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February 13, 2011 / Brent Sears

Why Do Schools Have Bells?

(ANSWER: Because factories have whistles.)

BEEEEPPPP!!!!  The bell rings and what happens?  Everyone moves in unison, doors of all the rooms fly open, and the empty halls fill to capacity.  Depending on the time of day, those involved know they have a certain amount of time to get to their next destination, or else.  There will some kind of punishment for being late, because the school won’t operate correctly, and no one wants that kind of trouble.

WHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!  The whistle blows and what happens?  Everyone moves in unison, machines stop or start, and the busy factory undergoes a change in personnel.  Depending on the time day, those involved have  a certain amount of time to get to their next station, or else.  There will be some kind of punishment for being late, because the factory won’t operate correctly, and no one wants that kind of trouble.

FACT: Around 1900, United States schools were designed to meet the needs of industrialization with the ultimate aim of training people to work in factories.  It was mass education for a mass labor force.

In order to run a factory there needs to be standardization. Everyone has to work in unison and stay in there place on the line.  This creates the capacity to produce more physical goods than a single person or small group working on the entire process by themselves.  Each laborer has a specific job to do over and over again, and by the end something great is produced.

The design of most schools in the US is currently based on this model.  But how many students plan to finish their time in schooling and go out and get factory jobs?  And that is the problem that many students face.  They go to school everyday based on the story that if they do a good job, fit in, follow the rules, and do what they are told they will one day get a good job.  (They also go because it is against the law for them not to attend.)  Are schools currently teaching students what they need to know for the future?  That’s the question each person needs to answer for themselves, and then act accordingly – before…

BEEEPPP!  Times up.

 

 

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