27. Thinking our way into the Post-post-industrial revolution

Chapter 27: There is no (no) evidence that schools teach our children how to think

 

child-thinking 

            Chance favors the prepared mind.
                                      Louis Pasteur

 

THE CAPITALIST FREE MARKET CORRECTIONS ACT (CaFMaC)

*   *   CaFMaC Fixes [almost] Everything   *   *

 

THINKING

Section 91.        (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The crass thought that education exists only as a feeder for corporations is dead. 2) We’re all here to help others and attain knowledge, including knowledge of how to think. 3) A new How To Think course will be implemented in sixteen grade levels at all public schools and colleges in the USA. The details appear below for those few who think they should maybe bother to read them. 4) The corporation-oriented MBA degree will be converted to a Master of Cooperative Business Administration (MCBA) degree. Institutions of higher learning will now teach good business practices in co-ops that operate in a truly competitive economy where no business may serve more than five percent (5%) of any given market in the USA.

 

The Congressional blather version:        The concept of public education as a supplier of so-called “human capital” or “human resources” for commerce, industry and corporations is hereby abolished and good riddance. Under the How To Think curriculum created by this Act, students at every grade level shall be continuously exhorted to understand and value the maxim that learning is an end in itself, the second half of our life mandate to 1) help others and 2) attain knowledge.

 

Upon commencement of the first fall school semester occurring not less than one (1) year after enactment of this legislation there shall be implemented throughout the United States, in all co-ops engaged in teaching and in every other private and public school which receives any form of federal funding be it cash, in-kind, voucher support funding or whatever, a new course entitled How To Think. The course shall be designed and taught appropriately for every grade level from first through twelfth grades in elementary and secondary schools, and in each of the four years at the undergraduate college level.

 

The How to Think curriculum, and its gradations appropriate for the maturity of students at each of the sixteen years, shall be created in draft by an ad hoc task force consisting of representatives of 1) the National Interest Advisory Council, 2) the National Academy of Sciences, and 3) the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. Organized education associations of every manner and description shall be expressly excluded from the task force and from input to the task force. The task force shall be supervised by the National War College pursuant to its mission for formulating grand strategy and its capacity for instigating expeditious action to implement such strategies. With logistic support by the Department of Education, the task force shall obtain review and comment on the draft curriculum from not less than one hundred thousand (100,000) practicing teachers and professors proportionately representing the sixteen(16) grade levels affected, and their comments shall within four (4) months be analyzed, organized and summarized by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.

 

The Department of Education shall then within sixty (60) days publish, print and distribute nationwide the curriculum accompanied by the summary of the review comments. Costs to finalize, print and distribute the How To Think course materials and review summary shall be paid from the existing budget of the U.S. Department of Education by diversion of funds proportionally from all (all) of its existing programs, and with special provision for matching grant incentives for states to likewise proportionally divert funds from all (all) their existing educational programs to pay the costs, if any, of implementing the How To Think courses. Congress hereby acknowledges and laments the near-total absence of evidence, as evidence presently is defined by Congress and by science, that existing educational programs teach students how to think.

 

Beginning immediately upon passage of this Act and effective during the subsequent sixteen (16) years, all (meaning absolutely all) federal funding for education through the twelve (12) grades and first four (4) years of college shall be contingent upon state, local and college/university adoption of federal policies consistently specifying a curriculum which shall consist of: 1) required courses in the physical and biological sciences which teach state-of-the-art understanding of the evolving universe we live in, the evolving processes of the Earth we live on and the origin of other species with which we share it; 2) required courses in the participative arts including multiple options in dance, drama, painting, sculpture and music, provided that marching band for sports events shall not qualify as music; and 3) courses progressing from practical arithmetic, required in grades 1-10, through the higher maths as elective options for those students in grades 6-12 who display clear mathematical aptitude, at each level of progression, sufficient for further progression into college-level math courses.

 

In addition, 4) required humanities-oriented courses, suitably tailored for each grade level, shall promote understanding of and proactive ethical engagement with the societies wherein we act and the individual humans with whom we interact, including but not limited to language(s) and communication including how to listen; psychology; anthropology; prehistory; world history; history of western civilizations; history of eastern civilizations; European history 3000 BCE–1800 CE; history of science; history of the industrial revolution; history of slavery and civil rights; history of women’s rights; history of minority discrimination and evolving rights; history of corporation origins, abuses and extinction and the significance thereof; history of all world religions and comparative analysis of their countless evolved subsets; history of Galapagos finches; species differences in teaching, learning and playing; Civics; and how to state and write or type with clarity one’s own thoughts and, empathically, the imagined thoughts of others.

 

The How To Think course shall further include comprehensive examination of scientific method in all its aspects, the various meanings of “evidence” including non-material evidence, examination and comparison of evidence-based opinions and spurious opinions, and the origins of mindsets, both open and closed, with particular examination of how mindsets become closed in the fields of economics, politics, nationalism, religion, and within science itself.

 

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is hereby renamed the Master of Cooperative Business Administration (MCBA) degree. All institutions of higher learning shall within one year revamp this curriculum to teach good business practices in co-ops operating within a highly competitive economy where at least twenty (20), and commonly more than twenty, competing co-ops each serve up to as much as five percent (5%) of particular market niches to meet the demand/needs of United States citizens.

 

Section 92.        (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) Every school from middle school through university will dedicate ninety percent of money it makes from sports events to help pay the costs of the How To think curriculum. 2) Schools may lower this to seventy percent if they add a Supplemental Ethics Curriculum to the How To Think curriculum.

 

The Congressional blather version:        Effective upon enactment of this legislation, and as a condition of receiving a penny of federal funds, ninety percent (90%) of all monies generated by competitive sports at the middle school, high school and college levels shall be earmarked to the costs of maintaining and presenting the How To Think curriculum. The required diversion of funds may be lowered to seventy percent (70%), with federal funds providing the difference, subject to grantee commitment to further include in grades 1-12 a federally-defined Supplemental Ethics Curriculum (SEC) in which students will learn and annually re-learn, in progressive depth at each grade level, the concepts of: Stewardship; cooperative competition; empathy; the nature of Nature including human beings as one among the infinite aspects of Nature; social groupings; intrinsic worth of the individual; individual responsibility to one’s group and community; adequacy in material possessions; the causes of Potterville; the causes of corporation fast-food strips on the roadway approaches to all American cities; the protective and proactive Purposes of Government; the differences between and perennial interface of economics with politics; the historical reasons for separation of governance from religious beliefs grown multitudinous since the Reformation; the Scopes trial and Kitzmiller versus Dover Area School District; who the Pharisees were; the golden rule; and the foundational maxim to 1) help others and 2) attain knowledge.

 

The judge could have enjoined the teaching of intelligent design in Dover’s schools, assigned responsibility for legal fees, and headed for the golf course. Instead, he wrote an opinion that defined intelligent design as creationism masquerading as science, and upheld the teaching of evolution in public schools. He criticized the “breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision” and observed that it was “ironic that several of these individuals who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID policy.”
Lou Dubose (in The Washington Spectator)

 

Students shall be further taught that knowledge and understanding are the measure of human consciousness, that a deficiency of knowledgeable understanding signifies low-level consciousness which is poorly aware of and cannot meaningfully participate in its own environment, and that the fullest possible measure of conscious participation in one’s life is the reason for attaining knowledge and the understanding arising from it.

 

As a rule, however, the individual is so unconscious that he altogether fails to see his own potentialities for decision. Instead he is constantly and anxiously looking around for external rules and regulations which can guide him in his perplexity. Aside from general human inadequacy, a good deal of the blame for this rests with education… What is more, nobody ever questions the value of this kind of teaching.
Carl G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

 

Section 93.        (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)

Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) Think About Education Day is hereby established across the USA. 2) One thought to be thought about on Think About Education Day is the impossibility of formulating rational educational policy in American schools that must respond to policy mandates and funding-based policy mandates from three different levels of government – local, state and national – which all have differing policy agendas of their own. 3) There’s real money attached to this (fifty million dollars) so you might want to scan the details. 4) The educational provisions in Sections 91, 92 and 93 of this CaFMaC Act are intended to confront and reverse the regrettable dumbing of America so fully underway here in the twenty-first century.

 

The Congressional blather version:        Effective upon enactment of this legislation there is established National Think About Education Day, to be celebrated with major advance publicity once annually, inviting all U.S. citizens to think about the guiding policies whereby children, hereby recognized as the future citizens and leaders of the United States, are educated.

 

These deliberations shall give focused thoughtful attention to the existing self-evident conundrum that: 1) local educational policies governing children’s education are decided ad hoc by whomever gets elected to local school boards in thousands of local jurisdictions throughout the United States, each with little or no reference to the thousands of other local school boards’ policies; 2) that state-level educational policies governing children’s education are decided ad hoc by whomever gets elected to the fifty respective governors’ offices and appointed to the respective state-level departments of education, with little or no reference to the thousands of differing and conflicting local educational policies, or to the fifty other states’ policies, or to national educational policies; 3) that national-level educational policies governing children’s education are decided ad hoc by whomever gets elected to the presidency and the Congress, and coincidentally appointed to the federal Department of Education, with little or no reference to differing and conflicting policies for educating children in the fifty states or the in the thousands of local school districts throughout the United States; and 4) the fact that all of these local, state and national ad hoc policies are subject to fortuitous change, and often do in fact change, every four years, or with every election, or in between, to the clear and present detriment of every American child’s prospect of learning how to think.

 

On each National Think About Education Day the members of Congress shall set aside the entire day to conduct no other business whatsoever, other than declaration of war, and shall dedicate a full eight (8) hours to the business of listening to, and engaging in thoughtful dialogue with, constituents from the respective states and local jurisdictions on the subject of how to reconcile, coordinate and resolve the competing and conflicting thousands of local, state and national philosophies of education which are so severely distracting the children of the United States from their birthright of intelligent objective learning and thinking. There is hereby set aside, in each of the sixteen years following enactment of this legislation, the sum of fifty (50) million dollars within each year’s U.S. Education budget to be held in a trust fund until the first graduates of sixteen (16) years of How To Think classes begin to graduate, and each year’s graduates, respectively, engage their right, established by this Act, to spend up to one-sixteenth (1/16th) of the trust fund, in each succeeding year for a total sixteen (16) years, for the purpose of improving educational curricula across the United States and mitigating their intrinsic fracturing among the divergent hodgepodge of federal, state and local education policies.

 

With these three measures it is the intent of Congress to acknowledge that acquisition of knowledge, despite all appearances, is losing ground relative to the spread of irrational ideology-based beliefs and superstitions – religious, political and economic –and that it doesn’t matter how intelligent or creative we strive to be if the type of content we put into our childrens’ minds degrades their native genius for effectively addressing complex problems which threaten the future of our very civilization, such as beyond-control global warming, extreme terrorist savagery and American political intransigence.

 

Congress herewith and for the record regrets that less than one in one hundred Americans, and perhaps less than one in ten thousand, ever encounters the best books, the best articles, the best thinking of those social critics whose thoughts address the surpassingly important issues of our times, that still fewer citizens even know such books and thoughts exist, and fewer yet would bother to read them if they knew. We of the Congress hereby acknowledge and declare that the root of our declining civic awareness and personal civic responsibility is grounded in deficient, uncoordinated and self-contradictory curricula at every educational level from kindergarten through the college undergraduate level. The introductory elementary tier, therefore, is where our teaching of basic economics, civics and ethics shall begin, and the task of educational change before us shall be approached as the greatest American revolution since the Civil War.

 

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