The Bell Curve

Bell Curve

What I was seeing was a bell curve; that’s how the teachers were grouping the students in their classes. The mound of jello was the middle of the bell curve. And pushing that middle incrementally forward was sucking the life spirit out of them.

I began to realize that our entire education system was based on this bell curve paradigm. The underlying purpose of our system seemed to be to sort students into groups along that curve for employment in an industrial economy.

The really smart people become academics and industry leaders. They sit out on the far right shoulder of the bell curve. Next, moving toward the center, are the middle managers that make up the majority of the right side of the bell curve. Those in this right half of the curve are known as ‘white collar’ workers.

On the left side of the bell curve are our students destined to be our blue collar workers. First, our skilled laborers, and then our unskilled laborers on the far left shoulder of the curve.

It all made sense. What I was seeing in the classroom was mapping to the original intention of our educational system, a system designed using the philosophies of scientific management that came to be called Taylorism – that model that underpinned the entire industrial economy.

The only problem was, these students were not going into an industrial economy anymore. We needed to prepare them for a new economy, a tech-enabled creative economy.

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