The Effects of McDonaldization on Education
McDonaldization is the term created by George Ritzer to describe the homogenous sociological event that is happening within our society. It is the process in which a task is broken down into several simpler; the subsequent tasks are then rationalized to find the single most proficient method for completing each task, or rationalization. Within these tasks, five dimensions are used to explain the process: efficiency, calculability, substitutions on nonhuman technology, predictability, and control. Ritzer’s idea can be applied to various social institutions, such as education. The process of rationalization is appropriate for each stage of schooling. A typical child is expected to be pushed through elementary, junior high and high school until they graduate and attend college. I have experienced McDonaldization during my own school career, especially throughout high school. This has ultimately shaped the quality of education I received, thus affecting my performance in college. The first dimension of McDonaldization is efficiency, which is the determination of the best mode of production, where “no individuality is allowed.” Standardized tests such as one’s enacted by the No Child Left Behind Act and the SAT’s determine if one will move onto the next grade level. In my experience, to be more efficient, the means of assessment causes teachers to teach a narrow subset of skills that the teacher believes will increase test performance, rather than focus on acquiring full understanding of the broad curriculum. Also, many tests I took in high school and even now as a student in college are graded by machine or taken online, making the process more proficient for the teacher. Unfortunately the convenience of online testing can result in false outcomes because of a student’s easy access to the internet and textbooks, this defeating the purpose of efficiency. Secondly, the purpose of predictability is for the...
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