Charles Dickens has a direct message for educators in the 21st Century in the novel Hard Times! This biting social commentary on the failure of Victorian schools of the 19th century is a wake-up call for all our schools today ! The teacher Mr. M'Choakumchild! explains the philosophy of the day. (note the teachers name! )
'Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are
wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds
of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.'
The Industrial Revolution and the Victorian Age is where the culture of the "Work" place became the culture of the Ragged Schools of Industrial England and ultimately in America's schools. Schools became assembly lines, one size fits all, bells organized time concisely and success was marked by measuring, weighing and Grading finished goods. Workers who didn't fit in were suspended or given detentions. The mantra of the day was : Work-Work-Work - and thus England became the workshop of the world ! Schools and factories were practically interchangeable!
Does your school culture resemble a factory? Do you work Bell to Bell ! Bell work? Timed work? Work stations? Work sheet ? One Size fits all ? It is time to take the work out of the school and introduce the learning of the 21st century .
We have now entered a creative age where real learning takes place in programs that empower and nurture students to act on their innovation, imagination and creativity. Creativity will be the real mover of our economy and the globe.
As always I welcome your comments and I will reflect further on Imagination, Innovation and Creativity in the future!