Digital Playpen: Education’s “Concrete” Fountain of Youth
Digital Media and Ponce de Leon’s mythological Fountain of Youth, both point to a reality that many have been drinking something, some are totally immersed in it, and some will remain mental infants for a lifetime a result of the “brew.”
Today’s digital media driven “education” promises to keep students as mental infants totally dependent on concrete personal experience, visual pictorial graphics, digital gaming, look, click and play, group projects, hands on field trips, and social affective “learning”:
The Collective Concrete Playpen.
(With soft cushy bumper pads, of course)
Education’s overwhelming shift to digital technology, computer media visuals, animation graphics, and video “instruction” is mutating an entire generation of students. Digital media is keeping students in a playpen unable to mentally venture into realms beyond their own personal “experience
This is called Concrete Stimulation.
In the Concrete world, the senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, movement (vestibular motion) and proprioception, integrate to construct, instruct, and inform the child’s developing mind.
While these personal perceptual concrete experiences are basic to developing a child’s abilities to relate to the environment, the world, and to each other; these concrete experiences are NOT the end game that will equip any individual to become an autonomous creative adult.
In order to reason, develop insight, empathy, ingenuity, personal identity, and independence, one must be able to Think Abstractly.
Abstract thinking allows us to move beyond the here and now, of our own limited personal experiences, and to enter into the minds and realms of those individuals that have gone before us as well as enter into their abstractions. Ie. Mindsight.
Abstract thinking clearly delineates humankind from animal kind.
Abstract thinking provides insight into the past, parallels for the present, and allows one to project various consequences into the future; prior to acting. (And offers to prrevent suffering undesirable outcomes as an individual or as a nation.)
Abstract thinking is so vital to the survival of individuals, nations and cultures that the Jews have employed Abstract thinking for millennia via their study of the Torah and Talmudic traditions.
The longevity of the Jewish people and their culture testifies to this vital mind dialog, as instructed by the Creator of Minds, Himself.
Professor Reuven Feuerstein, (Clinical, Developmental and Cognitive Psychologist), whose methods of developing thinking skills are employed successfully around the world, continues to stress the imperative need to not only equip with basic cognitive functions, but to develop Abstract thinking as a priority in learning.
“Just a moment, let me THINK.”
Not, “let me do.”
No, it is: “Think first, observe, make connections, elaborate, think some more, remember, search your mental repertoire, mentally work through your plan, and then do or maybe decide not to do.”
This all happens simultaneous in an autonomous abstract thinker.
When developing abstract thinking, the abilities to recognize patterns, form analogies, analyze, compare, contrast, synthesize new creations, empathize etc., we recognize varying levels of abstraction.
For example, on a continuum from concrete stimuli to varying degrees of abstraction one might consider an apple.
Beginning with the real apple (concrete); then to a slight shift to a plastic apple (we are beginning to think abstractly); to a piece of dough shaped as an apple, …; a color photo image of an apple; a black and white outline of an apple; a printed symbol of an apple profile.
We increase our level of abstraction and our need to think abstractly with the spoken word “[apple]” and the encoded word: “apple”, which we could even shorten to just the consonants. “apl”.
When we see the encoded symbols that represent sounds and mentally decipher them to decode these letter symbols and form a mental/ auditory thought, we are Thinking Abstractly.
Now that we are thinking abstractly, we can do all sorts of amazing feats with this abstract apple in our minds! Our apple can walk, talk, fly, and even fall from a tree and land on Newton’s head.
Our apple can conjure up fragrances of warm apple streudel and the warmth of Grandma’s hugs. Our apple can morph to various varieties of apples, and fuel us for a mental menagerie of authors, events, and connections related to apple blossom season.
As you can imagine, think abstractly, so goes the abstract infinities that are possible, once one can Think in the Abstract.
But the axe has fallen to the trunk of the apple tree.
“No more abstract adventures. No more abstract thinking. No more ingenuity, creativity, true innovation, or independent autonomous mind travel…” says the digital computer “Story-Killers” of today’s 21st Century “learning.”
“You, are stuck with an Ipad, a laptop, a visual monitor, a touch screen, an app, gaming software, adaptive computer assessments.
You are glued to a concrete playpen to craft your concrete mind, your simulation city, playing “learning” games to mold and manipulate, construct and conform your mind. And keep you frustrated when your apple falls outside the playpen and you don’t have any cognitive functions to get out of the pen and retrieve it.”
Lacking abstract thinking you also can’t explore encoded worlds of classical literature, true chronological history, established verified knowledge, and absolute Truths, that have provided the momentum for Abstract Trampolines, or rockets, to project millions of independent minds to develop Mindsight.
Mindsight recognizes that mankind, created in the image of God, has yet to approach the vast knowledge of The One Who knows all; and has blessed man with access to His infinite Wisdom, protection, provision and purposes.
The skies of the human mind led by the Mind of God~ quite the abstract thought!
Which brings us to the true intent of nationalized education and dictated “standards.”
One can’t truly begin to Know God, unless one can begin to think abstractly.
Karl Marx stated:
“My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism.”
John Dewey, psychologist, and America’s Education Reformer, stated that his goal was to separate children from their parents, and their parents’ values.
Both Marx and Dewey are succeeding via “education” today. By mutating students, keeping them only capable of concrete, here and now experiential socialization, unable to think beyond the present group task, they have constructed a playpen, paddock of eternal infancy.
This concrete social equality of intellect fulfills not only the aims of central planners, but also blocks access to God.
God is spirit, and those that honor Him and relate to Him, do so in Spirit and in Truth.
Spirit and Truth, are abstract concepts and are not easily grasped in a concrete playpen of 21st Century Competencies.
Spirit and Truth are both denied by Marx, Dewey, Vygotsky, Pavlov, Skinner, Turchenko, Goodlad, etc. etc. Thus, the stark contrast between psychologists who honor and esteem G-d, like our wise Jewish Professor Dr. Reuven Feuerstein, as compared to those that do not honor, respect or seek to obey God.
Federally mandated Common Core, College and Career Ready standards for 21st Century Competencies driven by theories, motivations and intentions hallmarked by the use of: concrete, experiential, social cultural, social emotional, social equality, social justice constructs. NO Abstract thinking allowed.
Because, if folks could think abstractly they would connect the dots to History repeating yet again via the Digital Playpen technology; the “Teaching Machines” of Public education, private “entertainment”, and media today.
So, get yourself, and your children out of the Digital Playpen.
And develop the abstract thinking and intergenerational transmission of Truths that saves lives, minds and the future of America as One Nation of Independent Autonomous Thinkers: One Nation of Liberty under God.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares The LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future…”
* Experiences that are dictated by those paying software writers, standards architects, and accreditors. The triple alliance: Big Government, Big Business and Educrats.
www.thinkingconnections.org NAFA, North American Feuerstein Alliance
http://www.icelp.info/about.aspx The Feuerstein Institute in Israel
Ongoing gratitude to Dr. Jeanne Zehr for tireless and inspiring mentoring to her Brain Berets, and to Professor Reuven Feuerstein, his family, and his Institute in Israel, for equipping us all to adapt while conserving the constancies that define our identity in God.
Credentialed to Destroy, How and Why Education Became a Weapon by Robin Eubanks
The Story-Killers, A Common-Sense Case Against Common Core by Terrence O. Moore