April 12, 2012

“School as we’ve known it is based on an assembly-line model. And the assembly line was a great invention when Henry Ford made it. And the school might have been a great invention when it was made, but it is an assembly-line model. You come into school, you’re in the first grade, in the first period of the day. You do what the first chapter of the textbook says. You go to second period, third period, second grade, third grade. It’s an assembly line; at each point some new pieces of knowledge are put in.

Why we did this was because we had only such primitive knowledge management technology as chalk and blackboard–and even printing is inflexible, impersonal. With our new forms of knowledge technology, there is no reason why we should have the assembly-line model. There is no reason why we should segregate people by age, rather than bring together people who share an interest, who share a style of doing things, who can do things in common.”

Papert, S. (1999) Diversity in Learning: A Vision for the New Millennium. Transcript of a videotaped speech by the Diversity Task Force convened by Vice President Al Gore

Scroll to Top