Posts Tagged Deschooling Society

Book Notes – Deschooling Society (2)

Degree ceremony at the University of Oxford. T...
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Following on…

For most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school. ((From the introduction.)

the existence of the university is necessary to guarantee continued social criticism (p. 37)

The man addicted to being taught seeks his security in compulsive teaching. (p. 39)

once the self-taught man or woman has been discredited, all non-professional activity is rendered suspect. In school we are taught that valuable learning is the result of attendance; that the value of learning increases with input; and that this value can be measured and documented by grades and certificates. (p. 39)

School teaches [the myth that] instruction produces learning. The existence of school produces the demand for schooling. Once we have learned to need school, all our activities tend to take the shape of client relationships to other specialized institutions. (p. 39)

Knowledge … is conceived of as a commodity put on the market in school. (p. 47)

School makes alienation preparatory to life, thus depriving education of reality and work of creativity. (p. 47)

Knowledge is not a commodity which can be forced into the consumer. (p. 50)

[Schools should]

  • be convivial places which folk do not have to be convinced to use (p. 55)
  • move towards praxis (action) and away from poesis (making) (p. 62)
  • increase the opportunity and desirability of human interaction (p. 63)

Institutions men use without having to be institutionally convinced that it is to their advantage to do so… (p. 55)

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Book Notes – Deschooling society

Ivan Illich
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Here are some quotes from chapter 1 of  Ivan Illich‘s classic Deschooling Society, which I recently re-read. The quotes are sentences or ideas that caught my attention. They are not necessarily representative, either of the book itself, nor of Illich’s or my thinking; that is, you won’t get an objective summary of the book by reading these quotes.  (For a 1971 libertarian review of Illich’s book, click here). With that disclaimer out of the way, here we go.

Chapter 1: Why we must disestablish schools.

[Schools school students] to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, … the rat race for 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.

… In these essays, I will show that the institutionalization of values leads inevitably to physical pollution, social polarization, and psychological impotence. … I will explain how this process of degradation is accelerated when non-material needs are transformed into demands for commodities; when health, education, personal mobility, welfare, or psychological healing are defined as the result of services or “treatments”.

The ideology of obligatory schooling admits of no logical limits. [Illich goes on to illustrate using as an example the proposal of]
Dr. Hutschnecker, the “psychiatrist” who treated Nixon before he was qualified as a candidate, recommended… that all children between 6 and 8 be professionally examined to ferret out those who have destructive tendencies, and that obligatory treatment be provided for them…. Indeed, preventive concentration camps for predelinquents would be a logical improvement over the school system.

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I recommend the following digital products: WP GDPR Fix, a WordPress plugin that quickly and easily helps you make your WP blog GDPR compliant. Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials", Dan Gold's $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions' Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap's free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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