Quote from the Text

"Based on a century-old factory model, this particular school excels in preparing children for a world that no longer exists." page xxiii

Fact Check

Dintersmith offers this phrase in the prologue of his book without offering a definition or explanation. In effect, he's priming his reader to think of the modern liberal arts curriculum with different subject areas as an assembly line, with a student akin to a part moved from station to station. This rhetorical approach was fairly common in the early 1900s during discussions about schools. Margaret Haley, the first woman speaker at the National Education Association in 1901, used a similar construct when talking about teacher working conditions. She complained about administrations, "making the teacher an automaton, a mere factory hand, whose duty it is to carry out mechanically and unquestioningly the ideas and orders of those clothed with the authority of position." (Source: Woman's "True" Profession: Voices from the History of Teaching, Hoffman, 1981) The difference, however, is Haley made it clear she was comparing school to a factory. Dintersmith offers the phrase without context.

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