Designed to Fail (5): a history of American education

Part Five: The Anachronisms —A bad 19th-Century Design is Threaded through Everything We Do. Cognition, Technology, and the Environment of School

Ira David Socol
Teachers on Fire Magazine

--

Carnegie Summit 2024 — link: https://www.carnegiefoundation.org/carnegie-summit/ our presentation: Transforming Beliefs, Transforming Practice, Creating Equitable Schools Everywhere
The Carnegie Summit 2024 is about improvement and innovation: We’ll be there with a workshop on how to radically change public schools: Transforming Beliefs, Transforming Practice, Creating Equitable Schools Everywhere

This is Cubberley’s sustained victory. Fifty years of teachers and administrators were trained to believe that the industrial-style schooling experiment was both natural and inevitable. Counter-revolution after counter-revolution in disguised support of wealth-preservation has sustained that belief.

When you believe that something is natural and/or inevitable — and that is backed by an authoritarian threat to anyone who disagrees, you will do very little to fight the system.

Let’s go back to the questions at the beginning of Part Two, so we can consider the “everyday” of a child’s or adolescent’s life in school.

Why do we have rectangular classrooms with a “teaching wall” at the front?
Why do we line up student’s chairs in rows so often?
Why do we have lectures?
Why are all in a class expected to be on the same page of a book?
Why do we divide learners by age?
Why do we grade them on a linear scale?
Why aren’t all children included?
Why do we have notions of tardiness and truancy?
Why do we have a set daily schedule?
Why do we line…

--

--

Ira David Socol
Teachers on Fire Magazine

Author, Dreamer, Educator: A life in service - NYPD, EMS, disabilities/UDL specialist, tech and innovation leader for education. Co-author of Timeless Learning