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Core abilities? What are they? Whom do they benefit? Um, why does this sound like a religious creed? Especially when you add the word "mission".

Where did the concept of "core abilities" come from? Who created this idea? Why?

What is the purpose of the concept of "core abilities"? When was its inception?

Again, who benefits? And, how come it's such a big thing in ed these days?

Core Abilities: Bringing the Mission to the Classroom

A book, a pamphlet, it's something by Judith Neill, Project Director for the Wisconsin Instructional Design System.

It chills me to the bone. Whose mission? For what purpose? Why is it in the classroom?

I do admire the race of ants. They have a certain collective intelligence and consciousness.

Humans, I'd like to think, humans are not ants ... yet. There is a certain advantage sometimes in collective intelligence and thinking and consciousness but ... humans are individuals.

Aren't they?

The first dictum derived from the what is meant to be inoffensive "Core Abilities: Bringing the Mission to the Classroom" is:

1. WORKING PRODUCTIVELY -- "an individual possesses and applies effective work habits and attitudes within an organizational setting." (Mielke)

Working productively is enlarged: Means that an individual possesses and applies effective work habits and attitudes within a classroom setting to 1. Manages time and work load., 2. Recognizes and applies quality standards in performance, 3. Handles responsibility in a dependable manner, 4. Carries out instructions.

Other skills are required, of course, learning ability, communication skills, working cooperatively, acting responsibly, fine skills to be sure, but apparently only in service to God Almighty "Working Productively".

I like the final skill, Thinking Critically and Creatively, but again, this is in service to "Working Productively".

I do not think of myself as an Ayn Randian sort of individualist. I am not interested in ruggedly standing alone, unhelped for the sake of being unhindered by petty social concerns. I benefit because of the society of humans. I stand tall upon hundreds of thousands of years of human endeavor. It wouldn't hurt me in the least to apply myself to "working productively" for the benefit of others as well as of myself. I owe something to human society. I have a certain debt to repay to the world. But I am not an ant to be trained to work productively for a corporation, for raw profit.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I tipped and rec'd your diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nattiq, hwy70scientist

    because you raise a vital discussion about the core aims of public education, not just in Wisconsin, but generally.

    One branch of criticism of American public education holds that it took its present shape late in 1800s, only to serve the aims of captains of industry in creating a docile work-force. This is a shoddy, bankrupt ideal. For real "educational reform" to occur, say those critics, that core founding premise must be critiqued and thrown-out.

    At its best, I believe American public education has come closer to fulfilling a Jeffersonian ideal of the maximization of individual talents, and individual self-knowledge, for the benefit of society. Perhaps it has done this where social conditions have been just right, where, among other things, its terrible founding ideals have been "corrupted," I don't know.

    I will say that any attempted contemporary indoctrination of the public by the corporations, is creepy, nasty business indeed. It not only occurs in the context of public education, but in the culture that's arisen around underemployment and unemployment. The New Age people, and whatnot, who run "job search" seminars tell us it's "our fault" if we're unemployed, or unsatisfactorily unemployed, because we aren't "passionate" enough.

    Anything to distract people from an economy those very same interests are running straight into the ground. How dishonest.

    Anywhere corporate indoctrination insinuates itself, to the cost of ideals of humanist self-interest, it's to be routed out.


    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 10:55:45 AM PDT

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