Social Efficiency Ideology – Schiro (2013)

In my early years of education I came into contact with aspects of Tyler Rationale through the means of cursive handwriting and keyboard typing lessons. In the same as in the article, the typing instructions were nearly identical in structure and for the sole purpose of streamlining a learned behavior, which was just learning how to type proper (something I still cannot do in a good enough way might I add). The handwriting portion was in essence the same lesson but on paper with pencils and what not. These types of lessons have there uses I suppose but I cannot think of any other experiences that was so clearly linked to this type of education (that being the Tyler rationale).

In regards to what is lacking about the rationale the explanation can rather largely summed up in three points: (1) The agency of the kids are curbed and as such they are treated as mini adults progressing to a final stage of adulthood. (2) Teacher role is diminished to a point where they are an arm of the industry researchers simply giving out the lesson. (3) The material in the lesson is highly standardized to teach everyone everything efficiently as soon as possible void of any inspiring, fun or creative sense within the lesson plan itself.

Bobbitt (a lead advocate of social efficiency ideology during the last century) suggests that you “see the man within the child” so that the full potential is brought out for their adult life. I am for the sense that kids should be taught interesting and stimulating lessons in schools so that they can investigate subjects later on in high school and post-secondary if they choose to.

If the teachers role is trampled on to the point of “your not a teacher your a baby-sitter” then I fail to see the point of the profession.

The rationale does have some points worth noting that are not bad. The streamlining of certain tasks (like handwriting and keyboarding) help students to quickly pick up on behaviors in quick succession with fast feedback. Social efficiency also helps to gears students towards a specific topic especially a potential industry topic.

Interesting article in some points.

The Problem of Common Sense

After having read the article and gathering some of my notes I was taking I can conclude that Kumashiro views common sense as a sort of normal condition or status quo way of thinking in the context of education. With his American upbringing his notion of education is seen as oppressive to less privileged and marginalized peoples and he strives for students, teachers and staff to challenge the existing methods of teaching in America (the west) as the ‘best’ or ‘superior’ way. Common sense to someone can be a misplaced set of rules that have just always persisted. He then lays a foundation to stress the importance of teaching in an anti-oppressive manner which breaks apart the common sense surrounding education systems.

Common sense is then important to pay attention to because of possible inherent prescriptions or values that would otherwise be deemed oppressive to a set of people or demographics. His trip to Nepal is an example of his ideas of education being superior to the Nepali education system. He was wanting to use his own cultures education system because to him it was common sense and the way it ‘should’ be and therefore pushed onto others not used to it. Advocating an alternative approach through the means of anti-oppression is the core means by which he wants teachers to instruct and attempt the resist the notion that anything is ‘common sense’.