Here’s how we can break free of the 19th-century factory model of education.
For nearly two centuries, American high school students have taken essentially the same daily journey: Not long after the crack of dawn, they head to a classroom of about 800 square feet, seated with 30 or so other students. Then they’re lectured to on a topic dictated by an established standard. They wait for a bell to ring, then rush through the hallways to get to the next classroom before another bell rings. If that process sounds a little like an assembly line, that’s no coincidence—our modern education system is actually the brainchild of an educational reformer from the industrial revolution named Horace Mann.