“There is no neutral education. Education is either for domestication or for freedom.” -Joao Coutinho
I believe in personalized education over standardized education. I will always promote that. However, there’s a big push in education to “gather and analyze” data about students in ways that are quite concerning.
On the surface, it seems like a harmless tool to offer more personalized education. But, on the other side of that, we must consider if we consent to taking away our humanity and replacing it with machines.
We have a history around the world of dominating and authoritarian people appointing themselves as rulers of everyone; as opposed to having a history of a world full of leaders who see themselves as being in service to the people.
With that perspective in mind, I am inclined to ask a lot of questions before jumping on any bandwagon.
It is no secret that those who support transhumanist ideologies “yearn to remake humanity in their own image — including as cyborgs, group personalities residing in the Internet Cloud, or AI-controlled machines” (Smith, 2018).
I believe that if humans are seen as robots to be controlled whoever is writing the code- then that essentially creates a world of slaves. Yet you cannot get people to accept that announcing it so boldly. Instead you start while they are in school conditioning them to see themselves as a statistic, a number, or a pile of data to be capitalized on. Yet you do it so politely that they don’t notice it, and therefore they will not be in the position to defend their humanity.
With this as the foundation, I am not going to argue that the learning analytics industry is beneficial to K-12 learners. I will say it helps them follow the script that they are given with ease. When one is able to follow the script and produce what they are expected to produce – it gives a sense of safety and comfort.
If you can regurgitate information to get good grades, to get into a good college, to get a “good” job and work until you nearly die then you are seen as a success. Unfortunately, there is no time to consider if that script serves the highest purpose of every student.
Therefore, when I read statements that discuss quantifying conscientiousness through games while using “epistemic frame analysis …to design immersive simulation exercises with analytics” (Shum and Crick, 2016, p. 8); it sounds like a fancy breeding ground for mind control.
I don’t want to live in a world where it is seen as normal to plug someone in to obtain, “analytics for higher order competencies such as critical thinking, curiosity, resilience, creativity, collaboration, sensemaking, self-regulation, reflection/meta-cognition, transdisciplinary thinking, or skillful improvisation” (Shum & Crick,2016, p.9). People are not born to simply conform to whatever the programmer of these systems has deemed acceptable.
Furthermore, authentic experiences with students should not be replaced with spreadsheets and machines.
While analytic systems can provide short term benefits, they can also promote harmful or biased ideologies based on the beliefs of whomever programs the systems.
For instance, “if data reveals a student with minimal participation in group discussions, the teacher can work with them to build confidence in the topics of discussion and offer incentives for participation” Mautref (2019) is seen as a positive.
However, will data reveal if the student is introverted, they are drained excessive group discussions, and that’s not an indication of a lack of confidence? Probably not, but heart-based human interaction would.
In the times of technological advances, let us not forget the power of our loving hearts. Children are human beings to be valued and cherished, not “resources” to be analyzed and cataloged. (Also see: Humans and Machines, Flexidemics November 2020)
The intent of this newsletter is to increase awareness of available educational options in order to encourage environments where students can align to their true gifts and talents.
When people are aligned to their true nature and in touch with their loving hearts, they are able to co-create a harmonious world.
Remember to love yourself and to always follow your inner guidance. Therefore, take what
resonates and discard the rest.
Mautref, J. (2019, January 31). Pros & Cons of Using Data to Drive Student Success. https://blog.gutenberg-technology.com/en/pros-cons-of-using-data-to-drive-student-success
Shum, S. B., & Crick, R.D. (2016). Learning analytics for 21st-century competencies. Journal of Learning Analytics, 3(2), 6-21.https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1126768.pdf
Smith, W. (2018, October 23). Transhumanist Bill of Wrongs. https://www.discovery.org/a/transhumanist-bill-of-wrongs/
Here are some wonderful quotes I’ve come across recently.
“The lesson of report cards, grades, and tests is that children should not trust themselves or their parents but should instead rely on the evaluation of certified officials. People need to be told what they are worth.” – John Taylor Gatto
“If we taught babies to talk as most skills are taught in school, they would memorize lists of sounds in a predetermined order and practice them alone in a closet.” – Linda Darling-Hammond
“Do not train children in learning force and harshness, but direct them to it what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” –Plato
“Because schools suffocate children’s hunger to learn, learning appears to be difficult and we assume that children must be externally motivated to do it.” – Wendy Priesnitz
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