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For Weber, the archetypical manifestation of this process was the Bureaucracy; a large, formal organization characterized by a hierarchical authority structure, well-established division of labor, written rules and regulations, impersonality and a concern for technical competence.Bureaucratic organizations not only represent the process of rationalization, the structure they impose on human interaction and thinking furthers the process, leading to an increasingly rationalized world.Mc Donald’s is hardly the first business to leverage such standardization.
The point is, education–as it is–is about content and mastery of content is about points and grades that either does or does not result in certificates (e.g., diplomas) that allow increasingly specialized study (business, law, medicine, etc.) in post-secondary education (like college/university) for the purpose of ‘career prep’ (which, I’ve offered, should not be the purpose of school).
Three of the most visible components of most modern K-12 public education systems: teachers, content, and letter grades, with the two former components often merged (e.g., ‘math teacher’ or ‘art teacher.’) Also hugely visible education components: students, tests, computers, books, walls, desks, hallways, groups, bells, calendars, front-of-the-room chalkboards and whiteboards, etc.
The process affects all aspects of our everyday life.
Ritzer suggests that in the later part of the Twentieth Century the socially structured form of the fast-food restaurant has become the organizational force representing and extending the process of rationalization further into the realm of everyday interaction and individual identity.
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Critical thinking involves logic as well as creativity.If you disagree that such a crisis exists, the rest of this article will likely not be worth your time.If we can assume that statement to be at least partly true though, we can see that as an industry, then, we have a crisis in education that is both a cause and effect of the above. Education and thought, at least conceptually, are as connected as the architecture of a building and the building itself.On the surface, education–as it is–is not about teaching thought but rather about content. Education As It Is Education is, roughly, arranged into content areas and stratified by age.On a wide view, the general structure can be thought of like a large grid: The columns are the content areas and the rows are the ‘age.’ We could also consider it the reverse and it wouldn’t change much.This is simple for kitchen utensils and challenging for art and affection and people: To clarify an education and what it ‘should be’ is to impart what ideally is a very personal and ‘local’ philosophy on everyone else. In 1993, George Ritzer wrote a book–which owes itself in large part to previous work by many, including Max Weber–called The Mc Donaldization of Society.The book is an exploration of the causes, effects, and nature standardization through the lens of the Mc Donald’s American restaurant chain.Put briefly, the formal education system in the United States is designed for people to study (generally) four primary categories of knowledge (math, science, social studies, and language arts) for thirteen years.These content areas tend to become more complex but are only intermittently specialized (‘science’ becoming ‘chemistry,’ for example even though chemistry is still a science; for the record, I’m not sure why we don’t show at least a little vision and wed science and the humanities into ‘new content areas‘ that aren’t content areas at all but realize that this is crazy talk to most and will save my breath).Access to society journal content varies across our titles.If you have access to a journal via a society or association membership, please browse to your society journal, select an article to view, and follow the instructions in this box.