We’ve come a long way… well, sort of…

Telephone, circa 1950

When I look at this picture I am amazed at how far technology has come in a very short period of time. Just a few years ago a telephone was a clunky box in the living room or on the kitchen wall that was used solely for verbal communication. Now telephones are sleek, pocket size tools that we use not only to talk to others but also to take pictures, calculate numbers, check the weather and update our Facebook status. I wonder, if there was a store that strictly sold phones like the one pictured above, how many of you would shop there? Or better yet, would you invest in such a business? I’m not talking about phones with modern technology that look like this phone, I mean THIS phone- with the same type of wiring and sound transfer that was available in 1950. Something tells me that the investors won’t be beating down the door.

Computer, circa 1950

Even more amazing than the advances in our phones are the advances in computers (which, technically, are one in the same since most of our phones ARE computers). Just 60 years ago a computer filled an entire room, used exorbitant amounts of energy, overheated constantly and still did little else than crunch numbers. Yet here I sit, on a laptop small enough to carry around wherever I go and I can keep in touch with friends, watch videos, keep up with the news, shop and write this blog. The computers of yesterday were a necessary step and a good foundation but I’m certainly grateful for the innovators who made these vast and varied improvements.

Classroom, circa 1950

And yet, very little has changed about classrooms in the same amount of time. A few, largely superficial, things have changed but fundamentally our schools are the same today as they were when this picture was taken. Really the clothes and hair are the only reason we know this picture was taken 60 years ago and not 6 months ago.

Science pushes the cutting edge of technology further and further all the time, yet the increasing amount of science pertaining to the brain and how we learn is largely ignored. I can’t help but wonder why we drag our feet in terms of education when we would not tolerate this as consumers.


5 responses to “We’ve come a long way… well, sort of…

  1. Pingback: Getting a C-Minus « Talk Birth

  2. If education kept pace with technology we never would have had the financial meltdown or the housing crisis. We are made stupid by our “educational system” so the money can flow Up to the top 1%.

    The New Math started the downward trend and it has gotten worse. We are fed fast food that kills us. Diabetes and heart disease are results of the combo of that diet and so little exercise partly because we are afraid to let the kids outside to play.

    • It’s funny that you mentioned fast food, Lynda. I was just telling someone today that standardizing food gives us McDonalds (and other fast food chains). So why do people think standardizing (instead of individualizing) education would be any different?

      As for the system dumbing us down (which happens to be the title of a great book by John Holt) I couldn’t agree more. All we have to do to know this is true is look into the history of how and why schools were originally designed.

    • Thanks so much! I must admit I’m often worried about what my ‘teacher friends’ will think of my ideas… but I think teachers know this better than anyone and are as frustrated as anyone by it! They’re just sick of being blamed. 😉

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