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Personalizing The Factory

June 18, 2015

TechCrunch

[tc_contributor_byline slug=”jose-ferreira”]

Winston Churchill famously said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried.”

Until recently, the same could be said for the factory model of education. Imported from Prussia and implemented at the urging of education reformer Horace Mann, the factory model puts kids into age-based classrooms and uses seat time to determine when they’re ready to move on to the next level.

In many ways, it’s an awful system; rigid, arbitrary and impersonal. But it’s also responsible for almost every modern innovation we rely on today. The factory model reduced the per-student cost of education sufficiently so that wealthy countries could, for the first time ever, provide free and compulsory K-12 education to all children.

Wherever the model doesn’t exist, the populace desperately wants it. Modern medicine, housing, entertainment, transportation, communication, the Internet and everything else in the modern world…

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