The New World Order and educationBy Lech Biegalski
Oct. 17, 2007
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This article is about negative changes in education that cannot be explained by any competent, professional justification. Although reasons are being given to rationalize them, a quick summary of these changes, shown in a larger political context, is alarming. The fact that all of them started after the collapse of the Soviet Union and all point in one direction indicates deliberate sabotage.
The ideological competition is over
The Second World War did not end in 1945. It continued until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The term "Cold War" referred not only to the arms race but also to the ideological competition between communism and capitalism in which political propaganda played a major role. In response to the Warsaw Pact, the West created NATO. In response to the Workers' Rights, the West promoted Human Rights. In response to communist social programs, the West established its own social support networks.
Those who grew up on this continent may not understand my conclusions. While living in Poland from 1950s till mid 1980s, I regularly listened to Polish language broadcasts of Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. These propaganda tubes, funded under the umbrella of the U.S. Congress, consistently painted a picture of America as a paradise in which freedom, democracy, human rights, job security, high standard of living and excellent social programs allowed people to live with dignity. 'Happy American Families' was the most appealing theme.
On the other side of the Iron Curtain, communism was run by the "representatives of the working class" and the working families were supposed to have it better there. By investing in people, by creating higher standard of living and decent social conditions in the West, western elites stirred an ideological conflict in the Soviet Block and inspired revolts in Eastern Europe that contributed to the collapse of communism.
In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, the West won the war, and the ideological competition was over. "Restructuring" was implemented promptly and our 46-year-old magic carpet began to roll back. And so did job security, high standard of living, decent social programs, full-time jobs, paid holidays, job security, benefits, democracy and the focus on human rights and human dignity in general. It seems that all the goodies we enjoyed in the 1970s and 1980s were not given to us out of a genuine support for decent life of working families. It seems that they were not "won" in a struggle between the workers and the capitalists. Rather, they were temporarily used by the elites as weapons in the ideological war between the West and the East. The war is now over and so is "capitalism with human face."
"Body and soul make up man and all that is human and bears any kind of relation to man; all this possesses form and content, an internal and an external side. Fullness of life requires both, for the failure of one leads to dislocation of the whole. To the internal, spiritual side of life belong the concepts of Good (morality) and Truth; to the bodily, health and prosperity; in addition there exists the category of Beauty common to body and soul. There is no manifestation of life which does not bear some relation to one of these categories, often to two or more. Here every fact and every opinion belongs." -- Prof. Feliks Koneczny, Plurality of Civilisations, 1935.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a new science was born in Europe. It was allowed to grow for three decades before being classified and contained in secret institutions. It was called "Historiosophy" or Philosophy of History. One of the leading representatives of Historiosophy was Prof. Feliks Koneczny of the University of Vilno.
Koneczny believed that civilizations were formed by people sharing common priorities and common cultural values. He argued that historical changes have always been enabled by dynamically changing values and priorities. His work concentrated on these values and on five domains of human activities in which all these values originated and existed. Following is a short summary of his core theory.
All human activities can be contained in five existential domains. Koneczny called them the Domain of Truth, Goodness, Beauty, Health, and Prosperity. In this summary, we will use more modern terms:
Using concrete examples, taken from historical sources, Koneczny showed that many of the basic cultural values contained in each of these five domains are common between different civilizations. For example, most civilizations recognize killing, stealing, lying, and cheating as Bad and Wrong. However, many other values may be interpreted differently. What is deemed true in one culture, may be deemed false in another. For example, the story of Creation in different religious traditions differ from each other and differ from the theory of evolution. Another example is the old Indian tradition of (male) public masturbation, as an expression of religious ecstasy, which could hardly be recognized as "Beautiful" by any Western cultural or religious standards.
According to Koneczny, differences within specific domains have a minor impact on the culture as a whole. What is more important is the hierarchy of the domains themselves. To understand it better, write down the five existential domains in order of your priorities, from the most important in your life, to the least important. Note that the first, the top domain is especially important, as it is the one for which you will sacrifice all other values, whenever you make your choices. Even though different people will come up with different priorities, and consequently will make different choices in their lives, culture on a scale of a nation can be defined as a prevailing system of existential domains, usually supported by local religions or ideologies, and accompanied by the Triple Law governing the organization of clans: Family Law, Property Law, and Inheritance Law. Using this classification, Koneczny concluded that there were only between 20 and 30 different civilizations in all human history. Seven of them still exist today.
How important is culture? Nations that have been wiped off the map know that preserving cultural values, when all other means of resistance fail, is the only way to stay strong and united. People in Quebec have preserved their national identity for hundreds of years. Poland has regained independence after 10 generations of foreign occupation. Culture is a backbone of a nation. This is why the burning of libraries and pauperization of culture always accompany occupation and assimilation efforts. Resistance and patriotism are proportional to the degree of national and cultural identity.
I have a strong feeling that we are experiencing the same phenomena today. It is better camouflaged but I can see many examples of a deliberate destruction of traditional Western culture that is being sacrificed on the altar of the New World Order. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, we witness an unprecedented attack on nationalism, family, religion, education, human rights, labour movement, and every institution promoting patriotism, critical thinking and social solidarity. This also explains why "the system" supports "multiculturalism", and other modern "trends" opposite to traditional customs and values. The big push to derail the young generation into the virtual culture and virtual world of computer and video games completes the picture.
The role of the state
Political systems become "official" and "binding" through an organization called state. States, with their legislative, executive and judiciary branches, provide the elites with means of control that keep in check the rest of the society. Manipulation of public opinion through "embedded" media and powerful lobbies, through which the elite ensures the support of the "representatives of the people", complete the picture. This role of a state is universal and applies equally to kingdoms, to most of the so-called western democracies, to communist or other totalitarian dictatorships and to states run by religious fundamentalists. The name is not important; what counts is the mechanism, the way it works.
In an ideal world, the state would promote and protect the cultural values historically developed and traditionally accepted in a given society. Such a state would act as an "a posteriori" stamp guarding and reflecting the popular values, traditions, and aspirations of the majority. In most cases, however, the situation is opposite. The state becomes an "a priori" tool used to implement policies that serve the best interest of an outside forces (a foreign power or an occupant), or the best interest of an inside minority (the elite). These policies are forced upon the majority without any regard to their historical and cultural background and often, without any regard to the official democratic obligations of the state itself.
The New World Order
According to many progressive thinkers, the New World Order is an attempt, by international elites, to monopolize our political and economical reality on a global scale. It is also said to include demographic modifications, especially the depopulation policy aimed at reducing the overgrown world's population. Successful implementation of the New World Order would mark the end of democracy, the end of national self-determination, the end of human rights, and the end of many publicly run services (including health care and education.)
An open announcement of these changes would most certainly cause massive and violent protests worldwide. This is why they are being introduced gradually, secretly, and with a great degree of disinformation. The use of powerful lobbies and financial incentives to corrupt politicians, the use of a network of strategically located enablers, and the use of corporate media to cover up the truth and to spread propaganda, prove that preparations for the entire operation took a lot of time and planning. The lack of substantial opposition within the system also proves the presence of an organized web of willing collaborators who infiltrated the system and are doing the "dirty work" for the elites. It is often hard to believe that the elites managed to extend their power over so many control posts across the combined economical, political, and social spectrum of our life. Perhaps this is where the scepticism and the term "conspiracy theory" originate from. Unfortunately, the fact that all changes point in one direction, excludes the possibility of a coincidence. Opportunism and conformism are wide spread in a society that continues to liberate itself from any restrictions, moral values included.
As part of the New World Order agenda, all sources of independent cultural values have been placed under attack. This includes the institutions of family and church, the organizations of human rights, labour, and international law, as well as many traditional means of promoting moral values (for example in literature, art, and media.) We are witnessing unprecedented attempts to "deregulate" the traditional family model, to weaken parental authority, and to reduce the quality time families spend together. We see under-funding, overloading, and confusing of public education and public health care in an attempt to destroy their effectiveness and prepare grounds for privatization. We see the closing of affordable, out-of-town, recreational opportunities for working families in an attempt to contain lower class masses in city ghettos. We witness efforts to reduce various survival and 'handyman' skills, resulting in increased public dependency on state and corporate services. We see the cost of living growing to unreasonable levels. Consequently, we see decreasing standard of living and increasing poverty, a trend that makes it impossible for most working families to achieve financial independence, a trend that traps people in mortgages and credit loans for a lifetime, a trend that enslaves people. We see increasing support for multiculturalism and deregulation of most cultural, moral, and national standards. Considering that all these "restructuring" changes started to take effect immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this, too, can hardly be seen as a coincidence.
In a rich country people should be rich. A system that increases the wealth of the elites at the expense of the masses is a colonial system focused on exploitation. Since the end of the Cold War, people became another commodity.
Family has always been the basic unit of society, one in which values and culture were created and preserved independently of political and economical influence. If you destroy the traditional model of family and dissolve culture in communities, creative cultural abilities of the population will collapse and the society will become dependent on political and corporate overseers.
Much has been done in the last 16 years to achieve this goal, relaxed family laws and "liberating" media campaigns included. Perhaps the most serious damage to the traditional model of family came with the new employment policies. Fewer full-time jobs, reduction of benefits and paid holidays, and lower employment security resulted in overloads and stress. Parents work longer and often irregular hours, quality family time is shrinking. Children are brought up by TV cartoons and video games, in a completely unrealistic virtual world controlled by corporations. Schools are taking over the parental role and introducing various virtues/values/character traits programs, which further reduces instructional time to teach academic subjects and to meet curriculum requirements.
In the atmosphere of constant uncertainty, opportunism and conformism replace integrity and traditional values. The model of the family that used to preserve these values is quickly disappearing.
"There is a campaign under way to essentially destroy the public education system along with every aspect of human life and attitudes and thought that involve social solidarity. It's being done in all sorts of ways. One is simply by underfunding. So, if you can make the public schools really rotten, people will look for an alternative. Any service that's going to be privatized, the first thing you do is make it malfunction so people can say, "We want to get rid of it. It's not running. Let's give it to Lockheed." -- Noam Chomsky, The Progressive Magazine, September 1999, p.37 --
Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Canadian Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) televised a speech delivered to the Toronto business leaders by a president of one of the major Canadian banks. Addressing the necessity of restructuring, he also mentioned education. He said, "Our education has outgrown the capacity of our economy in terms of employment." The meaning of this statement was clear: we had too many educated people, our economy did not need them, we should not over-invest in education. In other words: our education was too good.
The following government of Ontario Premier Mike Harris understood this message and took steps to "fix" the school system by cutting funds and by implementing changes that permanently decreased its effectiveness. Coincidence? I don't think so. For the elites, the education system is nothing more than a factory producing workforce. In the age of computerization and outsourcing, a well educated workforce is no longer required, and neither is the middle class. Education for a better quality of life is not supported. People who know more and understand better are harder to manipulate and more difficult to satisfy. They may even know how to challenge the system.
Here is what transpired in public elementary schools in Ontario, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991:
In many cases, regular classroom teachers receive directions from Special Education teachers on how to modify the program, the teaching strategies, and the assessment techniques but the regular replacement programs and support by the Special Education staff are no longer there. Teachers have to divide their time between the regular students and the students with special needs. Since this often means two (or more) different programs and two (or more) different assessment/evaluation procedures, all students receive only half (or less) of the teacher's time and attention. Teachers' ability to prepare good learning materials for students is also reduced due to increased workload and reduced preparation time.
It is clear, beyond any doubt, that teachers specializing in one or two subjects have more time to prepare better programs, better materials for students, and better assessment tools, especially if they teach the same subject for a few consecutive years. It surely is more efficient than having to prepare six different lessons in many subject areas every day. Teaching by subject also allows teachers to improve their knowledge and skills by attending workshops and taking courses in selected subject areas, and therefore, developing a better understanding of the subjects taught. Due to insufficient time, such effective professional development is not possible in all subject areas at once.
Every single year during my last four years of teaching, I was assigned a different grade level and different subjects. Even though my specialty is mathematics, geography, science and technology, and computers, this year I am teaching English, history, geography, drama, and dance. As it is obvious that this situation cannot benefit students, I wonder what is the priority here. Why would the boards and the schools avoid using teachers' strengths? What sense does it make? I know more similar cases and it really looks like a pattern when you see it right across the city.
In each class, students are expected to work in groups reflecting their levels of achievement and individual programs need to be adjusted to these levels. As one principal put it in his letter to parents, "Staff work diligently to organize our classes to provide the best program for each child. It is important to note that within each classroom there are students working at a variety of grade levels in each subject area based on each student's individual strengths, needs, and interests."
The hypocrisy of this otherwise attractive model originates in the fact that teachers are not given any time to prepare all these wonderful programs on a daily basis and this alone renders the model useless. Since the expectation is unrealistic, the whole model will not work, providing further ammunition for those who want to privatize the system.
The differentiated model of instruction also reduces the instructional time per student. The teacher's time to teach a lesson, explain the tasks, and help students do their work is now divided between two and often three different groups of students. The differentiated model is sometimes being used to justify a refusal to purchase full class sets of textbooks. Also, the formalized and lengthy diagnostic testing used to update the achievement levels of all students (called the DPR) further reduces the instructional time.
Nowadays, students clearly displaying behavioural characteristics are placed in regular classrooms of 20 to 30, with one teacher. Following the regular placement, many parents conclude that their children do not need medication anymore. Consequently, in some schools and in some classrooms, teachers spend 80 percent of their time on hopeless crowd control and the remaining 20 percent on attempting to teach (which is not always possible.) Nobody seems to care about the 80 percent of the students who want to learn. Nobody cares about the level of stress in this unhealthy working environment.
Boards of Education and most principals are afraid to confront the parents and to execute parental responsibility for children's behaviour and attitude. Due to a lack of support by the system, teachers are paralyzed, as any intervention may result in false accusations and disciplinary action against them. Nobody is prepared to enforce the school rules effectively. During my teaching career, I have personally experienced many variations of this situation, firsthand.
Probably the best example of a sabotaged program is mathematics. The old textbooks were well organized and the material was presented in a simple, easy to understand way. New concepts and skills were logically derived from concepts and skills learned earlier, each section included the explanation of the concept, related definitions and formulas, algorithms and exercises to practice skills, and problem solving assignments to apply new knowledge in real life situations.
The new mathematics textbooks present material using the "reversed pyramid" technique, where the complex problems are first introduced and then students are expected to discover the underlying concepts and skills. Definitions and formulas are usually missing, and so are exercises to practice basic skills. New, unknown to parents, and unnecessarily complicated algorithms are being taught. Information is not logically and sequentially organized, irrelevant or less important information is presented while more important elements are missing. Many examples are discussed but concepts and skills are not introduced clearly. Material presented in such a way leads to incidental learning and to learning by memorization of isolated skills instead of learning by understanding. Material learned in such a way is quickly forgotten. Only a small percentage of exceptionally talented students can actually benefit from the modern, up-side-down textbooks, providing that extra help in learning the concepts and practicing the skills is given.
I can understand why publishers, who compete with the old textbooks, develop "different" approaches and "different" methodologies. However, different does not mean better. It would be better, if publishers focused their efforts on a sound understanding of the subject of mathematics instead. It would also be better, if ministry officials, who order and select the textbooks for our schools, were more competent. "
Actually, I don't believe that they are incompetent. Welcome to the New World Order in education.