Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Everything That's Wrong With Education: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

The picture comes from a late 19th Century and early 20th Century series designed to show what France would be like in the 21st Century:
France in the Year 2000 (XXI century) – a series of futuristic pictures by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the year 2000. There are at least 87 cards known that were authored by various French artists, the first series being produced for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris.
It's a bit disconcerting how accurately the artist predicted American education in 2012.

Image Via Wikimedia Commons

Let's look at a few specifics:
  • Fill students up with unconnected facts to meet standards of indeterminate worth: check
  • Boredom: check
  • Technology without context: check
  • No serious interaction with materiel: check
The only thing missing is a bubble test and a state bureaucrat looking over the teacher's shoulder.

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