Sneaking Into the Cracks to Instill the Outlined Characteristics of the New Soviet Man While the Fatal Conceit Returns

Once again what may seem like just a graphic means for me to try to grab attention to the level of sought intrusion turns out to actually be a quote of declared intentions from someone who matters. In this case we are back to the Remake Learning Playbook, where the Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, Mark Surman, described how to reach “everyone’s hands and minds. And this means everyone.” Now Hands and Minds may seem like a clever phrase, and I have heard State Ed Commissioners gush about it so we know it gets hyped in the meetings we are not invited to, but what it is really getting at is Action (Hands) and what will compel someone to act in the future (Mind; Emotions). Surman in hyping the potential for innovative learning experiences to force Equity and “tackle systems change”, pointed out that “networks have the potential to slowly transform potential by sneaking through the cracks.”

Hands and Minds and Sneaking through the Cracks–this may be an effective way to use the schools for transformation, but it’s an invisible to most one. When Surman wrote about “young people have the skills and mindsets they need to thrive in today’s world,” his writing could be taken from the English language and 2015 and the American continent and taken back to the 30s and Eurasia and translated into Russian. Stalin too was anxious to turn his young people into purposeful change agents ready to act on and to bring change to their surroundings. To shift the emphasis from the world as it had been and what currently existed to what might be with enough collaborative effort and the right set of guiding ideas.

As usual I am not speculating, in 1950 the Russian Research Center funded by Carnegie at Harvard under an initial 5 year grant that began in 1948 published a book by Barrington Moore on the Role of Ideas in Social Change. He wrote about the role of planning to the Soviets and their use of it as a “technique of deliberately controlled social change…Socialist planners, he [Trotsky] said, should not have the attitudes toward their figures that an astronomer has toward the movement of the stars, which he can predict but cannot control. Socialist plans [should not be] products of passive prediction, but rather [conceived] as tools for action.”

Now if anyone has any doubts that today it is people, especially children, who have been selected to be both the targets of such intrusive change and the means for achieving it in broader realms like the workplace, society, and the economy, take a look at the All-Inclusive Criteria for Becoming A Brilliant Star: Striving for Excellence. is just the latest in the determination to make Learning about combining thinking, feeling, and action. There’s also a new Taxonomy by Robert Marzano schools and districts are being urged to use to turn students into Self-Systems, where their the “attitudes, beliefs and feelings that determine an individual’s motivation to complete a task” are being tracked and manipulated.

Now just ponder the significance of those aims being on a tech company-sponsored site and their participation in the 21st Century Skills global push, ATC21S and Charles Fadel’s Center for Curriculum Redesign. In the last post I mentioned Israel Scheffler, let’s see what he wrote back in 1960 in The Language of Education in proposing a “novel [hard to detect] use of the term ‘curriculum’” where the definition would be

“programmatic, that its point is precisely to apply the familiar term in a strange way, in order to rechannel the practice associated with it. In particular, the programmatic point is to extend the school’s responsibility, hitherto limited to a so-called formal course of study, in such a way as to embrace the individual social and psychological development of its pupils.”

Sounds like Whole Child to me or what ECAA called meeting the non-cognitive needs. No wonder the Rockefeller Foundation wanted Scheffler at Harvard in 1952 if in 1950 Moore wrote in the Section called “Today’s Dilemma” in the Chapter “Theory of Equality” that:

“In contrast with Western ideas, which begin with the individual and extend to the group and society as an instrument serving the needs of the individual, the Soviet concept of freedom stresses the role of society and the group. The Russians are fond of asserting that the full development of the individual’s capabilities and personality is possible only under the socialist organization of society.”

So what happens now when district administrators, statutes, and politicians at every level of both parties abbreviate that push as the “full development of the individual’s capabilities and personality” as the goal? Is that possible in a society where individuals still are empowered vs political institutions hyping Equity and necessary ‘governance’? What if those goals are set out in a Beta Credentials Framework created by Mozilla frequent Partner–the Lumina Foundation– that is intended to bind while remaining unseen.

What if that Framework discloses not just desired ways of Thinking and Personal and Social Skills, but that in the US and internationally there is a Tuning Process to standardize and circumscribe knowledge in each of the disciplines. Also notice the admission of what I warned about in Chapter 4 of my book-the US is adopting Qualifications Frameworks that will bind employers into hiring quotas. There is a recurring theme through the Playbook, the Agency by Design “Maker-Centered Learning and the Determination of Self” mentioned in the last post, and that Lumina Credentials Framework. Young people are to be trained, primed, and credentialed to act with no body of knowledge available to be a barrier to a willingness to act.

When the purpose of all education becomes about how can “students come to see themselves as capable of effecting positive change in their own lives and in the community” and “muster the wherewithal to change things through making,” we are back in the aspirations Nobel-Prize economist Friedrich Hayek called The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism in his last book. When the declared aspirations are to turn these fostered dispositions and beliefs into “habits of mind” guiding from an unconscious level, we cannot afford to be waved off from a discussion of the likely consequences because we may not have ed degrees and those with them think this is all A-OK. After all, I have listened to Ed Doctorate admins brag about using notorious brainwashing techniques on reluctant teachers without any idea there is any notoriety attached to what they are suggesting.

We parents, in other words, and just average concerned citizens who know what made this country great and what has always doomed civilizations in the past have to be the Cavalry. Even the rare politician with an excellent mind seems to get bad advice from their staff or the ‘conservative’ think tanks on the issue of education and that’s apart from not bothering to read the binding language they are willing to enact or appreciating the presence of a Scheffler Programmatic Novel Definition.  This parent read all the references to designing and making new ways of being in the world and remembered something Harvard psychologist Jerome Bruner wrote in 1951 in the Foreword of the other Russian Research Center book we have covered.

“speak of the need for a psychology that may support democracy. For man’s image of the nature of man is not only a matter of objective inquiry; it is and has always been a prime instrument of social and political control. He who molds that image does so with enormous consequences for the society in which he lives.”

Now we have this exact aspiration of molding going on, but hiding behind terms like Whole Child, learning needs, student-centered or personalized learning, Maker Movement and others that obscure the nature and purpose of the true K-12 and higher ed shift. I can at least track all these shifts and recognize the fallacies involved and go looking for someone far more authoritative and experienced with the tragedies of these idea to cite. What did Hayek mean as the Fatal Conceit? He described it as the socialist or Planning belief that “man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes.” Sound familiar from even a typical city council meeting these days or a faculty luncheon?

I cover this somewhat in my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon, but with the Maker Movement and Agency by Design and engineered Competencies and Habits of Mind bringing all these aspirations once again to the forefront, let’s go back in history to recognize the likely consequences. Historically, economic prosperity arose in “those communities [where] individuals were allowed to make free use of their individual knowledge.” Now in the name of Equity we are limiting and prescribing what is to be known. That would be the Antithesis of what works and is entirely consistent with the norm noted by Hayek where “common local knowledge or that of a ruler determined the activities of all.” Make that rulers plural now between the mayors, legislators, governors, Congress, and the OECD and UN entities.

Talking about the fall of the Roman empire, Hayek noted that the decline and final collapse “came only after the central administration in Rome increasingly displaced free endeavour. This sequence has been repeated again and again: civilisation might spread, but is not likely to advance much further, under a government that takes over the direction of daily affairs from its citizens.”

That is precisely what is being attempted in the US and elsewhere all over the West in 2015 and education is the most formidable arrow in the Planning and Future Alteration Quiver. I do not bring back expressions like the New Soviet Man to hype, but as a reminder that the techniques are the same and so are the goals. The West, and especially the US, is supposedly the place with the technology and wealth to meet everyone’s needs globally. What Uncle Karl called little c communism and the Soviets never thought they were ready for.

The global entities and too many foundations and grievance interest groups think now is the time and we are the place to push for this peaceful shift via education, the ballot box, federal spending, and raw political power. It won’t work for the reasons Hayek cited, but we all have to be able to call a Spade a Spade and recognize what is being attempted, how, and why.

Stopped by powerful governments, parasitic officials, and obtuse politicians is not the epitaph any of us want with an upcoming 239th Anniversary of the Greatest Country in History looming.



Shaped and Sculpted Young People Ready to be Governable Participants in a New Future

Remember that catchy Peter Paul and Mary song “Leaving on a Jet Plane”? Well, I am practically humming it in my head this afternoon. After reading revelations in the last few months that have me feeling like I have been staring at a supernova without my comrade-approved conceptual goggles, I am taking a little break. Because things have been breaking so fast and furiously just in the last week though, I want to talk first about what is happening and also to bring back a group of posts that bears directly on interpreting the intentions of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.

Now I am known for liking a good Grab the Attention metaphor in my titles, but this one is an actual quote of the intentions involving students, education, data, and experimenting to create new kinds of people and societies via public policy. First, we get a declaration of giving the public bogus reasons on why children need to learn to code as a basic new educational skill. Meanwhile admitting that the required practices will reorient students into the new ways of thinking “required to participate in the digital governance of the state” [and thus them, whether our 'new thinkers' ever grasp that real goal]. Later, ‘digital making’ activities are acknowledged as “a way of seeking to shape citizen subjectivities and capacities”, which certainly fits with my insistence that K-12 education globally is now intent on molding future likely behaviors and the student’s personality at a biological level. will take you to the journal to download this Mother of all Confessions. The title actually comes from this doozy on page 267 where we are told “learning to code is itself a form of digital policy instrumentation–a technical means of operationalizing a particular set of policy ideas and exercising specific effects in terms of the governance and control of the population. It is a channel through which young people are to be shaped and sculpted with both the civic capacities and expertise to become governable participants in emerging strategies, techniques, and methods of digital governance.”

Elsewhere that report announces that these well-connected public and social innovation labs show the “spread of experimentalism as an ideology for how we shape the future.” In case that’s not graphic enough and showing why I had to get one more post up before my Great Adventure, we have adaptive learning, data science in education, and these psi labs generally declared to be seen “unambiguously as part of an ideological project of designing the future.” Now pay attention also because the Next Generation Science Standards put out an advisory on assessment this week that fits with the following as a desirable Practice to be Measured: “based on the assumption that design can envision desirable realities and develop ways to make those futures realities.”

I will deal with NGSS when I return so wish me a safe trip. In the meantime we also have philanthropies and governments at all levels admitting their coordinated efforts with each other to redesign society around place-based initiatives. Of course that report further confesses all the particular federal programs we are funding with all this deficit spending and the ties to fed Ed and then the need to transform the broader social and economic systems. We are told excitedly that this is not an ‘Either/Or” situation, but calls for an Integrated Framework that they intend to keep practicing on us with.

Maybe I should find a cave somewhere and just hide in the wilderness. If I did that though, who else would look at a paper like “Driving the skills agenda: Preparing students for the future” from Google [who is really psyched about this data emphasis by the way] and notice all the undisclosed connections. Instead of reading it as major employer speaks about what all employers need, I remembered our recent post where Google called for changes in public policy to redesign society. Maybe Google is once again speaking as someone with a Stake in this Game of Experimentalism with Data and less as an Employer.

I noticed Google hired the Economist Intelligence Unit to prepare the report, but no one ever mentioned that Pearson, with its global Ed Unit headed by Sir Michael Barber of ISC tag fame himself, owns The Economist. Many of the experts involved with the report are also involved with ATC21S, the global 21st century skills initiative backed by Microsoft, Cisco, and Intel, but that is omitted from the paper as well. Since I covered ATC21S in my book Credentialed to Destroy, I got to call on that knowledge in reading the report. It also allowed me to notice that the very skills “employers need” are the same skills being touted as necessary to be a 21st Century ATC21S Learner. Now since Pearson is officially part of ATC21S and so are UNESCO, the OECD, and the World Bank we are getting what will satisfy the desires of the transformative Learning Metrics Task Force now being pitched as necessary to satisfy what employers need.

I can practically see every county, state, or country bidding to be the next recipient of a jobs-creating data center for Google being presented with that very document. Then the eager-to-please and plan ‘business development’ mayor, council members, governors, legislators, and Congress critters will cry in unison that “this is what our schools must do or there will be no jobs.” That’s how what is openly acknowledged to be Experimentalism and social theories looking for implementation to produce data to see if they work makes it all the way to your local school to start that Shaped and Sculpted Process.

Beyond those links that should probably be read with an adult beverage or your blood pressure medicine nearby, I am providing the links to a series of posts I wrote originally in January 2014. I called it the Obuchenie Trilogy, but there were four of them as it turned out. Obuchenie is a Russian word that does not translate smoothly into English, but understanding it as a goal is crucial for translating the Every Child Achieves Act’s aspirations for our children into the actual goals. In order here are the posts so we can get ready to deal with ECAA when I get back.

Finally, we have this

Reading the language of the new form of ECAA, 1177, made me think of what Benjamin Bloom really intended Mastery Learning to become because that seemed to be a driver behind the 1177 language’s clear intent to fundamentally change our children. When I went back to the early 70s, I found Bloom writing alarmingly about changing the nature of the task in order to change the student in order to get at Cognitive Behaviors and Affective Characteristics. Well, that’s clearly not just another way to teach math or reading so it becomes accessible to all. There was something else noticeable though in the 1974 book schools, society, and mastery learning that wrote up presentations from an AERA annual conference.

Remember what the typeface created by the old typewriters looked like and how much trouble it would be to hyphenate ‘teaching-learning process’ just like that for more than 100 pages of typing. Sometimes it appears several times on a single page. Someone wanted that hyphenation because it helped stipulate the meaning of the phrase. In my mind, that much trouble consistently gone to in the early 70s means we are right about the phrase being a translated Russian word for a psychological and pedagogical practice created over there. Being brought over here and in 2015 it’s about to make it into a federal law when accurately understood.

Don’t expect a thank you from me for THAT importation into our classrooms.

Russian psych research, federal law, and Experimentalism via data as an ideological project of designing the future.

Leaving everyone with lots of relevant reading so no one needs to Miss Me While I’m Gone.

Now humming “Sure Gonna Miss Me While I’m Gone” as I pack. See ya.

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. 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. 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.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now we can infer that John Foster and friends and the Round Table would be pleased if they were still around, but we can in fact know what UNESCO, the Gates Foundation, and Microsoft have in store for us via this 2012 Video (23 minutes and well worth it) on the New Classroom Experience. Now this Learning Without Frontiers vision is linked by UNESCO to the same troubling transdisciplinary vision of changing the student we examined in detail here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Win, Win if the 21st Century continues in the existing desired direction globally where those who are elected at any level of government are being told repeatedly they get to govern, in the literal sense of the word, those who elected them. We cannot resist what we are unaware of and my job on this blog now and in my book previously has been to point out the things that are intended to bind us without our active knowledge or genuine consent. Yesterday this story caught my eye I knew at least the Hong Kong people could see how the same education reforms being adopted in K-12 globally have been designed to change what their young people value, believe, know, and perceive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Openly Admitting Global Coordination to Impose Behavioral Programming Using Education and the Law

I thought about using the word Conspiracy in the title but I was afraid readers might be confused and think we are merely theorizing. Oh no, turns out that in 2012 there was another of those Movers and Shakers meetings we were not invited to. GELP–Global Education Leaders Program–chose to have that particular meeting in Helsinki, Finland with sponsorship from the Gates Foundation, Promethean Boards (in case you have always wondered why they get bought and then remain in boxes), and Cisco. Apparently they all wanted to look up close at the Finnish education system we met in the last post. The US-based CCSSO, the formal sponsors of the Common Core State Standards in the US, was also there, except the focus was on its Innovation Learning Network–ILN–and what CCSS is really bridging the US towards.

Yes, I did go through and systematically download all those presentations. Hope you had a more congenial Saturday than me, but it was all in a good cause. The GELP Co-Director, Tony MacKay from Australia (also heads ATC21S for those who have read the book. The rest of you are missing the foundation of this story) kindly announced in a related paper on Future-Oriented Education he placed on a New Zealand Server that GELP has been “designed to accelerate and sustain transformation within GELP members ‘local’ systems and nations–and to advocate and continually refine the vision of 21st century teaching and learning.”

When we first encountered the Consortium vision I warned in that March 3, 2014 post that the Gypsy Supers were lobbying DC for supposed ‘local’ power to impose what was actually a global vision. But I did not at that time know about GELP or that Helsinki Conference or Tony MacKay’s useful admission of a global effort that can be deceitfully sold as ‘homemade’. The law firm (whose education practice we have tied to the creation of that Consortium, the Fulton County Conversion Charter that contractually guts academics whatever the School Board believes, and the affirmative Student Code of Conduct) is cited by CCSSO, through its Education Counsel affiliate, to be working with ILN and the CCSSO to shift states and districts towards the Competency-oriented Next Generation Learning. (Chapter 4 of my book as I did accurately perceive where CCSSI was really going).

Now that we better appreciate how people can become bound via laws and documents with legal effect to Transformative Social Change whatever the personal intentions of the drafting lawyers or the authorizing institutions are, I want to call your attention to a group in the past who advocated for a similar strategy of how to quietly get such change in place. The Fabian Socialists (who still exist and were involved in Anthony Giddens’ The Global Third Way conference I wrote about) were willing to be gradual and employ stealth. But as the motto of this stained glass window shows with its image of a molten world being hammered on an anvil into the desired shape–”Remould It Nearer to the Hearts Desire,” the end vision is fundamental transformation, like it or not. Whether we are even aware or not.

The law and education globally are both being used to drive wholesale, nonconsensual change at the level of the human mind and personality for purposes of behavioral programming to go along with the same type of vision the Fabian Socialists have always sought. I speak Educationese fluently now and the consistency is stunning. One more point, another of the profs advocating this vision, Princeton’s Philip Pettit, keeps mentioning this same phrasing in his 2014 book Just Freedom: A Moral Compass for a Complex World:

“How should a government organize the shared legal and economic lives of its citizens?”

The answer is that it should not, but Pettit like Nussbaum with her Human Rights work, intends to use the law as a tool to organize nonconsensual submission anyway. We may not have ever thought of the law or education as affirmative weapons for wholesale social change, but they are very good at that purpose. Plus the advocates get to live off the bounty of the taxes we must all pay.

Now we can shift back to Nussbaum and Jeremy Rifkin and Finland once again to fully appreciate the why of what is to be changed. As the GELP conference admitted, the Fabian-adored ‘welfare state’ is crucial to the success of this vision of education transformation globally in so many ways. In talking about the need for classwork and literature assigned to build a compassionate imagination, Martha Nussbaum wrote:

“they are led to notice the sufferings of other living creatures with a new keenness. At this point stories can then begin to confront children more plainly with the uneven fortunes of life, convincing them emotionally of their urgency and importance. ‘Let him see, let him feel the human calamities,’ Rousseau writes of his imaginary pupil. ‘Unsettle and frighten his imagination with the perils by which every human being is constantly surrounded. Let him see around him all these abysses, and, hearing you describe them, hold onto you for fear of falling into them.’”

Now how much more powerful is that intended behavioral manipulation when married to Video Gaming in the classroom? No wonder Amplify hypes its Zombie Apocalypse for Middle Schoolers. Now Jeremy Rifkin, in order to nurture and ‘grow’ (as in Student Growth as the new definition of achievement) this ‘empathic impulse’ happens to cite a Professor Kenneth Gergen and his idea that we move from a “self-centered system of beliefs [as in mine and thine] to a consciousness of an inseparable relatedness with others.” Now in case you are tempted to consider this all tenured mumbo-jumbo cultivated in the shade of all that ivy, remember Gergen was on the Gordon Commission in charge of the future of US student assessment and his Appreciative Inquiry Model [see tags] is commonly now used by urban school systems and community organizers.

So when education critics carelessly assume that the word ‘assessment’ is interchangeable with ‘test’ they lose much of the intended psychological transformation via the classroom experience. They miss that Gergen, the Gordon Commission, Rifkin, Nussbaum, and influential others ALL want to stress a shift to activity and experience precisely because they want to replace the historic concept of the individual with the ‘relational self.’ Having the classroom nurture the belief that a student’s Identity is changeable and simply “a unique constellation of relational experiences with one another.” And why would these people want such a thing? For the Fabian Socialist change of course, but they cannot phrase it that way as we parents and taxpayers would almost certainly rebel.

Instead, as Rifkin states, students get told over years “the idea that those same embedded relationships and experiences make one a unique being, different from all others. It is only by keeping the distinction in mind that empathic consciousness can continue to grow and become the psychic and social glue for a global consciousness.”

That’s why requiring students to have and demonstrate empathy towards one another in the classroom in a new type of legally coercive Student Code of Conduct is such a big deal. As Rifkin admits, the desired transformational glue vanishes once students once again see themselves as individuals instead of “a unique ensemble of relationships.”  Remember in the last post when the Finnish Curriculum for Global Education wanted to require students to “promote the common good” and aspire for a “common understanding” via the classroom? This is verbatim how the Finns break that requirement down into subgoals with the student age range in brackets. Since other countries like the US intend the same approach (as the Rockefeller Foundation funded Communication for Social Change confirmed as well), but without this blueprint for our eyes, here it is anyway:

[5-6]:  To practice bringing up important topics of discussion that are interesting to oneself and others.

To practice a polite and dignified manner of speaking. (To be continued in all age groups.)

[7-8]: To learn to weigh one’s views in the light of facts.

To learn to listen to and ponder carefully the viewpoints presented by others. (To be continued in age group 9-10).

To practice a polite and dignified manner of speaking. ( To be continued in all age groups).

[9-10]: To learn to listen to and ponder carefully the viewpoints presented by others. (Continued from age group 7-8).

To practice striving for a shared view in conversation.

To practice a polite and dignified manner of speaking. (To be continued in all age groups.)

[11-12]: To learn to make joint decisions on the basis of views arrived at mutually (To be continued in age group 13-14.)

To learn to keep one’s emotions under control and one’s thoughts as objective as possible during consultation. (To be continued in age group 13-14.)

To practice a polite and dignified manner of speaking. (To be continued in all age groups.)

[13-14]: To learn to make joint decisions on the basis of views arrived at mutually. (Continued from age group 11-12).

That’s the end of the Finnish vision for Global Education. It’s how education to fulfill the vision of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights gets met. It’s the embodiment in how to educate to create a Mindset to see oneself as a “citizen of humanity” ready to fulfill now imposed obligations to serve the “well-being of all” occurs.

The phrase “behavioral programming’ in the title now seems like an understatement, doesn’t it?

Experimenting on People and Places via the Rockefeller Process of Communication for Social Change

In case anyone is concerned that the description ‘experimenting’ seems a bit harsh, the 2001 book Civic Innovation in America: Community Empowerment, Public Policy, and the Movement for Civic Renewal laid out what was sought by the charitable foundations and the White House in the 90s under initiative names like “Reinventing Public Citizenship.” Then it usefully admitted that all this dialoguing and deliberative democracy and new systems of governance are untried theories. Such mass mandates put in place by mayors or regional authorities or school districts thus qualify as mass experimentation. Aka Experimentation on the Masses since psychological processes aimed at behavior change through K-12 education are involved.

We do get to call a spade a spade when we are able to come up with statements about the use of BCC–Behavior Change Communication. Now I am not picking on the Rockefeller interests although I have been wondering for a while why I keep running into their aggressive support of so many troubling ideas that clearly pertain to desired transformational social change. To be undeniably fair I will quote the definition of social change their foundation used in laying out a desired model of Communication for Social Change in a June 2002 Working Paper:

“social change comprises the transformation of the organization of society, in institutions and in the distribution of power. Most social scientists agree that it entails structural change.”

Rather comprehensive wouldn’t you say? Not exactly what any of us think we are funding when we pay our property taxes to fund schools and local government. So why did I call it the Rockefeller Process? Because that’s what the World Bank called it and it would explain why we keep running into aggressive funding of these Metropolitanism, deliberative democracy, and participatory governance visions for the future. This is what a WB paper called Participatory Communication: A Practical Guide stated:

“Most recently participatory approaches to communication [one of the 4 Cs of 21st Century Skills in case anyone has forgotten] have reenforced the emphasis on structural and social change. A broad-based policy debate initiated by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1997 and pursued by the Communication for Social Change Consortium in subsequent years has focused on structural inequality and social transformation. The ‘Rockefeller process’ led to a definition of communication for social change as ‘a process of public and private dialogue through which people themselves define who they are, what they need and how to get what they need in order to improve their own lives. It utilizes dialogue that leads to collective problem identification, decision-making, and community-based implementation of solutions to development issues.’”

I am sure you have heard of Robert’s Rules on Process. Well, Robin’s Research Rules say that if the World Bank states on the record that this is called the Rockefeller Process, we can call it that too. Those Rules also get to note that the Rockefeller Process as a practical matter increases the power of the public sector since it looks to the political process to give these groups what they want. Think of it as increasing the Cartel Power of governments at all levels. Connected people just love cartels.

The Mind Arson and psychological manipulation and social and emotional learning emphasis both my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon and now this blog just keep encountering also have the effect of increasing the power of the public sector and anyone with ties to political power. It all seems to seek to extinguish the ability and capacity of individuals to decide what they need and get it for themselves.

Now I told you in the last post that I wanted to talk about the recent Aspen Institute (you can search for yourself to find out if there are ties to certain great wealth that grew from cartel practices in the past) report Learner at the Center of a Networked World. That report called for ‘new kinds of skills and learning’. Let’s quote again because the crucial point I want to make is that this recent Aspen vision for digital learning and the K-12 classroom is the same as what is being described as Communication for Social Change. It is also the same as what The Deliberative Democracy Handbook said is required for fulfilling its vision. Even more alarmingly the vision fits with what the Club of Rome (search for that connection too if you are bored or wondering if conspiracies around power can be true) called for as ‘innovative learning’ in its Learning Project report issued in 1979. It is now finding its way into regional planning authority mandates on Economic Development and what school districts must be doing.

First let’s look at what No Limits to Learning: Bridging the Human Gap said about the necessary ‘critical judgment’ it would need to bridge to the desired transformative change. The capacity of Critical judgment [now called critical thinking and a 21st century 4C] is not developed by the “transmission of off-the-shelf knowledge, a method characteristic of most schools.” Well there’s incentive to deplore textbooks and lectures as unsuitable for the 21st century. Let’s see how the Club of Rome defined ‘innovative learning’ in the same report:

“Innovative learning is problem formulating and clustering. Its main attributes are integration, synthesis, and the broadening of horizons. It operates in open situations or open systems. Its meaning derives from dissonance among contexts [now known as Rigor]. it leads to critical questioning of conventional assumptions behind traditional thoughts and actions, focusing on necessary changes. Its values are not constant, but rather shifting. Innovative learning advances our thinking by reconstructing wholes, not by fragmenting reality.”

Seems to fit in well then with aspirations of fundamental social change, huh? How’s this for more incentive to force this on the classroom as practice for desired mandatory participatory processes in governance? “Thus a key aim of innovative learning is to enlarge the range of options within sufficient time for sound decision-making processes.” At the political level of course or maybe by fiat by appointed regulators. If you want to know why Radical Ed Reform suddenly is pushing that students exhibit a Growth Mindset instead of Fixed Mindsets and an anti-Content Knowledge fixation, let’s quote the needed preference from The Deliberative Democracy Handbook:

“From the vantage point of deliberative democracy, it is erroneous to suppose that individuals already possess a clear, enlightened, and coherent understanding of their preferences or opinions on complex social and political issues…an essential virtue of deliberation is that it deemphasizes the aggregation of (or bargaining among) pre-established preferences and individual interests. [We can see why Axemaker Minds are obstacles then.]  Instead, deliberation seeks the formation of a consensus view of shared interests and common goods. Such an understanding cannot come about if individuals are unwilling to set aside narrow self-interests or if political practices do not offer the necessary institutional settings and motivations to make this possible.”

Classrooms that require Collaboration (the 3rd of the 4Cs) and new political structures too. No wonder there is to be a Metropolitan Revolution. No wonder we get this constant emphasis on the Community as a whole with an obligation to “improve the health and welfare of all its members.” Boosting the cartel power of the public sector while telling individuals they are not even entitled to hold on to their own personal preferences.

Now let’s look at what last week’s Aspen Report on digital learning called for:

“Rather than systematically accumulating static ‘stocks’ of knowledge, students now need to learn how to actively participate in ‘flows’ of knowledge by engaging with others in the construction of new knowledge. This kind of knowledge is often put to use at the same time it is learned. [Like in an experiment of a theory?] It is most effectively acquired through solving problems with others in an environment that offers an abundance of challenges and unlimited opportunities. [Real world? Authentic?] In this new world, curiosity and creativity becomes critical skills.”

There’s Creativity, that 4th C of 21st Century Skills. Everyone assembled and reporting for duty but in pursuit of Deliberative Democracy and Participatory Governance, not being internationally competitive.

Maybe that’s because all these education and policy visions view Planned State Capitalism and its Cartel Power over Everyone Else as the desired 21st Century vision of society and an economy.

Just pointing all these connections out while there is still time in this global experiment to say: “Stop It. Leave us alone.”

Cartels do hate individual power.




Pulling Up the Moorings Once Again to Transform Reality into the History of Desired Desires

If you want to “create a world where individuals will work even when they know that much of the fruit of their labor will go to those who are less fortunate,” you are going to need to use education to target prevailing social norms. If you believe that Marx’s famous quote “From each according to his ability and to each according to his need” has “morally resonant appeal” and wish to see a future society that does not dismiss that appeal “out of hand as mere sloganeering,” a perch as a World Bank economist is a tremendous platform to try to go about making it so. 21st Century Learning, perhaps?

It especially helps if you have a good working relationship with a Nobel Prize winning economist who wants to reframe economics in terms of Individual and especially Group Identity. And that economist, George Akerlof, in a 2010 book Identity Economics, recognized the value of his theories on education as the premier social institution with influence on almost everyone. An enduring influence on “what people care about, and how much they care about it.” A good working definition of Identity is values, beliefs and emotional commitments. Probably not coincidentally, precisely what the actual Common Core implementation targets for change. Which is interesting as Identity Economics defines “good schools” as those that “transform students’ identities and norms.”

Almost precisely like Transformational Outcomes Based Education sought to do in the 90s version of these education reforms. Names change but never really the goals. One of the aspects of Common Core that is consistent throughout but in the small print is its stated desire to create ‘habits of mind.” Think of those as unconscious reflexes. Now compare with Akerlof’s recognition that people “act as they do, naturally and without question, mostly out of habit. They are products of their social environment and unaware they might have behaved differently.” Remember also schools are a social environment of long duration.

So if you can use education, preschool, K-12, or higher ed (all of the above is even nicer to a future Transformationist) to create the desired feelings and values and influential conceptual understandings that filter daily life you can go a long way toward changing the future. Especially if you also rely on another insight from social psychology Akerlof points out: “individuals’ behavior depends on who people think they are.” So effective schools should get at Identity and define it in politically useful ways. Early and often. Like Chicago voting.

Now to do all that a theory of psychology based on a philosophy built on changing the nature of things in the real world would be very useful. And a factual theory of knowledge devoted to understanding the nature of things would be an obstacle because it would accept the world as it is. And maybe even keep a fondness for the past. Which would be in the way of someone who wanted to create a Worldview around his belief that:

“life is activity and to live means to satisfy one’s desires. Life is experienced as Desire: it is through desires that the subject realizes the discrepancy between the world as it is and the world he would like to have.”

Now I would assert that all of the mentions today that education must be Relevant and Engaging and about Real-World problems are merely a more subtle means of achieving that driving emphasis built on Desire. To change the world to something new. And if UK Professor Ivan Markova  wrote in 1982 that the twin Hegelian themes of activity and creativity in the acquisition of knowledge “have been emerging in various forms in social, clinical, and developmental psychology for some time and, quite probably without the knowledge of the authors concerned, that they have been reflecting Hegel’s philosophy.”

If those pros were unaware, what about now? Hegel’s philosophy is obviously a touchy subject to have as a foundation. A Soviet heritage is bad enough but tracking even further back to a common ancestry with what launched two World Wars and the Holocaust is undeniably even worse. And if the psychologists in 1982 were unlikely to know this history, how much less likely is it that a teacher or principal or administrator or politician know about this background to student-centered learning? To launder a notorious heritage you simply make it a basis for the amorphous terms “pedagogy” and “Best Practices” and “Constructivism” and then pronounce it as a better way to learn. Grounded in emotion is an easier way to remember and you simply leave out Hegel’s desire to bring values and human experience into how all science is done.

And since few know of the linkage back to Hegel, modern 21st century educators cannot rely on Scottish novelist and statesman Robert Buchan’s excellent advice from more than 100 years ago.  “A man who has been nourished on German metaphysics should make a point of expressing his thoughts in plain workaday English, for the technical terms of German philosophy have a kind of hypnotic power; they create a world remote from common reality where reconciliations and synthesis flow as smoothly and with as little meaning as in an opiate dream.” And you are wondering what does metaphysics have to to with Identity Economics and the Common Core?

Oh, you know the changing conceptualizations students are to be taught as they ignore obvious characteristics and look for new “cause-effect relationships”? Even something like RECAST, Revealing Causal Structures, that we have talked about is ultimately grounded in Hegel’s Conceptual Frameworks. Or CORE-Cognitive Reorganization. With his name left off and no warning that these are aspirational theories designed to alter current reality. When we talk of providing the Enduring Understandings that will frame everyday experiences, that’s Hegel’s insight on the usefulness to a change philosophy if education were to now be built around the recognition that “implicit presuppositions and conceptual frameworks do determine what is observed.”

Hegel so wanted to shake human consciousness that he talked about the importance of wars in human history. And pointed out that a “person has to go through disturbing experiences personally in order to grow as a person.” Which reminded me of precisely the curricula Bill Ayers and Maxine Greene and Nel Noddings were all describing in this post as necessary for “real moral growth.”

The idea of using activity and interactions with others to achieve personal growth is also Hegel. Which means the criteria of Student Growth that the US federal DoEd is requiring that teacher evals be based on ultimately tracks back to Hegel and his theories on how to change consciousness. Moreover, a change in values, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings or a willingness to apply new concepts constitutes Student Growth. And usefully for the economists that started this post that would also be a useful change in Identity and over time prevailing norms.

I could walk you through how an Indeterminate Situation with no fixed linear answer as those Pearson assessments I have described fits within the kind of higher-order thinking that changed consciousness that Hegel described as Synthesis. What the Hewlett Foundation calls Deep Learning. But I believe you get my point that the overlap is high. The book is called Paradigms, Thought, and Language if you too want to immerse yourself in all the Hegelian foundations of what we are calling the Common Core. Or try to dispute all these troubling implications. Remember in the last post when the advocates for Vygotsky sought to assert that these theories need not result in totalitarianism? Showing the history was very much on their minds even if no one is giving us the heads up on the dangers of what we are mandating in our K-12 classrooms. This is how Markova ended her book:

“In all other areas of psychology the Hegelian framework will undoubtedly be the one with the future, and Hegel’s philosophy will prove a deep source of inspiration. Finally a word of caution…action can be sinister if based on non-recognition of the other person as a human being. The future of mankind depends on taking actions in which human beings mutually recognize each other as human beings.”

So are people basically good as so many of these philosophers and economists want to believe? Will we remember the lessons of history before we once again light this Hegelian powder keg for achieving social change?

I suggest we remember another turn of the 20th century insight when these German ideas were first exploding onto the world stage. It’s from a novel by the same Robert Buchan where his character wisely notes:

” You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass. A touch here, a push there, and you bring back the reign of Satan.”

The actual Common Core implementation and the intent of its assessments and the accompanying economic, social, and political transformations go far beyond a touch or a push.

Shoving into the abyss is more like it regardless of anyone’s good intentions. And without much accurate actual knowledge and a deliberate cultivation of a desire for change, there does not even seem to be a parachute or a tool to catch a ledge.

Treating Western Society and its Economy as a Train in Need of Rebuilding and Central Direction

When you get down deep into the aspirations on using education to shift the West away from its historic focus on individuals and economic freedom to considering new, untried forms of organizing societies and economies, you quickly come upon the desire that “learning” NOT reenforce currently existing “systems.” The fact that what is being called systems are actually people, like me and you, who are supposed to have legally protected rights to autonomy and private decision-making gets conveniently left out. That the countries to be reorganized have a history of success in the unprecedented opportunities available to their people gets left out. That free markets where they exist have delivered unprecedented prosperity to even the poorest among us also gets left out as inconvenient facts. Systems. Just systems that can be rebuilt with enough Big Data and supercomputers into a smarter planet. No one stops to ask whose vision of “smart” is being imposed.

Our friend, psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner of Ecological Systems Theory and transforming the West as an experiment fame understood well that the theories he and others were creating were not based on some type of hypothesis about factual reality. They were and are aspirational. If implemented, these psychological and political theories become a means to “transcend the contexts given to you to produce societal change and personal developmental change.” That would be personal change in Uncle Karl’s sense of the word. . Or now hiding so well under the real definition of Student Growth. With lots of personal affective data being collected and shared to see how the developmental Learning is progressing.

We have a new global Change Agent to talk about. A professor who split his time between Finland and the University of California at San Diego, Yrjo Engestrom. His writing is important to our global story because of his Theory of Expansion and the influence of his book Learning by Expanding. Exciting for him and concerning to us, his Activity Theory is clearly the influence behind what are now being called euphemistically the Learning Sciences. As in the April 2012 Rand Corporation report for that Global Cities Education Network discussed here . The report is called Teaching and Learning 21st Century Skills: Lessons from the Learning Sciences and it again shows why making poorly understood and defined goals like 21st Century Skills the new purpose of education has so much potential for anyone with aspirations for stealth cultural transformation.

Hidden at least in the West except at conferences of the like-minded. We know Urie was downright confessional on his aspirations in print. So quite frankly is Engestrom in his books and articles if you take the time to read them. What a fun weekend I had! The train metaphor in our title comes from Engestrom but he is quoting a frustration that Urie had with education in the US and the West generally. That human development in the West “takes place like in a moving train. One can walk forward and backward through the cars, but what really matters is where the train is going.”

I personally am hoping if I am being likened to a train car that I get to be a sleek luxury bullet train car and not something Amtrak has operating. But I digress. Engestrom then went on to say that Urie’s train metaphor “exemplifies the central problem embedded in most of the available societally and ecologically oriented analysis of development” [those originally Marxian or Soviet theories get to hide now by just being referred to authoritatively as the Learning Sciences. See above].

Here is the money quote that could have come from a myriad of social and behavioral scientists and education professors. Think of Engestrom as their voice too.

“The environments or societal contexts are seen as historically changing, but not as being constructed and reconstructed by the people living in these contexts. Contexts are imposed upon, not produced by humans. Nobody seems to be driving the train.”

Luckily as my regular readers now know the videogaming vision attached to the actual Common Core implementation will give students plenty of practice in constructing and reconstructing worlds. Even embedding them in strategies of what to do after a Zombie Apocalypse. How exciting and engaging! Engestrom’s sentiments on wanting a driver of a collective train are not the least bit unusual for someone who grew up with Uncle Karl’s theories of historical progression. In fact author Arthur Koestler who was so disillusioned by the turn Stalinism took that he wrote one of the great novels of the 20th Century, Darkness at Noon, could never quite shake his dislike of spontaneous, undirected processes where ever they occur naturally. Like in biology or chemistry. He still wanted direction. Central direction.

The kind that comes from cultural evolution if you can make education about transforming personal and prevailing values, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings. What became notorious as Outcomes Based Education but now hides quietly as unappreciated definitions of Student Growth and Learning. Still there but unlikely to be detected except maybe by hyperactive due diligence attorneys who read too much. Now Engestrom’s globally influential work made no attempt to hide just how much it was grounded in Soviet theories of dialectical materialism and how to try to push “a historically new form of activity into emergence.”

He certainly did not write in 1987 or again in 1999, when his book was translated into German and Japanese and he wrote a new Introduction, like someone who saw Uncle Karl’s or Soviet theories generally as assigned to the ash heap of history. For supposedly comatose or dead theories they appear in his pen to be full of vim and vigor and still existing hopes for transformation. I suppose it helps that our guard was down because “We won!”

In 1991 Engestrom wrote an article, published in Great Britain, that is clearly the blueprint for the reimagining of high school we are seeing globally and in the US as a component of Common Core. The article was called “Non Scolae Sed Vitae Discimus: Toward Overcoming the Encapsulation of School Learning.”  Now if that title was not pompous enough sounding, the actual article goes on to lay out “The Formation of Theoretical Concepts by Ascending from the Abstract to the Concrete in Instruction.” Developed by V V Davydov based on Uncle Karl’s theory of finding defining relationships that can then filter everyone’s everyday analysis of reality, that theory was the subject of a great deal of research for decades in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. And it does not seem to have gone gently into that dark night either.

And neither ‘abstract’ or ‘concrete’ in Davydov’s theory have the meaning we commonly associate with them. ‘Concrete’ is NOT seen as “something sensually palpable.” Abstract does NOT mean “something conceptual or mentally constructed.” No, in this Davydov/Engestrom theory ‘concrete’ means the “holistic quality of systemic interconnectedness.” Which means that all of our encounters with Systems Thinking and Peter Senge and Appreciative Inquiry that push to teach students to see the world as interconnected and interdependent and full of relationships are back to Davydov’s theories.

Which in turn are explicitly supposed to be an updated, supercharged version of Dialectics. That’s not me alleging that. It’s me quoting those statements and then recognizing where else they are now being used. It also means that dialectical view of ‘concrete’ absolutely saturates that C3 CCSSO Social Studies framework I wrote alarmingly about here.

It is behind the 21st Century definition of ‘transferable learning’ in that Rand Global Cities Education Network report mentioned above. It is why we should be alarmed by that report asking “students to make analogies between a topic and something different, such as between ecosystems and financial markets.” Which are actually not analogous but neither the teacher nor the students are likely to recognize that. And if they all believe there is a connection and they act on those beliefs, we are back to our consequential false beliefs problem. Donald Schon’s Generative Metaphor who is absolutely cited by Engestrom by name.

The same guiding but false belief problem comes in when that Rand report “asks students to generalize broad principles from a specific piece of information.” Oh yes, that’s a good thing to practice. Practice creating and relying on dogma without anyone pointing out that is what is being practiced. No wonder students are being asked to computer model the discredited Limits to Growth scenarios from the 70s as part of Common Core science. It may not be factually true but it can now still be influential on future behavior. Plus bolstering that perceived need for transformation.

Some of you may have noticed that Common Core makes lots of references to student conceptual understanding for an approach that is so hostile to factual information. That is entirely possible if we are back to dialectical view of what concrete means as the real operating definition of conceptual understanding. Davydov’s ‘kernel’ becomes Common Core’s ‘lens’.

Which means that all of Davydov’s or Engestom’s or Uncle Karl’s aspirations for these theories come in too. Unannounced and so unopposed. No wonder the Chinese government thinks the Learning Sciences views in that Rand report are suitable in Shanghai and Hong Kong as well as the West.

They were subjugation theories against individuals and economies when they were written and they remain so now. Even if only a few of us appreciate those facts now.

Or should I say yet? And be more optimistic?

Well No Wonder No One Listens to Common Core Complaints if It is Tied to Federal Revenue Sharing

A New Vision for Federal Revenue Sharing with state and local governments to drive future economic and workforce development being cleverly marketed as “Race to the Shop.” That’s a play on the accompanying education vision that bribed or threatened the states to adopt the Common Core in the first place under the education Race to the Top set up in the 2009  Stimulus Act. Turns out that’s not all it set up, apparently it also set up a new Regional Race to the Top for all America’s regions (bold and Italics in original to show the excitement for this vision of shared prosperity based on a clean energy economy). In fact it’s to “be a truly ‘New’ New Deal, [but] government cannot go it alone, it can only serve as a key partner and catalyst.” With your redistributed tax dollars or public debt I would add.

Now before I get further into this political and cronyism dream at all levels of American government that is explicitly tied into the 21st Century Skills agenda (it’s actually on the cover of the September 2010 working paper from the Tides Foundation project–the New Policy Institute), I want to quote a particularly juicy passage that highlights how these initiatives stifle complaints and encourage cooperation about any related aspect like the Common Core:

“Deeply engage the private sector as a critical solutions partner in addressing these systemic changes, or risk a continuing and negative narrative that these efforts are simply wasteful public sector programs.”

That’s your money going to make sure no one aware of these tie-ins has any incentive to complain. Because this Acceleration Agenda “does not simply call for more federal revenue-sharing with the states. The changes we need to accelerate private-led innovation in regions and communities do not begin, or end, there.”

Truer words were never spoken as the Acceleration Agenda lays out Multi-State regions (10 in all), Clean Economic Development Visions, and Economic Acceleration Zones. Like High Speed Rail and making the SW the Saudi Arabia of Solar. What a boondoggle. Those of you with a background in economics may recognize all this for what it is–the explicit adoption of an Industrial Policy vision by the US with its known Cronyism and benefits to political favorites or necessary adversaries. And the report acknowledges just that with the following chilling quote:

“So is the Acceleration Agenda a new “industrial policy”? Do such labels really matter? We hope not–there is too much on the line for our economy to be bogged down in over-simplified debates from the past.”

Now the historian in me would point out that’s not the subject of debates so much as lessons from the past about the sheer waste of public money that comes with an Industrial Policy. But I actually correctly pegged the education vision last May as related to Industrial Policy and a Dirigiste vision for the economy. and . What I never in a million years suspected was that I would come across a report openly declaring it while stating “Obamism at its core is largely about bottom-up change rather than top-down change.” Wow, Harry Boyte must be pleased.

Now I know this vision has been around since the 60s. It’s not an invention of this Administration but wanting to name it after the President tells us just how much potential for successful political coalitions using your money is seen here. In fact, looking at the full vision and the Go-Fast Model, it’s hard not to remember the high urban turnout in the last Presidential election. No wonder. A vision of federal money, private sector, and community foundations together using, and again I quote, the “transformational, low carbon project…serves a key project screen.”

Doesn’t that word “screen” sound like “excuse?” The reason for remaking the nature of the American economy and political structure all while engaging in Mind Arson in preschool, K-12, and higher ed? Whatever is necessary to make sure the designated providers in this 21st Century system get the workers they want while never again having to worry about a better product or invention upsetting their revenue dreams?

You know how for sports contests we see the label “Designated Provider of X. Event? You know what I mean. This utterly reeks of being the designated cellphone provider or operating system provider or Smart Grid provider. Protecting and preserving current business. But it actually gets worse believe it or not because all of this is also tied to the renewal of our urban areas as part of creating start-ups to be the component “middleware” to “connect government and business in the 21st Century economy.” Which brings me to what pulled up this Revenue Sharing 2.0 to get to the Next Economy vision. It is called “Inclusive Competitiveness” and it was announced a few weeks ago at the SXSWedu Summit in Austin. is the story laying out the vision of how all this will Save America’s Black Boys, be part of a permanent “Black Innovation Group,” and create a Pipeline2Productivity and Urban Innovation.”

And I genuinely wish urban areas and America’s Black Boys the best possible future they can have but tying it to economic redistribution while simultaneously trying to spread the bad education policies and practices that have destroyed urban systems to the suburbs just means OPM, Other Peoples Money, will run out sooner than this plan accounts for. It would be so much better to teach those Black Boys and everyone else’s children how to read properly and provide a solid curriculum like the Core Knowledge. You just cannot get me excited about what this Project 21 vision is going to do for Cleveland which is where the affiliated Nortech is based when I know the Cleveland Schools are pushing social and emotional learning in their classrooms as the vision of how all children can learn. You cannot push PATHS–Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies–for all kids in all classrooms and then pretend that these urban kids are being left behind despite an academic focus.

But that’s the poignant cry for what is wrong with our urban areas. And Project 21, which used to be known as the Black Innovation and Competitiveness Initiative, is the supposed answer to linking Urban America to the 21st Century Economy. Does this look like reparations to anyone else? Using the “low carbon project as the screen” as the Acceleration Agenda report put it. Whatever the rationale this gushing of federal dollars to launch public-private partnerships resulted in “Five Private-Sector Initiatives Launched at First White House Tech Inclusion Summit” held on January 31, 2013. .

One of those, the Activate Local Communities Across America Initiative, picked Portland, Oregon to be its pilot city. That would be the same Portland that has been committed to cutting edge education pushes for decades. Discussed here But Portland is also considered to be the shining star of the Urban Planning, Agenda 21, Regional Equity, and what is now called Metropolitanism movements. All based on a Low-Carbon Economy of the Future centered on Producers, not Consumers, the Brookings Institute’s Bruce Katz said at a breakfast I attended and also wrote about. Curiously Katz is also the coiner of that catchy expression Race to the Shop above to fit the manufacturing and workforce development component of all this planning and redistributing.

Now ALC is also known as Accelerate Local Communities ( I guess it depends on how stagnant a region is right now as this is all ramping up). ALC is also listed as being a collaboration with Microsoft. Which is concerning since they are among the primary partners in the students only need generic 21st Century Skills like Collaboration and Creativity international movement (ATC21S). And that Tech Inclusion Summit is being sold in the inner cities as bringing STEM jobs to urban communities.

Now I did not write this story because I wanted to rain on the race to the Green Gold Rush as a report called it. Although that does seem like a worthy venture. But this vision of new revenue sharing and dictates of where jobs must be, and everyone assuming that with credentials jobs will come, are all simultaneously destroying the actual knowledge and skills and freedoms and certainties that ignite real widespread prosperity. Given the percentage of the federal budget that represents borrowing, this redistributed money to build and pay off political coalitions does not really exist except as an obligation for future taxpayers. But in the meantime it really is going in someone’s pocket. Many of them campaign contributors at every level of government. Just like Solyndra.

The money WILL run out and sooner than expected. And then where will we be? After all, mind arson is not just a provocative expression I came up with to stir up antipathy for the Common Core. It really does describe what has been deliberately going on in urban schools for decades. But with the actual Common Core I keep describing, and those new, poorly understood, assessments (also financed by that 2009 Stimulus Act), mind arson is coming to the suburbs to take down every school where minds are still being nourished regularly with solid content.

Then where will we be? I keep mentioning consuming seed corn for a reason. What happens to a country when the cultivated famine is mental and widespread? Especially when the most able students were the particular targets for levelling.

We appear to be about to find out.