Part one of this post is here.
It has been established on this blog and elsewhere that our current model for school is the factory. A factory has as it’s goal to mass produce products that meet certain standards of quality. Products are turned out in batches, by labor that is also standardized and interchangeable. I don’t think many people would disagree with this premise.
In my search for alternate models for education I now turn my attention to the restaurant business. Restaurants are successful right?
When you enter a restaurant you get to choose what to eat from a menu. While this is more choice than a regular public school it’s still a limited choice. Maybe this model fits college more? In college you can choose from a limited menu too.
The food is prepared by specialists in the kitchen and delivered by a server. If you have a large online school like the University of Phoenix, the classes are prepared by specialists in their office and delivered by a server too. (did you see that awesome pun!?)
There are many kinds of restaurants. Some are cheap, and some are very expensive. Many of the expensive ones are also hard to get into. Sometimes you need connections. Typically only wealthy people get into the really expensive restaurants.
Reviews are very important to a restaurant and they are only allowed to be open if they have a license from the state. Periodically they get inspected to make sure they are doing a good job. Restaurants typically have specials every night so get people to come in. They also attract customers by having entertainment. Even so, every day is a new day. Just because you had customers the night before doesn’t guarantee you will have them today.
I think everything in the last to paragraphs can apply to universities too.
There is one big difference. Cost of living since 1978 has increased by 325%. Therefore a burger which cost $1.50 then cost about $5 now. If the prices went up as fast as college tuition has, the $1.50 burger would now cost $15.50!
So in my search for a new model for school I found one that is sort of being used already. Maybe the model I want is the airline industry? Tune in tomorrow.
For further reading about restaurants and education check out this post from a few years ago. If Restaurants Were Like the Education System