GRADGRIND AND HIS ILK Mr. Gradgrind (pronounced grade grind) is a type of teacher who was just then coming into England. He prepared the youngsters to fit their industrial niches. The key theory of social relations at the time was Utilitarianism. Everything that could be subordinated to efficient production methods should be subordinated. Here's what Charles Dickens said about some of these "efficiency" schools: "I don't like that sort of school -- and I have seen a good many such in these later times -- where the bright childish imagination is utterly discouraged, and where those bright childish faces, which it is so very good for the wisest among us to remember in after life, when the world is too much with us early and late, are gloomily and grimly scared out of countenance; where I have never seen among the boys or girls, anything but little parrots and small calculating machines."