McDonaldization Phenomenon

        McDonaldization is described a Phenomenon that speed up characteristics coming to dominate other areas of social life. Today, professor brought an interesting topic if the education McDonaldized. He gave an example that one professor in the 200 student huge classroom and just offered all multiple choices exams by using the contract sheet. We can imagine of how this kind of “McDonaldization” will worse declines the individual education quality and how could we expect them to increase personal value in this way? In this case, the whole education system treats various individuals standardized by grading them certain degree and evaluates them abilities with the same answers outputs.

There is a question popping up in my mind: if someone, just because he comes from the different country, can’t understand the questions very well, how can we objectively and fairly evaluate him? Few years ago, I read an article, named An Indian Father’s Plea ( In his article, he hopes the teacher doesn’t label his son with “slow learner” just because of the culture difference and language issue and so on. That disadvantage invisibly put his son into a position of slow action/reaction by his teachers. If that young child got education in the McDonaldization education system, he would be left far away behind his peers. As we know, once a label is setting on someone, unfortunately, that will stick him in the whole life. How could we expect that India boy to fully develop his talents in the efficient way and struggle the future competition? As we know, the advantage of American culture is encouraging student’s creative thinking. How could those children innovate something new if they were forcing study and memorizing the standard answers on a quickly running of production line? Besides this, government currently also needs to balance the budget cuts and the specific needs like that wild-wolf under global badly economic circumstance. All of above problem tell us the education system can’t become McDonaldization anyway but what is the best way going on here?

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2 Responses to McDonaldization Phenomenon

  1. dh142475 says:

    I agree with your opinions in this topic. The American educational system is increasingly becoming more standardized to improve efficiency. Students are simply treated as data points with their exam grades as their benchmark. I know that in Norway, teachers don’t give students any grades at all for the first few years of education. Instead, they write unique and individualized comments to their parents. This allows the student and parent to see what problems he or she has and the way to improve it. Compared to America, a grade in a class simply reflects what the student has done and offers no methods to improve in the future.

    Regarding the article about the Indian student, that reminded me of a student I used to know in my middle school. Although he was decent in his studies in general, he recently immigrated to America from Vietnam, so his English was poor. However, the teachers decided that since he couldn’t communicate properly for someone his age, they thought he had a speech impediment. The school pushed him into the special education program. His intelligence wasn’t below average; he was just struggling in one area. Rather than paying more attention to him and realizing the problem, the education system simply mislabeled him since it was easier, owing to the “McDonaldization” phenomenon. Fortunately, he quickly picked up English and returned to taking normal classes the next year.

  2. CHAO ZHENG says:

    I agree with you, if education system treats various individuals standardized, it will be not fair, because not only the language for people who come from other countries is worse than native one, but it is also because everybody skills and ability are different, standardized will hurt them creative.

    I had read a story once which is the similar as yours, which was talking about a Nigerians who could not speak English, came to Britain; however, because of her English which was not good, she was refused to enroll in university. In fact, she was a wise woman, because she later became a famous English writer by learning from herself in the library. Therefore, we can see it wasn’t fair if we make people standardized.

    Another reason is that like you said, “Once a label is indeed setting on someone, unfortunately, that will stick him in the whole life” And also the “label” will hurt a children. They will lose their self-confidence and their interests to explore, which is very important for a kid. Imagine if Einstein could not speak English coming to the United States to receive education which take people standardized, people think he is a slow learner or stupid. He would feel bad too. Probably, he would lose the confidence to explore, then we will lose a theory of relativity and a world’s smartest person because there will be no “Einstein” any more.

    Therefore, I agree with you. If you McDonaldization in the education system, that will be a disaster for our education system.

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