Ewan McIntosh charges that the “factory model” of schooling produces graduates who are ill-equipped for the realities of the business world.
[E]verything being done to formal schooling by the political classes in America and England runs against what business actually requires: self-starting, creative, entrepreneurial youngsters.
So what’s the problem? To begin with, schooling is based on several premises which discourage an enthusiasm for learning and independent thinking, and encourage dependency on institutional structures:
1) Knowledge is scarce.
2) Learning needs a specific place and specific time (lessons in classrooms).
3) Knowledge is best learnt in disconnected little pieces (lessons).
4) To learn you need the help of an approved expert i.e. a teacher.
5) To learn you need to follow a path determined by a learning expert (a course of study).
6) You need an expert to assess your progress (a teacher).
7) You can attribute a meaningful numerical value to the value of learning (marks, grades, degrees).
In the end, students reared in this broken system are too often unable to learn on their own and struggle to keep their heads above water in the business world.
Education teaches us to believe that a university degree signifies that one possesses the skills to perform a job, but in reality it simply demonstrates one’s ability to “play the game” of schooling. As a result, many people are released into the real world having no idea what they have gotten themselves into. As someone who attended an elite law school only to learn that my overpriced education failed to prepare me for the tough legal profession, I couldn’t agree more that the factory model of schooling really is, as John Taylor Gatto says in his superb book, Dumbing Us Down.