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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for that by the way.

 

2 thoughts on “Embrace and Seize Technology’s Potential to Capture the Hearts and Minds of Today’s Students

  1. Yup. In the very first paragraph of “Creating a New Vision for
    Public Education in Texas” under the sub-heading “Major Conceptual Themes,” we see that “The core business of schools is to provide engaging, appropriate experiences for students so that they learn and are able to apply their knowledge in ways that will enrich their lives and ensure their well-being.”

    So then, the “core business” of America’s public schools is not to teach children anything, impart knowledge, and teach children/young adults how to think critically, reason closely, and think/reflect for themselves outside of a group/communal context (I guess there goes any idea of a “great books” curriculum), but to do essentially what family and church used to undertake.

    Interestingly, the entire vision of these folks doesn’t even really have anything in mind for future children except vocational/technical training anyway, i.e., “Preparing students for success in the workforce is secondary to preparing children for success in life.” Not that there’s anything wrong with vo-tech, but this kind of school system is never going to produce much in the way of real thinkers, and especially the kind of thinkers of the caliber of people who founded this nation and have maintained it for two centuries against the relentless persistent tsunami of progressivism.

    Don’t look for any Madisons or Jeffersons or Actons or Hayeks or Lewises or Tolkiens or Buckleys or Voeglins or Sowells or Friedmans (or Jobs, for that matter) from this bunch, as it won’t be forthcoming (although, there will always be kids with a deep and impervious sense of individuality and who ask the deep questions who will intellectually thrive in spite of such a school system).

    • Bingo. Loran.

      Under the rhetoric of “internationally competitive” we are committing economic suicide. Being led by people who are both lying to our faces AND who have spent their adult lives being paid from the taxes collected from the private sector’s economic wealth generating activity.

      And they are pushing to gut that very activity. Probably unaware it is not a fixed pie. Some, however, are caught up in those devolving back to more pastoral times myth put out by very well-connected and funded “Non-profits” like the new economics foundation.

      So far I have run into the Ford Foundation, whose new motto is “Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide”, in connection with pushing this democratic purpose of schooling to give all students equal opportunity, financing the Global Transitions 2012 and its Line of Plenty as all the income anyone needs in connection with this summer’s Rio+20 UN Sustainability conference, and the Regional Equity Movement exemplified by the Building One America conference. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/distributive-justice-is-not-enough-we-must-break-the-illusion-of-the-unitary-self/ is the post where I wrote about the agenda of Regional Equity.

      It fits in perfectly with the community organizing focus that is the real reason that movie on the Parent Trigger has gotten so much play. We have got to start paying more attention to the planned implementation as I have been laying out on this blog. Too many well-intentioned people assume good intentions and do not peer beyond. How could we have gone so long without recognizing what a premier cultural, economic, and political weapon education makes.

      Ignorant and aggrieved is a tremendous incentive to keep urban school weak. Plus the remediation is extremely lucrative and grows union payrolls.

      Will follow through with more on the real acknowledged purpose of all this tomorrow.

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