Posted in Books, Educational Reform

Rifkin on the Rise of Public Schooling

Excerpted from The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis, by Jeremy Rifkin:

“Cheap print-in the form of newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and books-encouraged literacy among the middle and working classes. Between 1830 and 1880, European Nations, the United States, Canada, and other countries introduced public schools, making universal literacy possible for the first time in history…

It’s no accident that schools were set up to resemble factories. Children learned more than their ABCs. School life was structured around key temporal and spatial constraints. Students learned to be punctual and efficient and to sit at a desk for long periods of time concentrating on work. The new routines accustomed the children to the temporal expectations and physical conditions that awaited them in the new industrial factories and offices. They were also taught to think of learning as something one acquires and possesses. Knowledge was looked on as power and regarded as a tool or asset one could use to advance one’s interest in the marketplace.

…In the modern era of public schooling, the goal set forth by the state educators was to produce batches of ‘productive citizens’ for the emerging national economies.”


Dane Dormio is an online tutor and academic coach who specializes in helping all types of students achieve life and academic success, especially homeschooled students and those preparing for STEM careers. More information and resources can be found on his website at

One thought on “Rifkin on the Rise of Public Schooling

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s