Assembly Line Education
A “Conveyor Belt” type system of education that does not provoke thought, engage students, or encourage achievement. An assembly line educational system is one in which a school is viewed in the likeness of a factory. Children are placed on a "conveyor belt" and sent down the line to be assembled accordingly (regardless of whether or not their mind functions in the same likeness of the majority.) This system works against the natural processes of the human mind.
How It Works
The “Conveyor Belt” system does not account for children with special needs, is unsympathetic to home life, uses student activities that promote ultra-nationalism and competition, and uses poor methods of teaching that dumbs students down.Students with special needs (ranging from a mild learning disability to down’s syndrome) are lumped together in one classroom with differing needs that are not all met and so they remain stagnant. Many teachers have students that they are unable and unequipped with knowledge to understand due to their home life. This is another aspect of special needs that are being unmet due to teachers’ misunderstanding and misinformation. Pep rallies and rivalries with other schools are a sort of preparation for nationalism but can easily be turned into blind pride and blind following. The competitiveness also takes away from the sense of community. Finally, this method of schooling reinforces the dumbing down of Americans by discouraging critical thought while encouraging submission.
This method of educating students was effective over fifty years ago, but our world has transformed and the traditional education system has become outdated. Students are forced to go to the schools based on their location and are placed on a track based on their test scores. If they score low, they go to a lower ranking school with lower expectations and vice versa. When students are expected to fail or succeed, it is likely that they will do just that due to self-fulfilling prophecy. Children living in low income areas attend schools with environments that they likely don’t feel safe in and that their teachers expect little of them.
Because of Teacher Unions, teachers working at a public school for two years are able to receive tenure if they meet the necessary requirements. After tenure, it is nearly impossible to fire these teachers.
For most students, dropping out of school leads to prison or death. In “Waiting For Superman” (link posted below) it is stated that it costs $123,0000 for just four years in prison while it is only $8,300 for thirteen years of private schooling. Even with this knowledge, it is unlikely that our systems will change due to the fact that a smart country is more difficult to run than an dumb one.
Aronson's "Jigsaw classroom" has proven to increase academic performance and reduce prejudice in the classroom however it has not been incorporated into schools because competition is considered to be more beneficial.