From factory to…

Since the beginning of the modern era/birth of Christ it has been 2010 years…

The internet has been 1.24%

My life has been 2.48%

My dad has been around for 4.37%

The Federation of Australia is 5.47%

Formal school is 5.97%

If we look at it this way…






My father left school aged 12, he had learnt to read and write, but then needed to get to work. It was the great depression and the older children in the family of six went to work to bring an income to support the family. My grandfather was an optometrist and during the depression people kept their old glasses, so there wasn’t sufficient income to support the family. I was the first in my family to graduate with tertiary qualifications. Such a huge step in a relatively short period.

Formal schooling represents such a small part of the history of learning. It was developed as a response to the needs of the Industrial Revolution, to prepare a workforce with the skills and the routines for factory work.

Our school calendar continues to reflect a period in history when the children were required for harvest and the timing of the school day for mother who had “home duties”.

School seemed to mirror the workplace. There was little autonomy for the worker. The foreman or the supervisor organised the day and the workers. In the same way all children were taught the same lessons and were required to “keep up” – with everyone else, presumably.

The photo of  the children (above) is around 1900 and the women at work (left) are in the 1950s. Both of these reflect the ‘industrial age’.

2010 is very different.

It’s time for school to look and feel like the creativity age. We are in the next step beyond the knowledge age. We can access so much knowledge and information, now it’s time to apply it, to create and innovate.

Maybe it’s time that school’s began to look like, and even become places of creativity and innovation.

From factory – same work, specific skills and a “job for life” to individualised, personalised, excitement, engaged and empowered, with many career options from which to choose.

Which one is the school and which one the workplace? Does it matter?

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