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factoryschools

The Invented History of 'The Factory Model of Education'
[Follow-up notes here: http://www.aud.life/2015/notes-on-the-invented-history-of-the-factory-model-of ]

"Sal Khan is hardly the only one who tells a story of “the factory of model of education” that posits the United States adopted Prussia’s school system in order to create a compliant populace. It’s a story cited by homeschoolers and by libertarians. It’s a story told by John Taylor Gatto in his 2009 book Weapons of Mass Instruction. It’s a story echoed by The New York Times’ David Brooks. Here he is in 2012: “The American education model…was actually copied from the 18th-century Prussian model designed to create docile subjects and factory workers.”

For what it’s worth, Prussia was not highly industrialized when Frederick the Great formalized its education system in the late 1700s. (Very few places in the world were back then.) Training future factory workers, docile or not, was not really the point.

Nevertheless industrialization is often touted as both the model and the rationale for the public education system past and present. And by extension, it’s part of a narrative that now contends that schools are no longer equipped to address the needs of a post-industrial world."



"Despite these accounts offered by Toffler, Brooks, Khan, Gatto, and others, the history of schools doesn’t map so neatly onto the history of factories (and visa versa). As education historian Sherman Dorn has argued, “it makes no sense to talk about either ‘the industrial era’ or the development of public school systems as a single, coherent phase of national history.”"



"As Dorn notes, phrases like “the industrial model of education,” “the factory model of education,” and “the Prussian model of education” are used as a “rhetorical foil” in order make a particular political point – not so much to explain the history of education, as to try to shape its future."



"Many education reformers today denounce the “factory model of education” with an appeal to new machinery and new practices that will supposedly modernize the system. That argument is now and has been for a century the rationale for education technology. As Sidney Pressey, one of the inventors of the earliest “teaching machines” wrote in 1932 predicting "The Coming Industrial Revolution in Education,"
Education is the one major activity in this country which is still in a crude handicraft stage. But the economic depression may here work beneficially, in that it may force the consideration of efficiency and the need for laborsaving devices in education. Education is a large-scale industry; it should use quantity production methods. This does not mean, in any unfortunate sense, the mechanization of education. It does mean freeing the teacher from the drudgeries of her work so that she may do more real teaching, giving the pupil more adequate guidance in his learning. There may well be an “industrial revolution” in education. The ultimate results should be highly beneficial. Perhaps only by such means can universal education be made effective.

Pressey, much like Sal Khan and other education technologists today, believed that teaching machines could personalize and “revolutionize” education by allowing students to move at their own pace through the curriculum. The automation of the menial tasks of instruction would enable education to scale, Pressey – presaging MOOC proponents – asserted.

We tend to not see automation today as mechanization as much as algorithmization – the promise and potential in artificial intelligence and virtualization, as if this magically makes these new systems of standardization and control lighter and liberatory.

And so too we’ve invented a history of “the factory model of education” in order to justify an “upgrade” – to new software and hardware that will do much of the same thing schools have done for generations now, just (supposedly) more efficiently, with control moved out of the hands of labor (teachers) and into the hands of a new class of engineers, out of the realm of the government and into the realm of the market."
factoryschools  education  history  2015  audreywatters  edtech  edreform  mechanization  automation  algorithms  personalization  labor  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  mooc  moocs  salkhan  sidneypressey  1932  prussia  horacemann  lancastersystem  frederickjohngladman  mikecaulfield  jamescordiner  prussianmodel  frederickengels  shermandorn  alvintoffler  johntaylorgatto  davidbrooksm  monitorialsystem  khanacademy  stevedenning  rickhess  us  policy  change  urgency  futureshock  1970  bellsystem  madrassystem  davidstow  victorcousin  salmankhan 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Why are teachers cheating the American school system? This videogame will explain - Kill Screen - Videogame Arts & Culture.
"Children are the worst. They have needs and wants and a complete inability to distinguish between the two. Pity the poor teachers tasked with educating these indolent creatures. Their jobs would be much easier if these pesky students lost all of their child-like qualities.

PUPILS HAVE BEEN MAGICALLY TRANSFORMED INTO TEST-TAKING PINEAPPLES. 

Subaltern Games’ No Pineapple Left Behind, which just released its alpha trailer, will let you live out this pedagogical dream. You are the principal of a school where, by a magical intervention, the pupils have been transformed into test-taking pineapples. Their prowess in passing exams brings the school money. If left unsupervised, however, the pineapples revert to being kids with personalities and interests that keep them from studying. So what do you, as the principal, do?

[game trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twimJX7O7H4 ]

No Pineapple Left Behind’s title is a joking reference to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. The crueler joke, however, is that the No Child Left Behind Act has proven to be a game in its own right. Rules—whether politicians or game developers impose them—create a series of incentives that shape human behavior. No Child Left Behind established a system of financial penalties and rewards for American schools. Failure to meet proscribed standards would result in reduced funding. This makes some sense as an abstract economic theory, but try telling a teacher with struggling students that the answer is less support. Thirteen years on, it’s clear that a policy designed to foster higher educational standards has encouraged a subset of America’s teachers to game the system.

The most famous example of this phenomenon took place in Atlanta, where eleven teachers and administrators were recently convicted on multiple felony charges after it was discovered that they systematically altered test results. One of the teachers, Damany Lewis, told The New Yorker’s Rachel Aviv "I'm not going to let the state slap [students] in the face and say they're failures." This attitude is hardly confined to Atlanta. In 2013, the Government Accountability Office reported, "40 states detected potential cheating during the past two school years and 33 states confirmed at least one instance of cheating."

“40 STATES DETECTED POTENTIAL CHEATING."

Of course, gaming the system can have less criminal meanings. Teaching to tests, for instance, is the logical outcome of a system that puts tremendous emphasis on end-of-year standardized exams. This, too, arguably comes at the cost of forms of learning that are not as easily quantified.

There is very little humour to be found in America’s education system, which consistently outspends much of the OECD only to produce average or below average outcomes as measured on the PISA index. If No Pineapple Left Behind can wring some humour from this political and ethical morass, more power to it. However, it might mean the game only manages to highlight the absurdist status quo."
standardizedtesting  testing  schools  schooling  education  gaming  videogames  subalterngames  nopineappleleftbehind  humor  satire  children  teaching  learning  howweteach  factoryschools  standardization  nclb  rttt  publicschools  pisa  absurdism  atlanta  cheating  economics 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Original Factory Education Was a Personalized Learning Experiment | Hapgood
"But if you’re looking for the first model of education truly derived from factory structure and informed by its values, my guess is it would be the Madras System (and its variant in the Lancaster System).

Developed in England by Andrew Bell in the last years of the 1700s, the Madras System used better performing students to teach poorer performing students. It did this by applying a factory model of division of labor and rigid mechanical instruction in a facility that was patterned directly on the factories of the day.

Unlike our schoolrooms today (which, perhaps you’ve noticed, look very little like factories?) both the Madras system and the Lancaster system took place in large warehouse or barn-like spaces where small groups of students gathered around work stations divided by ability.

At each work station, an older student tutored the younger ones. As the students practiced skill application repeatedly they could move up into more challenging groups. Students who had progressed through all the stages could then be employed as leaders of the groups. A school of 500 students could be served with one schoolmaster in this way, with all the students receiving personal tutoring from the monitors, who were trained in the system themselves. (This is why the Lancaster and Bell systems are sometimes referred to as “monitorial systems”.)



I’m not here to criticize the Madras System. In fact, there’s aspects of the system which I believe in pretty strongly. Bell’s insight that students learn best when they teach each other remains as true today as then, and his focus on “doing” rather than simply listening was admirable at a time when lecture was overvalued. At the same time, Gladman’s remarks regarding the rigidity of such systems strike me as an accurate summary of the issues that have plagued such systems since then.

Similarly, I know my history in this area is limited. It’s almost wholly gained from years of watching videos of people making claims that seem odd and then executing some Google searches to see if primary materials support the claims made by smug TED lecturers.

And so I could be wrong here. But after years and years of looking up this stuff I’ve found the more I know, the more it drifts away from this Ron Paul-John Taylor Gatto history of education. And the further I get into this area, the weirder it gets. The personalizers in history are the firm believers in applying factory principles to education. The Prussians are in fact the softies, arguing for teachers as trained craftsmen who can inspire students to think for themselves.

The point Salman Khan fingers as the date factory education began is in fact the date it began to die.

I’m not arguing for the current system, or that the system as constructed isn’t overly authoritarian and geared toward compliance over creativity and inspiration.

I’m not arguing against various forms of personalization, even. I think we ought to be doing more to bring out the unique gifts of our students.

But if my history holds up (and I’ve been looking at this for enough years to think it will) the idea that the history of education is an ages long struggle between the Mannian “factories” and the proponents of “personalization for empowerment” is odd at best, and backwards at worst.

I think history does have lessons for us. But in order to learn them, we have to engage with history in all it’s messiness, not the history of think tanks and TED talkers. If you’d like *that* sort of conversation, feel free to school me in the comments.
madrassystem  andrewbell  factoryschools  prussia  education  history  2014  mikecaufield  shermandorn  johntaylorgatto  horacemann  salmankhan  personalization  monotorialschooling  schooling  schools  teaching  learning  salkhan 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Should We Automate Education? | EdTech Magazine
"In 1962, Raymond Callahan published Education and the Cult of Efficiency, a historical account of the influence that “scientific management” (also known as “Taylorism,” after its developer, Frederick Taylor) had on American schools in the early 20th century — that is, the push to run schools more like factories, where the productivity of workers was measured, controlled and refined.

Callahan’s main argument was that the pressures on the education system to adopt Taylorism resulted neither in more refined ways to teach nor in better ways to learn, but rather, in an emphasis on cost cutting. Efficiency, he argued, “amounted to an analysis of the budget. … Decisions on what should be taught were not made on educational, but on financial grounds.”

Fifty years later, we remain obsessed with creating a more “efficient” educational system (although ironically, we object to schools based on that very “factory model”). Indeed, this might be one of the major promises that educational technologies make: to deliver a more efficient way to teach and learn, and a more efficient way to manage schooling.

Deciding What We Want From Education

Adaptive learning — computer-based instruction and assessment that allows each student to move at her or his pace — is perhaps the latest in a series of technologies that promise more ­efficient education. The efficiency here comes, in part, from the focus on the individual — personalization — instead of on an entire classroom of students.

But it’s worth noting that adaptive learning isn’t new. “Intelligent tutoring systems” have been under development for decades now. The term “intelligent tutoring” was coined in the 1980s; research into computer-assisted instruction dates to the 1960s; and programmed instruction predates the computer altogether, with Sidney Pressey’s and B. F. Skinner’s “teaching machines” of the 1920s and 1950s, respectively.

“Education must become more efficient,” Skinner insisted. “To this end, curricula must be revised and simplified, and textbooks and classroom techniques improved.”

Rarely do we ask what exactly “efficiency” in education or ed tech ­entails. Does it mean a reduction in ­errors? Faster learning? Reshaping the curriculum based on market demands? Does it mean cutting labor costs — larger classroom sizes, perhaps, or teachers replaced by machines?

We also often fail to ask why efficiency would be something we would value in education at all. Schools shouldn’t be factories. Students aren’t algorithms.

What happens if we prioritize efficiency in education? By doing so, are we simply upgrading the factory model of schooling with newer technologies? What happens to spontaneity and messiness? What happens to contemplation and curiosity?

There’s danger, I’d argue, in relying on teaching machines — on a push for more automation in education. We forget that we’re teaching humans."
audreywatters  automation  education  edtech  learning  children  humanism  humans  efficiency  2014  1962  raymondcallahan  management  taylorism  factoryschools  schools  industrialeducation  schooling  adaptivelearning  bfskinner  sidneypressey  computers  computing  technology  curiosity  messiness  spontaneity  unschooling  deschooling 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Cory Doctorow: I think the big mistake in schools is trying to...
""I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker."


Stanley Kubrick

==

Preach it, Stan!

From Cory: What’s more, the emphasis on standardized testing and synchronized learning means that if a kid walks into a grade one classroom on fire about some book he’s read — as I did, when I first picked up ALICE IN WONDERLAND and was whisked away by it — the teacher *must* say, “Sorry, as much as you’re enjoying your first passionate love-affair with a book, as much as you’ve just had a conversion experience to being a reader, as much as you have reached a point where you are synthesizing all the stuff we’ve taught you thus far, IT’S TIME TO STOP. Now is the time when we do subtraction, not reading. If you haven’t learned your subtraction by the time the standardized test rolls around, you might flunk out, I might have my pay cut, and the school might lose its funding."


A large slice of a teacher’s real job is to watch students for their moments of satori, their moments of synthesis, and then LEAVE THEM THE FUCK ALONE. Get out of the way.

But the relentless, blind, idiotic market logic of education — schools as factories whose product is educated children; parents as customers; teachers as employees; governments as management; taxpayers as shareholders — produces a system where any real learning — synthesis, deep knowledge acquisition — is accidental and must squeeze through the cracks left in the relentless pursuit of good quarterly numbers to report to the shareholders.

I despair for the future, some days."
learning  teaching  education  factoryschools  2013  corydoctorow  satori  synthesis  children  numbers  testing  standardizedtesting  business  schoolasbusiness  unschooling  deschooling  stanleykubrick 
august 2013 by robertogreco
The Future of Learning, Networked Society - Ericsson - YouTube
"Learn more at http://www.ericsson.com/networkedsociety

Can ICT redefine the way we learn in the Networked Society? Technology has enabled us to interact, innovate and share in whole new ways. This dynamic shift in mindset is creating profound change throughout our society. The Future of Learning looks at one part of that change, the potential to redefine how we learn and educate. Watch as we talk with world renowned experts and educators about its potential to shift away from traditional methods of learning based on memorization and repetition to more holistic approaches that focus on individual students' needs and self expression."

[So much good stuff within, especially from Stephen Heppel and Sugata Mitra, but then they point to Knewton and Coursera and they've lost me.]

[via http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/elearning/the-future-of-learning-in-a-networked-society/ via @litherland]
adaptivelearningsystems  video  student-centered  self-directedlearning  intrinsicmotivation  motivation  socraticmethod  schooliness  systemschange  medication  conformity  teaching  adhd  add  schools  ict  networkededucation  sethgodin  ericsson  future  gamechanging  change  collaboration  holeinthewall  sugatamitra  stephenheppell  factoryschools  deschooling  unschooling  learning  education  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
cloudhead - school (part II)
"“The challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.”“Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economyand not too many of our kids are working the fields today.” —Obama

Hold on …Our school system is based on the industrial economy:schools as factories, classrooms as assembly lines,knowledge as an endlessly repeatable product.The calendar is the least of our worries.Our education is as fragmented, disconnected and hierarchical as the industrial age jobs it was designed to prepare us for. Our entire school system is out of tune with our electronic culture.More time in the classroom is hardly the fix."
schools  schooling  schooliness  unschooling  deschooling  shiftctrlesc  cloudhead  learning  education  lcproject  hierarchy  fragmentation  schoolsystem  systems  change  rttt  factoryschools  industrialschooling  headmine  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: Back to (the wrong) school
"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?<br />
<br />
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.<br />
<br />
The post-industrial revolution is here. Do you care enough to teach your kids to take advantage of it?"
education  learning  schools  reform  sethgodin  2011  publicschools  factoryschools  criticalthinking  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  teaching  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Now, we make projects « Re-educate Seattle
"we don’t live in a factory economy anymore. There’s no such thing as “set it & forget it.” The pace of change in the digital age is too rapid, & the competition too relentless. You’d think that Facebook, w/ it’s hundreds of millions of users, would be able to sit back & simply let the profits come rolling in. But it recently recruited the CEO of Netflix to its Board of Directors because it knows that it’s not 2009 anymore. Times have changed since then.

We don’t go to work in factories anymore. Now, we work on projects. Sometimes those projects last 3 months, or they might last 9 years. These projects typically involve either solving a specific problem or, if you’re doing truly innovative work, identifying a problem before it becomes a problem & being the first to market with a solution. The have a beginning, middle, & end. When the project is finished—remember, there’s no specific timetable for how long any given project will take—then it’s time to get busy on the next one."
projects  projectbasedlearning  education  tcsnmy  toshare  sethgodin  stevemiranda  learning  factoryschools  unschooling  deschooling  facebook  making  doing  self-directedlearning  problemsolving  criticalthinking  2011  thisiswhatwedo  howwework  howwelearn  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  pbl  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
March 21, 2011 : The Daily Papert
“Every deep thinker who has looked at our education system, and I think of everyone, from Voltaire, Rousseau, Piaget, Vygostgy, John Dewey, they’ve all focused on one point, that our school is much too focused on information, on getting facts, far to little on doing things, on learning by doing, by action.”
seymourpapert  rousseau  voltaire  piaget  vygostgy  johndewey  rote  rotelearning  facts  factoryschools  learningbydoing  unschooling  constructivism  projectbasedlearning  tcsnmy  lcproject  pbl  jeanpiaget  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: Three ways to help people get things done
"Both the first message (bully w/ heart of gold) & second (creating scarce prizes) are based on factory model, one of scarcity…I'm going to manipulate whatever I need to do to get the results I need. If there's only room for one winner, it seems these approaches make sense.

The third method, the one that I prefer, is to open the door. Give people a platform, not a ceiling. Set expectations, not to manipulate but to encourage. And then get out of the way, helping when asked but not yelling from the back of the bus.

…When adults (and kids) see the power of self-direction & realize the benefits of mutual support, they tend to seek it out over & over again.

In a non-factory mindset, one where many people have the opportunity to use the platform (I count web & most arts in this category), there are always achievers eager to take the opportunity…"
leadership  motivation  sethgodin  inspiration  management  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  factoryschools  industrial  industrialeconomy  industrialmindset  intrinsicmotivation  empowerment  teaching  learning  coercion  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
The students who were happy when I handed them a textbook « Re-educate Seattle
"The students had been waiting for this moment all semester. All they wanted was to be given a task and told what to do. And if you ask the folks who set up the education system in the 19th century—with the intent of training workers for a factory economy—if it was working well, I’m sure they’d offer an enthusiastic, “Yes!”

But this isn’t the 19th century. We don’t live in a factory economy.

We should stop using this structure.

We need to create something new."
stevemiranda  teaching  learning  education  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  factoryschools 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Shikshantar - The Peoples' Institute for Rethinking Education and Development
"Shikshantar is an applied research institute dedicated to catalyzing radical systemic transformation of education in order to facilitate Swaraj-development throughout India."
alternativeeducation  education  india  learning  deschooling  activism  development  dialogue  organizations  research  unschooling  lcproject  factoryschools  tcsnmy  transformation  gamechanging  ivanillich  johnholt  kenrobinson  johntaylorgatto  schools  schooling  schooliness  paulofreire  dialog 
august 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Returning School to Humanity
"we expect students to be "on time" not because it is educationally important [NBIIEI]...but because we are training workers to be on time. We create "standards" for each grade level NBIIEI...but because we are teaching single-tasking & work conformity. We test individually, blocking collaboration (which we call "cheating") NBIIEI...but because we are manufacturing workers for assembly line.

While people worry about testing averages, about whether schools should be run as public goods or for corporate profit, about number of school days, about what topics to emphasize, the real question, as the 21st Century rolls on, needs to be the very designed structure of our schools. They were created by a certain kind of society for a certain kind of economic reality. Whether that was ever good or bad is a question for another time, but for today I believe we need to begin to return our schools back to the "natural humanity" of the time before the assembly line began to rule our lives."
irasocol  schools  prussia  us  history  industrialization  education  learning  tcsnmy  change  reform  unschooling  deschooling  policy  progressive  individualized  standards  standardizedtesting  cheating  collaboration  factoryschools  factories  apprenticeships  mentoring  mentorship  hiddencurriculum  curriculum  rules  grades  grading  gradelevels  purpose  taskoriented 
june 2010 by robertogreco
So I'm The Valedictorian
"Umm yeah, so I'm the valedictorian. Number one. But, what separates me from number 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 50, or 120? Nothing but meaningless numbers. ... It is disturbing enough that throughout high school, GPA and grades are pushed as the most important things, while learning, the real reason we are in school, falls by the wayside. The MCAS serve as just another set of meaningless numbers that add one more reason to focus on scores and forget learning. ... Schools are being turned into factories churning out brainless, mindless, opinion-less hacks year after year. ... We hear GPA, class rank, SAT, test grade, midterms, finals, scholastic achievement but never once do we hear "never mind the grades, think about the learning, think about activism, think about life." We celebrate those who have earned good grades but don't bother to consider if they are at all worthy of the praise. Does anyone care about the human beings behind the numbers?"
grading  grades  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  valedictorians  activism  students  cv  schooliness  assessment  priorities  society  testing  colleges  learning  admissions  tcsnmy  teaching  meaning  children  youth  factoryschools  gpa  sat  lcproject  via:cburell  anneliseschantz 
february 2009 by robertogreco
digital digs: education, reform, and assessment
"I know well enough to not take responsibility for the great successes of my students [or] for students who fail. So what exactly is it that teachers do? When someone can actually map the socio-cultural-cognitive network of learning, I will let you know. I do know that the classroom is not a factory, that students are not products & that you can't quality-control the classroom-factory by testing the products...Culturally we don't value education; we don't like "smart people;" we don't trust or like teachers...we have a limited view of intelligence & creativity. We conceive of learning as a rational process, when rationality is clearly a poor articulation of how cognition actually works. In terms of these issues, teachers and reformers are equally parts of the problem. Addressing the challenges of education will require as large a cultural shift as moving Americans toward a sustainable culture."
education  policy  learning  teaching  schools  schooling  us  society  culture  reform  change  intelligence  ideology  politics  creativity  kenrobinson  unschooling  deschooling  testing  factoryschools  value 
december 2008 by robertogreco

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