Thursday, October 10, 2013

Flipping Over Deja Vu

Some years ago I read an article about what was touted as a “new idea” in manufacturing, which was that the company had the manufacturing branch participate in the design of each new product so that ease and cost of manufacture became part of the design. An example was given of a panel which was presently being assembled using eight different fasteners and required five different tools, and the new panel was reduced to two fasteners which were installed with one tool. Purchasing cost was decreased by having to buy fewer parts, and manufacturing cost was dramatically reduced by the worker no longer having to lay down and pick up various tools.

My reaction was not to think about how smart the company was, but to wonder what idiot designed the existing panel to begin with, and to ask why they ever quit having manufacturing participate in the design process. When I came out of the plant and into the office my first job was detail drafting, and before starting any set of detail drawings I was always told, “Run this by manufacturing to see how they want to make it.”

Now the New York Times has an article about “flipped schools,” which it says is a controversial new idea, in which students watch teacher’s lecture at home on video and then do lab experiments and such in class while the teacher circulates and supervises. My response is, “What? This is new?” When did high school become a process of students sitting in class and listening to teachers recite lectures? And why in the hell would it do that? Maybe now we know why high schools are graduating idiots.

When I was in high school our homework consisted in large part of reading assignments, and in class the teacher would ask questions and hold discussions with the class to make sure we understood the subject, to amplify upon what was in the book, and to make us think about the subject and apply it to life. We didn’t skimp on the reading assignments, because if we did we would be deeply humiliated the next day in class.

So now they are going back to this model, only they’re using videos instead of books of course, and they call it a controversial and exciting new idea. More, they are finding out that it works. Fancy that.

1 comment:

  1. bruce9:27 AM

    you can't have humiliation in class, because that would be "causing low self-esteem" and "bullying by the teacher" and in some cases "racist" because "Juan or Sha'Niquah can't read so well"

    I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but this crap happens everyday. Political correctness is rampant.