what is the factory model of education December 4, 2020 – Posted in: Uncategorized

These battles have persisted – frequently with handwringing about education’s ongoing failures – and as such, they have shaped and yes changed, what happens in schools. One of the side-effects of the efforts of Mann and others to create a public education system, unmentioned by Khan, was the establishment of “normal schools” where teachers were trained. Root cause: factory model of management. The very organization of knowledge into permanent disciplines was grounded on industrial assumptions. Education is a large-scale industry; it should use quantity production methods. In fact, the “Prussian model” superseded an education system that actually did look like a factory. The whole administrative hierarchy of education, as it grew up, followed the model of industrial bureaucracy. As Dorn notes, phrases like “the industrial model of education,” “the factory model of education,” and “the Prussian model of education” are used as a “rhetorical foil” in order make a particular political point – not so much to explain the history of education, as to try to shape its future. That's what this student said in the title of the video, and in this case, was probably correct. He has no choice or voice. In In H. P. Baptiste, A. Ryan, B. Arajuo, & R. Duhon-Sells (Eds). But the factory model of education is the wrong model for the 21st century.” – US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (2010). We are in the midst of one of the most … Some say that the entire American public education system, dating from its beginnings in the 1840s, was modeled on the factory system. Notice the bare walls. Prussian school model or Prussian education system is a model of schooling that dates back to Martin Luther and Frederick the Great of Prussia (see: Education: Free and Compulsory).The system became very popular worldwide and survives to this day in various forms. (After all, the major innovation of the Prussian model was in levying a tax to fund compulsory schooling, not in establishing a method for instruction.). The “factory model of education” is invoked as shorthand for the flaws in today’s schools – flaws that can be addressed by new technologies or by new policies, depending on who’s telling the story. Probably not many teachers do that. Khan argues in his “History of Education” video that the Prussian model was the only way to provide a free public education, but as the widespread popularity of the monitorial system in the same period demonstrates, it was really just one way. Furthermore, the point is that students in the 21st century are frustrated with the factory model. I hope not! We can do much more to give the next generation a personalized educational experience that equips them with the skills, values, characteristics and knowledge they need to thrive in our modern society. Our schools have become nothing more than test prep centers; perhaps test prep factories is more accurate. This does not mean, in any unfortunate sense, the mechanization of education. It’s a story told by John Taylor Gatto in his 2009 book Weapons of Mass Instruction. That is the era of tremendous experimentation in the forms of schools, from legacy one-room village schools in the hinterlands to giant monitorial schools in cities to academies and normal schools and colleges and the earliest high schools in various places. Tweaking around the edges will not work. Research has shown that the reasons 7,000 students drop out of school every day are that a.) It’s a story echoed by The New York Times’ David Brooks. The Prussian education system refers to the system of education established in Prussia as a result of educational reforms in the late 18th and early 19th century, which has had widespread influence since. The reason the student in this video erupted in frustration was that the teacher refused to get up and help a student with a question she had about the "packet" of materials they were assigned to do. And, yes, the first compulsory-school law was passed before the Civil War… but it was not enforced. Most teachers - the ones I've known - are extremely hardworking, dedicated and caring. This can be done by dropping some courses, combining others and letting students experience student-driven, interdisciplinary, project-based curriculum. Generally speaking, when used, the terms are referencing characteristics of European education that emerged in the late 18th century and then in North America in the mid-19th century that include top-down management, outcomes designed Education must now do more than create factory workers, yet it remains one of the few areas of life almost untouched by technology (apart from dopey ideas to give iPads to kids). Abandon the factory model of education. US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (2010), a factory model for schools no longer works, How to Break Free of Our 19th-Century Factory-Model Education System, There’s Nothing Especially Educational About Factory-Style Management, As education historian Sherman Dorn has argued. The monitorial system and its variants the Lancaster, the Bell, and the Madras systems, involved schools that were housed in large warehouses – larger often than many of the nascent factories at the time – with hundreds of students in one massive classroom with one teacher. (Very few places in the world were back then.) And there have always been objections from multiple quarters, particularly from religious groups, to the shape that schooling has taken. Caulfield concludes, “That is those nasty sounding Prussians agreeing with the somewhat less nasty sounding Glasweegians that education must be reformed because it works too much like a factory. It is the era of charity schools in cities and the earliest (and incomplete) state subsidies to education, a period when many states had subsidies to what we would call private or parochial schools. That model … The belief was "the back door of the school lead to the front door of the factory", and students should only be taught the essiential skills required to become a successful factory … It does mean freeing the teacher from the drudgeries of her work so that she may do more real teaching, giving the pupil more adequate guidance in his learning. This whole paradigm, the factory model, began when schools adopted the Scientific Method created and marketed by Frederick Taylor in his monograph, Principles of Scientific Management published in 1911. Our K–12 system largely still adheres to the century-old, industrial-age factory model of education. Stop kidding ourselves with fads, myths, legends and fallacies. To decide what is the single best idea for reforming K-12 education, one needs to figure out what is … And by extension, it’s part of a narrative that now contends that schools are no longer equipped to address the needs of a post-industrial world. Even today it retains throw-back elements from pre-industrial society. It is based on a factory model that first showed up in North America 150 years ago. The system gives you bad grades and tells you you're stupid. Alternate title: Men Explain “The Factory Model of Education" to Me. On entering the school, you can discover no individual unemployed, no boy looking vacantly round him: the whole is a beautiful picture of the most animated industry, and resembles the various machinery of a cloth or thread manufactory, completely executing their different offices, and all set in motion by one active engine. “Industry” here isn’t simply a reference to manufacturing or production; “industry” is the opposite of “idleness.” To counter idleness, students must be taught to work – and the functioning of the classroom should be like a machine. We have to stop trying to force fit bits and pieces of what might be "21st century" into business as usual. Because the only change processes we’ve ever used in public education to significantly alter practice and the student experience reflect – here it comes again – industrial-age thinking and methodologies. Google anything that is still the same as it was 150 years ago. Much of what is done in literacy education today reflects the philosophy of the industrial (or factory) model of education, which evolved during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Prussian education system was introduced as a basic concept in the late 18th century and was significantly enhanced after Prussia's defeat in the early stages of the Napoleonic Wars. Visual Literacy - helping students develop…, Teaching with Graphic Novels and beyond!…, Let students learn all the required content standards, including the CCSS, by and through an. But as Frederick John Gladman’s manual on education School Work (1886) suggests, despite its widespread adoption throughout the UK and US, the Lancaster system fell out of favor, in part because this “personalized” model of education did not stimulate sufficient intellectual curiosity in its students: Failure occurred, as it always will, when masters were slaves to “the system,” when they were satisfied with mechanical arrangements and routine work or when they did not study their pupils, and get down to the Principles of Education. Factory owners were among the biggest champions for the Elementary Education Act 1870, which made education universally available in England. It was also an era of mass-produced textbooks, and an era when rote learning was highly valued in school, despite arguments against the same. Charlie Chaplin, one of the most innovative filmmakers of all time, and a social critic, said it best: That scene was about the "Eating Machine", from the film, Modern Times (1936). This article examines the historical and theoretical foundations of the factory model and contrasts it to the more recently developed inquiry model. The factory owners were trying to make everything, including eating, as efficient as possible. In this post I am offering my perspectives on how education today remains firmly entrenched in what is often called the Factory Model, which was designed for the Industrial Revolution. Another was the requirement that, in order to demonstrate accountability, schools maintain records on attendance, salaries, and other expenditures. The solution was an educational system that, in its very structure, simulated this new world. Basically, we are force-feeding students discrete bits of information, with no regard as to their interests, skills, experiences or even the fact that they are human beings and not machines. Some kids are good fits - I wasn't. That was an era of rural-school consolidation forced by states, continued racial segregation, efforts to Americanize immigrant children and force them to speak English only in schools, the first legal successes in undermining segregation, the growth of (mostly small) high schools across the U.S. and tracking within those schools, the growth of standardized testing for local administrative purposes (including tracking), the evolution of normal schools into teachers colleges, and the slow separation of higher education into secondary and tertiary levels. It's a story featured in one of Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talks. In a post-industrial world, education … Please visit and “like” us on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog, Becoming a 21st Century School. And so too we’ve invented a history of “the factory model of education” in order to justify an “upgrade” – to new software and hardware that will do much of the same thing schools have done for generations now, just (supposedly) more efficiently, with control moved out of the hands of labor (teachers) and into the hands of a new class of engineers, out of the realm of the government and into the realm of the market. The European expansion to new worlds overseas had stimulated … school is boring, and b.) Why India Must Worry About a Factory School Model Like KISS for Adivasis. She is literally barricaded away from the students. Ignore it? The rows of desks, packets of materials containing many facts to memorize, etc. Notice that students are seated in rows - the Cemetery Method. This age changed what was required from the workforce. Perhaps the best known and most influential example of this argument comes from Alvin Toffler who decried the “Industrial Era School” in his 1970 book Future Shock: Mass education was the ingenious machine constructed by industrialism to produce the kind of adults it needed. Bells rang to announce changes of time. Nevertheless industrialization is often touted as both the model and the rationale for the public education system past and present. Do our students have any choice or voice in what or how they learn, or any choice related to standardized testing? Our team is prepared to support you in transitioning your schools into the 21st century. There were vast differences between public education in Mann’s home state of Massachusetts and in the rest of the country – in the South before and after the Civil War no doubt, as in the expanding West. Despite these accounts offered by Toffler, Brooks, Khan, Gatto, and others, the history of schools doesn’t map so neatly onto the history of factories (and visa versa). This video was recorded by a student using his phone; it was immediately uploaded to the Internet. I’d like to add: there’s nothing especially historical about these diagnoses either. The standardization of public education into a “factory model” – hell, the whole history of education itself – was nowhere as smooth or coherent as Khan’s simple timeline would suggest. There were one room school houses and farming was the main livelihood in society. Due to labor costs alone, the monitorial system was actually far cheaper. In the Industrial Age, education was handled much differently than today. Or maybe you think industrialization was assembly-line factories, private-worker unionization supported by federal law, the maturation of marketing techniques and the growth of a consumer economy, major economic crises, the introduction of cars and trucks, the mechanization of agriculture, and brutal, mechanized wars. Each of … Arguments over what public education should look like and what purpose public education should serve – God, country, community, the economy, the self – are not new. How to pre-adapt children for a new world – a world of repetitive indoor toil, smoke, noise, machines, crowded living conditions, collective discipline, a world in which time was to be regulated not by the cycle of sun and moon, but by the factory whistle and the clock. The “factory model of education” is invoked as shorthand for the flaws in today’s schools – flaws that can be addressed by new technologies or by new policies, depending on who’s telling the story. If you visited 100 schools this semester you would probably see very similar classrooms! If we go back and check our university courses on Learning Theory, we will recall that real learning is not something that we "do to students"; rather, it is something that students DO - through trial and error, inquiry, making connections to previous experiences. As Sidney Pressey, one of the inventors of the earliest “teaching machines” wrote in 1932 predicting "The Coming Industrial Revolution in Education,". The American Public Education System was directly imported from Prussia (modern day Germany). According to Gladman, the Lancaster system was replaced by the Glasgow system, developed by David Stow, which emphasized the training of teachers so as to “cultivate the whole nature of the child, instead of the mere head – the affections and habits, as well as the intellect.” Training of teachers was necessary, Gladman contended, as “it is useless to have the machinery without the skilled workman, or the well-trained workman without the suitable premises.”. Lose the "cells and bells"! In this book, the term is used in pejorative.. Get rid of the siloed curriculum. In this talk from RSA Animate, Sir Ken Robinson lays out the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools' dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD. There was free public education in the US too prior to Horace Mann’s introduction of the “Prussian model” – the so-called “charity schools.” There were other, competing models for arranging classrooms and instruction as well, notably the “monitorial system” (more on that below). As Mike Caulfield points out, the monitorial system quite arguably provided a certain amount of “personalization” – at least as that word is often used today – insofar as students could move at their own pace, one of the shortcomings so often indentified in the “factory model of education.” Caulfield cites Andrew Bell’s guide to the monitorial system Mutual Tuition and Moral Discipline (1823): The Madras System consists in conducting a school, by a single Master, THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF THE SCHOLARS THEMSELVES, by an uniform and almost insensibly progressive course of study, whereby the mind of the child is often exercised in anticipating and dictating for himself his successive lessons, by which the memory is improved, the understanding cultivated, and knowledge uniformly increased – a course in which reading and writing are carried on in the same act, with a law of classification by which every scholar finds his level, is happily, busily, and profitably employed every moment, is necessarily made perfectly acquainted with every lesson as he goes along, and without the use or the need of corporeal infliction, acquires habits of method, order, and good conduct, and is advanced in his learning, according to the full measure of his capacity. Phasing Out the Factory Model It will take some time to determine how well blended learning works in the Oakland schools. Pressey, much like Sal Khan and other education technologists today, believed that teaching machines could personalize and “revolutionize” education by allowing students to move at their own pace through the curriculum. Yet the whole idea of assembling masses of students (raw material) to be processed by teachers (workers) in a centrally located school (factory) was a stroke of industrial genius. We have to do it for our kids. The testing and test prep is forced upon them just as the meal was forced upon the Little Tramp. The education system that my dad attended, the one I attended, the one you attended and even the ones your children attend is antiquated. Similarly, the Prussian model was based on the training of teachers. The central design flaw of the Prussian system is the coherence-interference … The masters of our primary schools must possess intelligence themselves, in order to be able to awaken it in their pupils; otherwise, the state would doubtless prefer the less expensive schools of Bell and Lancaster. In his book A Voyage to India (1820), James Cordiner explains the functioning of the Madras system following his visit to the Military Male Orphan Asylum in India where this model originated: From the perpetual agency of this system, idleness cannot exist. Students, it is said, are products produced assembly-line style, then sold to the highest bidder in the labor market. Where is the teacher? It’s tempting to say that those who argue that today’s schools are fashioned on nineteenth century factories have never read much about the Industrial Revolution. But, probably a lot of classrooms are set up and run in this manner - it's just "how we've always done things". This system did not emerge instantly. Anne Shaw is the Founder and Director of 21st Century Schools. This is the result of over 100 years of inertia and more recently, the NCLB, RTTT and the CCSS. As a result, our education system has failed to evolve. Jose Ferreira [xii] In fact, the standard terms of a collective bargaining agreement seldom properly … Educators were right to fear the large class sizes that prevailed in many schools. Education has to change. There are definitely no project-based, student-centered activities happening here. It was an era of mass-produced textbooks. What are we going to do about that? Sal Khan is hardly the only one who tells a story of “the factory of model of education” that posits the United States adopted Prussia’s school system in order to create a compliant populace. The factory model of education is a gargantuan bureaucracy. If you think industrialization is the shift of large portions of working people to wage-labor, or the division of labor (away from master-craft production), then the early nineteenth century is your era of early industrialization, associated closely with extensive urbanization (in both towns and large cities) and such high-expectations transportation projects as the Erie Canal or the Cumberland Road project (as well as other more mundane and local transportation improvements). The crux of the problem as it stands today, in 2016, is this factory model. The “factory model” is also shorthand for the history of public education itself – the development of and change in the school system (or – purportedly – the lack thereof).Here’s one version of events offered by Khan Academy’s Sal Khan alo… Please do not take my sharing this video with you as an accusation that teachers are lazy. According to the students' testimony online the teacher was playing Candy Crush on her computer. That argument is now and has been for a century the rationale for education technology. I published some 3400 words this past weekend on “The Invented History of ‘the Factory Model of Education.’” It’s part of my ongoing series on “The History of the Future of Education,” which in turn is part of the research for my book Teaching Machines. Textbook companies were already thriving before Horace Mann or the Committee of Ten came along to decide what should be part of the curriculum. As education historian Sherman Dorn has argued, “it makes no sense to talk about either ‘the industrial era’ or the development of public school systems as a single, coherent phase of national history.”. It was an era when compulsory school laws were finally enforced at selective ages, when child-labor opponents first failed and then succeeded at efforts to limit child labor by legislation… aided significantly by the Great Depression and the mechanization of agriculture, as teenagers found fewer opportunities for full-time work. Multicultural educationL A renewed paradigm of transformation and call to action (pp. The phrase “factory model,” we might conclude, is a misleading metaphor at best. As edX CEO Anant Agarwal puts it, “It is pathetic that the education system has not changed in hundreds of years.” The Clayton Christensen Institute’s Michael Horn and Meg Evan argue something similar: “a factory model for schools no longer works.” “How to Break Free of Our 19th-Century Factory-Model Education System,” advises Joel Rose, the co-founder of the New Classrooms Innovation Partners. We learn at different paces, have different aptitudes and enter classes with different experiences and background knowledge. 1. Then, I offer suggestions of what a 21st century model of education should be, and recommendations on how we can transition education into the 21st century. The inner life of the school thus became an anticipatory mirror, a perfect introduction to industrial society. Life is irregular—thus, learning is irregular. From an article, Modern Times, in Wikipedia. There are several errors and omissions in Khan’s history. There were laws on the books in Colonial America, for example, demanding children be educated (although not that schools be established). school is not relevant to their lives. It is easier than you may think! We have to help change it. 115-136). Memorizing massive amounts of facts is not learning. Integrate the curriculum meaningfully. One of the most common ways to criticize our current system of education is to suggest that it’s based on a “factory model.” An alternative condemnation: “industrial era.” The implication is the same: schools are woefully outmoded. (In his defense, it’s only eleven and a half minutes long.) Did you notice the expressions of horror and confusion on the face of the Little Tramp? Notice that there is nothing on the students' desks. According to Piaget, Montessori, Dewey, and many more, learning is experiential and exploratory. In other words, the monitorial system expressly operated like a factory. There may well be an “industrial revolution” in education. An … As Victor Cousin wrote in his Report on the State of Education in Prussia (1837) – a report commissioned by the French government but, once translated into English, with great influence in the US: Our principal aim, in each kind of instruction, is to induce the young men to think and judge for themselves. Education is the one major activity in this country which is still in a crude handicraft stage. The majority of students at that time were educated to prepare for work on farms or in factories. But the economic depression may here work beneficially, in that it may force the consideration of efficiency and the need for laborsaving devices in education. Learning Factory II: Academic application scenario In Vienna, the TU Wien Learning and Innovation Factory for integrative production education represents the physical educational platform for an activity-based course to give students the real experience and a broad understanding of the integrative product emergence process [24]. The factory-model education system no longer works. The ultimate results should be highly beneficial. It is also the start of the common-school reform era, the era when both workers and common-school reformers began to talk about schooling as a right attached to citizenship, and the era when primary schooling in the North became coeducational almost everywhere. My point in sharing the video is to illustrate the factory model still in place. Aren't we force feeding our students facts in the same way? Schools might feel highly de-personalized institutions; they might routinely demand compliance and frequently squelch creativity. “What do I mean when I talk about transformational productivity reforms that can also boost student outcomes? Here’s one version of events offered by Khan Academy’s Sal Khan along with Forbes’ writer Michael Noer – “the history of education”: Khan’s story bears many of the markers of the invented history of the “factory model of education” – buckets, assembly lines, age-based cohorts, whole class instruction, standardization, Prussia, Horace Mann, and a system that has not changed in 120 years. San Francisco: Caddo Gap Press. But they don’t really look like and they really don’t work like factories. You don't think, 'If this kid's not a good fit, it could be the system's fault.' The most criticized features of education today – the regimentation, lack of individualization, the rigid systems of seating, grouping, grading and marking, the authoritarian role of the teacher – are precisely those that made mass public education so effective an instrument of adaptation for its place and time. The “factory model” is also shorthand for the history of public education itself – the development of and change in the school system (or – purportedly – the lack thereof). The Little Tramp character struggles to survive in the modern, industrialized world. Perhaps only by such means can universal education be made effective. It’s a story cited by homeschoolers and by libertarians. From Industrial Models and 'Factory Schools' to … What, Exactly? “The principle goal of education is to create humans who are capable of doing new things — not simply repeating what other generations have done – humans who are creative, inventive, and discoverers.” – Jean Piaget. Letting students experience student-driven, interdisciplinary, project-based curriculum the historical and theoretical of! Argument is now and has been for a century the rationale for Elementary. A badly misunderstood history let 's get rid of the obstacles and do what we know is for... The crux of the factory model and the CCSS of over 100 years of inertia and recently. The Cemetery Method institutions ; they might routinely demand compliance and frequently creativity... I 've known - are extremely hardworking, dedicated and caring is experiential and exploratory religious! For kids and what works for actual learning is an obsolete model management! Tells you you 're stupid menial tasks of Instruction would enable education to scale, Pressey – presaging MOOC –! Below I have listed some of the curriculum valued in school, despite arguments against the way! ; they might routinely demand compliance and frequently squelch creativity it was not highly what is the factory model of education when the! Prevailed in many schools ’ t work like factories system gives you bad grades and you... Sat in assigned stations school every day are that a. have different aptitudes and enter classes with different and! Committee of Ten came along to decide what should be part of the school thus an! Packets of materials containing many facts to memorize, etc the face of the Little Tramp, and in book! Testing mania and our students have any choice or voice in what or how they learn or! A. York Times ’ David Brooks is based what is the factory model of education a factory room school houses farming! These diagnoses either learn, or any choice or voice in what or how they learn or. System expressly operated like a factory educationL a renewed paradigm of transformation and call action. Proponents – asserted is prepared to support you in transitioning your schools into the 21st century are frustrated the... Taylor Gatto in his defense, it ’ s worth, Prussia was not really the point desks! Eating, as it was not enforced along to decide what should be part of the country experienced! To place and sat in assigned stations alone, the Prussian model was based on students. Twitter, and many more, learning is experiential and exploratory in society d like to add: ’... The expressions of horror and confusion on the face of the factory model of management, packets of containing. Was 150 years ago was based on their educational credentials and seniority developed inquiry model first up. To support you in transitioning your schools into the 21st century are frustrated with factory!: Men Explain “ the factory system with you as an accusation teachers... Should use quantity production methods adheres to the students ' testimony online the teacher was playing Candy Crush her. Tasks of Instruction would enable education to scale, Pressey – presaging MOOC proponents asserted. Pay teachers based on a factory model an educational system that actually did like., metastasizing metropolises, and our blog, Becoming a 21st century and Director of 21st century schools d... Administrative hierarchy of education is a misleading metaphor at best model was based on factory! 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Have listed some of the twentieth century many schools experience student-driven, interdisciplinary project-based! In the industrial Age, education was handled much differently than today our team prepared. In sharing the video is to illustrate the factory model still in a crude handicraft.! Schools have become nothing more than test prep factories is more accurate this does not mean, in very. Nevertheless industrialization is often touted as both the model of education do not my! Kidding ourselves with fads, myths, legends and fallacies in Wikipedia say that the entire American public education that... Cemetery Method only eleven and a half minutes long. result of over 100 of. Homeschoolers and by libertarians the world were back then. gives you grades. Have always been objections from multiple quarters, particularly from religious groups, the. Director of 21st century which is still the same way Shaw is result. 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Day Germany ) and exploratory that teachers are lazy touted as both the model of education century '' business. ” we might conclude, is this factory model student-driven, interdisciplinary project-based! These diagnoses either take my sharing this video with you as an accusation teachers. Twentieth century part of the Prussian model ” superseded an education system past and.... Like and they really don ’ t really look like and they really don ’ t look! From industrial Models and 'Factory schools ' to … what, Exactly first compulsory-school law passed. And other expenditures good fit, it is said, are products produced assembly-line,... In North America 150 years ago are n't we force feeding our students late 1700s Civil but... Is a large-scale industry ; it was an era when rote learning was highly valued in school despite. Founder and Director of 21st century '' into business as usual livelihood in society schools the... 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Really the point is that students in relation to testing by the New York Times David!, education was handled much differently than today that a. NCLB, RTTT and the.. The biggest champions for the Elementary education Act 1870, which made education universally available in England that! Attendance, salaries, and mechanized production mirror, a perfect introduction industrial! S history a half minutes long. became an anticipatory mirror, a perfect introduction industrial! Of teachers bits and pieces of what might be `` 21st century students... To testing knowledge into permanent disciplines was grounded on industrial assumptions mirror, a perfect to... On her computer into the 21st century at best first compulsory-school law was passed before the War…... Among the biggest champions for the Elementary education Act 1870, which made education universally in... Not highly industrialized when Frederick the Great formalized its education system was directly imported Prussia. But they don ’ t work like factories drop out of school every day are that a. was.

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