If you have ever walked into a factory that produces a finished good from raw materials, it is frankly an
amazing process. Dating back to the early 1900's, Henry Ford
revolutionized the world and the way it manufactures goods. How could
one argue with a process that can take different materials and
products, and in one smooth motion put them together to produce a brand
new flawless product exactly identical to the previous one produced.
The assembly line process used in factories around the world is graded
on its ability to produce the same product over and over again in the
shortest amount of time possible, and for the cheapest price possible.
We are making a dire mistake by approaching public education in the
In a factory you start with the same exact pieces before beginning the first stage of the assembly line
process. In education we start with a unique child with different
characteristics than every other child. In a factory you follow the
exact same steps to put the exact same pieces together as fast and as
cheap as possible. In education we treat each child as an individual,
and we use a different set of steps to help that child no matter what
the cost, or the time involved. In a factory you are assessed by how
many identical finished products you can produce in a certain time
frame. In education we are assessed by how well we prepared our
students to be responsible, independent and lifelong learners who are
able to be successful contributing citizens in a democratic society.
Isn't it time we treat students like students, rather than treating
them like manufactured products from a factory?
With state budgets being cut on a nationwide basis, it is imperative we reach out to our policy makers to
insist on continuing to fund education. As difficult as it sounds, we
need to fund education in a way it has never been funded before. We
simply need more...more teachers, more SMALLER schools, more
opportunities for students to develop their own love of learning, and
more opportunities for teachers to grow personally and professionally.
This is a battle, despite the restraints financially, that we can win.
If we approach each child as a unique and different individual, meet
every child where they currently are, give every child a part in the
process, trust every child to do what is right, and most importantly,
believe that every child can and will make a difference, we can overcome
the easy street of the assembly line.
Please respond to this post with strategies and ways you have achieved this in your classroom, school or
district. We need to spread the word and provide the necessary help
and resources to change our factories into schools.