Monitoring and Conditioning our Children
Last week on Glenn Beck’s Friday night show on Common Core, Orlean Koehle, one of the audience attendees and CA Eagle Forum President, held up a government manual with a picture that showed some devices for how the government is planning to monitor our children. I was able to locate that resource and found their reasons for it disturbing.
A few days ago I emailed out an interesting article titled “Student test scores show that ‘grit’ is more important than IQ”? I find it a little coincidental that this government report is titled “Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century.” It was published in February 2013.
If you open up this government document (and I’d save a copy to your computer), and go to page 61 of the pdf (which is page 43 on the bottom of the page). Look at the chart on “observables” they are looking for. This is a fascinating chart that splits out several aspects of conscientiousness.
Scrolling forward a page, you can see 4 methods they plan to use to track these observable behaviors on our children. If you have time, read the few pages before the chart. This is all very disturbing and a massive violation of privacy.
The people who created this document (including people from the Gates Foundation), have the warped idea that children need their ideal set of core knowledge, and the most effective way to get it to those children is through the scientific method of a lab rat. Put the cheese (standardized test scores) over here, see how long it takes them to get to it and how can we experiment and improve the process.
From page 45 of the document, just after these devices are shown, comes this:
Measures of behavioral task performance hold strong promise for deepening the field’s understanding of the interactions among the cognitive and affective processes underlying grit. They are minimally “fakable” (Kyllonen, 2005) and typically do not “cue the intentions” of the teacher or researcher (Shute & Ventura, in press). They do not require participants to have fully developed verbal skills or be able to articulate their own internal processes. Micro-level indicators also have the potential to be seamlessly integrated into a learning environment, and indicators can provide measures of behavior in real time, making it possible to examine and address dynamic changes in student understanding (e.g., how goals and affect change over time in an activity) (U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, 2013; Woolf Et al. , 2009).
These methods are not, however, without their own set of challenges. It is important to recognize the immense effort that goes into interpreting the meaning of student log files, for example, before an intelligent tutor can be designed to “know ” what a student’s behavior means and be able to offer appropriate scaffolds or feedback. The research into the design of these systems involves multiple observations and/or interviews of students interacting with the learning environment, achieving agreement among raters about how to interpret student behaviors and using these findings to design the programs that support student learning (e.g., Baker et al., 2008).
What is the goal of this? If you can track someone’s behavior and learn these things about them, you can condition them in ways that are most effective toward the goals set by those who control the learning environment. They are being manipulated.
I encourage you to read this article by Anita Hoge entitled “MANIPULATING STUDENTS – REWARD AND PUNISHMENT.”
On a much more light note, you could read Orson Scott Card’s awesome book, Ender’s Game, which comes out in movie theaters this November, and deals with manipulation of children by conspiring adults.