I'll be speaking on Social Emotional Learning this Saturday morning, January 8th, from 9:30 to 11a.m. - if you're in the area, I hope to see you there.
I'll be speaking on Social Emotional Learning this Saturday morning, January 8th, from 9:30 to 11a.m. - if you're in the area, I hope to see you there.
Unfortunately, as detailed in the previous four posts (here, here, here, and here), the proponents of SEL use that face value as cover for doing whatever they feel like doing - SEL claims to be based upon science, yet it repeatedly ignores any science that conflicts with its claims; where CASEL declares that their new 'CASEL 5 Competencies’ innovatively enhances child development, the only thing new it brings to the table is an image of Character with all regard for truth, ethics, and morality, sucked out of it; as for SEL being "an integral part of education and human development", as we've seen over the previous posts, it's far more integral to a system of replacing educational content with grade level expectations for social and political activism which begin at kindergarten. In recapping some of those key points in this final post, we'll see how deeply rooted they are in issues plaguing us today, and how important it is to pull them out by those roots.
- …kids are coming into school with poor social skills – ‘so we must teach the whole child’
|Getting the point|
'CRT is a law school class that's taught in college, not middle school!', which is itself a purely semantic deception. Once upon a time an aspiring teacher once studied rhetoric and logic in college so that no matter what subject they went on to teach, from math to art, they would teach it in a logical manner that emphasized the importance of being reasonable and methodical in thought and action, without ever teaching any college level classes in rhetoric or logic. By the same token, when the aspiring teachers of today study the many variations of CRT in Teachers Colleges, it is so that every subject they go on to teach your children will be infused with how to view everything through the lens of race and power, and how to manipulate society through social justice activism. The 'CRT is a college law course!' evasion, is a feeble attempt to distract, deceive and disarm you, and it speaks volumes about what they think of you, that they employ it. Not only is the claim worthless, but even a brief examination of the facts behind their narrative, will destroy it by revealing what their narrative depends upon remaining hidden.
|CRT: From Art to Math|
'I don't know that it [CRT] does apply to the classroom...'NPR of course was fully aware that Gloria Ladsen-Billings was the author of 'Toward a Critical Race Theory of Education', which she explicitly wrote in order to inject CRT into the common pedagogy that teachers are taught to use in forming all of the lessons that they'll one day be teaching their students, and yet they allow her to evade the nature of it, with,
"...But from an educational policy standpoint, it applies to things like suspension rates, assignment to special education, testing and assessment, curricular access - you know, who gets into honors and AP, who doesn't..."How it is applied to 'access', and why someone 'gets into honors and AP, who doesn't' based upon 'the lens of race and power', is allowed to be brushed off as an unimportant technicality. Neither did NPR mention that Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, and 'Culturally Relative Pedagogy', which are two of the most popular classes in Teachers Colleges, were largely derived from Ladsen-Billings' theories. IOW: They are teaching Critical Race Theory to those who are learning how to teach, in order to teach the ideas of Critical Race Theory in everything that teachers will go on to teach... they would just rather that you didn't learn that, so that they can dismiss your concerns with the "CRT is a college level class!".
"...SEL at its worst is about emotionally engineering humans. It's about imposing someone else's values on a vulnerable human being, essentially stripping that human of their autonomy and will. And worse, from re-education camps to certain cults, we know that it can be done. Because the power and wealth attached to such a massive endeavor are so great, the entire business is guaranteed to be warped and twisted by those who stand to profit. At its worst, we are talking about crafting human beings to order and harvesting both them and their data in the service of those with power. We are talking about pushing them to be the people that someone else thinks they should be. This is not just bad policy, inappropriate pedagogy, or culturally toxic-- this is evil."Reach past the stem to pull the weeds out by its roots
#1 above is less an insult to Marx, than a warning to us: that banning Marx leaves the ideas and the thinkers that he swiped those ideas from, like Hegel, Kant, Babeuf, deTracy, and Rousseau, free to be taught without even the (hopefully) negative association with Marx, to be presented as bright lights of the Enlightenment, despite many having worked to put out whatever light the period actually had.
- Marx himself was a remarkably unoriginal thinker, whose true talent lay in repackaging other people's ideas into a more rhetorically effective and marketable form.
- If CRT is being taught to students in school, without their actually teaching a subject called CRT... how is banning CRT going to remove it from classrooms?
That last one, Jean Jacque Rousseau, had a talent for turning a pretty phrase, as with the one quote of his which is in everyone's Social Studies books, right next to his smiling face, is the opening line of his 'The Social Contract'
- Education should just concentrate on 'the facts' and prepare students for the workforce! - This notion comes from one of our misguided Founders', Noah Webster, the dictionary guy, who wanted to upend the form of education which had produced our Founders generation - including himself - by replacing the gems of Western Civilization - Cicero, Aristotle, Homer - with 'brief essays of fact' in the form of textbooks that key facts could be memorized from (without understanding), and tested to show they 'know the facts', and so speed those students into the workforce to 'get a good job and get a good life!'.
- Lets focus on teaching kids the STEM skills they need to know to get ahead in life! - this is drawing on Jeremy Bentham's Utilitarianism (as was Noah Webster), believing that it was better to focus on teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills that would be more useful for the 'greater good'. If that seems like a 'good idea', it's due to ignorance of the fact that STEM followed, rather than preceded, that 'other' knowledge being sidelined.
1 - try defining 'good' on the basis of skills alone (spoiler alert: You can't)
2 - imagine a generation or two loaded with STEM skills and little or no understanding of the roots those stems grew from
Hint: Jeremy Bentham derided the individual rights which our constituiton preserves, as being 'nonsense upon stilts', and such useful thinking has led us to college graduates who complain that logic and math are signs of 'whiteness'. Following that line of thought is going to take us over the edge.
- We need to improve our test scores! - Comes from folks like Elwood P. Cubberly, who was a key designer of our industrial school production plants, and consolidated school district designs, also had a hand in 'IQ Testing', in order to impose a standardized mediocrity, and Cubberly was so encouraged with the progress his plans had already made by 1909, that he enthusiastically wrote that 'Each year the child is coming to belong more and more to the state, and less and less to the parent.'.
- The heck with history and literature, teach kids 'how to think, not what to think!' - This is channeling the pro-regressive 'Progressive Education' of John Dewey and the misosophy of Pragmatism (which he co-founded), which ridicules the notion of Principles and principled thinking, asserts that truth is nothing more than what seems to work at the moment, and ignores content in favor of outcomes, attitudes, and social and emotional well-being (notice a whiff of SEL there?). But sound thinking does not follow from flowchart skills, but from careful consideration of quality content:
Q: What sort of thoughts do you suppose a student will think, without the content and understanding of it, to form their thoughts from?
A: Whatever 'thoughts' seem to please the teacher the most.
Not surprisingly, Mussolini and his mentors who ghost wrote his ideology of Fascism, were big fans of our '(anti-)American Philosophy' of Pragmatism.
- We need to stop worrying about 'Culture War' issues and work more on bringing all sides together! This has roots in the outcome based education of Benjamin Bloom (which SEL was spawned from), and his 'Taxonomy of Educational Objectives“, which 70 years of teachers have been trained to teach from, which teaches that students can only engage in 'Critical Thinking' after "...a student attains 'higher order thinking' when he no longer believes in right or wrong", and having 'achieved' that, the amoral bartering of conflict resolution can be engaged in, trading 'an eye for an eye' for a 'a sin for a sin', which to put it bluntly, would have no problem with "In order to get along, I'll overlook your child molestation if you'll overlook my graft & corruption"
- Just 'let kids be kids' and they'll educate themselves! - This goes straight back to the root of the matter with Jean Jacque Rousseau, and his 'child centered' notions of educating the 'noble savage'. Where 'letting kids be kids' leads to, time and time again, is an absence of Education (what do you mean by that word?) and an abundance of unreasonable desires, which lead right to where we are today.
"Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains"., and for that, he's still trumpeted as a champion of 'natural rights', which pointedly requires overlooking the fact that just a few lines below that pretty phrase, he says something much uglier:
"...whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body. This means nothing less than that he will be forced to be free..."The meaning of his words should have raised more eyebrows than only Voltaire's, who, almost alone saw the dangers inherent in it rather quickly. When Rousseau sent him a copy of his 'The Social Contract', Voltaire replied to him:
"I have received your new book against the human race, and thank you for it. Never was such cleverness used in the design of making us all stupid. One longs, in reading your book, to walk on all fours. But as I have lost that habit for more than sixty years, I feel unhappily the impossibility of resuming it....", but few others saw the darkness in Rousseau's thoughts, possibly because few actually gave much thought to what they were reading, or they didn't read beyond the pretty words that seemed to support what they themselves wanted to read into them (looking at you, Thomas's Paine & Jefferson). The fact is that decades before Marx, Rousseau had declared Western Civilization to be an error, private property to be an evil, marriage and family to be a condemnable folly, emotionally passionate ('authentic') desires over methodical reason, and that the human being is a soulless machine mechanically reacting to environmental conditions. His supposed championing of 'Natural Rights!' was the origin of the fascist ideal of a will to power, where experts force entire populations into lockstep agreement with them, for the greater good.
"...Coupled with the concept of inclusion, this aspect of fraternity results in harsh penalties against those who hold positions of trust and yet abuse that trust. Justice, equity, fairness, and trust operate simultaneously to guarantee the smooth functioning of a community in a way that is in accordance with the community's conscience....", which is not only playing the same tune of SEL's DEI, but is playing it to the same beat of Rousseau's 'Force them to be free!'.
"...My thoughts were incessantly occupied with girls and women, but in a manner peculiar to myself. These ideas kept my senses in a perpetual and disagreeable activity.... My agitation rose to the point where, unable to satisfy my desires, I inflamed them with the most extravagant maneuvers. I went about seeking dark alleys, hidden retreats, where I might expose myself at a distance to persons of the [other] sex in the state wherein I would have wished to be near them. That which they saw was not the obscene object- I did not dream of that; it was the ridiculous object [the buttocks]. The foolish pleasure which I had in displaying it before their eyes cannot be described. From this there was but a step to the desired treatment [whipping]..."The nature of his 'confession', is what many parents are discovering is not thought out of place in a modern school library, perhaps due in part to the nature of the man whose ideas can be found behind nearly every 'development' in modern educational theory.
"Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity." - George Orwell, 1984Once that's achieved, the 'thought police' will have become privatized.
These are signs that intellectual toxic waste have been buried deep within your community. Again, Equity, is not about Equality, it’s about using Power to force everything in our lives to conform to what is *Woke* enough. Inclusion doesn’t mean “Welcoming”, it means imposing ‘authentic’ restrictions upon language & action and seeing ‘language as violence’, and excuses actual violence for wrong-think (think: 'Punch a Nazi’). Diversity is not about bringing unity to a diverse people, but bitterly dividing them over their outward appearances, to the benefit of the *Woke*.
- Do you have a DEI officer - at school or in your business?
- Does your child talk of taking surveys? Are surveys coming home?
- Does your school organize students’ activities around group projects and actions?
- Is there talk of Systemic Racism & antiracism?
- Does your Governor recognize and guard against it or welcome it? (Not if you live in Missouri.)
“If we present a man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity, and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone.If he is as correct as I think he is... you should consider what that means for yourselves and for your children, and if it isn't yet clear to you, that means that their intention is to demoralize your children, and if you take that as seriously as you should, that means that their intention is to destroy your children.
I became acquainted with the last stage of that corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment – or, as the Nazi like to say, of ‘Blood and Soil.’ I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.”
|I get the good intentions of those proposing it,|
but I question the ability and motives of
those who will someday be enforcing it
"Oh, we've already passed laws protecting your rights, and this new issue that you've brought up, as you can clearly see, is not one of them.", or:
"Yes, we did pass a law protecting your right to do [insert unforeseen situation here], but this issue that you've brought up today, as you can clearly see in the record of the debates over this law, were never mentioned as an issue it would apply to, and so, sorry, no... please submit, and have a nice day.", and in either case you can rest assured that for those with power and influence, loopholes would soon abound.
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.", and to the powers of the states through the Tenth Amendment:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."But... as brilliant an innovation as the 9th & 10th amendments were, their thinking, and the Americans who voted to ratify them, are nearly lost even amongst 'Constitutional Conservatives' today, who've been known to refer to them as having no more substance than "inkblots on the Constitution", even conservative stalwarts like Judge Bork, as I noted a few years ago,
"... the same Judge Bork who famously referred to the 9th Amendment as having no more meaning than 'an inkblot on the Constitution'. Let's be clear: what that doesn't tell you about Judge Bork, is that he was a Leftist - he certainly was not, and it certainly doesn't tell us that he meant to betray the Constitution - I've no doubt that he'd rather have cut his right hand off. But what that should tell you, and me, and Hammer, about Judge Bork, is that he didn't understand the essential concepts that drove the Founders to formulate and ratify the 9th Amendment, which should tell us that that understanding was not present in his judicial judgment - unless of course, you think that those of the Founders' era who wrote and ratified the 9th Amendment, intended it as a means of splattering the Constitution with meaningless inkblots!..."Keeping in mind that James Madison feared such shenanigans in our Founders time, I'm in no way confident that either our politicians, or ourselves (and Justice Thomas is the only one on the SCOTUS today that I wouldn't be concerned about... and maybe Gorsuch (in most situations)... possibly Alito too, but much less so, and none of the others, Left or Right), can be trusted to not be hoodwinked by such measures today.
Why risk potentially limiting what actions that Parents can take by saying that they have a right to, for instance, demand to see curriculum (and does that mean only textbooks explicitly referred to in curriculum frameworks? And which kind of frameworks? What about teacher's worksheets?...Websites referred to...?), instead of stating something like:
- Why are these bills attempting to define what parents can do, rather than targeting what schools are forbidden to do (and should be penalized for)?
"No school shall deny a parent [or tax payer] the ability to freely examine any materials presented or recommended to students - failure to comply will result in $___ fine on the first instance, and loss of [some valued feature] on repeated offences", and so on. For myself, I'd much rather bind our schools down with a strict Bill Of Wrongs (backed with significant penalties), than to risk restricting everyone else's actions, with a 'Parents Bill Of Rights' that might unintentionally go wrong at some point in the future.