Some of the things taking place in education these days are so amazing that they will not likely
relate to what you think is going on in your school, county, state or nation. It will probably cause
you to be bewildered (if they have their way).
It is the behavioral psychologists, and those who have been trained by them for the purpose of
acting as change agents, who are out to bewilder everybody. They are hoping, if not certain, that
most people will be confused by the change of our thought processes (which will lead to a
change in our culture). But they don't think many will care enough to address the state of
bewilderment, let alone act to clear up any confusion. They're counting on it. Since bewilderment
typically leads to a sense of being overwhelmed, their radical reform is not endangered -- unless
the populace pulls together to defeat the "overwhelmed" attitude.
Statements, such as the following by Richard Paul, a noted supporter of Critical Thinking, ARE
overwhelming, and people do themselves no favor by ignoring them.
Paul is only one of many who have made this assessment. This elitist attitude is a driving force
What he means is children must have their parents' values removed from their thinking; they
must change their attitudes and beliefs. This is fundamental to Outcome Based Education and it
is an objective of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). While there are many areas we could
explore which deal with OBE, we need to address the thinking that is guiding the programs and
philosophies we are seeing, but haven't understood.
What we usually see are programs which are symptomatic of strange bewildering philosophies.
For example: Parents may object if children view a movie on masturbation. Or, it may be they
prefer their child use an alert mind instead of meditating. They may get upset with "dirty" stories
used in reading class. They may think sex education encourages sexual activity and drug
education increases drug use. More bewildering, with the new assessments, if the child gets a
letter grade the parent still doesn't know what the child is doing: is she good in math, or are her
beliefs judged as politically correct? Still more bewildering, longer school days and longer
school years are luring the children away from home. The teachers and principals are talking
about strategic planning, school restructuring, site-based management, team teaching,
interdisciplinary curriculum, and effective schools. The programs, the ideas, the consensus
building and complaints are endless. Parents protest against one particular implementation, so it's
modified or renamed -- and the parents walk away proud of having rescued their children from
the clutches of the evil programmers. Meanwhile, several other programs are quietly expanded.
Meanwhile, other programs are quietly introduced. Meanwhile, the steady flow of programs
quietly gets bigger and more harsh. Maybe the one detected program was merely a decoy...
We could spend endless days defining and describing each of these programs. But it is not
necessary if we understand the PROCESS of Higher Order Thinking.
to the meanings you'd ascribe to them. "These are the areas we should have been researching
years ago. It's because we assume they mean what they say, or that their terms mean, to them, the
same that they mean to us, we have neglected to study and scrutinize them. Those of us who
have explored the programs found them so alien to our way of thinking, we gave up, trusting our
kids' education to the experts. Heck, we certainly couldn't understand it, they must know what
they're doing. These terms, and the processes they represent, have "bewildered" us.
IT MAY HELP YOU TO UNDERSTAND this bewildering process if you look at some of the
components of HOTS separately.
First, the OBE facilitator wants to begin with a clean slate, so to speak. That is, they want a mind
free from prior knowledge or beliefs.
Then knowledge and the key to acquiring it (e.g. proper reading instruction) will be withheld.
After this, they begin the "process" with Mastery Learning i.e. stimulus/response, dialectic
thinking, and assessment-remediation (s/r) and re-assessment. (Stimulus/response is the same
process that is used to train animals.)
1. Clean The Slate
THE CHILDREN MUST HAVE their minds cleansed of prior beliefs, attitudes and values. (Of
course, if children begin going to school at three months of age, think of the time they'll save
later.) Altering the child's state of consciousness is one process to accomplish this. You might
call it spacing out (we sure would!); the programmers call it Meditation, Visualization or
Attention Control -- to make it sound credible, significant and worth-while.
All this is done under the pretense of teaching the child to relax, or maybe to visualize. So just
turn on the TV and "veg' out." (However, research has shown that our consciousness is turned off
-- not enhanced -- by these techniques.) Then the subconscious is fed the relevant information.
This is meant to affect the student's values, but teaching knowledge to the subconscious mind is
also advocated -- we'll get to this later.
By no small coincidence, if you're an authority that the child recognizes, it's a lot easier to
suggest things that the kid will readily accept.
The reason spacing out (Altered States of Consciousness) is used so frequently with OBE is to
clear the mind of whatever view of the world the child had in his head before he came to school.
In other words, it gives the behavioral psychologist a blank sheet. It shortens the time period for
changing values and thinking. After all, if a hypnotist can entertain an audience by convincing a
football player that he can't pick up a ten-pound chair, the facilitator should be quite capable of
convincing a child he is "successful" even though he can't read.
The move is towards day dreams, visualization, using pictures, and indeed, towards clearing the
mind for the programmer to re-program through stimulus/response. Parents play into the hands
of the psychologist or facilitator by allowing their children to space out by watching TV. In this
case, it isn't the content that hurts the child. It is the fact they are watching TV. The child who
sits in front of the TV with glazed eyes, mouth half open, tongue in the roof of his mouth. and
doesn't respond when he is spoken to, is practicing altering his consciousness. As the child
practices this behavior it becomes easier for the behaviorist to train him to alter his state of
consciousness. Children can quickly learn to go into an altered state of consciousness and the
more they practice the easier it is to do. That is: they can get into an altered state more quickly
and with each practice they can learn to go into deeper unconscious states.
2. The Dumb Down
BENJAMIN BLOOM STATES THAT knowledge is the base for Higher Order Thinking; In
contrast, Robert Marzano clarifies this to teachers-in-training with an overhead that says we have
too much lower order thinking (knowledge) in our present method of teaching.
Bloom's statement is intended to allay the fears of parents who have grown suspicious of the new
age of behaviorist education; but, as we will discover, knowledge is unnecessary for OBE. In
fact, armed with knowledge, a child will be better able to withstand and resist OBE -- he'd use
old-fashioned critical thinking and question the process -- so he'd be more of a threat to the
whole program; thus it is actually important for the facilitators to remove what knowledge they
can from the curriculum in order to implement OBE.
What Marzano means to suggest is that children can read volumes. They know geography and
history. They can recite the Bill of Rights and they've read the constitution. They can do algebra,
geometry and calculus. They are excelling in physics and chemistry. They could compete against
children from other nations all around the world.
But the parents are up-in-arms because their children just cannot think critically, cannot make
decisions and cannot solve problems. So Marzano is coming in as an educational superman to
rescue the children from their plight. Thus to begin the rescue of students from our old-fashioned
values, and teach them to solve problems and make decisions by the Higher Order Thinking
process, the knowledge base (content, or subject matter) is being systematically dumbed down. It
is being replaced by "process." We’ll cover these "processes" in a moment in steps 3, 4, and 5.
It doesn't matter what your school calls its processes; cooperative learning, critical thinking
strategies, integrated thematic instruction, future-sensitive training, global village class, earth's
children, or any other esoteric term. The children will still learn to read -- if taught phonics. They
will learn mathematics -- if taught arithmetic. Same for history, science and all the other basic
subjects. Instruction in academics will teach students today just as effectively as it did decades
Beware of any peculiar names; they are likely to be part of the OBE "process." Phonics are not
taught in OBE reading classes. Arithmetic is distorted. Knowledge is cast aside in favor of the
programs from the behavioral psychologists.
Children are left on their own to discover what the teacher (facilitator) is discouraging them from
Not only will the child be given less knowledge, but the knowledge they are given will not be
given as absolutely true. They are working from a philosophy that thinks there is no way to prove
that 2 + 2 will always equal four. This dumb-down process starts with whole language. The
average student will not read well and many will be labeled with some learning disability
terminology (e.g. dyslexia, attention-deficit disorder). The process will then proceed to the
deconstruction of the language.
"Altered states of consciousness" is also promoted as an asset to teach "academics." The child is
told to seek a special or inner guide or universal consciousness for all knowledge. If the teacher
can program the child in a subconscious state, then the child will believe that all learning is
intuitive. After all, the child will not know when or how he learned c-a-t spells cat. And he
certainly will not know why it spells cat, because by using whole language as a learning method,
he will not be required to learn the sound of the letters or the phonetic rules governing the sounds
and spellings of our words.
It isn't that schools just don't explain letters and sounds, or that sounds make words. They've
practiced this for years; they used to call it look-say reading. But now it is much worse. They are
teaching that words have NO meaning or they are giving words new meanings -- to further widen
the generation gap and cause confusion. Divide and conquer.
In addition, they are using words to depress, frighten and confuse our children. An ordinary
spelling book was reviewed by an interested mother. She listed occult words, New Age words,
long lists of words defined in such a way as to bring to mind natural disasters and accidents,
hostile and angry feelings, behavior disorders, fears, physical and emotional hurts, law-breakers
and their weapons, environmental and global concerns. Listed below are a few of those words
and the definitions they were to be given as the teacher recited them for the children.
point The point of a knife.
tackle The policeman tackled the fleeing burglar.
blow The bad news came as quite a blow to him.
rock The earth tremor rocked the house.
jar The explosion jarred the building.
red Having the color of blood.
More recently a parent complained of the "hurting" alphabet."' Instead of A being represented by
apple, it was represented by avalanche. And so the letters, A through Z, were nearly all related in
terms of pain or disaster.
The public is routinely deceived by "educators" who explain they are going to fix the literacy
problem with whole language (a look-and-guess process which is destined to lower the literacy
rate faster than ever). This is basic to Higher Order Thinking and to the critical thinking
assessments in Outcome Based Education. Without the ability to read well, the vocabulary is
dumbed down sufficiently to keep thought processes at a very elementary level -- for life.
3. Behavioral Modification
MASTERY LEARNING, THE OLD name for what's now called OBE, will be implemented. It's
the process of stimulus/response with the ever repetitious positive or negative reinforcement.
This process of Mastery Learning is nothing more than animal training stimulus /response
techniques -- more correctly called behavioral control, conditioning, or psychological
manipulation. Knowledge is not required -- because as anyone knows, an animal doesn't need
knowledge in order to be trained. And this is used in nearly all those "programs" parents find
objectionable: sex ed, drug ed, gang ed, death ed, multiculturalisin, environmentalism, group
therapy. The use of education jargon differs slightly, but they are discussing the same thing.
There is a deceitful abuse of our language by these behavioral psychologists and change agents
who call themselves educators. They will use a word whose meaning you approve of, so that
you'll accept their program without question, even though their use of the word has little relation
to the real meaning. They know you won't understand what they're talking about. Whole
language, higher order thinking skills, outcome-based education, the words are chosen because
they have meaning to you, different to what the terms represent to the behaviorists. Compare
their words and their actions to see what they mean by the use of their words. Do their words
match their deeds? Do they say they are starting with a knowledge base -- all the while replacing
academics with programming? Are they wasting instructional time with "fun" projects and more
You can program a person to be a criminal or a saint, they say. They are "fixing" the nation's
pregnancy problems, drug, gang and suicide problems the same way."" They are going through a
"process" -- a very sophisticated psychological process; not instructing or teaching the student.
Educators have stated that the process is more important than the content." That's a bewildering
statement; but they state it as though they mean it. Do they mean what they say or do they only
use the terminology for the purpose of bewildering people? If they really do mean it, then they
would not care if farmers planted corn or cockle burr. Just as long as he went through the
"process." Nor would they care what was harvested; corn or cockle burr. Likewise, they wouldn't
care if Kellogg's processed corn or cockle burr. But, most important, they wouldn't care whether
they poured corn flakes or burr flakes in their cereal bowl. Right? So, do they really mean what
they say? Not likely!
When they advocate OBE, they certainly do not believe "any" process is acceptable. With OBE
there is a predetermined outcome. That means an exact process has to be used. Perhaps we are
being deceived and conditioned to accept burr flakes! (It's just an illustration, but metaphorically,
it's exactly what they're after: we should accept anything they give us, and be grateful for it.)
4. Dialectic Thinking
THOSE WHO ADVOCATE Higher Order Thinking call it a process for dialectic thinking. In
this instance, they are being truthful. But at the same time, they hope that most people will not
understand the meaning of the word. As proposed by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a noted
philosopher, dialectic thinking is the process of thesis/antithesis/synthesis. It's the process
Marxists like to use in order to bring about a change in a society. Dialectic thinking is not
difficult to understand once it has been explained. It's just one of those things that has been
removed from the "knowledge base" of most Americans (our schools don't offer history any
more -- now, it's social studies). Typically, the American way of swaying the public was to
campaign and persuade and convince, openly and honestly -- sometimes with reason and logic,
sometimes with feelings and emotions. But Hegel's method, this dialectic thinking, is subtle,
deceitful, hard to pin down; it's difficult to fight because it's difficult to detect. Think about this
question: "When is it okay to steal?" Consider it for a moment before you read further. It's a
valid question, right? Except that it already assumes that stealing is indeed acceptable in some
cases; but how many students will have the perception -- let alone courage -- to challenge the
teacher on such a point?
Even if a student were to make such a challenge, the teacher could easily back up and say it was
a slip of the tongue, it wasn't meant to sound the way it did. Later, another example would make
an appearance, then another, and another, until one slithered past the student's careful scrutiny, to
subvert his convictions. Or values. Or beliefs.
So, dialectic thinking works like this:
Thesis -- This is what you or your child accepts as truth.
EXAMPLE: Mommy says it is always wrong to steal. So, never steal; it is WRONG!
Antithesis -- This can be anything that causes the child to question what is true.
EXAMPLE: (in a story) Billy's daddy had to steal so Billy wouldn't starve. IMPLICATION: Mommy could be
wrong. At least, it gets the child to "think" in a way he previously knew was wrong. QUESTIONING PROCESS: is
stealing, in this instance, permissible? Maybe stealing can be necessary.
Synthesis -- Mommy can be wrong, why even listen to Mommy; Mommy doesn't understand. In
short, Ma don't know squat. She hasn't had HOTS.
(Later the child may come to the next "new truth" and decide stealing is always okay, as long as
it is taking from the rich -- whoever he might think is rich. Many Americans who now vote have
apparently come to that conclusion; soak the rich -- heck, they can afford it, they deserve it...oh,
and give me a slice, I need it much more than they do.)
The student cannot hold two opposing, contradictory views at the same time -- no one can. That
is: if stealing is always wrong, it can't ever be right. It can't be bad, and at the same time, be
good. More important, he cannot stay within the context of the problem and still use the logical
thinking he has previously been trained in at home.
EXAMPLE: When solving the problem presented by the story, the student could suggest that Billy's daddy could get
a job, or go to a charity, for food. If the teacher is well trained in the ways of dialectic thinking, the teacher will
instruct the student to stay in the confines of the question and simply state whether stealing in that instance is okay
or not (There was a time when pupils were rewarded for "thinking outside the square." The dangerous ones who do
so today are primary targets for reprogramming-remediation.)
This is affective education ("feelings based"). The child is being asked to make a judgment based
on sympathy, not reason -- on feelings, not knowledge.
Knowledge is not required.
This causes disorganization of the mind and behavior. The new term is cognitive dissonance; it's
disintegration of behavior and mental breakdown. Maybe it would be easier to understand if we
were to say it causes mental illness -- a double-minded man. The way to escape this mental
dilemma is to fully accept the new thought process without reason (e.g. stealing isn't always
wrong) and abandon the old concept completely. (You can't believe that it's completely wrong to
ever steal, at the same time you believe that it's okay sometimes.) Now that we've driven a wedge
between the kid and his old thinking, the child has a new thesis from which to begin the next
When two ways of thinking are presented,  the parents' (and the child's) and  the school's
(and the state's), to overcome this conflict of the mind, the child must make a decision. When
one view is pounded in, hour after hour, day after day -- assessed, remediated and reassessed;
when the child has to recite things which are embarrassing or considered wrong, he should give
in, if the behaviorists are correct. The synthesis, that point where the student just slightly
changed his thinking, can then be used as a new starting point to move the student on to another
slight compromise in his thinking.
This process (moving the child step by step, synthesis by synthesis, away from his prior
knowledge, convictions, values, and thought processes) may not be quick or easy. So now you
see the need for pre-school for babies as young as 3 months old and year round school for all
children. In fact, Attorney General Reno, called for early intervention -- as early as the prenatal
period -- as a means of ensuring that children have the chance to develop into "responsible
citizens" by stating: " ...(W)e've got to develop the continuum from the beginning...to make sure
that parents are old enough, wise enough, and financially able to take care of their children..."
This sounds a bit like people may have to pass an OBE assessment before they are allowed to
conceive. If the children can be taught the "correct" values, attitudes and beliefs from the
beginning, there will be no need for the long drawn-out process of compromising their old
thinking, step-by-step, to get them to the proper thoughts.
How efficient! Gotta conserve those resources! This process to create mental confusion, so that
the values and beliefs of another culture can be used to replace one's existing values, has been
referred to as cross-culturalization. It can be explained like this:
Each person, each family, each community and each nation, has a "platform" of beliefs that make
them who they are. By introducing this process of dialectic thinking, they are being undermined
by having the platform removed out from under them, one plank at a time. As one plank is gently
pulled out; another is gently pushed in to replace the removed one. If it is done cautiously
enough (and if the platform was not too sturdy to begin with it can be accomplished with greater
ease), no one will become aware of what has been going on. Everyone will accept the new
culture without resistance. In fact, they will not know they are standing on a new platform.
When all their liberties are removed at once, the people will rebel. But erode them away, one at a
time, and they will thank you for it. Perhaps you have noticed that our belief system has changed.
Think back a few years -- maybe ten, fifteen or twenty. Was homosexuality widely discussed?
Would you openly and without embarrassment discuss condoms? How many couples did you
know who were divorced? How many unwed mothers did you know? These traditional values
are changing by design. While the political right inched to the left, the left flew off the scale.
This is why those who are making the radical changes can turn on the traditionalist and call him
the radical. The traditionalist -- by standing on his principles -- has appeared to move to the right;
he's simply is not staying on the platform. It's been replaced by a new one.
Farther to the left.
5. Assessments, Remediation, Re-assessments
ASSESSMENTS WILL BE PERFORMED to be certain ALL the children have been properly
trained. The assessments will be done through what is called authentic assessments and
portfolios. This is not to be confused with academic testing.
If knowledge is removed all that is left is process and assessment. If knowledge is removed, and
the outcome is predetermined, then the process has to be controlled to properly "demonstrate" or
"perform" the expected outcome. This is outcome based education: demonstration and
performance, as many states call it. This is what you expect from mastery teaching and learning.
Responses are demonstrated or performed -- any monkey can "perform."
Intelligence, on the other hand, can be tested but not always performed. It's a human function
that the children are being deprived of, under OBE.
A reading specialist, Frank Smith, in Understanding Reading gives us information on B. F.
Skinner. He states:
"A response, quite simply, is a piece of observable behavior -- not an idea, or a prediction, or an
emotion, or a memory -- all of these are unobservable, and therefore in the behaviorist view
"fictions"...A stimulus, also quite simply, is an occasion for a response. A red light is the
stimulus for stopping a car...and the printed word cat is a stimulus for the spoken word "cat".
Positive reinforcement is anything that increases the probability that a response will recur in the
presence of a particular stimulus; negative reinforcement reduces that probability."''
Performance or demonstration of "learned" abilities will require teachers to abandon traditional
testing of intelligence. Teachers will be retrained to keep portfolios which the child or parent will
not be aware of. The portfolios will be kept from one class to the next; one year after another.
The authentic assessments, however, may be done by using a computer scanner to scan the
child's bar coded name and the bar coded behavior the teacher wanted to observe. Or the teacher
may videotape the students. This will be an ongoing process as teachers will be instructed to
observe behavior on the playground, in the school garden, at the ball games and on field trips, in
addition to the regular classroom mayhem. Of course, the scanner will make the data keeping
much easier as it will be electronically exchanged into the computer data system at night.
It sounds convenient; swipe the card through the machine and the teacher is done. But what if
Jennifer doesn't happen to fall directly into one of the categories expected by the computer? No
time for extensive notes or explanations; just file her under "authority-challenged."
Children will be subjected to positive and negative reinforcement (to get the proper responses) in
large doses as the schools move to co-operative learning, group counseling and peer dependency.
Rejection by the group -- a negative reinforcement -- is to be dehumanized. The group will not
proceed until ALL THE CHILDREN LEARN what has been determined to be necessary.
Imagine the peer pressure on a student who makes an attempt to exercise his integrity! The
teacher will assess and re-assess. All children will learn that hard work has no reward, and that
studying for a test is a waste of time (because they can simply take it, over and over again, until
they get it right). Positive and negative reinforcement will be repeated until every outcome is
accomplished by every student."
One teacher told the story of an elementary child who did not get a positive reinforcement (an ice
cream sundae with ANY kind of topping a child could want) simply because that child had taken
one lunch to school over a particular period of time. The "treats" were only for those children
who ate the school lunches every day.
One lunch from home and this child was no longer "part of the group."
This worked as both positive and negative reinforcement The children who got the sundaes
(positive reinforcement) may have thought it a worse punishment for the non-conformist to have
to sit and watch them eat their sundaes (the noneater was "different" -- an outcast) than to be
deprived of eating something good at a time when you are very hungry. So they (in theory)
would say to themselves, "I’ll always conform to the group. I don't want to be pointed out as
"different". And besides, I did what was right, and I got this reward. The punished child (again,
in theory) should feel so disgraced, the temptation to do anything different would never really be
appealing. But, just to be certain, the hunger also will help to negatively reinforce any
The children aren't the only ones subjected to this. For instance, a negative reinforcement aimed
at parents might be rejection from a committee, being snubbed by the educator you thought was
a friend, or receiving threatening or harassing phone calls. If you were nothing more than an
animal, as the behaviorists believe, you would quit the behavior which produced the unpleasant
result. Parents may withstand this treatment, but how could children be expected to withstand it
day after day, year after year?
All of this falls outside the realm of intelligence. This is the way to train a porpoise to perform at
Sea World, or an elephant to perform for a circus.
This is Mastery Learning -- OBE.
Here's another example: The difference in OBE and traditional academic instruction may be
understood by using the subject of citizenship as an example of how different the assessments
In traditional schools, with traditional testing, the student would be instructed in history,
geography, government, etc. He would be taught what the Constitution says; who wrote it and --
from historical documentation -- why. He would be taught about rights, privileges and
responsibilities. He would be taught what a democracy is; a republic, a dictatorship, oligarchy,
monarchy, anarchy. He would know the meaning of fascism, Nazism, socialism, slavery,
servitude and freedom. He would learn that actions have consequences. He would know that if
he failed to read, and participate as a good citizen, his nation could deteriorate.
He would be tested -- to be certain that he understood these academic things, so that as he
matured he could make informed decisions about values and duties. If he did not have the
knowledge to base good decision making on, he would repeat the classes.
In OBE, the student will be told what to do. That is, they must do "community service" (state
approved, of course), they must register to vote, they must recycle, they must join protests
(politically correct ones -- like writing their legislators to increase spending for schools) and they
must be tolerant of everyone and everything. (Everyone has diplomatic immunity -- except you
and your traditional values.) Just go along with the pack, and you'll get high marks in OBE.
Authentic assessments will then be done to judge the students' performance. How well can they
"demonstrate" what they have been stimulated to do -- what they have been programmed to do?
If they aren't demonstrating political correctness, they will be remediated and none of those in
the class will go on to the next lessons until they ALL succeed in demonstrating acceptable
While most people do not connect whole language with stimulus/response, Frank Smith,
previously quoted, seems to make that connection: see c-a-t, say cat. Stimulus, response. Since
the confusion of the language has been recognized as a perfect way to split a culture" (when no
one knows what anyone else means by the words they use), the social planners would never
underrate its potential. So the children are taught to read by stimulus/response. If they see a
group of letters together, they are to respond by saying a particular word. That is far different
than learning the sounds in the language, learning the spellings for those sounds and then reading
In reality, it is even worse than that in the modern classroom. The child may respond by saying
cat when they see the letters c-a-t together. Then again, they may respond kitten. Kitten would
not be graded as wrong. (Heavens, it might injure the child's self-esteem.) But, still worse, the
children are taught that they should guess what the words are if they don't know. They are to
create meaning from the words they don't know.
It works a lot like estimation in math -- but that's changed, too. In schools a few years ago, we
were taught how to do percentages. Then we were taught how to make a close estimate.
Businesses estimate all the time -- before they commit to a project, and once they commit, they
calculate everything down to the inch, to the penny, to the minute. If the estimate wasn't close, it
was wrong. But today it can't be wrong; after all, it is only an "estimate." So, they are estimating
meaning, without the knowledge base upon which the estimation would take place. And since it
is only an estimation, nothing can be wrong. This is Higher Order Thinking! The only thing
bewildering about it is that they give it a name like "Higher Order Thinking." It's not what you
would consider higher order thinking (we certainly wouldn't); and they hope nobody challenges
them on the definition of their term. We would probably call it something like Propaganda 101,
or Modern Conditioning. That's not so bewildering.
The idea of twisting and distorting the meanings of words (or, as they would have us believe,
that "words have no meaning") is not new. It is just that it is new to the United States.
Traditionally, Americans have recognized that some things are true; some are false. There could
be no truth if there was no such thing as meaning. This has been one of those huge bewildering
things that we have been unwilling to confront. If one were to hear a school administrator say "it
isn't where you are going, but the travel that's important," it would be far easier to ignore the
statement than to deal with it. After all, one would recognize that the administrator still returned
to his office every day. Was his destination important or not? Is he saying this to confuse
parents? Is his mind so messed up that he believes this? Is he a liar? Hmm? It is important to
recognize that the thought process, and therefore thinking, has radically changed in this nation.
We are actually losing the meaning of words. To complicate the situation more, some people
know the meanings are changing and take advantage of that. Those who don't know meanings of
words are changing simply become more bewildered, more easily confused -- and more easily
There is a difference between a liar and someone who doesn't believe words have meaning. The
liar knows he is lying and most people can understand what is happening even if they don't like
Think about trying to convince your parents that you came in before curfew when you (and they)
knew you were late. They and you knew you were lying. It was a right and wrong issue. You lost
You were wrong. If they were doing their job, you didn't really want to attempt lying again.
Today the thought process has changed. There are honestly people who believe that words don't
really mean anything. You might say your teenagers are to be in before 11:30. They may come in
at 12:15 and argue that they are on time. After all, 11:30 comes twice a day, fourteen times a
week, in different time zones. Time is relative. Heck, you probably didn't know what you meant,
Try building a rocket that way. Or coordinating an invasion. Or running an assembly line.
Perhaps, most people would think we have simply become more loose with the use of our words.
For instance, in a world of robbery, violence, hatred, abuse, battery and so forth, everyone seems
to be in love with everyone. The performer who "loves" his fans; parents who can't interrupt
entertainment or hobbies but will call home to tell their children how much they "love" them.
And the child who is getting dressed to go out for the evening will no doubt tell her mother how
much she loves her. Mother may be called to the county jail in a few hours and be humiliated by
the child's behavior; behavior that would never have taken place if the child honestly loved and
respected the parent. The word "love" has lost all meaning in these situations. Yet it is still used.
In fact, it is used much more now than ever before. But a few years ago it wasn't necessary to say
it so much. Real love (with meaning) is demonstrated or displayed through behavior. To be more
accurate (and that is what words are for), parents who love their children put them before
themselves, and children who love their parents honor them with good behavior. And, perhaps,
the entertainer simply appreciates his fans, or their money.
This may be a simplistic illustration. But the performer, the parent and the child are not lying --
in the true sense of the word. Either they don't know the MEANING of the word 'love' or they
are not careful to use the proper word.
But the deliberate misuse of the meanings of words (the semantic deception) -- the new-age
terminology for what we once called "lying" -- is a powerful manipulation tool when placed in
Outcome Based Education is hardly education -- it's animal training: if you bark when you hear
the bell ring, you'll get your treat. No understanding required. No intellect required. Just a desire
to gain approval. That's OBE.
And their Higher Order Thinking Skills actually have very little to do with thought; rather, it's
how well you get along with the group. How sensitive you are to the feelings of others. How
willing you are to measure yourself by anyone else's standards. How you're willing to be a
doormat for everyone else. How much your self-esteem depends on the approval of anyone,
absolutely anyone, besides yourself. How dependent you are on that approval. How far you will
go, the things you will do, to get that approval.
How easily and simply you can be controlled.
B. F. Skinner has repeatedly suggested that adequate methods of behavioral control are already
available and could improve the human condition tomorrow if we were not too timid to put them
into practice (emphasis added).
Behaviorists assert that all behavior can be understood -- in Skinnerian terminology "predicted
and controlled" -- by establishing habits through the reinforcement of a response in the presence
of a particular stimulus.
The hero in Walden Two (written by B. F. Skinner) states:
"Now that we know how positive reinforcement works...we can be more deliberate and hence more successful,
in our cultural design. We can achieve a sort of control under which the controlled, though they are following a
code much more scrupulously than was ever the case under the old system nevertheless feel free. They are
doing what they want to do, not what they are forced to do. That's the source of the tremendous power of
positive reinforcement -- there's no restraint and no revolt. By a careful cultural design, we control not the final
behavior, but the inclination to behave-the motives, the desires, the wishes. The curious thing is that...the
question of freedom never arises."
Maybe that is the situation today. Maybe it is as simple as clearing the minds of previous beliefs,
attitudes, behaviors and knowledge. Maybe all we need is the appropriate stimulus and the
proper reinforcement to develop constructive attitudes and values. Maybe there are some
superhuman behavioral psychologists and social planners who have their lives so wonderfully
whole and their act so completely together that they know what is best for everyone. Maybe they
can structure a utopian paradise, run by compliant human resources. Maybe.
Except, how can we know the button-pushers are going to push the right buttons? And who
pushed their buttons? And who programmed the button-pushers' button-pushers? They'll
confidently and smugly inform you that they have the background -- they were brought up in the
right environment, you see -- and that you just won't understand (your environment was
inadequate, got it?), so you just trust everything to them, and it'll all work out nice and lovely.
Now go away and let the busy programmers do their job. Here, have an ice cream cone, and
watch some TV. All comfy now?
Behaviorism. It's a question of control -- who has it, and over whom. They want the control over
the future via you and your kids.
So What's The Point?
THE ALTERNATIVE IS TO ARM people, beginning when they're children, with facts,
information and knowledge so that they can make their own decisions. Nobody would have
control over anybody; everybody would have -- and should have -- an opportunity to gather what
resources he needs to be able to make his own way: to profit from his knowledge or to squander
it, to improve his lot or to degrade it. This way, every individual has control over his own
destiny, in his own hands. But this is in dire opposition to what the behaviorists are after. If your
kids are armed with knowledge, they'll be much more difficult to control, to train, to program.
This gets in the behaviorist's way. It's a nuisance. An independent mind is difficult to enslave.
This is why it is important for you and your community to keep academics in the curriculum at
your local schools. HISTORY -- learn from the mistakes others have made. LANGUAGE --
learn how to communicate with fellow human beings, in writing and in speech.
MATHEMATICS -- learn how to use numbers as a powerful tool, to plan, to estimate, to
measure, and to build. SCIENCE -- learn to discover the secrets of the universe and how to make
them useful to mankind. VOCABULARY -- constantly improve your ability to reason by finding
more precise terms for your thoughts. And perhaps most important and basic of all, READING --
learn to benefit from the learnings of others; tap into their imaginations, their conclusions, their
discoveries; learn from their failures and their triumphs.
It is not enough to object to a program simply due to questionable content. Objectionable content
is not the reason to question a program, for even true academics may genuinely encounter
content which you'd find objectionable. The questionable behaviorist programs will only be a
small symptom of the huge disease spreading throughout our education system. Attack the virus,
not the inflammation. After a minor program is abandoned, another program -- or a modified
version of the same one, under a different name -- will take its place. Idling mere programs will
prove fruitless. Attack behaviorism, not just objectionable programs.
Stop the behaviorism. Anything that replaces academics is unacceptable -- IT WILL NOT DO.
Academics, academics, academics. Be sure your kids are learning facts, knowledge and informa-
tion -- not sensitivity, multiculturalism and global awareness.
Do not simply trust the education of your children to "the experts." It’s the future that's at stake --
your future, our future, and your children's future. Anything that takes the place of academics
should be questioned -- if not rejected outright.
The behaviorists claim that they have the right and the power to brainwash and control the
ignorant masses. They will have the power, if we give it to them, but they do not have the right.
So, the masses simply need to shed ignorance, overcome bewilderment, and overwhelm the
enemy by acquiring knowledge, using reason and logic, and out-working the planners.