Common Core and Touchy-Feely Education

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By TLB Contributor: L. Femine

Touchy-feely. What’s wrong with that? Doesn’t it sound good? I mean, comfy and sweet, full of emotional appeal? Well, it has a lot to do with the control of a whole society.

I don’t mean we should be emotionless robots. Not by a long shot. Emotion is certainly what drives us to achieve our goals and rise to greater heights of production and happiness.. But when emotion is promoted for its own sake, that’s when we run into trouble. It’s like only eating cream for dinner and none of the meat and vegetables, if you get my drift.

This is my 4th article on Common Core; I was going to move on to something else but it just keeps coming up. It’s in our faces every day. But thank God, the protests against it are growing more and more.

What does this disastrous, destructive excuse for education have to do with emotion? Well, one of the main components of this new method is to judge things by how you feel about them. Now, again, emotion is essential to life.

But what happens when a teaching method or philosophy of life tells us to replace critical thinking and analysis of facts with feeling? Now, I’m not even talking about intuition which is a cousin to feeling or maybe a higher, more refined order of feeling. But either one should, ideally, be grounded in some facts and observation. You can’t have insight into something without having some facts. Think about movies and true stories you’ve seen of great scientists or inventors who suddenly went – Eureka! I got it! Where did this insight come from? The air? Another planet? A dead scientist whispering in their ear in the dead of night? No, it came from hard work and usually many, many hours of study. Observation. I would even venture to say that the more actual, provable facts they came up with, the greater the excitement, the emotion, the joy and zest for life.

Study and observation are not emotionless. Quite the contrary, they are based on interest or strong interest. And interest is an emotion; in fact, it’s a much more vibrant, powerful and enjoyable emotion. The problem comes when people think of emotion as only wild screaming, upset, crying, anger, murderous rage and other unpleasant or destructive feelings.

Many of us grew up with Spock on Star Trek where we were told he was emotionless because he was so logical. Well, emotion and logic usually exist very harmoniously together; they enhance each other.

Think of how you feel about something after you’ve studied it, especially something of interest. Doesn’t your pleasant emotion and interest grow? Now think about something you know nothing about. What kind of feeling do you get from it? None? Exactly.

On the other hand, think about how some people get all emotional (negatively) about Muslims, for example, based on alarmist, emotional stories in the media.  What might happen if they studied actual statistics and the real Muslim culture? They might come out unbiased and pleasantly informed. They might even be interested in helping or embracing them as simply a part of humanity, stemming from healthy emotions in the here and now rather than manufactured harmful lies.

True education should excite a child’s mind to learn more by giving him a chance to study and observe. How else can he create a path toward his life’s goals and passions? However, this is not happening with Common Core or actually has not been happening for the past several hundred years in education.

ZombiesWhat is happening then? When we think of oppression in the school system, we might only come up with images of physical or verbal abuse and mandatory attendance. But how are feelings used as a weapon to control and direct young minds away from that dangerous practice – independent thought?  Unfortunately, that concept has been linked by some educators to rebellion or even anarchy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the suppression of a child’s own, creative thinking will lead to the very same rebellion these people fear.

But this new, insidious element – touchy-feely education – into our schools and society is much worse. In the book, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt writes:

“American education would henceforth concern itself with the importance of the group rather than with the importance of the individual. The purpose of education would shift to focus on the student’s emotional health, rather than academic learning. Remember the 1960’s? Sex, drugs and rock’n roll? Drop out, tune in, and turn on? Just about everything that is wrong with America today had its genesis in this pathetic decade of youthful self-indulgence.”

The product of this 60’s movement was to demoralize young people and, in that state of existence, it’s much easier to manipulate and control them through emotion. In particular, the government program put out in the 1960’s called “Pacesetters in Innovation” was actually nothing more than behavior modification meant to shift young mind’s beliefs from the values of this country to those of socialism through support of the UN rather than the Constitution.

In the Common Core workbook called,”Voices in Literature and Writing,” second graders are taught how to use emotional words and how to incite anger and fear – including in their parents. This sounds like something that might cause some friction in the family and take down parental control and rights a notch or two.

Every grade starts with the next level of this workbook and is used by teachers to evaluate behavior and attitudes. In exercises on how to choose the right word to fit a sentence, the child is taught to choose the more emotional word – often an unfriendly one – rather than simply the grammatically correct word. See the video on this.

What happened to logical thinking?

Some of the buzzwords of Common Core are team-building, cooperative learning, student interaction and common goals. These all sound fine and good and they have their place but, when pushed too hard and become dominant, can they eclipse individual thought? Don’t forget no new idea or useful innovation ever came from a group, only an individual. And those individuals were fought hard against until they were finally accepted.

A child’s mind belongs to the child, not the state or the government to use for their own ends. Help children preserve, nourish and expand their minds as far as they want to go. The world desperately needs them.

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