When Gaming Intends to Shape and Distort Our Perceptions of Everything Around Us. Viva La Revolution!

A title that provocative really should be based on at least some speculation. Maybe with me looking bug-eyed and highly excitable. Nope. Everywhere I looked to try to make the K-12 gamification focus we encountered in the last post a fringe ambition–on the periphery–I just ran into more graphic, open declarations. From people with the money and power to make their visions a reality. A 2011 book laying out these aspirations approvingly pointed out that the “Microsoft game-testing lab ‘looks more like a psychological research institute than a game studio.”

That author, Jane McGonigal, of the Institute for the Future, is a keynote speaker of this month’s annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) in San Antonio, Texas. She explicitly mentions Robert Torres’ Quest To Learn charter school vision in NYC as a means of reinventing public education as we know it. That Gates and MacArthur and Pearson Foundations vision of Reimagining Education. http://reimaginingeducation.org/ shows it is now the feds vision too.

Before I talk about the book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World and its prescriptions for using immersion role-playing games and alternate reality games to encourage students to want to reinvent reality, let’s talk about how we get to this point in K-12. Last week President Obama issued a directive to the FCC “to take the steps necessary to build high-speed digital connections to all of America’s schools and libraries.” http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/connected_fact_sheet.pdf . The directive on Jumpstarting Learning Technology says our schools “do not prepare our student’s for a collaborative and networked economy” . Which really does sound like the kind of reenvisioned needs economy I have been telling you is integrally linked to these ed reforms. Anyway, here’s a full extended quote:

“We must make our schools an integral part of the broadband and technology transformation–particularly when that same technology can be harnessed to drive empowered, more personalized learning. From digital textbooks that help students visualize and interact with complex concepts to apps and platforms that adapt to the level of individual student knowledge and help teachers know precisely which lessons or activities are working. This technology is real, it is available, and its capacity to improve education is profound.”

That’s the real fundamental shift. All that wonderful personal data plus there’s no longer any need to use print to mentally envision what an author is describing or how things work. The video in the digital textbook or videogame will show the student.  Not influenced in the least by the fact that the creator of the game or textbook publisher openly acknowledged that as “we’re making these games, we dream of the other revolutionary things swarm intelligence might make possible. Low-carbon futures, mass creativity, living happily with less.”

Swarm intelligence by the way is part of what massive online player games can create.  The idea is that “experiencing communitas in an everyday game can spark a taste for the kinds of community action that makes the world a better place. Learning to improvise with strangers toward a shared goal” teaches that “swarm intelligence”–which game designers hope “makes people better able and more likely to band together toward positive ends.” I am really tempted here to bring in a comment about cultivating the little c era of association and community using the the benefits of a profoundly different new technology but I will refrain. Maybe. But even the White House says it is a new age–the Digital Age–and certain notorious political philosophies do believe that new ages grounded in new technology call for a new kind of consciousness. Do you agree?

At the 2008 meeting of the professional group for education professors, the AERA (yes that is the group that elected Bill Ayers to an executive position), Eva Baker of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing–CRESST–presented a paper called “What Do We Know About Assessment in Games?” She pointed out that Games work well when the point is measuring, as in the now federally-required measures of Student Growth. Rather than evaluating, as in traditional testing of the now-defunct knowledge unsuitable for the Digital Age. Her work seems to be the foundation for what GlassLab  is now doing. You “embed the assessment in the transactions of the game and build it into a game’s underlying engine.” The game then becomes the “types of learning to be experienced.”

But that would require coordination with game developers. Good thing then Eva (who you may remember also evaluated SBAC and PARCC for the Hewlett Foundation to ensure these would be measurements of Deep Learning) was a speaker at the 2012 Serious Games Summit. And CRESST is listed as a sponsor of the 2013 Summit. Also conveniently Jane McGonigal started writing her book soon after Eva’s AERA speech. Laying  out a vision on the Rise of the Happiness Engineers. The game designers who use the elements of Positive Psychology so that gaming can set off “the orgasm of positive emotions” such as awe. McGonigal quoted Dacher Kalter as saying that:

“The experience of awe is about finding your place in the larger scheme of things. It is about quieting the press of self-interest. It is about folding into social collectives. It is about feeling reverential toward participating in some expansive process that unites us all and ennobles our life’s endeavors.”

I am not trying to spook you. But if these are the intentions of the designers of the games that are now to constitute what is learning in the 21st century, it matters. The Institute of the Future does a great deal of consulting to famous companies and foundations. Apart from Jane’s high venue speeches.  Jane believes that games “have an important role to play in how we achieve our democratic, scientific, and humanitarian goals over the next decade and beyond.” Now her goals (or Eva’s or these foundations) may not be yours but they are the goals being designed into the objectives of these games.

And whether the student exhibits the desired beliefs, values, and attitudes (suitable for Transformation) is what is being assessed and measured as Student Growth. Jane by the way described her vision of a Sustainable Engagement Economy in the book. It reminded me of Shoshana Zuboff’s Needs Support Economy with its distributed capitalism. She also envisioned reinventing the workplace except she sees the new attitudes coming out of the gaming experiences as driving the desire for change. Making reality more like games is how she put it.

Reading Reality is Broken really is alarming since there really is no intermediary between the vision of the future designed into these games, the psychological and emotional methods incorporated into the games, and the student. And it’s not like I am inferring the vision here. There are many more troubling, to me, examples in the book. But the book reminded me of another troubling book I had read from 1988 called Global Mind Change: The New Age Revolution In the Way We Think. So I went back and reread the marked passages. It was a reminder that if you want social transformation, which that author Willis Harman certainly did as well, you need to target the unconscious belief system. Harman even mentioned our old friend Milton Rokeach (see tags if not familiar). Here’s the vision:

“This concept of unconscious beliefs and the extent to which they are capable of shaping and distorting our perceptions of everything around us–and within us–is so central to understanding the global mind change that we shall make a temporary digression to look into it more deeply.

Each of us holds some set of beliefs with which we conceptualize our experience–beliefs about history, beliefs about things, beliefs about the future, about what is to be valued, or about what one ought to do.”

That’s precisely the real Common Core implementation targets. That’s what Digital Learning is designed to assess and reshape if needed. The assessments have to be performances and activities because as Harman said in 1988: “persons may not realize they have these unconscious beliefs, but the beliefs can be inferred from behavior–from slips of the tongue, compulsive acts, ‘body language’, and so on.”

Now think about this next quote and whether the phrase common core may be a metaphor and not just a factual statement about skills and knowledge and consistency among students.

“In the innermost core of the belief system are basic unconscious assumptions about the nature of the self and its relationship to others, and about the nature of the universe.”

The Game Designers say that is what is being targeted. Ed professors and ed labs and implementation theories openly call these reforms “second-order thinking” and “Irreversible Change” because it is the unconscious being targeted.

We are priming the emotions and using virtual reality to practice how to change reality. While simultaneously leaving the mind empty of knowledge of likely consequences.

Which might foresee a Revolution more likely to deteriorate as the French one did than build something wondrous. As the American one did.

 

 

 

As Powerful as a Religious Conversion: Bestowing Deep Understandings for their Revolutionary Effects

In one of those obvious statements that really deserves a sarcastic “Really Sherlock?” response, did you know that people differ in their ability to come up with explanations and structures to organize their thoughts? Which is of course unfair. So in the interests of fairness and equity and without any mention of the political usefulness, schools and effective teaching should now be about providing those so-called Cognitive Structures. That enable thinking and motivate acting in the future. Thinking Tools. How nice. Then there need not be any “cognitive consequences of cultural opportunity.” Single parents, second language, learning disabilities. School will provide the Enduring or Deep Understandings that “serves to organize perception in new ways.” That conceptual lens that may not be true and is not spontaneously generated by All children will now fortuitously be Provided to All children.

Then All Children Can Learn and coincidentally will believe the same things that can have very nice side effects for anyone looking for Fundamental Transformation. Here’s a quote from a 1988 book reprinted regularly through the 90s about the research done with Native Hawaiians as part of the Kamehameha Elementary Education Program (KEEP). It had Ford and Carnegie Foundation funding as well as the National Science Foundation. KEEP was part of a restructuring template to make schools places providing assistance so Each Student can Learn. In the unadvertised sense of behavioral or belief system changes. Much more lasting than mere factual knowledge you see. Only someone working at someone else’s expense would dare say:

“We do not yet know under what circumstances cognitive structuring is to be preferred over questioning, or vice versa. The potential power of cognitive structuring is not in doubt. As in instances of religious conversion, the acceptance of a cognitive structure can have the most revolutionary effects on human behavior and experience. How and why this occurs remain largely mysteries, although our understanding of these remarkable processes is increasing.”

Now it would be possible to provide Concepts and Generalizations and Understandings that are politically neutral but once we get beyond fractions that does not appear to be what anyone has in mind. Old Timers in the Ed Wars will be quaking in their boots when they read that Lynn Erickson was citing Hilda Taba as a model to be emulated in this area of Conceptual Understanding. I will let you look Hilda up. But the idea that human development in school takes the “individual child in whatever form and guides and nurtures the mind, body, and self-concept” should give us all pause. Let’s put that in the context of World Bank economist Kaushik Basu writing in concluding Beyond the Invisible Hand:

“We can come to have norms where behaving otherwise is met with so much social disdain or self-loathing that no one does so. And in the long run, the norms can become so much a part of us that we end up following them not for any reason but rather because that is our instinctive behavioral response.”

And there’s nothing quite like providing “accepted explanatory belief systems” that are practiced with daily over years to transform those norms to instinctive responses. So nice from someone who also wrote that the “demise of the USSR is thus an indictment of a perverse brand of capitalism, not of socialism.” Gulp. Lots of political value in providing the concepts that guide everyday life. And don’t think the radical educators and political schemers (who are sometimes the same person) do not know it. They have been gloating over this for decades beyond our sight but not unrecorded for posterity.

We have covered Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky and his Cognitive Tools repeatedly as well as the related Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) beehive at UC-San Diego.  It would probably surprise you then to know that in June 2007 the American Education Research Association (yes it was about the time AERA elected Bill Ayers as one of their guiding light execs) published  “Vygotsky’s Neglected Legacy: Cultural-Historical Activity Theory.”

Now neither CHAT nor Vygotsky strikes me as neglected in the least. I am practically feeling crushed by the frequency at which they pop up without looking. I think that essay though was intended to mainstream these theories in preparation for offense and implementation in more classrooms. The fact that the paper received funding from the Canadian government and had a co-author from Singapore further suggests we are dealing with a coordinated psychological assault against the individual mind anywhere that ever upheld Anglo-Saxon common law. This is a little long but important. Concepts matter and Concepts aimed at Reorganizing Thought matter most of all.

“Because CHAT addresses the troubling divides [not to me. I prefer the division thank you very much] between individual and collective, material and mental, biography and history, and praxis and theory, we believe that it is deserving of wider currency in the educational community. . . In part, the vigorous dialectical materialist grounding of psychology in Marxism that A.N. Leont’ev pursued may have slowed the reception of CHAT in the West. Yet we emphasize that these powerful analytic tools, existing even in Vygotsky’s works, have little to do with totalitarian regimes that have falsely masqueraded under the banner of Marxism, socialism, or communism.”

I believe that translates as nasty dictators misappropriated those lovely intentions of Uncle Karl and needlessly besmirched this lovely tool for future human development. This time we will get it right and will only manipulate people’s driving belief systems and values in beneficial ways. For their own good. For the Common Good. For the Planet. And you and I may find Dialectics to be an off-putting word we could do without but that is because we fail to appreciate “the dialectical nature of consciousness, which includes cognition, memory, and personality, among others.”

Well, I guess the dialectical part comes from wanting to fundamentally transform it and CHAT is apparently a PRIMO tool. Did you know that “dialectics is ‘possibly the most appropriate frame of reference for the study of human development, and indeed was actually developed as an explanation for human development?” Well, actually I did point that out   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/who-knew-karl-marx-had-a-human-development-model-or-that-it-fit-our-facts-so-well/ but now we know once again why it fits our Common Core and global reform realities so well.

I am not going to belabor the number of times those coauthors used that D word in that essay. I will, however, mention that the result of all those contradictions and synthesis of Concepts results in a Deep Understanding. Which is exactly the phraseology the Hewlett Foundation keeps using to describe where it sees the Common Core going. And it dovetails with the Education for Life and Work report from last summer. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/so-now-common-core-rejects-individual-thinking-to-embrace-soviet-psychology-ecology/ .

Boy it sure does look like Leont’ev is getting his transformative experiment in the West that he told Urie Bronfenbrenner he aspired to back in the 60s. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/imitating-the-ussr-in-striving-to-discover-how-the-child-can-become-what-he-not-yet-is/ is the post where I explained that ginormous discovery. That is even more important now as we think about all those false conceptual lenses in Urie’s Ecological Systems Thinking Theory. Which is all through the new C3 Social Studies Framework.

One way to think of the to-be-supplied Concepts and Cognitive Structures and Mental Maps is to see them as “schooled concepts.” The Russians so got the importance of the difference between what can be understood only as a result of formal instruction and everyday practices that the 1988 book mentioned above includes the Russian term nauchnoe ponyatie along with the cite to Vygotsky. These Abstract Concepts are learned at school and then applied “downward” from “generalization to palpable example.” All our mentions of Real World problems and Relevance seem to be based on the recognition from Vygotsky and his followers that “Everyday concepts stand between schooled concepts and the experienced world. Schooled concepts, in Jovian detachment, can connect with the world below only through the everyday concepts that have risen through practical activity. …The constant relating of schooled with everyday concepts enriches and saves schooling from aridity, but this relating also profoundly changes the nature of the everyday concepts that are touched, making them ever more systemic, autonomous, and tool-like.”

These research observations could be used to help teach students to better understand reality as it exists but that would not be transformative. Or perhaps as Engaging. Instead the weaving of schooled concepts with the everyday is to be used to create activities and projects and learning tasks with the purpose of “a fundamental restructuring in which all are transformed: actions, relationships, and thinking.” The cite is to another Soviet psychologist. This time El’konin.

I am not looking for Boogie Men (or women) here but we clearly have a constant refrain of Transformation. And I am getting an increasingly uncomfortable feeling that many influential people at the helm or employed by influential institutions or foundations believe that the Human Development aspects of Uncle Karl’s writings make a good Overlord theory for the 21st Century. And they do intend to give it a try in real time on a massive scale all over the West. But especially against the World’s only Superpower and its  economy.

And the US for the most part is completely unaware that this most subjugating of theories against the primacy of the individual is coming in under an “How All Children Can Learn” banner.

 

 

Viewing Education as the Prime Lever for International Social Change: Community Organizing Everywhere

No I did not add that reference to community organizing as a provocative means of grabbing your attention. Yes I do know that it was the past profession of the current US President and it’s not an area I knew much about. Until about a week ago when a book from the political theorist I kept seeing cited in the footnotes of so many of the books and reports I was reading came. If his was the political vision that went with these education, social, and economic “reforms,” I thought I’d better check out precisely what that vision was. His name is Harry Boyte and the 2004 book was called Everyday Politics: Reconnecting Citizens and Public Life. Boyte lays out his vision for the future direction of society in terms of a “cooperative commonwealth” where citizen groups organize and work together with governments at all levels to identify and solve society’s problems.

I do not find Boyte’s vision to be especially workable but it is the vision of the future that is attached to the real Common Core once you tiptoe through those all important implementing footnotes. Boyte sees a reenvisioned education, K-12 and higher ed, as central to his goal of creating a partnership among citizens and government. He quotes Jane Addams in terms of how to best spread his vision of an Everyday Politics:

“We are gradually requiring of the educator that he free the powers of each man and connect him with the rest of life. We are impatient to use the dynamic power residing in the mass of humankind, and demand that the educator free that power.”

If that sounds like John Dewey, yes we do seem to refighting the issues of the 20th century again in the 21st century. Again, there’s a reason Addams sounds like Dewey. They were both colleagues and friends back in the 1890s Chicago. Old theories do not die in politics or education. They just get renamed for another try regardless of tragic histories.

Boyte wants to use education in the 21st to “reinvent the role of productive citizen and the politics to express it.” Otherwise, “public life is unlikely to improve.” And what precisely does he intend to do? Here’s his precise plan:

“If we are to renew democracy through everyday politics, five things are needed. This first is conceptual: we need an understanding of the commons as something created and sustained by human beings, not simply given. The other four are practical. We need to develop public policy frameworks for productive citizen-government partnerships in problem solving. We need sustained culture-changing organizing in mediating institutions [bolded to make sure everyone recognizes he is referring to preschools, K-12 and colleges and universities], including the addition of everyday politics to political parties, issue groups, and other structures now dominated by experts. We need to understand popular culture itself as a crucial site of democratic organizing [somehow I think Hollywood got this memo long before us and maybe some network execs and newspaper editors]. And we need to develop learning partnerships that spread everyday politics on a global scale.

Boyte mentions Peter Senge and his idea of the learning organization for both schools and businesses admiringly in his book. He also advocates a systems approach. Which is really fortuitous because on July 4, 2012, Senge,  Robert Kegan of Harvard, Michael Fullan (Canada’s premier Driver of Education as Social Change) and others delivered a report to the Hewlett Foundation–that well-funded driver of Deep Learning as the real purpose of the Common Core that we have discussed several times. The report was called “Lessons of Systemic Change for Success in Implementing the New Common Core Standards” and it fits right perfectly with getting to Boyte’s vision of everyday politics with new guiding values and concepts for each student and adult.

The report envisions teachers and students developing and growing initially through classroom experiences that will take them through new stages of awareness and behaviors. Going from the initial Internalized Stage to the Socialized stage is to cause the students and faculty to develop deeper connections with each other. This transition is considered to be critical to “effective education” under the Common Core, which has a definition the parents and taxpayers are not being told about–”social interactions between adults and students and among adults.” Those of you compiling a glossary of unappreciated definitions will also want to add Community of Learners and Professional Learning Communities to the list of terms use to describe this interactive web of relationship learning.

Next stage (3) according to the report is called Self-Authoring or Empathetic but that’s not where they want students or adults to stop. As an Education for Sustainability report noted, empathy is not enough because it may not provoke action to change conditions and structures. It is thus important that education in the future “provoke outrage” about real-world problems. Those same problems that are to be the focus of the assessments of student performance under the Common Core. How convenient.

The last Stage is called Self-Transcending. Schools now will be looking to students and adults to commit to “personal transformation” and a willingness to confront and then “cultivate one’s mind-body system and strive to move on to the higher stages.” No I suspect that the public descriptions of what is going on will not be that graphic which is why it is so important to read the underlying blueprints and theories behind the sought school changes. The Hewlett report itself has a chart that describes the “self-transcending stage” as the level that sees school “as a vehicle for societal transformation.” Which is once again left off of the monthly newsletters from the school and district. Also left off from public discussion of the planned vision are a classroom that wants students to “maximize mutual learning and co-creating desired futures.” Based on feelings and wishes and maybe some fairy dust to boot but virtually no accurate knowledge of the past or how the world really works or how we came to be where we are in the 21st century. Apparently knowledge impedes imagination to co-create the future.

Our Self-Authoring striving towards Transcendence student is to seek “deeper awareness.” Just what you want when you put them on the school bus in the morning or drop off a loved one–”the capacity to interact and respond adequately with sensitivity and pertinence to the circumstances, situations or events that arise moment after moment.” And if this systemic/developmental vision of the Common Core does not sound creepy enough, non-progressing students and adults will have the reasons for the “blockage” examined so a remedy plan can be implemented. Individualized learning indeed.

This is the sought and planned reality behind the “student-centered” classroom mantra. The report goes on to inform all the adults, from teachers to principals to Supers, that it is the “fundamental task of leadership at all levels”–that means preschool and college too–to make sure all students “see the larger system of which they are a part and seek higher leverage strategies that address forces in these systems.” Not based on knowledge which is to be little and far between but grounded in feelings and affective beliefs about how the world works.

This is where all the references to hands-on learning and experiences become important and all the references to service learning and civic engagement come in. The best way to move students and keep them at these described higher levels of consciousness is to move them into community activities outside the classroom where they can work to solve real problems. And get primed to both practice Boyte’s everyday politics and to demand as Zuboff and Scharmer envision a different kind of economy to meet everyone’s needs instead of personal choices.

I wish I could tell you I am stretching here to try to provoke you into action on opposing the Common Core but honestly, if anything, this post still underplays just how radically transformational the attached visions of the future really are. I did not go looking for a reason to oppose the Common Core. I went looking for a reason for all the discrepancies between the rhetoric about the Common Core and the reality laid out in regulations and reports and waivers and books by the theorists being cited for support.

I am going to close this reality based thunderbolt revealing the real aspirations for change with a quote Professor David Orr used to describe his reasons for pushing the ecological education and Slow Knowledge that are attached to the actual implementation coming to a school near you. If it is not there already. Damaging and unknown to the public funding it. The words come from EF Schumacher:

“Education which fails to clarify our central convictions is mere training or indulgence. For it is our central convictions that are in disorder, and as long as the present anti-metaphysical temper persists, the disorder will grow worse. Education, far from ranking as [our] greatest resource, will then be an agent of destruction…”

The real Common Core is about new values and mental models and those central, motivating, convictions. And they will not be based on what the student brought from home or what has EVER created mass prosperity in the past. And even the relatively few who are aware, much less concerned about the Common Core, are unaware that the actual common core involves an internal redo of everything we hold dear.

Out of sight. Remaking those minds and Personalities.

Tearing Up the Fabric of a Free Society: The New College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework

I did not say impair. I did not say damage. I said Tear Up. Why such a dramatic statement? Because the week AFTER Obama was reelected (Nov 12) and then quietly put out more publicly during a holiday week, the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers, the heads of State Departments of Ed which is funded by many of the same businesses who benefit from its edicts including many tech companies and the accreditor AdvancED) issued a Framework that appears designed to create Homo Sovieticus right here in the USA. Seriously. Taking the political theories developed in the USSR to change mindsets there and making them the required perceptual “lenses” for students to confront daily life here going forward. Treating long-held aspirational visions of collectivist decision-making as established “evidence-based” fact. Treating metaphors like BEST, Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Thinking, as factual descriptions of how the world works. Oh. My. Goodness. So yes, I stand by the words “Tear Up the Social Fabric.”

Free societies recognize that different individuals have different interests and goals. It leaves them free to each pursue their own perception of reality. Their respective visions of the good. Characterizing that as selfish as the Statist schemers love to do when they are not disparaging it as the Ego-Driven Society is merely an attempt to target the legitimacy of Individualism itself. Amitai Etzioni complains of Egocentrism without Mutuality and Civility Obligations precisely because he wishes for a Communitarian mindset to be imposed via education, K-12 and higher ed. And as we have talked about already that is precisely what the definition of College and Career Ready was already doing by Stealth. In fact, that appears to be a key purpose of Common Core–to gain Etzioni’s long sought reorientation of the nature of relationships among self, others, and the environment. With the government, which is also composed of “selfish” individuals, creating and carrying out edicts as the enforcer of this mandated Realignment.

Free society is actually not just another theory of what might work. Let’s jettison it and see what happens in the 21st Century. No matter what type of government or economic system you have–Communist, free markets, mixed, Republic, authoritarian, Whatever–there are essentially only three ways to get another person to help me or you or a cousin, ANYONE, achieve their desired ends: love, trade, and force.

I am going to borrow David Friedman’s analysis on this fundamental reality of how the world works. Always has. Always will. We ignore at our peril analysis.

“By love I mean making my end your end. Those who love me wish me to get what I want (except for those who think I am very stupid about what is good for me). So they voluntarily, ‘unselfishly’, help me. Love is too narrow a word. You might also share my end not because it is my end but because in a particular respect we perceive the good in the same way.”

You get the point but unlike the Common Good being held out by Statist Schemers, making someone else’s end yours requires knowing them personally or knowing their policies if they are a politician or public figure. It is a free decision. It is not imposed by others.

The second method of cooperation is trade. I cannot do everything. Not enough time in the day and I am not equally good at everything. No one is. Trade then and free markets are all about me agreeing to help you achieve your end if you help me achieve mine. Steve Jobs wanted revenue and to show what technology could do. You love his ideas and voluntarily relinquish your money to get an I-Phone or I-Pad. No coercion.

The third method for achieving ends is force. You do what I want or I shoot you. Or, in the case of these education reforms we have been describing, you get denied the education credentials that are to be necessary to move on. To gain entry to a well-paying Job or prestige college. Common Core has a very curious vision though of the future workplace. Employees participate in it. Collaboratively problem-solving with other employees in a most impractical way outside a bureaucracy or Business with a state granted Monopoly. Which is clearly the whole idea. Classic Dirigisme as we have seen. Little Economic Growth is sought (although that part of the vision is currently being left out for obvious reasons). An official push for a Quality-of-Life Society where the Well-Being of All is to be the source of Psychic Satisfaction for All. Just like the Belmont Challenge lays out.

What. Are. The. Odds.

All this again requires a new Mindset. A New Mode of Consciousness. A New Sense of Being Human as various schemers we have profiled have called it over the last several decades. And that is precisely where the “Vision for the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Inquiry in Social Studies State Standards” comes in. Think of it as using Option No. 3, Force, to mandate each student make the Majority Decided Consensus Choice or just the Crony Choice Their End. And to hopefully come to see such a mandate as altruistic. Born out of their Love for others. You know, they don’t say catch them while they are young without good reason.

This C3 Framework Vision interestingly enough also reflects the Hewlett Foundation Vision of the Deep Learning implementation of the Common Core. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/when-deep-learning-and-systems-thinking-radicalizes-the-student-factual-reality-ceases-to-matter/. Which is further confirmation of our Common Core Ruse, Bait and Switch, Theory. Students in the C3 Vision are to spend their school days “developing questions and planning investigations” of “societal issues, trends, and events” of relevance to them. The better to emotionally imagine a Utopian Vision for an altered Future.

Secondly, they are to “apply disciplinary concepts and tools” to be the “lenses students use in their investigations, and the consistent and coherent application of those lenses throughout the grades should lead us to deep and enduring understanding.” Yes, this is where Homo Sovieticus comes in because the required lenses are not evidence based as CCSSO asserts. In fact most supplied are not even true.

For example, the US is in fact NOT a “constitutional democracy” whatever the Educrats declare. And the day it becomes a democracy it will not be based on the US Constitution. There are also no such civics requirements of the kind CCSSO aspirationally lays out. Apparently trying to shoehorn John Dewey’s Vision of a Participatory Democracy by credential fiat. Then there is the desired Economic Beliefs to Serve as a Permanent Filtering Lens. What do you think will be the effect of teaching students to “understand” the:

“ways in which individuals, businesses, governments, and societies make decisions to allocate labor, capital, and natural resources among alternative uses. This economic reasoning process involves consideration of costs and benefits with the ultimate goal of making decisions that will enable individuals and societies to be as well off as possible.”

Thus priming the mindset to legitimize Central Economic Planning and Industrial Policy as Natural and Useful instead of their historic norm of Wasteful and leading to Stagnation if not worse.

If those examples are not bad enough, somehow Geography gets morphed into mandating Thomas Berry’s Ecological View of the World as Man is Just Another Species. Called the “Environmental Perspective” it is to train students to view “humans as living in interdependent relationships within diverse environments among the planet’s many species.” Paul Ehrlich’s Newmindedness there you are. BEST comes in under Geography as well as the required comprehension for students “that the world is composed of ecosystems at multiple scales interacting in complex webs of inter-relationships within nature and between nature and societies.” That’s also Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory to create the Soviet Man with his new human nature. And Peter Senge’s Systems Thinking to boot.

Quite a web of collectivist theories against Individualism or Genuine Freedom. So, yes, I stand by my declaration that this Framework to be mandated on US classrooms constitutes a full-frontal assault on the entire concept of a Free Society.

Under this vision, the US will not actually be a Free Society. But students will be kept too ignorant and emotionally-driven to know they are perceiving reality with a deliberately created False Filter.

Now you know why Knowledge itself is under attack. We are dealing with an organized attempt to impose political ideologies and dogmas that would be unacceptable at the Ballot Box by stealth. Via a Coup by the Credentialed Educrats and Politicians and Cronies hoping to benefit from such a centrally managed economy. Classic Rent Seeking.

That’s a lot of power. Certainly worth lying about. But again, we get back to the reality that no one is honestly willing to assert that there is any mass prosperity in this vision.

Talk about forcefully imposing ends. Accept diminished consumption, lower standard of living in most of the West, a different kind of mind, and mandated “all in this together” whatever the work ethic or ability.

Isn’t this just a renamed rerun of history’s most tragic notions?

 

Morphing the Common Core into a New Rewritten US Constitution by Mandating False Beliefs

I always feel a bit like Scrooge when pointing out Equality for All enforced by government coercion is not in fact a Lovely Idea. But it’s too easy to malign someone who says “Not so fast” as having their nest egg and wanting to lock others out. But that is actually not how commerce and markets have ever worked in history. Which remains a darn useful guide to how things will likely work in the future. So before I explain how CCSSI turns out to be a huge con to change the nature of the US Constitution away from its historic role, let me explain for a minute what we are losing. Let me point out basically why Prosperity Generation Seed Corn like diversified expert knowledge and incentives should always be protected. While it still exists.

It turns out that throughout history specialized production/diversified consumption has been the key to mass prosperity. So moving everyone to Common Levels of Adequate Skills guts that. As does the open declaration that we are moving back to a Government directed Economy of Protected Political Favorites. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/protected-producers-vs-paying-consumerstaxpayerswho-will-prevail-on-education-and-the-economy/

I have also noticed that in all the scheming I have been describing where education is an essential part of the No Growth, Post-GDP Future, when education is standing alone no one is being honest with the students and taxpayers on what’s really in store for the future. That the claims of Economic Development around education globally are really just a means to steer more money into that compliant sector for Social Control over the masses. As the always graphic Europeans described it, to obtain “a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thoughts, feelings and actions.”

So before the bolts of the invisible serfs collars to hobble minds, manipulate hearts, and propel future individual actions have been welded shut, let me remind everyone one more time that historically personal economic freedom predicts a country’s prosperity “better than its mineral wealth, education system or infrastructure do.” That an all-powerful state means economic stagnation at best unless you are part of the politically connected few.

Now that I have sounded that warning one more time hoping to save our Prosperity Seed Corn from Official Arson, it turns out that CCSSI is part of a ploy to create a national equal citizenship guarantee. This highly creative theory of “social citizenship” has been created by controversial former Berkeley Law Professor, Goodwin Liu. You may recognize him from his failed nomination to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or his subsequent installation on California’s Supreme Court. Where he has apparently been trying to show he would not be a radical jurist after all. Anyone believing that has not read his “Education, Equality, and National Citizenship” Manifesto from the Yale Law Journal. No, not when he was an impetuous law student. Published in 2006. Part of his adult philosophy of how to revamp the nature of the US Constitution through a highly imaginative reconstruction of the citizenship language of the 14th Amendment.

Liu asserts that the term “citizenship” should now be interpreted to have “social and economic dimensions” instead of just its civil and political meanings. To be a font of substantive guarantees to “secure full and equal citizenship.” Now if this is starting to sound a bit like an insistence on the Scandinavian welfare state as enshrined in the US Constitution when we were not looking, Liu does make quite the use of qualifying language. Well, kind of. See what you think.

This guarantee is not to be “a rigid requirement of national levelling” and “economic inequality is not inherently at odds with equal citizenship.” The “account of citizenship” offered by Liu “does not squarely challenge the competitive norms of  the marketplace and its competitive hierarchies.” Liu just wants to create a principle of “bounded inequality” that looks at what others have so social stratification will cease to be a problem. Right.

So basically creative Liu wants either SCOTUS or Congress to assume that the citizenship language means we are all members of a national community called the United States of America and that Membership has its privileges and duties that do not include an American Express card. Because you would have to pay that bill each month. No membership in the US community means everyone has positive rights to certain forms of government assistance to “secure full and equal national citizenship.” Basically social citizenship turns into a claim encompassing “the whole range from the right to a modicum of economic welfare and security to the right to share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilised being according to the standards prevailing in the society.”

Now here’s the fascinating concession to our already having found  the confession that the CCSSI sales pitch of national content standards  was a ruse http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-the-president-just-admit-ccssi-was-a-ruse-to-change-classroom-interactions/. Liu sees the need for his federal guarantee of equal national citizenship to be created via:

“enlisting non-governmental organizations to develop national education standards and by incentivizing states to adopt them voluntarily.”

There could not be a more succinct description of CCSSI, the Common Core State Standards Initiative, than that. Which would also explain why the implementation of CCSSI I have chronicled looks nothing like the rhetoric. And why lawyers rightfully concerned with violations of the 10th Amendment or federal statutes are missing the true story. A sought profound rewriting  of the 14th Amendment to turn the nature of the US Constitution upside-down.  Starting with the need for national education standards. But why that exactly?

Beyond the levelling function we have chronicled, I think the answer lies in the odd definitions of College and Career Ready Standards we have noted along with the Positive School Climate mandate I have described. Plus what we talked about in the last post. There is a desire to create a view of national citizenship not as the source of evenhanded protection against an overbearing state but as the generator of citizenship obligations and duties and responsibilities. All of these words get used over and over again in reference to this new view of education for citizenship. There is to no longer be a right to be left alone. This is not only true in US but in the descriptions from all over the world. Education is being seen as the means for creating the Values and Attitudes, the real common core, that recognizes a personal and collective responsibility towards solidarity with others to achieve social justice, understanding and cooperation amongst peoples.”

And I am retorting that this so-called “model of partnership” created via education with government employees acting as enforcers is unlikely to work out as envisioned. And I think all of this rewriting of the 14th Amendment and UNESCO Education for All and Systems Thinking and Transformational OBE and Career Pathways and OECD Competences are all examples of a return to the Predator State. With a global Nomenklatura this time. No more genuine personal autonomy or economic freedom. By the time anyone could have figured this all out it would have been too late. I think no one intended for a history geek who once aced Con Law to be tracking education policy by its economic function and political results.

And because perceptions can trump reality, if you teach students this altered definition of Citizenship and obligation for the Common Good and demerits for acts of individuality, and then gather data to enforce this Image of the Perfect Collectivist Citizen Drone for the 21st Century, you can create her. Regardless of the language and historical intent of the Constitution. I have seen the College Board’s revisions of their AP history courses. No one is likely to be learning the truth about the Constitution in an American classroom for very much longer.

History shows that self-interest always exists and only free markets channel it in beneficial ways. A government employee with the ability to enforce an education edict that insists that “community means working collectively and collaboratively with others toward a shared vision” still has a self-interest they will try to maximize. That will likely involve pushing this sought mandate to get a raise or promotion no matter how bad the results for students and taxpayers.

Everything that has been a barrier in the past to the Overbearing State is being dismantled. At the exact same time the countries that have social democracy/welfare state for all have found it to be unsustainable. All those realities are being ignored though by politicians and Connected Businesses wanting to preserve power and economically unsophisticated voters and students wanting free stuff at someone else’s expense.

I am not going to tell you we need to stop this before it goes airborne. That really happened in the 90s as Outcomes Based Education. I am just hoping to create enough alarm before we get to the May Not Turn Around part of the Trip.

I mean did anyone even pack a life raft for when we go down? I can hear that left engine sputtering badly and we cannot all fly on only one engine.