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  #1  
Old 02 July 2007, 08:40 PM
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Mickey is a gyrl Mickey is a gyrl is offline
 
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Glasses School prepares you for working in a factory?

Last night, SO was looking at a Happy Bunny clock I have that says "School prepares you for the real world...which also sucks." He mentioned that he had a teacher that once told him that school (elementary and secondary levels) really was developed to prepare you for the real world- in factories. He also pointed out some of the things that make the two sound similar (bells for start and finish of the day and for lunch, lines for everything), and said that his teacher had articles and statistics and such about this.

I'm skeptical about this. I did a Google search, and came up with nothing. If anyone has any additional information about this, please let me know. SO rolled his eyes at me when I flat out said "I don't know...that sounds like an urban legend."

TIA!
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  #2  
Old 02 July 2007, 08:44 PM
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There's a thread that discusses this somewhere on this message board. It was in the past three months or so, but I can't think of what search terms to use.

If I recall, however, some schools were indeed crafted in such a way as to make the students "productive members of society" -- or good little factory workers.

Only my hazy memory talking though. I could be completely wrong.
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  #3  
Old 02 July 2007, 08:47 PM
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My 7 years of post-secondary education has prepared me, adequately, for work in a factory. In a supervisory role, that is.
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Old 02 July 2007, 08:54 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towknie View Post
There's a thread that discusses this somewhere on this message board. It was in the past three months or so, but I can't think of what search terms to use.

If I recall, however, some schools were indeed crafted in such a way as to make the students "productive members of society" -- or good little factory workers.

Only my hazy memory talking though. I could be completely wrong.
I think Elkhoud mentioned this sometime in the past 2 weeks in fact. I cannot remember the thread, but interested snopesters can start with that.
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  #5  
Old 02 July 2007, 09:32 PM
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Try searching the forums for the word "Montessori" -- Montessori schools were mentioned in that thread.
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  #6  
Old 04 July 2007, 07:08 AM
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If you Google public school Prussian I'm pretty sure you'll find loads of relevant info.

I'm unable to delve too deeply right now as I am nursing my sniffly, squirmy toddler and I can't reach around her to type with my left hand !

There's an awful lot of truth to what your SO said.
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  #7  
Old 04 August 2007, 04:00 PM
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Default Relevant book

I would suggest reading "Americans: The Democratic Experience" by Danial J. Boorstin.

"Elementary" school was designed to teach children the things needed to work effectively in society: math and language (work) and history (good citizens).

This was true for factory workers and farmers. All needed "readin', 'ritin', and 'rithmatic."

HIGH school, however was designed to prepare students for college.

The American idea of EQUALITY led to free public education through high school (free public education being a novel idea for the time) and the ability to attend university.

Public education, therefore, was not designed to keep the working class down, but rather to provide a means UP.

Now, before any flames me, I do realize that certain classes of citizens were denied access to this system, but the general intent was there from the beginning.

-Rogue
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Old 04 August 2007, 07:03 PM
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Here's a FOAF anecdote...sort of: I had a substitute teacher in high school who had no clue how to teach the subject matter at hand, and instead spent the period giving us a lecture on how public education has evolved over time. At one time, according to this woman, public schools were intended to prepare children for factory work; children were expected to sit still and be quiet and do repetitive tasks such as copy text and compute sums all day. This was from the time of the industrial revolution to sometime in the first half of the twentieth century. As factory jobs became scarce, and more of the available jobs required a higher degree of human interaction, public education became more social, with more group projects and a focus on letting children discover things themselves. There's a passage in To Kill a Mockingbird that describes this transition, something to the effect of the extraordinary amount the state of Alabama expended upon paper and crafts materials in an effort to teach Scout "Group Dynamics," while ignoring her desire to read.

I have nothing to back up this theory of my one-time substitute teacher, but it does sound pretty reasonable. Anyone else out there able to confirm or deny it?
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Old 04 August 2007, 07:12 PM
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I have no basis whatsoever to know or say if the typical school system was deliberately crafted to produce blue collar drones.

But by accident, if not by design, perhaps, a lot of schools do end up this way. It's not even so much the bells and lining up - it's the don't question authority - follow directions exactly - comply perfectly with the rules in order to reap the most rewards - behavior, that ends up being rewarded. Unquestioning compliance is how you get an A in conduct, most of the time. Who wants to encourage a kid to object, question and explore EVERY single statement, rule, theory, or fact they are handed? Who has time for THAT, in a class of however many and not enough time even for everyone to take a piss during the day?

There are wonderful teachers and principals and schools that foster independent thinking, questioning, challenging, etc, (which is hard to do without causing themselves problems also - I think it's a gift) and I think that (I hope so anyway) most educators, if they thought about it, would agree that an independently thinking citizen is a desirable end product.

But I think that so many times, everyone just gets caught in the daily grind and this is what we end up with.
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  #10  
Old 07 August 2007, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue74656 View Post
Now, before any flames me, I do realize that certain classes of citizens were denied access to this system, but the general intent was there from the beginning.
The intent wa there, but what constituted a "citizen" was different then than it is now. There were people who were considered property - Slaves were the property of their owners and women were the property of their husbands. These ideals of equality evolved over time into our current system.
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  #11  
Old 09 August 2007, 01:58 PM
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This is an anecdote (worth its weight in gold, of course), so take it for that.

The graduating class at an urban high school had the police chief for their commencement speaker--he talked about staying out of trouble and fitting in to society as good citizen.

At a high school in a factory town, the mayor spoke and talked about the value of voting as a way of participating in society.

At a well-to-do suburban school, a state senator talked to the graduating students about being leaders and running for office.

Gawrsh, that looks like a glurge, My apologies The point being that education and its goals may depend on who you are and where you are, even within the overall goal of a free public education, written into practically every state constitution.

I believe that one of the tenets of our educational system is to socialize people to behave correctly, whatever that may mean. The rore nature of education when I was in school really underlined that--endless repetitions of the multiplication tables, reading out loud, etc. What you learned to do was to spit back what the teacher wanted in a testing situation.

So, I found myself spending a lot of my life testing and questioning authority and trying to learn to think critically. And deep inside going nuts whenever I hear people blindly recite the status quo about a topic.

Is/was the goal of education to create obedient workers for life in the factory or other simple repetitive tasks? At some level, yes.

Ali "you pays your money... and you pays your money" Infree
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  #12  
Old 12 August 2007, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
The intent wa there, but what constituted a "citizen" was different then than it is now. There were people who were considered property - Slaves were the property of their owners and women were the property of their husbands. These ideals of equality evolved over time into our current system.

exactly. It was higher level attitudes that requied changing. The general intent of public education didn't.
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  #13  
Old 12 August 2007, 04:25 PM
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Il-Mari Il-Mari is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
Here's a FOAF anecdote...sort of: I had a substitute teacher in high school who had no clue how to teach the subject matter at hand, and instead spent the period giving us a lecture on how public education has evolved over time. At one time, according to this woman, public schools were intended to prepare children for factory work; children were expected to sit still and be quiet and do repetitive tasks such as copy text and compute sums all day. This was from the time of the industrial revolution to sometime in the first half of the twentieth century. As factory jobs became scarce, and more of the available jobs required a higher degree of human interaction, public education became more social, with more group projects and a focus on letting children discover things themselves. There's a passage in To Kill a Mockingbird that describes this transition, something to the effect of the extraordinary amount the state of Alabama expended upon paper and crafts materials in an effort to teach Scout "Group Dynamics," while ignoring her desire to read.

I have nothing to back up this theory of my one-time substitute teacher, but it does sound pretty reasonable. Anyone else out there able to confirm or deny it?
I don't think that that's specifically a theory of education intended for placing students into factories, but rather just an old fashioned way of teaching.

I believe that lots of learning in the old days, including for the upper classes, mostly involved reading texts and copying manuscripts.

In fact, isn't what you describe (children being expected to sit still and be quiet and do repetitive tasks such as copy text and compute sums all day) still done in some countries? It's my understanding that in at least some of the more traditonal-minded Asian countries, schools place little emphasis on interactive teaching and team work (at least in the classroom), and instead focus on memorization and repeated exercises (which is why practical application and innovation are sometimes lacking in graduates).

- Il-Mari
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  #14  
Old 12 August 2007, 06:39 PM
Insensible Crier Insensible Crier is offline
 
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This brings to mind a rumor I heard when I was in college. Several of the buildings at Carnegie Mellon University have sloped floors for no obvious reason. The rumor/legend was that this was done intentionally by Andrew Carnegie when he orginally built the school so that if the school failed, he could easily convert the buildings into factories/assembly lines.

Or maybe he wanted college education to also prepare us for factory work
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