Schools and factories

Following this week’s symposium and the idea that schools are like factories, I found this talk by Ken Rogers.

He notes the current system of education was conceived for a different age — that it was conceived in the intellectual culture of the enlightenment and the economic circumstance of the industrial revolution. He states that in the public education system it is assumed there are two types of people — academic and non-academic — and that the consequence of this is that many brilliant people think they’re not because they are judged against this particular view of the mind.

He criticises the medication of children of ADHD, claiming that is an epidemic and that children are being medicated as routinely as getting their tonsils out, and notes that the instance of ADHD has risen in parallel with the growth of standardised testing. He states ‘we are getting our children through education by anaesthetising them’.  He comes to the conclusion that it is a fictitious epidemic.

He states that schools are organised on factory lines — ringing bells, separate facilities, separate subjects — and that we educate children by batches according to the year they were born. He notes that there are children of the same age who have very different abilities in different disciples, who perform better at different times of the day, who are better in smaller groups than in larger groups. He states that currently the system is about standardisation and that we should be going in the exact opposite direction.


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