In a recent edition of his excellent daily blog post, Seth Godin correctly notes that Americans are frustrated with the slow economic recovery and angry with politicians for not making the return to normal happen faster.
However, Godin says normal isn’t coming back. The 80 year run of the industrial revolution, that “brought ever-increasing productivity, and along with it well-paying jobs for an ever-expanding middle class”, is coming to an end.
Some people insist that if we focus on “business fundamentals” and get “back to basics,” all will return. Not so. The promise that you can get paid really well to do precisely what your boss instructs you to do is now a dream, no longer a reality.
It doesn’t take more than a cursory reading of the news over the past couple of decades to know that he’s probably right.
At the same time we in education are also doubling down on the “back to basics” and on teaching kids how to follow someone else’s instructions. Our leaders, both political and business, want us to think that if we just combine greater effort with more standardization that we can recreate the glorious old days where every kid was above average and US test scores topped every other country.
So when do we acknowledge that our current education system, built to support that industrial society, also needs to change?