Within the Skinnerian system there are no ethical controls; there is no boundary limit to what can be done by the elite in whose hands control resides.
The technology for controlling others exists and it will be used, given the persistence of power-seeking motives. Furthermore, we will need to use it, since the necessary social changes cannot come about if the affected people do not understand and desire them…. How do we educate “run-of-the-mill” citizens for membership in a democratic society?… How do we teach people to understand their relationship to long range planning?… And how do we teach people to be comfortable with the process of change? Should we educate for this? We shall probably have to. But how?…
The need for educating to embrace change is not limited to youngsters…. Education for tomorrow’s world will involve more than programming students by a computer; it will equally involve the ways in which we program… parents to respond to the education… children get for this kind of world. To the extent we succeed with the youngsters but not with the parents, we will have… a very serious consequence: an increasing separation of the young from their parents…. It will have psychological repercussions, probably producing in the children both guilt and hostility (arising from their rejection of their parents’ views and
values in lifestyles).
–THE COMPUTER IN AMERICAN EDUCATION (John Wiley & Sons: New York, 1967)
Your best defense is illiteracy.
Frederick T. Gates, “A Vision of the Remedy,” The Country School of Tomorrow: Occasional Papers No. 1 (General Education Board: New York, 1913)
Is there aught of remedy for this neglect of rural life? Let us, at least, yield ourselves to the gratifications of a beautiful dream that there is. In our dream, we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or of science.We are not to raise up from among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians. Nor will we cherish even the humbler ambition to raise up from among them lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we now have ample supply.
If education is beaten by training, civilization dies.
Gregory Dunn–The first reason we study the liberal arts has to do with freedom. That freedom is an integral part of the liberal arts is borne out of Lewis’s observation that “liberal comes of course from the Latin, liber, and means free.” Such an education makes one free, according to Lewis, because it transforms the pupil from “an unregenerate little bundle of appetites” into “the good man and the good citizen.” We act most human when we are reasonable, both in thought and deed. Animals, on the other hand, act wholly out of appetite. When hungry, they eat; when tired, they rest. Man is different. Rather than follow our appetites blindly we can be deliberate about what we do and when we do it. The ability to rule ourselves frees us from the tyranny of our appetites, and the liberal arts disciplines this self-rule. In other words, this sort of education teaches us to be most fully human and thereby, to fulfill our human duties, both public and private.
Lewis contrasts liberal arts education with what he calls “vocational training,” the sort that prepares one for employment. Such training, he writes, “aims at making not a good man but a good banker, a good electrician… or a good surgeon.” Lewis does admit the importance of such training—for we cannot do without bankers and electricians and surgeons—but the danger, as he sees it, is the pursuit of training at the expense of education. “If education is beaten by training, civilization dies,” he writes, for the “lesson of history” is that “civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost.” It is the liberal arts, not vocational training, that preserves civilization by producing reasonable men and responsible citizens….
A third reason we study the liberal arts is because it is simply our nature and duty. Man has a natural thirst for knowledge of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, and men and women of the past have made great sacrifices to pursue it in spite of the fact that, as Lewis puts it, “human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice.” In his words, “they propound mathematical theorems in beleaguered cities, conduct metaphysical arguments in condemned cells, make jokes on scaffolds.” So, finding in the soul an appetite for such things, and knowing no appetite is made by God in vain, Lewis concludes that the pursuit of the liberal arts is pleasing to God and is possibly, for some, a God-given vocation…. Truly, we ignore the liberal arts only at our peril. Without them we will find ourselves increasingly unable to preserve a civilized society, to escape from the errors and prejudices of our day, and to struggle in the arena of ideas to the glory of God.
On Principle from the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs (April 1999, Vol. VII, No. 2).
Dr. Ziegler turned to me and said, “Nelson, wake up! That is what we want… a math that the pupils cannot apply to life situations when they get out of school!”
“Young Parents Alert” (Lake Elmo, Minnesota), July 1979–I know from personal experience what I am talking about. In December 1928, I was asked to talk to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. On December 27th, naïve and inexperienced, I agreed. I had done some special work in teaching functional physics in high school. That was to be my topic. The next day, the 28th, a Dr. Ziegler asked me if I would attend a special educational meeting in his room after the AAAS meeting. We met from 10 o’clock [p.m.] until after 2:30 a.m. We were 13 at the meeting. Two things caused Dr. Ziegler, who was Chairman of the Educational Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, to ask me to attend my talk on the teaching of functional physics in high school, and the fact that I was a member of a group known as the Progressive Educators of America, which was nothing but a Communist front. I thought the word “progressive” meant progress for better schools. Eleven of those attending the meeting were leaders in education. Drs. John Dewey and Edward Thorndike, from Columbia University, were there, and the others were of equal rank. I checked later and found that ALL were paid members of the Communist Party of Russia. I was classified as a member of the Party, but I did not know it at the time. The sole work of the group was to destroy our schools! We spent one hour and forty-five minutes discussing the so-called “Modern Math.” At one point I objected because there was too much memory work, and math is reasoning; not memory. Dr. Ziegler turned to me and said, “Nelson, wake up! That is what we want… a math that the pupils cannot apply to life situations when they get out of school!” That math was not introduced until much later, as those present thought it was too radical a change. A milder course by Dr. Breckner was substituted but it was also worthless, as far as understanding math was concerned. The radical change was introduced in 1952. It was the one we are using now. So, if pupils come out of high school now, not knowing any math, don’t blame them. The results are supposed to be worthless
Brief Description of the Course
Questions concerning freedom and coercion have played a fundamental role in the development of our society; the rapid flow of technological advances that we are experiencing often overtakes society’s ability to consider their implications in depth. Freedom and personal identity are being challenged on numerous fronts, and it is crucial that these issues be explored in a time when one’s perception of self identity may be bought, sold and manipulated in numerous ways. Cognitive Liberty may be defined as “the right of each individual to think independently, to use the full spectrum of his or her mind, and to engage in multiple modes of thought,” and is the basis of the rights conferred by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The course engages students in an engaging investigation of the ethics and implications of current social trends and practices affecting freedom of thought and mental autonomy, and covers topics including philosophy, technology, law, drugs, media, surveillance and academic freedom. [LINK]
You can generate attitude change by writing.
EDUCATION DAILY, APRIL 5, 1985–Researchers attending the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association here said writing can be used to clarify students’ values and even alter their views on controversial subjects. But teachers can also use writing to manipulate a student’s viewpoint and attitude on controversial issues, said a researcher who has studied how writing changes attitudes. “You can generate attitude change by writing,” said John Daly of the University of Texas. Daly said his research showed that writing an essay about an issue helps students clarify their own views. But when asked to write an essay arguing a position opposing their values, the students are lead to change their minds….
…And the greater the effort a student puts into a writing assignment, the greater the change in attitude, Daly concluded.
Daly’s finding disturbed some educators, who said they were concerned that teachers have the power to alter students’ values. “It can be dangerous when we know that educators have the power to influence kids’ minds,” said Barbara Mitchell of the University of Pennsylvania.
Brainwashing is an instructional strategy and educational philosophy. Brainwashing maintains that students must achieve a level of brainwashing (i.e. 90% on a brainwashing evaluation test) in prerequisite thought-reform before moving forward to digest subsequent information. If a student does not demonstrate a satisfactory level of brainwashing on the test, they are given additional support in thought-reform, then tested again. This cycle will continue until the student is fully brainwashed.
In matters affecting privacy it is better to err on the side of the individual, than on that of research or improved educational practice. Violations of privacy can never be fully redressed.