I recommend reading Seth Godin’s blog post, Back to (the wrong) school.
In it he reviews the history and rationale of public education and points out it was designed to train people to do what they’re told to do and he wonders if this is the best approach to education today.
If you do a job where someone tells you exactly what to do, they will find someone cheaper than you to do it. And yet our schools are churning out kids who are stuck looking for jobs where the boss tells them exactly what to do.
Do you see the disconnect here? Every year, we churn out millions of of workers who are trained to do 1925 labor.
I agree and I’m disappointed that I don’t seem to have written about this already.
I too believe our education model is generally an assignment-based model. There are some parts that give more hands-on experience, like nursing and medical doctor training, for example, but for the most part we train kids to take direction and do their assignments.
As we get ready for the 93rd year of universal public education, here’s the question every parent and taxpayer needs to wrestle with: Are we going to applaud, push or even permit our schools (including most of the private ones) to continue the safe but ultimately doomed strategy of churning out predictable, testable and mediocre factory-workers?
As long as we embrace (or even accept) standardized testing, fear of science, little attempt at teaching leadership and most of all, the bureaucratic imperative to turn education into a factory itself, we’re in big trouble.
In this post last December, I wondered what education might look like if we let the parents, rather than ‘experts’, have more choice. Something that looks different than the current one-size-fits all model might emerge.