As a child I embarked on many trips to the chocolate wonderland of Cadbury World. Part of the attraction is a history lesson in Cadburys rise to power which is presented through a self-guided tour through various rooms decorated with figurines that on the press of a button describe who they are and the role they play in Cadburys history.

As a child I was always taken with the Cadbury history story, in particular I was interested in how the owners of Cadburys in the late 19th century (two brothers) were concerned with the quality of life of their employees and decided to move their factory out of city to the country where in addition to a factory they proceeded to build low cost housing. As well as being low cost the houses were a huge improvement from the poor living conditions that employees had in the cities, and the brothers who were also concerned with their employees health and fitness proceeded to build recreational areas around the village, which by then had taken the name Bournville.

According to the Cadbury World history lesson the brothers believed that a quality of life for Cadbury employees was the key to its success. There is very little in the story about the development of the factory and the equipment within it.

This makes me think about education and where our effort is placed. Should all our effort be put into improving the classroom? I’m not sure the Cadbury Brothers would agree. This week I’ve also been reading a book by Paulo Freire and an article in Develop about how the Valve Corporation treats its employees, but I’ll save those for another post.


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