Saturday, August 11, 2012

ISAAC ASIMOV PREDICTED THE RESULTS OF CORPORATE SCHOOL REFORM IN 1951

A little summer reading for you thanks to my colleague Marc Epstein.  Marc had his students read "The Fun They Had" by Issac Asimov this past spring. He gave me a copy too.

This wonderful short story, written in 1951, involves kids in the year 2157.  They look with envy at their forefathers who actually went to a school building and read real books.  Enjoy it but realize this future shock may be upon us long before 2157 if the Joel Klein's and Michael Bloomberg's of the world have their way.

An excerpt for you:

Margie went into her schoolroom.  It was right next door to her bedroom, and the mechanical teacher was on and waiting for her.  It was always on at the same time every day except for Saturday and Sunday, because her mother said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours.
The screen was lit up and it said: Today's arithmetic lesson is on the addition of proper fractions.
Please insert yesterday's homework in the proper slot.
Margie did so with a sigh.  She was thinking about the old schools they had when her grandfather's grandfather was a boy.  All the kids from the whole neighborhood came, laughing and shouting in the schoolyard, sitting together in the schoolroom, going home together at the end of the day...
And the teachers were people.


8 comments:

NYC Educator said...

I'm sure I read that when I was in high school. I never realized how prophetic it really was until just now.

burntoutteacher said...

I taught that story two years ago while struggling with my experiences in a school from hell, run by a principal with no teaching experience. It was my little way of being subversive.

Zulma said...

If online learning continues and it's pushed in every school, we are looking at the realization of that prophesy by 2025. No CPU Left Behind.

Anonymous said...

"I read this story with my students every year. Thanks for revealing how close to reality this "fiction" story really is.

Anonymous said...

Sad but true commentary on our times from one of the great sci-fi who saw it coming many years ago.

DonOssorio said...

Thank you for this great educational resource both for the classroom and professional development. Ironic how in order to post this comment I had to prove I'm not a robot.

Anonymous said...

sounds like they predicted internet schools like K12 back in 1951.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.