Methodology for Academic Failure (Part II)
by Carl Parnell
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Many states have developed affective, non-objective OBE programs. Pennsylvania, Washington State, and Oklahoma have written many such immeasurable objectives:
1. Pennsylvania: “All students develop interpersonal communication, decision- making, coping, and evaluation skills and apply them to personal, family, and community living.” (1) How does that prepare a student for taking the SAT exam?
2. Washington State: “Students are to ‘communicate effectively and responsibly in a variety of ways and settings.” (1) What does “effectively” and “responsibly” mean?
3. Oklahoma: “The longstanding preoccupation with computation and emphasis on rote activities must change to a focus on fostering mathematical insight, reasoning, and problem solving both individually and in collaborative groups.” (1) Why don’t students have to learn the multiplication tables?
Why are so many people voicing great concern over state-controlled outcome-based education programs? First, the terminology is unclear. Words like “outcomes,” “standards,” and “goals” are synonymous words. Second, the different types of results to be assessed are confusing, too. What kind of outcomes do educators and administrators want to assess? Content outcomes deals with student knowledge in a specific subject area. Student performance outcomes deal with the level of mastery required and how to demonstrate any knowledge and skills. School performance standards describe how schools ensure that their students meet the content and/or performance outcomes. Finally, some states and districts either require or suggest OBE outcomes. Also, some states provide the outcomes or permit the local districts to develop their own. (2)
Obviously, it would be extremely easy to become unclear what is expected from the state department of education. Therefore, state governments should not mandate their humanistic educational goals to local school districts. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a former political prisoner in the Soviet Union and also an author, stated in the 1970s, “Coexistence on this tightly knit earth should be viewed as an existence not only without wars…but also without government telling us how to live, what to say, what to think, what to know, and what not to know.” But, our nation has not heeded these provocative words. The goals of outcome-based education have coincided with some of the goals of Communist Russia. Basically, OBE is “a process for government telling our children how to live, what to say, what to think, what to know, and what not to know. What the children say, think and know must conform to the liberal, Politically Correct ideology, attitudes and behavior. What they do not know will be everything else. And because they won’t know the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, they won’t be able to find out. OBE is converting the three R’s to the three D’s: Deliberately Dumbed Down.” (1)
Outcome-based education has the rudiments of a secret ploy to promote a secret agenda. In fact, it has many characteristics of a kidnapping. According to Frank Morriss in an Eternal Word Television Network article, “If the critics of this development in schooling are correct, certain philosophers and ideologically motivated educators have taken over classrooms and are holding students hostage to the ideas and theories of what should be learned and accepted. If this is so, then education is being turned from its purpose of formation through offering truth and wisdom in keeping with the dignity of the human person to indoctrination by means of both inclusion and omission to advance subjective purposes and ideologies.” (3)
In 1995, Robert Holland, an editor for the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper, was asked by many people to help end the OBE movement in their area. These concerned people were frightened by the ideas of engineered “outcomes” and “behavior modification” that were included in outcome-based education. Mr. Holland was amazed at what children had to encounter in public schools. Some of these reported incidents were: “Asking children strange and personal questions; failure to correct students’ misspellings; ending honor course in Western Civilization; requiring children to perform community service; promoting the notion the school is the children’s family; and junking grades, texts, class rankings.” Obviously, educators had motives much different than teaching knowledge and facts. (3)
Dr. William Spady, Professor Benjamin Bloom, and B.J. Skinner have written material that reveals much about the OBE movement. Dr. Spady has stated that for OBE to be successful factual recall must fade away. Professor Bloom has stated that good teaching is “the teacher’s ability to challenge students’ fixed beliefs.” Mr. Skinner, a behavioral psychologist, stated in 1968 that the government has great interest in change-oriented education. “Absolute power in education is not a serious issue today because it seems out of reach. However, a technology of teaching will need to be much more powerful if the race with catastrophe is to be won, and it may then, like any powerful technology, need to be contained. An appropriate counter control will not be generated as a revolt against aversive measures but by a policy designed to maximize the contribution which education will make to the strength of the culture. The issue is important because the government of the future will probably operate mainly through educational techniques.” All three men have voiced a pro-government takeover of public education and the minds of our children. The gradual, clandestine approach of the outcome-based education movement has been chosen as the weapon of choice. (3)
The United States began its involvement with OBE in the 1990s. During the earlier days, it was called “Master Learning” until it was renamed by Dr. Spady. However, despite the specific name it is called, outcome-based education has evolved as a mind-control and compliance to authority educational and governmental entity. Ultimately, the acceptance of any desired outcome or viewpoint has been the main goal. Today, this type of ideology has been named “politically correct.” Therefore, after students have accepted the politically correct viewpoint, they must become involved in their local communities and thereby become “change-agents.” According to former Texas Congressman Dick Armey, “OBE shifts a school’s focus from how much students know (cognitive) to how well they’re socialized (affective outcomes)….It weans children from their parents’ values to instill in them politically correct, secular-left values.” (3) Mr. Armey also stated that the “Goals 2000”educational act passed in 1994 had all these ideologies contained within it. “Goals 2000” basically mandated that our government would be permitted to intrude into the control of local education bodies. OBE has been chosen to insure that this will be accomplished. (3)
Since all education systems instill values and all education systems want their students to accept what is being taught and to apply it to the environment in which they live, what then is wrong with OBE? Basically, “traditional education appeals to the intellect first and primarily on the basic of the reasonableness of what is taught, the success it has shown in the past, the universal acceptance of the significance of what is taught, and demonstrated applications of it for culture considered universally as salutary and fruitful. On the other hand, OBE “pre-establishes outcomes based on the subjective concerns or personal predictions of the future by thinkers and their allies in education who for the most part are seeking radical change. And all too often those ‘outcomes’ are untried, unproved, doubtful in their human significance.” (3) According to Dr. William Spady, “We are starting with what the research suggests about the future and we design down, or design back, from there. We’re talking about a systematic process called Strategic Design; determining as well as we can from studying the literature and available data about future trends and conditions that our kids will be facing out there in the world. Once we get a reasonable handle on those conditions we derive from them a set of complex role performance outcomes that represent effective adult functioning; to succeed as adults people will have to be able to do this or that under these and those kinds of conditions.” (3)
But, according to psychologist William Coulson, “It is clear why future-minded OBE must wipe out courses about the past-history, literature, etc. Such studies will often contradict the values and the outcomes predicted by the futurists, and in fact reveal the failure of such ‘investments’ in the past. The future is a gamble; predictions may be bets on ‘wisdom’ and ‘goodness’ that in the past have been unmasked as sham. The best of the past is perennial, applying to mankind in all ages; it is impossible to know in advance what will be valuable continuations of such perennial values, and what will be faux gems or echoes of ancient failures. No wonder OBE disdains past wisdoms and ancient learning.” (3) Since OBE supporters are anti-intellectual, their training methods are the type used with animals. Also, the responses received from the students are automatic, and their will is captured through emotions and conditioned responses. Therefore, mind control replaces the freedom of a student’s intellect. (3)
Just in case it has not crossed your mind yet, there are many similarities between outcome-based education and the ideology taught by Adolf Hitler in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. It is very frightening to compare the two different time periods. But, the similarities are real and in the present. History does repeat itself and America is seeing it happen right before their unconcerned eyes. Schools that teach the agenda of OBE are indirectly indoctrinating our children to believe a lie and die. Psychoanalyzing a student’s mind using the affective domain is replacing the teaching of facts using the cognitive domain. If Hitler was alive, would you permit him to baby sit your children? Well, if your children are being taught OBE objectives on a regular basis, they are being indoctrinated to beliefs and values that are contrary to the beliefs and values taught by their parents. (4)
It is amazing how many of the OBE goals are synonymous with the Nazi goals of Adolf Hitler. The comparison that follows could possibly verify that the two viewpoints are extremely similar:
1. Transform the world by changing the children-“The Nazi leadership appreciated the difficulty of indoctrinating the older generation….They were all the more determined to mold the new generation along Nazi lines. As the leader of the Nazi Teacher’s League, Hans Schemm, put it: ‘Those who have the youth on their side control the future.’”
2. Teach politically correct beliefs and values-“German youth must no longer…be confronted with the choice of whether it wishes to grow up in a spirit of materialism or idealism, of racism or internationalism, of religious or godlessness, but it must be consciously shaped according to principles which are recognized as correct…according to the principles of the ideology of National Socialism.”
3. Establish an outcome-based education system-“The regime endeavored to assert its control over the education system through reorganization and centralization…”
4. Implement mastery learning-“The principal task of the school is the education of youth in the service of…the State in the National Socialist spirit. This made clear the Nazi’s determination to shift the focus of education away from the needs of the individual and the development of his potential as a human being to the requirements of the community of nation and State, of which the individual was a member and to which he must subordinate himself.”
5. Set affective, not cognitive, goals (outcomes)-“The more enthusiastic they get, the easier are the exams and the sooner they will get a position….The new generation has never had much use for education and reading. Now nothing is demanded of them; on the contrary, knowledge is publicly condemned.”
6. Reject old authority figures through critical thinking and values clarification-“It appealed to the desire of youth to be independent of the adult world and exploited the conflict of generations and the typical tendency for young people to challenge authority figures, whether parents or teachers.”
7. Create new beliefs and values through multicultural and global education-“New courses were introduced in such fields as racial studies, eugenics, and defense studies and there was a new emphasis on pre-history…Law and political science courses were adapted to fit with the changes introduced by the regime.”
8. Condition students to compliance-“It was preferred that people should not have a will of their own and should totally subordinate themselves.”
9. Establish character education and cooperative learning-“We cannot fight our way out of this deep crisis through intellectualism…The school for character…which is a practical test of true comradeship in work and living is irreplaceable….the true, great, practical school is…in the labor camp, for here instruction and words cease and action begins.”
10. Revise history-“The course of history must not appear to our young people as a chronicle which strings events together indiscriminately, but, as in a play, only the important events, those which have a major impact on life, should be portrayed.”
11. Retrain teachers-“The real task of the NSLB is to create the new German educator in the spirit of National Socialism. It is being carried out with the same methods with which the movement has conquered the whole nation: indoctrination and propaganda.”
12. Block the negative influence of parents and traditional culture-“These boys join our organization at the age of ten…four years later, they move from the Jungvolk to Hitler Youth and there we keep them for another four years. And then we are even less prepared to give them back into the hands of those who create our class and status barriers…” (4)
As evidenced by the procedures used by Hitler and the Nazi Party to control Germany, it should be obvious that many of these techniques are being used in public education in America today under the guise of outcome-based education. Therefore, the time has come for Christians and other concerned citizens of America to fight back against the educational secrecy that abounds in our nation. Tomorrow might be too late!
1. Schlafly, Phyllis. “What’s Wrong with Outcome-Based Education?” Eagle Forum. 18 May 2005
2. “Outcome-based Education: an Overview” North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. 19 May 2005
3. Morriss, Frank. “Outcome-Based Education: the High Jacking of America’s Children” Eternal Word Television Network. 20 May 2005
4. Kjos, Berit. “The Nazi Model for Outcome-Based Education” Brave New Schools. 21 May 2005
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