What is Standardization?

During my break I’ve been thinking about the nature of school. I’ve read a lot of articles and I see a lot of posts on social media about the nature of education. The basic gist is that everybody is unique, therefore standardization is bad. This is a bit of an oversimplification, but, generally speaking, I think it’s a true statement.

Before the 1800’s Education was not free. Only elite families were able to pay for their children to attend schooling. So, in centuries past if you were a farmer, then your children were certainly also going to be farmers. The occupation of the parent was the future occupation of the child. Education was the job of the parents to impart onto their children, and only education pertinent to the occupation was going to be transmitted. Now this was not a very good system because it removed a great deal of free choice from the children since they could not choose their own occupation.

Enter public schooling:

Education was now something that was accessible (and required) to everyone; not just the elites. It’s true that students in those early public classrooms were not worried about Common Core but there was still a standardization in the classroom. There was a basic 3rd grade curriculum which differed from the basic 4th grade curriculum. Even in the workplace, when you get a new job there are certain policies and procedures that you’re expected to conform to. Even in the days prior to public schooling, the child who was destined to be a farmer was taught the “right way” to farm by his parents. Basically what I’m getting at is that everywhere there is some sort of standardization whether it be in school or home or the workplace.

So I’ll leave off with some open questions. Where do we draw the line? At what point is education too standardized? What is considered the right amount of standardization?

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