Episode 108 - Rethinking School Norms: How Industrial History Shapes Modern Education - 16:1 - An Education Podcast Episode 108 - Rethinking School Norms: How Industrial History Shapes Modern Education - 16:1 - An Education Podcast

Episode 108 - Rethinking School Norms: How Industrial History Shapes Modern Education

May 9, 2024

Educational Philosophy & Psychology

Education News Headlines:

Rethinking School Norms: How Industrial History Shapes Modern Education

The foundations of the U.S. public education system can be traced back to the Industrial Revolution, a period that profoundly reshaped American society and the country’s economy. The Library of Congress describes this era as one that moved production from handcrafted goods to factory-based machine production, bringing about unprecedented shifts in transportation, communication, and manufacturing. This industrial transformation redefined the daily lives of Americans, creating new classes of wealthy industrialists, a burgeoning middle class, and a large blue-collar workforce composed of immigrants and rural migrants.

The rapid expansion of industries like steel manufacturing and petroleum refining, bolstered by the rise of railroads, demanded a skilled workforce. This economic evolution laid the groundwork for a public education system that mirrored the factory model: standardized, hierarchical, and focused on efficiency.

This industrial model of education, however, has started to show its limitations in the face of today’s rapidly changing labor market. Automation, digital literacy, and adaptive learning are reshaping the job landscape, calling for educational approaches that foster creativity, critical thinking, and flexibility.

Discussion questions to consider:

  • How does the structure of modern schooling mirror our cultural and economic priorities?
  • Can public education make a realistic shift toward personalized learning models given its history of standardization?
  • How has the role of the teacher evolved from the industrial age to today’s information age?
  • How have societal expectations of public education evolved, and what does this mean for future educational frameworks?

Sources & Resources:

Tennessee governor signs bill allowing teachers and staff to be armed on campus.

Tennessee lawmakers pass bill to allow armed teachers, a year after deadly Nashville shooting

Dazhon Darien: Ex-athletic director accused of framing principal with AI arrested at airport with gun – The Baltimore Banner

Educational Expansion in Mid-Nineteenth Century Massachusetts: Human Capital Formation or Structural Reinforcement?

Officer fired gun while clearing protesters from Columbia building, prosecutors say | AP News

The Industrial Revolution in the United States | Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress

Episode 60 – Where No Mann Has Gone Before – 16:1 – An Education Podcast

Harvard Educational Review: Educational Expansion in Mid- Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts: Human-Capital Formation or Structural Reinforcement? By Alexander James Field

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