Undoing School

Following the world wars and independence victory parades, the intoxicating sense that nothing is forbidden in our free land, including the alteration of human nature, prevailed. Big changes were being made to the ideas of parenting, family and community. Children were being passed on from localities into the custody of schooling experts.

The dreams of Charles Darwin and Francis Galton would become reality through the agency of public schooling, designed top-down like every other post-war institution to check the proliferation of the unfit. The dough for the bread called “trickle-down economics.” The scientific method of population control.

child left out
The reason given for this enormous upheaval of family life and cultural traditions was, roughly speaking, threefold:

  • To make good people.
  • To make good citizens.
  • To make each person his or her personal best.

These goals are still trotted out on a regular basis, and most of us accept them in one form or another as a decent definition of public educations mission, however short schools actually fall in achieving them.

Mark Twain on EducationMany students, especially the poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They teach them to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. The imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value and to confuse the process with the substance. Once the meaning became blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success.

As a result, when exiting the institution medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the 40-hour work week rat race for meaningful productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.

Institutionalization of these most sacred of services and values leads inevitably to physical pollution, social polarization, and psychological impotence: three facets in a process of global degradation and modernized misery. This process of degradation is accelerated when non-material needs are perceptually transformed into demands for commodities; when health, education, personal mobility, welfare, or psychological healing are defined as the result of services or “treatments.”

In our compounded ignorance after passing through such institutions ourselves, most of the research currently going on about the future of education tends to advocate further increases in the institutionalization of services and values. We have now created conditions which would permit precisely the contrary of education to happen. We need research on the possible use of technology to create institutions which serve personal, creative, and autonomous interaction and the emergence of values which cannot be substantially controlled by Technocrats. We need alternative research to current futurology.

education systemUniversal education through schooling is not feasible. It would be no more feasible if it were attempted by means of alternative institutions built on the operational style of present schools. Neither new attitudes of teachers toward their pupils nor the proliferation of educational hardware or software (in classroom or bedroom), nor finally the attempt to expand the pedagogue’s responsibility until it engulfs his pupils’ lifetimes will deliver universal education.

The current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs and interactive networks which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of their living into one of learning, sharing, and caring. Such a process ensures that the pupils that exit such a system will seek and implement learned alternatives to other established and seemingly unchangeable services, institutions and industries.Albert Einstein on Education

Sources:

The War on Kids 2009 Documentary

Everywhere All the Time: A New Deschooling Reader ~ Matt Hern

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get the latest updates straight in your inbox!

Please share, it really helps! :) <3

21 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

21 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest for Members

You May Like

Redefining Discipline: Adapting to Your Reality

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally...

3 Progressive Thinkers in the World of Education

"I never wanted to go out of my comfort zone... so I restricted my world just to the things i knew i Was sure...

4 Old School Parenting Tactics Conscious Parents are Breaking The Mold on

"A conscious parent is not one who seeks to fix her child, or seek to produce or create the 'perfect' child. This is not...

5 Ways a Parent Can be Like a Shaman

"There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one." ~ Sue Atkins Being a parent is not an easy...

8 Signs You are Leaving the System

“Sovereignty is not given, it is taken.” ~ Mustafa Kemal Atatürk These are wonderful times we are living in. Apparently, high levels of Gamma rays are...

Six Children’s Storybooks and their Esoteric Meanings

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy...

For Members

Deep Diving into the Seven A’s of Healing

I recently had the chance to read Gabor Maté's When the Body Says No. Gabor Maté has decades of experience as a physicist, and...

The Philosophical Wrecking Ball: Protecting Us from Our Yearning for Certainty

“What I understand of “philosopher”: a terrible explosive in the presence of which everything is in danger.” ~ Nietzsche The thing that makes philosophy useful...

Interpreting the Native American Medicine Wheel

The Native American medicine wheel is a universal symbol used in many native tribes. Its meaning is versatile, depending on the tribe and personal...

Becoming A Game Changer: Bottom-up Versus Top-down Leadership

"You cannot buy the Revolution. You cannot make the Revolution. You can only be the Revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is...

Twenty-Four: The Answer to the Meaning of Death, Reality and Nothingness

“'The answer to the great question of life, the universe and everything... Is... Forty-two,' said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.” ~ Douglas...

Going Supernatural ~ Unlocking your True Human Potential ~ Part 1

Here's the thing, most of us are so caught up with the day-to-day routine that we hardly make time for ourselves. One of the...

Overcoming God: The Struggle Between Mortality and Immortality

“You are more than your thoughts, your body or your feelings. You are a swirling vortex of limitless potential who is here to shake...

Einstein as Shaman : Living By Truth

“Shamanism and science are both essential to making sense of our primary experience of the world. Discovering and living by truth require practicing each...

4 Old School Parenting Tactics Conscious Parents are Breaking The Mold on

"A conscious parent is not one who seeks to fix her child, or seek to produce or create the 'perfect' child. This is not...

How to Stop Micro-managing and Enable Healing?

"Ego says: Once everything falls into place I will feel peace. Spirit says: find peace and everything will fall into place." ~ Marianne Williamson If...

Celebrating Love and Unity with the Handfasting Ceremony

Back in October, my partner and I celebrated a year of marriage by holding a handfasting ceremony. It was a small and intimate celebration...

5 Essentials Every Parent Should Know about Parenting

“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The...