American Education



“Americaneducation has evolved in such a way it will be the undoing of thesociety” Buckminster Fuller.

Buckminsterstated these words as a response to a speech from president ofRockford College. He asserted that, while the universities weremaking experts out of the bright learners, they were condemningstudents with average mind and dunderheads to be generalists servingother important members in the society (Brady,2009).It is important to note that generalist is a term that was used to byBuckminster to denote people who do not get much admiration andrespect in the contemporary world. The system of education thatFuller was disparaging is one that was adopted after the renaissancewhen the big thing was standardization of various components,specialization, division of labor and mass production (Adams,2010).The education system swiftly locked in lines of authority similar tothose in the heavy industries, hierarchical management structures,and centralized decision making.

Iagree with Buckminster that the new system of education modeled inthe manner as the industrial model discounts human nature, asphyxiateresourcefulness and imagination, waste the potential locked in humanvariability, encourage a preoccupation with mediocre standardsinstead of maximum performance and is in conflict with deep-rootedAmerican notions on individual values (Brady,2004).The new system of education is so deeply embedded into the industrialmodel such that envisaging alternatives has become totally impossible(Brady,2009).When reforms are introduced they only shuffle the unimportantelements of education such as the staffing pattern, new technology,change calendars and highlight the causes of poor performance. Theonly aspect left unchanged and uncontested is the fundamentalassumptions that good sense can be made of the globe bydisintegrating it into small pieces and studying the pieces (Brady,2004).

AsBuckminster stated specialized education “has some usefulness”but it is unrealistic to expect learners to weave disconnected schoolsubjects ((Brady,2009).After a thorough study of the American secondary schools Goodlad Johnstated that the division of education into periods and subjectssupport segmentation rather than integration of knowledge (Brady,2004). Philosophers, scholars and scientist concur that all things in theworld are connected in one way or another and as such learners shouldbe able to make useful sense of the relationship between variousparts (Brady,2009).Ultimately the path to a coherent curriculum can be constructed froma set of required academic disciplines for these will make educationincreasingly artificial and cut schooling from the human experiencesit is expected to mirror.


Adams,C. (2010). TheVision of Buckminster Fuller.Retrieved from:

Brady,M. (2004). ThinkingBig: A Conceptual Framework for the Study of Everything.Retrieved from:

Brady,M. (2009). NationalSubject-Matter Standards? Be Careful What You Wish For.Lesley Retrieved from: