Saturday, May 12, 2012

Breaking Free of the 19th-Century Factory-Model Education System

According to the Atlantic (2012):
The Information Age has facilitated a reinvention of nearly every industry except for education. It's time to unhinge ourselves from many of the assumptions that undergird how we deliver instruction and begin to design new models that are better able to leverage talent, time, and technology to best meet the unique needs of each student. In doing so, we can put [Horace] Mann's [1796-1859] innovation in its proper context: as the foundation for our commitment to a public education but not as the blueprint for how to deliver it.
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The former Downingtown Junior-Senior High School, Pennsylvania [photo by George G Chiodo]

The photograph above depicts the former Downingtown Junior-Senior High School in Pennsylvania where I attended grades seven through nine during the late 1960's. My recollections from the period include memories of teachers regularly disciplining students in the hallways with wooden paddles. Although corporal punishment is no longer permitted in public schools, modern-day primary and secondary education remains deeply grounded in 19th and 20th-century institutional precepts.

The school building shown above was opened at the peak of the Great Depression in 1933, and remains a functioning Pennsylvania school to this day.

Source: How to Break Free of Our 19th-Century Factory-Model Education System (May 9, 2012), Atlantic.

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1 comment:

Dr William J McKibbin said...

By the way, we the students at Downingtown Junior High (the "Lancers") had a lot of fun during the late 1960's -- those were good times...

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