Common Core’s UNESCO Roots

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Charlotte Thomson IserbytMICROSOFT & UNESCO

Socialist/international edu­ca­tion his­to­ry is repeat­ing itself for the umpteenth time with UNESCO and Microsoft in 2004 extend­ing their non-aca­d­e­mic/­col­lec­tivist womb-to-tomb ten­ta­cles into teacher edu­ca­tion in the Asia Pacif­ic region. Here is an excerpt from the UNESCO web­page you see above:

Project « Next Gen­er­a­tion of Teach­ers »

The first oper­a­tional ini­tia­tive was under­tak­en to pre­pare the next gen­er­a­tion of teach­ers in Asia pacif­ic region. It judi­cious­ly used the tech­nolo­gies for teach­ing and learn­ing. More specif­i­cal­ly, the pro­gramme devel­oped a pack­age for Teacher Edu­ca­tion Insti­tu­tions (TEI). Spe­cif­ic meth­ods helped assess and meet the needs in terms of tech­nol­o­gy inte­gra­tion. Mate­ri­als such as assess­ment tool, cur­ricu­lum frame­works, start-up kit, and train­ing mod­ules were devel­oped. A net­work of TEI was cre­at­ed to doc­u­ment and con­sol­i­date lessons learned to be used as feed­back for pol­i­cy­mak­ing and rec­om­men­da­tions.

edtechUNESCO’S involve­ment in the for­mer East­ern Euro­pean com­mu­nist coun­tries took place in 1977. The only dif­fer­ence between then and now was the lack of sophis­ti­cat­ed com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy sys­tems on an inter­na­tion­al scale. Enter bil­lion­aire Bill Gates on the scene in the 1990s.

Remem­ber: Amer­i­can edu­ca­tion is under the direc­tion of UNESCO due to our mem­ber­ship in the Unit­ed Nations. In Novem­ber of 1977, UNESCO pub­lished and dis­trib­uted a doc­u­ment titled DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE STUDIES: Divi­sion of Struc­tures, Con­tent, Meth­ods and Tech­niques of Edu­ca­tion.

Below are some excerpts from the “Sec­tion on Meth­ods, Mate­ri­als and Tech­niques” so that the read­er will see how Com­mon Core is iden­ti­cal to edu­ca­tion in the for­mer East­ern Euro­pean com­mu­nist coun­tries.

The devel­op­ment of edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy in the Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean coun­tries, as com­mis­sioned by the UNESCO Sec­re­tari­at, is sum­marised on the basis of the oral and writ­ten infor­ma­tion sup­plied by the coun­tries hav­ing attend­ed the Budapest Inter­na­tion­al Sem­i­nar on Edu­ca­tion­al Tech­nol­o­gy in 1976. The coun­tries involved are as fol­lows: People’s Repub­lic of Bul­gar­ia, Social­ist Repub­lic of Czecho­slo­va­kia, Repub­lic of Fin­land, Repub­lic of Greece, Social­ist Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Yugoslavia, People’s Repub­lic of Poland, People’s Repub­lic of Hun­gary, Ger­man Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic, Union of Sovi­et Social­ist Republics. Data were also sup­plied by the Social­ist Repub­lic of Ruma­nia which could not par­tic­i­pate in the Sem­i­nar.

The fac­tors exer­cis­ing a deci­sive influ­ence on the present stan­dards of the appli­ca­tion of edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy and the strate­gies and rate of its fur­ther spread in the coun­tries list­ed above are as fol­lows:

a. the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of the coun­tries rep­re­sent­ed (8 out of 10) are social­ist states;
b. except for the Sovi­et Union and Fin­land, the nations con­cerned can be clas­si­fied into the cat­e­go­ry of fair­ly devel­oped coun­tries from the tech­no­log­i­cal point of view.

Clone armyOn the basis of the above fac­tors some of the spe­cif­ic char­ac­ter­is­tics of the devel­op­ment of edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy will be under­lined. It fol­lows from the essence of the social­ist struc­ture of the state in the coun­tries con­cerned, except Fin­land and Greece, that their edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem is cen­tral­ized. This cre­ates an extreme­ly favourable sit­u­a­tion for cen­tral state mea­sures designed to mod­ern­ize edu­ca­tion. The social­ist state pos­sess­es the means nec­es­sary for edu­ca­tion… for the wide­spread use of method­ol­o­gy based on sol­id tech­no­log­i­cal foun­da­tions and of the media and means of edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy.… In a sit­u­a­tion in which mil­lions of stu­dents learn and hun­dreds of thou­sands of edu­ca­tion­al­ists teach, on the basis of uni­fied cur­ric­u­la, deci­sions involv­ing the devel­op­ment of the method to be adopt­ed in edu­ca­tion and of the media and aids of edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy call for very thor­ough prepara­to­ry work.…

The social­ist coun­tries also have a sub­stan­tial advan­tage from the aspect of the devel­op­ment of edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy because the train­ing and in-ser­vice train­ing of teach­ers rest on a uni­form basis. In addi­tion, cur­ric­u­la are uni­form in the indi­vid­ual coun­tries and for the dif­fer­ent types of schools har­mo­ny between the cur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties and the devel­op­ment of edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy can be there­fore estab­lished com­par­a­tive­ly eas­i­ly. [all empha­sis added]

A flow chart on page 11 of the UNESCO study includes under “Fac­tors Influ­enc­ing the Intro­duc­tion of Edu­ca­tion­al Tech­nol­o­gy” all the com­po­nents cur­rent­ly found in Amer­i­can Com­mon Core edu­ca­tion­al restruc­tur­ing :

  • Ade­quate Cur­ric­u­la;
  • Sys­tem of Objec­tives;
  • Sys­tems of Means of Assess­ment;
  • Media Sys­tem;
  • Ensur­ing Appro­pri­ate Facil­i­ties (school build­ing, hard­ware, media);
  • Ade­quate­ly Trained Teach­ers (basic train­ing, in-ser­vice/­fur­ther training/information);
  • Research and Devel­op­ment; and
  • Inter­na­tion­al Coop­er­a­tion.

Sound famil­iar? Read more from my post on Mon­day, Novem­ber 3, 2014, “Com­mon Core on a Glob­al Scale” Wel­come to the GLOBAL COMMONS!

1. Unit­ed Nations Edu­ca­tion­al, Sci­en­tif­ic, and Cul­tur­al Orga­ni­za­tion (UNESCO: Paris: ED–77/WS/ 133:English Edi­tion). See pages 147–148 in my book the delib­er­ate dumb­ing down of amer­i­ca for more infor­ma­tion on this his­to­ry.