Sculpting the Inner Eyes that Guide What Real Eyes Perceive from Daily Experiences

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This arti­cle reflects the direc­tion of edu­ca­tion glob­al­ly as is being imple­ment­ed in the US by way of Com­mon Core. Com­mon Core is the attempt to trans­form soci­ety through edu­ca­tion for com­mu­ni­tar­i­an­ism. (White-wash­ing one’s self)

All the ref­er­ences to Glob­al Com­pe­ten­cy or World Cit­i­zen­ship may have us look­ing for a new flag we will be expect­ed to salute or a quiz on world cap­i­tal cities, but that is not what these terms actu­al­ly mean. I took on Glob­al Com­pe­ten­cy and the CCSSO’s explic­it push of it in US K-12 class­rooms in Chap­ter 7 of my book so please look there for the ini­tial foun­da­tion for what is com­ing. We are off to Fin­land today, not to get fre­quent fly­er miles or to look for stun­ning vis­tas in majes­tic fjords, but sim­ply because pro­fes­sors there have been far more graph­ic in what the required Human Dig­ni­ty Paradigm/Justice for All inclu­sive class­room looks like. They have also laid out with stun­ning can­dor what it intends to do and why. It explains why US sub­ur­ban high schools would be non­con­sen­su­al­ly shift­ing stu­dents to ‘prob­lem-based learn­ing’ with an affir­ma­tive Stu­dent Code of Con­duct that most par­ents are unlike­ly to even catch in time.

Before we take off though I want to lay out the known links of the same mod­el to the US beyond the descrip­tions to the Folk School vision laid out in the pre­vi­ous post. I noticed last May that all the school prin­ci­pals and dis­trict admin­is­tra­tors in the high achiev­ing part of Metro Atlanta’s Ful­ton Coun­ty had switched to refer­ring to class­work under the Com­mon Core as either being ‘STEM’ or ‘Human­i­ties.’ Rec­og­niz­ing this meant a jet­ti­son­ing of aca­d­e­m­ic con­tent as some­thing to be trans­mit­ted from what STEM meant (also in book), I have been keep­ing an eye out for a means of explain­ing explic­it­ly what the shift to a Human­i­ties focus would specif­i­cal­ly mean in the class­room. Pro­fes­sor Martha Nuss­baum, so use­ful­ly loqua­cious as to what is real­ly intend­ed that we have giv­en her a tag already, thank­ful­ly laid it out in a 1997 book called Cul­ti­vat­ing Human­i­ty.

Using class­work to “cul­ti­vate in our­selves a capac­i­ty for sym­pa­thet­ic imag­i­na­tion.” Such empa­thy in all stu­dents is nec­es­sary “in order to fos­ter an informed and com­pas­sion­ate vision of the dif­fer­ent.” This “nar­ra­tive imag­i­na­tion is an essen­tial prepa­ra­tion for moral inter­ac­tion. Habits of empa­thy and con­jec­ture con­duce to a cer­tain type of cit­i­zen­ship and a cer­tain form of com­mu­ni­ty.” A Blue Rib­bon for Astute­ness to each of us that picked up that this com­pas­sion towards oth­ers is the con­sis­tent core we are find­ing in K-12 ‘reforms’ all over the world. It is desired because it “cul­ti­vates a sym­pa­thet­ic respon­sive­ness to another’s needs” that is in turn nec­es­sary for a world deter­mined to make meet­ing needs the new focus of the glob­al econ­o­my. What Karl Marx called the Human Devel­op­ment Mod­el of Soci­ety and Har­ry Boyte now calls the coop­er­a­tive com­mon­wealth.

One more well-con­nect­ed Amer­i­can prof will­ing to reveal what is being laid out in meet­ings we are not invit­ed to is Wharton’s Jere­my Rifkin. Since his dis­cus­sion of the “new ped­a­gog­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion empha­siz­ing empath­ic devel­op­ment” is in the con­text of a broad­er 2009 social vision called The Empath­ic Civ­i­liza­tion, Rifkin is also use­ful­ly forth­com­ing. In fact he dis­clos­es that “Col­lab­o­ra­tive edu­ca­tion, at its core, is con­cerned with shift­ing the cen­ter of edu­ca­tion­al con­cern from the indi­vid­ual mind, to forms of rela­tion­ship.” We have encoun­tered this before in the ear­ly days of this blog so I know even beyond the clear links to the Pos­i­tive School Cli­mate man­date that these men­tions of a ‘rela­tion­al self’ as the new focus are tru­ly an insis­tent, very real, aim of K-12 edu­ca­tion reform glob­al­ly.

Let’s quote Jere­my one more time as he explains that the “new class­room empha­sizes coop­er­a­tion over com­pe­ti­tion and the shar­ing of minds. [Exhale, please! Some of you dear read­ers are now turn­ing Blue in the Face with Out­rage.] Edu­ca­tion becomes a col­lab­o­ra­tive ven­ture rather than an indi­vid­ual pur­suit. The aim of all knowl­edge is exis­ten­tial: that is, to come ever clos­er to under­stand­ing the mean­ing of exis­tence as well as our place in evo­lu­tion through our shared expe­ri­ences and the mean­ings we glean from them. Tech­ni­cal or voca­tion­al knowl­edge [like dig­i­tal learn­ing] becomes mere­ly instru­men­tal to the pur­suit of this larg­er goal.”

Now we can go to Fin­land where we will rec­og­nize the cur­ricu­lum as mere­ly the more graph­ic announce­ments of the same class­room intent that we are sup­posed to be tran­si­tion­ing to in the US, Cana­da, Aus­tralia, the UK, Hong Kong, and every­where else that ever cher­ished the indi­vid­ual. The Finns stat­ed that the solu­tions to the world’s prob­lems are to be found “in a shift in our view of how we see our­selves and our rela­tion­ship to soci­ety, and its future…Whatever lies in the future, the abil­i­ty to col­lab­o­rate with oth­ers in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and res­o­lu­tion of prob­lems is cru­cial. If humankind does not have this capac­i­ty, our fate is sealed. If it does, the skills for col­lec­tive action must be nur­tured and strength­ened.”

Hence all the ties we are see­ing between delib­er­a­tive democ­ra­cy and par­tic­i­pa­to­ry cit­i­zen­ship and the actu­al K-12 required class­room imple­men­ta­tion. I high­light­ed evo­lu­tion above not to talk about Dar­win or Apes but in the Brameld/Huxley sense of cul­tur­al evo­lu­tion laid out in my book. Or as the Finns have decreed: ” the func­tion of edu­ca­tion is not only aca­d­e­m­ic skills, but the skills need­ed to play a pro­tag­o­nist role in the evo­lu­tion of soci­ety. Rather than work­ing for social­iza­tion to the sta­tus quo, schools can cre­ate pro-active agents of social change.” Now before I shift to quot­ing from the actu­al inten­tions so that par­ents will have it as a guide­book for the future what­ev­er hap­pens to Pro­fes­sor Mar­garet Tuomi’s research, I want to make two more points.

First, the Finns state this is based on the Baha’i Cur­ricu­lum for Glob­al Edu­ca­tion. Like the UN as we saw, the Finns like that the Baha’i do not mere­ly speak of rights, as in the Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights. These guide­lines also speak of oblig­a­tions. Such duties to oth­ers are believed to be impor­tant to drill into each stu­dent at an uncon­scious lev­el that will guide action. Sec­ond­ly, please do not let all this high-mind­ed talk of Equal­i­ty and Suc­cess For All con­ceal the actu­al real­i­ty of what is being attempt­ed here. The cre­ator of Cul­tur­al Marx­ism the­o­ry in the 20s, Anto­nio Gram­sci, did not just come up with an inten­tion to March Through the Insti­tu­tions of Pow­er in the Indi­vid­u­al­is­tic West. He also devel­oped the con­cept of the Inte­gral State that all that march­ing was intend­ed to cre­ate.

Civ­il Soci­ety would not be just an area of activ­i­ty in his vision, exist­ing inde­pen­dent­ly of the State. Gram­sci con­ceived of Civ­il Soci­ety, which would espe­cial­ly include schools and high­er ed, as the ter­rain where the polit­i­cal elite’s world vision would be imposed. Trou­bling­ly the word he used trans­lates as a required con­sen­sus. We encoun­tered the same con­cept of few posts ago as the Rock­e­feller The­o­ry of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion For Social Change. The class­room would become the place where the psy­cho­log­i­cal real­i­ty per­ceived by each stu­dent when they entered the class­room would give way to a Shared Under­stand­ing of Phys­i­cal and Social Real­i­ty.

The five goals of Glob­al Edu­ca­tion then are [ver­ba­tim]:

1. To adopt the val­ues nec­es­sary for the evo­lu­tion of a glob­al human soci­ety. (Ethics)

2. To acquire knowl­edge of mankind’s devel­op­ment, cur­rent state and achieve­ments. (Knowl­edge).

3. To include in the world view a dis­cern­ment as to how mankind has always formed ever greater social sys­tems, and how this process has been encour­aged by man’s nat­ur­al urge to work in coop­er­a­tion. (Under­stand­ing)

4. To see the future of mankind as bright, and to pic­ture in one’s mind how mankind can through coop­er­a­tion reach unprece­dent­ed achieve­ments. (Vision)

5. To learn skills con­cern­ing coop­er­a­tion and the man­age­ment of infor­ma­tion, and become direct­ed towards acquir­ing skills nec­es­sary for the devel­op­ment of mankind. (Skills)

To give some idea of the sort of things the new Com­mon Core assess­ments will actu­al­ly be look­ing for, espe­cial­ly the for­ma­tive assess­ments or assess­ments for learn­ing, let’s look at the list­ed sub­goals under 5. My bold­ing.

5.1 To learn and explore sources of knowl­edge log­i­cal­ly in order to form holis­tic pic­tures and to apply the under­stand­ing thus gained to dif­fer­ent chal­lenges and activ­i­ties; to learn to express clear­ly and log­i­cal­ly one’s con­sid­ered views for the devel­op­ment of human soci­ety.

5.2 To learn the skill of con­sul­ta­tion in which the pur­pose is to pro­mote the com­mon good, not to advance one’s own inter­est; in which the aspi­ra­tion is to achieve a com­mon under­stand­ing; in which one’s view is expressed clear­ly and freely, but polite­ly; and in which all par­tic­i­pants seek to build their opin­ion based pri­mar­i­ly upon knowl­edge and under­stand­ing.

5.3 To learn to con­sid­er those skills and capa­bil­i­ties that are need­ed for the real­iza­tion of mankind’s future in prac­tice when ori­ent­ing for stud­ies and choos­ing pro­fes­sions.

Well I must admit read­ing through all this that I did NOT become a lawyer to help real­ize mankind’s future. Inter­est­ing­ly enough though, hav­ing a sol­id base of unap­proved fac­tu­al knowl­edge and an Axe­mak­er Mind is quite a use­ful tool in accu­rate­ly per­ceiv­ing the like­ly con­se­quences of all this Manip­u­la­tion and Mind Arson. That must be why the polit­i­cal elite and cronies are try­ing to dis­con­tin­ue these use­ful Mind­sets all over the world right now.

Talk­ing about it in the sun­light tru­ly is the only anti­dote. Next time I will con­tin­ue some quot­ing that will make the need for an affir­ma­tive Stu­dent Code of Con­duct quite obvi­ous.

Maybe we should nick­name it the Ful­ton Com­rade Code of Con­duct Nec­es­sary for the Coop­er­a­tive Vision of Our Future. Brought to us by peo­ple lying to our faces about what is real­ly intend­ed.

Some coop­er­a­tion. No denial of self-inter­est by the pub­lic sec­tor here. No won­der these coer­cive com­mon good schemes always lead to klep­toc­ra­cies.