DEATH OF FREE WILL
PART 5 of 5
By Charlotte Iserbyt
December 21, 2010
That freedom is an integral part of the liberal arts is borne out of C.S. Lewis’ 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.” – Gregory Dunn, “C.S. Lewis on Liberal Arts Education,” April 1999.
“If education is beaten by training, civilization dies,” he [Lewis] 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 . . ." – Gregory Dunn, “C.S. Lewis on Liberal Arts Education,” April 1999.
The same old snake oil peddlers — opposed by parents and researchers for the past four decades — are listed as resources for “Reinventing Schools Coalition”. Is it possible “they” who are imposing this performance-based curriculum on our teachers and children really believe that we could ever forget these evil people who have been in charge of destroying not only our children’s religious values, but what was once known as the finest education system in the world, in order to set in place the education system necessary for a totalitarian international socialist world?
I guess they figured that we would die or go away and leave them alone as they return to hammer the last nail in the coffin. The most well-known names listed at the Reinventing Schools Coalition website follow: Robert Marzano, William Glasser, Madeline Hunter, William Spady, who was in charge of the infamous 1984 U.S. Department of Education Utah Outcomes-Based Education project/grant which promised and succeeded in “putting outcomes-based education in all the schools of the nation”. In my testimony at the 1984 U.S. Dept. of Education hearings supporting the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (Hatch Amendment), I called for the firing of these and numerous other federally funded “change agents.”
Have you noticed how the conservative leadership is silent about the role of the U.S. Department of Education (US DOE) in the “deliberate dumbing down” of our schools, our children and their teachers? Ever since former President Reagan failed to carry out his promise to abolish the US DOE — from whence come all the destructive non-academic programs mentioned in this article and more—conservatives and the controlled media have only attacked the two teachers unions, the NEA and the AFT. Rarely is there mention of the unconstitutional Marxist monstrosity at 400 Maryland Ave. (Washington, D.C.) that is in bed with the UNESCO, World Bank, IMF, OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), national and international corporations, etc.
I am not in the habit of defending the agenda of the teachers unions or their leadership. However, I find it strange that teachers unions are getting all the bashing. For the past 25 years, teachers have become the scapegoats for the conservative leadership/media. Is it possible that conservative leaders might want to keep the U.S. Department of Education so it can—with the business community and, interestingly enough, with the “select” leadership of the two unions—use the U.S. Department of Education to implement this international retraining of our children and teachers, using choice/charter schools as part of the global economic agenda?
(See “The Seven Cardinal Principles Revisited” published in the NEA’s Today’s Education, 65, 3, Sept./Oct. 1976; read excerpts in “the deliberate dumbing down of America” p, 140-141. The agenda spelled out in this article includes the involvement of very important members of the international business community, including David Rockefeller and the late McGeorge Bundy of the Ford Foundation. The members of the Preplanning Committee read like a “Who’s Who of Leading Globalists” the over-all global economic agenda? Isn’t the Department of Education in essence a Ministry of Education as found in foreign countries? Isn’t it necessary for school-to-work training at the international level? How otherwise could the United States participate in the necessary school-to-work/employment data collection taking place at the international level?)
Those who “bash” teachers should read the teachers’ critique of Skinnerian Outcomes-Based Education being implemented right now by the Reinventing Education Agenda—supported by the leadership of the left and the right. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers—an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers—stated its opposition to Outcome-Based Education (OBE) in a November 20, 1992 letter to Pennsylvania state senators:
“OBE should be a pilot project at best, and tested in several schools as a welcome addition to the existing Carnegie Units. It should not be implemented statewide because it could be a costly disaster. OBE has no grade designations. OBE has minimal “benchmark” designations. There are no time designations. For example, a student completes all English requirements in one and one-half years. This student is not required to further develop English skills in the remaining two and one-half years of his/her high school career. There are NO safety nets for students. OBE is really non-graded schools and non-graded classrooms. It is a very dishonest approach to slipping this whole structure into place. Parents, teachers, and students have a right to honestly discuss these very important educational plans. We would appreciate your support in the closing days of this legislative session to block any implementation of Outcomes-Based Education here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
The good teachers who wrote the resolution understood what was happening in their profession. And the school/business gurus have the nerve to serve this nasty OBE Pavlovian multi-coursed dinner to us EIGHTEEN YEARS LATER under the title “Reinventing Schools”!!!
The noted writer and philosopher C.S. Lewis states very clearly the serious philosophical implications inherent in the substitution of workforce training for traditional academic/classical education. This is explained in “C.S. Lewis on Liberal Arts Education” by Gregory Dunn which was published in the newsletter On Principle from the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs (April 1999, Vol. VII, No. 2). Excerpts from Dunn’s article follow:
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 C.S. Lewis’ 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 in 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 education with “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. . .
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. . . 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 the errors and prejudices of our day, and to struggle in the arena of ideas to the glory of God.
“This history of the restructuring of education from academics to the socialist/fascist/communist polytechnical system of workforce training would never have happened without the help of Debbie Niwa. I want to extend my deepest appreciation to Debbie for the superb job she did editing and adding her own research to my original work. It is due to her talent and diligence that this information is being brought to the attention of the American public at this very critical juncture in our nation's history.” – Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt. See Charlotte's 9 min. vedeo below. For parts one to five click below.
© 2010 Charlotte T. Iserbyt - All Rights Reserved
Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistleblower! Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America's classrooms. Iserbyt is a former school board director in Camden, Maine and was co-founder and research analyst of Guardians of Education for Maine (GEM) from 1978 to 2000. She has also served in the American Red Cross on Guam and Japan during the Korean War, and in the United States Foreign Service in Belgium and in the Republic of South Africa.
Iserbyt is a speaker and writer, best known for her 1985 booklet Back to Basics Reform or OBE: Skinnerian International Curriculum and her 1989 pamphlet Soviets in the Classroom: America's Latest Education Fad which covered the details of the U.S.-Soviet and Carnegie-Soviet Education Agreements which remain in effect to this day. She is a freelance writer and has had articles published in Human Events, The Washington Times, The Bangor Daily News, and included in the record of Congressional hearings.