Friday, March 13, 2009

Inputs and Outputs: Education and its maintenance of the social order

News from the West's great post, The Education System Was Designed To Keep Us Uneducated and Docile, traces the roots of the US system and its quest to maintain social order and dominant power structures. While I love John Dewey, the post points out even Dewey's references to students as products to be molded within a specific social order. John Taylor Gatto, retired NYC teacher and former NYC and NYS Teacher of the Year, unearths these problems in his book The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling. (Full text available for free online.)
Writes Gatto: "Another major architect of standardized testing, H.H. Goddard, said in his book Human Efficiency (1920) that government schooling was about 'the perfect organization of the hive.'"

While President of Harvard from 1933 to 1953, James Bryant Conant wrote that the change to a forced, rigid, potential-destroying educational system had been demanded by "certain industrialists and the innovative who were altering the nature of the industrial process."

In other words, the captains of industry and government explicitly wanted an educational system that would maintain social order by teaching us just enough to get by but not enough so that we could think for ourselves, question the sociopolitical order, or communicate articulately. We were to become good worker-drones, with a razor-thin slice of the population—mainly the children of the captains of industry and government—to rise to the level where they could continue running things.

This was the openly admitted blueprint for the public schooling system, a blueprint which remains unchanged to this day.

No comments: