Protected Producers vs Paying Consumers/Taxpayers:Who will Prevail on Education and the Economy?

If we did not already understand just how much the entire legitimacy of individualism and free choices are at stake in what is being sought through education and the Sustainability Economic Transformation, that graphic phrase from the last post’s title “psychological umbilical cord” should be a wakeup call. At a deep emotional level cultivating the fundamental belief that each of us is nothing without the group. That our physical environment and social interactions determine who we are. Not just as a contributing factor.

Now you know part of the impetus for the frequent assertion for the statements that K-12 education cannot be fixed as long as poverty exists. That first we must change the environments so that everyone has comparable opportunities.  Of course we now know that is bogus. That K-12 is being consciously broken to prevent Axemaker Minds and take away the magic mental effects that people gain from the power of symbolic manipulation.

This week was quite the series of confirmations on precisely what is going on. Socially. Economically. Globally. Before I tell the story of the new revelations, I went back to the 1982 book on using Systems Thinking to alter the direction of the future to revisit the whys of what I knew and could prove. It is relevant to why accurate factual knowledge of the past and the enduring drivers of human nature are such a danger for anyone with a futurist orientation. Here’s a telling quote on the motivation behind what became known in the 90s as Transformational Outcomes Based Education or today’s Systems Thinking in the classroom. The core of the Common Core is an apt way to describe the planned classroom dominance of reimagine the future activities for Real World Problems. Solvable of course with just enough taxpayer money, dialoguing, and maybe a Model UN Session or Two.

“Where memory is rooted solely in the past, imagination may be oriented in the past, present, or future. ”

Knowledge of history then or human nature from great literature influences your beliefs about what can be in confining ways. Practical ways that get in the way of anyone with aspirations of Utopia or just a desire for an old-fashioned Power Grab. Here’s more (the next line):

“The subsequent behavior of the living system is governed by the nature of the image, whether of memory or imagination.”

Can you see the value of convincing young students that the polar bears are drowning and clinging to life on ice floes from disintegrating icebergs? Caused by industrialization and fossil fuels and human activity in general? How useful an emotional visual appeal is to creating a deep felt belief that Authorities must intervene and Do Something? Anything to help. ASAP.

What’s the effect of actual knowledge of the past on such a cry? Might the student recognize that power corrupts or that it is foolish to jettison what works for the most part in favor of Something that has never been tried before? Or worse that it is similar to what brought tragedy in the past. And that the Designers of the Plan have no real downside if they screw up. But we taxpayers and ordinary unconnected to the Political Powers-that-be Folks will be left with the consequences of any fiasco. Think about that as we pull up another Systems Thinking futurist quote of precisely the importance of what education, K-12 and higher ed, is shutting down.

“What gives man a significant ‘edge’ over other living systems is not so much his ability to transmit symbols horizontally, to his contemporaries, but vertically, to his successors. It is this vertical capacity that is made possible by the time-binding nature of his symbols . . . This permits us to encapsulate and transmit to our successors a culture embracing our past experiences in a degree far more effective than other creatures, making possible a progress unique to man.”

And that is precisely what the Learner Centered classroom mandated in the CCSSI classroom implementation takes away. And Whole Language. And making regular use of tools like the I-Pad or a laptop or a Smartphone the focus in the classroom. All fundamentally interfere with this Vertical Transmission of Knowledge.  In fact as we have discussed more than once. That Desired Interference is a Feature, not a Bug prompting the mandated use.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/embrace-and-seize-technologys-potential-to-capture-the-hearts-and-minds-of-todays-students/ is from our helpfully explicit  Texas Insurrectionists. And taking out the Vertical Transmission aspect means that actual knowledge need not impede the imagination conjuring up alternative futures.

Except The Powers that Be or Hope-to-Be already have a desired future in mind. They just do not want enough well-informed Axemaker Mind voters to get in the way and alter what seems to them to be a perfectly good and lucrative dirigiste scheme around the notion that Gaia has a temperature and the world’s indutrialized economies need to radically restructure. Now. We have talked in a few posts about the Regional Equity Movement. The seminal conference was actually not the 2011 Building One America. Instead in 1998 the Brookings Institution held a national Regionalism conference. Bruce Katz assembled the results into a series of essays, Reflections on Regionalism, published in 2000 with then VP and Presidential candidate Al Gore writing the book’s Foreword.

That book clarified an unappreciated aspect to both education reform and Regionalism and the racial justice movements in the US: “ensuring that people of color have equal access to jobs, schools, and housing throughout metropolitan regions.”

Now that goal is impossible in an economy based on capitalism and individual achievement and free choice. It is impossible where education is based on academic achievement of the individual. See our real problem? See why the Green Economy is such a lure? As admitted and avowed Communist Van Jones himself acknowledged in 2009 it let’s government bureaucrats and politicians and their connected cronies set the terms of who benefits, where business is located, whose, what kind, etc.

I had seen Bruce Katz’s name attached recently to a national taxpayer funded push known as Regional Innovation Clusters that takes a more Dirigiste/Corporatist approach to Regionalism. It is still not Capitalism as Adam Smith described it that creates mass prosperity. So when I saw that Bruce Katz would be speaking In Atlanta last week at a political breakfast to promote Regionalism, I bought a ticket and went. Relying on my Memory and Big Ears and Eyes to catch a glimpse for us of what Regionalism looks like in 2012.  Still working at Brookings and promoting what is now known as Metropolitanism internationally.

As always Regionalism is about getting us to a new future economy redesigned around Export Manufacturing and Low Carbon Technology. Katz said the New Economy would be “Production driven, not consumption driven.” I wonder if I was the only person there who immediately recognized that is Mercantilism. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-adam-smith-write-a-book-explaining-why-this-is-a-bad-idea-back-in-1776/ And a huge part of where ed is going and the premise behind 21st Century Learning. Katz went on to describe an economy where businesses would “collaborate to compete” which sounds a whole lot like officially endorsing Collusion between Government and Established Businesses. Which they have always loved but it works quite dismally for those of us who pay the bills and do not have a Seat at the Table or a Tee Time with just the right Lobbyist.

I am going to close with the vision in an Education Transformation Plan that I found horrific but that so inspired AT&T that it offered the School District one of the choicest venues in Atlanta, the historic Fox Theatre, to roll it out. Thus emboldening every administrator and principal and politician attending that This Was a Good Plan. The plan insists on using computer technology to get graduation rates up to 90% and then wants 85% of that to go on to colleges already being reorganized in light of this Paper Credentialling Vision http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/constructing-an-alternative-vision-of-either-the-natural-or-human-world-as-the-basis-for-a-college-degree/

So here’s my question to all of you. Is that our future? A take it or live it world where we finance an educational vision and an economic vision where we have no choices. Where students and consumers are merely sources of long-term revenue for politically connected adults? Where there can be no mass prosperity?

Because Systems Thinking and Pedagogy and implemented collectivist political theories may be able to alter our future but none of them can feed any of the billions currently alive who actually rely on Capitalism and the benefits it creates for their Daily Bread. And so much more.

When will we contemplate what is being destroyed in the name of Equity?

 

Using Systems Thinking to Retie the Psychological Umbilical Cord to Our Environment

You know, I am pretty good at language, but I would never think to complain that:

“By substituting visual marks for spoken utterances [that miracle of human ingenuity and the Axemaker Mind reverenced by ordinary folks without systems training as reading], man removed himself even further from directly experiencing his habitat, further severing the psychological umbilical cord tying him to that habitat.”

A different way of making the same point in this early 80s blueprint describing the need for the mental assaults we would come to know under names such as as Transformational Outcomes Based Education and systems thinking and the new 3 R’s, is that the human “psychological separation is made possible  because of the interposing of symbols as a buffer.”

Now for those of you who read “symbols” and are hoping for a secret code that will need to be deciphered with a spray of lemon juice or a special light, we are not talking about a secret code. Although with the way reading is officially reverting back to a whole word or syllable sight approach the fundamental phonetic code is being treated as a secret code. Why? The math wars are grounded in similar reasons. Well I touched on this here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/ where I first introduced everyone’s new favorite metaphor for what is officially under attack–the Axemaker’s Mind.

You see symbol manipulation, where the mark is an artificial representation such as the word “fish” instead of a drawing for a fish promotes the ability to think abstractly. Linearly. Rationally. To begin to link cause and effect. And how probable something is. Symbol use promotes a sense of self-awareness and individuality. When coupled with the printing press that made widespread literacy among the masses possible, it let the magic genie out of the bottle in a way that had never happened before in human history. And those with aspirations of power and control have never forgotten that link and its importance even if most of us have never really thought about it.

Believe me the statist schemers have as this post explains yet again. With new detail. After recognizing that it is the power of symbolic representation and manipulation that is what makes people genuinely unique in the universe and the roughly 3 pounds of the human brain the most fascinating creation in the universe, the plans get laid out to shut down or constrain those capacities. Why?

“Every new source from which man has increased his power on the earth has been used to diminish the prospects of his successors. [So not true but it is the common refrain from those pushing the ecological worldview and its desire for Newmindedness]. All his progress has been made at the expense of damage to his environment which he cannot repair and could not foresee.”

The author goes on to say that the “task of the futurist is to sharpen our focus on just those consequences.”

That basically is what is going on now in school districts all over the world. In the US as Common Core and Canada as the Alberta Wheel of Competency. In Australia it may be called the Core Skills Framework and the Wellbeing initiative http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-education-transforms-values-and-feelings-and-beliefs-to-control-behaviors-are-we-free/ and in the UK Quality Assurance and Qualifications Frameworks. So many of the digital learning initiatives. They are all based on a futurist perspective. They are all based on a desire to shut down the Axemaker Mind to prevent future creation of technology and innovation without official permission. They all are based on the idea that factual knowledge and your own private ability to conceptualize and carry on private conversations with the finest minds of the Ages, humanities, math, or science, is the Genie that must go back in the bottle. Only for authorized use by the politically connected.

They may want a sense of community but it must be based on emotion and new values. We cannot have a return to the power of the printed word [and no one on this planet revers it more than those who are trying to shut down its influence] as demonstrated by Thomas Paine and his pamphlet Common Sense. This illustration is actually in the book on using systems thinking and limiting the power of artificial symbols that so builds up the human intellect.

Common Sense found a disparate collection of mostly English settlers who thought of themselves as Englishmen now living in New Jersey or South Carolina without much in common except their former home country. And in fairly short order it created a sense of common grievance and possibility and gave birth to the emotions that would build a great nation on the Idea of a common, possibly magnificent, destiny. In minds that were physically separated and had never met each other or Thomas Paine.  Nurturing through print the Idea that being an American was about a common belief system that cherished the individual and not a matter of nationality or ethnicity. Another genie that needs to go back in the bottle if the future shift is to be Local and Global only.

To reiterate that these education initiatives and the Regional Equity Movement  are less a claim of CONSPIRACY!!! than a good old-fashioned coordinated power grab using the coercion powers of government, I want to describe a 2006 document from the Club of Rome. No, it’s not a great place for pasta with a lovely view overlooking the Forum and the Colosseum. Look it up if you are not familiar with it. It’s not an urban legend. We have talked about UNESCO more but the Club of Rome matters as well for these power grabs and political and economic power preservations. This is especially important since the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth assumptions, though infamous, have been expressly incorporated into the Systems Thinking/Systems Dynamics training Peter Senge is doing with classroom teachers preparing to implement the Common Core. The authors of Limits to Growth, the Meadows, were members of CoR who now attend some of these teacher systems training workshops.

Isn’t control over K-12 and higher ed such a great way to alter the future? Same is true  of many of the loudest Digital Learning advocates. Many proudly bill themselves as Futurists as well. If you shut down most of the symbol manipulation capacity and train kids to see words as concrete wholes and tell parents that access to a search engine minimizes the need to actually know anything but Skills, you can alter the future. If you add on Social and Emotional Learning and a new Values system grounded in Communitarianism and the evils of profit, you can really alter the future.

The Club of Rome official document touts these Turning Points in the transformation of the Global Scene and the major importance of systems thinking to gaining control over an individual’s and a culture’s noetic system. And the value of such control in Steering [their word] desired human and economic behaviors. “It is so useful Igor and no one ever has to know until it’s too late to stop. Bring more cognac so we can celebrate properly.” It takes great pride in its economic misstatements and scientific nonsense that serve as the rationales on why the global information infrastructure merits a new kind of mind and economic structure. Here’s a little taste to reenforce that we do have an organized international problem on our hands:

“Binary logic contributed of course also to tremendous civilization achievements, the construction of computers and computer networks, but it still biases our way of understanding the world.”

CoR of course recommends feelings and intuition as the proper 21st Century substitute. I will close with how this comes into the classroom without your ever knowing. I was told this week that the Fulton County Georgia school district with the duplicitous charter was gutting those recently purchased expensive Promethean Whiteboards in favor of LCD projectors in every classroom. Aren’t Special Purpose Sales Taxes nifty? The value is the data and info can go straight to the student’s laptop. No need for the student’s brain to intervene. All visual all the time.

I have related that the district is using Spence Rogers’ PEAK training for teachers, Teaching for Excellence, even though as the co-creator of Transformational OBE, Spence Rogers’ work was implicated as a factor in the Columbine tragedy. Some minds do appear to snap and become Evil from such overt psychological manipulation. We have been told that the teachers undergoing the PEAK training will be kept secret so “they will not be afraid to try new techniques.” When I asked a Principal if he was referring to Spence Rogers’ work, the face became transfixed with an unmistakeable reverence and radiance.  The answer was “Yes. Do you know his Work?” You could say that was my response.

We are not dealing with rational interaction here. We are dealing with emotional cultivation to create zealotry in adult educators who likely have no idea what is at stake. They just know a feelings classroom suits them better than what they grew up with.

So please listen up all of us that still have Axemaker Minds and are paying the tab for all these schemes. What the Avengers had to save the earth from was a comic book fantasy. Apparently though we are about to need to fight hard to save the Republic, the legitimacy and primacy of individualism, and economic freedom. And all over the Globe there are citizens who must do the same. Because they really do have plans for all of us. Going into effect Right Now.

Mind Thieves: Everyday Examples that Add Up to a Cultural and Political Tsunami

I have talked before about how the anti-content/just generic skills and social and emotional learning dominance of the Common Core implementation amounts to mind arson. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/how-can-ed-reform-lead-to-innovation-if-it-is-really-mind-arson/ And how this psychological manipulation, and starvation of the mind from facts to prevent any creation of its own mental concepts or access to sequential logic and solid analytical thinking in grammar or math or even systematic phonetic reading instruction, is a huge boon to existing Big Business. It makes the chances of someone creating a superior competing product consumers prefer or other genuine innovation much more remote. Because, honestly, nobody hates free markets and having to compete on price to satisfy customers more than already established businesses. Especially ones that have been around long enough to have political connections locally, in the statehouse, or lobbyists on retainer in DC plus politicians that rely on their contributions.

Once an economy becomes driven largely by the government and politicians and regulators, these political connections become dominant. The classic collusion of widely distributed costs (that’s me and you, ordinary taxpayers, picking up the bill) and concentrated benefits (politically connected businesses). In the midst of our conversations recently about the Axemakers Mind vs Nonlinear New Mindedness fit for Sustainability and a New Planned “Caring Economy” yet another National Research Council report popped onto my horizon. Called “Continuing Innovation in Information Technology” it pushes the idea that the federal government should be the dominant funder of future IT research to keep the US dominant in this field. It plans to use grants to research universities to finance the research.  Now that won’t create any conflicts of interest during these times of sought political transformations, will it?

Now I have explained before what a poor job governments do vs everyday people out and about and thus in a position to recognize real needs and desires in anticipating future markets and technology. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-the-world-makes-far-more-sense-if-you-add-dirigisiste-to-the-things-you-understand/ Plus the government has to tax or borrow to get the money to give to political favorites who are doing and advocating as officials want and not what markets will pay for. Think Solyndra and watch your tax dollars disappear completely or shift to connected coffers. That’s the reality of a politically directed economy and why free markets are more desirable even if they do not produce equity. Honestly, the world’s major search engine company and the world’s great creator of computer operating systems and Big Blue “System of Systems” pushing Sustainability and Smarter Cities as revenue generators do not need taxpayer money funding their research. Their treasure trove of liquidity beats the US taxpayer hands down. Four of the 6 places at the table.

And I am not picking on them. I am sure they are great companies to buy products from and work for. But it does seriously taint their advice pushing Career Pathways or P-Tech high schools for all kids or 21st Century Skills. Plus any partnering on ATC21S, the worldwide push to change academic measures of assessment so that the non-Axemaker mind grounded in emotion and generic skills is not noticeable in time to stop the sought noetic transformation. In fact, I noticed the only research university on the relevant committee, UCLA, is where CRESST is located. The entity involved early on in developing the curriculum and assessments that are now to become what Common Core looks like in your child’s classroom. The personalized, engaging learning designed to keep you from worrying so much when there are no more textbooks.

Again, Big Business will always become political entrepreneurs and push desired policies that will lock in revenue, protect them from future competition, and get them a seat at the table to sic regulators on others. That inevitability that has become rampant in the US now is why there is no long-term prosperity in a politically-directed economy for the average person. And no fluidity either as the nomenklatura of the political class seek to pass their abilities to engineer political and economic subjugation on to their own kids. And that actually hurts each of us, unlike the seeming unfairness of the lucky sperm living off a trust fund they had nothing to do with.

So when we see this omnipresent digital literacy, laptop, smartphone, interactive e-textbook push coming to a classroom near you soon, please do not forget just how rampant the cronyism is throughout Common Core and the global ICT push and the Sustainability push. None of this transformation for the 21st century economy involves widespread prosperity for the typical person. It is to be a state planned economy with equalized incomes around a designated Line of Plenty. Yes I found that in some of the documents getting ready for Rio+20. Given the coffers of the foundation funding that global transition work and what else they are involved in, that Line of Plenty certainly qualifies as a bad idea. But it is a real one. It’s where those Common Core Career Pathways are really leading.

This “ALWAYS LEARNING” video crossed my desk recently by way of Australia where it is really being pushed. The Next Generation Learning emphasis is the push from one of the vendors with a seat at the table for that NRC report we discussed above to get us to fund future computer innovation.

A Serious Talk: KIds Demand Next Genera tion Learning

What kind of future do you really think those kids will have? And to keep our Cronyism/Political Transformation theme Pearson’s Chief Education Advisor, Michael Barber, was responsible for bringing Cambridge Education to the US to spread the UN’s contentless vision. I wrote about that here:  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-the-system-seeks-to-destroy-the-ability-to-think-can-james-madison-save-us/ As Tony Blair’s former ed advisor, he is widely credited with being the reason the UK is considered to be an exemplar of UNESCO’s vision for education. And that is just the tip of the iceberg of how often his name just keeps popping up. The business cards should perhaps say Global Change Agent Extraordinaire.

But there is one more point I want to make on this digital literacy push and Common Core. It comes from a recent Ed Week story “It’s Not About the Machine, It’s About Heart” about Mooresville NC using the Flippen Capturing Kid’s Heart emotional intelligence program in conjunction with their all-digital classroom. How would you feel as a taxpayer and parent to know content is largely gone. That researchers are aware that all that digital and visual stimulus makes the chances of ever developing a linear mind, an Axemakers Mind, slim without home intervention. And then the school announces that:

“They also use a behavior management program and develop a behavior management contract that students build with teachers that constitutes a culture of caring and an agreement on how they will treat each other. [Superintendent Mark] Edwards said, ‘It is so important to be intentional about building school culture.”

Indeed. Wake Up. Before mental and emotional tyranny comes to a classroom near you soon. At great expense. If your school or district is already there, please comment or drop me a line. I will help you get more info to try to prevent your child from being a victim of utopian newmindedness.