The autocratic design of the modern classroom, with the teacher in front lecturing dutiful pupils aligned in symmetrical rows, traces its roots back to 14th century Heidelberg, Germany.That same format was adopted throughout Europe and then presented to America’s 19th century factory barons, who resented losing their cheap child labor to education reform. The industrialists reluctantly agreed only after reformers sold them on the fact that the “teaching” would actually be training, readying ...

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