Social and Emotional

Part IV: Social and Emotional

Deeper Learning

“Deep Learning” describes a type of machine learning where unsupervised computers refine their artificial intelligence capabilities by analyzing unstructured data. Hewlett Packard is enthusiastically committing $30 million to advance a “deeper learning” approach to public education that supposedly fosters knowledge of core academic content, critical thinking, collaboration, communication skills, learning-to-learn, and development of appropriate “mindsets.” BUT at the same time, they’re making significant investments in Open Education Resources (OER). Once OER is adopted and 1:1 devices become the norm, learning in relationship will be supplanted by an isolating “playlist” version of education where students are disconnected from teachers and one another. Students will spend a majority of their day watching videos and consuming modular education content aligned to standards, just like those unsupervised computers. In the name of progress, innovative disruption will bring artificial intelligence to everyone, humans and non-humans alike. Meanwhile, knowledge and wisdom be limited to those who can afford real, human instruction.


Whole Child / Social Emotional Learning

Data collection ramped up to track social-emotional learning, behavioral traits, and mindsets. There are a number of techniques including gamified and avatar-based online programs lined up to make collection of this data more palatable. Efforts are being spearheaded by CASEL (Collaborative for Academic Social Emotional Learning) whose financial support comes from numerous foundations with ties to social impact investing and digital curriculum.

Over the past fifteen years reformers have systematically transformed schools into toxic learning environments through punitive testing, data walls, and developmentally inappropriate standards. Now that so much damage has been done, the next step is to “fix” children by adding a new layer of accountability and measurement.  You’ll hear “whole child” and likely think they intend to address past mistakes and care for the children that have been harmed, but in reality they are only interested in the “whole child” as it pertains to the ways in which they can be commodified to generate data for our social impact investments.