Are the New 3 R’s and the Student-Centered, Inquiry Driven Classroom a Means to Eastern Spirituality?

We are so trained to defer to religious beliefs as a private matter and something that, at least in the US, Government is supposed to stay out of, that it can take a sledgehammer hit to force us to look at what was staring us in the face all along. I would write stories and then run into the advocates as teachers in a California Wisdom Center. And ignore it. I have traced many of the education reformers/professors to discussions about Third Order Consciousness. And ignored it. Mustn’t be controversial.  It’s a private matter.

I wrote posts about sought Deep and Continual Personal Change  within each Student and ignored the clear references to Meditation Practices. It’s just not how I think. It’s an area I did not want to go to. I have written about Peter Senge and his Systems Thinking and his Presencing book but chose to overlook the links of his sought education and organization practices to his Buddhist practices and beliefs. Again we want to see spirituality as a private, personal matter. Bringing it up and discussing it are off limits. Even when personal Spiritual/ Internal Values are clearly targeted by the Full Personality/holistic education/Systems Thinking focus we are discussing.

The Sledgehammer forced me to confront this Reality recently when I was filing some of my research and glanced at a xeroxed Preface called “Education Trends in a World Crisis” from a 1954 book Education in the New Age. Now its author, Alice A. Bailey, is a controversial New Age enthusiast/Theosophist and apparently much more (you can search out the more lurid details. That’s not my point) but the description in the Preface fit the emotionally driven, intuitive, nonrational mind we have been chronicling. That was the desired Goal. Bailey was the one describing the Sought Mental Global Reality in Students and Future Voters we have been examining in terms  of synthesizing Tibetan spirituality practices.

She was the one writing about using education globally to “resynthesize the objective and subjective, the extrovert [the West] and the introvert [Oriental Asian] civilizations and to achieve a great orchestration of culture.” When you mention culture like that and it turns out the book is a write-up of a 1953 seminar in Chicago funded by the Ford Foundation and you go on to describe your education “project” as based on a UNESCO document you have my full, undivided attention. Most of what we have encountered throughout this blog’s journey traces back to UNESCO involvement and Ford funding. The Regional Equity Movement now is a high priority of Ford and they have hired a John Goodlad confederate, Jeanne Oakes, away from UCLA’s Center for Democracy and Education. She is behind most of the research claiming academic tracking is a bad idea. Ford Foundation employees edited Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis. The book I got the Van Jones essay from.  Same involved employees were listed as part of that CA Wisdom Center I already chose to ignore.

Sledgehammer moment caused me to go check to see if Bailey’s book was still in print. The answer? Yes, with its Twelfth Printing listed as 2012. This year. Someone thinks this is still a relevant global vision. For UNESCO’s Education for All globally? For its Decade of Education for Sustainable Development? To promote the Orwellian named, John Dewey inspired, Quality Learning, globally? Only one way to find out. So I bought Bailey’s 1954 book as well as a 1932 book, with a 1960 copyright published in 1972, called From Intellect to Intuition. You see I remembered the kind of emotionally-driven, Arational Minds being sought via education http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/ and wanted to see if part of the impetus for rejecting Axemaker Minds was coming out of this Altered Consciousness to fit with Eastern Spirituality emphasis. That would be a huge, emphatic YES!! More on that shortly or in the next post. Remember I am providing those dates above for a reason. Think of World Affairs at those times.

Bailey’s Goal for Education is not the least bit modest. She wants to inculcate a World-view in each person on the planet Earth that “will make possible a planetary civilization by integrating whatever trans-temporal and trans-spatial truths about man and the universe we can extract from all regional cultures in their local times and places.” That was Thomas Berry’s Bioregional Vision too. Also involved with the CA Wisdom Center I ignored.

Bailey was seeking a totalizing World-view or Governing Ideology that guides one through all elements of daily living. Her aspiration, in 1954, was that the World-view taught provide “the kind of overall synthesis that Marxism and neo-Scholasticism provide for their followers [no need then for individual free decision-making], but to get this by the freely chosen cooperative methods that Dewey advocated.”

That would be the Student-Centered, Inquiry Driven Classroom John Dewey wanted with its Quality Learning goal. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-quality-learning-may-be-the-last-thing-you-want-for-your-child/ . The kind of classroom and practices the accreditors like AdvancED and consulting companies like Cambridge Education mandate in their reports about Quality. Now. In 2011 and 2012.

That would be the same Quality Learning that is “intuited rather than deduced, felt rather than described, and is immediate to the situation [concrete real world problems in context] rather than removed from it [the forbidden abstract conceptualizations within the privacy of your own mind with your own set of known facts].

Now it is time to pivot to the 1932 From Intellect to Intuition since the sought focus in Quality Learning is feeling and intuition as well. The book is about meditation and “leading man into his heritage as a human being” through educational and psychological practices so that together these two “lead him to the door of the mystical world.” This occurs by training students to use Direct Experience and then turn inwards toward themselves to Reflect upon it. Remember the constancy of this phrase? “The heart and mind become united in their endeavor.” Bailey’s idea is that through “right education,” emotionally-driven, experiential education, (No she did not use the word Hands-On Education but that would be the 21st century version of her idea), the “mind and soul” learn

“to be receptive towards impressions emanating from the mind.” This to Bailey is meditation but to work it requires moving education away from “education of the memory and the cataloguing of world knowledge.” Sound Familiar? Can’t be “the old education with its memory training, its books and lectures and its appropriation of so-called facts.” This is the actual CCSSI implementation model. Cannot be about the teacher transmitting knowledge. That’s a Barrier to a Mind open to Bailey’s New Knowledge. Must be about the New 3 R’s–Relationships, Rigor, and Relevance.

Bailey talks a lot about Right Relations with all of humanity in her books. That was the first tip-off that reminded me of the New 3 R’s. I remembered Willard Daggett in CCSSI training of teachers saying that “Relevance makes Rigor Possible.” I got he meant relevance makes an emotional approach primary. Then I read the following passage in Bailey’s book on creating the Meditative Mind:

“The question may be asked, what is the easiest way to teach oneself to concentrate? . . . one way that may be employed is to utilize what has been called the ‘expulsive power of a new affection.’ To be profoundly interested in some new and intriguing subject, and to have one’s attention focussed on some fresh and dynamic matter will automatically tend to make the mind one-pointed.”

That passage on getting to an inward feeling focus that is not rational provides a good definition of Relevance. But it also makes the arrival of the new C3 Framework, Social Studies Standards, from the previous post, even more important. Making the classroom focus Questions about “societal issues, trends, and events” that the student is interested in is precisely the kind of “new and intriguing” and “fresh and dynamic” matter Bailey wrote about so long ago.

I am just getting started. This turned into quite an illuminating inquiry once I recognized where I had to look. Except my inquiry is not John Dewey’s definition.

Mine is driven by facts and open declarations of intent.

 

 

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?

 

We Need a Radical Change in Our Mode of Consciousness, Even a New Sense of Being Human

And a “new sense of reality and of value.” And our “primary allegiance” needs to be to the “larger community, ” not just of people but all life forms. And the Earth itself. No more using “human cunning” to dominate natural resources. And, Oh yeah, we also need “planetary socialism” as an explicit goal and the Christian religion needs to lose its dominant emphasis on redemption. Those are just a few morsels from one of the primary books cited and used by many of the systems theorists and Sustainability advocates.

Published in 1988, Thomas Berry’s The Dream of the Earth is the blueprint for the Green Movement and Bioregionalism and Sustainability. It literally sees human intelligence and reason as a problem because it allows people to use and change nature. It really does sound just like Paul Ehrlich’s desire for Newmindedness (Berry cites him a lot) or James Burke’s disdain for the Axemakers Mind that we have discussed.  As far as Berry and Ehrlich and Burke are concerned, we humans are entering an emerging Ecological Age and we need to fit our thinking and our actions within this desired shift from the “human-centered norm of reality and value to a nature-centered norm.”

Now I am going to stop this troubling but highly influential vision for a minute. In my role as the Miss Marple of education and economic detecting I encounter lots of different visions for a radically altered future. It is my informed belief after reading so many of these cited works and blueprints that the various end games like Bioregionalism or Future Earth Alliance are primarily designed to build electoral coalitions among various interests and grievances to get control over economies and human behavior through the ballot box and regulation. And to get local and state officials to hand over power to the federal level and federal officials to push it to a global level. That’s the consistency throughout. The statists are not going to give up fossil fuels but pursuing that unrealistic goal accretes power to government officials because they must intervene in what should be private decisions. And it creates tremendous opportunities for Cronyism. Be a political player or be no more is the way Crony economies work and there is no widespread prosperity there.

The other consistency throughout is dramatically changing the nature of education away from the transmission of knowledge and the cultivation of reason and logic. And it is a front-end tool so the education vision gets implemented first as a means to gain the desired economic control and redesign. Education then becomes about changing values, attitudes, and beliefs to affect human behavior without being open about such personal control over citizens. That is the essence of Transformational OBE and Systems Thinking and why attempts to push it under various names never go away in middle and suburban high schools despite all the blood shed at Columbine.

Human Consciousness is still the desired target and grounding decisions in unconscious emotions is still the most successful way to control behaviors permanently and from afar. And the Gypsy Principals and Supers will not stop pushing these toxic ideas with a bloody history they may not even know because that’s the path to the lucrative promotions. So it is up to us parents and taxpayers to understand this template and stop the educators and the politicians and bureaucrats. All of whom live at our expense.

Every totalitarian dictator in history wanted control over Consciousness. It remains tyranny when it comes in through the schools and classrooms through an administrator who insists on being called “Doctor.” Because I am on so many internal distribution lists I know that educators all over the world–US, Canada, Australia, UK, and Europe in particular–have recently been recirculating a 1990 speech called “What is Education For?”. Oberlin Professor David Orr was and still is a well-known member of the ecological movement although that is not in the speech or article. And the vision for education in the article replicates much of Thomas Berry’s vision for education from The Dream of the Earth. Like Berry, Orr believes that modern education and contemporary culture has created a “monster” in the form of the “modern drive to dominate nature.” He goes on to assert that:

“It is a matter of no small consequence that the only people who have lived sustainably on the planet for any length of time could not read or, like the Amish, do not make a fetish of reading.”

How’s that for explaining the reluctance to use effective reading techniques? Reading phonetically allows access to soon-to-be impermissable knowledge. It has the undesirable side effect of honing analytical skills and the ability to internally weigh alternative mental scenarios and possibilities. That’s not acceptable in a community comes first world since all those capabilities enhance a sense of individuality. Orr even goes on to complain that “Galileo’s separation of the intellect foreshadows the dominance of the analytical mind over that part given to creativity, humor, and wholeness.” I’d really like to object to that last point because I think an analytical mind is capable of great humor and more than a little snarkiness. After all who else sees irony everywhere they turn? I must admit though I do find the Three Stooges annoying. And I am very fond of building up my Wholes from lots of different parts as long-time readers know.

Now when the analytical mind itself is so regularly disparaged as an undesirable goal of education is it any surprise that we spend so much for such poor results? What we taxpayers and parents and tuition paying students think we are getting and what the educators intend to sell are two radically different products. Both of which call themselves education. Which is why we are in such an expensive mess. When educators are pursuing a vision for their product that the Earth itself cannot be managed but:

“What might be managed is us: human desires, economies, politics, and communities.”

Like trying to control any of those things, especially by stealth, does not have a tragic track record. And then goes on to say:

“the planet does not need more ‘successful’ people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane.”

Now remember this is getting circulated all over the world as an inspirational vision to start the new school year with. It goes on to quote Holistic Review which is important since my Gypsy Principal is openly proclaiming that high school education is now to be holistic. My bet is you should ask yours. Here’s that holistic vision citing Ron Miller:

“Our culture does not nourish that which is best or noblest in the human spirit. It does not cultivate vision, imagination, or aesthetic or spiritual sensitivity. It does not encourage gentleness, generosity, caring, or compassion. Increasingly in the late 20th Century, the economic-technocratic-statist worldview has become a monstrous destroyer of what is loving and life-affirming in the human soul.”

Needless to say, those educators now feel primed to make SEL and a Positive School Climate the focus of school. And the new economy push that surrounds all these ed initiatives? Well, Orr opines that “Communism failed because it produced too little at too high a cost” which is a ludicrous way to describe an ideology that killed 100 million. But how many educators know that? And then Orr claims that “Capitalism failed because it destroys morality altogether.”

I could write a whole blog post on the ignorance in that statement but most educators will believe it and implement curriculum, assessments, and instruction changes accordingly. Blissfully unaware of the seeds they are actually sowing. It is thus up to us. All of us. To take education back. To get the product we are paying for, not the one we are being sold.

It sounds hyperbolic to say human freedom is at stake at its most basic level. But that’s the result of tyrannical overreaches. Describing the actual effects does sound sensational. But it remains an accurate description of why we must speak up and fight. It really is our essence, our souls, being targeted. Pity the children under this vision.