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Factory-Model Change Won’t End the Era of Factory-Model Schools

September 21, 2017

This article brought to mind a favorite quote from Peter Senge: “Structures of which we are unaware hold us prisoner. Once we can see them and name them, they no longer have the same hold on us.” As a retired public school superintendent who served in that capacity from 1981-2011 was constantly surprised to find that most parents and many teachers did not see the “tremendously powerful magnetic pull” of the factory school model… and it is evident that most “reformers” who want to apply business principles to public education are blind to that same pull.

Mr. Calkins understands how enmeshed the industrial-model-thinking is in our conception of school improvement. We ARE “…deluding ourselves, if we try to end the era of factory-model schools by using factory-model strategies for change.”… I hold out hope that eventually classroom teachers and engaged parents will see that the test-driven model of learning imposed by NCLB (and, alas, ESSA) is shacking the teachers ability to use their creativity to reach each child. If such an awakening occurs we might be able to free public education from the industrial-age mental models that hold us prisoner now. 

In this post, Andy Calkins argues that moving to new school models requires a new theory of change.

Source: Factory-Model Change Won’t End the Era of Factory-Model Schools

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