listed consultants, James Stone. It’s all about paying attention to context and situations as a guide to how words are to be interpreted, just as Volosinov wanted. We could even describe this vision of authentic CTE Literacy as dialectical. Again, this all may seem from far away, but these aims remain current. In fact, the book Marxism and the Philosophy of Language was translated into English in 1973 with Harvard controlling the English copyright. Alert readers will recognize that’s precisely when the World Order Models Project began as well as the Rand Change Agent Study looking into why the 60s radical education reforms described in Chapter 6 of my book did not go as envisioned.

One more fascinating detail setting up the assault of what would be called psycholinguistics or Whole Language in the West initially. In August 1977 Harvard Educational Review published an article by Lauren Resnick (creator of the terms Rigor and Higher Order Thinking Skills 10 years later and also on the Common Core validation committee. See Tag) and Daniel Resnick called “The Nature of Literacy: An Historical Exploration.” The paper states that it was financed by the US National Institute of Education and written during the Resnicks’ stay at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, where so much of the other elements of Radical Ed Reform and Economic Justice theory also took place. The article argues that a goal of mass literacy is unprecedented in US history and that such a goal creates the need for a new way to teach reading.

The article does not fit with my knowledge of reading history, but the mere existence of the article becomes the cite for a new way to teach reading to be imposed on all schools, especially in urban areas. That new way of teaching reading would put the emphasis not on sounds and letters since that would be a static, fixed “concern with the cadavers of written languages,” but on understanding the meaning of words “in a particular, concrete context.” The idea was that this method of teaching reading would allow language to be adaptable and changeable and fit to be a means for altering an individual’s subjective psyche to fit with the beliefs needed for the hoped-for transformations.

It is a view of language grounded in the oral traditions of preliterate or aboriginal people where words are understood to have varying meanings depending on their use to describe real things. That’s what Whole Language hoped to accomplish back in the 70s and it’s what the Common Core’s use of the required Close Reading and the term Literacy seem to mean now. It is what Volosinov said was “understanding in the proper sense of the word, i.e., orientation in the particular given context and in the particular, given situation–orientation in the dynamic process of becoming and not ‘orientation’ in some inert state.”

Dictionaries, textbooks, lectures, traditional algebra not tied to the actual world but as an abstract tool, and systematic phonetic instruction of reading are all treating language as an inert state. None of these are suitable for a world that is supposed to be in the process of guided transformations and historical change along a hoped-for pathway. In other words, none of these instructional changes is about a better way to teach or an argument over content. At its rotten core this is about traditional practices that innoculate the human mind against manipulation from outside. That’s not acceptable anytime political authority insists it has the right to transform the mental models of the masses. That was the aspiration of Power in Russia in 1929. Unfortunately it lays behind the real aspirations in the US and elsewhere in 2014.

Volosinov said that “one of Marxism’s fundamental and most urgent tasks is to construct a genuinely objective psychology, which means a psychology based on sociological [emphasis in original text], not physiological or biological, principles.” Marxism did just that and the Soviets researched precisely how to access and impact the individual, objective psyche and in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, as again I explained in the book and am supplementing here, the US imported and translated that research. It took that Marxian objective psychology and made implementing it in the classroom to alter individual students’ perceptions from the inside-out the emphasis of education degree programs, especially doctorates. It took away the offensive, but accurate, M label and simply declared the practices and policies to be Pedagogy.

Classrooms were to be experiential and those experiences were created to alter subjective perception in prescribed ways. If there was a popular outcry, parents and taxpayers were deceitfully told this was a dispute over how to teach reading and math and that the administrators were the degreed professionals that must be deferred to. Political radicals have long understood that words and vocabulary “constitute the foundation, the skeleton of inner life” and the are absolutely determined this time to irreversibly alter it. Since skeleton has a yucky factor, the same philosophy gets better names like schema, mental models, or Frameworks. The intention is the same.

What was italicized by Volosinov as superficial phonetic empiricism is a view of language that was and is in the way of the (also italicized) unity of the social milieu and the unity of the immediate social event of communication. Must be relevant to a person in a way that engages them and tied to real world problems and active and experiential like projects would be the current update of what Volosinov sought. Language must always be viewed in context just as Literacy-in-CTE lays out now.

Abstract Objectivism as a traditional, rational, content-focused subject matter view of the purpose of education and a dictionary-based phonetic view of language quite simply “exclude any possibility for the speaker’s consciousness to be actively in touch with the process of historical evolution.” Got that? Here, quickly, are the problems with language and academics unless they are playing a role in the “dynamic process” of changing what an individual values and believes.

1) The factor of stable self-identity in linguistic forms takes precedence over their mutability.

2) The abstract takes precedence over the concrete.

3) Abstract systematization takes precedence over historical actuality.

4) The forms of elements take precedence over the form of the whole.

5) Reification of the isolated linguistic element to the neglect of the dynamics of speech.

6) Singularization of word meaning and accent to the neglect of its living multiplicity of meaning and accent.

7) The notion of language as a ready-made artifact handed down from one generation to another.

8) Inability to conceptualize the inner generative process of a language.

That last one really is a confession of the extent to which the ideological focus requires drilling down into all the mental tools any individual is to have access to. This is fascinating, isn’t it, and explains so much that was previously inexplicable.

Good thing for us that the earlier “idea of language as a system of conventional, arbitrary signs of a fundamentally rational nature [as] propounded by representatives of the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century” has not yet been completely decimated by this M view of language and academic knowledge.

 

 

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.