Whose work are we supporting: Theirs or ours?

LunchpailPostulate 1: There likely has never been a greater disconnect than right now between the skills our factory-model schools give our graduates and the skills they need for success in a technology-suffused, globally-interconnected information economy.

Postulate 2: It’s increasingly difficult for most families to survive economically on a single income. Working families (whether they have one breadwinner or two) need someplace to send their children while they’re at work.

It used to be that our kids went to school so that they could then go to work. When you look at the driving forces behind maintenance of today’s schooling model (and, perhaps, obstruction of whatever new model eventually replaces it), is it more true now that we’re sending our kids to school so that we can go to work? Which is of higher urgency to us: their needs or ours?

Just thinking out loud here…

Image credit: Hiding to eat big bro’s lunch?

7 Responses to “Whose work are we supporting: Theirs or ours?”

  1. Very interesting point. It does beg more thought too.

    How many parents long for the day their child enters public school because it equals no more day care costs?

    How many schedules (work, vacation, etc) are based on the school calendar?

    How hard would it be to change all of this?

    Just thinking out loud along with your thinking out loud.

  2. I agree with your point, but love playing DA (devil’s advocate). If our schools are SO mismatched with the needs of the workforce, why do we have so many highly successful people out there. I didn’t get “tech infused” education, but have done just fine in this “technological world”.

    To rebut my own case: Many students thrive in the workplace INSPITE of their education, but I don’t think technology a great education makes.

  3. More and more it seems like parents just care about the “day care” aspect of school. Please watch my kid while I go to work as you have said. Education has lost its importance in our society of excess.

  4. I am a parent, not a teacher. If school was there as a replacement for day care then the start and end times would not be as they are. in my area the school starts at 0745, 0800, 0825, 0840 and release as early as 1420. my guess is this is so the school can save on transportation cost (buying one bus vs. two), these times have nothing to do with parent schedules. Parents flex our work schedules to fit around the school day. I go into work at 0630 so as to be home at 1530 when my kid is released from school and my wife works late so as to be able to drop my kid off at school at 0840. Thankfully we have employers that are willing to work with us.

  5. If you look more closely into the advent of public education during the industrial revolution, public school was indeed instituted so parents could go to work at their new “jobs” & children would be socialized to the world of “jobs” not crafts or trades as was previously the case.

    A capitalist economy needed workers with a standard basic literacy and with the ingrained idea of scheduled work time (punching the clock). That was a huge switch from an economy based on a feudal system with unskilled, uneducated labourers, skilled craftsmen who passed on their knowledge to apprentices, and a privately educated elite ruling class.

    Women have ALWAYS worked outside the home, even women with children, especially women of lower socio-economic status. Rarely has an industrialized economy made a priority its social responsibility for the needs of parents and children.

    Here’s another postulate: our conception of what age constitutes “childhood” has been growing steadily older in western industrialized economies.

    Sorry I have simplified the argument and I don’t have any citations, but I remember this being one of my many revelations when I studied sociology in my undergrad years.

    That doesn’t in any way negate your postulates. Just perhaps pointing out that tension between the need for nurturing childcare, a robust education system and the structure of the economy have always been in tension in the western world.

  6. If you are educators, your future earnings, including your pensions, depend on American students being the best in the world and earning the top wages.

    Did you watch your videos? One thing, however, the Chinese give trash collectors “college degrees”.

    Also, another thing about the Chinese educational system: Only children of dedicated, re-educated, indoctrinated Communist party members (and the childrens’ grandparents) get the best college degrees. And these are the only children allowed to study or travel abroad.

    I know, I have done service work for Chinese immigrants who have educations.

    Our way of life has been under attack since this country was founded.

    Go to http://mises.org/ and learn something about economics.

    I would like to point out that inflation is caused by creating money out of thin air, “Fiat money”.

    The international banking cartel creates the American Dollar out of thin air and then loans it back to Congress to fund the Congressional spending. And Congress then gives the funding to corporations and holding companies that they own stock in.

    The pressure on families to earn more and more to buy less and less is felt all the way to the school rooms.

    Unless our students are educated in sound economics and critical thinking skills with hard degrees, not ones in basket weaving or witchcraft, they will find themselves on the lowest end of the pay scales.


  7. Yes, this is the basis for good conversation.This is an issue that I think about everyday. As a mother, I question the benefit of leaving my kids with anyone other than myself and when I am in class I wonder about what my kid is doing at school. I want to be there when she gets home from school, so I have sacraficed extra money so that I can. It’s all about sacrafice. Too many people let society dictate too much of their lives. People should sacrafice so they can be at home with their kids.

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