Tuesday, 12 May 2015

How and why education became a weapon

From Women on the Wall:

Robin Eubanks discusses her book Credentialed to destroy: How and why education became a weapon. A mother of 3 children and an attorney who worked in health she began to see the same drivers she disapproved of in health care appearing in education. She believes Clinton`s reform known as outcome based education is very much analogous to Common Core. It has changed its sales pitch but it is the same template. There is a continuous trajectory of these ideas such as: values clarification, competency based education, mapping backwards, understanding by design. When people begin to understand the controversial concepts, educators change the name, but the blueprint remains the same.

Basically they begin by looking at the qualities they would like to inculcate in the students, and by backward mapping,  determine what goes on in the classroom. "You teach the concepts that guide the students` perceptions so that it becomes part of their belief system. So instead of facts, it is beliefs tied up with emotions about how the world works, or how they see themselves and others. So that becomes influential in how they behave in the future. It always comes down to behaviour. This is different to a rational understanding about how the world works."

Digital learning is the Trojan horse that will be used to shift the classroom from an academic knowledge based education. It is an attempt to uninvent the printing press, an abstract symbol system that ignited the human mind. "If you use computers as a tool, a visual system, you just make schools vocational."  Robin Eubanks learned from a speaker at a technology conference that the great thing about game based learning is that they get to create the visual images, the virtual reality, that students will come to accept as the physical world. That makes it easy to work on students` perceptions about how the world works; so, for instance, climate change alarm is very easy to generate in this way.

These ideas are based on the Turchenko model, a paper written in the Soviet Union in 1975, translated into English very soon after, and published in the US. It models how the economic system is to work and how digital learning is to tap into that. Only about half of the psychological research into technology and visualisation and how it can change people`s behaviour and values has been translated. Part of UNESCO is still in Moscow.

"This is a coup, an invisible coup  using our schools, all designed to create a planned economy and society."

From a review of Credentialed to destroy: How and why education became a weapon:
"[Vladimir] Turchenko also repeatedly stated that education was seen by the Soviets as their primary means of prevailing over the US in the Cold War... The Soviet Union explicitly saw education, both K-12 and higher ed, `as the most powerful political and ideological weapon.' Instead of education in the traditional sense of acquiring knowledge, the Turchenko / Soviet model by the mid-1970s was `functionally geared to shaping personality.' This Turchenko model for socialist education that was to be the model for other countries to emulate in the future was designed explicitly to assure `mastery of values, skills, and norms of behavior.'"
"The Soviets did know by the mid-1980s they could not continue with the existing form of communism. They, with help from sympathizers in the social and economic planning set in the West who were never going to learn to love free markets and individual choices, came up with a different international template for social, political, and economic control."
"We have been unknowingly granting and funding a level of intrusion in education now that is greater than any tyrannical aspiration we went to war against in the 20th century....Genuine evil is afoot now all over the world and it is gaining hold through our schools and colleges and universities. And the only way to stop it is widespread understanding of why and how."

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