About 10 years ago I listened to a fascinating interview with John Gatto in which he described the circumstances that led up the ‘Prussian model of education’…
The Prussian Army had lost a major battle to Napoleon and the generals were called on the carpet to answer to the Prussian aristocracy.
The Generals blamed their defeat on the soldiers thinking for themselves on the battlefield.
The solution proposed was to have the behavioral scientist and the military scientist get together and revise the education system to create a more obedient soldier.
They came up with the idea that moving the youth between cubicles every hour, separated by bells – and the rewarding of students to memorize and regurgitate fragmented, isolated information (testing) – would solve the problem.