NO MORE BS: State Motto’s

Life ValuedHaving traveled across the 48 continental United States and having researched Alaska and Hawaii heavily, I have realized several things about the people who live in the various states.  Pick your state, tell me if you agree or disagree in the comments.

  • Alabama – “Audemus jura nostra defendere” – “We dare to defend our rights,” also translated as “We Dare to Maintain our Rights.” Both translations are observable in the long-term residents.  Alabama’s state motto’s audacity is one to be proud of, to follow, and the people and the musical group represent this motto perfectly.  While I have many more miles to enjoy in Alabama, keep up the good work in living this motto.
  • Alaska – “North to the Future.” – The people of Alaska always seem to possess a fire of hope in their souls, and moving North to the future is a big reason for this hopefulness. Long have I desired to travel your highways and byways.  Keep up the great work!
  • Arizona – “Ditat Deus” – Translated to “Enriched by God” or more popularly “God Enriches.” Maybe it’s the sunshine, perhaps it’s the heat, but Arizonans in the major cities seem to have neglected their state motto, and hopelessness is breeding.  I have observed a mixed bag in the smaller towns where the state motto and hope appear to cross.  I tend to think it’s time to return to the roots that made this state great, “Ditat Deus!”
  • Arkansas – “Regnat populus” – Translates to “The People Rule!” Traveling through Arkansas, especially the smaller towns and cities, you see this principle in action.  I love watching “The People Rule!”  Keep up the great work.  Your strength is needed right now!
  • California – “Eureka” – Translates from Greek, not Latin, into, “I have found it!” The saying traces its origin to the gold mines that started the state.  When I traveled the coastal highway, I thought, “How did the Californians lose what they found?”  Then I traveled a few back roads and visited mountain towns, and found the state’s soul is not found along the coastal highway.  How grateful I was to see this occur.  California, especially those along the coast, needs to correct your behavior, attitudes, and positions.  For California is on the brink of destruction, suicide committed by those who have ruled you.
  • Colorado – “Nil sine numine” – Translates to “Nothing without Providence” or “Nothing without the Deity.” To all travelers to Colorado, Colorado is not Denver!  Denver is not a good, true, or even just representation of the state’s inhabitants.  Denver is a cesspool, and the rest of the state is incredible!  Why has this been allowed to occur?  Denver, why are you absent from the rest of the state?  Where is the leadership the rest of the state deserves and requires?  Frankly, Denver, you disgust me!
  • Connecticut – “Qui transtulit sustinet” – Translates to “He who transplanted sustains.” Connecticut, what happened?  Where did hope that sustained your forefathers disappear to?  Why?  I visited Connecticut two different times, and both times the population seemed to have shrunk in hope and faith, leaving a bitter people.  No judgment intended, simple observations if I am wrong, please let me know.  I miss the hope that was embedded in your state!
  • Delaware – “Liberty and Independence” – What happened? Why did your state sell itself and lose both liberty and independence?  Your state was the rallying call, but where is this rallying call now?  Where are liberty and independence in Delaware?  Doesn’t it seem weird to you that your state was founded upon liberty and independence but has grown into bondage and dependence?
  • Florida – “In GOD we Trust” – I know some of the stories for Florida changing. The import of so many different political views as people aged tore the roots out of your state, like the lost orange orchards, and the empty shell is full of bitterness and poison.  I know several of your political figures have been directly responsible for your demise.  Floridians, do you still believe?  Floridians, what are you willing to do to reverse course on the demise of your fair state?
  • Georgia – “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation” – Values to live by; values to honor; and for the most part, what I have seen of Georgia lives these principles. May you continue to strive and understand the power of this motto!
  • Hawaii – “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Āina i ka Pono” – Hawaiian Translates to, “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” I fully admit I have not had the opportunity to travel and meet the people of Hawaii.  From what I read in your newspapers, online news, and the politicians who call your state home, I deduce some significant problems and the existence of a disconnect between reality and the state motto.  I have met some great Hawaiians who have left the island for various reasons; again, no judgment, just concern for the loss and wonder about where your state goes from here.
  • Idaho – “Esto perpetua” – Translates from Latin into “Let it be perpetual.”  There is lots of good happening in Idaho, lots of change due to Californians’ movement into the smaller towns, and frankly, I worry about Idaho’s future.  So much good, so many good people, but so much change.  Fundamental, foundational, and honestly, some of the towns I have visited are unrecognizable from just a few years ago.  Change is perpetual; change is good; please remember who you are; I would hate to see Idaho lose itself and become Connecticut, or worse.
  • Illinois – “State sovereignty, National union” – I know when this motto was lost. I know the historical moment when Illinois lost its soul.  What I do not know is when the residents of Illinois will fight to get their souls back!  Illinois, you have so much potential, but the criminals and politicians, mobsters, and mafia continue to abuse you, which is unfair to you and the nation.  Illinois, I would see you regain your potential that has been stolen and squandered; as citizens of your state, what are you willing to do to fix the problems?
  • Indiana – “The crossroads of America” – Indiana, thank you for being the crossroads of America! I love the vibrancy of your state, the constant change, the beauty of your people is extraordinary.  The hope that comes from being at the crossroads infuses every moment of every decision, which is fun to observe.  Keep up the great work!
  • Iowa – “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” – Let me tell you a secret; Iowa, I love how your State, cities, towns, and people work together. Honest, forthright, dependable, and outstanding people.  Thank you for the goodness that comes from your people and supports the good throughout America and the world.  Keep your motto firmly planted in your hearts, and your state will continue to be unique and revered across the globe!
  • Kansas – “Ad astra per aspera” – Translates from Latin as, “To the stars through difficulties.” From all I have observed, the hope grown through this motto’s realization makes strong people stronger!  I know the jokes and stories about how flat your state is, how pancakes have more geographical change than your highways, but I also know your people and praise them for their goodness.  Keep up the great work, remember your motto, and live your motto, and nothing can harm you!
  • Kentucky – Originally, “United we stand, divided we fall.” I have only known your state with this motto.  2002 brought a new motto, and I have not observed your state since.  “Deo gratiam habeamus” a Latin translation of “Let us be grateful to God.”  I wish you and your people the best.  While I like the new motto, the unity I saw in your people under the old motto was something to be respected!
  • Louisiana – “Union, justice, confidence” – Feel free to disagree and correct me, but what I have seen, parts of the state live this motto and produce incredible people. Then we have New Orleans, and I have to wonder why the disarticulation?  Please explain why Louisiana always feels disjointed, disconnected, and discombobulated, where the rest of the state is one way, but New Orleans is so different?
  • Maine – “Dirigo” – “I Direct.” Maine, I have seen you from coast to coast, from stem to stern, and many places in between.  I know your farmers and your fishers; I am a product of Belfast, graduating in Camden-Rockport, have family across the entire state, and friends where I do not have family.  Please forgive the military axiom, “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?”  Your state has been bankrupted twice!  You have such incredible potential, so many hardy and good people, but you elect the worst to represent you and destroy your potential.  WHY?  Of all 50-states, your economics are in a worse mess than California, and the only reason is the politicians elected to represent you!  I weep for the loss, the waste, the poverty, and the bloody madness that sees you repeating Einstein’s definition of insanity ad nauseam ad infinitum.
  • Maryland – The State with the most mottos and one of the more lost and listless states in America. “Fatti maschi, parole femmine / Scuto bonae voluntatis coronasti nos / crescite et multiplicamini” – From Italian, the first translates as “Strong deeds, gentle words.” From Latin, the second translates as “By the shield of your goodwill you have crowned us.”  Also, from Latin, the third translates as “Grow and multiply.”  Great motto’s, one and all, but how do you stand to exist so listlessly?  I know, Washington, DC infects your state worse than any other, and this abuse is hard to bear.  I also know the crabbers, farmers, and other people in your state would love to grow and prosper.  You can be so much better; would you please begin to live your state motto’s?
  • Massachusetts – “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem” – Translated as, “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.” Boston used to live this motto and was respectable.  Now, the state’s motto is only lived outside Boston!  Could someone please explain why?  Why did Bostonians sell themselves and their peace through liberty by giving up their swords?  Look, there is a lot to respect about Massachusetts; I love the food, the people, the variety, the whole state has such incredible history and potential for the future.  But, do you understand the motto of your state and why this motto is so precious?  Do you feel the power of your state motto in your daily decisions?  Do you recognize the obligations to peace and liberty through proper and judicious use of the sword?  Please wake Boston back up!  Please open your minds and hearts to this motto and rededicate yourself to this principle; it is important!
  • Michigan – You have one motto that can be read as two different directives. “Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice / Tuebor” – “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you, I will defend.”  A more pleasant peninsula cannot be found in the world than Michigan.  I have been so impressed with your people, your state, and I would gladly defend your peninsula.  But, your current governor has got to go in disgrace!  Many of your politicians need removed and held accountable for their insanity and abuse.  Worse, the infection of your politicians continues to throttle your state’s potential.  I sorely wish more would take up “Tuebor” as a call to action, for then blessed change would come to your great state.  If you ever visit Lansing, just outside the city is a farm that makes the best apple/peach lattice pie, apple caramel pie, and apple/cranberry pie on Earth!  Just saying!
  • Minnesota – I love that your territorial motto has never been repealed or replaced, “Quae sursum volo videre” – “I long to see what is beyond” the imagination this motto inspires in me, on a dark night traveling from one point of your state to the other, has always made me smile. The official state motto, not that fond of honestly, “L’étoile du Nord” comes from the French and translates as “The star of the north.” Honestly, your state is a star in the North. Indeed, your state has such amazing people, the food is incredible, and I have met the salt of the Earth in your borders.  Yet, I cannot help but ask some of the same questions of you that I asked of Maine.  Why do you continue to elect rubes and fools to public office to abuse and oppress you?  Please explain this to me; your state has potential, location, power, and resources, but the politicians never direct the state or lead very well.  Why?  Not saying you haven’t had some good politicians worthy of respect and honor, but the majority just embarrass your state.
  • Mississippi – “Virtute et armis” – Latin translation, “By valor and Arms.” Never forget the power you hold by standing with your neighbors and not relying upon anyone but yourself.  I have seen your valor through the arms of your people during natural disasters, state emergencies, and in normal times as a means for growth and development.  Please, cling to and live your state motto, for your lives depend upon this motto, and you are worthy of this motto!  Keep up the good work!
  • Missouri – The “Show ME” State has a great motto, “Salus populi suprema lex esto” translated as “The Welfare of the People is the Highest Law.” I guess I have to ask, especially since I am a die-hard “Show Me” adherent, where do you live your state motto?  How do you interpret your state motto?  I have traveled your state from border to border many times; the people are amazing, the geography ever-changing and beautiful, but your leadership represents the antithesis of your state motto.  Not always, but too often, your political leadership from the school board to the governor are simply the most useless specimens it has been my displeasure to observe.  Why?  Please explain.
  • Montana – The “Big Sky State” has a motto a little more earthy, “Oro y plata,” from Spanish, “Gold and Silver.” Oh, how I love your state!  Your people are incredible examples of strength, diversity, and down-home, old-fashioned goodness.  Helena and Missoula have million-dollar views that are beyond compare 365-days a year.  The small towns have hospitality flowing out of their every action.  Never felt so at home and comfortable.  While the politicians in your state continue to disrupt and dismantle, you continue to thrive, and I respect your people’s will to thrive against all odds.  Keep up the good work.
  • Nebraska – Much respect to your state has been earned because of your state motto, “Equality before the law.” I have witnessed this motto in the people, the businesses, and the air you inhale seems to breed this motto into a person’s soul!  Keep up the excellent work, for I know there are problems, but your state is worthy of the potential, and you possess the ability to improve!
  • Nevada – “All for our country.” If you travel to Nevada, get off the highways and take the back roads, and you will find some of the best patriots in the world!  The roads might appear lonely, barren, and desperate; the people more than makeup for these road conditions.  Thank you for being such a fantastic place!
  • New Hampshire – Of all the states in my travels, New Hampshire lives this motto like no other state, “Live Free or Die.” May I beg a favor to all my New Hampshire friends, family, and neighbors?  Please live this motto more fully, more thoroughly, and let your influence be felt throughout ALL of New England!  Join Vermont and take Maine and New York to the woodshed for some corrective behavioral modification.  You are doing a good job, and it is a pleasure to witness!
  • New Jersey – The State of “Liberty and Prosperity” seems to be lacking both! New Jersey, let’s face some harsh facts, you are lost!  You have lost your liberty through public debts and your prosperity through the labor unions who have made the state practically uninhabitable!  I know New York City has been and continues to be a significant influence causing your state’s problems.  But the bi-polar politicians have done just as much damage as the New York Citizens to steal prosperity and destroy liberty.  Do you not know who you are and your proud history of accomplishments?  Did you forget who you are, how your state was made, and the definition of your state motto?
  • New Mexico – Never be fooled; New Mexico is not found in Albuquerque or Santa Fe, as much as these two cities try to hide their inadequacies, hellish intentions, and bad manners. Albuquerque and Santa Fe are not representative of New Mexico and New Mexicans! Although the evil they try to hide is representative of the state’s motto, “Crescit eundo,” for “It goes by growing,” is precisely what represents Albuquerque, and her suburbs, and Santa Fe, and her suburbs!  I love New Mexico!  Truly an enchanted land full of people deserving better than the abuse they have received at the hands of her rulers and politicians.  Her current governor is in a race to the bottom and is in a three-way tie between Newsome in California and Whitmer in Michigan!  Want a culinary delight?  Stay out of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, eat at a local mom and pop restaurant, and the food of New Mexico is revealed in all its glory!  Las Cruces is a great area; the pecan trees and other agriculture speak to the people’s hard work and dedication.  Great people of New Mexico, you deserve better; please choose your elected officials and representatives better.  Your potential will only continue to be wasted and abused until your politicians are held to task and corrected!  If you are in Albuquerque and are hungry, Monroe’s is an excellent choice, and you can get some of the best food in New Mexico style.  The Owl Café is an incredible gustatory experience.  If eating at the Owl Café, save room for the Volcano Banana Split or the New Mexico Red Shake, both are excellent!
  • New York – The State whose motto is “Excelsior!” could do with a heck of a lot more “Ever upward” movement! Everywhere I look in New York, you see the exact opposite of your moving “Ever Upward.”  From spasmodic politicians to Janus-faced labor unions to vacillating and spineless bureaucrats, the entire State of New York is in desperate straights, committing suicide with a dull knife, one stroke at a time!  Look, California is in trouble, no doubt, but why, oh why is New York competing for the bottom?  Unfunded liabilities and debt are crushing the entire state, and not a single politician wants to speak to the 800-pound gorilla in the room.  Worse, the mayor of your most populated city has murdered citizens by placing infected COVID patients into long-term care facilities.  No mention from Albany, no leadership from Albany is the standard response to every state problem.  Please explain how the state government in Albany can afford to be so disconnected from what occurs in the rest of the state!  Roads are crumbling; Albany does not care.  Crime skyrockets due to criminal injustice reforms; Albany could care less.  Towns failing; Albany wants the tax dollars and refuses common-sense approaches to aid in moving the state from a downward trend back to moving “Ever Upward!”  It is past time for Albany to wake up, put on some work boots, and start leading the State of New York!
  • North Carolina – “Esse quam videri” – “To be, rather than to seem!” North Carolina has been through some difficult times, but if your people return to this single motto, you can regain all you have lost.  Cease the fakery and “BE” what you need to become to regain your state!  I weep for the history that nefarious and petty tyrants have imposed upon you recently.  Worse, the terrorists are still among you, some even hold public office, and deep cleaning of fake people is required.  I wish you luck, for liberty and freedom will be lost if your state cannot remember your roots!
  • North Dakota – The State where Daniel Webster is quoted on the Great Seal of the State, “Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable.” While the state’s coat of arms declares, “Strength from the soil.”  Both are appropriate.  I have barely traveled in your state and regret that I have not met more of your people, traveling your cities and towns and sampling the goodness in your state.  Your state is an example to the entire country, and I thank you for your hard work, dedication, and living the motto of your state.  Keep up the great work; you deserve all the success you can create!
  • Ohio – As the only state whose motto is taken directly from the Bible, “With God, all things are possible,” one might think the state would be less inclined to self-destruction. However, the state also has the following motto, “Imperium in imperio” or “An empire in an empire,” which explains a lot.  Ohioans, I have lived and traveled your state extensively, meeting you in small towns, big cities, restaurants, and other civic events, and frankly, I think your state is stable and in good condition.  Except for the labor unions and the politicians and bureaucrats!  Holy… “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot” Ohio, why did you sell yourself for a bowl of pottage to borrow another incident from the Bible.  I have had the most incredible privilege of sweating beside the Amish, the Mennonites, and so many more of your people working and building.  The people are fantastic in Ohio, the second friendliest state in the Union.  But you have gotten sick on the political hay fed to you, and that sickness is ruining your state!  Would someone please explain why this is acceptable to a state with such a rich history of industry, commerce, resources, and the people to put these tools into action?
  • Oklahoma – “Labor omnia vincit” translates to – “Hard work conquers all things.” A truth and a representation of a people.  Oklahoma, you have some problems, you have some issues, but after what I have observed of your people, and through living your state motto, you can conquer, and I will cheer like mad!  I wish to take your people and transplant some into Pennsylvania or New Jersey for some woodshed corrective behavior modification.  Keep up the great work!
  • Oregon – “The Union,” and “Alis volat propriis” – translated as, “The Union, she flies with her own wings.” A state motto where the leaders are wholly disconnected from their state motto and couldn’t recognize the problems if Lady Justice was beating them with her sword!  Look, when one gets out of Portland, the entire State of Oregon is 180-degrees different.  Portland did not use to be the example of supreme idiocy, asininities, and deranged behavior.  These were inflicted upon her citizens by her rulers and government representatives until Portland was lost!  What boggles my mind is why the rest of the state has allowed Portland to fester and the rest of the state decay.  I know the environmental movement in the 1980s did a number on Oregon that has never been fixed, crimes committed where justice was denied the individuals, and Mount St. Helen’s didn’t help the state at all.  Please believe me; Portland is not representative of Oregon on or off the I-5 corridor; the rest of Oregon is full of good, honest, great people.  Outside of Portland, Oregon is the third friendliest state I have had the pleasure to travel through.  I pray that Oregon’s citizens can recover Portland, even if it means woodshed corrective behavior modification for the entire city!
  • Pennsylvania – “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence,” I repeat, only for emphasis, “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?” The historic land of independence depends entirely on all the wrong things, government answers, and labor union hypocrisy included!  Why did the land of virtue choose to lose virtue as a watchword for moderation and intelligent thinking supporting distinctive action?  Why is liberty so scarce in the land of liberty?  Of all the states that have thrown off their motto, refused the answer to their problems, and denied their heritage, I would never have expected Pennsylvania to make this list, but not only are you on the list, but you also lead the list!  I look at your state budget and the captivity of debt and shudder to think of the consequences coming your way.  Worse, I can find no excuses for the loss of virtue, liberty, and independence.  Sure, your politicians and labor unions helped.  Sure, the people were sold a lie and fed voraciously upon the lie.  But, there is not a single incident I can point to that would explain this destruction.  Why and how did you fall?  Please help me understand, Katrina and New Orleans are a historical point that ripped the scab off the rot in Louisiana and New Orleans.  What happened in Pennsylvania?  Why have you agreed to sleep in the filth left from the lie sold you?
  • Rhode Island – “Hope,” yes; I am an adherent, acolyte, postulant, etc., to the “Show Me” State, I live by “[Living] Free or Die,” but at the end of the day, “Hope” is my watchword. Rhode Island, why did “Hope” die in your state?  My last trip through your state was during a good economy, and things were happening, lots of good taking place, but your people were the most hopeless I had ever witnessed inside the borders of America.  Why?  Please explain to me why “Hope” is so scarce in the State of “Hope!”
  • South Carolina – “Dum spiro spero / animis opibusque parati” – Translates into, “While I breathe, I hope; prepared in minds and resources.” South Carolina, as a kid, I traveled extensively through your state.  As an adult, I have traveled not as extensively, but I can still not help but think the changes made in your state have not upheld your state’s motto.  I respect your state’s preparation for natural disasters and consider your efforts to be good.  But, the people’s minds have been forgotten, as witnessed by the terrorism of thought experienced during the summer of 2020.  Resources help in being prepared, but the minds must also be supported, instructed, and built!  Why were the minds of the people summarily discharged from the state efforts?  Of all the states in the Union, I expected South Carolina never to forget this lesson learned in the fires of the American Revolution.  Would someone please explain to me why mind preparation has been strangled, defied, and left behind?  In a case of limited resources, it is better to invest in the mind than in resources, for the mind can be stretched, and imagination can make resources.  Please, return to preparing the minds of your people.  Everyone else, understand this: South Carolinians are not stupid, ignorant, or mentally deficient; the state has simply stopped aiming for literacy, which has hurt the state’s resources and denied the heritage left them!
  • South Dakota – “Under GOD the people rule,” a sentiment worthy of such incredible people. How true this lesson remains for the rest of the country to learn.  I regret not having had the privilege of traveling more in your state, for I love what I have seen and experienced.  Your people are fantastic, and I encourage more people to participate in both North and South Dakota at your earliest opportunity.  When you see the metal T-Rex being walked by a metal man, I hope you laugh as hard as I did!  Keep up the great work, for I am very impressed!
  • Tennessee – “Agriculture and Commerce” remains a beautiful sentiment worthy of the people in Tennessee. I know Kentucky is the “Blue-Grass” state, but I find Tennessee’s agriculture to be much prettier.  Tennesseans, I implore you to return to your roots of agriculture and commerce.  Please correct your politicians and regain your competitiveness.  Your people are some of the world’s best people where ingenuity and imagination combine to create commerce.  Use this skill and develop your people.  But first, get new politicians at the city/town, county, state, and federal levels of government; these people do not represent who you truly are as a people!
  • Texas – “Friendship.” Another state motto that has been replicated perfectly upon the citizenry.  All my time in Texas has been defined by friendly people, helpful people, and people who care about their neighbors to the point of showing their care and concern as a daily part of regular action.  I regret the changes that have come, through unfriendly people to the city of Austin.  I implore the rest of Texas to rise and bring some woodshed corrective behavioral modification to Austin before the cancer of unfriendliness ruins your state!  Keep up the great work Texans, I know of no friendlier people on Earth!  Don’t forget to get your politicians back in order; they are killing your state.
  • Utah – “Industry” the perfect motto for the people of the state! Everywhere one turns in Utah, “Industry” is the watchword and the directive.  I met a man traveling through Utah, he wanted to be lazy, but when he saw how industrious all the people were, he was ashamed of himself and went back to work.  Sure, some homeless people needing to learn to be industrious, but I always had work sufficient for my needs in Utah as a person of action.  A willingness to work, and no skills, was not an affliction that kept one from working; I found trainers everywhere, provided I wanted to learn.  I know some of this is engrained from the founding of the state through the religious beliefs of the members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints.  Still, the heritage of industry surpasses religion’s influence, and frankly, I am always amazed to see just how much industry can accomplish in 24-hours!  Not saying there are no problems, but through living an industrious life, the troubles melt.  Keep up the great work, Utahans!
  • Vermont – Holding two state mottos, “Freedom and Unity” and “Stella quarta decima fulgeat,” the second translates from Latin as, “May the 14th star shine bright.” Ever want to know the history of something cool, look up the history behind the 14th star and Vermont.  The lesson is well worth the time.  Vermont, you are definitely worthy of both your state mottos; better still, I am anxiously awaiting the day you and New Hampshire become the central players in New England; your people and your states have waited a long time to rise.  Keep up the innovative work you do; hold your politicians more accountable, and keep the faith; your time is coming, and success is yours!
  • Virginia – With all your potential, your resources, and your people, I cannot help but claim, your state motto leaves me madder than a soaked chicken with a raging case of hemorrhoids! I know you are the only “Commonwealth” in the American Republic; I know your state has hated Texas since Texas came along.  I know your political class exemplifies perfectly the state motto, and this is flat-out disgusting!  “Sic semper tyrannis” – “Thus always to tyrants.”  Virginia, you have bullied and abused your neighbors as a tyrant, you continue to be a thorn in the side of this great Republic, and frankly, I look forward to the day your state is finally humbled.  For from the ashes of humility, I hope to see a better state rise!  I have met extraordinary people in Virginia, I have worked beside some great individuals, but all of these people were transplants, not “true Virginians.”  Honestly, General Robert E. Lee would be ashamed of the tyranny in Virginia!
  • Washington – Of all the states I have visited and lived in, Washington is the most bipolar and schizophrenic! With the motto of “Al-ki,” translated from the jargon of the Chinook Indians, it means “By and By.”  Seriously bipolar and schizophrenia are the watchwords in Washington.  If a person travels the entire length of Interstate 90, upon leaving Idaho, the homes of Boston become familiar, and then the rest of the whole United States becomes replicated in the architecture until you hit the mountains.  Drop down the mountains, and an entirely new world arrives where moss grows so thick on the roofs of houses that homeowners have to mow their roof!  SeaTac is not a good representation of the people of Washington, but schizophrenia is apparent everywhere along the I-5 Corridor from Canada to Oregon!  Some blame coffee for this psychological disease, but I assure you, you cannot blame the people on the coffee!  Great people, fantastic food, and incredible resources are throughout the entire state.  Still, the politicians, aided by Marxist labor union types, and too bloody much money, all crammed into too little space, has created a lifestyle that makes no sense and has seen people earning a million dollars a year living out of their cars, showering at the club or work, and driving home on the weekends!  Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, you especially, and desperately need to change who you elect to public office!
  • West Virginia – “Montani semper liberi” – Latin for “Mountaineers are always free.” Damned straight and from that freedom, West Virginia threw off their chains of captivity to Virginia, and the world changed forever.  Having lived with the mountaineers, climbed the back trails of the mountains, and witnessed the mountaineers’ strength and stubbornness, I know why Virginia lost that fight!  West Virginia has been the victim of government and Virginian abuses since its inception, but always the mountaineers remain steadfast, loyal, and fierce!  Do not underestimate the women or the mountaineers’ children, for they will kick your butt like nobody else!  Keep up the efforts, West Virginia; you are truly worthy of respect and honor, and shortly your day will come.
  • Wisconsin – If ever a state could exemplify both their motto and the need for living that motto more succinctly, Wisconsin wins hands down! The official motto, “Forward!”  I have traveled and experienced Wisconsin in good times and bad, from shore to border, and from Canada to Illinois, and all I can say, keep moving Forward!  Wisconsin, you can improve, you have the tools, resources, and some of the best people fed on the most incredible foods; keep moving Forward!
  • Wyoming – “Equal Rights and Cedant arma togae.” Two distinct thoughts that merge into a single motto, that “Equal rights ‘Let weapons yield to the toga.’”  The import of this idea is that with equal rights, the weapons of the past yield improvements in society to bring out the academic, the professional, and the better human.  Keep this motto in mind, for the truth is absolute that this can occur, and Wyoming is a unique example of how the state motto is leading the mind to change.  I was so intrigued to witness this motto in action in the people who still love rodeos, western living, and rugged individualists!  Wyoming keep up the great work you are living; I loved visiting and living in your state; thank you!

Detective 4As an industrial and organizational psychologist, I study and observe people.  I look at how people interact as a social group, a society, and an organization to understand the good and ill of human relationships.  I am not perfect, and I admit I am biased to hope, even when intelligence tells me hope is gone and to give up.  I also freely admit I live by “Show ME.”  My political beliefs live in New Hampshire’s motto, “Live free or die!”  I realize that living free involves following laws.  I support the US Constitution and US Bill of Rights as the only laws we need for the Federal Government to operate smoothly where the most freedom and liberty reside in the hands of the states and the people.

I love America!  Having seen the slums of Bahrain, the poverty of people in South Korea, the incredible beauty and wonder, the problems of countries in between, and the issues in America, I would live nowhere else on Earth.  Why; because of all of the problems witnessed in my travels across America, I know that when Americans wake up, put on their work boots, and go to work with a purpose, the world changes for the better again and again.  Each state’s motto is specifically designed to describe the culture of the people living in that state.  More, each state’s motto represents America’s ideals as a patchwork quilt that is American greatness.

Lever UpHence, I urge you to learn, discover, define, describe, and live the state motto that makes you the American you desire to represent!  American, [A(h)-Me-I-Can], adapt and adopt, gather, and be defined by any state motto that inspires.  How great is that!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to

NO MORE BS: The Historical Roots of Progressive Education

Gears[Public Service notice: All quotations arrive from Paulo Lionni’s, “The Leipzig Connection.”]

Paulo Lionni. “The Leipzig Connection” points out some history of great importance to understanding K-12 education.  As American students left the U.S. for Germany to study under Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig, they returned to America and either landed faculty jobs in psychology departments or branched out into education, specifically training K-12 teachers.  Each of these returning students wanted introspection to be measured, believed the human was an animal with no soul or divinity, and each of them left impressions upon teachers entering classrooms of K-12.

VirtueThe first of Wundt’s American students to return to the United States was G. Stanley Hall.  Hall became known for his intensive studies of child development, directly fostering the child study movement in America.  In 1904 Hall published his masterwork, the two-volume “Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education,” welding experimental psychology to child education.  Never forget, many of these new K-12 Educators also crossed professional paths with John Dewey, who remained adamantly opposed to literate students.  Another name in early K-12 progressive education is Edward Lee Thorndike, who was fond of declaring, “Subjects such as arithmetic, language, and history include content that is intrinsically of little value.”

Progressive education is nothing but experimental psychology, renamed, remarketed, and reliving the experiments, over and over.  The ultimate example of Einstein’s definition of insanity repeats on every new generation of unsuspecting students.  The work of dumbing down students has been launched successfully at this point in history.

The way Ph.D. Education worked in the late 1800s through the early1900s; a doctoral student found a Ph.D. holder, mimicked them, and increased the original research by extending their research into future application.  Hence, the need to fully understand Dewey and his influence upon those who graduated as Ph.D. holders who went on to lead colleges, laboratories, and experiment on children in K-12 Education.  Dewey contended that the public schools must “take an active part in determining the social order of the future… according as the teachers align themselves with the newer forces making for social control of economic forces.” Further, Dewey insisted that “… learning occurred only through experience, that the stimulus-response mechanism was basic to learning, and that teachers were not instructors, but designers of learning experiences [Emphasis Mine].”

Detective 2The shift in defining education changed the teacher’s role in the classroom. The insistence upon modern psychology having a free reign in the K-12 classrooms meant that the students were always being experimented upon, measured, sensory gratification induced, and socialized into education, not taught.  I have read accounts of progressive education experiences from England in the early 1900s, where the learning experiences meant some kid got pummeled by a bully, and the bully and victim had to relate what they learned from the experience.  Unfortunately, the same tripe is occurring in today’s classrooms.  While substituting, I experienced continual class time interruptions for standardized tests, surveys, information-gathering research, etc. All examples of modern psychology’s influence still treating K-12 students as pieces of information to be harvested instead of minds needing education.  My K-12 years were spent taking standardized tests, one in the fall, one in the spring, a big one at fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades, not mentioning SAT, ACT, ASVAB, etc.

What does a designer of learning experiences look like in reality?

I substitute taught in 4-APA English classes and 4-English classes for a period of almost 90-days.  The “designed learning experiences” included helping students feel Hester Prynne’s castigation while reading “The Scarlet Letter.”  Except, most of the students assigned to read the book refused. Those who read the book carried the “classroom discussions,” and the discussions never really discussed the book, the social issues, or worked to draw interest.  Worse, the majority of the student’s time was spent on workbooks with tear-out pages, where I, as the teacher, could only answer questions about the materials in the books, not teach the materials.  My hands were tied about how, what, when, and where I could instruct.  If a good discussion was started in an APA class, that discussion could not be continued onto another class, and many questions were forced unanswered.  Leaving frustration, social animosity, and producing a monumental waste of time.

Theres moreI asked full-time teachers what they thought and was surprised that their frustrations were not more significant.  One particularly fine comment has stuck with me, “You either learn to live with frustration, or you get out of teaching.”  I am a third option kind of person; I want to change the system, save children’s potential, and keep the American Heritage alive for another generation.

Where does Teacher Frustration Originate?

One of Wundt’s assistants and a Ph.D. student was James Mc-Keen Cattell, who measured how adults read, then assumed children did not need phonics to sound out words but could read using whole word memorization.  Notice the logic problem here; the adults measured had learned how to read using phonics, then honed their skills over time.  Cattell wanted to skip the learning stage and the honing stage and have children jump into whole-word memorization without phonics’ building blocks.  Guess what happened; dyslexia was born.  Because the student never had a proper foundation to read, reading became a chore, a hassle, and a struggle.  The students in these progressive schools were handed an excuse, a disease, and reading comprehension standards, reading ability, and reading literacy dropped significantly.  Not to mention the literary arts, or the art of expression through language was lost entirely.

Detective 4Admittedly, the most basic and essential skill a child needs is the ability to read.  Reading is paramount in everything a person does; math, science, history, language, etc., all depend upon the ability to read well.  Yet, Cattell removed the learning and honing experiences in reading, and the world has been worse off.  But, to refuse whole-word memorization and teach phonics in a classroom is a sin comparable to eating your own child. Want an interesting fact, whole-word memorization, also known as sight-reading, has been confirmed through peer-reviewed research as not increasing literacy rates.  Since Dewey was adamantly opposed to literate students, the psychologists won, and phonics was replaced.

Bringing the conversation to Charles Darwin and Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton.  “Galton’s theories held that ‘a man’s natural abilities are derived by inheritance, under exactly the same limitations as are the form and physical features of the whole organic world.’” Cattell quickly absorbed Galton’s approach to Eugenics, selective breeding, and the measurement of intelligence based upon race, poverty, and genetics. Cattell was later to become the American leader in psychological testing, and in 1894 would administer the first battery of standardized psychological tests ever given to a large group of people.”

Wundt maintained that humans are animals, and animal breeding is connected to Eugenics; thus, humans breed through Eugenics.  Eugenics is the practice or advocacy of improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits. It aims to reduce human suffering by “breeding out” disease, disabilities, and so-called undesirable characteristics from the human population.

What is the problem with Eugenics?

Andragogy - LEARNWho determines “undesirable hereditary traits?”  Is poverty an undesirable hereditary trait?  If so, then which gene is the poverty gene?  Which race is “undesirable” and needs “bred out of the human genome?”  Which “disabilities” are “undesirable characteristics” dyslexia has been made a handicap, injuries that lead to handicaps are those “undesirable?”  Who chooses “selective mating?”  How are selective mating couples selected?  The abortion movement and Margaret Sanger are mentioned here due to the stress of Eugenics upon student education beliefs:

    • Continuous Issue (1973) – Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Court ruled that the United States Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
        • A little history on this subject, the 1820s and 1830s abortions were common through the fourth month of pregnancy, and herbs, pills, and other home remedies were prevalent for use. Then, the physicians of America and the government stepped in to prevent poisoning and assert control over home remedies, midwives, and other medical opinion providers of the time.
        • New York was the first state to legalize or codify into law abortion as a public health measure to improve women’s lives. But the abortion industry had not begun targeting Black and minority communities.  The first women getting abortions mainstream were middle- or upper-class white married women.
        • Original feminists opposed abortion practices and wanted only voluntary motherhood through the “right of women to control sex with their husbands.”
        • The original laws banning abortion were enacted to humiliate women who had to discuss their bedroom affairs with the executive and judicial branch representatives.
        • Judges decided to outlaw abortion through judicial activism because it took the legislative branch too long to enact laws the special interest groups, e.g., the American Medical Association (AMA), wanted.
        • Judges then decided to make abortion on demand legal through judicial activism, because again, it was taking too long for the legislative branch to act and enact laws.
        • Thus, judicial activism and abortion have a long and sordid history of causing chaos in America since at least the 1840s. Hence, when a person discusses Roe v. Wade, they are only discussing the abortion on demand industry.

The other problem.

Based upon Wundt’s beliefs and teaching, propagated by Dewey and instilled in the beliefs that psychology and pedagogical education are inseparably connected, the reader arrives back at Thorndike.  Thorndike proposed making “the study of teaching scientific and practical.” This is his definition of the art of teaching: “…the art of giving and withholding stimuli with the result of producing or preventing certain responses.”  Thorndike believed, taught, and wrote about how children are nothing but animals, the same as chickens, cats, dogs, fish, etc., and through stimulation, responses can be programmed.

Behavior-ChangeFor example, a child is handed an assignment book.  Keeping the book clean and neat earns them a star, doing assignments earns them a star, being clean, and a myriad of other “socially accepted stimuli” will earn them stars, with the promise of a huge reward at the end of the year for those who collect the most stars.  Programmed behavior became integral in pedagogical instruction methods, not training the mind to independence, responsibility, and accountability.  Like Pavlov, Thorndike wanted to stimulate a programmed response, controlling remotely those who were deemed lesser.  Including anybody who disagreed with their aims, methods and was not converted to Wundtian methods.

The problem is apparent, to increase liberty, freedoms, and reduce government size; conservatives must focus on, and win, the battle for the classroom K-12.  But only if you believe that a human has a divine spark, a soul, and is held accountable to an entity higher than oneself.  Many good people have been duped by plasticized language and the tyranny spawned from modular language, where the psychologists and pedagogical education cross.  Worse, there are faithful acolytes who not only believe that a human has no soul but are willing to enforce breeding programs to rid the world of unwanted traits and genetic undesirability.  The sad but undeniable truth, K-12 pedagogical education warfare has been waged and, supposedly, won by the modern psychologists, who fought without an enemy.

3-direectional-balanceForward action is explicit, we must stand against the tyranny occurring in the classroom, rooting out the progressive education that was sold, and enslaved us, or our children will lose this precious country.  There is no third option here, we either win the classroom and remain a Republic, or we lose the classroom and lose the republic.  First, we must learn and raise our literacy rates.  Second, we educate our children and increase their literacy rates.  Third, we challenge, respectfully and legally, the actions of those on school boards.

Accept the challenge. … READ!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: The Virtuous Woman, the Modest Man

Another result of School 2 educational methodology was pointed out to me, the loss of the virtuous woman and the modest man.  I owe my life and sanity to a Catholic Nun, who left the nunnery to work in the real world with children.  Miss Murphy was a virtuous woman, not just because of her commitments to the church as a nun, but her poise, her speech, her mental aptitude and attitude, all bespoke virtue.  Miss Murphy was my principal at Governor Anderson Elementary School, Belfast, Maine, for three years.  She remained my friend for another two years, and her example has had a significant influence on me.

My wife, born in 1941, is a virtuous woman.  Her strength comes from her mother, who was virtuous, kind, and a bare-knuckle fighter.  I love my Mother-in-Law for her scrappiness and her virtues, her kindness, and her focused strength.  Her daughter is a softer version of the mother, and both of these women have had a tremendous influence on my life.

Virtuous WomanI never met my paternal grandfather; my paternal grandmother was a virtuous woman, a nurse, and an influence for good.  My maternal grandmother and grandfather were two of the most virtuous and modest people I ever met.  Some fond memories exist with both of these incredible people, and I hope I am representing their virtues and modesty appropriately.  My maternal great-grandmother was an incredible woman.  She was blind, but her clothes were always neat and comely, her house was immaculate, and sure she had some help, but the core was all her.

Where did the virtuous woman and modest man go in society?

Virtuous Woman 2They got lost as School 2 progressivism won the contest for educating young minds.  As children’s education became the reduction of minds to animal appetites increasingly, virtue and modesty were the first victims.  When I went to school, if your underwear was showing, it was considered a crime.  I was bullied and got a wedgie, the principal saw my underwear, and I got a two-day suspension and had to write a report on modesty in public and why modesty was important, as a condition to returning to school.  Now, underwear is everywhere, virtue and modesty are punchlines in-jokes, and the grandeur and mystery of the human body are belittled and mocked.

School 2 Methodologies:

Education is “… the result of modifiability in the paths of neural conduction. Explanations of even such forms of learning as abstraction and generalization demand of the neurones only growth, excitability, conductivity, and modifiability. The mind is the connection system of man; and learning is the process of connecting. The situation-response formula is adequate to cover learning of any sort, and the influential factors in learning are readiness of the neurones, sequence in time.”

Observations:

Virtuous Woman 3I love watching and observing people, children are the best, and little girls are amazing.  Why, because little girls live in their own world, interpret their worlds so dynamically different from boys, and ages of girls have distinct differences in understanding the world.  Get a group of 4-year old girls together, and they play differently than 5-yer old girls, but their worlds can merge but always remain separate.  But, too often, I see children forced into roles that they are uncomfortable with.  For example, little girls need a space of their own to think, consider, play, interpret, and be safe.  The girl is often bombarded with stuff that does not allow a safe space, and the little girl grows up insecure.

Little boys need room to roam, expand, explore, and run around.  Little boys need this exercise as much as they need air to breathe.  Yet, too often, the little boys are losing this room, and in losing the room, lose themselves, and never fully appreciate what it means to be a guy.

ModestyWandering through a clothing store one day, I was shocked, bewildered, and dismayed to see two-piece bikinis for newborns and toddlers.  How is a girl to learn her body’s majesty if her every waking moment is spent showing off her body?  How is a boy to learn control and respect for his body and a girl’s body when the clothes available are immodest at best?

The lessons of the schoolroom have invaded every aspect of our lives.  The reduction of the human spirit to neurologic impulse and animal appetites has robbed little children of the most precious time of their lives, their childhoods!

Wasting TimeThe time for silence is over.  The time for immodesty in public, displayed in verbal explosions of profanity, clothes that do not reflect respect in self, and the mocking of virtue, needs to end.  We are not animals, and we are not unrestrained appetites.  We are more than the connections of neurons that are turned on and off by a need for sensory gratification.  Those who are currently in power can be defeated and deserve to be defeated by realizing that we no longer accept that which has been “educated” into our brains.

I am not asking for high-necked collars and ties to go to the grocery store.  I am not claiming women should go back to hoop skirts and corsets.  I am encouraging a return to virtues, modesty, and respect first for oneself.

What are virtues?

VirtueVirtue, by definition, is the moral excellence of a person. A morally excellent person has a character made-up of virtues valued as useful.  Virtue is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality deemed morally acceptable and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness.  Aristotle provided 12 unique virtues, which we should begin with understanding and acquiring.  Aristotle’s 12 virtues:

1) Courage – bravery
2) Temperance – moderation
3) Liberality – the quality of being open to novel ideas and free from prejudice.
4) Magnificence – charisma, style
5) Magnanimity – generosity
6) Ambition – Drive to excel
7) Patience – temperate, calm
8) Friendliness – the quality of being friendly; affability
9) Truthfulness – honesty, candidness
10) Wit – humor, joy
11) Modesty –behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency
12) Justice – a sense of right/wrong, indignation

Andragogy - LEARNLiteracy is the power to inspire the mind, grow the soul, and improve the world we live in.  Freedom arrives thru and as a result of learning, reading, and questioning.  Freedom and liberty grow as our love of literacy increases.  The answer to improving democracy everywhere is freeing the minds through reading, writing, and learning.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: Do you have a soul?

Good TimberWhen I ask if you have a soul, I will not discuss philosophy, religion, or modernism.  I am not caring about psychology topics as much as a teacher’s actual role in a classroom.  Sensory gratification is a terrible disease plaguing society in ever more significant amounts since the 1960s.  Free sex, free education, action without consequence, unrestrained debt, drugs to get high, drugs to come down off the high safely, want something take it, steal it, buy it, all these sensory gratifications, and more, are linked to individual appetite.  An appetite that is never sated.  Leading to the questions, what happened, and where did we learn unrestrained appetite?

What happened?

The answer is embodied in the saying that yesterday’s school philosophies became today’s governmental actions.  Education has proclaimed the pernicious idea that a human can be programmed with sensory inducements, like a fish, a dog, a cat, a chicken, etc., and “educated” to be nothing but a social animal, devoid of anything but unrestrained sensory desires.  History has revealed the origin of education’s pernicious idea lies with Wilhelm Wundt.

Detective 2Paulo Lionni. “The Leipzig Connection” offers the following as the aim of Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920), the “Father of Modern Psychology.” “…For the emergence of a society more and more blatantly devoted to the gratification of sensory desires at the expense of responsibility and achievement.”  If this phrase does not hold the fullest description of society’s problems, all societies worldwide, I will eat my hat.

Lionni went further and detailed that, “Wundt asserted man is devoid of spirit and self-determinism.”  Meaning that man, which includes women, has no eternal spark, no divinity, no individualism, and lacks the ability to choose the best growth path.  Man can be reduced from a noble spirit in a temporal body to an appetite that can be artificially triggered by electrical connections.  Would it surprise anyone to know that Pavlov, the guy who treated dogs to electric shocks to get them salivating when they hear a bell, and Skinner, the guy who conducted box training for conditioned responses, both went to Wundt for learning and training?

Conditioned responses are not, in and of themselves, bad or undesirable.  As a firefighter, conditioned responses have saved my life, have improved my response times, and have kept my fire teams alive.  However, as the sole education method for government education in K-12 training, conditioned responses, also known as sensory gratification, have created severe social issues that are killing potential, ruining lives, and robbing freedom and liberty.

Where did we learn unrestrained appetite?

Duty 3There are two schools of thought about education; these schools of thought are defined by their definitions of the term “education.”  Education is a concept dating back to the Latin root of the word, Eductus, “to bring out, lead forth,” from E, “out of,” + Ducere, “lead.”  Hence, “to develop the faculties and powers of another by teaching, instruction, or schooling.”

School 1:

“Originally, education meant the drawing out of a person’s innate talents and abilities by imparting the knowledge of languages, scientific reasoning, history, literature, rhetoric, etc., —the channels through which those abilities would flourish and serve.”

School 2:

Education is “… the result of modifiability in the paths of neural conduction. Explanations of even such forms of learning as abstraction and generalization demand of the neurones only growth, excitability, conductivity, and modifiability. The mind is the connection system of man; and learning is the process of connecting. The situation-response formula is adequate to cover learning of any sort, and the influential factors in learning are readiness of the neurones, sequence in time.”

Andragogy - LEARNUntil the 1930s, America and most of the world used education as represented as “School 1,” described above.  Students were led to bring forth talents and abilities through the knowledge imparted by a teacher.  Between 1930 and 1960, both schools of thought were competing for dominance, and “progressive schools” were all about socializing and sensory gratification.  By 1960, the domination of School 2 thinking had overtaken the majority of educational establishments.  Removing the individuality and replacing the individual with “the gratification of sensory desires at the expense of responsibility and achievement.”

What was the result of School 2 methodologies?

Detective 4Dyslexia was invented to cover those students who struggled.  Ritalin was introduced to control those whose sensory inputs were not in line with what was being taught was acceptable behavior. Student’s potential was measured by race and poverty and not upon individual effort, achievement, and development.  Functional illiteracy became the standard for graduating from High School to have a ready-made population of drones for the workforce.  The powers supplying the sensory inputs into the population rose to dominate government, media, technology, and much more.  Suicide rates climbed.  Depression rates climbed.  Mental diseases exploded as a means of excusing and separating the population.  Debt at all levels, household, city/town, county, state, Federal, credit card, school loans, etc., exploded to the insane levels witnessed today.  Single-parenthood became desirable.  Sex without consequences, abortion on demand, and so much more became socially permissible, accepted, and cheered.

Where we are now!

This brings us to 2021; education is now all “School 2” thinking. The vast majority of workers are functionally illiterate, and the government is stealing freedom and liberty through a “health emergency.”  As long as the population’s senses are being filled, the powers in charge can do whatever they want; including stealing an election, robbing unborn children of freedom through debt captivity, and abusing the electorate at will (California, New York, Oregon, New Mexico, and Michigan’s Governors) and robbing the Social Security Fund to pay for the pleasures of today, with no thought of the consequences tomorrow.

RememberDecember 2020, I began reviewing the outstanding accomplishments witnessed in the last century, and a question percolated, “Where are the new great accomplishments?”  Consider the “Big Historical Moments” of the 1900s.  We have the automobile instead of the horse-drawn carriage.  We have space flight, trans-continental flight.  We have all these technological advances.  Humans witnessed so much growth from 1900-1999, but in the first two decades of the new century, we appear to have come to a plateau and lost our way.  In delving deeper into this question, School 1 and School 2 philosophies’ discovery is the driving factor in why we appear to have plateaued in making discoveries, pushing boundaries, and driving innovation forward.

Maybe, plateaued is the wrong way to describe the advances witnessed from 2000-2020.  I read almost weekly about new discoveries in science and medicine, but to read these advances, I have to dig through media blaring about someone’s clothes, hair, sexual orientation, etc.  The headlines cheering Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart’s flights, and more were the talk of the town; newspapers the world over celebrated these achievements.  Now, new advances and achievements have to compete with political bloviations, smoke and mirror editorials, and envy has become the topic of discussion and is celebrated.  All because too many generations have been reduced to animals by School 2 methodologies.

Leading the issue back to the initial question, “Do you have a soul?”  If so, then School 2 education is abhorrent, and mighty change is immediately required to correct the problems.  If not, then School 1 education and the mighty thinking and doing of the 1900s is lost forever.  Are you a social animal that is all unrestrained appetite for whatever power that provides you the most sensory gratification, or are you an eternal being, in a temporal existence, willing to shoulder accountability for the blessings of growth, freedom, liberty, and independence?

LinkedIn ImageI know my answer, and I strive every day to learn, change, grow, and control my passions and other sensory-based appetites in an effort to develop.  “Do you have a soul?”

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

Uncomfortable Truths – More News from Albuquerque Public Schools

Some friends discovered I was attempting, again, to work as a substitute teacher for Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) and told me to not waste my time and talents.  They then shared with me some of the recent changes and more issues at APS that shocked and horrified me.  I do not have a student in the APS school district; thus, all I can do is relate their stories here in the hopes of generating enough angst that someone in the Department of Education will rip the scab off the injury called APS, and begin some sunshine disinfectant.

Government Largess 2An Educational Assistant (EA; Teacher’s Aide) was called upon to be a substitute teacher in Seventh Grade math; because APS is bereft of substitute teachers and is experiencing a teacher drought.  The EA is not a licensed substitute teacher; thus, when asked how this is legal, to have an EA substituting outside her regular work and expertise, she said she “didn’t know” and then acknowledged this is standard practice.  The EA went on to further elaborate saying that when she has asked for a substitute teacher because her teacher was out or off, she had a very low probability of ever getting a licensed substitute teacher and generally had to teach the class, with no extra money for doing extra work.  Why does the NM Professional Licensure classify licenses, and charge horrendous fees for licensure, if EA’s can be “regularly called upon to substitute teach?”  My friend has worked in four other states in the US as an Educational Assistant/Teacher’s Aide, and has never been licensed to be a substitute teacher; yet, somehow in APS, she can be regularly called upon to substitute teach.

While discussing teacher performance, another classic APS child abuse issue was uncovered, all while a good teacher is being forced out of her position.  Because of the teacher drought, APS is experiencing, and due to reduced registrations in a Bi-Lingual education school, an illiterate teacher in both Spanish and English, who had to pass a state-mandated test to get the license to teach bilingual students, is going to keep her job for another year.  This intellectually challenged teacher has been reported to APS more than a dozen times for swearing, insulting, and not being able to teach; but this teacher was just offered a full-time position teaching bilingual students, when she cannot speak/read/write in either English or Spanish at an academically acceptable level to teach others.  Due to falling registrations, a Kindergarten teacher, who was the last one hired at this school, is being laid-off.  The teacher, being terminated is a stellar teacher, works hard, is well-liked by staff, parents, and students.  Since joining APS, this phenomenal teacher has been assigned to “catch” those students from the most impoverished homes and get them up to speed academically.  Reported by all who know this teacher, she is exemplary in her assigned duties; fully 180-degrees separate from the illiterate teacher who landed her job under shady circumstances or nepotism.  Yet the bad teacher is being kept and the good discharged.  APS, and by extension, the NM Professional Licensure board, are committing child abuse on such a scale, there should be criminal charges.

I have been in business a long time, and one of the fundamental rules of business is if people are assigned to work, and mandatorily required to put in extra time, those people must be paid for their extra time.  In discussing job mandates and requirements with more than forty-different full-time, substitute, and EA instructional staff members of APS, a regular theme arises; if the school mandates the instructional staff is required to work, they will not be paid for their extra time.  For example, the EA discussed above, was called to substitute teach, spent 90-minutes after work writing notes to the regular teacher, and will not be reimbursed for her extra time.  Please note, this is 90-minutes on top of her regularly scheduled, non-paid, mandatory overtime.  Thus, every day, this EA loses 90-minutes of pay at the end of the day and between 60 and 90 minutes at the start of the day, with no reimbursement to cover this employer-mandated time.  With a regular school year average of 38-weeks, 5-days per week average worked, and roughly 150-minutes per day unpaid, an average EA salary of $15,116.50 ($9.95 per hour), this EA is losing approximately $2,836.70 each school year.  Where is the NM Department of Labor?  Where is the NM Legislature?  Where is the NM Public Education Department (NM PED), who also happens to be in charge of overseeing licensure?  As I understand this is a widespread general practice for all teaching staff, but I can attest that the administrators leave promptly on time and arrive on time, and if they must work late they are reimbursed for their time.  Why is the teaching staff treated differently?

Government Largess 4With a total grant budget of $1.6 Billion, no numbers have been found for the amount of tax revenue APS is handed, the school district is certainly well funded.  From the 2018-2019 school survey on APS performance, we find a common theme from the citizens to the APS school district, reduce administration costs.  The answer from APS school administrators was to, “Increase Counselors, Social Workers, Security and other staff to support our student’s mental and physical health … Increase Custodians across the schools [sic].”  The Albuquerque Journal reports that APS is the lead agency for taking tax dollar revenues.  With Bernalillo County and City of Albuquerque, plus property taxes, all being collected at ridiculous rates, APS must be getting a significant chunk of revenue; still, APS demands more money “For the children.”

Understanding checkpoint, we have more than one instance of a teacher unable to perform their duties, and verbally abusing students.  We have a functionally illiterate teacher who landed her position based on either shady circumstances, or through nepotism, and we have a recorded phenomenal teacher being summarily discharged during a teacher drought.  We have citizens, parents, and a concerned community begging for reduced administration, where APS then responds they are increasing administration.  Then we have non-licensed staff forced to work outside their licensure because the administration cannot obtain substitute teachers, and teaching staff forced to work extra hours without proper compensation.  Where is the public outrage?  Where are the lawyers?  Where are the politicians demanding answers?  These problems are not new to APS; why the silence?

You're FiredDuring the summer of 2019, for the first time in 15-years, APS full-time licensed teachers received a pay raise.  Not for the first time in 15-years, the teachers saw a slew of additional requirements, mandates, and reductions in alternative licensure to “pay” for the teacher pay raise.  All while the school board received yet another pay increase.  The voters have already told APS NO on a slew of tax increases and bond sale schemes; however, in November 2019, APS is trying again to raise taxes, raise money, and raise administrator salaries.  Albuquerque, the next time Bernalillo County, City of Albuquerque, or APS asks you for more money, ask them when they will deliver education to students, a reduced administration, and fix the teacher drought?  It is blatantly apparent to me that when APS, City of Albuquerque, or Bernalillo County claim, “It’s for the children,” they really mean they want a pay raise on your blood, sweat, and tears; tell them no!

© 2019 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

The images used herein were obtained in the public domain, this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

Poverty and Race Do Not Dictate Ability: Shifting the Educational Paradigm

Government Largess 4From the 1960s, educators began believing and living a belief that poor minority students cannot succeed or learn to the same quality of rich white children.  This belief changed how K-12 Education was funded, supported by the government, and directed resources for education in America’s cities and towns.  Back in 1995, Milwaukee, WI., Douglas B. Reeves forever sundered the fallacious belief that poverty and race do not chain a student’s mind.  Except in 2019, the lie continues that if you are not white and rich K-12 education is going to be forever out of reach, that your poverty status means you cannot achieve, and your race will dictate how smart you are.  Race and poverty are still the demographic drums used to bleed resources, damage education, and stifle educational innovations.  Well, I say it is past time to cease the madness and demand those in education either reform or leave; for they are committing child abuse with their racist lies for personal gain and political power.

Referring to the Standards for Teacher Competence in Educational Assessments of Students (1990), a parent can find five areas of scoring a student’s teacher for quality of classroom efforts.  These five standards include:

  1. Is the teacher prepared before they instruct the class?
    1. This includes support from the school principals and the administrative staff at the school board level.
    2. The student should be evaluating themselves for preparation before classroom instruction for their personal desires to learn and work assignments completed.
    3. The teacher’s preparation should include written activities to measure student performance and be graded against a standardized scoring system.
  2. Does the teacher use a variety of activities and approaches during the instructional time to aid student comprehension? If so, what activities are being used?  If not, why?
    1. Get this answer early and check with the student often for compliance.
    2. Use the teacher-parent conference to obtain the teacher’s input.
    3. Never allow a teacher to single-mode and done a learning activity, this is a sign of a lazy teacher.
  3. What is the teacher doing to connect with students after instructional time activities?
    1. Student aid with long and short-term goal attainment.
    2. Communicating student strengths and weaknesses clearly to students and parents.
    3. Being engaged in curriculum correction with the principal and the school board.
  4. Are the teacher’s advice, comments, and suggestions being sought by the school principal and their administrative staff for both the local school and the school board? If not, hold the school board accountable and the principal responsible for ignoring the needs of the teacher.
    1. Teachers have first-hand accounts of how the environment, building facilities, technology, etc. are influencing and affecting the student learning process.
    2. Teachers are not the sole reason student’s fail, struggle, or succeed.
    3. If it takes a town to raise a child, then the teacher should be considered as a tool, a small part, in building the child, and while the teacher is often the face of the school, the teacher is part of a team. Know who to hold responsible!
  5. What is the teacher doing in the broader community of educators?
    1. This question goes beyond simple professional development and continuing education.
    2. This question points to the support the school and the district provide time to the teacher for involvement, and encouragement to pursue professional opportunities.
    3. Ask the teacher how well they are encouraged and supported to pursue professional involvement. Just do not lay the blame with the teacher if they express they are not fulfilled professionally.

Nowhere in those assessments of a teacher is the race of the child considered, the financial aspect of the children’s family regarded, or any other demographic considered.  The Standards for Teacher Competence provides for measuring teachers, why does the lie regarding race and poverty remain so prevalent; the answer lies in the school administrations, the amount of money available, and the expensive cars parked at the school district headquarters.  The school administrations have become fat and stifling upon the tax dollars used in education, the size of the school administration is killing education, robbing teachers of funds for the classroom, and ruining children’s opportunities for growth; precisely the opposite of the job the school administrators was hired to perform.

Reeves (2003) cites Peters and Waterman (1982) “In Search of Excellence” for the role and duties of the school administrators.

  • Focus upon academic achievement
  • Provides clear curriculum choices and support teachers
  • Opens the schedule for frequent assessments which provide students multiple opportunities to improve
  • Emphasizes nonfiction writing
  • Employs collaborative scoring of student work using standard grading guidelines
  • Builds a learning environment focused upon persistent, consistent, and reliable assessments reflecting student efforts and teacher support

Nowhere in Peters and Waterman’s (1982) work is race a contributing factor in brains or abilities.  Nowhere is the financial situation a student arrives at a classroom from reflecting a causal variable in classifying a student who can and cannot handle workloads in K-12 education.  That the belief that race and poverty influence abilities to learn is a lie has been known since as early as the mid-1960s; yet, this pernicious belief continues to saddle minority and poverty students with ever-decreasing standards, less focus in education upon factors that can improve the student’s ability to learn, and activities that challenge the student to excel.

Government Largess 2Here is what the lie regarding poverty and race looks like in practice, using Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) as an example.  Please feel free to use your public schools as an example to rate the school district, the school principal, and the teachers of your communities’ children.

  • APS is the 31st-largest school district in the US
    • 20% of New Mexicans age 16 and older have literacy skills at level 1, the lowest level on a scale of 1 to 5.
    • New Mexico ranks 50th out of the 50-American States with a D- or a score of 66.2%.
    • As the biggest school district in New Mexico, APS has nothing to crow about as they are central to the low scores and literacy problems in NM.
  • Capital budget: nearly $1 billion in both new educational facility capital projects as well as improvements and refurbishments in the district’s schools between 2010 and 2016.
  • Current Projects: FD&C currently has 146 projects in design or construction totaling approximately $378 million
  • Square Feet: approximately 15 million square feet of traditional school buildings, portable classrooms, and administrative offices and facilities
    • From the Bernalillo County website, there are several graphs worthy of attention. Specifically, Figure 12: Bernalillo County, NM Detailed Education Attainment Breakout by Race (Age 25+).
      • 9% of Hispanic populations do not have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
      • 3% of the American Indian population does not finish high school or attain a GED.
      • 3% of the white demographic does not complete high school or attain a GED.
    • Speaking volumes of the efficacy of the school board to address the problems in APS, and even more about the “10% dropout” rate APS crows about as a success factor. How many of those graduating are functionally illiterate and unable to obtain work after graduation?
    • Having spoken with teachers, it is blatantly evident that APS passes students who do not possess the skills, because of the restrictions placed upon the teachers to teach to the students, and not to a program, a system, or a process.
    • With nearly 50% of the population in Bernalillo County identifying as Hispanic, and almost 50% not finishing high school, when Reeves (2003) cites the equity gap caused by the lie that poverty and race dictate educational ability, here is the gap illustrated.
    • Yet, for all the billions of dollars APS oversees for education in Bernalillo County, the gap has not shrunk, ever.
  • APS believes in “magic-bullet” programs to “fix the gap;” proving again that insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results. New in 2019 in APS school systems is yet, one more sure-fire, quick-fix, strategy to fix the poverty and race gap in education, and the results will be the same next year and the year after that, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

Image - Eagle & FlagAmerica, you are the power that keeps the school districts alive.  Use the five points provided to assess the teachers, use the six-points above to evaluate and measure the school board, school administration, and principal, and then every time you see a school board, teacher, or principal out of compliance, demand change!  There is no excuse for an almost 60-year old lie to continue to thrive.  There is no valid excuse for failing to teach students in the K-12.  Poverty and race do not hamper or hinder when teachers are prepared, and schools are appropriately led, focused, and each student is assessed for consistent, persistent, and reliable growth.  Demand better; our kids deserve more!

© 2019 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

The images used herein were obtained in the public domain, this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

Experience + Education + Time + Reflection = Knowledge: The Knowledge Transfer Process

The Rule of 7-P’s can be expressed two different ways, that then communicate two significantly different outcomes; yet, both expressions are intertwined and cannot be separately employed.

Proper Prior Planning Produces Potentially Positive Performance

or

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Purely Poor Performance

When discussing the Rule of 7-P’s and knowledge transfer, both methods of communicating the rule remains continuously applicable. For example, a toddler takes a table knife and starts to insert the table knife into an electric outlet. The adults, knowing that a discussion about electricity, the potential electricity has for causing burns, shocks, and fires will be lost on the toddler; thus the adult simply takes the knife, shouts NO!, and maybe smacks the child. What knowledge was transferred; the lack of a plan in this knowledge transfer opportunity has resulted in poor performance. However, the argument remains, what will a toddler learn without experiential knowledge? For a potentially positive knowledge transfer process, why not create a plan and turn a negative into a positive?

Providing the next variable in knowledge transfer, KISS, or “Keeping (IT) Supremely Simple.” The “IT” here can be the plan needing to be simple, the words employed, the method of knowledge transfer, etc.; all of these are variables in the knowledge transfer process. The principle is the requirement to transfer knowledge simply. Whether the audience is a toddler, a teenager, or an adult, the principle remains, keep (IT) supremely simple. Now, I have been reprimanded for insisting that adults need simple knowledge transfer; I continue to disagree. How many adults enter a training opportunity with nothing else on their minds than the coming learning? How many adults have shut down their lives for the training to enable full concentration for knowledge transfer success? Hence the need to communicate simply even for adults.

Agency; in all the world, there is no variable more powerful. Agency, as defined by Aristotle, is an agent in action. The agent is a body with the power to choose, the action is choosing, and natural consequences follow. Agency is a binary solution, act or do not act. Both choices possess consequences that will be valued by the individual through choice, who will then follow the logic of past choices and valuations into a determined destiny.

Communication, or knowledge transfer, provides a sender and a receiver in interaction the opportunity to act and will share both individual and combined natural consequences. Consider the toddler and the adult; the adult wants to keep the toddler safe. The toddler wants to discover. Connected the toddler and the adult share an experience (table knife and an electric outlet) with consequences, and individually, they will enjoy or suffer consequences as well as collectively they will have consequences. A consequence is neutral, the value of the consequence e.g., good or bad, positive or negative, relies upon the individual to choose, or exercise agency as an empowered agent. Every agent possessing the power to choose will exercise that power, and cannot escape the consequence.

Self-determination is often confused with agency, even sometimes used synonymously for agency, but self-determination is not agency. Keeping these two items, separate and distinct, remains imperative. Self-determination is defined as “the process by which a person controls their own life.” Thus, agency is a binary solution and not a process. Self-determination is a process, or a logical movement from one instance of an agent acting to another in a continuous chain of events, or cycles, of perception, choosing, evaluating, consequence, leading back to a new choice opportunity. Knowledge transfer relies upon self-determination as the sender cannot dictate how the knowledge sent will be employed. Only the receiver can determine the usefulness, the value, and the application. To blame the sender for knowledge transfer failing is mentally disingenuous at best, since the sender and the receiver share conjoined responsibility for the knowledge transfer process, the consequences of agentic action, and individual effects that are stemming from the knowledge transfer interaction.

Sine Qua Non a Latin phrase meaning “an indispensable and essential action, condition, or ingredient.” Trust is the Sine Qua Non in knowledge transfer opportunities. Trust is always playing a role, but the sender will generally not know if they are a trusted source. Trust remains an essential ingredient in all knowledge transfer opportunities. With trust between agents, knowledge transfer occurs almost effortlessly. Without trust between agents, knowledge is always doubted, efforts to transfer knowledge are more difficult, and the consequences of the lack of trust might not be realized immediately. Trust is based upon experience, time, and contains many different degrees, or shades. For example, the toddler might not convey they trust the adult, but the toddler will remember their interactions with the adult, and these remembered interactions build over time and experiences. One day that toddler will be able to vocalize trust, and the adult in that situation will then be faced with knowledge for good or ill.

Realtors have a saying, a rule, an aphorism, “Location, Location, Location.” Knowledge transfer is also contingent upon location, many times, this variable is conveyed as the environment. Regardless, where knowledge is transferred remains an aspect of prior planning that determines positive or poor performance. Just as realtors often overlook location, the knowledge transfer process, without a plan, will stumble over the location. Consider the following, while serving in the US Navy, an officer was observed attempting to transfer knowledge while a sailor used a pneumatic needle gun to chip paint. Chipping paint on steel requires ear protection, many times there is a desire for dual-ear protection, earplugs, and a set of over the ear, foam insulated, muffs. The officer was then observed holding the sailor accountable for the knowledge transferred, to the sailor’s detriment. Other times this same officer was observed transferring knowledge in engine spaces, with running machinery in the background; with the same result, the sailor was held accountable for not receiving the knowledge the officer was sending. Time after time, the same lesson is available, proper prior planning produces potentially positive performance, provided the plan understands location, location, location.

Knowledge transfer relies upon A Priori and A Posteriori knowledge to understand and onboard what is being provided. Humans are creatures that build, and experience builds knowledge, and education combined with experience, builds knowledge. The valuation of developed knowledge is personally known and evaluated continuously then compared with present situations and available experiential knowledge. The human brain will always be trying and testing A Posteriori knowledge, A Priori knowledge, against explicit, tacit, procedural, descriptive/declarative knowledge bases to build new knowledge from current experience. With this retesting will come the natural consequence of new valuations, where something highly valued suddenly becomes less valued or even rejected outright. Thus, the oft-repeated need for proper prior planning in transferring knowledge; without a plan, or with a poor plan, potentially positive performance is not obtainable.

Murphy’s Law states, “No plan survives first contact intact.” Some people take this law and then refuse to plan. Other people take this law and plan redundancies Ad Infinitum, but never carry out a single plan. The most effective people take this law, realize the potential, and will create plans flexible enough to accommodate reality, while confidently moving forward with the plan to achieve the desired end goal. An agent in action will choose who they are where planning is concerned, and the resulting consequences thus create societies, learners, communities, and other collections of empowered agents that are drawn to those with similar choice and valuation cycles — providing the variable in knowledge transfer second to agency, peers.

A peer group, as mentioned, forms around a group of agents that follow similar thought patterns and valuation cycles. For example, smokers know the dangers of smoking, but continue to smoke, and quitting requires choosing a different peer group before the smoker can quit. While other smokers surround the smoker, quitting is either a “pie crust promise, easily made and easily broken,” or an unfulfilled wish, due to the peers chosen with which to associate. The choice and perceived valuation cycle prevent peer reevaluation; thus, the smoker will continue to smoke. Knowledge transfer is dependent upon peer influence. Consider, if the sender is not trusted by one member of the peer group, the entire peer group will be influenced, and knowledge transfer will suffer accordingly. Even if the individual has a different evaluation of the sender through experience.

Consider the following example, while serving in the US Navy, an officer was charged to teach a class on handgun safety. The officer began the class by pointing a handgun at the audience. The officer was trying to teach a basic rule of handgun safety: “if you do not personally know a handgun is loaded, all handguns are presumed loaded.” However, this lesson failed horribly! Everyone in the class had a different perception of the lesson and related their experience to their peers. Thus, trust for this officer plummeted and interfered with every lesson this officer taught throughout his career. The officer was a subject matter expert, had tremendous insight, and could impact people for good. This single incident followed him from ship-to-ship, and doubt in their capability to teach was sown, all through peer-to-peer communication, and the influence of peer groups.

The importance of understanding the Rule of 7-P’s, KISS, agency, trust, location/environment, Murphy’s Laws, peer groups, and self-determination, forms foundational knowledge needed to build a training program, improve teaching and training, and enhance the process of knowledge transfer. Thus, it behooves all agents to have this information to enhance learning and improve teaching performance. The cycle is clear, “we teach that we may learn more perfectly, so we may teach more correctly, and then learn more perfectly.”

© 2019 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

The images used herein were obtained in the public domain, this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

Experience + Education + Time + Reflection = Knowledge: Understanding the Formula for Knowledge

The newest baby in the physical begins life with urges, desires, but must learn everything, and along the way discovers a fact as incontrovertible as the rising sun, knowledge requires effort.  From the desire to be dry instead of wet, the baby cries.  From a desire for food, the baby cries.  Thus, physical life begins.  Muir (1930) makes clear that “Thought is matter; thought rules the world.  Thinking is intelligence (knowledge) at work.”  Please keep in mind, this topic continues to be fiercely debated and time does not allow a full exploration of each nuance; however, from seminal thinkers the following attempts to simplify the debate and showcases why the formula for building knowledge is the way portrayed:

Experience + Education + Time + Reflection = Knowledge

Returning to the baby analogy, the baby experiences light, but cannot describe why their eyes hurt from the light.  Thus, the first step in learning is an experience.  Through experience, choices are made, but the lack of understanding of consequences and communicating leads the baby to cry in frustration.  Thus, we can conclude that the first step in knowledge creation is experimenting and the resulting experience teaches preferences (Muir, 1930).  The movie “Teacher’s Pet” provides a quote solidifying the role of experience “… knowledge is the horse experience rides” (Perlberg, Seaton & Seaton, 1958).

Partanen, Kujala, Naatanen, Liitola, Sambeth, and Huotilainen (2013) conducted research on babies in the womb and stated that it is logical that the baby in the womb is learning a language.  Thus, providing the conclusion that the first education lessons are taught and experienced in the womb.  Upon birth, everything is being taught, smiling, laughing, crying, etc. are all lessons to be experienced with educational lessons.  For example, a baby responds to parental cues, smiling when they smile, laughing to make them laugh, crying when the parents are upset or angry.  All learned responses ever before a formal classroom.

Education and experience provide the first step in knowledge, often referred to as A Priori or knowledge gleaned from the world.  For example, the preference to have a dry diaper over a wet diaper.  No one has to explain to the baby that being wet is uncomfortable, creates pain, and is not desirable.  Epistemologists continue to debate whether education and experience are both involved in A Priori knowledge, but common sense tells the student that knowledge that we cannot describe where we learned it, is A Priori knowledge (Moser, 1987; Williamson, 2013).

The next type of knowledge is referred to as A Posteriori or knowledge that comes after a lesson (Moser, 1987; Williamson, 2013).  Consider the difference between hot and cold; how many babies touch something hot, get burned, have pain, and then learn the difference between hot and cold?  A Posteriori knowledge requires the next element in the formula for the full lesson to be taught, reflection.  A Posteriori knowledge requires time to reflect, and time and reflection bring more nuances of the hot/cold lesson to the enquiring mind.  For example, burns have blisters, scabs, pain, and so much more is experienced through the senses.  The smell of burning flesh stinks.  The redness, when touched brings back pain.  If the burn is severe enough, there are hospitals, nurses, doctors, and so much more added to the lesson regarding the difference between hot and cold.

The remaining types of knowledge are as follows, with a brief description:

  • Explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge. A Priori and A Posteriori are opposite ways to learn, so too are explicit and tacit knowledge opposites.  Explicit knowledge is recorded data that can be accessed through books, videos, recordings, and is generally found in formal classrooms and upon the Internet (Collins, 2010; Smith, 2001).
  • Tacit knowledge is the knowledge that is both difficult to translate into words and difficult to separate from emotions. For example, music performed by a young performer may be technically correct, but the emotions are stripped from the performance.  A master musician, in concert, translates the emotions effortlessly, while remaining technically accurate, and is astute to the audience during the performance.  If a junior musician asks a master how to translate emotions, the master musician will find it very difficult to explain how but will encourage the junior to explore their own emotions and continue practicing (Collins, 2010; Reber, 1989; Smith, 2001).
  • The next two opposing classes of knowledge are propositional and non-propositional. These classes of knowledge are also referred to as descriptive or declarative knowledge (propositional) and procedural (non-propositional).  Propositional knowledge is the knowledge that is passed through declarative or descriptive statements, where the teacher knows something is true, but cannot adequately detail how they know it is true.  Propositional knowledge is generally found in closely held beliefs, religions, opinions, and is the embodiment of experiential knowledge.  Propositional knowledge is embodied in formal education (Klien, 1971).
  • Procedural knowledge is usable knowledge. For example, technical manuals are full of procedural knowledge or step-by-step instructions to complete a task.  Procedural knowledge is the only knowledge that can be cited in a court of law and is the fundamental description behind intellectual property.  Procedural knowledge can be bought, sold, traded, protected, the rights to procedural knowledge can be leased, all because of the usefulness of procedural knowledge.  Procedural knowledge is all about gaining experience (Corbett & Anderson, 1994; Willingham, Nissen, & Bullemer, 1989).

To gain knowledge in any of the classes identified, we have shown that experience and education need time and reflection to empower the knowledge gained into usefulness.  Each of the classes of knowledge has learning theories to aid the student to explore that class of knowledge and more fully draw out lessons for future use.  For example, procedural knowledge could be learned through cognitive learning theories (Atherton, 2009; 2010), through Pavlov’s classical learning theories (Clark, 2004; Bitterman, 2006), and many more theories.  There is no explicit right or wrong in knowledge attainment, the formula provided simply reflects the steps to creating knowledge, and each individual will reorder these ingredients based upon needs, desires, and personal application.  A master artist in sculpture might have a different order for their knowledge attainment than a master painter or musician; however, all the masters will be able to communicate due to their mastery, not the order they place the ingredients in knowledge attainment.  Key to the knowledge attainment formula provided is that learning never ceases.  Each experience provides new lessons that will require time and reflection to completely master, or attain.  Hence the need to know how knowledge is created and the importance of the formula for future experiences, formal and informal educational opportunities, and desires for new knowledge.

A final aspect of knowledge is that knowledge can be gained and lost (Howells, 1996).  A lack of choosing to learn or experience robs time and costs knowledge.  For example, the ability to read can be taught, but when not practiced, it becomes harder and harder until the ability to read is lost.  Understanding what is read, can be taught, but the harder reading becomes, the less the words are understood until all understanding in the written words has been lost.  Due to the nature of gains and losses in knowledge creation and retention, it behooves the individual to choose to be continually learning, experiencing and employing time and reflection to capture the available knowledge (Teece, 2000; Tough, 1979).

References

Atherton J. S. (2009) Learning and Teaching; Cognitive theories of learning [On-line] UK: Retrieved from: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/cognitive.html

Atherton, J. S. (2010, February 10). So what is Learning? Retrieved from http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/whatlearn.html

Bitterman, M. E. (2006). Classical conditioning since Pavlov. Review of General Psychology, 10(4), 365-376. doi:10.1037/1089-2680.10.4.365

Clark, R. E. (2004). The Classical Origins of Pavlov’s Conditioning. Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science, 39(4), 279-294.

Collins, H. (2010). Tacit and explicit knowledge. University of Chicago Press.

Corbett, A. T., & Anderson, J. R. (1994). Knowledge tracing: Modeling the acquisition of procedural knowledge. User modeling and user-adapted interaction, 4(4), 253-278.

Howells, J. (1996). Tacit knowledge. Technology analysis & strategic management, 8(2), 91-106.

Klein, P. D. (1971). A proposed definition of propositional knowledge. The Journal of Philosophy, 68(16), 471-482.

Moser, P. K. (Ed.). (1987). A priori knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Muir, L. J. (1930). The upward reach. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News Press.

Partanen, E., Kujala, T., Naatanen, R., Liitola, A., Sambeth, A., & Huotilainen, M. (2013). Learning-induced neural plasticity of speech processing before birth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(37), 15145-15150. doi:10.1073/pnas.1302159110

Perlberg, W., & Seaton, G. (Producers), & Seaton, G. (Director). (1958). Teacher’s pet [Motion picture]. USA: Paramount Pictures.

Reber, A. S. (1989). Implicit learning and tacit knowledge. Journal of experimental psychology: General, 118(3), 219.

Smith, E. A. (2001). The role of tacit and explicit knowledge in the workplace. Journal of Knowledge Management, 5(4), 311-321.

Teece, D. J. (2000). Strategies for managing knowledge assets: the role of firm structure and industrial context. Long range planning, 33(1), 35-54.

Tough, A. (1979). Choosing to Learn.

Williamson, T. (2013). How deep is the distinction between A Priori and A Posteriori knowledge? The a priori in philosophy, 291.

Willingham, D. B., Nissen, M. J., & Bullemer, P. (1989). On the development of procedural knowledge. Journal of experimental psychology: learning, memory, and cognition, 15(6), 1047.

© 2019 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

The images used herein were obtained in the public domain, this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.