S.E.L. in Public Schools…a scholarly look at this recycled trash…

Congratulations to our patriotic friend Tom Niewulis, and this scholarly article he wrote about Social, Emotional Learning in public schools for the website Capitol Hill Outsider.


By Tom Niewulis:

Tom Niewulis

“America is reaping the consequences of the destruction of traditional education by the Dewey-Kilpatrick experimentalist philosophy… Dewey’s ideas have lead to elimination of many academic subjects on the ground that they would not be useful in life… The student thus receives neither intellectual training nor the factual knowledge which will help him understand the world he lives in, or to make well- reasoned decisions in his private life or as a responsible citizen.” – Admiral Hyman Rickover (The Tablet, Aug. 11, 1959)

In my over all educational cycle in life, I was at one time a product of the Rickover and the classical traditional educational model. I have observed the continued deterioration of education as a business leader in technologies and service industries. To begin with, I always state that there is ‘Nothing new under the sun’ from Ecclesiastes. With that in mind and what Adm. Rickover stated we can look back many years to get a sense that the capture of our children is nothing new.

Let us begin a short walk through the insidiousness of SEL as its name was different sixty years ago and to the present. The name has gone from  John Dewey’s  My Pedagogic Creed”, in 1897 to the 1947 UNESCO nine volume ideology of “Towards World Understanding”, transitioning to Social Emotional Learning as a fully integrated objective in the UNESCO ‘Education 2030[i], which is a part of ‘Sustainable Development Goal 4 and its targets[ii].

What is happening across the United States is that state boards of education are foisting SEL, Social Emotional Learning, upon children. Being into this fray for over a year in Ohio, I have dubbed SEL –  “Slaves for Elite Lords”. Some may think that making that statement is harsh. I would argue that the harshness is the transformation of children into some image of socially and emotionally correct globalized persons which are most likely contrary to the beliefs of parents.


Through SEL as a component of the ‘Effective learning environments’ in the UNESCO documentation, Children have been and will continue to be molded for a proper perspective of a society defined by the ‘elite’ for duties in their designated jobs, based on their life profiles. If one reads history, that is a movie that has already failed in the theaters of Europe and most other socialist countries..

In this walk through educational history, I have completed studies in American Historical Education and comparative changes in the philosophy of education for developing a better society. In order to keep this a quick reference I would ask interested parents, political leaders and church leadership to investigate the numerous modern writings that explain how government education and SEL in particular are a destroyer of family, society as God intended and our Nation as the Founding Fathers Intended.

Just three references on SEL that I highly recommend:

  1. Social-Emotional Learning: K–12 Education as New Age Nanny State[iii]
  2. My FRC talk about Social and Emotional Programming, the latest fad in Education[iv]
  3. Abstract: Cost Analysis of a School-Based Social and Emotional Learning and Literacy Intervention[v]

To be compared in a moment, one should consider Social Emotional Learning in respect to this 2015 UNESCO document ‘Rethinking Education Towards a global common good[vi], which states in the introduction (emphasis added):

“For these are turbulent times. The world is getting younger, and aspirations for human rights and dignity are rising. Societies are more connected than ever, but intolerance and conflict remain rife. New power hubs are emerging, but inequalities are deepening and the planet is under pressure. Opportunities for sustainable and inclusive development are vast, but challenges are steep and complex.

The world is changing – education must also change. Societies everywhere are undergoing deep transformation, and this calls for new forms of education to foster the competencies that societies and economies need, today and tomorrow. This means moving beyond literacy and numeracy, to focus on learning environments and on new approaches to learning for greater justice, social equity and global solidarityEducation must be about learning to live on a planet under pressure. It must be about cultural literacy, on the basis of respect and equal dignity, helping to weave together the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

This is a humanist vision of education as an essential common good. I believe this vision renews with the inspiration of the UNESCO Constitution, agreed 70 years ago, while reflecting new times and demands.

Education is key to the global integrated framework of sustainable development goals. Education is at the heart of our efforts both to adapt to change and to transform the world within which we live. A quality basic education is the necessary foundation for learning throughout life in a complex and rapidly changing world.”

I find that everything in the introduction and the document itself is contrary to our Founding Father’s fundamentals for education, governance and Biblical religion.

Now, comparative thoughts from my Alter-ego Samuel Adams regarding Foundational Education (all taken from Volume IV of the Writings of Samuel Adams, With emphasis added):

First, so unlikely of any resolution in our present age, Samuel Adams was the author of a November 1, 1777 Resolution of the Continental Congress that had a specific concept of Acknowledgement to God regarding education. Adams wrote and Congress approved these words:

“…To inspire our Commanders both by Land and Sea, & all under them with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE. That it may please Him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yet yield its Increase. To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue, & Piety, under His nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion for the Promotion and Enlargement of that Kingdom which consisteth “in RIGHTEOUSNESS PEACE ANDJOY IN THE HOLY GHOST.”

Personally, I don’t believe our Modern 21st Century Congress even understands the words in full of that resolution let alone the specifics related to ‘Education’. Just remember, that the Education was initially designed to develop individuals

Second, here is the key position of education for the preservation of Liberty not for the creation of “Slaves for Elite Lords”: Sam Adams to James Warren 1779:

“…How necessary then is it for those who are determind to transmit the Blessings of Liberty as a fair Inheritance to Posterity, to associate on publick Principles in Support of publick Virtue. I do verily believe, and I may say it inter Nos, that the Principles & Manners of N Engd, producd that Spirit which finally has establishd the Independence of America; and Nothing but opposite Principles and Manners can overthrow it. If you are of my Mind, and I think you are, the Necessity of supporting the Education of our Country must be strongly impressd on your Mind. It gives me the greatest Concern to hear that some of our Gentlemen in the Country begin to think the Maintenance of Schools too great a Burden. I wish they could hear the Encomiums that are given to N Engd by some of the most sensible & publick spirited Gentlemen in the southern States, for the Care & Expence which have been freely borne by our Ancestors & continued to this time for the Instruction of youth. Virginia is duly sensible of the great Importance of Education, and, as a friend in that Country informs me, has lately adopted an effectual Plan for that necessary PurposeIf Virtue & Knowledge are diffusd among the People, they will never be enslavd. This will be their great Security. Virtue & Knowledge will forever be an even Balance for Powers & Riches. I hope our Countrymen will never depart from the Principles & Maxims which have been handed down to us from our wise forefathers. This greatly depends upon the Example of Men of Character & Influence of the present Day. This is a Subject my Heart is much set upon.”

Now, at every turn with the implementation of SEL in Ohio and across the United States, parents do not have to be notified of the means, methods or actions taken with or upon their children while in the clutches of their public school. Instead of developing moral and virtuous individuals as the Founders of our Great Republic intended, the State and the Elite will define morality, social acceptability, individual courses of functionality and determination of what is Liberty according to the previously mentioned UNESCO standards.

Since the government institutionalization of Social, Emotional Learning does not speak of our Foundational Truth, I want to leave you with this last consideration from Samuel Adams to John Scolly in 1780:

“…Will Vanity & Levity ever be the Stability of Government, either in States, in Cities, or what, let me hint to you is of the last Importance, in Families? Of what Kind are those Manners, by which, as we are truly informd in a late Speech, “not only the freedom but the very Existence of Republicks is greatly affected?” HOW fruitless is it, to recommend “the adapting the Laws in the most perfect Manner possible, to the Suppression of Idleness Dissipation & Extravagancy,” if such Recommendations are counteracted by the Example of Men of Religion, Influence & publick Station? I meant to consider this Subject in the View of the mere Citizen. But I have mentiond the sacred Word Religion. I confess, I am surprizd to hear, that some particular Persons have been so unguarded as to give their Countenance to such kind of Amusements. I wish Mr Benjamin Austin would recollect his former Ideas when his Friend Whitfield thunderd in the Pulpit against Assemblies & Balls. I think he has disclaimd Diversions, in some Instances, which to me have always appeard innocent. Has he changd his Opinions, or has the Tendency of things alterd? Do certain Manners tend to quench the Spirit of Religion at one time & are they harmless at another? Are Morals so vague as to be sanctified or dispens’d with by the Authority of different Men? He does not believe this. But I will not be severe, for I love my Friend. Religion out of the Question for the present. It was asked in the Reign of Charles the 2d of England, HOW shall we turn the Minds of the People from an Attention to their Liberties? The Answer was, by making them extravagant, luxurious, effeminate. Hutchinson advisd the Abridgment of what our People called English Liberties, by the same Means. We shall never subdue them, said Bernard, but by eradicating their Manners & the Principles of their Education. Will the judicious Citizens of Boston be now caught in the Snare, which their artful, insidious Enemies, a few years ago laid for them in vain? Shall we ruin ourselves by the very means, which they pointed out in their Confidential Letters, tho even they did not dare openly to avow them? Pownal, who was indeed a mere Fribble, venturd to have his Riots & Routs at his own house, to please a few Boys & Girls. Sober People were disgusted at it, & his privy Councellors never thought it prudent to venture so far as expensive Balls. Our Bradfords, Winslows & Winthrops would have revolted at the Idea of opening Scenes of Dissipation & Folly; knowing them to be inconsistent with their great Design, in transplanting themselves into what they called this “Outside of the World.” But I fear I shall say too much. I love the People of Boston. I once thought, that City would be the Christian Sparta. But Alas! Will men never be free! They will be free no longer than while they remain virtuous. Sidney tells us, there are times when People are not worth saving. Meaning, when they have lost their Virtue.”

“But is it not as true that without knowledge, and benevolence Men would neither have been capable or disposed to search for the principles, or form the System—Should we not, my friend, bear a gratefull remembrance of our pious and benevolent Ancestors, who early laid plans of Education; by which means Wisdom, Knowledge, and Virtue have been generally diffused among the body of the people, and they have been enabled to form and establish a civil constitution calculated for the preservation of their rights, and liberties.”

[i]    UNESCO Education 2030 – Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4:   https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000245656

[ii]   Sustainable Development Goal 4 and its targets:  https://en.unesco.org/node/265600

[iii]  Social-Emotional Learning: K–12 Education as New Age Nanny State: https://pioneerinstitute.org/download/social-emotional-learning-k-12-education-as-new-age-nanny-state/

[iv]  My FRC talk about Social and Emotional Programming, the latest fad in Education:  https://stellamorabito.net/2018/02/23/my-frc-talk-about-social-and-emotional-programming-the-latest-fad-in-education/

[v]   Cost Analysis of a School-Based Social and Emotional Learning and Literacy Intervention (Cambridge University Press):   https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-benefit-cost-analysis/article/cost-analysis-of-a-schoolbased-social-and-emotional-learning-and-literacy-intervention-1/2167979501B6C6D158F337F1458E407A

[vi]  Rethinking Education Towards a global common good:  http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/FIELD/Cairo/images/RethinkingEducation.pdf

© Copyright by Tom Niewulis, 2019. All rights reserved.

Email Tom: tom@samueladamsreturns.com

Categories: Lake, Uncategorized


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