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National and Global, United States

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How'd Education Get to Where it is Today?

As a former high school teacher, early own in my career, I understand some of the present-day challenges faced by families within the current US educational system. Charter schools per se, won't fix the problems that have been inherent in the very structure of the system itself. The problems and challenges just get a 'new face'. You can blame the 'industrial revolution' for current ailments within the system.

As worked shifted out of the agricultural fields and the home, children had to be prepared for factory life. It was at that time, a 'step up' from agrarian work in the fields. The early mine,mill, and factory owners recognized that you could not bring a 'farmer' into an industrialized factory. Young people had to be pre-fitted to the industrial system. The result: mass education. And it worked.

Built on the factory model, mass education taught basic reading,writing,and math skills; some history and english. That was about it. However, beneath this curriculum lay a secondary objective: It consisted, and still does, of three basic 'courses':obedience,punctuality; and rote,repetitive work. Everything the factory owner demanded of his workers. The minor league of the factory environment. It demanded workers who would take orders from a management hierarchy without questioning those orders.

So, from the mid-nineteenth century on, one found a relentless educational progression. Mass education at the time, was a wonderful step forward. Nevertheless, this type of education, machined generations of young people into a pliable, regimented work force as required by the mechanical age and the assembly line work. And all of this worked well for the creation, existence, and success of the Corporation.

In all, these three institutions: Family,education,corporation, created a social fabric that lasts even to this day. Thus, in order to make significant, major changes in education, you would also have to re-define the family and the corporation itself, which is actually occurring within the social fabric of many countries.

Thus, I do not believe that you can simply change the educational system by moving to either private or charter education facilities, if the 'base line' philosophy doesn't change as well. And that's probably not likely to occur in the near term.

For concurring opinion you can read, Alvin Toffler's Future Shock

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