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Your Child the Guinea Pig

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“We are get­ting closer to devel­op­ing effec­tive meth­ods for shap­ing the future and are advanc­ing in fun­da­men­tal social and indi­vid­ual evo­lu­tion.”
~BSTEP

Few Amer­i­cans know about this pro­gram unless they were trained in edu­ca­tion. Even fewer know how seri­ously bad this pro­gram was. And very, very few have ever spo­ken out pub­licly and repented (or at least recanted) their indoc­tri­na­tion expe­ri­ences in this dan­ger­ous change agent train­ing. Teach­ers have been trained to become psy­cho­log­i­cal manip­u­la­tors, human­is­tic “change agents” to mod­ify children’s behavior.

Behav­ioral Sci­ence Teacher Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram (BSTEP), 1965–1969, funded by the U.S. Depart­ment of Health, Edu­ca­tion, and Wel­fare, was ini­ti­ated at Michi­gan State Uni­ver­sity. Its pur­pose was to change the teacher from a trans­mit­ter of knowledge/content to a social change agent/facilitator/clinician. Tra­di­tional pub­lic school admin­is­tra­tors were appalled at this new role for teach­ers. Long-time edu­ca­tion researcher Bet­tye Lewis pro­vided a cap­sule descrip­tion and cri­tique of BSTEP in 1984. Her com­ments and ver­ba­tim quotes from BSTEP fol­low, which is taken fromAppen­dix V in my book the delib­er­ate dumb­ing down of amer­ica. This has been adapted, and por­tions empha­sized, for blog posting.

Objec­tives of BSTEP are stated as follows:

Three major goals:

1. Devel­op­ment of a new kind of ele­men­tary school teacher who is basi­cally well edu­cated, engages in teach­ing as clin­i­cal prac­tice, is an effec­tive stu­dent of the capac­i­ties and envi­ron­men­tal char­ac­ter­is­tics of human learn­ing, and func­tions as a respon­si­ble agent of social change.

2. Sys­tem­atic use of research and clin­i­cal expe­ri­ence in decision-making processes at all levels.

3. A new lab­o­ra­tory and clin­i­cal base, from the behav­ioral sci­ences, on which to found under­grad­u­ate and in-service teacher edu­ca­tion pro­grams, and recy­cle eval­u­a­tions of teach­ing tools and performance.

…The BSTEP teacher is expected to learn from expe­ri­ence through a cycli­cal style of describ­ing, ana­lyz­ing, hypoth­e­siz­ing, pre­scrib­ing, treat­ing, and observ­ing con­se­quences (in particular—the con­se­quences of the treat­ment administered)….

The pro­gram is designed to focus the skills and knowl­edge of Behav­ioral Sci­en­tists on edu­ca­tion prob­lems, trans­lat­ing research into viable pro­grams for pre­ser­vice and in-service teach­ers. The tra­di­tional con­cept of research as the­ory is not dis­carded, but the empha­sis is shifted to a form of prac­ti­cal action-research in class­rooms and laboratory.

The human­i­ties are designed to pro­mote an under­stand­ing of human behav­ior in human­is­tic terms…. Stu­dents are to be exposed to non-western thought and val­ues in order to sen­si­tize [read “desen­si­tize,” ed.] them to their own back­grounds and inher­ent cul­tural biases.… Skills ini­ti­at­ing and direct­ing role-playing are devel­oped to increase sen­si­tiv­ity and per­cep­tion. Sim­u­la­tion games are included for train­ing in com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills as lead­ers or agents of social change. (p. 1)

Lewis’s com­ments regard­ing “Sys­tem­atic Analy­sis of Future Soci­ety,” taken from p.
237 of BSTEP:

B.F. Skinner’s behav­ioral phi­los­o­phy is quite appar­ent in this BSTEPDesign which states

Cal­cu­la­tions of the future and how to mod­ify it are no longer con­sid­ered obscure aca­d­e­mic pur­suits. Instead, they are the busi­ness of many who are con­cerned about and respon­si­ble for devis­ing var­i­ous modes of social change.

One can’t help but wonder—who gave the edu­ca­tors the “respon­si­bil­ity” or the “right” to devise modes of social change, to use teach­ers as the “change agents,” and to use the chil­dren as the guinea pigs through which soci­ety is to be changed? One real­izes the extent to which this “future soci­ety plan­ning” has already gone after read­ing through the fol­low­ing lengthy list of orga­ni­za­tions involved in this behav­ioral designing:

1. Depart­ment of Health, Edu­ca­tion, and Welfare—Exploring Pos­si­bil­i­ties of a Social State-of-the-Union
2. Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Arts and Sciences—Commission of the Year 2000
3. Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Polit­i­cal and Social Sci­ence
4. United Nations Future-Planning Oper­a­tion in Geneva, Switzer­land
5. World Future Soci­ety of Wash­ing­ton, D.C.
6. Gen­eral Elec­tric Company—Technical Man­age­ment Plan­ning Orga­ni­za­tion 7. The Air Force and Rand Cor­po­ra­tion [designer of PPBS, ed.]
8. The Hud­son Insti­tute [funded New Amer­i­can School Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion of the Hud­son Institute’s “Mod­ern Red School House” pro­posal. The Design Team was headed by for­mer Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion William J. Ben­nett and includes Chester Finn, for­mer Assis­tant Sec­re­tary to Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary, and for­mer Gov­er­nor Lamar Alexan­der and author of Amer­ica 2000 (Pres­i­dent Clinton’s Goals 2000)]
9. Ford Foundation’s Resources for the Future and Les Futuribles—a com­bi­na­tion of future and pos­si­ble
10. Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois, South­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­sity, Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity, Syra­cuse Uni­ver­sity, etc.
11. IBM (Inter­na­tional Busi­ness Machines)

This sec­tion of the report con­cludes with: “We are get­ting closer to devel­op­ing
effec­tive meth­ods for shap­ing the future and are advanc­ing in fun­da­men­tal social and indi­vid­ual evo­lu­tion.”

In the sec­tion enti­tled “Futur­ism as a Social Tool and Decision-Making by an Elite” (p. 248) which Lewis quotes at length. This is a scary sec­tion. BSTEP veered far away from edu­ca­tion into full-fledged orches­trated futur­ism. Note what is high­lighted in red. Obvi­ously a behav­ior­is­tic approach to trans­form­ing soci­ety would rely on press­ing the plea­sure but­tons to con­trol the masses of people:

The com­plex­ity of the soci­ety and rapid­ity of change will require that com­pre­hen­sive long-range plan­ning become the rule, in order that care­fully devel­oped plans will be ready before changes occur.… Long-range plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion of plans will be made by a technological-scientific elite. Polit­i­cal democ­racy, in the Amer­i­can ide­o­log­i­cal sense, will be lim­ited to broad social pol­icy; even there, issues, alter­na­tives, and means will be so com­plex that the elite will be influ­en­tial to a degree which will arouse the fear and ani­mos­ity of oth­ers. This will strain the demo­c­ra­tic fab­ric to a rip­ping point….

“A Con­trol­ling Elite”

…The Protes­tant Ethic will atro­phy as more and more enjoy var­ied leisure and guar­an­teed sus­te­nance. Work as the means and end of liv­ing will dimin­ish.… No major source of a sense of worth and dig­nity will replace the Protes­tant Ethic. Most peo­ple will tend to be hedo­nis­tic, and a dom­i­nant elite will pro­vide “bread and cir­cuses” to keep social dis­sen­sion and dis­rup­tion at a min­i­mum. A small elite will carry society’s bur­dens. The result­ing imper­sonal manip­u­la­tion of most people’s lifestyles will be soft­ened by pro­vi­sions for pleasure-seeking and guar­an­teed phys­i­cal neces­si­ties. (p. 255)

“Sys­tems Approach and Cybernetics”

…The use of the sys­tems approach to prob­lem solv­ing and of cyber­net­ics to man­age automa­tion will remold the nation. They will increase effi­ciency and deper­son­al­iza­tion.… Most of the pop­u­la­tion will seek mean­ing through other means or devote them­selves to plea­sure seek­ing. The con­trol­ling elite will engage in power plays largely with­out the involve­ment of most of the peo­ple.… The soci­ety will be a leisurely one. Peo­ple will study, play, and travel; some will be in var­i­ous stages of the drug-induced expe­ri­ences. (p. 259)

“Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Capa­bil­i­ties and Poten­tial­i­ties for Opin­ion Control”

Each indi­vid­ual will receive at birth a mul­ti­pur­pose iden­ti­fi­ca­tion which will have, among other things, exten­sive com­mu­ni­ca­tions uses. None will be out of touch with those autho­rized to reach him. Each will be able to receive instant updat­ing of ideas and infor­ma­tion on top­ics pre­vi­ously iden­ti­fied. Rou­tine jobs to be done in any set­ting can be ini­ti­ated auto­mat­i­cally by those respon­si­ble for the task; all will be in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion with their employ­ers, or other con­trollers, and thus exposed to direct and sub­lim­i­nal influ­ence. Mass media trans­mis­sion will be instan­ta­neous to wher­ever peo­ple are in forms suited to their par­tic­u­lar needs and roles. Each indi­vid­ual will be sat­u­rated with ideas and infor­ma­tion. Some will be self-selected; other kinds will be imposed overtly by those who assume respon­si­bil­ity for oth­ers’ actions (for exam­ple: employ­ers); still other kinds will be imposed covertly by var­i­ous agen­cies, orga­ni­za­tions, and enter­prises. Rel­a­tively few indi­vid­u­als will be able to main­tain con­trol over their opin­ions. Most will be pawns of com­pet­ing opin­ion mold­ers. (p. 261)

Lewis com­ments further:

In order to imple­ment this train­ing and to make sure that future ele­men­tary teach­ers accept the “right atti­tudes” and “behav­ioral objec­tives,” the use of com­put­ers and thecol­lec­tion of infor­ma­tion are stressed. The “Cen­tral Proces­sor” or the com­puter pro­grammed to accept or reject on the basis of behav­ioral objec­tives, will be the “judge and the jury” as to who will and who will not be the future teach­ers. For any­one who loves indi­vid­ual free­dom, who desires it for their own chil­dren, and prays for a future Amer­ica with indi­vid­ual free­dom held sacred—BSTEP has to be a most fright­en­ing and dev­as­tat­ing plan. It is indeed the “world” of Orwell’s 1984, the Iden­tity Soci­ety, and the Walden IIof B.F. Skin­ner. In ref­er­ence to the lat­ter, it is indeed Beyond Free­dom and Dig­nity, the title of a B.F. Skin­ner book. It is a “night­mare” cre­ated by the Behav­ior­ists and Human­ists who are fast becom­ing the Major Direc­tors of Pub­lic Education.

Sug­ges­tion: After you read through this the first time in an edu­ca­tion mind­set, then re-read the entire post from the per­spec­tive of a utopian futur­ist dream that turns into an ugly total­i­tar­ian night­mare for chil­dren, teach­ers, and the rest of soci­ety.

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 29, 2014 at 00:01

Posted in Other

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