I tried a little experiment today with Google. I started by typing "learning is " into Google and waiting to see what the auto-suggest feature would come up with.

Learning is fun


Next, I typed "Teaching is " into the auto-suggest.

Teaching is fun


Finally, I typed "Schools are " into Google.com.

Schools are prisons


As I understand it, Google pulls the auto-suggest phrases from the most commonly typed search phrases people use. In other words, the auto-suggest phrases represent the opinions of people using the Google search engine.

Now while I think lots of schools are fun, and it would be wrong to characterize most schools as prisons, at the very least we have a marketing problem. One would assume that if people think learning is fun, and teachers think teaching is fun, then the institutions where both of these things happen should be fun, right?

Why then do the search results above come up? Is everyone searching for the song "Schools are prisons" by the Sex Pistols? Or do we have a larger problem?


Update: @sjhughes shared this one. Google "school makes me" and you’ll see some more opinions of students about school.

School makes me