Wilhelm Reich was an Austrian psychoanalyst at the turn of the century. Reich promoted the idea he called attacking “the neurosis by its prevention rather than treatment” wherein he sought to change the social perspective of norms by encouraging teenagers to engage in sexual acidity and promoted the use of contraceptives.
To Reich, a person’s character defined who they are and could be manipulated to create a personality generally receptive to alteration.
Character, being a manifestation of the social process, was repressed by the muscular or body armor. If the correct stimulus was applied, individuals would behave as they were directed.
New ideas entered into colleges at the turn of the century to educate teachers on the application of psychology in the classroom.
Jean Piaget introduced the Theory of Development wherein children had a 4 stage maturity ladder to achieve cognitive capabilities.
• Before 11 years old, children are incapable of logical thought
• Children under 11 years old must be taught with concrete objects and examples
Because children are individuals, their capacity to process information was tarnished by the overwhelming presence of disabilities such as:
• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
• Learning disabilities
• Speech disorders
• Mental retardation
Applied behavior analysis promoted the idea that children could be swayed to cooperate when they are rewarded for changing their current behavior. However, self-deterministic children could not be so easily manipulated. Those children must be controlled in a more invasive fashion to achieve the goal behavior.
To refocus classrooms toward evaluations based on emotions and not logical conclusions resulted in a new methodology of teaching. How the child felt about the answer was now more important than the factual basis of the answer.
In the 1954 Annual Report of the Rockefeller Foundation, communication was given the spotlight with its ability to be influenced on by psychological mechanisms.
Through research it was shown that “how the individual deals with the welter of conflicting ideas with which he is constantly bombarded; how ‘wishful thinking’ and emotional bias affect judgment; and whether the judgment process is transferred from one situation to another are among the problems to be studied.”
This method was presented into the educator’s path and implemented in public school classrooms.
John D. Rockefeller said : “I don’t want a nation of thinkers. I want a nation of workers.”
One method of facilitating creativity and dumbing down children came from the “invented spelling” technique that replaced phonics. Children were taught to memorize the spelling of words rather than learn how to sound them out.
Successful children were branded “independent spellers” by their teachers.
Sandra Wilde, proponent of invented spellings claimed that “the idea is that kids should be free to misspell words – invent their own spelling – without having their spelling corrected or having the teacher tell them the correct spelling. This hands-off approach, we are assured, increases the writer’s freedom and cuts down on frustration.”
Research studies supporting the move away from teaching phonics in classrooms to facilitate perfecting student’s literary skills were claiming that “one of the most fundamental flaws found in almost all phonics programs, including traditional ones, is that they teach the code backwards. That is, they go from letter to sound instead of from sound to letter…. The print-to-sound (conventional phonics) approach leaves gaps, invites confusion, and creates inefficiencies.”
Neuroscientific studies asserted that the brain did not process information through the auditory system alone and that the memorization of how a word is spelled actually greater improves the chances that the information will be retained.
The new method which has been responsible for the rising illiteracy rates in our children “look, see” or “whole language”.
Teachers would take over instilling moral values in children because the ideologies that best suited the group could not be learned at home under the tutelage of individuals such as parents.
According to the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH)“the family is now one of the major obstacles to improved mental health, and hence should be weakened.”
The number of school psychologists rose from 455 in 1969 to 16,146 in 1992 which also invested financial support into the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) charter schools which consists of “a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities.” In fact there are “currently 125 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia serving more than 41,000 students.”
Link to article: here.