Sunday, October 19, 2014

"The 'Skinner Box' School"

Day 19: Skinner Horror Files
" control a child’s attitudes and values
it is first necessary to modify the child’s behavior."

 "Parents have been told that Outcome-Based Education has nothing to do with changing the attitudes and values of their children;
that OBE will improve learning for all children through “best-practices” research.
What parents are not being told is that the research base for OBE
is from the field of psychology, not education;
that in psychology the term “learning” is synonymous with the term “conditioning.” 

What parents are not being told is that Outcome-Based Education [Common Core]
is not education at all;
it is but the hollow substitute of psychological conditioning or,
as it is sometimes called, behavior modification."
~Jed Brown, "The 'Skinner Box' School" [emphasis added]

Jed Brown's report "The 'Skinner Box' School is reprinted in its entirety as Appendix XX in my book the deliberate dumbing down of america. This is material that every parent in America should know! Especially when they realize that Common Core is but the latest manifestation in a long lineage of aberrant education reform agendas. Below are some further insightful comments and history from Brown's report. At the time he wrote it, Outcome-Based Education (OBE) was in full swing. His comments are are very relevant: control a child’s attitudes and values it is first necessary to modify the child’s behavior. If the child has the “right” behavior, then his attitude will change to accommodate the behavior, his value system will change to reflect his new set of attitudes. It is like falling dominoes: if the first piece is toppled, then the rest will tumble after. Thus, conditioning, i.e., modifying behavior, is the perfect method for instilling in children the new value system required of citizens of the New World Order. Our schools know that changing behavior is the first domino. Remember, “the student shall demonstrate.”

To understand the devastation of OBE conditioning, it is important to know its origins and how it is being used to change children forever. The lineage of psychological conditioning can be formally traced back to the early part of this century, to an American psychologist named John B. Watson. Watson is credited as the father of the Behaviorist School of Psychology. He believed that psychology should become the science of behavior, discarding references to thoughts, feelings, and motivation. For Watson, only that which was observable was important. The goal of psychology, he thought, should be to predict a behavioral response given a particular stimulus.
John B. Watson

Further, it was a time of great debate in psychology. The debate centered on whether heredity or the environment had the most profound effect on the development of the individual. Watson believed that heredity had little or no effect, that a person’s development was almost totally dependent upon his environment. In fact, Watson boasted,
"Give me a dozen healthy infants, well formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in, and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors."

Watson’s statement is at the heart of OBE. Watson became the most influential force in spreading the idea that human behavior was nothing more than a set of conditioned responses. According to the narrow view of Behaviorism, learning is nothing more than “a relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience.” Other psychologists first, then educational leaders, and finally rank-and-file teachers have been persuaded to adopt the Behaviorists’ view of education. The richness of education is thus lost, as the schooling experience is reduced to only applied learning. No longer does learning enhance the internal locus of man—it is but an external shell. The curriculum has become hollow and learning has become mere conditioning.
In case one wonders about Watson, here is a brief summary of his child-rearing ideas: