Education is not a…

  1. test

  2. rigid track

  3. factory

In colonial times, children learned to read and write in close-knit communities, and they often learned a trade.

As for reading and writing, many frontier children learned well. Have you ever seen an 17th or 18th century letter? The young people certainly had better vocabularies than I do.

As for trades, these same kids who learned book knowledge also learned how to shoe a horse, plow a field, mend an article of clothing, or invest in businesses. They weren’t treated as children. On the contrary, they were given responsibilities that mattered–responsibilities that had real consequences if they failed.

Carnegie, Ford, and many others dismantled this way of learning in order to create factory workers. This led to a boom for the American economy, but it unfortunately led education down a path that’s not conducive to the beginning of the 21st century. Factory jobs are either gone or being done by robots. The field of education must morph to produce clear-minded adults who are ready to face the reality of our world, and that reality is simply this: In order to get a job you want, you need to have skills that don’t jive with a factory mindset.

It’s time to scatter those rows, break down the walls, and make learning fun, interesting, and suited for what lies ahead.

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