the Prussian model

Flag of the Kingdom of Prussia 1892-1918
Drawing created by David Liuzzo via Wikimedia Commons
Lefty Parent has a good post up, a look at the history behind the US education system and where we got much of our compulsory school model.  I have blogged about how the limits of this model were not perceived as negatively as they now work because of the many mitigating factors that offset the basic flaws of this model for a long time within the US. In a nutshell, the amount of infrastructure built provided many new options, deep social capital helped families cope with peer sequestration, the slow extension of length of time attended, and the fact that for a long time, the majority of jobs did not depend on schooling.

But the last 30+ years of neoliberal policy has reinforced and shown the limits of the model and we need to change it, first by understanding the compulsory, militaristic origins. (I think we would have opened the model up a good deal in the last 30+ years if we had not started siphoning money toward the top at a relentless pace, related to the militarization of government after WWII.)

Read the post yourself, an excellent piece that covers a lot of ground: Napoleon, Prussia & the U.S. Education System | Lefty Parent:
American education would become the main tool to address these issues. Inspired by the Prussians who had been inspired themselves by Napoleon, that tool would be wielded by the state, and all aspects of the educational system – curr
iculum, pedagogy and governance – would fall under a top-down control model of state responsibility, rather than being an individual, family or local community responsibility. In a country inspired by moving away from controlling hierarchies towards a circle of equals, human development would continue to be managed in an all encompassing educational hierarchy, as it still is today.
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