Charlie Chaplin and Modern Times

My family recently chuckled its way through Charlie Chaplin’s last silent film, and one of his best, “Modern Times.”  One scene near the beginning has our hero at work in a modern factory, with some sort of “widgets” sailing by him on a conveyor belt.  His job is to tighten two bolts as they go by.  He has a wrench in each hand and is doing fine, till the boss sees they need more production and tells the guy up line to increase volume.  Then Charlie’s character is up against it.  He tries to keep up; the comedy is all too poignant.  Modern times have come upon us.  We are not able to keep up.

As a life-long educator, seeing that picture reminded me of what happened in the late 1950’s as the baby boomers started to hit our nation’s schools.  The numbers spiked in 1971, but throughout the 50’s and 60’s this wave of kids hit our schools and schooling had to change.  There were just too many kids for the limited space and faculty of most schools.  And thus some things had to be lost along the way toward increased efficiency and high volume instructional methods.  And within the next few years, the Boomer’s grandkids will spike our kindergarten classes.  Most say this is coming in the 2012-13 year.

Be of good cheer, fellow Christian classical educators.  There are plenty of students yet to come!

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