The Monster Challenging Us All
……………….Waiting For “Superman” describes that monster in some detail. It says it was created fifty-plus years ago, at a time when the majority of students were expected to become farmers or factory workers. In the world of the 1950’s, most people were expected to do essentially the same thing every day for the rest of their lives. Every worker was part of the great “economic engine” of the United States. If you didn’t wind up working in a factory or on a farm, you were assumed headed for some other “same thing every day” job in a field such as accounting.
The True Nature Of This Monster
That’s what the film says about the system. But what it doesn’t say is what the system doesn’t support: Students who want to be entrepreneurs… innovators… challengers of conventional thinking. Sorry, that wasn’t part of the equation. The system was designed in the 1950’s, when conformity was king.
After all, being an effective factory worker meant adopting a kind of “assembly line mentality.” You had to become a human “cog” in the giant machinery of the company for which you worked, which meant (a) doing what you’re told, (b) not asking questions, and (c) being afraid to make mistakes. The classic sign on the factory wall back then said “We pay you to work, not to think.”
That’s the kind of worker our educational system was designed to produce when it was first created, and that’s the kind of worker our system is designed to produce today. Unfortunately, this is the exact opposite of the creative, problem-solving, critical thinking workers — and citizens — America needs! But this point isn’t made in the film.
One thing Waiting For “Superman” does do is unintentionally confirm how “assembly line thinking” is the system’s intended result. It does this by animating the educational process so that it appears to consist of knowledge being poured into the heads of children and of children proceeding down different conveyor belts to either high or low quality classroom settings. This is what we knew how to do in the 1950’s: set up a mechanical system to produce workers who would fit into a mechanical employment reality. Today educational experts — those who put human development ahead of antiquated industrial policy needs — know that real education involves much more………………………
Video Waiting For Superman | Davis Guggenheim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOnAIdIMoeI&NR=1